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Craps Strategy & Tips – How to Win at Craps

Craps Strategy and Odds header

Introduction to Craps Strategy

Unlike many casino games, there is no Craps strategy that every player agrees on. If you read 3 or 4 different strategy guides, you are likely to get 3 or 4 different theories.

Start small until you learn the game as this is by far one of the more complicated games to learn and master due to the high number of bets available to you.

Best Craps Strategy & Bets

The following craps strategy will give you the best odds of winning. Craps has one of the lowest house edges against you of any casino game, but only if you make the right bets and play with the right craps strategy. In fact, with one type of bet (which you will soon learn), you play even with the house, meaning that the house has a zero edge. This is the only casino game where this is the case and our craps strategy will show you how.

However don’t get tempted by all those fancy bets in the middle of the table, they have high payoffs but they have one of the worst odds of all casino games. Stick with our craps strategy, play only the bets with good odds, avoid the sucker bets and you’ll have the best chance of winning.

The best craps strategy is to take the Odds Bet. Once the shooter establishes a point, if you have placed a Pass Line/Don’t Pass Line, you can plan an extra free odds bet. This is generally regarded as the best bet to make in Craps as there is no house edge. See image below on where this bet is placed.

laying the odds

Some Casinos actually allow you to place this bet up to twice as much as your original pass line bet, keep an eye out for these and place a higher bet if possible for the free odds bet or a lower pass line bet if you don’t want to bet more.

Pass Line

The Pass Line isn’t a great bet as it is an Even Money bet. In other words, whatever you bet, you’ll get in return. So, if you bet $2 on the Pass Line, you’ll only win $2. With the object of betting being to win more on your original bet, it is clear why some players aren’t too keen on it, but many others place a bet here as it allows them to place a Take the Odds bet which has a 0% House Edge.

A lot of players approach their strategy knowing which bets to avoid at all costs as opposed to those which give them the best odds. You will find that most experienced players will avoid nearly all bets except for the Come and Pass Line bets and also a few Place Bets, leaving the Proposition, Field, Big 6 & Big 8 bets alone.

Strategy Example

Here’s an example of the three types of outcomes that result when a new shooter plays and how you should bet.

Assume new shooter is getting ready to make the come out roll and you make a $10 bet (or whatever amount you want) on the pass line. The shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the come out. You win $10, the amount of your bet.

You bet $10 again on the pass line and the shooter makes a come out roll again. This time a 3 is rolled (the player “craps out”). You lose your $10 pass line bet.

You bet another $10 and the shooter makes his third come out roll (remember, each shooter continues to roll until he sevens out after making a point). This time a 4 is rolled – one of the place numbers or “points”. You now want to take an odds bet, so you place $10 directly behind your pass line bet to indicate you are taking the odds. The shooter continues to roll the dice until a 4 is rolled (the point is made), at which time you win $10 on your pass line bet, and $20 on your odds bet (remember, a 4 is paid at 2 to 1 odds), for a total win of $30. Take your chips off the table and get ready to bet again.

However, if a 7 is rolled before the point number (in this case, before the 4), you lose both your $10 pass line bet and your $10 odds bet.

And that’s all there is to it! You simply make you pass line bet, take odds if a point is rolled on the come out, and then wait for either the point or a 7 to be rolled. Ignore all the other confusion and sucker bets. You have the best bet in the casino and are playing wisely. You can combine these craps tips with a money management system such as the Small Wins System or the The Stan’s System.

Odds bets can be made any time after a come out point is rolled. You don’t have to make them right away. However, you’d be foolish not to make an odds bet as soon as possible considering it’s the best bet on the table. However, you are permitted to make, withdraw, or reinstate an odds bet anytime after the come out and before a 7 is rolled.

When you win an odds bet, be sure to take your chips off the table. Otherwise, they are considered to be automatically “off” on the next to come out and will not count as other odds bet unless you specifically tell the dealer that you want them to be “working”. But in a fast-moving and loud game, your request may not be heard, so it’s better to simply take your winnings off the table and bet again with the next comes out.

Bets to Avoid

Field Bet

The chances of winning on a Field Bet are less than 50/50. In fact, there are 16 ways to win on a Field Bet but 20 ways to lose. The payout looks great on some numbers, with double being paid on the Numbers 2 and 12 for example, but the odds of winning are worse than 50/50. Betting on the Field is one of the worst Craps bets you can make.

Pass Line Bet

The Pass Line is another bad bet as it’s an Even Money bet. In other words, whatever you bet, you’ll get in return. So, if you bet $2 on the Pass Line, you’ll only win $2. With the object of betting being to win more on your original bet, it is clear why this falls into the category of worst Craps bets.

Come/Don’t Come Bet

The Come Bet and the Don’t Come Bet are definitely ones to avoid. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, they are Even Money bets, secondly, you have to roll the same number twice to win money once and finally you lose your money when the 7 comes out during the Come Out roll. In all these cases, you can never take advantage of a long roll, because you lose your money in the middle of a long roll and then have to start from scratch. It’s clear that this is not a very advantageous bet, with such odds against you.

Hardway & Proposition Bets

Hardways and Proposition bets should be avoided at all costs. These one roll bets are a recipe for disaster because you only have one roll or one chance of hitting these numbers, which puts the odds in the casinos favor and not yours. Hardways generally pay 7:1 and 9:1 and the Props pay between 4:1 and 15:1. However, your chances of winning these bets are very slim.

Big 6 & Big 8

The Big 6 and Big 8 bets don’t offer any value to you, especially when you’re in the middle of a long roll. You have to wait for either a 6 or an 8 to be rolled in order to win. Also, they are Even Money bets. There are 5 ways to roll either the 6 or the 8, but still, six ways to roll a 7, so logic tells you that you’re better off not placing wagers on the Big 6 and Big 8 bets.

Low Limit Tables

Another really bad Craps mistake you can make is to play at a table with a low maximum because then you can’t take advantage of a winning streak. Try whenever possible to find those Craps tables that have high maximum bets. This gives you the flexibility to raise your bet amounts so that you’re not stuck making only small bets.

The best advice we can give you is to always make educated bets. Learn the bets and their Odds before you begin playing, because, at the end of the day, Craps is all about the numbers.

Craps Odds & House Edge

Understanding the odds of each bet available is paramount to succeeding in this game. See our Craps odds chart below.

BetPaysExpected RollsHouse Edge per Bet MadeHouse Edge per Bet ResolvedHouse Edge Per Roll
Pass1 to 13.381.41%0.41%0.42%
Don’t Pass1 to 13.471.36%1.40%0.40%
Taking Odds 6 or 86 to 53.270.00%0.00%0.00%
Taking Odds 5 or 93 to 23.600.00%0.00%0.00%
Taking Odds 4 or 102 to 14.000.00%0.00%0.00%
Laying Odds 6 or 86 to 53.270.00%0.00%0.00%
Laying Odds 5 or 93 to 23.600.00%0.00%0.00%
Laying Odds 4 or 101 to 24.000.00%0.00%0.00%
Place 6 or 87 to 63.270.46%1.52%0.46%
Place 5 or 97 to 53.601.11%4.00%1.11%
Place 4 or 109 to 54.001.67%6.67%1.67%
Don’t Place 6 or 84 to 53.270.56%1.82%0.56%
Don’t Place 5 or 95 to 83.600.69%2.50%0.69%
Don’t Place 4 or 105 to 114.000.76%3.03%0.76%


Conclusion & Tips to Follow

If you look at a craps table you’ll see that casinos reserve clear spots for almost all bets, except the odds bet, which of course has the best odds in the game. Don’t get tempted, play wisely and leave the table while you’re winning. Money management systems like the Star alternative progression, the Stepladder System and the Stretched d’ Alembert system can also assist you in increasing your chances of beating the house for your session of play.

  1. Know the rules before you start playing. If the table is busy don’t try to rely on the dealer for help.

  3. Don’t be too confused by all the fancy language at the craps tables, you’ll learn the terminology while playing.

  5. Don’t lose your mind and with it your money. It’s easy to get excited at the craps tables, but stick to your strategy and avoid the sucker bets.

  7. Make sure you give the dice a good toss. When making a bad toss you’ll have to throw the dice again and this way you slow down the game.

  9. Keep your hand off the table so they don’t get away of a toss.

  11. Don’t put your drinks on the tables

  13. Don’t listen to the advice of other players

  15. You should play the pass/don’t pass and come/don’t come bets as much as possible for the best odds.

  17. Make sure that when you make a line or a come bet, you can back it up with full odds.

  19. Avoid the proposition bets (the ones in the middle of the table), it will save you a lot of money.

  21. You should tip the dealer.


Back to Part I: How to Play Craps

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