Proposition and Horn Bets in Craps

Craps table in casino

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If you understand how to play craps and don't need a crash course, you still might not understand proposition or horn bets. Horn bets make craps fun!

Most players start with a simple pass line bet where the house edge is a tiny 1.41 percent. A pass line bet wins when 7 or 11 is thrown on the first roll, loses when 2, 3, or 12 is thrown on the first roll and is in serious limbo when a "point" is established should 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 total on the dice. To win, that number must roll again before 7 comes up on the dice. That's craps, almost as easy as blackjack once you get the hang of it.

However, you don't need a pass line bet to play at the craps table, and if you get bored waiting for your pass or don't pass bet to hit, there are plenty of other places to put your chips.

Horn and Proposition Bets

Craps is a fast action game and it is the stickman's job to entice you with proposition bets. A prop bet is a one-roll bet. You either hit the bet on the next roll or you lose! Most authorities will tell you to avoid prop bets because the house edge is so high. I won't. I like prop bets because they are fun and add a lot of excitement to the game.

When the stickman asks, "anybody on eleven," he wants you to toss him a chip for the next roll coming up an eleven. If it rolls, you will be paid 15 to 1 or 15 for 1, depending on where you are playing. That's a nice payoff and you can usually make the bet for as little as a dollar. A two-way eleven is half for the dealers and half for the player if it hits.

Sure, the house edge is 11.11 percent (if you are getting 15 to 1) on a eleven bet, but if you make a $1 bet every ten minutes and play for six hours, it only costs you $4 on average because you will win the bet twice in 36 rolls and get back $32. The fun part is when a lot of elevens are rolling and you get paid more often.

There are plenty of other prop bets on a crap game. The bets, how many times they will average rolling and the house edge are:

  • Two - 1 time in 36 - pays 30 to 1 - House Edge 13.89 percent
  • Three - 2 times in 36 - pays 15 to 1 - House Edge 11.11 percent
  • 12 - 1 time in 36 - pays 30 to 1 - House Edge 13.89 percent
  • Any craps - 4 times in 36 - pays 7 to 1 - House Edge 11.11 percent
  • Any seven - 6 times in 36 - pays 4 to 1 - House Edge 16.67 percent

Horn Bets

Like prop bets, you must ask for a horn bet and either toss the chips to the stickman or tell the inside dealer well before the dice "total" and a number is made. Don't just throw your chips into the stickman's other bets!

A horn bet is split between 2, 3, 11 and 12—and is a single roll bet. A $4 horn bet is $1 on each number, so when 3 or 11 hits you get paid $12 or 3 to 1 on your bet. This is because you lose $1 on the 2, 11 and 12 and your bet stays up on the horn, so the dealer deducts $3 from your 15-1 payoff and gives you $12.

If a 2 or 12 rolls, you win $30 minus the three $1 losing bets and receive $27. You can bet any amount on the horn and when 3 or 11 rolls they will multiply your bet by three and pay you. When 2 or 12 rolls they will multiply your bet by 6.75 and pay you.

Horn High and World Bets

Horn high and world bets are for $5 increments. When you bet a horn high 12, $2 is on the number 12 and $1 is on 2, 3 and 11. You have to call out "Horn High" and choose where that extra dollar goes (2, 3, 11 or 12).

When you place a world bet, you have $1 on 2, 3, 11, 12 and also 7. Again, the stickman will tell the inside dealer what to pay you and your original bet will stay up for the next roll. Yes, you are allowed to take it down.