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.
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
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.
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.