What’s a Horn Bet in Craps and What Does It Pay?

Craps Horn Bet Dice

Craps has no shortage of bets to choose from, but the craps horn bet is a misunderstood series of bets with very high payouts. Let’s look at some craps horn bet strategies and how you can integrate them into your craps game plan. 

What is a Horn Bet In Craps?

Horn bets are one roll bets on specific numbers. This means that you’re betting only on the next number to come up. If you’re betting a horn bet, your wager counts for only one roll. You’ll either be getting a winnings, placed on the table where you put the horn bet, or you’ll lose the money. 

Craps Horn Bet Numbers

Horn bets are placed on two of four numbers: 2, 3, 11, and 12. Your horn bet will be split evenly among each bet. So if you place a $100 horn bet, you’re looking at placing $50 on four numbers; 2, 3, 11, and 12. These are commonly known as the horn numbers. 

Types of Horn Bets

You can bet on any set of two horn numbers. The lower the probability of that number occurring, the higher the payou. You can also place a craps horn bet that covers all four horn numbers, 2, 3, 11 and 12. 
At some tables, horn bets on two numbers are referred to as prop number bets, and a horn bet is always a bet split four ways covering all four numbers. 

Betting Horn Bets by Factors of Four

This is part of your basic  craps horn bet strategy. Always place a horn bet divisible by four. The house will always round down to the nearest whole number if your win isn’t divisible by four. If you place $25 on a horn bet overing all four numbers. $25 divided by four is $6.25. Let’s say you win on a 2, and receive 30:1 winnings. Your winnings would be $187.5, and you’d lose that $0.50 as it’s rounded down. This is a marginal loss, but it counts. 

Can I Place Horn Bets on Individual Numbers?

Yes but it’s no longer called horn bet. The horn bet in craps is made up of four individual prop bets on the rarest numbers. These are high risk, high reward bets, but the horn bet in craps has a better chance of paying out on a single roll than the four prop bets individually. 

Horn Bet House Edge

The horn bet has nearly the worst house edge in all of craps, approximately 11.1% on the 11 or 3 horn bet, and a 13.9% house edge on the 2 or 12 horn bet. Despite their payout, these are referred to as sucker bets, because of the strong house edge. Be aware that it’s rare to win, and that a consistent horn betting strategy is tough to pull off. 

What Does A Horn Bet Pay In Craps?

Let’s look closely at a table of the proposition bets that make up a horn bet, including their payout and probability per roll. The first four numbers show the stats as if they were part of a four number horn bet. 

Horn Number  Probability  Payout   Payout on $100 Horn Bet 
Proposition 2  2.78% 30:1 $750
Proposition on 3 5.56% 15:1 $375
Proposition on 11  5.56% 15:1 $375
Proposition on 12 2.78% 30: 1 $750
Horn Bet WIn (all four)  16.66% 30:1 or 15:1  $750 or $375
2 or 12 Horn  5.56% 30:1  $1500
3 or 11 Horn  11.12% 15:1 $750

Horn bets have some of the largest payouts in craps. 
A horn bet on all four prop numbers offers the same odds as rolling a seven on a single roll, 16.67%

Craps Horn Bet Strategy

Many of these strategies are designed for in person casinos as much as they are craps sites. Many strategies are applicable to other types of bets, and the horn bet is simply one of many high risk craps betting options. 

Horn Bet Strategy #1: Martingale and Levels Progression Horn Bets 

Martingale betting means that you’ll be doubling your bet in factors of four each and every bet. Starting at $8, you’ll place a horn bet (all four prop numbers) and win or lose, you’ll double your next Horn bet to $16, $32 and so on. Each time you double the bet until you win.
Some Martingale strategists will start back at $8 with every win. 

Levels betting Strategy

Similar to Martingale betting, levels betting is looking at your total wallet and deciding how to divy your betting each round. Let’s do an example table, assuming you have $40 to spend. 

Levels Betting Table

In levels betting, regardless of wins or losses, you just continue up the chain. You keep your winnings and have the self control not to reinvest them. At a live table this would be an annoying strategy, but for online craps it’s easy to split your horn bet into specific amounts, with $2 on two numbers and $1 on two others. 

Betting Level  3 11 12 Wallet Invested
1 1 1 1 1 $4
2 1 2 2 1 $10
3 2 2 2 2 $18
4 2 3 3 2 $28
5 3 3 3 3 $40

Horn Bet Strategy #2: Whirl Betting and Hedging 

A whirl bet is just a horn bet including a single prop bet on the number seven. Because of its 4:1 payout, a seven prop bet has the worst house edge in the game at 13%. Some players like to whirl bet, because the 4:1 winnings cover your losses on a horn bet. This Horn bet strategy is all about using the most common numbers to hedge the rarest and highest paying ones, but for the most part the odds aren’t in favor of the strategy. You’d be better off hedging with a pass line or come bet. 

Horn Bet Strategy #3: $4 Betting

This is one of the more common bets you’ll actually see on the table. When a player is feeling lucky, or simply deep into an odds bet, they’ll place a $4 horn bet, one dollar on each number. If it wins, they’ll take either $15 or $30 on this bet. 

Some players will horn bet like this every round.

Given the 16.66% odds on the horn bet, you should see one roll every seven payout, effectively seeing half or all of your invested money back every seven rolls. This doesn’t always happen, and the high risk nature of the horn bet means you could double your bankroll quickly. 

Horn Bet Strategy for Beginners

Mostly, the horn bet is a bet for players with deep pockets looking for big wins, or players simply looking to have fun with the game and make an occasional high stakes roll. Don’t treat the horn bet as the basis for your craps strategy, but think of it as something to experiment with as part of enjoying this casino game of chance. 

Horn Bets and Other Beginner Craps Tips 

Looking for more beginner craps strategies to couple with your horn bet? We’ve developed a beginners guide to terms in craps if this article was too advanced, and a field bet strategy guide if you’re ready for more. If you’re looking for a video, start with our friends at Bovada.


Jacob Clark / Author

Jacob Clark had a 15 year career as a professional MMA fighter, coach, and Greg Jackson’s alum. Now, TikTok’s 12th most important BJJ influencer is bringing his sports and betting knowledge to you here at TheSportsGeek. He spends his time cooking vietnamese food and playing D&D with his family. You can meet him at jiu-jitsu open mats all over Indiana.

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