If you’ve played craps for any amount of time, you’ve probably taken a chance and bet a dollar or two on the hard ways. The payoff is high, but the chances of hitting the hard ways are low.
For instance, let’s look at the four or ten. Either one will roll only three times in 36 typical rolls; however, only one of these is "hard," and the other two are "soft."
Switching now to the six and eight, either one will roll five times in 36 typical rolls. However one of these is "hard," and the other four are "soft." This is why it is more difficult to roll a hard six (or eight) than it is to roll a hard four (or ten).
This is also why the payoff for the hard six or eight is 9-1 while the payoff for the hard four or ten is only 7-1.
Still, they are pretty high payoffs, considering they are not one roll bets and stay up until they win or lose.
Isn’t there some way we can make use of the unique qualities of these hard way bets?
Let’s find out!
If you’re a don’t player, your don’t pass, don’t come or lay bets can end up on the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. The large majority of these bets (4, 6, 8 and 10) are the same numbers we’ve been discussing, so you can bet hard ways on them as hedge bets.
For example, if you have a $25 bet on the don’t pass and the point is six, you can bet $3 on the hard six. If the soft six rolls, you lose $28, but you are only risking the extra $3 to protect your $25 don’t pass bet. If the seven rolls, you win $25 and lose your $3 insurance bet for a total of $22. However, if the hard six rolls, you would normally have lost the entire $25. But now you will win $27 and lose $25 for a net win of $2.
Now, let’s look at a $25 don’t come bet on the ten. You can bet $4 on the hard ten. If the soft ten rolls, you lose $29, but you are still only risking the extra $4 to protect $25. If the seven rolls, you win $25 and lose the $4 for a total win of $21. However, if a hard ten rolls, you would have normally lost the entire $25. But now you win $28 and lose $25 for a net win of $3.
Finally, let’s look at the lay bet. If you lay the four for $40 you can also place a hard way four bet for $6. If the seven shows, you’ll win $14 ($20 lay ”” $6 hard way). If the soft four rolls, you will lose $46 instead of $40 but you’re still only risking $6 to save $40. If the hard four rolls, you would normally lose $40 but now you win $2 ($42 hard way ”” $40 lay), so it’s worth the risk!
Many experienced crapshooters prefer betting on hard way hedges rather than place bet hedges because they already have the advantage on the don’t side, and the payoffs are higher compared to the place bet hedges.
So, if you’ve ever wondered how to use a hard way hedge on the don’t side, now you know!