Craps : Strategy : Dice

So you wanna beat craps eh? Good call. Unlike other games in the casino, craps offers bets that reduce the house advantage to nearly nothing... now if only the dice would fall the way we want them to.

Best Bets

One of the best bets in the casino is taking odds on Pass Line bets. This is one of the few places (much like a double down in BlackJack) where the player has the opportunity to maximize their bet based on play that has already occured. First of all lets talk about dice combinations to get an idea of general probablilities or Ways.

The column on the left is the possible roll, the row accross the top is the number of ways that roll can be made using standard six-sided dice (none of that Dungeons and Dragons stuff here...). Here's a breakdown:

There is one way to make aces and twelve.
There are two ways to make the three and eleven.
There are three ways to make the four and ten.
There are four ways to make the five and nine.
There are five ways to make the six and eight.
There are six ways to make the seven.

As you can see there is more ways to make a seven than any other number, therefore statistically, the seven will come out more than any other number. This works in the players favor on the Come Out roll if they have a Pass Line bet and if they are betting a Come bet after the point has already been made.

Possible Betting Strategies

There are infinite ways to play craps and every player develops systems or ideas which they think will be the key to winning at craps. No real betting system has been proven, since luck plays such a huge role (roll?) in the game. We offer these possible betting strategies to get you thinking about the game in ways that maybe you haven't, not as a cure for bad luck or a sure fire way to get rich.

Strategy #1 - Pass Line with Max Odds

One of the most used betting strategies is to bet the Pass Line and take advantage of Maximum odds after the point has been established (depending on the number rolled). Pass Line bets have virtually no house advantage. If the point is a 6 or 8 the odds pay 6-5, if the point is 5 or 9 the odds pay 3-2, and if the point is a 4 or 10 the odds pay 2-1. This is one of the best bets in the house.

Strategy #2 - Pass Line with Place Bets

Some players like to play Pass Line bets (with odds) reinforced by Place Bets on 6 and/or 8 (if the point is 6 or 8, move one of the Place Bets to a 5 or 9). This covers the three most probable rolls other than a Seven.

Strategy #3 - Pass Line with Odds + Come Bets with Odds

We've coined a term for this type of bet: Comesurance. Let's say that the Come Out roll establishes a point of 6. The player throws a bet to the Come bar and on the shooters next roll they Seven out (how many times have you seen that happen?). Here the player loses their original Pass Line bet, but wins on the Come's come out roll. You still lose your odds and whatever else is out there, but its a little insurance policy. If the player rolls a 9 on the second roll instead of the 7, the Come bet moves to the 9 and the player is offered the opportunity to place odds on the Come bet as well... also with almost no house advantage. The player can continue to throw Come bets and odds out, covering all the numbers with Odds (or not) and recouping their Pass Line bet if the shooter rolls 7. Of course, if the shooter throws Craps on the Come, come out roll the player loses. Its a bit more complex, but we've seen some pretty large winnings using this strategy.

Possible Strategy #4 - Limited Positive Progression Hardways

Throw down $4 for 4,6,8 and 10 hardways. Hit once, press it. Hit again take it. Its a long shot absolutely, but we've seen it work on occasion. You can vary this to a press/press/take scenario, but you'll really be pressing your luck.

The Best Strategy

Truly the best strategy any player can make is to learn from a master either by joining them the next time they play or absorbing the knowledge in the VegasTripping Craps Players Library. The VT Library contains handpicked books for all craps skill levels - beginner, advanced and expert craps players.

A $10 investment will yield a lifetime of fun and knowledge at the tables. It may not show in your bankroll instantly, but you will recognize bad scenarios, bad bets, and enable you to play smarter for longer... enabling you to WORK THE TABLE when that 2 hour hot roll comes and everyone cashes in.