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Navigating The Horn

by Larry Edell

Roger and Gail, some friends of mine, met me one day in Las Vegas at the craps tables. Roger had played before but Gail hadn’t. She kept staring at the center spread prop bets, specifically the 12 and the 2.

“Look at that,” she said, “thirty to one! Does that mean if I bet $1 I win $30?”

“Pretty much,” I said, “In fact you can bet on all of the four bets at once. You can bet $1 on the 2, 12 11 and 3. The 2 and 12 pay 30 to one and the 3 and 11 pay 15 to 1. If you bet all four it’s called a horn bet. But, these are all one roll bets, so if the next roll is anything except a horn number, you lose all four bets.”

Just then, as if on cue, someone yelled out “Horn High!” and Gail’s Bette Davis eyes got even larger. “What’s that?” she exclaimed, “A Horn High?”

“Well, the highest number is a twelve. So, instead of betting $1 on each of the horn numbers, he bet $1 each on 2, 3 and 11, and $2 on the twelve.”

“Wow, can I do that?”

“Well, sure, but it’s not a particularly good bet. The payoff is high because the chances of hitting are low. Plus, when you win one bet, you lose the other three.”

Roger, Gail’s husband, already had a $5 bet on the pass line with double odds on the 5 point, and two come bets on the 8 and 9, both with double odds. He looked at us and snickered. “Horn bets. You should teach her something sensible, like pass and two come bets.”

I shrugged at Roger and turned to Gail. “Besides the Horn High, there are two other horn bets. The Horn High Yo, which is $2 on the 11 and $1 on the other numbers. You can also bet Horn Low, which is $2 on the 2 and $1 on the other three numbers. And of course you can also bet the horn, which is $1 on all four numbers. The Horn High Bet pays 30:1 so your $2 bet will win you $60, less the other $3. ”

“I want the horn bet,” Gail said, and that was that.

“Okay. Well, just give the dealer $5.”

“Horn High,” she said proudly, tossing the dealer a $5 bill.

Roger snickered again. “They should call it a Horn Ha bet! Ha Ha Ha!”

Gail just glared at him. The shooter, who was taking his time and setting the dice, finally tossed them. We all watched the slow arch, Gail closing her eyes and crossing her fingers. They settled on two sixes! Gail and the other horn better had each won $60 on one throw! Gail’s eyes got big again and she jumped up and down, screaming “I won I Won!”

The dealer interrupted her and asked if she wanted the bet left up and she said no, so she received a total of $57. The shooter sevened out right after Roger won one of his come bets. He lost two bets so he didn’t congratulate Gail at all on her horn high.He probably won’t tell any of her friends either.I guess she’ll just have to toot her own horn.

And, as always, good luck at the tables!

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Larry Edell is the Editor of The Crapshooter Newsletter and author of two craps books and numerous articles about the game of craps. I have been a subscriber to his newsletter since 1995. In 1996 I met Larry at a Gaming Convention and was impressed with his passion and knowledge of the game. Larry's monthly articles appear here as a regular feature. If you would like a free copy of The Crapshooter Newsletter send two first class stamps to The Crapshooter, Dept. , PO Box 421440, San Diego CA 92142. You’ll Also receive a FREE catalog and a special FREE offer!

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