Craps has been around a long time, but casinos are still coming up with new ways to keep things interesting. (Translation: To get our clams. Cheddar. Cabbage. You know what we mean.)
In craps, those new things come in the form of side, or “proposition,” bets. The popular “Fire Bet” is a good example. During a recent craps session at Excalibur, we encountered three new bets to spice up the game.
From what we hear, these bets have only been in Vegas for about six months.
These craps side bets can be found in the middle of the table, in front of the pit boss. The pit boss is the floor manager in a suit who oversees the table and dealers, and who resolves disputes and tells the security guys when it’s time to whack a cheater. Just kidding. Player are rarely whacked. Putting heads in vices is more of a thing these days.
Anyway, the pit boss is the person who places and monitors these side bets. They’re called “All Small,” “All Tall” and “All or Nothing at All.”
These side bets can be made for as little as a dollar. The pit boss also keeps track of the numbers as they hit, placing little “buttons” on the relevant numbers.
First, “All Small.” To win this bet, the shooter must hit five small numbers (2,3,4,5,6) before a seven. The bet pays 35-for-1, so the house has an edge of 7.76%.
The house edge is the same for “All Tall.” Again, five numbers have to be hit before a seven (8,9,10,11,12). The order in which they’re rolled doesn’t matter, of course.
“All or Nothing at All” pays 176-for-1, mainly because mathematicians are the real bosses of casinos, and they always know what to pay to ensure the house gets its cut. In this case, the house edge is 7.99%. A shooter has to hit a mere 10 numbers before a seven (2,3,4,5,6,8,9,10,11,12).
In the grand scheme of casinos, these craps side bets aren’t great for the player, but they aren’t horrible, either. By comparison, one of our favorite side bets, the hard six and eight, pay 9-1, with a house edge of 9.09%. The house edge for a hard four and 10 is 11.11%. They’re called “hard ways” because, hey, cocktail waitresses.
Betting the Big Red Seven has a hefty 16.67% house edge.
We’re all for trying a “sucker” side bet every once in awhile to change things up at the craps table. Because, ultimately, it’s only a sucker bet if it doesn’t pay off!