The minimum and maximum amounts that may be wagered per bet, as well as the odds allowed factors, are posted on a small placard at the side of the table near each dealer. In terms of craps table limits, a typical craps table might have a $5 minimum, $1000 maximum, and double odds allowed. The limits usually apply to all craps bets except the proposition and odds bets.
For proposition bets the minimum is usually the smallest denomination check in use at the table and the maximum is computed based on an arbitrary maximum payoff. For instance, the maximum payoff might be 3 times the posted maximum bet. So on a table with a posted $1000 maximum bet, the maximum payoff would be $3000. Therefore on a bet like the Twelve, which pays 30 to 1, you could bet a maximum of $100. Don’t worry about figuring this out – just ask one of the crew how much you can bet.
For odds bets, the maximum is based on a multiple of the flat bet. For instance, on a $1000 limit, double odds table, the flat bet would be limited to $1000, but the odds bet could be $2000 or as much as $4000 on the Don’t Pass or Don’t Come bets.
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The limits at casinos vary and may sometimes change in the midst of your playing – usually as a function of how many players are present. The house would like to maximize its profits by keeping its tables full of players who bet lots of money. When there is an abundance of players, raising the minimum bets will effectively force players with smaller bankrolls to leave the tables and make room for the high rollers (big bettors). Conversely, when players are scarce, lowering the minimum bets may lure back the small fry.
The house allows the maximum size of an odds bet to be some factor of the flat bet. This Odds Allowed Factor is displayed on a placard mounted on the inside wall of the table. For example, if you had established a $10 Pass Line bet then you would be allowed to take the following amount on odds:
Odds Allowed Factor Odds
In general you use this simple formula:
Odds bet maximum size = Size of flat bet X Odds Allowed Factor
This formula works for the Pass Line Odds and Come Odds bets. However, for the Don’t Pass Odds and Don’t Come Odds bets, the maximum size is larger still because you are laying odds instead of taking odds. With these bets you’re allowed to lay amounts that will win the maximum odds allowed. The easiest way to figure out how much you can lay is to calculate the maximum size using the above formula and then ask yourself: If this were a Pass Line Odds bet, how much would it pay? The resulting figure is the amount you are allowed to lay on the Don’t Pass Odds or Don’t Come Odds bets.
For instance, let’s say double odds are being allowed and you have established a $5 Don’t Pass bet with the point as 6. If it were a Pass Line bet, you could make a maximum odds bet of $10 which would pay $12. So there’s your answer – you may bet $12 on the Don’t Pass Odds bet. This concept may take a little practice to master and might partially explain why few players bet against the dice.
The maximum size for an odds bet is not always a strict multiple of the flat bet. The house may allow a greater amount in order to make a correct payoff. Often the method used to calculate the maximum amount is based on single odds. For instance, on the point numbers 5 and 9 where the odds pay 3 to 2, if an uneven flat amount such as $3, $5, etc. were bet, then an equally sized single odds bet would not be fully payable (e.g. $3 x 3/2 = 4.5 which leaves .5 leftover if the smallest chip the dealer has to pay with is $1). Therefore, the single odds bet is allowed to be pushed to the next higher increment. So a $3 bet could take $4 in odds ($4 x 3/2 = 6 = fully payable), a $5 bet could take $6 in odds, and so on. Similar pushes are allowed on the point numbers 6 and 8 which pay 6 to 5. For instance, flat bets such as $3 or $4 can take single odds of $5. But no pushes are allowed for odds bets on the point numbers 4 and 10 because all amounts are always fully payable with a 2 to 1 payoff.
Usually these ratios hold true for all check denominations. So a $300 Pass Line bet on point number 5 would be allowed to take $400 in odds (3 – $100 checks pushes to 4 – $100 checks). A $75 Pass Line bet on point number 8 would be allowed to take $125 in odds (3 – $25 checks pushes to 5 – $25 checks), etc.
To figure double or triple odds, some casinos simply double or triple the amount that would be allowed under single odds. For instance, a $15 flat bet on the point 6 would take $25 in single odds (3 checks push to 5) and can therefore take $50 in double odds. Another method is to double or triple the flat bet and allow an amount equal to the single odds for that figure. However, many casinos now use straight multiples of 2x for the 4/10 and 5/9, and 2.5x for the 6/8 with rounding up to the nearest amount divisible by 5 for most cases. But what a casino allows for odds is somewhat like a personal signature, so the important thing to do is ask how much they’ll allow and go with it, realizing that the next casino may allow something entirely different. At the very least you know that your odds bet can be as large as the size of your flat bet times the Odds Allowed Factor. The question then is how much are you allowed to push? See the section titled Pushing the House.
For greater than triple odds, any links to single odds are severed and the flat bet is simply multiplied with the Odds Allowed Factor. However, pushing is still sometimes necessary and usually considers the denomination check you’re using to bet. For instance, at a 5X table with a $15 Come 5 bet, a $75 odds bet would need to be pushed in order to make a whole payoff. But rather than just allow $76, a push to $80 would be allowed. Pushing the House
Pushing the house means taking advantage of those things that help you reduce the house’s edge.
Pushing the Odds
By now you should know that odds bets are the best bets you can make in craps. Since it’s in your best interest to bet as much on them as you’re allowed, you’ll need to find out just how far the house will really let you go. For instance, at a double odds table with a $15 Pass Line bet on the point number 6, you might expect that a double amount of $30, would be the allowed for odds. But in fact some casinos will let you go $35, or $40, some even $50! Notice that this may be the same amount that they would allow for a flat bet of $20, so the lesson here is that $15 is a better bet, because proportionally you’re getting more of your money on the odds and less on the flat bet. It’s a matter of finding the break points where the house rounds off amounts or adjusts for check denominations. For example, some casinos let you bet in increments of 3 flat and allow you to take 8 in odds on 5 or 9 or other casinos may let you bet 5x on 6or 8, 4x on 5or9 3x on 4or10.
At single odds tables, flat bets in increments of 3 checks will provide for greater odds because pushes will be allowed on points 5, 6, 8, and 9. At double odds tables, flat bets in increments of 2 checks will usually provide for greater odds but sometimes 3. Pushes are not necessary on points of 4, 5, 9, and 10 since any flat amount which is doubled can always be paid off correctly. So it depends on how they calculate their odds on points of 6 and 8. For instance, 3 checks are better at casinos where you’re allowed to take $10 odds on a flat bet of $3 and $50 odds on a flat bet $15, because your odds are actually 3 1/3 times your flat bet versus 2 1/2. See Odds Allowed.
At casinos that offer very large odds allowed factors the added benefit of more odds is not as pronounced, and you should take care to not over-extend yourself. For instance, the difference between no odds and double odds is about 1% worth of house advantage, whereas the difference between 10X odds and 100X odds is about 1/10%! However, when considering your overall game strategy, realize that while greater odds may only lower the house advantage by a fraction of a percent, if your alternative plan is to make some other bet then you’ll actually end up increasing the house advantage rather than decreasing it.
Pushing with Puts
Many casinos allow Put bets simply because they give the house a higher percentage than properly played Pass Line and Come bets. Ordinarily their percentages are also higher than Place bets and are therefore not worth betting. But at tables that offer greater than 5X odds allowed, they can be better than Place bets.
Put bets can also be better than Buy bets depending on the odds allowed and which number it is you want to buy. A comparison of the table listed under Put bets with the Table of Odds and House Advantages will reveal the most advantageous situations.