Craps: The “Don’t Pass” Bet
Last update: September 2019
In the How to Play Craps article, we saw how to make the Pass Line and Odds bets. Those bets are all you need to know, but if you get bored with them, then you might be interested in the Don't Pass bet. The good news is that its house edge is about the same as for the Pass Line bet. The bad news is that many craps players frown on people who bet Don't Pass instead of the Pass Line.
The Don't Pass is the opposite of the Pass Bet, winning when the Pass Bet would lose, and losing when the Pass Bet would win. Here's how it works:
|Pass vs. Don't Pass|
|Win||7 or 11||2 or 3|
|Lose||2, 3, or 12||7 or 11|
Most players bet Pass/Come instead of Don't Pass/Don't Come. Someone who bets Don't Pass/Don't Come is called a “Wrong Bettor”. That doesn't mean he's betting incorrectly, it just means he's betting contrary to the way most people at the table are betting. As a Don't Pass/Don't Come player, you'll be losing when everyone else is winning, and winning when everyone else is losing—and the other players may be hostile towards you as a result of the latter. At the very best, there won't be any camaraderie.
Just like you can make an Odds bet after your Pass bet, you can make an Odds bet after your Don't Pass. As you might suspect, the Odds bet for Don't Pass is the opposite of the Odds bet for the Pass. For example, on a winning point for an Odds Bet on the Pass you're paid 2 to 1, but for a winning 7 on an Odds bet on the Don't Pass, you're paid 1 to 2. That means that a $10 Odds bet wins $5. You also get paid on your original Don't Pass bet.
Technically, the Don't side has a slighter smaller house edge than the normal bets, but it's so tiny it's not worth worrying about—especially for the heat you'll take from the other players for being a "wrong bettor". But for inquiring minds, here's the house edge for Pass Line+Odds compared to Don't Pass+Odds (rounded)
|House Edge for various Craps Bets|
on Pass Line + Odds
on Don't Pass + Odds
Let's put this into perspective: Let's say you're playing 16 hours, $5 basic bet, at a rate of 30 Come Out rolls per hour. Your average loss from betting on the Pass Line is $33.84, compared to $32.64 from betting Don't Pass instead. That's an extra 7.5¢ an hour. Big whoop.
- How to Play Craps. Covers all the basics.
- Practice craps. Bovada's game lets you play with fake money so you can learn the game without risk.
- Parody instructions for How to Play Craps. If you thought the above was confusing, try to follow along on this one.
- The "Come" bet. I recommend newbies stick to the Pass Line bet, but if you're ready to move on to another bet, this one's also good.
- Craps Rolls Generator. For those who want to test their betting systems, get random craps rolls on demand.