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Calculating House Edge on Basic Craps Bets

Online casinos offer a large number of craps games and bets. It is therefore important to be aware of the right criteria for selecting the best bets and avoiding the worst bets in Craps. On the one hand many players opt to wager on bets with high probabilities of occurring, but these bets do have low payout rates, so it ultimately makes for little returns. On the other hand there are players that opt for bets offering high payouts, but these generally have a lower probability of turning up.

From the above it would seem that there is no real good betting strategy, but there is a third option and that is to choose bets based on the house edge which combines the notions of probability and payout. In short, the house edge is the percentage of a bet that the casino takes over the long term, so the greater the house edge on a bet, the less favourable it will be.

Before you can calculate the house edge for craps bets, you must be certain of the probabilities of the outcomes. The outcomes are represented by the total values of the numbers indicated on the two dice. In a game of craps there are 11 possible outcomes which are totals from 2 to 12 and these are achieved in 36 different ways. So a total of 2 can be achieved with only one combination, namely a 1 on each of the dice. From this we can see that the probability is 1 in 36. A total of 9 can be reached in four different combinations on the two die, therefore the probability of achieving it is 4 in 36. You can calculate the probability of all other total values in the same way.

Once you know how to calculate probabilities, you need to understand craps payouts. Generally the payout for the "Any" craps bet is 7:1 so if you bet $10 and roll a 2,3 or 12 you will win $70 and if any other total is rolled you'll lose your original bet of $10.

In order to calculate the house edge on the "Any" craps bet you must keep in mind that in the long term for every 9 wagers placed you will win one and lose eight as the probability of winning is 1/9. So if you place nine $10 wagers on the Any craps bet or $90 in total, you will win once and receive $70 from the casino, you will also lose 8 bets and give $80 to the casino. This means that over time you will lose $10 of the $90 that you bet, so the house carries a 1/9 or 11.11% house edge.

We can apply the same calculations to the equally popular single roll bet "Any Seven" which indicates that the bet is a winning one when a 7 is the outcome of a roll. A 7 can be rolled in 6 combinations on the two dice namely: 1 and 6, 6 and 1, 2 and 5, 5 and 2, 3 and 4, and 4 and 3. This means that the probability of rolling a 7 in a game of craps is 6/36 or 1/6. The majority of online casinos offer a 4:1 payout for a bet of "Any Sevens" so If you bet $10 for six Any Sevens bet you will lose five times and win once over the long term. This equates to $40 in wins and $50 in losses, so for every $60 that you bet. The house edge therefore equates to 1/6 or 16.67%.

This is how you calculate the house edge on single roll bets. Many bets in craps are determined over multiple rolls which makes calculating the house edge on these significantly more complex.