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"Bonus Bets" Have Changed Craps

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The game of craps in modern casinos hasn't changed much until a few years ago when certain special bets with big payouts were introduced. The first big payout bet was the "Fire Bet" which paid a bonus if the shooter made four or five different "points" or passes, and a jackpot if all six different points (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) were made before he threw a 7-Out. But another type of special bet called "Bonus Craps" has literally changed the way players play the game of craps. I will discuss those changes here.


Updated January 3, 2017  Bonus Craps is a side bet that is licensed by Galaxy Gaming to be used by casinos on their existing craps tables. Here's how Galaxy Gaming describes the Bonus Craps side bet:

First, there is the "All Small" bet in which the player makes a bet that the shooter will throw the "small numbers" of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 before he throws a 7. The bet usually pays 35 for 1, which means if you bet $1 on the All Small you are paid $35.

Then there is the "All Tall" which pays if the shooter throws the 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 before a 7 and it pays the same 35 for 1.

The big jackpot money is the "All" bet which pays 175 to 1 if all of the numbers are thrown before a 7.

If a shooter rolls a "winner 7" on the come-out roll, the Bonus Bets are lost and if you are betting the Bonus Bets you have to start all over, and this is what has dramatically changed how craps has played. Before the Bonus Craps bets became popular, players welcomed a come-out roll winner 7, but now with so many players betting the Bonus Craps bets, a winner-7 on the passline makes them lose on the Bonus. And with that jumbo payout of 175 to 1 on the "All" players are now more interested in the shooter rolling "numbers" including craps numbers, than in making passes and winning on the passline.

In the photo below, the shooter has rolled all of the numbers without throwing a 7 and the Small and Tall bets have been paid. After the ALL bet is paid, the remaining $5 chip on the ALL will be removed.

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Small, Tall, All bets layout on craps table


It happens all the time now. A shooter rolls a winner-7 on the come-out roll, and there is a moan at the table. The moan is because the players won their $10 passline bet, but lost the $5 on the Small, the $5 on the Tall, and the $5 on the All. When that happens dealers often say, "you won but you lost."

The Bonus Craps bets have now created more demand for "hedge bets" on the craps table. Many players are now making the Any 7 bet, also known as Big Red, which carries a very high house edge in order to insure or hedge that a winner-7 on the come-out roll will wipe out their Bonus Craps bets.


Over New Year's Weekend at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas I was having a good roll. I hadn't had a winner-7 on a come-out roll, but I made several passes and I was rolling a lot of numbers. In fact, all of the players, including me, had won the "Tall" Bonus Craps bet, and all I needed to throw was a 2 (aces, snake-eyes) to win the ALL.

The point was now 5. I rolled several numbers when the dice rolled and showed a 1 and then the second die continued to bounce around and finally settled on a 4 for a winner-5. But instead the players at the table cheering for the passline winner -- the table moaned. The table players were not hoping for the second die to be a 4... they were hoping for another 1 (ace) so they'd win the ALL bet.

As the players moaned, and as the dealers started to pay off the winning passline bets, I said to the other players, "this is the first time I ever rolled a winner and the winning players moaned."

Unfortunately, on my next come-out roll, I rolled a winner. But it was a 7 and that wiped out all of the Bonus Bets and we had to start over.

The only "winner" that is welcomed on the come-out roll is an 11 or yo because that number is needed to win the Tall and the ALL Bonus Bets. If you happen to roll an 11 or yo on the come-out roll, you are a hero.



If there is a goal or strategy for the Bonus Craps bets it is simply this: throw every number but a 7. But there are other strategies players use including betting "Big Red" or "Any 7" to protect or hedge or insure their "Bonus Craps" bets should the shooter throw a winner-7 on the come-out roll.

Another strategy is to be sure that your passline bet is greater than the total of your bets on the Small, Tall and All. For example if you bet $25 on the passline and the shooter throws a winner-7 on the come-out, you will be paid $25 for the passline and you will still have a $10 net profit after losing the $15 on the Small, Tall and All.

Another strategy is to have a bet on the passline equal to the amount of money bet on the Small, Tall and All.

If you are betting higher amounts, you might also need to insure your passline bet against a craps number on the come-out. While you need craps numbers to win the Small, Tall and ALL, a craps number (2, 3, 12) on the come-out roll will make you lose your passline wager.

A strategy I have used at lower-limit craps tables is this: with $5 each on the Small, Tall, and All, I have $15 bet on the passline and $3 bet on any craps. If a "number" is thrown on the come-out, the any craps bet is lost and the game continues. If a winner-7 is thrown on the come-out, the $15 paid on the passline bet restores the $15 lost on the Small, Tall, All bets. If a craps number is thrown on the come-out, the any craps bet pays $21 which returns a slight profit after restoring the $15 bet on the passline and a number is made on the Bonus bets.

In the photo below the shooter just rolled an 11 which won the Tall Bet. The Small bet was won and paid earlier. Once the Tall and ALL are paid, those chips will be removed.

Bellagio Casino, Las Vegas
Small, Tall, All bets layout on casino craps table


The bottom line for your money is that betting the Bonus Craps bet is giving you a chance to win a big payoff on a small wager, but it is also making you risk more money and in some cases to buy hedge bets or insurance bets. Every one of these bets has a house edge, and you must remember that. And when you make additional insurance and hedge bets to protect your Bonus Craps bets you are adding to edge that the casino already has on the traditional game of craps.

Here on our new media website "Moneyman" Alan Mendelson who is the original Best Deals TV Show reporter on KCAL9 and consumer advocate, shows you the best deals on TV, and the best buys, bargains and where savvy shoppers go to save, and how to get the most for "your money" with the best of Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. Some content on is paid advertising. The Best Buys TV Show is a paid infomercial program which may also include news and information which is not sponsored or paid for by advertisers.

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