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Last Updated: July 5, 2017

Craps Part 5 - Hard Way Prop Bets

Michael: OK next Angela, I am going to explain to you hard way bets and before I go any further, let me make clear to you and to the whole audience, hard way bets are sucker bets. You should never make them. I am only teaching you for information’s sake and it’s going to pain me to watch you making these bets.

Angela: Alright.

Dan: You will be in a lot of pain at a typical craps table.

Michael: Yes, we are the typical craps table. I just smile and watch the suckers make these bets.

Dan: What they would generally do is that they would bet a dollar around let’s say the hard eight and if a hard eight is thrown, they say parlay and it becomes ten dollars and if it hits again, they are 90 dollars and still up and for 100 dollars and now they say, “wow I just turned a dollar into one hundred dollars”.

Michael: Yes, and in all fairness -

Dan: It doesn’t happen too often.

Michael: I was going to say that if you want a small bet to win a lot, the sucker bets are the way to go. But I still advise players to stick to the low house advantage bets and if you really want a chance at something big, let your wins-- parlay them. You can achieve the same thing by pressing your bets. But anyway, let’s make some hard way bets. Those are generally not made on the pass line, on the come out roll, so let’s make a pass line bet as usual. Come out roll.

Dan: Coming out. Sexy C, mark the six.

Question 1

Michael: Okay so out of habit, let’s put 25 dollars on the odds and now let’s make the hard way bets. That’s these four bets right here. They’re four separate bets. They win if you roll those numbers there, the four, six, eight or ten the hard way. And as I was saying earlier, the hard way means that you have to make that roll with the dice the same. For example, if you are betting on the hard four, you must roll two two’s to win it. A one three will cause you to lose. That’s the easy way. So, using the hard four as an example, two-two will cause you to win, one-three will cause you to lose and any seven will cause you to lose. So, it’s a hard bet to win but it pays seven to one odds if you do win. You will notice the table has eight four one, which is the same thing as seven two one. So, let’s make all the hard way bets, so for example, let’s bet five dollars on each one, so you would give Dan twenty and you would tell him – How would you phrase it Dan?

Dan: A nickel all the hard ways.

Michael: A nickel all the hard ways.

Dan: Right and setting up the nickel on all the hard ways and if a hard six or a hard eight is strong, the stickman would say, “bonus money, pay the lady 45 dollars” so if a hard four or hard ten were thrown, he would say, “bonus money, pay the lady 35 dollars”, that’s seven to one or eight for one. And if a six easy was thrown, the stickman then generally says “six easy no field” hard six is down, and would pick up all of the hard six bets, on the easy six roll. And that’s how that works.

Michael: Okay let’s see what happens.

Dan: Eight easy, hard eight is down.

Michael: So, Angela, you just lost your hard way eight bet because you rolled it the easy way. So, let’s make a new bet on the hard eight.

Angela: Right, five on the hard eight.

Dan: Okay. Hard eight you got.

Angela: Hard eight

Dan: Your eleven.

Michael: Nothing happens with that.

Dan: Ten easy way.

Michael: Okay just roll another easy number. So, we’ve lost another bet.

Dan: Hard ten is down.

Michael: So, let’s make a new hard ten bet.

Angela: I have a hard ten.

Dan: I have hard ten.

Michael: For the viewers, the proper etiquette to making the hard way bets, is to courteously toss them towards the hard bets on the table. You are not supposed to make those bets yourself, or put them in the come area. That kind of implies you are making a come bet or place or by that. If you are making any of these prop bets you should throw them in the prop area.

Dan: And preferably when you have the stickman’s attention. He is busy cleaning up something and you wait a moment until he is finished and he looks around for any more bets, say, “yes give me a hard ten five dollars” and lob it in.

And I think that applies to any bet. Right after a roll, the dealers will pay the winners, take the losers and after they do all that, then you can do make the bets. Right?

Dan: Right. The dice are in the center, “anymore bets center action”, they would say and center action means the prop-heads like the hard way bets. You would say “yes give me a ten dollar hard ten” or “a ten dollar hard four” or what have you and you would toss them into and the stickman’s stick is trying to catch them and set them up.

Michael: So, let’s get back to our hard way bets.

Angela: Alright.

Dan: Five no field.

Michael: Nothing happens there.

Dan: Four easy.

Michael: Easy four.

Dan: Hard four is down.

Michael: Okay.

Angela: Five on hard four.

Dan: Five dollar hard four.

Nine center.

Michael: Nothing happens with that.

Dan: Seven out. Don’t worry.

Michael: The seven causes all hard way bets to lose. Okay it’s a newcomer after all. Normally players don’t bet the hard ways, until a point is established so let’s wait for that.

Angela: Alright.

Dan: Four easy.

Michael: Okay, first and foremost make your odds bet which is 15 dollars and how much you want to bet on the hard ways?

Angela: I am going to go with a nickel each, so 20 hard ways.

Dan: Twenty dollars on the hard ways. A nickel each. Eight the hard way.

Michael: Yay. Okay, so Dan how much do we win?

Dan: Okay, so pay the lady 45 dollars. So sometimes a player will say, “parlay” which means take all the winnings to increase my bet, so that the next time it hits, I win more.

Michael: But we are not that adventurous. We’re conservative, so let’s just keep the five dollars up there and lock in our win.

Dan: And take the money while the taking is good

Michael: So, we still got our hard way bets up there. Let’s try to hit another one.

Angela: Alright.

Dan: Six the hard way.

Question 2

Angela: So, what do we get on the six?

Dan: The hard eight and the hard six pay the same amount, nine- to-one. Or often stated as ten-floor-one and the hard four and the hard ten pay seven-to-one.

Michael: Okay let’s try again.

Dan: Four the hard way.

Michael: And how much do we win Dan?

Dan: Thirty-five.

Michael: Okay.

Question 3

Angela: But before I roll this time, why does it pay more on the hard six and the hard eight than the hard four and the hard ten?

Michael: That’s a good question. That’s because it is harder to win on the hard six and the hard eight. And the reason it is harder to win, is the seven loses on all those numbers, but you’re also losing all the easy ways. For example, with the hard eight, you are going to lose on a three and a five and a two and a six. So that’s two extra ways to lose. On the hard four, for example, there is only one extra way to lose, the one and the three. So, because there is more ways to lose on the six and the eight, it pays more when you win.

Angela: Okay. Alright. Here we go.

Dan:Seven, seven

Michael: Alright we had a great run there Angela. Again, it’s a sucker bet. I am only explaining this to you for informational sake. The hard way bets carry very high house advantage so I leave them alone.

Angela: I think I will too.

Michael: Angela, there is just one more kind of bet that we have to discuss. These are proposition bets. They are sucker bets you should never make them and it almost pains me to talk about them, but just for the sake of information and covering the whole game of craps, let me explain them. The rest of these proposition bets all win or lose on one bet. There is no rolling over and over again until something happens. These are all one roll bets that I am about to talk about. First of all, there is the two. The one and the one. Dan, can you point to it with the stick?

Dan: Aces it’s called.

Michael: It’s called aces. That wins if you roll two ones or two aces and loses on everything else. It pays thirty-to-one or thirty-one-for one as it says on the table. Fair odds would be thirty-five-to-one, so we are only getting thirty, so it carries a pretty high house advantage. The same thing with box cars. The two sixes. You have a one-in-thirty-six chance in winning. It pays thirty-to-one if you do. Anything else will cause it to lose. The three has a two-in-thirty-six chance in winning. It pays fifteen-to-one. Fair odds would be seventeen-to-one. The eleven has the same odds. It has a one in eighteen chance in winning but it only pays fifteen-to-one. Any craps will win on a two, three or twelve. Lose on anything else pays seven-to-one. And any seven bet, the worst bet on the table, wins obviously on any seven, pays four-to-one, a fair odds would be five to one, so it's a horrible bet, 16.7% house advantage. The horn bet over there, that's actually a combination of four bets, on the two, three, eleven and twelve. So, if you were to bet, for example, four dollars on the horn, it would be the same thing as a one dollar bet on each of the two, three, eleven or twelve. The world bet is another combination bet, on the two, three, seven, eleven or twelve. So, it's the same thing as the horn, but it adds a seven, so that should be an increments of five dollars, and again, it's like breaking one bet into five, so depending upon what happens, the pay-off will be different, you'll win more for that, for example, on the two, or a twelve.

Next, I'm going to teach you about the field. This is another proposition bet, but it's much better than all the other ones. It carries a house advantage of 2.78%, which compared to everything out there, in the middle, is much better. It's a one roll bet. It's right here. This wins, even money, on a three, four, nine, ten or eleven. On a two, it pays two to one, and on a twelve, it pays three to one. So, let's make a bet and see what happens.

Dan:And you'll generally hear the stick bang just about all these, say pay the field or no field five, let's see.

[dice throw]

Dan: That's a nine, centerfield-

Michael: You win.

Dan: -pay the field.

Dan: And the dealer would [pause] pay the field. And if you don't pick it up, he would say, 'it plays where it lays,' so it's-- You're doubling your action.

[dice throw]

Dan: Six, easy, no field six, and the dealer would--.

Michael: Okay, so the field loses. And it's that simple. One thing I'd like to caution you about, is some of the chincier casinos only pay two to one on the twelve. That doubles the house advantage to 5.56%, so just out of principle, I would never bet the field, unless they pay three to one on the twelve. And another oddity of craps, is that in Reno, instead of paying three to one on the twelve, they pay it on the two, and two to one on the twelve. Why? I have no idea. things are just always kind of opposite in Reno. And with that I think we've covered just about everything.

Question 4

Angela: Just a couple of quick questions. Tipping etiquette on a craps table, I know you should tip your dealers, but how do you tip them, and how much should you tip them?

Michael: That's a good question. Here's what I recommend. When you make a pass line bet, let's say that you're making a $5 pass line bet for yourself, and for example, let's say it's a $5 minimum table. On tips, the minimum does not apply, as long as you're making a bet for yourself. So why don't you make an extra dollar tip, for the dealer, and put it next to it. And Dan, does she need to say this is a tip, or is it implied?

Dan: If there is a main bet, that's she's making, that meets the table limit requirement, or minimum requirement. And if there's a bet, about an inch away from it that's below the minimum bet, then it's assumed that the additional bet is a dealer toke bet.

Michael: If you roll any point number, much as you can bet the odds for yourself, you can bet the odds bet for the dealer. And I think it looks cheap if you don't do that, so keep in mind, when you're making this tip, you probably will be backing it with the odds, so keep this bet low, anticipating that you're probably going to bet more on the odds.

Dan: Why thank you.

Question 5

Michael: The way a lot of other players tip the dealers, is on the sucker bets, for example, one thing you hear a lot is 'two-way yo', that means it's a $2 bet, one for the player, and one for the dealers. I think I can speak on behalf of most dealers, when I say, they would be more happy if you tip them either directly or on a bet, like the pass line that had a lower house advantage. What do you think Dan?

Dan: I actually agree. Somebody throws in a dollar on a hard eight, with it-- It really doesn't have too much of a chance of winning, but if it wins we were ten and down, and we appreciate it, but if there is a pass line bet, especially with odds, we know it's more likely to win, and we will anticipate winning it, and we appreciate it more.

Question 6

Angela: I have a question about craps slang. A friend of mine is a dealer, and he said that, if I do, you know, now that I've had my lesson, when I walk up to a table and I want to play, I should be really careful about the dealer short sticking me.

Michael: I'm too embarrassed to explain it, so I'm going to make Dan do it.

[laughter]

Dan: [laughs] Okay. What short sticking is, is that when an attractive young lady, a bosomy young lady, comes to the table, instead of bringing the dice all the way up, which you can just easily pick it up, they bring the dice, park one to the come area, so she has to lean over, so that her boobs are almost flopping out. And that is what short sticking is, it's rude, and it seldom happens.

Angela: Oh I'm sure that never happens [sarcastically]--

[crosstalk]

Dan: Well maybe to you. it happens in some places, and all you have to say is, "Sir don't short stick me."

Angela: [laughs]

Dan: And he'll bring it all the way up, and he'll be humiliated.

Angela: I'm so glad I asked.

Michael: Suddenly I'm hot, someone turn up the air conditioner.

Angela: [laughs]