With so many bets that recreational gamblers shouldn’t make, it’s surprising how many craps players don’t play “free odds.” The odds bet is one of those bets in a casino that you should definitely make. According to nextshooter.com, “The Free Odds bet carries no house edge. The casino makes no profit on this bet. This is the only bet you can make on a table game where the odds aren’t against you. How can the casino make this bet available when they don’t make any money on it? Simple: Most players aren’t smart enough to make this bet. If all craps players made Free Odds bets and avoided the other bets, the casino wouldn’t be able to offer craps!”
Of course the Free Odds bet isn’t totally free. You have to make a flat bet(Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, or Don’t Come) before you can make the Free Odds bet. Let’s see how it works with a Pass Line bet. You make a Pass Line bet, and the shooter rolls a number to establish a point (4,5,6,8,9, or 10). Now you can make a Free Odds bet, by putting your chip(s) below (due South) of your Pass Line bet. It’s kind of like doubling down in blackjack. Now if the shooter rolls the point again,you not only win your Pass Line bet, you also win the Odds bet.
According to the Math Master, Michael Shackelford at Wizard of Odds, “because the Odds has zero house edge the player can only bet so much on it compared to his Pass bet. Most casinos allow what is known as “3- 4-5X Odds.” This means the player may bet up to three times his Pass bet on the odds after a point of a 4 or 10, four times after a 5 or 9, and five times after a 6 or 8. How did they come up with this? I think because if the player always takes the maximum odds, and he wins on the pass line, the Odds bet will always pay 6 times the pass line wager, making the math easier for the dealers.
Some casinos pay even more, like 5X, 10X, 20X, or 100X odds on all points. If you see a casino advertising something like “10X Odds,” that means that you can bet up to ten times you Pass bet on the Odds.
You can place the odds bet on the point OR the come bet. According to John Grochowski, “when the dealer sees that bet backing your pass bet, he knows it’s an odds bet and words are unnecessary. It’s a little different with come bets. There, you do have to give the dealer verbal information. Let’s say you have a come bet and the shooter rolls a 6. The dealer will move you come bet to the 6 box.
You make a free odds bet by placing chips in the come box and telling the dealer, “Odds on my come” or “Odds on my 6.” The dealer then will move those chips to the 6 box, positioning them both to indicate your position at the table and which chips are the come bet and which are the odds. If free odds aren’t mentioned on the layout, they’re still available.
Finally, if comps are important to you, then be warned that most casinos do not count bets on the Odds towards the average amount you bet, because they don’t stand to make any profit on it.