Craps might be the most complicated looking game in the casino, but in reality, it’s pretty simply to play – especially if you want to stick to a good craps strategy that will give you a good chance to come out on top. Once you learn a little bit about craps, it becomes a great social game that’s a ton of fun to play, and has one of the best bets in the casino. In fact, in certain spots, you won’t even be at a disadvantage against the casino!
The key bet in the most common craps strategy is the pass line bet. When you make this bet, there are two ways to win. First, you can hope that the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11 on their come out roll. If that happens, you win immediately at even odds. If they roll a 2, 3 or 12, you lose your bet.
If the shooter rolls anything else to start, that number becomes the “point.” You’ll now win your pass line bet if the shooter can roll that point before rolling a seven, or lose if that seven comes first. This simple bet is actually one of the better ones in the whole casino, as it carries a house edge of just over 1.4%.
But the centerpiece of this craps strategy is a bet that has no house edge at all. If the shooter sets a point, you have the option of “taking the odds” behind the pass line. This allows you to bet additional money on the shooter making the point before they roll a seven. You’re allowed to bet some multiple of your original pass line bet; often this is 3x to 5x the amount of the original bet, but games exist that allow you to bet as much as 100x the pass line bet!
Taking the odds has no house edge, because the casino pays off better than even odds on this bet. If the point is a 6 or 8, the bet pays 6-5; if it’s a 5 or 9, the odds pay 3-2; and finally, a 4 or a 10 pays 2-1. These are exactly the odds against your point coming in before a seven, making this a perfectly fair bet between you and the casino. You can bet as much as you feel comfortable gambling on the point; in the long run, you have as good a chance of coming out ahead as the casino does!
Once you’ve mastered this basic craps strategy, you can look to make additional bets around the table. However, you shouldn’t be looking to make these bets to win in the long run; almost all of the bets on a craps table come with fairly high house edges, which mean that you’re giving the casino a big advantage. This is especially true for any side bets your casino offers at the craps table – like in most casino games, side bets tend to be sucker bets.
One exception to this is the “don’t pass” bet. On this bet, you win if the come out bet is a 2 or a 3, and lose on a 7 or 11 (a 12 is a push). If a point is rolled, you win if a 7 comes before the point. This bet has a slightly lower house edge than the pass line bet (about 1.36%), but carries a social disadvantage – you’ll usually be betting against the rest of the table! You can also play the odds behind the don’t pass bet, which once again carries no house edge; these odds pay the opposite of the odds behind a pass line bet for the same point, since you’re essentially taking the other side of that action.
No matter which bets you make, craps is one of the best casino games for a smart player. By sticking to a solid craps strategy, you’ll find yourself making big profits more often than you might expect!