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standard deviation

Craps Don't Pass Bet and Strategy

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Look at the pie chart above (it will show when you click on Calculate if you have any browser other than IE8 or below). This chart on Craps Bets represents the distribution of probability to finish your session within certain ranges. Red areas are losing sessions, green areas are winning sessions. The darker the area is, the larger the winning or the loss is. See how the chart is almost symmetrical when you compare left and right sides. This is because the bottom represents the Expected Value, and probability is evenly distributed on both sides.

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What about the yellow area? It is on the "green" side, should be a positive result, but it is also a loss. This is the house edge area - the dice were a little bit in your favor because you have finished on the right side, but you have actually lost some money. Casinos live on this yellow area, this is where their profit comes from. The Zero profit line is between yellow and green area. The expected value is always negative because the probability to win one bet and get payed 1:1 odds is 949/1980, less than the probability to lose the same bet which is 976/1980. Simply put, you will more often lose than win. Remaining 55/1980 goes to the returned bets (12 on the come out roll) and it does not affect your bankroll.

How to interpret this data? Look at the table next to the chart and take light red area for example. This area is the range between Expected Value and Expected Value minus one Standard Deviation. Probability theory says that this range always has a probability of 34.13% to happen, meaning that in 34.13% of your sessions with Betting Unit and Number of Executions values you have entered you will lose an amount that is somewhere between Expected Value and Expected Value minus one Standard Deviation. How much money is that, you can see in the table.

There is also another way to read this data. Enter a larger number of executions to see what can happen when you calculate the combined result of more playing sessions. You'll see that the yellow area grows with the number of executions. For further explanations about all parameters read the main Craps Strategy article and join our Craps Forum.

When should you use the Don't Pass Strategy? Now, when you have this tool, you can easily calculate the expectations and make this decision by yourself. The house edge is low, and you will have around 44% of winning sessions with 100 executions (338 rolls expected, 3-3.5h in a land based casino). Usually small winnings, but it is still a good feeling to have a winning session. If you play much faster in an online casino, even after 1000 executions you have around 33% chance to win. In a longer term, after 10000 executions the chances are only 8%, after 30000 executions less than 1%. The standard deviation is also low, meaning that this strategy has low risk. If you want to compare low deviation (low risk) strategies with higher deviation (higher risk) strategies, there is an excellent tool in the same section of the craps pass line strategy article. Overall, realistic expectations, winning opportunities and risk parameters are very similar to the Pass Line Strategy. If the basic pass line bet suits your goals, so will the opposite bet. And, because of a lower house edge, the don't pass is indeed a better bet.

The main question is probably the following. Is it really worth that much to bet against the whole table? Well, if you play online it doesn't really matter. You play alone against the house and why wouldn't you choose a slightly better bet? On the other hand, if you play mostly in land based casinos, consider these two facts:

Overall, if you play online we would recommend you to choose the don't pass bet over the pass line bet. If you play in a land based casino, there is not much reason to be against the flow, unless you believe that some shooters have non-random results, in which case you can switch between pass and don't pass, mathematical expectations are basically same.

Now, click on the calculate button below if you haven't already done so above, to compare this "wrong" bet with the "right" one and explore the expectations for both pass line and don't pass line bets.

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