This Craps Stratgey
is brought to you courtesy of Winneronline
and is written by the world reknowned gambling expert, Max Drayman.
Rules contains a full rules breakdown for this great casino
game. We also bring you a full Craps Terminology
beneath the stratgey, so if you have always wanted to know what
"Little Joe from Kokomo" means, now you can find out,
Craps has the best gambling terminology of any modern game!
Trying to give a brief
strategy guide to Craps is like trying to teach calculus quickly:
99% of the time it ain't gonna happen. Tough! Let's give it a
Let me give you my strategy for just about everything: take the
best odds you can get, nudge them in your favor as much as you
possibly can and play smart. In Craps the best odds on the table
are Pass, Don't Pass, Come, and Don't Come because they give the
house the smallest edge. Everything else is for the impatient,
the imprudent or the "gifted" -- rubes one and all if
you ask me.
The Best Bets
The numbers people say that a Pass bet gives the house a 1.41%
edge. And a Don't Pass yields slightly less than 1.40% to the
house. These are the Line Bets and they're the heart of a winner's
strategy because everything else gives too much away. For example:
· The Field gives away 5.6%.
· Big 6/Big 8 gives 9.1%.
· Horn: 12.5%.
· Craps 2/Craps 12: 13.9%
· Any 7: 16.7%.
See what I mean? Craps is about dice and dice are about percentages.
The smart money gives as little away as possible and that means
Pass/Don't Pass at around 1.4%. Those bets and how to improve
them is what this article is about.
While we're at it, it's worth keeping in mind that Come/Don't
Come bets follow the same odds and logic. The only thing different
about them is the timing as to when they're placed.
Improve Your Bets
Okay, so the smart bets are Pass/Don't Pass (and Come/Don't Come).
Now how can we improve the best bets in Craps? The Odds, that's
how -- either by Buying Odds when you play "right" (Pass)
or Laying Odds when you play "wrong" (Don't Pass).
These are placed in
addition to your initial bet after the Come Out roll and the reason
they improve your initial bet is that the house takes no edge
on Odds. That's right, zero house. All you're betting against
is the straight dice. But you could spend a long time looking
at the felt trying to find where the Odds bets are supposed to
go. The truth is they're not marked. It's a "hidden"
bet, so to speak.
The word is that in Vegas the big houses simply take the position
that it's not their responsibility to inform the players of all
their betting options, so the Odds stay unmarked. Needless to
say, our online friends are not in the business of correcting
Vegas so they take the same approach: no Odds to be seen. No biggie,
it's an easy bet to make and it will improve your original Line
bet by almost halving the house edge or better, if the house let's
you do it.
Placing an Odds Bet
An Odds bet is made by supplementing your original Pass/Don't
Pass bet by an additional amount after you've made it past the
Come Out roll. The bets are placed right beside your initial bet
on the Pass/Don't Pass line. In Vegas it's typical for the house
to restrict these bets to Single Odds, meaning you can match your
Come Out bet with an equal amount. And as I said, that'll about
half the house edge on your initial bet.
The good news is that the online casinos I've sampled let you
bet double your initial Line bet. This is called Double Odds and
it cuts their edge even further, to a little more than 40% of
their initial edge. So that 1.4% they originally had is now down
to about 0.6%. It's a smart play. Generally speaking, and assuming
you can handle the gaff, buy the biggest Odds you can find because
the larger the Odds bet, the more you shave off the house edge
on your initial bet.
When you play "right" and Buy Odds, you're supplementing
a Pass bet and if you win you'll get your winnings based on the
Point. So assuming a Pass Bet of $5:
I'm just showing your Odds win here, not the total. In other words,
on a right bet of $5, where the Come Out roll sets a Point of
10, your total take on the win will be $40: your original $5 bet
back plus a winning on that of $5, plus your Odds bet back ($10)
and the winnings from that ($20).
Conversely, when you Lay Odds you're supplementing a Don't Pass
Bet and win as follows (assume an initial $5 Don't Pass bet):
So to follow the Buy example above, an initial wrong bet of $5
on a Come Out roll of 10 will yield a total win of $25: your initial
$5 back plus its win of $5, your $10 Odds bet back plus its win
Now here's another little trick. Most casinos only pay in denominations
as small as $1. In other words, you lose any fraction of a dollar
that you would otherwise have coming.
of the Odds your Laying, 3-2 and 6-5 in particular, you're losing
fractions if you bet as given above because most multiples of
10 are not wholly divisible by 3 or 6. On the 5/9 Point you lose
$0.67, and on the 6/8 Point you lose $0.33. Nothing much, you
say? But we're talking about not giving the house anything more
than they already have, right? So let's look at another scenario.
Now let's say you place a wrong bet of $6 instead of $5. In that
case your Double Odds bet can be $12. And as you'll see from the
following table, you lose no fractions on this bet. You keep all
the win you have coming because all multiples of 12 are wholly
divisible by 3 (as in the 3-2 odds) and by 6 (as in the 6-5 Odds).
So basically what I'm saying is if you're going to Lay Odds, make
your initial Don't Pass bet a multiple of $6, and bet full on
your Double Odds for a multiple of $12.
The same logic applies, by the way, with Buying Odds. Make your
Pass bet a multiple of $5 so your Double Odds will be in multiples
of $10. This is optimal because your divisions are going to be
by 1, 2, and 5.
Testing the Strategy
Most players are going to prefer playing right and Buy the Odds
because the payouts look larger, but then you're playing against
slightly higher odds. If you're hardcore about playing to win
you'd be well advised to look seriously at playing wrong, taking
the smaller house edge, and grinding it out. The gurus sum it
up by saying that playing right and Buying Odds is the more popular
and a bit riskier. Playing wrong and Laying Odds is considerably
less popular with the Craps crowds, shaves the house edge to a
minimum and is for players with a large roll and the patience
to grind out the winnings over extended play.
So I tested the strategy on a number of online casinos. What I
found was the playing wrong and Laying Odds was definitely to
my tastes, which is no surprise because I have always preferred
the Don't Pass bets. Now when it comes to kicking out for the
Double Odds I have to say that I found it better for my peace
of mind, if not strictly for the best edge, to not Lay Double
on every round.
If you look at the Point frequencies you'll see that there are
three ways to roll a 4 or 10, four ways to roll a 5 or 9, and
five ways to roll a 6 or 8 and, finally, six ways to roll an Out
7. In other words, when betting wrong and always placing Double
Odds, those 6's and 8's are gonna turn up fairly frequently and
you're going to lose your bets. In short, it's a game of nerves
to play that way and, speaking for myself, I don't like it. So
what I've done is Double Odds on the 4 and 10 and let the rest
ride. What I'm doing, of course, is betting exceptionally conservatively
since the 4/10 Points are the least likely to show and are therefore
the safest wrong bets to Double up on. It makes for a slow game
but I was almost always able to better my holdings if I stuck
with it. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I like it
when the chips pile up and I don't like it when they drain away.
It's basically a style of play that suits my temperament.
So there it is: Pass/Don't Pass (or Come/Don't Come) only, while
playing the highest Odds you can get will help you shave the house
edge to a minimum. Modify to suit your tastes, as I did in standing
on every wrong bet save the 4/10 Points. And finally, don't give
the house your fractions. Shooters up!
We recommend either Littlewoods
as the 'best casinos' for playing craps.
"Craps," "two aces," "rats eyes,"
"snake eyes," "push the don't," "eleven
in a shoe store," "twice in the rice," "two
craps two, two bad boys from Illinois."
"Craps," "ace-deuce," "ace caught a deuce,"
"winner on the dark side," "three craps three,
the indicator," "small ace deuce, can't produce,"
"the other side of eleven's tummy."
"Little Joe," "little Joe from Kokomo," "hit
us in the tu tu," "ace trey, the country way."
"After five, the field's alive," "thirty-two juice
roll" (OJ's jersey number), "little Phoebe," "fiver,
fiver, racetrack driver," "we got the fever."
"Big Red, catch'em in the corner," "like a blue
chip stock," "pair-o-treys, waiter's roll," "the
national average," "sixie from Dixie."
"Seven out, line away," "grab the money,"
"five two, you're all through," "six ace, end of
the race," "front line winner, back line skinner,"
"six one, you're all done," "seven's a bruiser,
the front line's a loser," "up pops the devil,"
"Benny Blue, you're all through."
"A square pair, like mom and dad," "Ozzie
and Harriet," "the windows," "eighter from
"Center field," "center of the garden," "ocean
liner niner," "Nina from Pasadena," "What
shot Jesse James? A forty-five."
"Puppy paws," "pair-a-roses," "pair of
sunflowers," "the big one on the end."
"Yo leven," "yo levine the dancing queen,"
"six five, no jive."
"Craps," "boxcars," "atomic craps,"
"all the spots we got," "outstanding in your field,"
"triple dipple, in the lucky ducky," "double saw