3-4-5x Odds in Craps Explained

The Free Odds bet has some weird payouts. You get paid 2:1on a point of 4 or 10, 3:2 on a point of 5 or 9, and 6:5 on a point of 6 or 8.

To make the payouts simpler, some casinos are now offering 3-4-5x Odds, in whichthe payout is always seven times the amount of the Pass or Come wager, assumingthe player takes the maximum odds. But in order to simply the payout they had tomake the wagering more complicated. The maximum for your Free Odds bet depends onthe point: 3x on the 4 or 10, 4x on the 5 or 9, and 5x on the 6 or 8. Are 3-4-5Odds good or bad? It depends on how you play:

  • If you don’t take the maximum odds when you play then you’re throwing yourmoney away anyway and it doesn’t matter what table odds the casino offers.
  • If you take full odds and normally play at a table with single, double, or 3xodds, then 3-4-5x odds will give you a lower house edge.
  • If you take full odds and normally play at a 5x table, then 3-4-5x givesyou pretty much the same game. The 3-4-5x odds are just a tiny amount worse than5x odds (0.374%, compared to 0.326% for a 5x table), but your expected hourly lossis identical. (You have the same 1.41% edge on the $5 Pass Line bet either way,and there’s no edge on the Free Odds bet.)
  • If you take full odds and normally play at a 10x or better table, then playingat a 3-4-5X table will give you a worse game.

See our artice on the Free Odds bet to find out the houseedge for various levels of table odds.

Origins of 3-4-5X Odds

Reliable sources (a boxman and floorman at Bally’s) tell us that 3-4-5X odds wasthe idea of a high-rolling player named Stanley L., sometime around the early 90’s.(We believe we know his last name but decline to reveal it for the sake of privacy.)Because he was a high roller, one side of a table that was reserved solely for hisplay. As Stanley was strictly a Pass Line and Come player, he convinced the crapspit at Bally’s to allow him to use the 3-4-5X odds as it was easier for him to understandthe pay offs on wins, since every win meant the same payout — seven times the flatbet on wins where full free odds were taken. What we don’t know is what the originaltable odds were. That is, did the casino raise the odds from 2X upward orreduce from 5X downward?

What ever happened to Stanley L.? It was stated that he ran up over a million dollarsin markers and was never seen again.