The 2, 3, 11, and 12 Craps Bets
T he craps table layout’s center section has separate boxes for you to make proposition bets on the 2, 3, 11, and 12. Each is a discrete one-roll bet (i.e., not a “standing” bet). For example, suppose you drink too much beer during a session and you just can’t ignore your gut feeling that a 12 is going to appear. You’ve had that feeling for the last 10 rolls but no 12 has shown. Despite that fact, the beer has convinced you a 12 will show on the next roll so you toss a $1 chip to the stickman and say, “Boxcars!” In your drunken condition, you like speaking craps jargon because you think it impresses the gorgeous woman (or man) standing next to you. What you’re too drunk to realize is that the woman (or man) isn’t at all impressed, not because of your fancy craps speak, but because of your measly $1 bet. The stickman positions your chip in the proper location in the 12 box. The shooter’s next roll is a 5. Your Boxcar bet loses. Oh, well, not to worry, it’s only a dollar, right? The other thing that you’re too drunk to realize is that those losing dollar bets that you make every few minutes eventually add up to a lot. I intentionally wrote this example to give you the feeling that these bets are less than desirable, because they are. Their relatively high house advantages make them bad bets.
Like almost everything in craps, each of these numbers has a slang name. 12 is “boxcars.” 3 is “ace deuce” or “acey deucey.” And 2 is “snake eyes.” I saved 11 for last because its name serves a useful purpose. When the shooter throws an 11, the stickman usually shouts, “Yo,” which is short for “yo-leven.” The words “eleven” and “seven” sound alike, especially in a noisy casino where half the people at the table have been drinking. By shouting, “Yo,” the stickman makes a clear distinction from “seven” so the dealers as well as the players know exactly what the outcome is.
The minimum bet for these four numbers is the least-valued chip at the table, which is usually $1. The payoff is 30:1 for the 12 and 2, and the payoff is 15:1 for the 11 and 3.
No matter what combination you make, they’re still independent bets even if the combination has a unique name. For example, the “Horn” indicates that the player wants a bet on all four numbers. Having a name for all four bets makes it easier to tell the stickman what you want (i.e., “Gimme the Horn,” is a lot easier to say than, “I want the twelve, the eleven, the three, and the two”). What the player sometimes doesn’t realize it that the Horn is actually four independent bets. Oftentimes, these bettors will throw in a $5 chip and, instead of making the typical $1 bet on one or more of these numbers and getting change back, they make enough bets to cover the full $5 so they don’t have to fiddle with change. They do this by telling the stickman something like, “I want a yo and an ace deuce, high on the yo!” The experienced stickman knows the player wants equal bets on the 3 and 11 for $2 each, and the remaining $1 is to be applied to the 11 (i.e., “high” on the 11, meaning the bet on the 11 is “higher” than on the 3). If the player had said, “…high on the ace deuce…,” then it would have a $2 bet on the 11 and a $3 bet on the 3.