Doing the don’ts – Craps

Most craps players like to bet the pass line. But there’s another bet at the table that offers the same edge, but is shunned by the vast majority. It is a bet on the don’t-pass line, sometimes called the “wrong” bettor. Some long-time observers of the game say only one in ten craps players bets the don’t-pass line and the other bets that go along with it, despite the fact that it offers the same low 1.4 per cent house advantage as the pass line.

Why is that? The don’t-pass line can be one of the most exciting bets and, after the come-out roll, the advantage is clearly in favour of the don’t better.

There are a couple of major reasons why the don’t-pass bettor is a rare bird in the casino. The main reason is that if you’re betting the don’t, you’re betting against the shooter.

While this obviously doesn’t affect how he rolls the dice, it nonetheless is taken as an affront. It takes a special kind of person to stand up to the disdain of the shooter, and the players who are betting with him.

Players who bet the don’t are often accused of betting “with” the house by other bettors. This is obviously ridiculous. The casino pays off both bets, and if everyone at the table were betting the don’t the casino would have to payoff the entire table just the same as if they’re betting the -do”. Because most players bet the “do”, however, players assume that the house must be rooting for the don’t, hence the mistaken idea that don’t bettors are allied with the casino.

The second reason people rarely bet the don’t is that it is a grind. You rarely make the big score by betting the don’t. You are playing in the hope of a choppy table – a pass, a miss, a miss, a pass, and a few more misses. A pass player looking for the hot streak – a long string of passes – while the don’t player will only win when the shooter rolls a consistent number of sevens.

It’s not difficult to understand the don’t -pass line. It’s the exact opposite of the pass line. All the rules are reversed.

The don’t bettor. 
•    Loses if the come-out roll is seven or 11.
•    Wins if two or three is thrown on the come-out roll.
•    Since the 12 is “barred” on the come-out roll, the wrong bettor pushes. There is no decision either way for the
don’t bettor.
•    If a number is rolled on the come-out roll – four, five, six, eight, nine or ten – the don’t gambler will win if the shooter rolls a seven before that number repeats.

The key is the seven on the come-out roll. If a point is established, the odds are clearly in favour of the don’t bettor. After a point is established, the don’t bettor has twice as many chances to win than a four or a ten. The don’t gambler will win three times to every two for the five and the nine, and six times for every five for the six and the eight. It won’t surprise you then to understand why the casino will let you take down your don’t bet when it insists that pass-line bets remain in action until it is resolved. When you have the advantage, the casino would love to get off the hook.