Horn Bets

One of the most popular bets on the table is “any craps”, which is a one roll bet on the 2, 3 and 12. The theory goes that if you have, say $10 on the pass line, you can lose it all if craps is thrown. But if you bet $2 any craps and if a 2, 3, or 12 rolls, you’ll actually come out ahead $4 (any craps pays 7:1). However, the 2 and 12 will roll one time each and the 3 twice (out of 36) so you’ll win your any craps bet only 4 times in 36 rolls, so it turns out not to be such a good hedge.

Some people add an eleven to their bet, the famous “C & E” bet (Craps and Eleven). Since the eleven rolls twice (same as the 3, and pays 15:1) you’ll win your C&E bet only 6 times out of 36 rolls.

A similar wager, a horn bet, is a one roll bet on the 2, 3, 11, or 12, and must be bet in multiples of 4. For example, to protect your pass line, you can make a $4 horn bet, or an $8 horn bet. Each bet pays off individually. If you bet a $4 horn and the next roll is a 2 or 12, you’ll win $30 (at 30:1). If the next roll is a 3 or 11, you’ll win $15 (at 15:1). The payoff on a horn bet is significantly higher (either 15:1 or 30:1) than a C & E craps bet even though it has the exact same numbers. By paying an extra $2 you can increase your payoff and many players use a horn bet to protect their pass line instead of a C&E bet.

I ‘ve even seen some people bet progressively on these horn bets. They wait until ten numbers go by without a 2, 3, 11 or 12 and begin betting $4, increasing their bets $4 each time. If the 3 or 11 does roll, say on the 14th roll, they would lose $40 (4+8+12+16) and win $60 (15x $4). If in the same 8th roll a 2 or 12 comes up, the player would still lose $40 but win $120 (30 x$4). In order to do this successfully, you need to map out your bets in advance, so you know exactly when to increase your bets from $4 to $8 in order to preserve your profit. And you’ll need a rather large bankroll to do this.

A safer method would be to bet on just one of the horn numbers – 2/12 or 3/11. Wait until 20 rolls go by without that one particular number showing. Bet $1 and increase your bets by $1 each roll until it hits. Let’s say you wait twenty rolls with no eleven and start with a $1 bet. Nine rolls later you have $10 on the yo, and have already bet $55 (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10). If the eleven now hits, you will win $150 (15x$10) so your profit is $95. Again, you’ll need to map this out in advance to see when you need to increase your bet to $2.

But before you run out to the tables, remember that many casinos have different limits on horn bets. Sometimes, on a table with a $500 initial bet limit, there is an unwritten limit for proposition bets of $100. Of course, the 11 should appear 2 times in 36 rolls, or 5-6 times in 100 rolls. It is inconceivable that any table would see 100 rolls go by without someone yelling “Yo!”

But it can happen.

That’s why they call it gambling!

And, as always, good luck at the tables!

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