Craps Horn Bet: Understanding the Rules and Odds

The horn bet is a single-roll bet in craps that can be placed at any time. A craps horn bet consists of equal amounts bet on the 2, 3, 11, and 12.

In this article, we’ll cover how the horn bet works, whether you should make a bet on it, and explain the odds and house edge.

Craps is a fast-paced dice game that is played in casinos around the world. The game is played with two dice, and players place bets on the outcome of each roll. There are numerous betting options in craps, and the horn bet is a popular choice for players looking for a big payout.

Craps table layout with horn bet highlighted

12.5%

House
Advantage

Good Bet?

How the Craps Horn Bet Works

To make a horn bet, you’ll need a minimum of $4 or any amount greater and divisible by four since you are playing a combination bet consisting of 4 different bets.

Horn bets are managed by the stickman. To place a horn bet, you can toss your chips to them and call out your bet. The horn bet is a one roll bet, meaning that it is resolved on the next roll of the dice.

There are a few possible outcomes for horn bets and their payouts.

  • If the next roll is a 2 or 12, the horn bet wins and the player is paid 30-to-1

  • If the next roll is a 3 or 11, the horn bet wins and the player is paid 15-to-1

  • If the next roll is any other number, the horn bet loses.

It is important to note, the 30-to-1 payout may vary from one casino to another. They will, however, have the payout clearly marked on the layout.

Important to Understand – When you win a horn bet, the dealers may either assume you want to come back up on the bet, or they may ask. If you do go back up, they will often times take the $3 you owe for that next bet out of your payout. Wait, $3 I owe, what does that mean? One roll bets that do not hit are removed. So if you hit the 12, the money from 2, 3, and 11 was lost. Coming back up means you need to replace those numbers.

High Horn Bet Callouts

You may hear a player call “horn high yo“. This means the player is tossing the dealer an amount that is greater than 4, and they want the “extra” to go on the yo (11). For example, if a player tosses in $5 and calls horn high yo, their bet will be $1 each on the 2, 3, and 12, the extra dollar ($2 total) will go toward the 11.

Horn high ace deuce” is another that you may hear – it simply means the extra unit will go on the 3.

You can request the “high” portion to go onto any of the 4 numbers. Horn high yo is probably the most common craps horn bet variation you’ll hear. But it’s your money, bet it where you like.

Should You Bet on the Horn in Craps?

Horn bets are proposition bets, meaning they are high risk high reward bets. The horn bet is considered a “noisy” bet, as it is often placed by players who are more interested in having a good time at the table than in making a smart betting decision.

You’ll hear the term “sucker bets” usually referring to bets with high payouts and low odds of winning, the horn bet falls into this category. Pretty much any prop bet does.

If you’re at the table just to have a good time and want the thrill of getting a big payout every once in a while, horn bets are a good way to do that.

Otherwise, consider a more advanced betting strategy that minimizes the house edge and improves your chances of winning money in the long run.

Odds of Winning a Craps Horn Bet

Overall, the odds of winning a horn bet in craps are approximately 37.5%. There are 30 ways to lose and only 6 ways to win.

There are 36 possible dice combinations of two, six-sided dice. The possible ways to make each total outcome are as follows:

  • Total of 2: (1,1)
  • Total of 3: (1,2), (2,1)
  • Total of 4: (1,3), (2,2), (3,1)
  • Total of 5: (1,4), (2,3), (3,2), (4,1)
  • Total of 6: (1,5), (2,4), (3,3), (4,2), (5,1)
  • Total of 7: (1,6), (2,5), (3,4), (4,3), (5,2), (6,1)
  • Total of 8: (2,6), (3,5), (4,4), (5,3), (6,2)
  • Total of 9: (3,6), (4,5), (5,4), (6,3)
  • Total of 10: (4,6), (5,5), (6,4)
  • Total of 11: (5,6), (6,5)
  • Total of 12: (6,6)
Graph showing the number of ways to win and lose Horn Bets

Despite the overwhelmingly unfavorable odds, many players enjoy making horn bets due to the rush of getting a “big payout”.

House Edge on Horn Bets

If you’re considering making a horn bet, it’s important to understand the house edge and how it affects your chances of winning. The house edge is the percentage of each bet that the casino expects to win over time.

For example, if the house edge was 5.5% you can expect to lose around $5.50 for every $100 you bet in an hour.

For horn bets, the house edge is 12.5%. This can vary slightly if a casino offers higher or lower payouts.

To put that into perspective, house edge on the craps table ranges from 1.4% to 16.67% depending on what bets you’re playing.

The bets with the lowest house edge are the pass line, don’t pass, come, and don’t come. These bets have a 1.4% house advantage.

Any Seven gets the reward for worst bet on the table with a 16.67% house advantage. You’ll hear whirl bet, or world bet (same thing), that is another combination bet and is essentially a horn bet with the “any seven” added onto it.

Here is a more comprehensive list on craps terminology.

Horn Bets FAQs

Bet Responsibly & Watch Your Money

To minimize risk and manage your bankroll effectively, you may want to consider setting limits on the amount you bet on horn bets, or as you play craps in general. It’s also a good idea to have a basic craps strategy in place and to be familiar with the other betting options available at the table.

You should also be mindful of the situation on the table. Dealers do such an amazing job paying out bets and placing new bets on nearly every single roll. But they are human and sometimes miss things.

Know where you’re betting and what is rolled. Patiently wait for the dealer to get through their payouts, and if you were not paid kindly point out the bet. They’ll fix it right away. But if they miss it, and you’re not paying attention, you’ll be missing out.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the horn bet in craps is a popular betting option that offers players the chance to win a quick payout based on the outcome of a single roll of the dice.

While horn bets may be appealing because of their high payouts, the odds of winning a horn bet are significantly in favor of the house and the house edge is typically around 12.5%.

Craps Players should consider their personal betting preferences and goals when deciding whether to make horn bets, as well as the odds and house edge of different betting options.

With its high payouts, the horn bet may seem like a good option, but in general, it is not a good bet to make.

Nothing beats a good craps game in the casino, at least not in my opinion. It is such a fun and fast paced game with tons of excitement. Plenty of lows too!

Good luck with your craps game!

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