Craps Number: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7

by Frank Scoblete

Craps Number 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 are discussed in this Learn to Play Craps lesson.
Craps is a game of numbers, eleven of them to be precise: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
These can be wagered in different ways and, depending on the wager, you can face house edges that are reasonable, about 1.5 percent, or nuts, about 16.67 percent.
How you play the game of craps depends, I guess, on whether you are a reasonable individual or nuts.

In this craps number lesson, I take a look at the craps number 2, 3 4, 5, 6 & 7 in a literal way and in a numerological way.
Since we have two six-sided dice in craps with each die having six spots, starting with the one-spot and going to six spots, there are 36 possible combinations (6 X 6 = 36).

Craps Number  2 can only be made if each die lands on a one-spot.

Thus, the probability of the 2 on any given roll is one in 36.
The odds of this happening are therefore 35 to 1. That is, there are 35 non-twos to every one 2.

Gamblers who bet the 2 straight up at craps are getting a very poor bet, not because of the longshot quality of the situation, but because the payout is usually 30 to one.
That means the casino has an almost 14 percent edge on the bet. In a fair game, where neither the casino nor the player had the edge, the 2 would pay off at 35 to one. The casino is therefore keeping those extra 5 units for itself when a player wins on the 2.

On the Come-Out roll, the  2 is considered part of “craps”.
Right bettors, those who are betting with the shooter, lose their Pass Line bets should the 2 appear during the Come Out.
Once the Come-Out is over and a point is established, the two has no effect on the Pass Line bet. Don’t bettors, those who bet the Don’t Pass line, love the 2 as it’s an instant winner for them. 

But all numbers have other connotations as well, not just their mathematical ones. Two is considered, if not evil, well, not nice.
It will not bring you luck if you bet it. So combine its high house edge with its low numerological character that deserves its nickname -- snake eyes!

Craps Number  3 can be made in two different ways: either 2:1 or 1:2.
The  3 is also a craps number, so it’s a loser for Pass Line bettors on the Come-out roll but a winner for Don’t Pass bettors on the Come-Out.
For gamblers betting straight up on  3, the house pays off this 17-to-1 shot at a mere 15-to-1. That gives the casino a hefty 11 percent edge! Yuck.

Yet, believe it or not, in numerology the  3 is considered the luckiest  of all. While this  looks good in numerology circles, in craps circles, it has less luster. Even when combined with others as in the bet Any Craps, the house has a crippling edge on it.
Craps Number 4 is the first of the “point numbers.” On the Come-Out roll if the shooter rolls a 4, the 4 becomes his “point” and he must make this  again before the 7 appears or he loses.
There are three ways to make a 4 with two six-sided dice: 3:1, 1:3, and 2:2. Four made with 2:2 is called a “hard way,” because there is only one way to make it. Since there are six ways to make a 7 and only three ways to make a 4, the odds of making a 4 are 2-to-1 against.

You can bet that the craps number 4 will be made the hard way.
In this, you are betting that 2:2 will come up before 3:1, 1:3, or all combinations of the 7. There are eight ways to lose this bet and one way to win it. The casino pays off at 7 to 1. The house edge is therefore 11 percent. Awful.

Some gamblers like to “place” the craps number 4 when they play. That means they plunk down $5 (or $10 or whatever) and say, “Place the four!” The dealer will take their chip(s) and put it directly in the box marked 4 in the upper layout. If the 4 should hit, the casino pays off at $9 to $5.
Since the true odds are 2 to 1, and the “true payoff” should be $10 to $5, the casino edge on placing the 4 is therefore 6.67 percent. Not good.

Cut the edge of the casino on the craps number 4 by buying it.
If you plunk down $25, adding $1 for a commission, the casino will pay off the 4 at its true odds of 2 to 1. The edge on a buy of the 4, when you pay a $1 commission on $25, is 3.8 percent.

However, some casinos will only take the commission on a winning bet. This reduces the house edge on the “buy 4” to an approximately 1.3 percent -- a good bet in the craps world.

In numerology, the  4 is considered to be solid and of all things that are solid and thick such as wood or your brother-in-law’s head.
It is also Earth herself, so when you bet it knock on some wood.
This would be a good one for women to bet since it is a feminine  representing Mother Earth. But men had better watch out because the  “4” is considered the second most unlucky next to 13, as it deals with things that can end, such as, well, Earth, wood and a hot streak.
Craps Number 5, sometimes referred to as the “fever” by dealers, can be made four different ways with two six-sided dice: 1:4, 4:1, 2:3 and 3:2. When you are betting on the 5, you are a three-to-two underdog since there are six ways to make the 7 and only four ways to make the 5. Six to four is three to two.
The 5 is also considered one of the “inside” numbers, along with 6, 8, and 9. Many “action” players like to bet it as part of a four-way inside bet. You’ll hear them call out, “Give me $44 inside.” That means $10 on the 5 and 9, $12 on the 6 and 8.
When you place the 5 in increments of $5, a winning wager will pay $7. At first, this might sound great, but the true odds of the bet would be $6 for $4.
You’re betting an extra dollar but that extra dollar is only being paid off at even money. The house edge on a placement of the 5 is four percent.
We have 5 senses and some ancient Greeks believed that there were 5 basic elements in nature.

Craps Number 6 is one of the two most powerful numbers, after the 7 at craps.
There are five ways to make a 6 (1:5, 5:1; 2:4, 4:2 and 3:3) and thus the 7 is merely a six-to-five favorite. Placing the 6 is not a bad bet as craps bets go since the house has only a 1.5 percent edge. You bet $6 to win $7.  
However, if you are going for that longshot of a hard six (3:3) be aware that the casino has a nine percent edge over you. Ouch! Many craps players like to place the 6 and the 8 together as these are the two most-frequently appearing  after the 7).
The 6 is a settled, relaxed, passive, and normal  but it has a powerful love component as well – it represents a mother’s love. As such, it’s clean and unselfish. Although it is considered female and somewhat passive, it is not bad luck; in fact it is  “perfect” as its divisors, other than itself, add up to it: 1 + 2 + 3 = 6.

Now we come to the central craps number in all of craps, the 7; sometimes called “the devil,” sometimes called “big red”. The 7 is the most powerful craps number and the most pivotal.
It can be made six ways (1:6, 6:1, 3:4, 4:3, 2:5 and 5:2). If you take a look at a single die, you will notice that all the opposite sides add up to 7. Take a look at the side that has the six-spots, flip it over and you’ll see the one spot; the four-spots, opposite the three-spots; the two-spots opposite the five-spots. Every time a single die lands, we’re halfway to seeing a 7 appear.
The 7 is a boon on the come-out roll. If it hits, you win your Pass Line bet immediately. It’s a bane on the “point” side of the game, however, since a shooter must make his “point ” before a 7 to win. During the point cycle of the game, the craps number 7 is a two-to-one favorite to beat the 4 and 10, a three-to-two favorite to beat the 5 and 9, and a six-to-five favorite to beat the 6 and 8. And don’t think that betting a 7 straight-up is going to help you loot the casino coffers.

The Any Seven bet is the single worst bet at craps. It’s a one-roll bet that the next roll will be a 7. You get paid four-to-one if it is.
This might sound like a decent payoff but when you realize that the true odds of the bet are five to one, you soon discover that the casino has a 16.67 percent edge.
If the craps number 7 is the devil, then the Any Seven is a legion of fallen angels.
Seven is completeness, as there are 7 days in a week, and then we start all over again. In craps, a 7 wins in the beginning and loses in the end for Pass Line bettors; it’s just the opposite for Don’t Pass bettors.
For craps players, the craps number 7 is a god--it is feared, it is loved, it is supreme and we sacrifice a lot of money to gain its favor.

Craps Number is followed by
8, 9 10, 11 & 12
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