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by Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in America. Frankís books and tapes have sold over a million copies. For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406 or write: Frank Scoblete Enterprises, Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frankís websites are, and

Hi Frank:

A quick question about a certain bet: What is the etiquette around playing another person's odds bet at the game of craps? Should I put my odds on top of their odds or somewhere else? I am looking at the technique to make the bet.

I am a pass line bettor who maximizes my odds bet because I want the house edge as low as possible and I am lucky enough to have the bankroll to handle the up and down swings of the game. At almost every table I'm at, there are other pass line bettors who are not maxing out the "only free bet in the casino" (as it is called) Ė say only placing 1X behind their pass line bet when they could place 2X or more behind their pass line bet

Usually when I'm playing with a friend who is not maxing his odds I will add to his stack (increasing him to 3X-4X-5X or more in odds if allowed) and take my winnings/losses appropriately to lower the house edge against me even more. When I do this with a friend, I generally "combine" my bet with my buddy's so the dealers don't have any extra work to do; for all they know my buddy made the bet with his own cash. No problem.

What is the etiquette around deploying this strategy with a total stranger who is adjacent to me? Is this unheard of? Do the bosses mind if the player doesn't? Is my odds bet placed in a separate stack next to the other player's bet so the dealer knows that it is mine (and therefore is more work for the dealers)? Thanks for your input,



Dear David:

The late and legendary Captain of Craps developed the idea of the "Oddsmanís Bet" in the 1970ís and it appears in my book The Captainís Craps Revolution!, which was published in 1993. As you wrote, it is a terrific way to decrease the house edge. In fact, if you only make the Oddsmanís Bet, you will have no house edge against you except when you shoot. Not a bad tactic, right?

In addition, some foolish Donít/Darkside players will turn off their no-six and/or no-eight "donít pass bets" when one or the other of those numbers is the point. This is a bad move on their part but a good move if you give them their money and take over their bet on the pass line. And then place full odds on the donít pass bet! The no-six or no-eight gives you 6-to-6 odds. Not bad at all.

These Darkside players think the numbers six and eight arenít strong enough to risk their own money on them; sheer nonsense, of course, but craps players are often quite superstitious, as you probably know. I am guessing they could start their own religions with their various superstitions.

Back to the late Captainís Oddsmanís Bet. First the important technical requirements:

  1. Your bet must be placed on top of the odds bet of the other player.
  2. You canít put the bet next to it.
  3. In short, it has to ride along with the other player.
  4. If the bet wins, you have to be able to split it easily between you and the other player.
  5. The wager and payoff cannot slow down the game or make the dealers and/or box person get involved.

The Oddsmanís Bet is a great idea, especially when playing with a friend who does not take full odds. Your friend understands what you are doing and the game proceeds with no confusion. It is good to have such friends!

Now, yes, I have used this bet, especially in the 1990ís but I found there was a major problem with it. Most of the players I asked to allow me to do it had no idea of what I was talking about. They looked at me in confusion or with the kind of look that implies, "Who is this crazy man next to me?" A few even thought I was tipping them Ė some of them hadnít even rolled yet! This bet was great when I got to make it but it became too much trouble as the game slowed as I tried to explain the bet to the other players.

The hassle just wasnít worth attempting it.

Okay, if you can get away with it, not slow down the game and enjoy reducing the house edge to the lowest of the low, go for it. Maybe todayís craps players are savvier than those in the 1990ís? I know my answer to that question.

As far as the dealers go Ė never make it harder for them. They have a tough enough job keeping track of everything as it is. Therefore, when you are using the Captainís Oddsmanís Bet make sure that those odds wins can be easily divided between you and the other player. You donít want any disputes that will cause the game to slow down and the dealers and box people to get involved. If they do, they will think of you as a smartass; thatís not good. They will also probably tell you to keep your bets to yourself.

For your great question, I am giving you a free 60-day subscription to my private members-only website at We have over 5,000 members on this private site.

If any readers of the BJI would like a free 60-day subscription just drop me a line at

All the best in and out of the casinos!


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