A hop bet is a little understood one roll, verbal bet you can make on any combination of numbers. For example, if you have an intuitive notion that the combination 4 and 1 will appear on the very next roll of the dice, you can place a bet for "4 & 1 hopping." If the 4 and 1 do appear, you win. If 3 and 2, or any other combinations come up, you lose.
The payoff for a hop bet is usually 15-1. That is, if you bet $5, you’ll win $75. The true odds for this bet are 18 to one, making it a poor bet.
However, you can also bet on hardways hopping. If you think a hardway six is "due," you can bet, for example, "33 hopping." If the next roll is 3 & 3, you’ll win $75 (at 15:1) instead of $45 (9:1). Remember though, a hop bet is for one roll only, while your hardway bet stays up until it wins or loses.
Some casinos, in fact, will encourage hardway hopping by paying 30:1 instead of 15:1. This means you can bet on 2 & 2, 3 & 3, 4 & 4, and 5 & 5 and be paid quite a bit more for your hardway one roll bets. A regular hard four or ten pays 7:1, and the hard six or eight pays 9:1. At 30:1, even on a one roll bet, this is quite an advantage. If you want to play hop bets, ask your table dealer if they pay 30:1 or 15:1 on hopping hardways.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw a hop bet. A nervous man was the shooter, and he kept staring at a beautiful woman at the opposite end of the table. She was wearing a tight, low-cut dress that looked like she was poured into it. Every time she bent over the table, all of the players would hope that she would finally become unleashed.
The shooter’s point was 6, and he had made his previous two points. There was lots of money on the hardways, and the 6 was piled high with chips. Our shooter suddenly got the bright idea to make a hop bet.
"33 hopping," he said, throwing the dealer a green chip.
He tossed the dice, and one of them did actually "hop" up off the table, into the young lady’s scoop neckline!
"Same dice," he immediately yelled!
The shooter held them tight, and tossed them into the corner.
"Hard 6" the dealer said.
The shooter had won.
It was a very, very lucky hop.
It was a hard 6 assisted by two 38s!