If you’re still learning the game, you may wonder what the Horn bet is and how it works. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
In this guide, I will explain everything you need to know about the Horn bet in craps, including how to make it, the difference between Horn bets and C and E bets, and some of my tips and strategies.
So, let’s get started!
What is the Horn Bet in Craps
The horn bet is a combination bet that covers the numbers 2, 3, 11, and 12. If any of these numbers are rolled, you win the bet.
One thing to remember is that the horn bet is not a standalone bet. This means you have to make a separate bet for each number included in the horn bet.
Players typically bet amounts divisible by 4, with equal wagers placed on each of the four numbers.
The Horn bet wins if the shooter rolls any of these numbers on the next throw. However, if any other number is rolled, the bet loses.
Casinos may offer a breakage Horn bet option, which occurs when the player bets an incorrect unit and the house cannot pay them back in that unit.
In this case, the amount won by the player is rounded in favor of the house.
The payouts for a Horn bet may vary based on whether the low or high side wins, with higher payouts being offered for the 2 and 12.
The house edge for a Horn bet is relatively high, making it a less favorable option for players.
More on that later.
Horn Bets vs C and E Bets
The horn bet is often confused with the C and E bets, which are other combination bets you can make in craps.
The C bet is a combination bet that includes the numbers 2, 3, 11, and 12, just like the horn bet.
However, the E bet is a combination bet that includes the numbers 11 and 12.
So, what’s the difference between the horn bet and the C and E bets?
The main difference is that the horn bet is made by placing your chips in the horn area of the craps table, while the C and E bets are made by placing your chips in the area of the table marked “C” and “E”.
How to Make a Horn Bet
Making a horn bet is easy. All you have to do is place your chips in the horn area of the craps table.
You can make a horn bet at any time during the game, but remember that you must make a separate bet for each number included in the horn bet.
For example, let’s say you want to make a horn bet that includes the numbers 2, 3, 11, and 12. To do this, you would place your chips in the horn area of the craps table and then make a separate bet for each number.
So, you would place one chip on the number 2, one on the number 3, one on the number 11, and one on the number 12.
Betting the Horn High
When you make a horn bet, you can also choose to bet the Horn high or the horn low.
Betting the Horn high means that you are betting on the numbers 11 and 12 while betting the Horn low means that you are betting on the numbers 2 and 3.
To bet the Horn high, you would place your chips in the Horn area of the craps table and then make a separate bet for each of the numbers 11 and 12.
For example, you would place one chip on the number 11 and one on the number 12.
Horn Bet Odds, House Edge, and Probability
If you love to experiment with horn bets in craps, you may be interested in knowing more about this bet’s odds, probability, and house edge.
Keep in Mind
The Horn bet is generally considered one of the worst you can make in craps, despite the excitement it brings to the game.
Only two combinations result in a roll of the craps numbers 2 (1-1) and 12 (6-6), so the probability of either occurring is 2/36 = 5.5%.
The numbers 3 and 11 have 4 possible combinations each (2-1 and 1-2, respectively 6-5 and 5-6), corresponding to a probability of 4/36 = 11.11%.
Therefore, you have 6 possible winning combinations out of 36, and the probability of your Horn bet winning is 16.66%.
So why would anyone make a Horn bet if the chances of winning are so low?
The main reason is that Horn bets bring a lot of excitement to the game.
Additionally, they offer significant returns if one of the four winning numbers is rolled, especially if it’s the 2 or the 12, where the casino offers a payout of 30 to 1 (or 27 to 4 in some casinos).
Rolling a 3 or an 11 on the next throw results in a payout of 15 to 1 (or 3 to 1 in some casinos).
Please note: The amounts the house pays you do not reflect the true odds of winning.
The combined true odds for the Horn bet are 5 to 1, while the true odds of rolling 2 or 12 separately are 35 to 1 (since there are 35 losing combinations and only one winning combination for each of these values).
The true odds of winning with 3 or 11 individually are 17 to 1.
Despite the differences in the payouts, horn bettors are facing a steep house edge.
You can calculate your expected return for the horn bet as long as you know the probabilities of winning and losing and the profits you can generate from a winning bet.
However, you should keep in mind that you are making four independent bets, so you will lose three units even if you win.
If the roll results in numbers other than 2, 3, 12, or 11, you will be down four units.
For example, let’s say you make a $4 horn bet. The calculations for your expected return would be: ((2/36) x 27 + (4/36) x 12 + (30/36) x (-4) / 4 = (-0.125) x 100 = -12.5%.
This means you will be $12.50 down for every $100 you wager on horn bets in the long run. In other words, you are battling an outrageous house edge of 12.50% when betting “around the horn.”
Is the Horn Bet Worth It?
Given the high house edge and relatively low probability of winning, the horn bet is generally not considered a good bet for players.
While it can be tempting to try and win big with a horn bet, the chances of actually winning are relatively low.
If you’re still learning the game of craps, it’s generally a good idea to stick with more straightforward bets with a lower house edge, such as the pass line or don’t pass line bets.
This will give you a better chance of winning and help you learn the game more effectively.
Craps Horn Bet Strategies
There are several strategies that players can use when making horn bets in craps. Here are three of the most famous horn bet strategies:
Martingale and Levels Progression
The Martingale strategy involves doubling your bet in increments of four every time you lose.
For example, if you start with an $8 horn bet and lose, you would double your bet to $16 on the next roll. Some players will start back at $8 with every win.
The levels progression strategy involves betting a set amount (unit) based on your total balance, regardless of wins or losses.
The Whirl Bet and Hedging
The whirl bet is very similar to the horn bet, with the main difference being that it also covers the number 7.
In other words, you make five independent bets on the numbers 2, 3, 11, 12, and 7.
To make a whirl bet, you need five units, with four being wagered on the horn numbers and the fifth being wagered on the 7.
If you are interested in trying out a whirl bet, it’s recommended to wager amounts that are multiples of five, as this helps keep things simple.
The payouts on whirl bets when 2, 3, 12, or 11 are rolled are the same as those for the regular horn bet.
If the shooter rolls a 7 on the next throw, your bet results in a push. That’s because the 7 pays at odds of 4 to 1.
Like the horn bet, the whirl bet does not offer favorable odds for the player.
Despite the potential for large payouts, both of these bets have a high house edge and are not recommended for players looking to maximize their chances of winning.
A whirl bet is a horn bet that includes a single prop bet on the number seven. Some players like to make a whirl bet to hedge their losses on a horn bet, but the odds are not generally in favor of this strategy.
A better option might be to hedge with a pass line or come bet.
This basic horn bet strategy involves placing a $4 bet, with $1 on each of the four horn numbers. You will receive either $15 or $30 on this bet if you win.
The horn bet is a high-risk, high-reward bet with a high house edge, so choosing a betting strategy you consider worthwhile is essential.
The Bottom Line
There you have it – the complete guide to the Horn bet in craps.
While it can be a fun and exciting bet that will add some variety to your strategy, you should be aware of the high house edge and low probability of winning the Horn bet.
If you’re still learning the game of craps, it’s generally a good idea to stick with simpler bets with a lower house edge until you become more comfortable with the game.