8 Craps Tips That Will Make You a Better Player
Craps is a great game with great bets. Craps is an awful game with awful bets. You choose which one you want to play. You can play one (the great game) or the other (the awful game) or a combination of both (most players actually play a combination of both).
Many craps players never give a thought to the edges they face at the game because they get so caught up in the excitement. There is no doubt in my mind that craps is the thrill ride of casino games. Except for slot players who may have hit big (a single maniacal scream) it is rare to hear the kind of noise you hear at a craps table.
Now, I am a strict constructionist when it comes to craps. No awful bets for me. I don’t want to hear about the time some guy you played beside won thousands making the dumbest bets on earth. Those streaks of luck with such bad play happen but they are the exception, not the rule. It is madness for a craps player not to understand the math of the game. Therein would lay disaster. Craps is math personified.
The math of craps is inviolable and unless you can change the probabilities of the game you will not be able to change the ultimate expectation of it, which is the player will lose. How much players can expect lose comes down to a simple statement: Play the great game of craps and the losses will be manageable; play the awful game of craps and you are asking for trouble, sometimes big trouble.
Just to refresh everyone’s memory: craps has two types of bettors. Those who bet with the dice and against the 7 (known as "Rightside" or "Do players") and those who bet against the dice and for the 7 (known as "Darkside" or "Don’t players"). About 95 percent of craps players are Rightside players and (ahum) they strongly dislike (some say hate) Darkside players.
There are eight excellent bets at craps; ones with extremely low house edges. These are the bets you should make and you can forget all the others. Play the game making these bets and you are giving yourself a decent chance to have winning sessions and relatively small losing ones.
TIP 1: GO FOR THE PASS LINE BET.
With a house edge of just 1.41 percent (meaning a losing expectation of $1.41 per $100 wagered), the Pass Line is a premier bet.
TIP 2: GO FOR THE COME BET.
With a house edge of just 1.41 percent, the Pass Line is a premier bet. Gee, this sounds just like the Pass Line bet. Yep!
TIP 3: GO FOR THE DON’T PASS BET.
With a house edge of just 1.40 percent, the Don’t Pass is a premier bet. Most craps players feel that this bet is against the grain of the game. Extremely few craps players will ever make Don’t Pass bets (Some analysts will use 1.36 percent as the house edge for this bet.).
TIP 4: GO FOR THE DON’T COME BET.
With a house edge of just 1.40 percent, the Don’t Come is a premier bet. Most craps players feel that this bet is against the grain of the game. Extremely few craps players will ever make Don’t Come bets (Some analysts will use 1.36 percent as the house edge for this bet.). If you think you are reading double, you are. Just as the Come bet is basically the same bet as a Pass Line bet so too a Don’t Come bet is basically the same as a Don’t Pass bet.
TIP 5: GO FOR THE ODDS BET.
Zero house edge. Yes, zip percent. Nada. Nothing. Sounds good? Well it is... with a catch (there is always a catch!).
The Odds bet is made after any one of the four above bets lands on a number. You craps players know this well. You can add more to your betting without having to worry about giving the house more of an edge. It is one of the “nice benefits” the casinos allow. Bless them.
TIP 6: PLACE THE 6 AND/OR 8.
Place bets are not as good as our first four bets, but the placing of the 6 and/or 8 is still one of the best bets in the casino. The house edge is 1.52 percent (meaning the expectation is to lose $1.52 per $100 wagered).
These particular place bets must be made in $6 increments until one is betting over $20 and then $3 increments are allowed. Thus you can bet $21.
Many players believe (incorrectly) that the Place bets are the best bets because players can take them down or call them off. In order for this belief to be valid a Place better would have to call off their bets over 80 percent of the time. I’ve never seen any craps player do such a thing.
TIP 7: GO WITH THE DON’T 6 AND DON’T 8.
This is also can be called "The No 6 & No 8". You are betting that the 7 will come up before the 6 or 8. The house edge is 1.82 percent (meaning a loss of $1.82 per $100 wagered against either the 6 or 8). In my over a quarter century of playing the game, often over 130 days a year, I have rarely seen this bet made. Players just don’t like making "Don’t bets".
The 7 is the strongest number in the game of craps and the above are the seven best bets at the game. Forget all the others. These are the ones to make! And now the betting attitude you should have when you play this game.
TIP 8: DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE RIOT THAT IS CRAPS.
Craps is a controlled riot and players really get caught up in it. This is usually bad because many, if not most players will start to make bad bets. Do not allow yourself to forget yourself by playing stupidly. Stick to the 7 bets above and forget all else.