Beginner craps strategies

Players often want to know; “What is the best craps strategy and how can I apply it to become an outstanding craps player?” Different strategies apply in different situations, and it is up to the gamer to decide, given the game, what would be best. 

When gamers are first introduced to craps, it isn’t unusual for them to feel overwhelmed. There are so many possibilities that it appears almost impossible to make a smart bet. Certain strategies can make things a little easier. These include the Pass Line craps strategy, the Don’t Pass/Don’t Come craps strategy, and placing six and eight. 

This may still sound a little complicated, but it isn’t really. The best thing to do when choosing a craps betting strategy is to get a good understanding of the game, and then learn how the different strategies work in different situations. 

Craps is an exciting game that is often labelled the most popular casino game in the world. It involves the use of dice, and there are three types that a gamer can choose from. They can opt to play bank craps, casino craps, or Vegas-style craps. The game uses a special table, and every bet is against the house. 

The player throws two dice and if they get a seven or 11, they win. If their first throw gets them a two, three, or 12, they lose, and if they get a four, five, six, eight, nine, or 10, they can win if they throw the same number again before they throw a seven. Should they throw a seven before they repeat a throw of their number or pointer, they lose. 

There are several bet types that a gamer can choose from. If they opt for the Pass Line bet, they are hoping to get a seven or an 11, and if they get either of these numbers they win. If they get a two, three, or 12 they lose, but if they get the other numbers listed above, they have a chance to throw again, and if they get the same number they win. 

There is also the Don’t Pass bet, the Come bet, and the Don’t Come bet. Players can also choose a field bet, a place bet, or a proposition bet. 

All this may sound very complicated in the beginning but the important thing for new players to remember is that all they must do is choose the right wager and throw the dice. As they get more familiar with the game, it becomes a lot easier to choose a strategy that promotes the odds of winning. 

Pass Line craps strategy

The pass line is marked on the craps table as ‘Pass Line’, and it is the outermost area of the craps table. If a player places their wager here, they are betting on either a seven or 11. In other words, they hope that when they throw the dice the outcome will be one of these numbers. 

This strategy is easy because there isn’t much to think about. All the player needs to do is place their wager in the right area of the craps table and then throw their dice, hoping they get a seven or 11. 

If, however, they get a two, three, or 12, it is an outright loss, and it is time for a new shooter to roll their dice. Should they get a four, five, six, eight, nine, or 10, the round continues until they either get the same number as before, or their dice rolls a seven. If they get the same number as before, they are winners. However, if they get a seven before they can get to their number, they lose and collect their losses. 

To elaborate, if a player rolls a four, five, six, eight, nine, or 10, everyone who made a Pass Line bet is tense because should the next roll come out as a seven, they lose. 

The Pass Line bet, if it works, is one of the best strategies for craps. However, it is important to remember that it doesn’t offer the best odds. The house edge on it is 1.41%, which means that if the player wins, they must surrender 1.41% of their winnings to the house. However, even with these odds, it offers much better odds than other casino games like slots, online roulette, and online blackjack. 

The odds of winning with the pass line strategy are two in nine which translates, on paper, to a 22.2% chance of winning in the first round and an 11.2% chance of losing (crapping out). 

The true odds, however, are quite encouraging at a little over 49% meaning there is a good chance the gamer will walk away with a win. It may not happen the first time a player applies this craps strategy, but it should work at some point. 

Don’t Pass/Don’t Come craps strategy

Most newbies will make the Pass Line bet because they are fun and often profitable. However, more experienced gamers know that everything can be wiped out by a seven. 

For them, a Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bet eliminates the odds of losing everything with one roll. These two ‘Don’t’ bets only lose one at a time and should the player roll a seven, everyone who had established points is a winner. 

The other advantage of the Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets is the lower house edge. At 1.36%, it is 0.05% lower than with the Pass Line bet. This may not look significant when players bet small amounts, but it can quickly rack up when betting large amounts or when they play for long periods, thus placing lots of bets. 

The other thing to remember with this strategy is that other players around the table may not like it because they lose the chance to make money on the Pass Line bet. However, it usually keeps things more interesting. This type of bet is only available in traditional craps games and cannot be used in a crapless craps table. 

The Don’t Pass bet can only be played on the come-out roll, while the Don’t Come bet cannot. After players establish their bets, the Don’t Pass bet stays on the table until it either wins or loses. If they wish to place additional bets, players must use the Don’t Come strategy. 

However, the player has the option to remove a ‘Don’t’ bet before the round is up as they have an advantage over the house. It doesn’t make any sense to remove it though; why survive a roll only to give up the only advantage?

The Don’t Pass bet wins if a player rolls a two or a three on the come-out roll. If these bets end up in a seven or an 11 the player loses, so they can be viewed as the opposite of Pass Line bets. 

Should the player roll a four, five, six, eight, nine, or 10, it becomes the point and they can win the round if they land the same number in a subsequent roll. 

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Placing 6 and 8

On every craps table, there is a Big Six and a Big Eight. In this game, the most frequently rolled number is seven, which makes six and eight rather decent bets. Rather than pay even money, betting on a six or eight gives the player seven to six odds. This translates to a house advantage of about 9%. 

Placing a Six and Eight bet is recommended for players with a small bankroll (what the player has set aside for any gambling session). The advantage of placing Six and Eight bets is that the player can then use what they win to place bigger bets. 

This is called pressing, and it means that when a player wins, rather than withdraw their winnings they call ‘Press’ to stay in play. The dealer adds them to the new bets that the player calls so that if they win, they can take more money home. 

A gamer doesn’t have to call ‘Press’ if they don’t want to. Instead, they can withdraw their money after a win and place their bets on an entirely different set of numbers. 

What is the best craps strategy?

There is no particular strategy that gives players a definite edge. However, the strategies that have the highest odds of winning are those that minimize the house edge.

The house edge matters greatly in craps. It may seem like a very small number to a new player, but it is important to keep in mind that over time, it adds up. The higher the house edge, the less the player takes home. 

It is hard to cover the best craps betting strategy without discussing whether there is a recommended way to throw dice. It isn’t unusual to find new craps players spending hours practicing how to throw dice in the hopes that they can come up with a flick of the wrist that lands them a seven or 11. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t a dice-throwing strategy that can improve the odds of winning in craps. Well-made dice are perfectly cubed and the odds of landing any of the sides are pretty much the same. The better thing to do is understand the different types of wagers and use them strategically. For the novice, it may be fun to throw the dice and hope they land the right combination of numbers. More experienced players usually spend time figuring out what strategy is best employed for every game they play. 

Tips on how to win

It may sound defeatist to say that there is no assured craps strategy, but there are certain tips players can use to increase their odds of winning. 

Stick with safe bets

The easiest outcomes are seven and 11, so it makes sense to place Pass Line bets, especially for beginners. Prioritizing safe bets is a good way to increase the odds of winning any craps game. 

Choose odds with a small house edge

The smaller the house edge, the more money a player keeps, so it makes sense to choose odds with a low house edge. A Pass Line bet is a good example of a safe bet because it has a house edge of 1.41%. 

Slow down the action

One of the things that confounds beginners most in craps is the speed at which the game moves. In a real-life casino environment, it can be tough to keep up. However, slowing the game down can be helpful just to help orient the player and allow them to catch up.

Use winnings to grow the bankroll

Rather than using money from their pockets, players are encouraged to use their winnings to grow bankrolls. Should they lose, it is a little easier to accept because they didn’t over-invest. 

Capitalize on hot streaks

Craps is a game of chance, but like any other casino game, it does occasionally have hot streaks. A shooter may find themselves holding the dice for 20 minutes or more. 

The best thing to do during a hot streak is to place Pass Line bets and consider all other bets carefully. Hot streaks can often be followed by cold ones, so the more money a player makes when on a hot streak, the easier it becomes to tolerate the cold ones. 

Use an established casino

Choosing the right casino is just as important as understanding the best craps strategy. Resorts Casino is recommended for both newbies and experienced players. Players can choose online craps or play in their land-based casino, one of the oldest and most reputable in New Jersey. 

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