Craps Basics: What’s a Horn Bet?

Even if you’ve played craps, you still might be fuzzy about “horn” bets. We can help.

Horn bets are commonly referred to as “not especially smart bets,” also known as “sucker bets,” mainly because the house edge is high-ish compared to other bets on the craps table. Who cares, though, right? Horn bets are a blast and keep the game interesting.

The horn bet is found in the middle of the craps table where the proposition, or just “prop,” bets are. A horn bet is a bet split between the numbers 2, 3, 11 or 12. A $4 horn bet is a bet of $1 on each number.

If one of your numbers hits, the 2 and 12 pay 30-to-one and the 3 and 11 pay 15-to-1. Horn bets are a one-time roll, by the way.

Proposition bets

The layout says 16-for-1 and 31-for-1 on horn bets, but they keep a buck to replace your bet. The house is sneaky like that.

That’s the basic horn bet. You can always toss out a $5 chip, and rather than getting $1 back, you can ask the dealer (the stickman, specifically) to double up the bet on one of the numbers.

To double up on the 11, for example, the bet is “horn, high yo.” “Yo” is used rather than 11, because 11 sounds too much like “seven,” and craps players are superstitious like that. With a “horn, high yo,” $1 is put in 2, 3 and 12, and $2 goes on 11.

A “horn, high 12” bet puts the $2 on 12 and $1 on the other numbers. A “horn, high aces” bet means the $2 goes on the 2, with $1 on the other numbers. There’s probably a name for the bet where $2 goes on the 3, but we have no idea what it is. If we did, it would mean we have a gambling problem. (It’s “horn, high ace-deuce.”)

Now for the bad news: The “horn, high aces” and “horn, high 12” bets have a house edge of 12.78%, and the “horn, high ace-deuce” and “horn, high 11” bets have a 12.22 % house advantage. Translation: It’s only a sucker bet if it doesn’t pay!

So, now you know. And, yes, there will be a quiz. But quizzes about craps are the most fun kind of quizzes.

7 thoughts on “Craps Basics: What’s a Horn Bet?

  1. Fred Bastiat

    FYI: The horn bet with an extra unit on the two (2) is referred to by the call, “Horn, high aces.”
    Simiarly, the extra buck on the three (3) is called “Horn, high ace-deuce.”
    I you’re going bet like a sucker, at least you can sound like an intelligent sucker!

    Reply
  2. Kevin McShane

    Mr. Roeben I was gambling at PH two weeks ago; playing craps $10 table. When the button is off I like to play the pass line, and horn bets. Well guess what the stick man moved my bets to the world bets (pays 5 to 1). I asked why are you doing this? They wouldn’t respond, then let the roller, roll. After the button was off again I tired to play my horn bets again, well guess what the moved me to world, and guess what I hit 12. Then they paid me 5 to 1, and I was pissed, I said I would like to talk to the pit boss. Explained what was going and the pit boss said this to me. Playing the horn slows down the game and I have better odds playing the world bet anyway. Then I said, I actually have better odds not gambling at all, why dont you let players play whats on the table? Anyway my questions never got answered and I got paid out 5 to 1 not 31 for 1. Thanks you Caesars Entertainment.

    Reply
    1. Josh E

      The Nevada Gaming Commission would absolutely like to watch those tapes then. Might be too late at this point but the gaming commission is more interested in the cameras than the casino themselves. If the casino isn’t honoring the bet as you called it, they can lose their gaming license.

      Reply
    2. Dan Leach

      On the come out roll a world bet (covers the horn and the seven) is “better” than a horn because if the roller rolls a seven you don’t lose anything (it’s a push, so your horn is still working). If a 2, 3, 11 or 12 comes then the payout is the same as the horn minus $4. They didn’t pay correctly if they only paid 5 to 1.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.