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Master Winning Craps Strategies: Your Ultimate Guide

Craps is the most social game in the casino, even when you’re playing at the best online casinos. The game is a real party:  fast, dynamic, loud, and fun.

If you haven’t played it, don’t be intimidated by the complex betting table and wild jargon. You can easily learn the best craps betting strategies most experts use. Even a beginner can walk away from the table with a stack of winning


How to Bet on Craps

Before you start, read our article on how to play craps. You should know how the game is played and how bets are placed on the table.If you want to win more money than you lose, the fundamental rule for making bets at a craps table or any other casino game is this:

Never bet based on the payout; bet on the lowest house edge.

The Lowest House Edge – Betting the Wrong Way in Craps

Wrong way bets – or playing the dark side – are placed on the Don’t Pass Line or Don’t Come Line. They’re called “wrong way” because you’re betting against the shooter, meaning you’re betting that the shooter – and most of the other players – will lose.

Though wrong-way bets will make you unpopular, the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets boast the lowest house edge. Taking full odds on a Don’t Pass or Don’t Come bet can whittle the house edge down to a mere 0.0027% per bet. At that point, you’re playing as close to even odds as you can get.

How to Play the Don’t Pass Bet and Don’t Come Bet

• Don’t Pass Bet

In a Don’t Pass bet, if the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, you win even though the player loses (because you were betting against the shooter). If the player rolls a 7 or 11, the player wins, but you lose the bet.

Once the point is established, you win the bet if the player rolls a 7 (the most likely roll) before the point number is rolled again, or you lose if the player rolls the point. While the Pass Line bet has a 1.46% house advantage, the Don’t Pass bet is lower at 1.36%.

• Don’t Come Bet

You can make a Don’t Come bet any time after the Come Out roll. You win this bet on the next roll if the shooter rolls a 2 or 3. The bet is a push if the shooter rolls a 12.

If the shooter rolls any other number, this number becomes your point – separate from the shooter’s point. You then win the bet if the shooter rolls a 7 before your point is rolled and lose if the shooter rolls your point. Like the Don’t Pass bet, the house has a tiny 1.36% advantage. However, if you take full odds, you can shave this down to 0.0027% per bet.

• Taking Odds Bet

In a wrong-way bet, you can make Take Odds bets. You win a Take Odds bet when the corresponding bet, Don’t Place, or Don’t Come, wins. A Taking Odds bet is always even money, so the house advantage is zero. You should always max out on your Take Odds bets.

The Second Lowest House Edge – Betting the Right Way in Craps

You bet the “right way” (betting the shooter will succeed) by placing your bet on the Pass or Come lines. You are betting that the shooter, and most of your fellow players, will win.

The Pass and Come lines have a 1.47% house edge, though this can be cut down to a miniscule 0.0038% house advantage if you lay full odds. However, the house advantage rockets all the way anywhere from 9% to 33% if you make a Pass or Come bet after the come-out roll. Called a put bet, this is a bet only rank beginners make.

• Pass Bet

In a Pass Line bet, you are betting that the player will roll a 7 on the come-out roll or will roll the point in any subsequent roll. You lose if the player rolls a 2, 3, or 12 on the come-out roll or a 7 on any rolls after the come-out roll.

• Come Bet

You make a Come bet any time after the come-out roll. A Come bet wins on the first roll if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 and loses on a 2, 3, or 12. Any other number becomes your point number, and you win if the shooter rolls that point number before rolling a 7 in any later roll.

• Laying Odds Bet

The Laying Odds bet works the same way for Pass Line/Come Line bets as the aforementioned “Taking Odds” bet does for Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets. Like the Taking Odds bet, the Laying Odds bet is always even money with no house advantage. You should always max out on Laying Odds bets.

Bets to AVOID in Craps

While there are a variety of other bets that have the potential to be lucrative when playing online craps, the riskier nature of many of these bets presents many reasons to avoid them if you want to keep your money – and especially if you’re hoping to walk away with a little extra by winning money on the best online casinos.

• Field Bets

If you like a bit more action at the craps table, Field Bets allow you to bet on individual rolls. Again, the strategy is simple; the lowest payouts have the lowest house advantage, and the bigger payouts stick you with the highest house advantage.

The best Field bets are the Place and Place to Lose bets on low payout rolls, but be careful.

  • Place Bet: In a Place bet, you bet on any of the place numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10), and if that number is rolled before the 7, you win. A Place bet on 6 or 8 pays 7:6, slightly more than even money. The house advantage is 1.52%.
  • Place to Lose Bet: A Place to Lose bet allows you to win if the shooter rolls a 7 before the place number you bet on. The house advantage is 1.82%

The payout on a Big 6 or Big 8 is even money, but they catapult the house edge to 9%. These are foolishly risky bets.

• Buy and Lay Bets

Although Buy and Lay bets pay even money, they are charged a commission of 5%. Stay away.

• Proposition Bets

All the Proposition Bets entice with big payouts, but they also come with the highest house advantage (ranging from 5% to 16.66%). This is especially true on the Hard Ways bets. You are simply throwing away money for the thrill of a potential big payout.

The Best Craps Betting Strategy

When all the online craps tips are put together, the best craps betting strategy for any player, beginner to expert, falls into five basic tips.

1. Bet on the even money payouts (Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, Don’t Come), and take or lay the maximum odds on the bet.
2. Wrong Way bets (Don’t Pass, Don’t Come) will pay off a little bit more over the long run than Right Way bets (Pass, Come) at any odds you lay or take.
3. Never make a “put” bet on the Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, or Don’t Come lines.
4. Make Field bets ONLY to add fun to the game (NOT to make money), but stick to low payout Place or Place to Lose Field bets, and avoid the Big 6 and Big 8 bets.
5. Ignore the proposition bets.

Best Craps Betting Strategies FAQ

What is the fundamental rule for making bets in craps to maximize winnings?

The cornerstone of successful craps betting is not to be lured by the promise of high payouts but to focus on bets with the lowest house edge. This strategy applies across the board in casino games, ensuring that players are not gambling based solely on the potential return but making informed decisions that statistically improve their chances of winning over time.

How do 'wrong way' bets work in craps, and why should I consider them?

Wrong-way bets, notably placed on the Don't Pass Line or Don't Come Line, go against the shooter's success, essentially betting that they and most players will lose. Though it might earn you some side-eyes for betting against the flow, these bets have a significantly lower house edge. Taking full odds on these bets can reduce the house advantage to a negligible 0.0027% per bet, offering nearly even odds and an appealing strategy for the cautious bettor.

Can you explain the 'right way' betting strategy in craps?

The 'right way' betting involves placing your chips on the Pass or Come lines, rooting for the shooter to win. This strategy aligns with most players at the table, fostering a communal betting environment. While the house edge on these bets is slightly higher than the 'wrong way' bets, laying full odds can minimize the house advantage significantly, making it a balanced approach for those who prefer to play along with the shooter.

What bets should be avoided in craps to keep my bankroll safe?

It's wise to steer clear of the more speculative bets in craps if your goal is to preserve your bankroll. Despite their allure, Field Bets often carry a higher house advantage, especially with tempting but risky bets like the Big 6 or Big 8, which can push the house edge up to 9%. Similarly, Buy and Lay bets, though they pay even money, come with a 5% commission, diminishing your winnings. Proposition bets, enticing with high payouts, come with steep house advantages, making them unfavorable choices for the prudent player.

What is the ideal craps betting method for beginners and experts alike?

The optimal strategy for any craps player, whether a novice or a seasoned gambler, is to focus on even money payouts through Pass, Don't Pass, Come, and Don't Come bets and to maximize the odds bets on these wagers. Avoid 'put' bets after the come-out roll due to their inflated house edge, and consider 'wrong way' bets for their slightly better long-term payoff. Engage in Field bets only for entertainment, emphasizing low payout options, and altogether bypass proposition bets to safeguard your stake.

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