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Many people have a basic familiarity with casino craps and know how to play the pass line or don’t pass, but very few people are aware of the great variety of betting options available on the game. Any roll of the dice, in any combination, can be bet as a proposition. A proposition bet is made at the center of the table in the proposition box where the hardway bets are located.
Another word for these obscure proposition bets are hop bets that are also referred to as hopping or on the hop. A hop bet is always a one-roll bet that will either win or lose on the very next roll of the dice. For example, a person could make a bet on six-two hopping, which means that the person is betting that the very next roll will be an eight that came as a six and a two (not as four-four or five-three).
Some one-roll bets are very common and have designated spots on the game layout. A bet on eleven or twelve or even the whole horn is also technically a hop bet, but usually the term hop is reserved for the obscure bets that are not placed very often. When a player makes a hop bet on six-two or on four-one, the bet is simply set up near the proposition box with a little button labeled hop. The dealers on the game will keep track of to whom the bet belongs.
The hop bets made on non-craps or eleven rolls are rather rare. Mostly because people are generally unaware that such bets can even be made, but also because there is not a good chance of actually winning such bets. The probability is low for winning hop bets, but the payoff is high. Hop bets that are for non-pairs such as three-two or five-four pay 15 for 1 or 16 for 1, depending on the casino. A hop bet on a paired roll such as four-four or two-two pays 30 for 1 or 31 for 1, depending on the casino. A hop bet on a paired roll is also known as a hopping hardway.
People place hop bets for fun, motivated by their whims. Hop bets are not part of any kind of viable craps betting strategy. A typical situation in which a player makes a hop bet is when a shooter has been rolling for a while and the point number has not been made yet. Then someone might bet the point number on the hop. For example, if the point is nine, the player might decide to bet five-four and six-three hopping. This is done in the exciting heat of the game as a way to root for the point number. If the hop bet actually wins then it is extremely cool and provides an extra payoff for the player.
Occasionally a player can become too enamored of proposition bets and fritter away his or her money that would have been better spent on the pass line or don’t pass. Players who repeatedly make bets such as all the hardways hopping or all the sixes and eights hopping will quickly deplete their bankrolls.
As with any proposition bets, obscure hop bets should only be played rarely or not at all. The odds are against their winning and they are real money wasting bets. However, their entertainment value is high, and shouting out that you want to hop the point number will sound very impressive to the other players and your friends. And it just might hit and you will feel extremely clever for a feverish moment.
|Tracy Falbe is the author of Get Dicey: Play Craps and Have Fun published in 2005 under the pen name Tracy Michigan. Falbe worked as a craps dealer in Las Vegas in the mid 1990s and based her how to play craps book on thousands of hours of live game experience. Get Dicey is available from Falbe Publishing and other booksellers. An excerpt from Get Dicey can also be read online.