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These even-money bets can only be made on a come-out roll, before a point is established, and give the house an edge of only 1.4%. When backed by the free-odds wagers, the overall house edge drops to 0.8% in a single odds game, and to 0.6% in a double odds game.

Pass Line

Players making pass line bets are wagering that the dice will pass, or win, and are called right bettors. Pass line bets are also referred to as front line bets, and are made by placing a wager in the area marked pass line.

On the come-out roll, a throw of a 7 or 11 is an automatic winner for pass line bettors while the throw of a craps (a 2, 3 or 12) is an automatic loser. If any other number is thrown—the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10—that number is established as the point. The shooter must repeat rolling the point before a 7 is thrown for pass line bettors to win. The throw of a 7 before the point repeats is a loser for pass line bettors, called sevening-out, and the dealers will collect all lost bets.

Once the point is established, only the 7 and the point number affect the pass line bettor. All other numbers have no bearing on the bet and can be considered neutral throws.

Let’s look at three progressions to see how the pass line bet works.

  1. The come-out roll is a 5, establishing 5 as the point. The following roll is a 2, a neutral throw, since a point has already been established. An 8 is then thrown, still having no bearing on the outcome, and then a 5. The point was repeated, or made, before the seven was thrown, and the pass line bettors win their bets.
  2. The come-out roll is a 7, an automatic winner for the pass line bettors, who are paid off by the dealers. Since the progression has been completed, the following roll will be another come-out roll.
  3. Here is a losing proposition. The come-out roll is a 9, establishing 9 as the point. The shooter then rolls a 6, then a 12, and then an 11. All three rolls are neutral since a point is already established. The following roll is a 7. Since a 7 was rolled before a 9 (the shooter’s point) repeated, pass line bettors lose and the dealer collects their bets. A new come-out roll will ensue.
PASS LINE IN A NUTSHELL
Payoff: Even-Money
House Edge: 1.4%
Automatic Winners: 7 or 11 on the come-out roll
Automatic Losers: 2, 3, or 12 on the come-out roll
If a point is established on the come-out roll, pass line bettors:
WIN when the point repeats before the 7 is thrown
LOSE when a 7 is thrown before the point repeats

 

Don't Pass

Players betting don’t pass are called wrong bettors, and are betting against the dice. Don’t pass bets are also called back line bets and are made by placing the wager in the area marked don’t pass.

On the come-out roll, a throw of a 2 or 3 is an automatic winner for don’t-pass bettors, while a 7 or an 11 is an automatic loser. The 12 is a standoff between a back line bettor and the house. (In some casinos, 2 is the standoff and 12 is the automatic winner. It makes no difference either way, since there is only one way to throw the 2 or the 12.)

Once the point is established, don’t pass bettors win if a 7 is thrown before the shooter repeats his point, and they lose when the point is repeated before the shooter sevens-out

Here are some progressions to illustrate the don’t-pass wager.

  1. The come-out roll is a 6, establishing 6 as the point. The following rolls are a 5 (no bearing on the outcome), then a 12 (still no bearing), and then a 7. Since a 7 was rolled before the 6 repeated, don’t-pass bettors win.
  2. The come-out roll is a 3, an automatic winner for don’t-pass bettors.
  3. The come-out roll is a 4, establishing 4 as the point. A 3 is then rolled (neutral), and then a 4, a loss for back line bettors since the point repeated before the 7 was rolled.
DON'T PASS LINE IN A NUTSHELL
Payoff: Even-Money
House Edge: 1.4%
Automatic Winners: 2(OR 12) and 3 on the come-out roll
Automatic Losers: 7 or 11 on the come-out roll
Standoff: 12 (or 2 in some casinos) on the come-out roll
If a point is established on the come-out roll, don't-pass bettors:
WIN when 7 is thrown before the point repeats.
LOSE when the point repeats before the 7 is thrown.

 

About the Writer
Avery Cardoza has written twenty-one books on beating the casino and is the world’s largest publisher of gaming and gambling titles (www.cardozabooks.com). Cardoza is also the owner of the legendary Gambler’s Book Club (www.gamblersbookclub.com), home to the world’s largest selection of gaming books. His novel, Lost in Las Vegas, is a critically acclaimed dark comedy about two hapless vacationers who find themselves hunted by the mob, FBI, six killers, and the Rat in a world where nothing is as it seems—and then things go downhill for them. “A fantastic read… The Vegas underbelly as if presented by the Coen brothers.”—Kevin Pollak.