Hi Lo Bet in Craps: Should You Avoid This “Sucker Bet”?

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The Hi-Lo bet in Craps is a props bet where you bet on the shooter rolling a 2 or 12.

If either of these numbers show up, you win the Hi-Lo bet.

This bet is not always available in all casinos, but some have it on the table or display it on the layout. This guide will review everything you need to know to start playing the Hi-Lo bet in craps.

Key Takeaways: Hi-Lo Bet in Craps

  1. Bet Overview: The Hi-Lo bet is a proposition bet where you’re betting on the shooter rolling a 2 or a 12.
  2. Payouts: Wins pay 15 times your bet, offering a potentially high reward for a successful roll.
  3. High House Edge: With a house edge of 11.11%, the Hi-Lo bet is among the riskier options on the craps table.
  4. Bet Placement: You can place this bet by directing the dealer or finding the Hi-Lo section, usually near the center of the table.
  5. Usage Strategy: Some players use the Hi-Lo as a hedge, especially to offset potential losses from other bets like the Pass Line.
hi lo bet in craps explained

How to Play Hi-Lo

To play the Hi-Lo bet, tell the dealer you want to make it, and they will place your chips on the intersection line between 2 and 12. If either of these numbers appears, you win 15 times your bet.

In some casinos, the Hi-Lo bet may not be on the layout, but the dealer can still accept the bet if you request it.

Hi-Lo Odds

The odds of winning a Hi-Lo bet in craps are not the best compared to other bets on the Craps table.

The house edge for a Hi-Lo bet in Craps is 11.11%, meaning that over the long term, the casino will profit 11.11 cents for every dollar wagered on Hi-Lo bets.

The larger the house edge, the more money the player loses, and the more quickly this happens.

Comparative Analysis

The Hi-Lo bet stands out for its straightforward nature and high payout rate but is also notorious for its 11.11% house edge. This makes it less favorable for strategic play compared to other craps bets.

  • House Edge Comparison: Bets like the Pass Line and Come bets have much lower house edges (around 1.41% and 1.36%, respectively), making them more appealing for players looking for consistent returns.
  • Payouts vs. Probability: While the 15:1 payout is attractive, the probability of hitting a 2 or 12 is low (each has a 1 in 36 chance of rolling), which reflects in the high house edge.
  • Hedging Perspective: As a hedging tool, the Hi-Lo can offer momentary relief from other bets’ losses. However, this should be used sparingly and with the understanding that it’s more about adding fun than optimizing strategy.

Placing Your Bet

Locate the Hi-Lo section on the craps table to place a Hi-Lo bet. It’s usually located in the center of the table, next to the Any Craps section.

Once you’ve found it, you can place your bet by placing your chips in the Hi-Lo section.

Hi-Lo Strategies

While there are no specific strategies for playing the Hi-Lo bet in craps, some players prefer to use the Hi-Lo bet as a hedge against other bets.

For example, if you’ve made a Pass Line bet and want to protect yourself against a 7 on the next roll, you could also place a Hi-Lo bet.

This way, if the next roll is a 7, you’ll lose your Pass Line bet, but you’ll win your Hi-Lo bet, which will soften the blow of your Pass Line loss.

Key Takeaways on the Hi-Lo Bet in Craps

  • Remember that the Hi-Lo bet has a high house edge of 11.11%. This means that it is not a good bet to make if you are trying to maximize your winnings.
  • If you decide to make a Hi-Lo bet, keeping your bet size small is a good idea. This way, you will not lose too much money if you have a losing streak.
  • Remember that the Hi-Lo bet is a type of proposition bet, which means it is based on luck and chance. There is no way to predict the outcome of the next roll of the dice, so don’t get too caught up in coming up with a winning strategy.

Hedging with Hi-Lo

Hedging in craps is akin to balancing on a tightrope—it requires precision, understanding, and a bit of daring. The Hi-Lo bet, with its sharp edges and high house edge, might not seem the ideal tool for this. Yet, under certain circumstances, it can serve as an intriguing hedging strategy. Here’s how:

Understanding Hedging

Hedging is essentially insurance; it’s about placing a bet that will pay off if your primary bet loses, aiming to reduce the sting of a loss. In craps, since outcomes can swing wildly, strategic hedging can offer a cushion against volatility.

Hi-Lo as a Hedge

The Hi-Lo bet covers two of the craps table’s most polar outcomes—the 2 and the 12. Each is a long shot, which is precisely why the bet pays 15:1. Here’s when employing Hi-Lo as a hedge could make sense:

  • Against a Pass Line Bet: If you’ve placed a significant wager on the Pass Line, and the point is a number that feels risky (for instance, a 4 or 10, which have lower probabilities of rolling), a Hi-Lo hedge can offer a safety net. Should the shooter roll a 2 or 12, the Hi-Lo bet pays off, offsetting the loss on the Pass Line.
  • During High Stakes Rolls: In situations where the table is heated, and large bets are at stake, adding a Hi-Lo can add an extra layer of excitement with a potential high payout. It’s more about the thrill and less about strategic play.

The Math Behind the Hedge

While the Hi-Lo bet might offer a 15:1 payout, its high house edge (11.11%) means it’s not a favorable long-term strategy. The essence of hedging isn’t to win big but to protect against losses.

The Hi-Lo’s infrequent wins mean it should be used sparingly and strategically, not as a regular part of one’s betting pattern.

Risks and Rewards

Hedging with the Hi-Lo bet carries inherent risks.

The high house edge means that, over time, it’s expected to eat more into your bankroll than it saves.

Yet, the potential for a significant payout can sometimes justify its use in specific scenarios, especially for players who prefer a high-risk, high-reward style of play.

The Bottom Line

The Hi-Lo bet is a simple proposition bet in craps, but it has a high house edge of 11.11%.

While it may be fun to make this bet, it is not a good bet if you are trying to maximize your winnings.

Always remember to play responsibly and within your means.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Hi-Lo Bet in Craps

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