What is the Don’t Pass Line?
In craps, the ‘don’t pass line’ is a bet made against the shooter which wins only when a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled. Some casinos only pay on the 2 and the 3: a 12 roll results in a returned stake. The shooter must make a pass/don’t pass bet during their turn, while this is optional for the other players. The don’t pass line bet also includes the optional free odds bet, which can reduce the house edge to almost zero.
Don’t Pass Line Explained
In craps, one player acts as the shooter and takes part in two rounds holding the dice. Each round may contain multiple turns. In the first round, the player aims to hit a point number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) while also aiming to get over the pass line (rolling a 7 or 11). If the dice total 2, 3 or 12, pass line bets lose and don’t pass bets win.
Once a point number is rolled, the second round begins. The shooter throws with the aim of making their point number again, and the pass line is reactivated (now known as the ‘come/don’t come’ line). In this stage of the game, this pass line is a bet that the point will be established before a seven is rolled. Any seven combination rolled before the point signifies a win for the don’t pass bet.
Pass/don’t pass bets are working bets, which means they are active throughout each stage of the game and can be amended or taken down. However, there are some circumstances where a pass/don’t pass bet is mandatory – including when a player acts as the shooter. Essentially, don’t pass line bets are a bet against the shooter, although in reality the players and shooter can opt to bet for or against the dice.
The don’t pass line bet is unusual because it opens up an additional side bet – the free odds bet. Players can add this bet to their pass/don’t pass and come/don’t come bets after the come-out roll, and the two bets in combination reduce the house edge to almost zero. This makes it the most profitable casino bet available – though it is also a risky bet.
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