Advanced Craps Strategies

Like most dice games, craps is a game of chance. There are no magic formulas or secret strategies that can influence the way the dice fall. Sure, you can kiss the dice, blow on them or say a little prayer over them, but of course, none of that is scientifically proven to increase your chances of winning! Lady Luck does whatever she wants with those dice. That means that when it comes to crap strategies, we are mostly looking at betting strategies, rather than anything to do with the actual gameplay.

With a game of chance, the best way to tip the odds in your favor is to definitely understand the way the game works, which bets you can place, and how the bets pay out. Taking advantage of the various betting strategies available won’t change the way the dice fall, but it may change how much money you win or lose at the craps table. Here we’re looking at some common betting strategies you might want to experiment with.

Common craps terms to understand

If you’re reading up on advanced strategies, chances are this is not your first craps shoot. However, if you are new to the game, there are a few things you need to get your head around before starting to play craps.

A Pass Line bet is made on the ‘come out’ roll and is an even money bet. You can win on this initial roll if the shooter rolls a seven or eleven, and lose if they roll a two, three, or twelve. But things can get more complex than that. Any other number rolled can establish the ‘point’ — a number that must roll again before a seven hits the table, in order to win. 

A Don’t Pass Line is, unsurprisingly, the opposite of a Pass Line. You lose on a seven or eleven, and win on a two, three, or twelve. A point number that rolls again before a seven is a loss, and a seven is a win.

Once the first roll is over you can place Come or Don’t Come bets, which basically operate under the same rules as the initial Pass and Don’t Pass bets. The Don’t Pass and Don’t Come players are the Dark Side players, but don’t let that put you off making Don’t bets. If you want to learn more check out beginner crap strategy.

Craps 4 10 strategy

The 4 10 strategy is a popular bet often used by experienced craps players. Beginners like it too because it’s relatively simple. You just place a Lay Bet on either the four or the ten. What you’re actually doing is betting that the dealer will roll a seven before they roll a four or ten. This bet has a lower house edge than other bets so you’re statistically more likely to win.

Why, you ask? As with any game of chance, it’s just math, or more specifically, probability. There are more ways to roll a seven than there are to roll either a four or a ten. So, it’s mathematically likely that a seven will come up first. This means the house edge on a four or ten bet is 2.44%. On a five or nine, it’s 3.23%, and on a six or eight, 4.00%. If you’re at all familiar with how betting works it won’t surprise you that this bet — with its low house edge — also carries a relatively low payout. It pays at one to two odds, so you’ll only collect winnings of $5 with a $10 bet.

You’ll also be paying a vig, which means a small fee (usually 5% of possible winnings at online casinos) to buy the number you want. Paying the vig basically improves your odds, but it’s also an extra layout. Some casinos only charge the vig on winning bets, and some might waive or reduce it as part of their promotions, so watch out for that. 

Craps Lay Bets or craps dark strategies

You’ll hear craps players talking about the Dark Side a lot, but it’s not as ominous as it sounds. Players who practice craps dark side strategies are also sometimes just referred to as ‘Don’t’ players. They are playing the Don’t bets, rather than the Do bets, but there’s a little more to it than that.

Dark Side players are betting against the shooter, and in the opposite direction to most other players. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can place a Dark Side bet by waiting for the shooter to establish the point and simply betting on the opposite side. Or you can use a Lay Bet to choose any number you want to bet on.

To know whether this type of bet is a good idea, we have to look at the odds of the bet you lay coming up, and that involves a little number crunching. As you may be aware, there are 36 possible combinations when you roll two six-sided dice, as you do in craps. Six of those combinations will give you a seven, while five of them will result in a six or an eight, four combinations will come to a total or five or nine and three will give you a four or a ten.

The chance of winning a lay bet then is six/five on a six or an eight, three/two on a five or a nine and two/one on a four or a ten. Just remember that statistics are a fickle friend and as we’ve already stressed, craps is a game of pure luck. The numbers could go your way even if you take a low odd bet, and of course, pay outs are tied to statistical probabilities so you win more on riskier bets, but you probably already knew that!

Remember that Lay Bets are the opposite of Place Bets in craps. In simple terms, Place Bets are those that go with the shooter and Lay Bets are those that go against him. It’s easy to see why some players feel uneasy about betting against the shooter, especially given some of the terminology! When they’re not referring to ‘Don’t’ bettors as Dark Siders, you’ll also hear some ‘Do’ bettors referring to them as ‘Wrong Bettors’.

If you want to try out the Dark Side, don’t let this get to you. There’s nothing inherently scary, or even ‘wrong’ about the Dark Side. In fact, the house edge is slightly lower for Dark Side bettors, so statistically, you should win more often with Dark Side strategies. Just be aware that the casino is, of course, aware of that, and charges a small commission on Lay Bets to balance things out.

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Mini Max Craps Strategy

The Mini Max Craps Strategy combines bits of other strategies to increase the chances of a bigger payout while protecting yourself from huge losses. The strategy’s name comes from the idea that you can make minimal bets, and play with a consistently small amount, but still maximize that payout when and if it comes.

This strategy is not unlike other betting strategies across lots of different games, and it can be adapted to your bankroll, whether you have $100 or $10,000 to play with. It involves always attempting to minimize the maximum possible loss which can result from a choice you make as a player. Betting on a whim means your bankroll is not being carefully controlled. Having a set amount you’ll bet and always being consistent with it, according to your preferred strategy, will help you be disciplined and control impulses.

Many players use the up-if-you-win form of this strategy, only increasing the bet for the next round if they win the current round. Others use the up-if-you-lose system, keeping the bet the same with every win, but increasing it slightly with every loss. The idea is to be super-disciplined with how you use your budget, never betting based on a ‘gut feeling’ or according to how other players are doing.

Yes, there’s some math involved here, as you’ll need to know in advance how to divide up your bankroll over your current betting session. But really, if you’re playing craps or any other game of chance, don’t be afraid of the math. You need to take your bankroll and work out exactly how to use it to make it last as long as you want it to, while maximizing your chances of a win and minimizing those losses.

This is as good a time as any to remind you to always manage your bankroll carefully, and always play with money you can afford to lose. That way you stay safe, and any and all wins are a fun bonus.


When it comes down to it, with craps, as with all casino games, the best way to learn about the game is to jump in, give it a go, and start practicing your craps playing strategies. You can also check learn the basics and essential strategies from our beginner guide to craps. And that’s particularly easy to do if you give it a go online to start with. Why not try craps today here at Resorts Casino.

Author: Tanya Fields

Campaign Acquisition Manager Length with RC: 1 year, 9 months Favorite Casino Game: Starburst Background in iGaming: Opened the iGaming Department at Hard Rock Atlantic City in 2018 in both Customer Service, and then CRM, prior to moving over to RC in January 2021 Location: Based in NJ at the RC HQ Content: Occasionally, but only as it pertains to RC