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Improve your odds while playing online craps by following a strategy that helps reduce the house’s winning edge.
The thought that “life is a crapshoot” is frightening to some people — the sheer unpredictability of it all. For someone attracted to online gambling, however, the game can be an exciting call to roll the virtual dice.
If Lady Luck is riding with you as you throw the “bones” and you have a strong playing strategy, the excitement can turn into some nice winnings.
The odds of winning at the craps table are also exciting. The house winning edge can, in some situations, be less than 1%, making it the second-best winning odds in online casino gambling after blackjack. The game is also attractive because it has a lot of different betting options and typically moves at a slower pace than games like slot machines, video poker, and blackjack. This means you can hold onto your bankroll longer and spend more time playing.
This article will show how you can make the most of the game of craps by utilizing a strategy that works for you.
Basics of the Best Craps Bets
In its simplest terms, craps involves one player, the “shooter,” rolling the dice and placing a bet, with other craps players placing their own bets on certain numbers. In the rules of the game, the first roll of the dice in a new round of the game is the “come-out roll” and has three possible results:
- Natural: If the shooter throws a 7 or an 11, they get to throw again.
- Craps: When the shooter throws a 2, 3, or 12, they lose but can try again on the next roll.
- Point: If they toss a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the rolled number becomes the point and is marked on the table. The shooter must roll that number again to win. But if “up pops the devil” — they roll a 7 — they lose, and the betting round ends.
Some of the best betting strategies include:
- Pass and don’t pass line: With a pass line bet, the shooter wins by tossing a natural (a roll of 7 or 11 on the come-out roll) or by winning the point before rolling a 7. A don’t pass line bet is the opposite of a pass line bet (i.e., a bet for the shooter to lose). These two bets can only be placed before establishing the point.
- Come or don’t come bets: Once the point has been established, the player can place a come or don’t come bet. A come bet will win if the shooter rolls a natural or lose if they roll a craps (2, 3, or 12). A rolled point is the come-bet point, which works the same way as the pass line. The player wins if it comes up again before a 7 and loses if it doesn’t. Don’t come bets win only if the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 and loses if it’s a 7 or 11. A dice roll of 12 is called a “push” and the player doesn’t win or lose. Once the point is made, they need a 7 before the shooter rolls out the point again.
- Proposition bets: These are one-roll bets players can place on any dice roll with the exception of the hardways bet. Here, they win if a 4, 6, 8, or 10 is rolled with the same pair of numbers (such as a 3 and 3 or 5 and 5).
- Place bets: Once the point has been established, a player can place bets on any number on the table and win if that number is rolled before a 7.
- Field bets: This is good for one roll of the dice. Winning numbers for field bets are 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12.
- Big 6 and big 8 bets: You need to roll a 6 or an 8 before a 7 to win.
Of course, some of these best bets are riskier than others. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a plan before rolling the dice. The next section will dive into some proven craps strategies.
Craps Strategy No. 1: Play the Pass Line and Come Bets
The pass line is the most popular of all odds bets, with a house edge of 1.41%. You lose if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 on the come-out roll and if the shooter rolls a 7 after the point number has been set. Similar to the pass line bet, the come bet is made after the point number has been set. After the come bet is made, you win if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11. With a roll of 2, 3, or 12, you lose the bet.
Craps Strategy No. 2: Go the Wrong Way With Don’t Pass and Don’t Come Bets
You also have good winning odds by doing the opposite of the first strategy. With a don’t pass bet, you win if the come-out roll is a 2 or 3. A 7 or 11 means you lose. A 12 results in a push, where you neither win nor lose. Any other number becomes the point.
As the shooter continues to roll, keep your fingers crossed that a 7 comes up before the established point. The don’t come bet is made any time after the point is established, winning if a 2 or 3 is rolled and tying if a 12 is rolled. Any other number becomes your point number. You win if a 7 is rolled before this point number.
Craps Strategy No. 3: Placing 6 or 8
Betting on a 6 or an 8 can be a popular strategy because they are the most frequent rolls after 7. This low house edge is 1.52%. You are using a betting system that one of these numbers will be rolled before 7. Keep in mind that there is a difference between a place bet on 6 or 8 and big 6 and big 8 bets. The payout for a place bet on the 6 and 8 is 7:6, while the payout for big 6 and big 8 bets is 1:1. The former ratio means you keep more of your chips to play if you lose. With the latter, the house has an intimidating 9.09% edge.
Craps Strategy No. 4: Taking and Laying Odds
While this is a rare bet in craps, it’s worth taking if the opportunity presents itself because the house has no edge or advantage in this situation. After a point has been thrown in a pass or come bet, you can bet some multiple of your pass line bet on the odds, hoping the point will be rolled again before a 7. The great thing is that the bet pays true odds — your chance of winning is the same as what you’re getting paid. You can also take odds on the don’t come and don’t pass bets.
Play Craps With Care
Choose the best strategy for you and stick with it. Pass line and come bets (and their “don’t” opposites) offer the best odds of winning consistently, so it makes sense to start with these if you are new to the game. Take the odds if a good opportunity presents itself and place 6 or 8 bets to occasionally break things up.
Whether you're playing online or casino craps in Las Vegas, it’s a good idea to know your bettor limits to keep the game enjoyable. Set limits for how much real money you’re willing to lose and how much you’re willing to win. It’s a bad idea to chase losses with more frantic play or believe a winning streak will go on forever.
If you’re winning, consider playing only with your winnings, putting aside the cash for your original loss-limit amount.
If you want to practice before you play for money, GamblersPick is home to a range of low- and no-cost craps games to refine your skills. You can also read real reviews of online casinos so you know they’re reputable and can learn what they have to offer, including game options, promotions, and much more.
We also offer a variety of guides to help you better understand and play the full range of online casino games, including ones for craps rules as well as roulette and blackjack. Use the resources provided by GamblersPick to increase your odds and ensure your next game of online craps isn’t a complete crapshoot.