Learn how to Win at Craps

Craps? What’s Craps?

Ever seen a movie and everyone is going crazy at the roll of the dice? Well, that’s Craps!

Craps is by far the most confusing and difficult game to play at any Casino. The sheer number of bets, payouts and pace of the game can be very deterring to a new player, but fear not, we’re here to help you grasp the basics!

There are more than 60 different bets that you can put down on a Craps table with many paying completely different odds. There are also huge differences in the house edge, so we’re only going to focus on the ones that have value for the player. Bearing this in mind, we’re going to avoid any of the ‘sucker’ bets as they’re commonly known. These are the bets that have an edge of more than 4%.

The main bet that you need to know in Craps is the ‘Pass Line’. This is effectively what the game is based around and determines how a players’ roll will play out. When betting on the Pass Line, you’re hoping that the come out roll will be a 7 or 11. This means you win immediately and your bet is paid at even money. If the come out roll is a 2, 3 or a 12, you will lose and a new shooter is given the die. Any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) means the point is placed and the rest of the table effectively becomes live.

Once the point number is live, your game changes. You’re now hoping to hit that same point number before a 7. If you hit the point, you are once again paid even money on your Pass Line bet. If you hit a 7, the majority of bets on the table will lose. As you play with the point number live, you’re able to increase your initial bet on the Pass Line. This is called placing ‘odds’. The Odds are theoretically the only bet in Craps that have a zero edge for the house. You can place up to 5 times your Pass Line bet in odds if the point number is a 4 or 10, 4 times your bet if the point is 5 or 9 and just 3 times if the point is a 6 or 8. This is because the chances of rolling these specific numbers varies based on the 2 die and as such, the payouts also differ, from 2 to 1 for the 4 or 10, 3 to 2 for 5 or 9 and 6 to 5 for a 6 or 8. According to the Wizard of Odds, these are statistically fair payouts and thus have no house edge.

As with most bets on a Craps table, there is an alternative to the Pass Line – the “Don’t Pass” Line. The Don’t Pass is effectively the exact opposite of the Pass, in that you’re betting that the come out roll will be a 2, 3 or 12 and not a 7 or 11. If the Point number is played, you switch from backing the Point number to the 7. The house edge is marginally lower on the Don’t Pass at 1.36%, opposed to the 1.41% for the Pass. The Odds work in a similar fashion too, as they pay 1 to 2 for a point number of 4 or 10, 2 to 3 for 5 or 9 and 5 to 6 for 6 or 8. Remember – you are only paid on these odds if the 7 comes before the point number. As there are more combinations of 7 on two die than there are any of the other numbers, you’re paid less odds than if you were backing a point number.

Talking of number combinations and their probable outcomes, below is a chart which details how many different combinations are possible for each number, using two standard Casino die:

Number Rolled Possible Combinations Total # of Combinations
2 1-1 1
3 1-2, 2-1 2
4 1-3, 2-2, 3-1 3
5 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1 4
6 1-5, 2-4, 3-3, 4-2, 5-1 5
7 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1 6
8 2-6, 3-5, 4-4, 5-3, 6-2 5
9 3-6, 4-5, 5-4, 6-3 4
10 4-6, 5-5, 6-4 3
11 5-6, 6-5 2
12 6-6 1

You can use this table to help understand why the payout odds are calculated as they are.  These combinations do not stack either, as you would need to load the table and place a bet on every single number for that to work, but also win from every number at least once before the 7 hit in order to break even.

With this in mind, we move on to ‘Place’ or ‘Buy’ bets. These are backing the point numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 10) and can be placed at the players request or can be bought via the Come bet. The Come can be placed before each roll whilst the point is on and if a point number is rolled, the bet will move up to that specific number. If this is then rolled again, the bet will be paid out. The Come odds are 2 to 1 on 4 or 10, 3 to 2 on 5 or 9 and 5 to 6 for a 6 or an 8. Placing odds on a Come bet carried zero house edge similar to the Pass line, so feel free to put down as much extra as the table will allow. We advise against buying point numbers and odds directly as the edge is much higher – circa 4.7%. This edge comes from the lower odds paid and a typical 5% commission paid on any winnings.

Where can I play Craps?

Craps is usually available at most Online Casinos, but it’s a dying game sadly. Many don’t like the HUGE potential wins that a player can make from a good roll on Craps. But you can find it at these few Casinos below…

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