Rules Craps Betting: Hardway Bets
The craps Hardway bet is a standing bet that you can make, remove, increase, or decrease at any time you want. You bet
that a hardway number will show as a pair before any other combination of that number, and before a 7 shows. The craps
Hardway bet can be made only on the numbers 4, 6, 8, and 10.
For a craps Hardway bet, each roll can result in three outcomes: 1) The hardway number appears and the bet wins, 2) The
"easyway" number or a 7 appears and the bet loses, 3) Any other number appears and the bet neither wins nor loses
(i.e., it "stands" until it wins or loses, or until you remove it--that's why it's called a "standing" bet).
What's a "hardway" versus an "easyway?" Again, craps Hardway bets are made on the 4, 6, 8, and 10. Let's look at the
10. As we know, there are three ways to make a 10. We know that the three two-dice combinations for making a 10 are:
DIE #1 DIE #2 RESULT
6 4 10
4 6 10
5 5 10
Looking at the results above, which combination of numbers do you think is considered the "hardway" for making a 10 when
you play craps? Good answer. You're right! The 5-5 combination is considered the "Hard 10." Therefore, your Hard 10 bet
stands until a 5-5 is rolled (where you win), a 7 is rolled (where you lose), or an Easy 10 (i.e., 4-6 or 6-4) is rolled (where
you lose). Now, let's quickly look at the Hard 4, Hard 6, and Hard 8.
There are three ways to make a 4, and the dice combinations are:
DIE #1 DIE #2 RESULT WHAT’S IT CALLED?
1 3 4 Easy 4
3 1 4 Easy 4
2 2 4 Hard 4
The Hard 4 bet wins if a 2-2 shows before a 7, 1-3, or 3-1.
There are five ways to make a 6, and the dice combinations are:
DIE #1 DIE #2 RESULT WHAT’S IT CALLED?
1 5 6 Easy 6
5 1 6 Easy 6
2 4 6 Easy 6
4 2 6 Easy 6
3 3 6 Hard 6
The Hard 6 bet wins if a 3-3 shows before a 7, 1-5, 5-1, 2-4, or 4-2.
There are five ways to make an 8, and the craps dice combinations are:
DIE #1 DIE #2 RESULT WHAT’S IT CALLED?
2 6 8 Easy 8
6 2 8 Easy 8
3 5 8 Easy 8
5 3 8 Easy 8
4 4 8 Hard 8
The Hard 8 bet wins if a 4-4 shows before a 7, 2-6, 6-2, 3-5, or 5-3.
Although the 2 and 12 are even numbers and both are made by quasi-hardway combinations (i.e., the 2 is made by 1-1, and
the 12 is made by 6-6), there's no Hardway bet for them because neither has an easyway combination.
The table minimum bet doesn't apply to Hardway bets. Instead, the minimum is whatever the lowest-denomination chip is in
play for that table, which is usually $1.
The payoff for the Hard 4 and Hard 10 is 7:1; whereas, the payoff for the Hard 6 and Hard 8 is 9:1. The Hard 6 and 8 each
have four easyways to lose. The Hard 4 and 10 each have only two easyways to lose. Therefore, with more ways to lose,
the Hard 6 and 8 have a higher payoff than the Hard 4 and 10.
Some casinos try to trick the inexperienced player into thinking they have higher Hardway payoffs than their competition by
offering odds written on the table layout as "8 for 1" and "10 for 1." At first glance, this does appear to be a bit better than
7:1 and 9:1. However, look at it closely and you'll see that it's 8 "for" 1, instead of 8 "to" 1. "8 for 1" means they pay you
$8 but they keep your $1 bet that's sitting on the table. 7:1 means they pay you $7 and you keep your $1 bet (the $1 chip
on the table is still yours). Therefore, "8 for 1" is the exact same thing as 7:1, and "10 for 1" is the same as 9:1. If I'm
somewhere with lots of casinos such as Vegas, and unless it's a $3 table with high maximum free odds (e.g., at least 10x), I
turn around, walk out, and go to the casino next door. It bugs me to see a casino try to trick players into thinking it offers
better odds than its competition. So, to hell with them, I go somewhere else to play casino craps.
You can call Hardway bets on or off at any time. This usually occurs after the shooter makes a point. Players typically play
the Pass Line, so after a game ends, they make another Pass Line bet. They root for a 7 on the come-out roll, but although
a 7 on the come-out is a winner for the Pass Line, it's a loser for the "on" and "working" Hardway bets. Therefore, players
tend to call their Hardways "off" and "not working" for the come-out roll so they can root for a 7 without worrying about
losing their Hardways. The dealer then puts an OFF button on their Hardways. After the shooter makes a point, players call
their Hardways back "on" and "working." The dealer then removes the OFF button.
You must be aware of the casino's policy for whether Hardway bets are "on" or "off" for the come-out roll. There doesn't
seem to be consistency among casinos. Ask the dealer, "Are the Hardways automatically off?" Or simply listen to the
stickman before the come-out roll, who might say something like, "Hardways work unless you call them off." If you don't
want a conflict in what to root for (i.e., rooting for a 7 on the come-out conflicts with your working Hardways), then simply
call your Hardways "off" on the come-out and then call them back "on" after the shooter makes a point.
Hardways are located in the center of the craps table and typically controlled by the stickman, so don't try to put down or
pick up any of these bets yourself. When you have the stickman's attention, gently toss your chips to an open area near
the center of the table and say, "Hard four, please." Sometimes, the stickman catches your chips in mid-air. Sometimes, he
lets them fall to the table and then picks them up. When you gently toss your chips, try not to hit other people's chips on
the table because they could fly everywhere and then the game is delayed while the stickman figures out where they all go.
After a while, you become incredibly accurate with your toss. I can stand at the end of the table and toss a $1 chip to land
in whichever Hardway box I want. Oddly, other players are impressed with that worthless skill. The stickman then places
your chips inside the Hardway box in a position that corresponds to your table position (in a manner similar to Place bets).
Let's look at a scenario to ensure you understand Hardway bets.
1. A new shooter prepares to make a come-out roll for a new game. You make a $5 Flat Pass Line bet. The shooter rolls a
5; therefore, the point for this game is 5. You take $6 in Odds on the point behind the line.
2. The shooter rolls a 4. The number 4 doesn't matter, so the game continues.
3. Your gut tells you the Hard 8 is going to hit. When you get the stickman's attention, you toss a $1 chip near the center of
the table and say, "Hard eight, please." The stickman picks up your chip and places it the proper spot in the Hard 8 box.
4. The shooter rolls an 8 with the dice combination of 5-3. The stickman says, "Eight easy, easy eight, the Hard eight is
down." You lose your Hard 8 bet because an Easy 8 showed before the Hard 8. Your gut still says a Hard 8 is going to hit,
so you toss another $1 chip to the center of the table and say, "Give me that Hard eight again, please." The dealer moves
your chip to the Hard 8 box.
5. The shooter rolls a 10. The number 10 doesn't matter, so the game continues.
6. The shooter rolls a 5. "Winner, winner, chicken dinner!" The shooter rolled his point, so the game ends. The dealer pays
you $5 for your Flat Pass Line bet and $9 for your Odds bet. Pick up all your chips. The number 5 doesn't matter for your
Hard 8 bet, so it remains on the table.
7. A new game is about to start with a come-out roll. The stickman says, "Same hot shooter coming out. Hardways work
unless you call them off." You make a $5 Flat Pass Line bet, and then tell the stickman, "My Hard eight is off." The stickman
puts an OFF button on top of your Hard 8 chip.
8. The shooter rolls a 7. The game ends immediately. For your Flat Pass Line bet, a 7 on the come-out roll is a winner, so
the dealer puts a $5 chip next to your Pass Line bet. Pick up your $5 in winnings. For your Hard 8 bet, a 7 doesn't matter
because you called your Hard 8 "off" and "not working." So, even though the shooter rolled a 7, you don't lose your Hard 8
bet. For the come-out roll of the next new game, your Hard 8 is still "off."
9. On the come-out roll for the next new game, the shooter rolls a 6; therefore, the point for this game is 6. You take $5 in
Odds on the point behind the line. Now that a point is established, you want your Hard 8 working again, so you tell the
stickman, "Turn my Hard eight back on, please." The stickman removes the OFF button from your Hard 8 chip.
10. The shooter rolls an 8 with the dice combination of 4-4. The stickman says, "Eight hard, eight the hard way." Woohoo!
You knew that Hard 8 was going to hit. Great call! The 8 doesn't matter for your Pass Line with Odds bets, but your Hard 8
bet wins because of the 4-4 dice combination. After the dealer pays everyone else’s Place bets, the stickman points with his
mop (i.e., his stick) to your position at the table and tells the dealer, "Nine dollars." The dealer counts out $9 and puts it in
the apron directly in front of you. Pick up your winnings. Your $1 Hard 8 chip stays on the table and continues working.
11. The shooter rolls a 12. The number 12 doesn't matter, so the game continues.
12. The shooter rolls a 7. Oh, rats! The shooter rolled a 7-out, so you lose your Pass Line with Odds bets. The dealer picks
up all your Pass Line with Odds chips. Because a 7 showed before a Hard 8, your Hard 8 also loses. The stickman picks up
your Hard 8 chip.