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Craps Strategy - How to Win at Craps

Craps is a game where you can play with a very low house advantage – some of the bets are the best you can make out of all online casino games– but at the same time, craps offers quite a few real “sucker bets” that can do serious harm to your bankroll. However, when you pick up on the best craps strategy you can use the different bets to your benefit. Make sure you understand the gameplay rules and have read through all the bets in our craps rules guide first as this is essential to play a good craps strategy to win that lowers the house edge.

Craps Strategy – The Best Bets

For an optimal craps strategy, the best bets you can make are Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come. If you stick to them, the house will only have an advantage of around 1.40%, and if you lay or take odds this reduces the house edge even further. Apart from the Pass line and Come bets, the Place 6, Place 8 and occasionally Field 2 or 12 are the next bets down the line that offer you the best odds and chances of winning money. 

The rest of the wagers offered on the craps layout offer worse conditions for you. Some of them are amazingly bad. If we, for instance, look at “hard-way 4” and “hard-way 10” those bets have a house advantage of 11 %. If you don’t know how these bets work, we recommend that you read our article on craps rules before learning about strategy, or watch the craps strategy youtube video below. But if there’s one thing that you should take with you from this article, make the low-edge wagers and avoid one-roll proposition bets, even if it’s tempting!

Betting the Right Way – Pass and Come Bets

One craps strategy to play is being a right way bettor. You are considered a right way bettor when you are playing the pass and come bets with the table, these bets are considered to be the very best out of all online and land-based casino games due to the low house-edge and are considered the best strategy of craps when considering how to win at craps for beginners.

The Pass Line Bet

The most popular of all the craps bets with a house edge at a deliciously low 1.41% with only 4 ways to lose (have a read through the dice combinations and payout tables further down).  You only lose if the shooter rolls a 2,3, or 12 on the come-out roll and if the shooter rolls a seven after the point number has been made.

Craps Strategy Come Bet

Pretty much the same as the Pass line bet, but it is made at any point after the point number has already been made. You win if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 after the come bet is made, and if the shooter rolls a 2,3,12 you lose the bet. With any other number, your own point number is made, which is separate from the pass line bet point number. There are more chances to win here than to lose making this one of the most favorable bets you can make.

Betting Wrong Is Right – Don’t Pass and Don’t Come Bets

You can also opt for a wrong way craps strategy. Wrong-way bettors bet against the majority of the players at the table who are betting the Pass and Come bets, so they place bets on the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets. This moniker derives from the fact that if you wager on the Don't Pass you will find yourself winning when everyone else is losing and vice versa. Obviously, this can create some awkward moments when gathered around a table in a brick-and-mortar casino with other live players, which is why Don't Pass and Don’t Come bets often seems more palatable when playing craps online. However, you can't ignore these bets when tossing up how to win at craps as they are reliable bets. 

Craps Strategy Don’t Pass 

Standing in contrast to the pass line wager is the Don't Pass bet. If the come-out roll is a 2 or 3, you win the bet. If it turns up a 7 or 11, you lose. A 12 results in a push. If any other number is rolled, that becomes the point. The shooter continues to roll and you hope that a seven comes up before the established point. An additional factor you'll want to bear in mind that house edge on the Don't Pass bet is a very manageable 1.36%.

craps strategy dont pass

Don’t Come Bet 

Works in the opposite way of the Come bet, but just like the Come bet it can be made at any time after the point has been established.  You win this bet if the 3 or 2 is rolled once the point has been made, and you tie if a 12 is rolled. Any other number becomes your own point number, separate from pass line bettors. To win a 7 has to be rolled before your point number is rolled.  This bet pays even money and has a house edge of 1.41%.

Odds Craps Strategy - Taking and Laying Odds

There is a very rare bet offered in craps – one with no house advantage at all. This wager is called laying odds if you've already bet on the Pass or Come bet first. After a point has been thrown, you have the option of betting up to some multiple of your Pass line bet "on the odds." This multiple can vary but the most common is two or three times the first wager. By placing this bet, you're hoping that the point will be rolled again before the appearance of a 7. You can also take odds on your Don’t Come and Don’t Pass bets.

The attractive part of this bet is that it pays true odds; your chance of winning is the same as what you’re getting paid. As a result of this, the house only has an edge on your original Pass line bet, and the more you’re allowed to “bet on the odds” the lower the total advantage becomes, so always try to put down the maximum odds bet.

18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply

When to Play the Field Bet

Field bets are great options for those players who can’t resist the temptation of a one-roll bet but want slightly better odds and a lower house edge. Field bets have a house edge of 5.56%, higher than some other bets but lower than all proposition bets. This is an easy bet to remember as well. You can place a bet on the 2,3,4,9,10,11, and 12.  Best numbers to play are the 2 and 12 as they pay 2 to 1, and in some casinos 3 to 1.

Craps Strategy 6 and 8

Although these aren’t the best bets in craps overall, they are a good option if you want to bet on a 6 or an 8 as the house edge is at 1.52%, whereas the similar Big 6 and Big 8 bets have a house edge of 9.09%.

Bad Craps Bets - Aggressive Craps Strategy

craps strategy sucker bets

Even though there are some bets in Craps with temptingly high payouts, the house edge is also equally high, making these bets a bit of hit-and-miss. If you miss you can really lose a lot of money! If you want to take a huge risk then go ahead, but if you want to play with a conservative craps strategy (recommended for anyone who is not a millionaire) then we recommend the strategies outlined above. 

Big 6 & 8

You should avoid the Big 6 and Big 8 bets – the house edge is a high 9.09% and the payout is 1 to 1. The Place 6 or Place 8 bet is a lot more advantageous which has a house edge of 1.52% and pays 7 to 6.

Hardways 4,6,8, and 10

Hardways 4,6,8, and 10 should also be avoided as they have a house edge of roughly 10% depending on the casino.

Proposition Bets

A proposition bet is a one-roll bet. As fun and exciting as they may look to play, you should also completely ignore all proposition bets unless you’re willing to risk a hell of a lot for only one roll of the dice. The payouts can go as high as 30 to 1 but the house edge is extremely high. Stay clear of the following proposition bets:

  • Any Craps
  • Any 7
  • Any Eleven
  • Craps Eleven
  • Any  2 or 12
  • Any 3.

Craps Bets Odds and Payouts

Before understanding the payouts for the different bets, it’s always a good idea to understand the probability that a particular number will be rolled, particularly in a game like craps where you are betting on the outcome of the roll of the dice. The payouts are also determined by the probability of particular numbers or combinations being rolled, so if you’re serious about the game (or also just interested) having an understanding of what your chances are will help determine which bets you want to make and the risks involved in taking them.

# on Dice
Dice Combinations # of Ways
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

Knowing the dice outcome probabilities alongside the payout and house edge of each particular bet will put you at a great advantage when managing your craps bankroll and determining which bets you want to play.

Bets Payout House Edge
Pass 1 to 1 1.41%
Come 1 to 1 1.41%
Taking Odds on Pass/Come 6 or 8 6 to 5 0%
Taking Odds on Pass/Come 5 or 9 3 to 2 0%
Taking Odds on Pass/Come 4 or 10 2 to 1 0%
Don’t Pass 1 to 1 1.36%
Don’t Come 1 to 1 1.41%
Laying Odds on Don’t Pass/Don’t Come 6 and 8 5 to 6 0%
Laying Odds on Don’t Pass/Don’t Come 5 and 9 2 to 3 0%
Laying Odds on Don’t Pass/Don’t Come 4 and 10 1 to 2 0%
Place 4 or 10 9 to 5 6.67%
Place 5 or 9 7 to 5 4.00%
Place 6 or 8 7 to 6 1.52%
Big 6 and 8 1 to 1 9.09%
Field 3,4,9,10 or 11 1 to 1 5.56%
Field 2, 12 2 to 1 5.56%
Lay 6 and 8 19 to 25 4.00%
Lay 5 and 9 19 to 31 3.23%
Lay 4 and 10 19 to 41 2.45%
Buy 6 and 8 23 to 21 4.76%
Buy 5 and 9 29 to 21 4.76%
Buy 4 and 10 39 to 21 4.76%
Hardways 6 and 8 10 to 1 9.09%
Hardways 4 and 10 8 to 1 11.11%
Proposition Bets
Any Craps (2,3 or 12) 8 to 1 11.11%
Any Seven 5 to 1 16.8%
Any Eleven 16 to 1 11.11%
Ace Deuce (3) 16 to 1 11.11%
Aces (2) 30 to 1 13.9%
Boxcars (12) 30 to 1 13.9%
Horn 3 or 11 15 to 1 12.5%
Horn 2 or 12 15 to 1 12.5%

 Alternative Craps Strategy: The 5-Count Craps Method

The 5-Count Craps Method is not for those players who like to feel their heart racing as they place bets in the heat of the moment. This is a simple strategy for craps to not only simplify the game for you but to ensure you play in a cool and collected fashion and place the best bets. The 5-count method will help minimize losses at the table, but the house advantage on the bets remain the same.

The 5-count method aims to stop you from losing money on bad shooters who seven out in the blink of an eye, and instead cash in on the shooters who are showing their worth by counting to five points before you start betting. You need to count in the following way:

Count Zero: The come-out roll, the shooters first roll of the dice, is count-zero.

Count-1: The count remains zero until the shooter rolls a point number of 4,5,6,8,9, or 10 then the count goes to one. With a 2,3,7,11 and 12, the count remains zero.

Count 2-4: You count 1 point per roll of the dice after the point number is established until you reach count-4 regardless of the number rolled.

Reaching Count-5: Once you are at count-4, the shooter MUST roll a point number (4,5,6,8,9, or 10) again to add the 5th point, and you remain at 4-count with any other number.

Place Your Bets: Now you have 5 points you can place a bet on the table. Stick to the Pass or Come bets, or Don’t Pass or don’t Come bets, and laying/taking odds. Avoid all proposition bets as outlined in our rules and bets guide.

Practice Your Strategy in Craps and then Play Online 

These, of course, represent only a small fraction of the many betting options you have in craps. However, by knowing all the betting possibilities and learning them in all their intricacies by understanding the different payouts and house edge you will be well prepared to dive deeper. If you think you’re ready, start playing craps online today at the best craps casinos available on desktop. Or if you're on the go, don't fret. Craps is also now available via Mobile Casino too!

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