Hard Way Bet in Craps
You may have heard of the "hard way" craps bet at one time or another if you played the game. It is sometimes known as betting on pairs or doubles. Basically you are betting on both dice to show the same numbers, such as: 22, 33, 44, and 55. These would be known as Hard 4, Hard 6, Hard 8 and Hard 10. There is really only one combination out of the 36 possible dice combinations that will result in a hard throw, which is pretty hard to do. In fact, that is why they call it a hard way because it is harder to do than the easy way, which is getting an 8 using other combinations such as 2 and 6 for example.
The odds of actually throwing a double or pair is 1 in 36. Since the hard way bet is a multi-roll wager, a player can keep rolling the dice until either their number comes up or if a seven is thrown. If the shooter rolls a seven, then you lose the bet automatically. Theoretically, a shooter can keep rolling the dice all night until either your pair comes up or the seven. The actual odds of winning this bet are 8:1 for the hard way 4 or 10, and 10:1 for the hard way 6 or 8. The payouts are 7:1 for the 4 and 10, and 9:1 for the 6 or 8. Finally, the house edge is 11.11% for the 4 and 10, and 9.09% for the 6 and 8.
I tried to show these bets in the screenshot below of the craps table. Basically I put four stacks of chips on each of the hard way bets so you can see where this is located on the table. It happens to be in the proposition betting area at the center of the table. One thing to note here is the house advantage is still pretty big but it depends on the rules of the casino. Some casinos pay out true odds (zero house edge!) for the hard way bets including the one in the picture below.
Rather than being paid $7 for every $1 bet, you get paid $8 if you win hard way 4 and 10 for example. This actually makes the bet one of the best in the entire casino and on the craps table. Most commonly though, casinos are not this generous, but you can still find them! That's why it pays to learn knowledge of the game and the odds to spot those "gem bets" at various casinos and craps tables. Players may also wager "single roll" bets on these hard way numbers using a betting technique known as "on the hop" to get 30:1 payouts.
Click on the image above to instantly practice and play free craps in your browser.
(Opens in separate window in full screen.)
* As of 2017, US players are unable to play the craps game listed above. US players please click the banners on the left side (or below for mobile users) to visit free and real-money craps games at US-friendly casinos.