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Betting Strategy

A Basic Strategy for Minimizing the House Edge in Craps

The Craps table contains some of the best value in the casino. Unfortunately the amount of bets available can be confusing and intimidating to new players. There are also many pitfalls to avoid and some bets which are terrible.

In this strategy guide for Craps you can find out how to use multiple low house edge bets. By sticking with these bets alone you will improve your chance of short term success. To start with you can find a brief section on bankroll, ensuring your money will last long enough to enjoy a win. Next the betting is looked at by covering the Pass Line bet, Free Odds and Come Bets.

Your Craps Bankroll

In order to enjoy a Craps game for as long as possible your bankroll needs to reasonable enough to allow you to play. Ideally you only want to be placing 1% down for any bet, although if you are comfortable with the risk you can up it slightly to suit. This way you can make your money last and may even take short-term profits from a hot steak, rather than just put a handful of bets on the table and walking away.

Bear in mind the house edge will dominate in the long run, just like any casino game, so enjoy the games and do not gamble with more than you can afford to lose.

Placing a Pass Line Bet

While no strategy can guarantee winning at Craps, by taking only low house edge bets you can definitely improve your chances of a winning session.

The Pass Line bets offer a low house advantage by itself of 1.41%. This is a standard bet many Craps players place on the Come Out round. This wins on a 7 or 11 and loses on a 2, 3 or 12. The bet also allows means that if another number is rolled you can get rewarded for hitting this in the points round.

You always have the option to take the opposite to this bet which is the Don’t Pass bet. This may cause some tensions in a live setting as you will be profiting when the majority of other players lose, although you will be very slightly better off taking this bet. The edge is so close that it makes very little difference and might be worth giving up at times for your overall enjoyment of the game.

Free Odds – The Best Bet in the House

Once you are in the points round you get to back up your original pass line bet with a Free Odds bet. Craps has an incredible advantage over most casino games by offering a pure odds bet, which does not carry an advantage for the house. This is the Free Odds bets, also known as ‘Betting the Odds’.

As you are giving up no advantage this is a bet you should really wager as much as you can. The amount you can get on is restricted by the table rules and displayed on the table. You should be able to get on at least 3x your Pass Line bet online and possibly much more live, especially in areas where there are a lot of casinos competing. It pays to shop around for the largest permitted bets if you can.

The Points Round

The points round gives you the opportunity to place a Come bet which works in exactly the same way as the Pass Line bet. While winning this bet with a roll of a 7 will mean you lose your original Pass Line bet and Odds, you will at least win a bet back and limit your losses slightly.

The main reason for placing a Come bet is so you can get Free Odds on other numbers. Even though you can always make Place or Buy bets different numbers these will always give up an advantage to the house. When your Come Bet establishes another point, like the Pass Line Bet you have the opportunity to back up the bet with Free Odds, which has no house edge. This is therefore a better bet than a Place or Buy.

Of course all bets are lost if a 7 is rolled and if the shooter avoids rolling it for a while by repeatedly placing come bets and covering different numbers with odds you could have a lot of money at risk on the table. It is best to limit yourself to 3 numbers, backed up with odds bets and if these numbers win then wait until these numbers win before placing another Come bet. This gives you the chance to maximize your chance of winning while limiting your losses when a 7 is rolled.

For Dark-side bettors there is the Don’t Come bet which works in exactly the same way as the Don’t Pass bet. After that the same strategy would apply as for using regular Come bets.