Craps Strategy: Improve Your Chances Of Winning at Craps

how to beat a casino at craps
how to beat a casino at craps

We all love playing craps and we'd all love to win at craps every time we play.

While there is no sure-fire five-minute strategy that will teach you how to play craps and win every time, there are a bunch of strategy tips and smart bets that can improve your chances of winning.

In this article, I am going to run you through all the most common craps betting strategies. I will show you how to pick the right bets when you play and how to understand when the house edge is too high for you to stay in the game.

Throughout the article, you will find references to concepts like casino bankroll management, common casino mistakes, and the way odds in craps are calculated.

If any of these sounds foreign to you, remember to check out the articles I just linked before you sit at the craps table.

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Beating the C*ap Out of Craps

Despite what many beginners believe, craps is not the easiest game on the casino floor.

While it is true that your winnings are always one dice roll away, craps is a game that comes with such a sophisticated set of bets that you won’t win unless you know how to play.

It's not so much down do using the right strategy to win at keno — it's about knowing how the game works.

Is There a Craps Strategy to Beat The Casino?

Rules are boring, I know. Unfortunately, there’s no way you can become a good craps player if you don’t know how the game works.

To help you get started, I set up a rules page for you to learn how to play craps.

win at craps

Together with the game's rules, that article gives you some useful strategy tips on bankroll management and practical advice on how to limit your losses.

The key to getting more chances to win when playing craps is to learn what bets you can go for and what bets you need to avoid.

The only way you can do so is if you know the house edge connected to each one of the bets in the game.

How to Bet in Craps

If you want to be sure to get the best chances to win at craps, you need to pick the Pass/Don’t Pass or the Come/Don’t Come bets.

craps tips

Picking any of the four bets indicated above reduces the house advantage to 1.40%. This is the best you can get in craps, especially if you combine it with laying or taking odds in order to reduce the percentage advantage even more.

Since choosing only the Pass / Don’t Pass and Come / Don’t Come bets would be awfully boring, I am going to give you some more craps strategy tips related to bets you can put your money on.

The other bets that give you the best odds of winning at craps are:

  • the Place 6
  • the Place 8
  • the Field 2
  • the Field 12

These four, combined with the ones I mentioned earlier, are the only bets worthy of your money. Anyone familiar with the basics of the craps optimal strategy know that all the other bets come with worse conditions and a higher house edge.

Keep in mind that when I say “higher house edge”, I mean that you stand little to no chance of winning when you pick one of the other bets.

Bets like the Hard-Way 4 and the Hard-Way 10 have an house edge of 11%. Why would you ever pick these ones instead of the much more favourable Pass / Don’t Pass line and Come / Don’t Come bets?

Picking the right bets is the key to winning at craps every time you play.

The next time you open a crap table at your favorite live casino online, have a look at what people bet on before you start playing.

Check out how many players don’t stick to these craps strategy tips I just gave you and count how many of those who try the top-paying bets end up in the red.

Pass and Come Bets

As you should know by now, the Pass / Don’t Pass and Come / Don’t Come bets are by far the best ones in the game.

craps tips strategy

The only way you will be respected by experienced players and dealers is if you show them you know this principle and you stick to these safe bets when you play craps.

The low house edge makes the Pass bet the most popular one in the game. With an house advantage of 1.41%, you always win unless the shooter hits a 2, 3, 2, or 7 after the point was hit.

The Come bet is equally popular and lets you win every time you or the shooter hit a 7 or 11 after the come bet is made. You lose the Come bet only when you or the shooter hit a 2,3,12.

Don’t Pass and Don’t Come Bets

If you don’t like to sit with the majority of players, you can also play “against” the others and become what is usually referred to as a Wrong Way Bettor.

online craps strategy tips

Don’t let the name mislead you. Wrong bettors win whenever the other lose (and lose when the other players win) - which, in a gambling game like craps, is going to happen often.

Similarly, the Don’t Come bet is the one that you should go for after a point has been established in case you want to bet against the other players.

Whenever you opt for this bet, you win if the 3 or 2 is hit after the point has been made, and you tie if a 12 is rolled.

The Don’t Come bet pays even money and, like all the best bets in craps, has a house advantage of 1.41%.

Payout and House Edge of All the Bets in Craps

While the best explained above are the ones the optimal strategy to win at craps suggests, the game features a lot of other bets with different house edges.

To help you understand the bets you should avoid and the ones you should go for, here’s a table with all the information you need to pick the right one.

Craps Bets

BetsPayoutHouse Edge
Pass1 to 11.41%
Come1 to 11.41%
Taking Odds on Pass/Come 6 or 86 to 50%
Taking Odds on Pass/Come 5 or 93 to 20%
Taking Odds on Pass/Come 4 or 102 to 10%
Don’t Pass1 to 11.36%
Don’t Come1 to 11.41%
Laying Odds on Don’t Pass/Don’t Come 6 and 85 to 60%
Laying Odds on Don’t Pass/Don’t Come 5 and 92 to 30%
Laying Odds on Don’t Pass/Don’t Come 4 and 101 to 20%
Place 4 or 109 to 56.67%
Place 5 or 97 to 54.00%
Place 6 or 87 to 61.52%
Big 6 and 81 to 19.09%
Field 3,4,9,10 or 111 to 15.56%
Field 2, 122 to 15.56%
Lay 6 and 819 to 254.00%
Lay 5 and 919 to 313.23%
Lay 4 and 1019 to 412.45%
Buy 6 and 823 to 214.76%
Buy 5 and 929 to 214.76%
Buy 4 and 1039 to 214.76%
Hardways 6 and 810 to 19.09%
Hardways 4 and 108 to 111.11%

Craps Proposition Bets

BetsPayoutHouse Edge
Any Craps (2,3 or 12)8 to 111.11%
Any Seven5 to 116.8%
Any Eleven16 to 111.11%
Ace Deuce (3)16 to 111.11%
Aces (2)30 to 113.9%
Boxcars (12)30 to 113.9%
Horn 3 or 1115 to 112.5%
Horn 2 or 1215 to 112.5%

Essential Strategy Tips for your Craps Games

When considering how much to bet to beat a casino at craps, you should also consider how much money is in your expendable bankroll.

If your bankroll is limited (and I am pretty sure it is), you should limits the amount you press on the lay or place odds unless you want to be pushed out of the game after a single bad roll.

If you come to the table with a big bankroll, you should take advantage of the best bet in the game and not be afraid of pressing the maximum amount allowed by the table’s rule.

Each table comes with a different sets of rules and limits. Make sure you ask the dealer if all the info you need are not available at the table.

If you are looking to have more action at the table, you should at all costs stay away from most prop bets and stick to the Place and Lay bets.

Like in all gambling games, the key to beating a casino at craps is to walk away while you are ahead.

You need to know when to stop and take a break, Cash your winnings and leave the table. If you keep on playing, you put your winnings at risk - and you don’t want that.

Free Video Craps Strategy Lessons

Here’s a list of quick videos you should watch if you are serious about craps strategy and you want to take your game to the next level.

The 4-Minute Guide to Craps Strategy

Besides being an hilarious video (and I tend to agree with Roman Praha on the redhead being high), this is video is pure gold.

It drives you through everything you need to know before you start and it explains the essentials of the game in less than four minutes.

Plus, if you liked Leisure Suit Larry you will love this one.

The Mathematics of Craps

In this video, former craps dealer at the Hilton Las Vegas, Jim Luciano drives you through the numbers of craps to explain how to calculate odds, payouts, and winning chances.

This video complements the section of this article dedicated to the bets and the odds.

The five-count system begins when a shooter rolls a point number of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. Once any of these numbers is rolled, the next roll is the two-count. Assuming there is a third roll, here is where you would start betting with a come bet.

If the roll continues, it is considered to be the four-count where you would place another come bet. Once it reaches a five-count, here is where you would start to place odds on your come bets and also make your third come bet.

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BioPolitical scientist, and gambling expert, I have spent the most part of the last ten years writing about the casino and poker industry. As a professional journalist, I work with FOX News, La Repubblica, the Economist, Politico, and PokerNews. As a gambler, I won money pretty much anywhere in Europe. As a gambling editor, I'll help you do the same.
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