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Playing the Don't Pass in Craps

Craps: Playing the Don't Pass Bar
by Wilson of

The don't pass line bettor on a craps table is usually the quiet guy or gal who tends to keep to themselves and avoid eye contact with all the other “right-way” shooters. This bet is opposite of the pass line bet. When you make a don't pass bar bet you are banking on the shooter to “seven out” before hitting a point number. It’s actually not a bad bet, but most people prefer to go with the shooter. Similar to the pass line bet, as a “wrong bettor” you must also place your chips on the area marked “Don't Pass Bar” which is located directly above the pass line. See the craps table layout below:

Craps Table

Typical Casino Craps Table Layout

How do I win on the come out roll? The come out roll is the only segment of the wrong bet that is at a disadvantage. The reason for this disadvantage is the wrong bettor only wins on the come out roll if a 2 or 3 is rolled, which can only be accomplished three ways-1,1 1,2 2,1. The pass line bettor, however, can win only if a 7 or 11 is rolled, which can be done eight ways-1,6 6,1 2,5 5,2 3,4 4,3 5,6 6,5. During the come out roll the pass line bettor has an 8-3 advantage over the don't pass bettor, but as soon as a point is established the don't pass bettor wins two thirds of the time as opposed to the pass line bettor who only wins one third of the time.

Is there a difference between taking odds and laying odds? Yes. As a pass line bettor you are taking odds because the casino has the advantage due to the fact that the number seven can be rolled in more combinations than any other number. Therefore, the pass line odds bet is paid more than even money. The don't pass bar odds bet pays even money simply because the player now has the advantage over the casino. There’s no way a casino is going to offer more than even money when they are already facing a disadvantage!

Is the don't pass odds payoff the same as the pass line odds payoff? No. In fact, the don't pass bar odds are paid exactly opposite of the pass line odds. For example, if the point was the number four a $5 bet on the don't pass bar backed by a $10 odds bet would win $5 from the original don't pass bar bet and another $5 from the $10 odds bet. Notice that the payoff on the point number four is 1 to 2 which is opposite of the same point number if bet on the pass line. The wrong bettors must pay more to win less as they have the advantage that the next roll will produce a seven-out.

Where do I place my don't pass bar odds bet? Unlike the pass line odds bet which is placed directly behind the original bet, the don't pass bar odds bet is placed next (on the side) to the original bet. The odds bets are bridged, or heeled. Bridging means that the odds payoff will be the same amount as the original don't pass bar bet, for example, one red chip next another red chip, then placing a third chip red chip on top of the two. Healing means that the odds payoff will be greater than the original don't pass bar bet, in this case the original red chip bet on the don't pass bar will be sided by another red chip and then topped (off center a bit) with four white chips thus indicating a greater payoff if a seven out occurs. I know, confusing stuff!

The don't pass bet can be removed by the player at anytime, but I don't recommend it because it’s a great bet. If you can get by the come out roll without to much damage I highly encourage playing the don't pass bar. There are different systems and strategies to use while betting the wrong way, but first you must be comfortable with the basics. I remember how nervous I was the first time I played the don't pass bar but once I knew what I was doing it erased all my jitters- except for my natural “edge of my seat” gambling rush that is apparently built into my DNA! Luck to ya.


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