Craps Strategy: How to Play and Win?

Although craps is a game of luck, having a good strategy in hand when playing craps can make a winning round more feasible. While these strategies can’t bring you a guaranteed win, still, your chances of a win are more promising. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through some of the most used strategies and answer what is the safest craps strategy to play. 

Let’s roll!

Best Craps Strategies

In craps, there are basic strategies and alternative systems which are more aggressive. To understand how these strategies work, read through our craps tips and find what is the best craps strategy.  

Pass and Come

If you are new to craps and looking for a way how to win at craps at a low house edge, then try shooting the pass-and-come strategy. 

The number 7 is theoretically the most common rollout in craps. So it would be logical to say that betting on 7 makes the best craps strategy for beginners

This basic craps strategy is basically playing two games simultaneously at a low house edge of 1.41%. It is also one of the most popular strategies because it is considered the safest. A player wagers on the come-out roll on the pass line and wins the bet if the roll-out number is 7 or 11, which has an even payout of 1:1. But if it rolls a 2, 3 or 12 instead, then you lose your bet. 

Furthermore, if any other number is rolled out, you score one point, and if your number rolls before 7, then you win. On the other hand, if 7 is rolled before your number, you lose your bet to the house. The dice are then passed on to the next shooter

The come bet is right after the pass line, and it allows you to bet at any point after the come-out roll. The same principles apply to those in the pass bet. After you make a bet, the shooter rolls the dice. If it rolls on 7 or 11, you win, and you lose on 2, 3 and 12, while any other number scores you a point. In the com bet, the payoff and the house edge are the same as for the pass line.  

Don’t Pass and Don’t Come

The don’t pass/don’t come winning craps strategy is played the opposite of the pass and come. 

Unlike the pass-and-come strategy, where players bet on the shooter to land a 7 or 11, here you bet against landing a 7 or 11. If the shooter misses landing a 7 or 11 and rolls a 2 or 3 instead, you win. But if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, then you lose. With any other number, you win one point and a 12 is a stand-off. 

You’re betting that the shooter will roll a 7 before you make a point. But if you score a point before the 7 is rolled out, then you make a don’t-come bet. In the don’t come bet,  you win and lose on the same numbers as in the don’t pass craps betting strategy. The house edge in don’t pass and don’t come is slightly lower and stands at 1.46%, which is fairly safe for your bankroll

Placing 6 and 8

The come-out roll of 6 and 8 is the second most common rollout after the 7. Players bet on 6 and 8 to be the outcome of the dice roll and hope the shooter will land either. 

The probability of rolling a 6 or 7 in this craps betting strategy is 13.89%, which only shows that it’s the most common combination after the 7. The house edge in placing a 6 or 7 is 1.52 per cent, which is slightly higher than the pass/don’t pass and come/don’t come strategy. However, it’s still lower than most casino games

If you decide to bet on both numbers, the 6 and the 8, you double your winning chances, but you can as well decide to bet on other point numbers which you get to choose. 

The payoff in the craps strategy 6 and 8 is at a ratio of 7:6, which means that if you bet in multiples of $6, you will have a better payoff. For instance, a $5 bet will only earn you $5, but a $6 bet, instead will be paid $7.

Pass With Odds, Plus Place 6 and 8

The best thing about this craps betting strategy is that it doesn’t have a house edge, which puts the player in an advantaged position. Despite the advantages, keep in mind that placing odds can be quite risky to your bankroll. The concern comes from the fact that this strategy works with multiple bets, meaning the more bets, the higher the wagers. This can drastically affect your bankroll. 

With the pass-come-odds, players make a bet on the pass line, and once they earn a point, they can back the pass bet with free odds. If the made point is either 6 or 8, they can add a bet on the other number. But in an event where the point is any other number, a bet needs to be added on both 6 and 8. 

The payoff is 6:5 for placing 6 and 8 and if you want to balance out your odds, consider placing a pass or don’t pass line by backing up with higher odds.  

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Alternative Systems

These alternative strategies are designed for quick and big wins. Because of the fact that they are more aggressive and can easily deplete your bankroll, be sure to come with a pre-set budget. But the alternative strategies are still a soft spot for players who want some action or want a shortcut of the doesn’t side without actually sticking to it. 

Although quite risky, the alternative systems are great for players who want to play by taking advantage of the free odds and don’t need to wait for the shooter to make a point. Despite the big chances of winning at craps with the alternative systems, be wary that the house edge is much higher than the rest of the bets

Put Bets

This craps betting strategy includes putting bets on the pass line once the shooter has made a point. You can still put bets on the pass line even if the come-out roll is 6, which in this case, 6 is your point number. The put bets strategy has an even payout, but it also has a high edge of  9.1%. Although, this only applies if the point is 6 or 8. If the rollout points are 5 or 9, then the house edge increases to 20% and 33.3% for point numbers 4 or 10. 

The reason for such a high house edge is due to the skipping of the come out. But the advantage of this strategy is that if you use the free odds to back your put bets, is that free odds don’t have a house edge themselves. 

But there are certain instances when the house edge can drop significantly. That’s if you take the 5x odds on the 6 or 8, then the house edge will be at only 1.52. The 4x odds will have a house edge of 4% on 5 or 9 and 6.67% on the numbers 4 or 10. Basically, the more odds you take, the more the house edge will decrease. 

Hedge Bets

When you bet on the pass and come, what happens is that, after a point is established, if the next rollout is 7, then you lose, and 7 is the most frequently rolled number. When this crack happens, players can use the hedge craps betting strategy to make it up for the loss. 

One way to do that is to use hedge to bet on any 7 and make a place bet simultaneously. For instance, on the bet place you bet 6$ on the number 8 and hedge with $2 on 7. If the next rolled-out number is 8, you win $7 on the bet place but lose $2 on the hedge, so in total, you win  $5. 

Since you can hedge a bet on any 7, the payout is at 4:1. This means that if the loser 7 rolls, you lose $6 on the place bet, but the hedge wins you $8, which, in return, saves you $2. However, hedging on any 7 means a higher house edge of 16.67% than the house edge o placing 6 and 8, which is at 1.52%. You can also hedge with any craps on the come out if the loser numbers 2, 3 and 12 are rolled. 

The hedge strategy basically protects you against a total loss and helps you to save a percentage when you lose on your main bet. But on the other hand, the house edges with hedging are quite high and very risky, which can cause a greater loss than if you would avoid them. 

Iron Cross

Another winning craps strategy is the Iron cross, also known as “the dinner bet” and “Darby’s field”. 

This is a hit-and-run strategy designed to cover every number except for the 7. The bettors can cover 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12 on the betting line and make place bets on 5, 6 or 8. If you win on your first roll, you can then take down your remaining bets, pick up your profit and move on.  

The payout is even for most numbers, but not all. For instance, the payout for 2 is 2:1, for 12 is either 2:1 or 3:1. Considering that the field that pays 3:1 for 12 is the most decent deal you could get, it makes it logical to look for a table that pays in the 3:1 ratio. Other number fields pay 7:1 for number 5 and 7:6 for numbers 6 and 8. 

How to win at craps with the Iron cross strategy? Let’s say you put a $5 bet on each of the 5 fields and on the place bet and  $6 on each 6 and 8 place bet. The total wager amounts to $22. You win $15 if the next rollout is 12 and $10 if it’s number 2. If the next roll is either 5, 6 or 8, it wins you $7. And you win $5 on 3, 4, 8, 10 or 11. In case the next roll is 7, then you lose your $22 wager. 

The idea of the craps strategy in Iron cross is to walk away with your profit once you land a win. This will save you from risking your bankroll too much because the loss can be much greater than the amount of any win. Regardless of the probability of 30 winning combinations out of a total of 36, it’s still the best to hit and run. 

Lay Bets

Lay bets allow the don’t bettors to choose their own numbers they want to bet against. The least rolled numbers are 4 and 10. If you decide to lay on one of these numbers, you win if the shooter rolls 7 before any of those numbers. But if any of your lay numbers come first before the 7, then you lose.  

When it comes to laying bets on 7, because it is the most frequently rolled number, the house will be asking you for a commission of 5% for betting on 7. As for the rest of the lay bets, the house charges a commission accordingly, which is how it gets its edge. 

The payout odds are determined by the true odds. True odds signify the probability of winning a bet, and in the lay craps betting strategy, this is how payoffs work. 

  • To win $5 on 6 and 8, you must bet $6. 
  • To win multiplies of $2 on numbers 5 or 9, you must lay multiple bets of $3
  • With multiples of $2, you can win $1 on numbers 4 and 10

Basically, you pay more money on the bet than the amount you win from that particular bet. The lowest house edge is on laying 4 or 10, which sits at 2.44%. The house edge on 5 and 9 is 3.23%, and on 6 and 8, it’s 4%. 

If you want to learn more about how betting odds work, check out How do Betting Odds Work? The Complete Guide

Don’t Pass With Lay Odds, Plus Lay 4 or 10

You start the game by putting a min bet on the don’t pass line. You’re supposed to lay odds on the point that the shooter makes. If he rolls a 4, then aside from laying odds on 4, also lay the 10. If the point is 10 instead, then you can lay the 4. But if the dice rolls on any other point, then you should lay both 4 and 10. 

Laying odds on the don’t pass line doesn’t have a house edge. There is, however, a fairly high house edge on laying bets which only increases with laying odds. 

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Which Strategy Is the Best?

The pass/don’t pass and come/don’t come strategy has the highest winning potential at craps. The odds are that 7 is the most rolled number in craps, thus, you’re most likely to manifest this bet. Especially if you’re just a starter, you would want the odds to be in your favour, thus, the pass/don’t pass and come/don’t come craps strategy is great for beginners. After each point you make, you can back up with free odds and earn a larger payout. 

With a house edge at 1.40%, it’s relatively safe for your bankroll, and you won’t risk losing too much. Taking into account all the benefits that this strategy is offering, it makes it to be the best craps strategy

Apart from this strategy, placing 6 and 8 is the second most recommended craps bet. Although at slightly lower odds than the pass and come and the pass and don’t come strategy, the 6 and 8 strategy has the highest odds of winning than the rest. 

Conclusion 

We hope that the craps tips above gave you an understanding of what’s the best craps strategy for your bankroll and when to proceed with the alternative systems. With that in mind, it’s important to keep your focus on the game and try to play at a minimum house edge for maximum gain.

If you think you’ve got this, roll the dice!

FAQ

Is there a strategy in craps?

Mostly, it’s all about luck and no special skills are needed to win at craps. However, having a certain strategy helps you increase the odds of guessing the right outcome of the roll-out, like it’s the case with the pass/don’t pass and come/don’t come. This is due to the low reduced house edge to just 1.41%.

There are conservative and more aggressive strategies to achieve the desired result. It’s up to you which one you’ll choose.

What is the safest bet in craps?

The safest craps betting strategy would be the pass line, considering the favourable low house edge. it‘s also one of the best strategies for beginners, as it allows players to win more consistently. Wagering on the shooter to throw a 7 or 11 brings players an even pay-off (1:1) and won’t be affecting their bankroll much in the event of a loss.

Is the 6 and 8 a good bet in craps?

Considering it’s the second-most rolled-out combination after the 7, it makes it a decent craps strategy that pays out even. The odds of correctly predicting the rollout, even though lower than the roll-out of the 7, are much higher than all the rest craps bets.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Toni always had an appetite for learning new things and random facts about almost everything, which is why when he got offered the job to work as a content writer he took it without hesitation. Writing daily took his love for words and research to a whole new level, and made him realize that this is a career he would love to pursue. Although he spends most of his time researching his next piece, you can also find him on the football court, in the gym, or at home with a book in his hand.

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