When to Pass or Don’t Pass in Craps

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A basic game of craps has two options, the pass line and the don’t pass line. When players feel like a seven is coming up, they pick the don’t pass line. When they feel the other number is more likely, they go for the pass line. There are several ways to choose when to pass and when to reel it in.


To start out, think of how far away the point is from seven. Of all of the numbers, seven is the most likely. This is because seven can be made with the most combinations of dice. About one in six rolls will add up to seven. Six and eight are almost as common. Five and nine are even less common. By the time four and ten come along, the bet isn’t even worth making. Instead, an even surer bet is on the table: the don’t pass line.

Betting on the don’t pass line recognizes one inarguable fact: It is more likely for a seven to come up than any other number. The don’t pass bet is a bet on probability following its natural course. It is hard to go wrong with a bet that there is a seven coming up when a seven is always coming up.

There is one compelling reason to go for the pass line instead of the don’t pass line, and that is the companionship of the other players. No matter what the numbers say, people like to say yes, and the pass line is the perfect way to say it. The don’t pass line says no, and that is not the thing to be saying in an excited crowd that is shouting, “YES!”

Camaraderie is important, and one of the key things that makes craps fun, but it shouldn’t be what’s getting in the way of a successful gambling experience. The compromise is to bet online. Playing craps from the privacy of a home computer or personal phone is the perfect opportunity to make the smarter bet.

Some may argue that if several sevens have been rolled in a row, it’s unlikely another seven will show up for a while. This certainly sounds true, and many successful players follow that rule, but from a purely mathematical perspective, dice have no memory. They do not remember that they just rolled a seven, and they won’t act differently because of it. Dice just roll.

In the end, the decision is up to the player. A pass line bet over a six or eight doesn’t have terrible odds, and might just work out. In the end, the pass line is best saved for the casino and the don’t pass line used when it is time to get serious.

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