What is ‘Hi-lo’?
Hi-lo refers to a type of craps bet a player can make. By placing a Hi-lo bet, a player is betting on the craps shooter rolling either a 12 or a 2. Since craps is played with two dice, 12 is the highest combination the shooter can roll and 2 is the lowest, hence the name ‘Hi-lo’. The odds of winning on a Hi-lo bet stand at 17/1.
If either the 2 or the 12 is rolled, then the player wins the Hi-lo bet – if any other combination shows up, they lose. The bet is quite a popular one in craps which has resulted in some casinos featuring the Hi-lo bet on the table. At these tables, the player simply has to tell the dealer they want ‘Hi-lo’ and they will place the player’s chips in the Hi-lo section. For tables which don’t have a dedicated Hi-lo section, the dealer will place the chips at the intersection situated between the 2 and the 12.
The odds of the shooter rolling a 2 are 1 in 36 and the same applies for rolling a 12. Since the player has bet on either a 2 or a 12 coming up, it gives them a 2 in 36 chance of winning, which works out at odds of 17/1. Craps is well known for giving the casino an advantage due to the large ‘house edge’ the game has. The casino gains its house edge simply by paying out less than the actual odds. So despite Hi-lo having actual odds of 17/1, the payout is 15/1. That gives the casino a pretty big house edge of 11.11%, meaning players stand more chance of losing money quickly with Hi-lo than they do of winning big.
A similar bet is the ‘Ace Deuce’ bet which relies on the shooter throwing three. ‘Ace’ is one and ‘Deuce’ is two which adds to a total of three. Although the odds of throwing a three are actually 2 in 36 or 17/1, the casino only pays out at 15/1, meaning that once again the casino gives itself a house edge of 11.11%