Craps Strategy And Odds

We talked about the basics of how to play craps in our beginners guide for Craps. In this guide we mentioned what you can expect while playing craps online and in land-based casinos such as strange Craps terms like “yo” or “snake eyes” as well as the best online casinos for playing Craps online.

In this article however, we will be focusing primarily on understanding Craps and discussing Craps strategies that work and that don’t work. This article will help you make decisions that will hopefully get an edge over the casinos, reduce your losses and hopefully maximize your profit.

The first step to help you do that is to understand the house edge in Craps.

What’s The House Edge On Craps? And The Odds of Rolling Each Number in Craps

There are two factors which determine the house edge on craps.The first factor is the probability of making a certain roll and the second is the payout offered on any bet. If you have a good understanding of these two factors you can get a solid understanding of the house edge in craps.

Craps Odds and probability

Craps odds and probability
Craps odds and probability

There are 36 outcomes when a a pair of dice are rolled in craps. We have mentioned the probability of each of these rolls in craps below:

There’s one way to roll a two: 1-1

There are two ways to roll a three: 1-2, 2-1

There are three ways to roll a four: 1-3, 3-1, 2-2

There are four ways to roll a five: 1-4, 4-1, 2-3, 3-2

There are five ways to roll a six: 1-5, 5-1, 2-4, 4-2, 3-3

There are six ways to roll a seven: 1-6, 6-1, 2-5, 5-2, 4-3, 3-4

There are five ways to roll an eight: 2-6, 6-2, 3-5, 5-3, 4-4

There are four ways to roll a nine: 3-6, 6-3, 4-5, 5-4

There are three ways to roll a ten: 4-6, 6-4, 5-5

There are two ways to roll an eleven: 5-6, 6-5

There’s one way to roll a twelve: 6-6

From the above, we can calculate the following:

The odds of rolling a two or twelve are 1 in 36. That translates into a probability of 2.78%.

The odds of rolling a three or eleven are 1 in 18, or a probability of 5.56%.

The odds of rolling a four or ten are 1 in 12, or 8.33%.

The odds of rolling a five or nine are 1 in 9, or 11.11%.

The odds of rolling a six or eight are 1 in 7.2, or 13.89%.

Finally, the odds of rolling a seven are 1 in 6, or 16.67%.

Different Craps Bets and Payouts

Below is a summary of the different types of bets you can make on craps, along with their respective payouts. Remember, the payouts determine the house’s edge.

Pass Line Bet: even money (1:1)

Don’t Pass Line Bet: even money (1:1)

Pass Line Odds:

– four or ten: 2:1

– five or nine: 3:2

– six or eight: 6:5

Don’t Pass Line Odds:

– four or ten: 1:2

– five or nine: 2:3

– six or eight: 5:6

Come Bet: even money (1:1)

Don’t Come Bet odds: even money (1:1)

Come Bet Odds:

– four or ten: 2:1

– five or nine: 3:2

– six or eight: 6:5

Don’t Come Bet Odds:

– four or ten: 1:2

– five or nine: 2:3

– six or eight: 5:6

Place Bets:

– four or ten: 9:5

– five or nine: 7:5

– six or eight: 7:6

Buy Bets odds:

– four or ten: 2:1

– five or nine: 3:2

– six or eight: 6:5

Lay Bets odds:

– four or ten: 1:2

– five or nine: 2:3

– six or eight: 5:6

Big Six or Big Eight: even money (1:1)

Field Bets odds:

– three, four, nine, ten, or eleven: even money (1:1)

– two or twelve: 2:1

Hardways Bets odds:

– four or ten: 7:1

– six or eight: 9:1

Any Seven: 4:1

Any Craps odds: 7:1

Prop Bet odds :

– two or twelve: 30:1

– three or eleven: 15:1

You can calculate the house edge on the types of bets in Craps based on the craps odds we mentioned above. This can help you to know which craps bets are most likely to result in a good payout and which bets would result in you losing your money while you are playing craps.

What are the Best Craps Bets To Place?

The best craps bets are the type of bets in craps with the lowest house edge. The craps bets that have close to 0% house edge are odds bets like

  • Pass line bets
  • Don’t pass bets
  • Come bets
  • Don’t come bets

Keep in mind though that you can’t start placing odds bet right from the start. When you play your first round of craps your betting options are limited to the pass line, don’t pass line, come or don’t come bets.

But don’t worry because the house edge on a lot of these bets is quite low. For instance, the house edge on the pass line and come bets is 1.41% and the house edge on the Don’t pass line and don’t come bets is even smaller at 1.36%.

If you want to increase your chances of winning in craps these are the bets you should go for.

There is also something you need to know about the don’t pass line and don’t come bets. Even though they have a lower house edge, a lot of players feel reluctant to place them when they are playing in live casinos.

The reason for that is because traditionally players want to bet WITH the shooter and are rooting for the shooter.

The don’t pass and don’t come bets are essentially bets against the shooter. Placing these bets would not make other players on the table very happy.

But this is why playing craps online is a good idea because you don’t see other players while you are playing craps online.

The next bet that has a low house edge and the added advantage of higher payout is to place a bet on 6 or 8. The house edge on this bet is only 1.51% and the payout is 7 to 6.

If you’re want to place a riskier bet that can offer a good payout then you should place a lay bet on four or ten. This is a bet in craps where you bet that the shooter will land a seven before landing a four or a ten.

The payout for this bet is 1 to 2 and it has a house edge of 2.44%. 

Now that you know the reasons which craps bets you should make and why we have summarized the best craps best in a list below:

  • Pass Line Bet
  • Don’t Pass Line Bet
  • Come Bet
  • Don’t Come Bet
  • Pass Line Odds
  • Don’t Pass Line Odds
  • Come Bet Odds
  • Don’t Come Bet Odds
  • Place Bet on six or eight
  • Lay Bet on four or ten

While it’s important to know which are the best bets in craps it is also important to know which bets are the worst in craps. 

We have mentioned the worst bets in craps, which are also called “sucker bets” below.

The worst bets in craps/ Sucker Bets In Online Craps

Sucker bets in craps

Sucker bets are bets in any casino game where the odds of winning the bet are much lower than the house edge.

In this section we will be talking about what are the sucker bets or the worst bets in craps and why they are the worst bets in craps.

Any seven bet

The first sucker bet in our list of the worst craps bet is the any seven bet. The house edge on this bet is a massive 16.9% and the odds of winning this craps bet is 5:1 but the payout is only 4:1.

For this reason that Any seven bets are considered to be the worst bet in craps.

Proposition bets in craps

A prop bet in craps is something called a “one roll” bet. You can bet on prop bets before any every roll and your bet is only valid for that roll.

Prop bets have high payouts but what makes them sucker bets is the fact that they have a high house edge.

Take a prop bet on two or twelve for example. There is only 1 way to roll both these numbers. This prop bet pays out 30:1 but the probability that you will land this number is only 2.78%. This results in a big house edge of 13.9%.

Another example would be a prop bet on 3 or 11.This prop bet in craps pays out 15:1. There are 2 ways to roll both these numbers which might make it seem like a good prop bet but the odds of winning this bet is only 5.56% and the house edge is 11.1%.

Hardway bets in Craps

Hardaway bets on four or 10 has a payout of 7:1 and has a probability of 8.33%. This results in a terrible house edge of 11.1%. The hardway on 6 and 8 pays out 9:1 and a win probability of 13.89% and a house edge of 9.09%.

Online Craps Strategy

You’ll come across a lot on videos and articles on craps strategy. They’ll promise you that these crap strategies will help you come out on top because in the long run. 

Once you start doing your own research you begin to realize that there is no foolproof craps strategy that will guarantee you a profit.

You might have come across popular betting systems in craps like the fibonacci system, martingale system and the cross system that have unique methodologies and promise to boost your chances of success or to minimize your losses. But as we suggested earlier, it’s best to be very skeptical about them.

Here’s why, they don’t critique these “hacks” well enough. They don’t talk about the drawbacks of these “systems” and more often than not, they are sponsored by casinos themselves.

So you might be wondering, what works then? What is the best strategy?

The answer is simple, the best craps strategy is one that focuses on the numbers, the numbers being probabilities, payouts and house edge.

We have already mentioned the probabilities of different outcomes in craps, the payouts of each type of bet as well as the house edge on different craps bets. We also highlighted the best and worst craps bets based on the house edge.

This means that you have the freedom to develop your own strategy.

Based on the numbers, we reiterate what we said earlier, in our opinion the best craps strategy is a strategy that involves betting on the types of craps bet with the lowest house edge.

This means you should avoid placing the “sucker” bets that we mentioned earlier because those bets have the highest house bets and have a higher chance of hurting your betting budget.

So in our opinion, the pass line/don’t pass line,come/don’t come,odds and place bets on 6 and 8 are excellent choices to include in your craps strategy precisely because they have the lowest house edge.

If you are on a good run and are feeling lucky, you could place a lay bet on 4 and 10.

The next piece of advice we have for you when you are forming your own craps strategy is to always take odds. Unless you have already bet the maximum bet allowed on your odds bets you shouldn’t be betting on place bets.

Keep in mind that discipline is very important. If you get too carried away and blow most of your budget in one bet, you might lose big.

 A lot of the so-called craps betting strategies and systems run this exact risk because they encourage you to double or even triple your bet in order to recuperate the money you lost in your previous bets.

Common Craps Myths

There are a lot of silly myths about craps that have been floating around persistently on the internet. If you know about these myths you can avoid the mistakes of most rookie players.

The first myth about craps is that a pair of dice showing 7 to a new shooter is bad luck. You’d be surprised to learn that in many land based casinos, stickmen and dealers are trained to prevent this from happening. Weird right?

Another weird myth that people have is that the numbers 7 and 11 are lucky. This myth was born because these 2 numbers appear often and they pay out 1:1. 

Now if you read our section on craps probability, you would have noticed that the probability of rolling a 7 is higher than the probability of rolling any other number. Is it any surprise that this number shows up often considering mathematically it is supposed to? 

The next myth is based around the concept of “lady luck”. You might have come across many scenes in movies and tv series where the shooter asks to blow on the dice before he rolls them.

A popular scene from Friends where Monica and Chandler are on a roll while playing Craps

If you harbor any of the beliefs above, let them go. There’s zero truth to them. They’ll only encourage you to dismiss the math behind the game, which is the only true predictor of outcomes.

Most Common Reasons Craps Players Tend To Lose

Why do some craps players seem to lose faster than others? Are they just unlucky or is something else amiss?

You may have witnessed this at traditional casinos. Some players can nurse their chips and last a long time while others step up to the table and leave empty-handed minutes later.

What’s going on?

The most common problem is that “unlucky” players tend to place terrible bets. And by “terrible,” I’m referring to bets that give the house a huge edge (e.g. Any Seven, Prop Bets, Hardways, etc.).

Another problem is that they play expecting to win. As I mentioned earlier, the house has an edge on every single bet. The exceptions are the Odds Bets, but you have to place an initial bet (e.g. Pass Line Bet, Don’t Pass Line Bet, etc.) in order to take advantage of them. The house’s edge all but guarantees you’ll lose money over the long run.

Additionally, “unlucky” players are often low on funds. Their bankrolls aren’t large enough to tolerate short-term losing streaks. You can’t step up to a craps table with $50 and expect to strike gold. You need enough cash to withstand short-term losses.