The Small, Tall, and All Bets
T he Small, Tall, and All bets are fairly new to the craps table, but they’re quickly making their way onto the layouts in casinos across the country. And with good reason. These bets are addictive, especially when players see the bettor win and get paid a hefty payoff. The minimum bet amount is usually only $1, which is very tempting for any player, even the most disciplined and conservative, when the table is heating up and shooters are rolling lots of numbers.
It’s interesting to watch and listen to the players at the table because it seems these bets get most of the attention. After almost every roll, the first thing the players talk about is whether the number rolled has been covered for the Small and Tall bets. For example, if the number just rolled has already been covered, a player might say, “Oh, man, we don’t need that number!” But if the number just rolled has not yet been covered, the table shouts in unison, “Yeah, way to go, good number!” This is especially true for the hardest-to-make numbers, which are 2, 3, 11, and 12. Even on the come-out roll, a Pass Line bettor will cheer when a craps is rolled, even though he loses the Pass Line bet. He’s more excited that one of the hard-to-make Small-Tall numbers is now covered than he is bummed that he lost his Pass Line bet. It’s an amazing phenomenon to watch at the table.
The bets win if all numbers in the set are rolled, or “covered,” before a 7 appears at any time. Once the first roll of a new Small, Tall, or All bet is made, the bet is “frozen” to the player. That means you can’t take down the bet or temporarily turn it off, and you can’t press the bet. Once you make the bet, you can’t do anything with it except wait until you either win (i.e., all numbers in the set are rolled before a 7 appears) or lose (i.e., a 7 appears at any time before all the numbers in the set).
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What makes the bets so attractive is the big payoff. The odds of making the Small set of numbers compared to making the Tall set are exactly the same, so the payoff is the same for each bet, which is 34:1. The payoff for the All bet is 174:1. That’s right! 174:1. For a measly dollar, you get the chance to win $174. If you want to go bold and bet $2 on the All, you have a chance to win $348. And let’s suppose the previous shooter made you a lot of money and your chip rack is full of green and red chips, you might feel cocky and go even bigger than $2 by tossing in one of those red chips for an All bet on the next lucky shooter. With a $5 All bet, you have the chance winning a whopping $870 (i.e., 174 x $5 = $870). Do you see why this bet is becoming so popular?
Don’t get too excited. You’re not going to win ga-zillions of dollars off this bet. Why not? The house advantage for all three of these bets is a little less than 8 %, which means they fall into the category of sucker bets. (NOTE: More precisely, the Small and Tall house advantage is about 7.76 %, and the All house advantage is about 7.99 %.) Therefore, we here at the Crapspit suggest that you don’t make a habit of playing these sucker bets. Yes, they can be fun and exciting, but the chances of winning aren’t that great.
We at the Crapspit typically make these bets only after the previous shooter has had a hot roll and our chip rack is overflowing. Even with a full chip rack, our bet amount is never more than $5. Sometimes, we make a $1 Small, Tall, or All bet for the dealers, which is a small price to pay for an occasional “thank you” to the dealers for their hard work.
The table crew keeps track of the players’ Small, Tall, and All bets the same way they track all other bets, which is by positioning the players’ chips inside the Small, Tall, or All rectangles on the layout according to the players’ positions at the table (refer to our other articles for an explanation of table position and how the dealers position chips on the layout).
Let’s look at a brief scenario to ensure you understand how these bets work.
1. The shooter rolls a losing 7-out and the game ends.
2. You’re the next shooter and you can feel it in your bones that you can hit either the Small or the Tall, so you toss two $1 chips to the Stickman and say, “Gimme some of that Small and Tall!” The Stickman responds, “What about the All?” You wisely say, “No thanks, I can’t afford another dollar.”
NOTE: Let’s clarify what you’ve done by tossing the Stickman two $1 chips. You now have a $1 bet that you’ll roll the Small set of numbers (i.e., the 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) before a 7, and you have a $1 bet that you’ll roll the Tall set of numbers (i.e., the 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12) before a 7. Let’s continue the scenario.
3. You roll a 3 on the come-out, which is a craps, so you lose your Pass Line bet. The table cheers because you rolled one of the hard-to-make Small numbers, even though they all lost their Pass Line bets. Because you rolled a 3, the Boxman uses a button to cover the little circle labeled “3.” It’s still your turn to shoot, so you make another Pass Line bet.
NOTE: Refer to the figure below for the location of the Small, Tall, and All bets on the layout. As each number is rolled, the Boxman puts a corresponding little button in the appropriate little circle. The Boxman has 10 little buttons numbered 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. In this scenario, your first roll was a 3, so the Boxman puts the button labeled “3” inside the little circle labeled “3.” As each number is rolled, the Boxman puts the appropriately numbered button in the corresponding little circle. By placing buttons in the little circles, everyone at the table can see what numbers have been rolled and what numbers are still needed to win the bets.
4. Since you rolled a craps to lose the last game, you now roll again to start a new game (i.e., you make another come-out roll). You roll a 7. Normally, the table cheers because 7 on the come-out is a winner for the Pass Line. But, alas, things are no longer normal in the craps universe since the creation of the Small, Tall, and All bets. Although they won their Pass Line bets, they boo you for rolling a 7 because their Small, Tall, and All bets lose. Remember, if a 7 appears at any time before all the numbers in the set, then the bet loses. The Boxman removes the little button labeled “3” so none of the Small or Tall numbers are covered. Since all the Small, Tall, and All bets lost when you rolled the 7, a new round of Small-Tall-All bets can start so the Stickman barks, “Anyone want their Small, Tall, and All bets back up?” You still feel lucky, so you toss him two more $1 chips.
5. You roll a 5 on the come-out for the next game; therefore, the point for this game is 5. Because you rolled a 5, the Boxman puts the button labeled “5” in the little circle labeled “5” in the Small rectangle. Now, you have one of the Small numbers covered with the 5. All you need to do is roll a 2, 3, 4, and a 6 before rolling a 7 to win your Small bet.
6. You roll another 5 and the game immediately ends with a Pass Line winner (i.e., you rolled your point number, so the Pass Line wins). In terms of your Small bet, the 5 is already covered, so rolling another 5 doesn’t mean anything to your Small bet. You prepare to roll the come-out for the next new game.
7. You roll a 12 on the come-out, which is a craps and a loser for the Pass Line. But by rolling a 12, you covered the 12 on your Tall bet. The Boxman puts the button labeled “12” in the little circle labeled “12” in the Tall rectangle.
8. You roll the come-out for the next game by rolling a 4. The point for this new game is 4. The Boxman puts the 4 button in the 4 circle for the Small. Now, you your Small bet has covered the 4 and 5. All you need are the 2, 3, and 6 to win the Small bet.
9. You roll a 5. A 5 means nothing to both your Pass Line bet and Small bet (you already have the 5 covered for the Small).
10. You roll an 11. An 11 means nothing to your Pass Line bet, but now you covered the 11 in the Tall bet. Now, your Tall bet has covered the 11 and 12. You keep rolling.
11. You roll 2. A 2 means nothing to your Pass Line bet, but it’s a big deal for your Small bet because 2 is the hardest of the Small numbers to roll. Woohoo! The table cheers because you covered the 2 for the Small bet. Now, all you need are a 3 and 6 to win the Small bet.
12. You roll a 5. A 5 means nothing to your Pass Line and your Small bets (you already have the 5 covered for the Small). Everyone shouts, “What’s with all the fives? We don’t need any more fives, roll a damn 3.”
13. Wonders never cease, you roll a 3. Everyone at the table screams, “Yeah, way to go!” Now, your Small bet has covered the 2, 3, 4, and 5. The only Small number uncovered is the 6. All you need is a 6 to win your Small bet.
14. You roll a 4. You hit your point, and the game is over, but your Small bet is still up and working because you still have not rolled a 7. Because you hit your point, you continue as the shooter and you prepare to roll the come-out roll for a new game. You roll a 10 on the come-out, so the point for this game is 10. Because you rolled a 10, the Boxman covers the little circle labeled “10” for the Tall with the little button labeled “10.” Now, your have the 10, 11, and 12 covered for your Tall bet.
15. You roll a 6. Hallelujah! The table screams and claps. Now, all Small numbers are covered, so you win $34 for your $1 bet (the payoff for the Small and Tall bets is 34:1). But the fun isn’t over yet! You’re still working on the Tall bet.
16. You roll a 10 to hit your point. Woohoo! You’re on fire! After the dealers pay everyone’s Pass Line winners, you prepare to roll the come-out for a new game. The table is cheering you on, “Come on, give us an eight or a nine!” They want you to hit one of the two remaining uncovered Tall numbers. You roll the dice. The anticipation builds as everyone watches them tumble toward the back wall. They show a 7. Everyone shouts disappointedly, “No!” The 7 is a winner for everyone’s Pass Line because it was the come-out roll, but the 7 makes everyone’s Tall and All bets lose. The Boxman removes the buttons from all the Small and Tall numbers, and the Stickman barks, “Does anybody want to come back up on the Small, Tall, and All?” If you want to get in on the action for the Small, Tall, and All bets, you must do it now before the dice are rolled again, because once the dice are rolled after a 7 appears at any time, the Small-Tall-All bets are locked and you can’t get in on the action. If you want to make a Small-Tall-All bet, you must make it before the shooter rolls the dice again.