Rules Craps Betting: Don't Pass Bet
The craps Don't Pass bet is almost the exact opposite of a Pass Line bet. Like the Pass Line bet, the Don’t Pass bet is a Flat
bet that you make before the come out roll. The Don't Pass section on the table layout is above the Pass Line clearly
marked "Don’t Pass Bar 12," typically in black letters. The Don’t Pass is sometimes called the "back line."
The rules for table minimum and maximum bets are similar to the Pass Line bet. For example, if you see a red placard
defining a $5 minimum and a $2,000 maximum, that means your Flat Don"t Pass bet has to be at least $5, but can't be more
The Don't Pass bet is a self-service bet, which means you make this bet yourself by placing your chip(s) in the Don't Pass
section. You don't need the dealer's help to make this craps bet.
For the craps Don't Pass bet, the come-out roll can result in four possible outcomes (note how the outcomes are almost
exactly opposite of the Pass Line bet): 1) if a 7 or 11 appears, the Don't Pass bet loses and the game ends; 2) if a 2 or 3
appears, the Don’t Pass bet wins and the game ends; 3) if a 12 appears, it's considered a tie and the bet doesn't win or
lose, and the game ends; and 4) if a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 appears, a point is established and the game continues until either
the point number appears again, in which case the Don’t Pass bet loses; or a 7 appears, in which case the Don’t Pass bet
wins. For the Don’t Pass bet, you hope the shooter rolls a craps on the come-out; or if a point is established, that she
doesn't make her point and, instead, rolls a 7-out (again, note how the Don’t Pass is opposite of the Pass Line bet).
The "Bar 12" part of the label for the Don't Pass bet indicates that a 12 on the come-out roll is a tie. Some casinos have
"Bar 2," which means a 2 on the come-out roll is a tie. Whether the bar is 12 or 2 doesn't matter because the odds are the
same (i.e., there's only one way to make a 12 and only one way to make a 2, so the odds are the same). However, some
casinos like to screw their craps customers by having a Bar 3. You probably won't see this because it's so rare, but it does
exist. Unlike the 12 or 2 that have only one way to make either number, there are two ways to make a 3. This small
difference increases the house advantage from its normal 1.4% to about 4.4%. If I see a Bar 3 in a casino, I immediately
turn around, walk out, and go to another casino. The house already has an advantage over the player, so the idea of the
casino screwing the player even more really chaps my rear end, so I refuse to give them my business.
Remember, the Don’t Pass is basically the opposite of the Pass Line. Therefore, unlike the Flat Pass Line bet, you can
remove your Flat Don’t Pass bet at any time after a point is established. For the Don’t Pass, the come-out roll favors the
house but then shifts to the player after a point is established. Therefore, after a point is established, the house actually
wants you to remove your Don’t Pass bet because you have the advantage.
Unlike the Pass Line, you cannot "put" (i.e., make a Put bet) a Flat Don't Pass bet and you cannot increase your Flat Don't
Pass bet after a point is established. Again, for the Don’t Pass, the come-out roll favors the house but after the come out
roll when a point is established, the Don't Pass favors the player. Therefore, the house won't allow you to wait until a point
is established to "put" a Flat Don't Pass bet. If you want to bet the Don't Pass, the house requires you to go through the
Don't Pass craps bets are an even-money bet, which means you win the exact amount that you bet. For example, if you
make a $5 Don't Pass bet and win, you win $5.
If you bet the Don't Pass, it’s also called betting "against" the dice (as opposed to betting "with" the dice) or betting the
"wrong" way (as opposed to betting the "right" way).
On the come out roll, a Don't Pass bet has an 8:3 house advantage. For the player, there are three ways to win on the
come out, eight ways to lose, and one way to tie. Let's review. For a Don't Pass bet on the come out roll, a 7 or 11 loses, a
2 or 3 wins, and a 12 ties. There are six ways to make a 7 and two ways to make an 11; therefore, there are eight ways to
lose a Don't Pass bet on the come-out. There's one way to make a 2 and two ways to make a 3; therefore, there are three
ways to win a Don’t Pass bet on the come out. Eight ways to lose versus three ways to win is written in terms of odds as
8:3. That's how we get an 8:3 house advantage with a Don't Pass bet on the come out. But that's only for the come-out
roll. For a Don't Pass bet after the point is established, the advantage shifts back to the player. No matter what the point is
(i.e., 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), there are always more ways to make a 7 and win than there are ways to make the point and lose.
The advantage that you enjoy after the come-out roll for a Don't Pass bet is outweighed by the 8:3 disadvantage you have
to survive on the come out. The net result is that the house maintains a small advantage on the Don't Pass bet, even when
you make an Odds bet.
After a point is established when you play craps, you can make a Free Odds bet, or "lay Odds against the point." Notice for
the Don't Pass bet, the Odds bet is called "laying" Odds; whereas, for the Pass Line bet, it’s called "taking" Odds. The Odds
bet is another bet against the point number in addition to the Flat Don't Pass bet.
The Odds bet is a self-service bet, so you make this bet yourself by putting the chip(s) next to your Flat Don't Pass bet in the
Don't Pass section. Like the Pass Line bet, there's no marked location on the table to define where to put your chip(s) for
an Odds bet. The location for your Don't Pass Odds bet is next to your Flat bet. See Figure 1 below.
Unlike the Pass Line Odds bet where the chips are all stacked in one pile behind the Flat bet, the Don't Pass Odds bet is
either "heeled" or "bridged" adjacent to the Flat bet. Remember, for the Pass Line Odds bet, you put the higher-
denomination chips on the bottom of your Odds-bet stack and the lower-denomination chips on the top of the stack. The
same is true for the Don't Pass Odds bet (i.e., higher-denomination chips go on the bottom, lower denominations go on top).
If the payoff for a Don't Pass Odds bet equals the amount of the Flat bet, then the Odds bet is bridged. The part of your
Odds bet that's equal to the Flat bet is placed directly next to the Flat bet. Then, the rest of the Odds bet is placed on top
"bridging" them. For example, suppose you make a $5 Don’t Pass bet and the shooter rolls a point of 8. Knowing the true
odds for the 8 are 6:5 (i.e., six ways to make a 7, and five ways to make an 8), you then lay $6 in Odds hoping to win $5. In
this example, if you win the $6 Odds bet, you win $5, which exactly equals what you win with your $5 Flat bet (i.e., your $5
flat bet is even money, which means you win $5). Therefore, since your Flat bet and Odds bet win the same amount (i.e., $5
each), you bridge your $6 Odds bet by placing a $5 chip directly next to your $5 Flat bet, and then placing the $1 chip so it
bridges the two $5 chips. See Figure 2 for an illustration of how the craps Don't Pass Odds bet is bridged.
If the payoff for a Don't Pass Odds bet doesn't equal the amount of the Flat bet, then the Odds bet is heeled. This means
you place the bottom chip of your Odds-bet chip stack directly next to your Flat bet. Then, place all remaining Odds-bet
chips on top of that single chip but offset and leaning on that bottom chip (i.e., your Odds-bet chip stack is crooked because
it’s leaning on the bottom chip). See Figure 3 for an illustration of how the Don't Pass Odds bet is heeled.
Still confused after looking at the illustrations in the figures? That’s okay, don’t get nervous. The dealer is always willing to
help if you forget. After a couple of times, it all makes sense. It won't take long before you're a pro. If you're not sure what
to do the first time you try it, simply tell the dealer, "I want to lay some Odds but I don't know if it should be bridged or
heeled." The dealer asks, "How much do you want to lay?" Suppose you say, "Fifteen dollars to win ten." The dealer asks
you to drop your chips on the table (remember, dealers aren't allowed to take anything, especially chips, directly from a
player), and then he properly heels or bridges them based on the amount of your Flat bet. You'll quickly get the hang of it.
Just don't be afraid to ask the dealer questions. His job is not only to deal, but also to be friendly and help the players.
When playing the Don't Pass, you might consider a bit of craps etiquette by controlling your emotions more than when
playing the Pass Line. By far, most people play the Pass Line even when the table is ice cold (i.e., "cold" means everyone is
rolling a 7-out and a point hasn't been made since the last Ice Age). When the table goes cold, players become grouchy
and sometimes downright mad because they lose time after time. Your winning on the Don't Pass adds to their frustration.
In fact, they blame you and your Don't Pass bets for causing the table's bad mojo. You'll hear all sorts of mumbling, such as,
"It’s cold because that asshole keeps betting the Don't." If you scream and clap every time your Don't Pass wins, you make
their misery worse. So, unless you enjoy pissing off people, it's best to simply remain calm on the outside and quietly pick
up your Don't Pass winnings. However, if you don't care, then go for it. Scream and clap as loud as you can. Just be aware
that everyone else at the craps table will hate you and blame you for their misfortune.
Figure 1. Craps Betting: Don't Pass with Odds Bets
Assume you're in player position #1. In this example, your $5 Flat Don't Pass bet is placed in the Don't Pass line directly in
front of you as shown in the figure above. Your Don't Pass Odds bet is placed next to your Flat Don't Pass bet in the Don't
Pass line. In this example, your Odds bet amount is $12 (i.e., assume the two bottom chips are $5 chips and the two top
chips are $1 chips). Notice the white "On" puck in the 8 point box. The "On" puck indicates the point for this game is 8.
Because you bet the Don't Pass, you hope a 7 shows before the point number (i.e., 8).
Figure 2. "Bridging" the Don't Pass Odds Bet
In this example, assume the point is either 6 or 8. With your $10 Flat Don't Pass bet, you lay #12 in Odds. For a Don't Pass
Odds bet, you lay the bigger amount to win the smaller amount. In this example, you lay $12 to win $10. Because the
Odds bet payoff (i.e., $10) equals the Flat bet payoff (i.e., $10), you "bridge" your Odds-bet chips by putting $10 next to
your Flat bet and then "bridging" the two $10 stacks with the two $1 chips.
Figure 3. "Heeling" the Don't Pass Odds Bet
In this example, assume the point is either 6 or 8. With your $5 Flat Don't Pass bet, you lay $24 in Odds. For a Don't Pass
Odds bet, you lay the bigger amount to win the smaller amount. In this example, you lay $24 to win $20. Because the
Odds bet payoff (i.e., $20) doesn't equal the Flat bet payoff (i.e., $5), you "heel" your Odds bet chips. Notice that the higher
denominations are on the bottom of the heeled stack.