Let me begin by apologizing to our beginner craps players. I pride myself on being a good teacher, but I overlooked the fact the I have not yet written an article dedicated to the free odds bet. I took it for granted that everyone understood what is mathematically the best bet in the game.

However, recently, I started seeing very basic questions about the free odds bet pop up on the RoadGambler YouTube channel.

So let’s have a simple discussion about the free odds bet.

For purposes of simplicity, I am only going to discuss free odds on the light side, aka the pass and come side.  For the dark side of free odds, see this: https://roadgambler.com/casino/darkside/

Also, the free odds are simply referred to as ‘odds’; so going forward, I will use the term ‘odds’ in lieu of ‘free odds.


The odds bet is a bet that can only be made once the player has bet on the pass line or come bet.

It’s mathematically the best bet on the table because the odds pay true odds. That means that, unlike almost every other bet in the casino, the house has no advantage.

Odds bets are usually capped. At most Las Vegas strip properties, the odds bet is capped at a maximum of 3x, 4x, and 5x.

For example, here is a table limit sign at a Las Vegas Strip casino.

Notice that the minimum bet on this table is $15.  3x, 4x, and 5x means that: if the point is 4 or 10, then the maximum odds are 3 times the pass line bet; if the point is 5 or 9, then the maximum odds are 4 times the pass line bet; and if the point is 6 or 8, the maximum odds allowed are 5 times the pass line.

Let’s say that you make a $15 pass line bet. That means that in the above picture since the point is 8 (as marked by the white puck), you can bet $75 worth of odds.

Some casinos will allow more free odds. Notice the sign that says 100x. That means if you bet $5, you can bet up to $500 worth of odds.

$5 minimum with 100x odds.


The odds bet will win if the point assigned to that odds bet rolls before the 7 rolls.

For example, if the point is 8, and the 8 rolls before the 7 rolls, then the odds bet will win. If the 7 rolls before the 8 rolls, then the odds bet will lose.

Odds bets can also be wagered on Come bets after the Come bet point has been established. Be warned that typically if the bettor has a live come bet with odds, and the pass line has just won, then the next roll will be a come out roll for the pass line. In that case, the odds bet attached to the come bet will not be working unless the bettor declares the odds to be working.


In the picture below, the two bets that are behind the pass line bet are the odds bet. To make the odds bet, you just position your chips in the area behind your pass line bet, AFTER THE POINT HAS ROLLED.

If you are playing online, the odds bet is made by dragging chips to the area behind your pass line bet, like this…

Notice the area at the bottom marked ‘Pass Odds’
Place your chips in that area. Warning: if pass odds increments are not in $5 increments, the casino will round down.


The most important thing to know about the odds bet is the payout.

The following are the payouts for each point…

Point is 4 or 10

  • Odds will pay 2-1.
  • For example, if you bet $10 on the odds, you will be paid $20

Point is 5 or 9

  • Odds will pay 3-2.
  • For example, if you bet $10 on the odds, you will be paid $15.
  • When betting odds on the 5 or 9, always make sure that you bet in even dollar increments. For example, if you bet $5, you will be penalized. True odds payout would be $7.50, but since most casinos do not have 50 cent chips, the casino will round down and pay $7.

Point is 6 or 8

  • Odds will pay 6-5.
  • For example, if you bet $10 on the odds, you will be paid $12.
  • Always bet in $5 increments, or else you will be penalized. The casino will round down from the true odds payout.


When in doubt about how much to bet, follow this one simple rule about how much to bet on free odds: Bet in $10 increments. 

If you bet in $10 increments, you will always have the correct odds bet. Make sure that the $10 increment does not go over the maximum odds allowed.

Play responsibly and enjoy!






Posted in: Casino, Craps, Gambling

0 thoughts on “Craps: A Simple Beginner’s Guide to the Free Odds Bet

  • What about the dark side? I think Michael Shackleford said on a 3x4x5x table, you can lay up to 6x on the Don’t, because that would be the max payout on Right Way bettor. My local casino is 5x5x5x (Actually 5x6x5x), but I usually stick to the 6x plan when playing the Don’t.

    Anyways….am I correct in saying, a lay odds bet on a 100x table, on the 4 or 10, would be $1000?

    • Jeremy,

      The odds on the dark side work a bit differently. I am going to write a guide for the dark side odds. I wanted to keep this one simple, so as to not confuse new players.

      On the dark side, on a 3,4,5x table, the proper lay odds would be 6x across the board. So yes, you would lay 6x your DP bet for max odds.

  • My local casino only offers 2x free odds. Is it still the best bet on the table or would it be better to bet that same amount of money somewhere else?

    • The combined house edge on 2x odds is .606%. Mathematically, that’s still the lowest combination possible on that table. Speaking strictly from a mathematical perspective, the answer to your question is yes, it’s still the best bet on the table.

      However, as full disclosure, there are many players who do not believe in math.

  • Any thoughts on having your come bets odds working after a point is made?

    Since come bets are contract bets, shouldn’t i just let them work all the time?

    • Mathematically, it is better to work your come bet odds on a come out roll. So yes, you should work your come odds on a pass line come out roll. Not working your odds will decrease the overall multiplier of your odds bet to flat bet.

      I freely admit that I do not work my odds on the come out, and that it’s a weakness in my game. I do it so as to take a breather and create less volatility in my bankroll. In my pre-RoadGambler days, I would regularly work my come bet odds. However, nowadays, I do things a lot differently for the sake of the video (another major difference being that I play from SO, versus SL/R1).

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