Craps Winning Strategies

Best craps strategy

Content Writer, Vladimir

Last updated on 9th April 2024

Published: 04/01/2020

Categories: Guides

If you are here, let me assume that you already know how to play craps and are looking for some good craps strategies that can help you win the odds of winning. If yes, then you’re at the right spot.

Craps is a game with an extremely low advantage to the house. While you can make some of the most favourable bets and win big, there are also times when craps may offer a few “sucker bets,” which can sabotage your bankroll to a great extent.

That’s why you need to have a proper plan of attack, with the best craps strategy to help you utilize different bets for your advantage. Considering this, I’ve put together an in-depth “cheat sheet” for you today, which will tell you about the craps hop bets, lay bets, the risks, the probabilities, and lots more.

So, let’s get started.

Be Disciplined with your Money First

Undeniably, craps is a fast-paced game and that’s what makes it so exciting. Though this sounds fun, it can turn risky if you fail to pay attention to the amount of money that’s there on the table. I’m not saying this to scare you but rather to be a little alert.

It is important to be disciplined and the tip to doing this is to only bring the amount of money you can afford to lose.

Learn the Possible Dice Combinations

Before playing craps, you need to know the probabilities of every value that’s being rolled. As there are 2 dice being rolled, some values are more likely to occur than others.

Say, for example, you need a 2. And this can happen only when both the dice lands on 1. Similarly, to make a 3, you either need 1 from the first dice and a 2 on the second dice or vice versa. These are literally the chances and you need to know them very clearly before you begin to play, as they affect the possibilities of any bet winnings.

The table given below highlights the number of combinations for every value, and the possibility of the value that is being rolled.

Value Rolled Total Number of Combinations Chances of being Rolled (in %)
2 1 2.78
3 2 5.56
4 3 8.33
5 4 11.11
6 5 13.89
7 6 16.67
8 5 13.89
9 4 11.11
10 3 8.33
11 2 5.56
12 1 2.78

Familiarize with the House Edge & Payouts for all Craps Bets

Before you acquaint yourself with the payouts of different craps bets, I want you to understand the probabilities of each number being rolled. Understanding what your possibilities are will help you to realise the risks, further, paving the way to making the right decision.

Number on the Dice Number of Ways The Dice Combinations
2 1 1-1
3 2 1-2, 2-1
4 3 1-3, 2-2, 3-1
5 4 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1
6 5 1-5, 2-4, 3-3, 4-2, 5-1
7 6 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1
8 5 2-6, 3-5, 4-4, 5-3, 6-2
9 4 3-6, 4-5, 5-4, 6-3
10 3 4-6, 5-5, 6-4
11 2 5-6, 6-5
12 1 6-6

To help you comprehend the bets you need to go for and the ones you really need to avoid, here’s another table that gives you an idea of what to choose to win at craps game every time.

Craps Bets

Bet Type House Edge Payout
Pass Line 1.41% 1 to 1
Come 1.41% 1 to 1
Taking your odds on Pass Line/Come 6 or 8 0% 6 to 5
Taking your odds on Pass Line/Come 5 or 9 0% 3 to 2
Taking your odds on Pass Line/Come 4 or 10 0% 2 to 1
Don’t Come 1.41% 1 to 1
Don’t Pass 1.36% 1 to 1
Laying your odds on Don’t Pass/ Don’t Come 6 & 8 0% 5 to 6
Laying your odds on Don’t Pass/ Don’t Come 5 & 9 0% 2 to 3
Laying your odds on Don’t Pass/ Don’t Come 4 & 10 0% 1 to 2
Place 4 or 10 6.67% 9 to 5
Place 5 or 9 4% 7 to 5
Place 6 or 8 1.52% 7 to 6
Big 6 & 8 9.09% 1 to 1
Field 2 & 12 5.56% 2 to 1
Field 3/4/9/10/11 5.56% 1 to 1
Lay 6 & 8 4% 19 to 25
Lay 5 & 9 3.23% 19 to 31
Lay 4 & 10 2.45% 19 to 41
Buy 6 & 8 4.76% 23 to 21
Buy 5 & 9 4.76% 29 to 21
Buy 4 & 10 4.76% 39 to 21
Hardways 6 & 8 9.09% 10 to 1
Hardways 4 & 10 11.11% 8 to 1

Craps Proposition Bets

Bet Type House Edge Payout
Any 7 16.8% 5 to 1
Any craps (2/3/12) 11.11% 8 to 1
Any 11 11.11% 16 to 1
Aces (2) 13.9% 30 to 1
Ace Deuce (3) 11.11% 16 to 1
Boxcars (12) 13.9% 30 to 1
Horn 3/11 12.5% 15 to 1
Horn 2/12 12.5% 15 to 1

Place Smaller Bets

Despite being a “game of chance,” there are still certain craps tips and tricks you can apply to beat the house brilliantly. And it all starts with your wagers. So the first step towards this is to decide how much your bets will be. This hugely depends on the size of your initial bankroll. But avoid using higher bets even if your initial bankroll is important. Keep in mind that craps is a game where you can easily win as well as lose.

Therefore, if you are someone who has just started playing this game, start by placing small bets or the minimum amount required to play on the table.

Let’s assume that your beginning bankroll is Rs.1000. In this case, avoid placing bets that amount to 1/10th of your total budget. I recommend you to use bets amounting to only 1% of the initial bankroll. So even if the minimum amount is Rs.1, stick to this bet unless you make some profit.

The Best Craps Strategies for Bets

Whether you’re a pro or a newbie, you should know which bets are the best in craps. And these are none other than the Pass Line bets, which are pretty much similar to Roulette and Blackjack where you basically have a 50-50 chance to double up, with a lower house edge.

The pass line bets are an incredible beginning to any craps strategy due to the fact that it has a low house edge of just 1.41%. It gets even better with free odds, as the house edge decreases depending on the number of times you pass bet than you wager on odds.

Screenshot of Craps Strategies for Bets

With the combination of pass-plus-odds, the house edge decreases like these:

  • 0.8% with single odds
  • 0.6% with 2 times the odds
  • 0.4% with 3 times, 4 times, 5 times the odds
  • 0.3% with 5 times the odds
  • 0.2% with 10 times the odds
  • 0.02% at casinos (rare) that offer 100 times the odds

The Worst Craps Bets

Though there are a few bets with temptingly great payouts in Craps, their house edge is equally high too, which can make these bets either a hit or a miss. And you can lose a huge amount of money if you miss!

Sure, you can take a big risk and go ahead. But I advise you to play it with proper craps strategies (especially if you aren’t a multi-millionaire).

So, here are some of the riskier bets you can place in a craps game and why need to avoid them:

1. Big 6 and 8

Whenever you play craps, ignore the Big 6 & Big 8 bets because they have a higher house edge of 9.09% with payout 1 to 1. Trust me, these are like nightmares to any punter out there. The Place 6/Place 8 bet is more beneficial only if the house edge was 1.52%, with payouts 7 – 6 but that’s truly not the case here. So, you know what’s wise to do, right?

2. Hardways

The Hardways 4,6,8, and 10 must be clearly avoided because they have a massive house edge of 10%. This might differ slightly, based on the casino you’re playing at. But generally, they are too high.

3. Proposition Bets

These are one-roll bets. As exciting and fun as they might seem to play, train your mind to ignore any proposition bets completely unless you’re okay to take a huge risk for just a single dice roll. Though the payouts may go as high as 30 – 1, the house edge is tremendously high too.

These proposition bets are something you need to avoid:

  • Any 3
  • Any 7
  • Any 11
  • Any 2 or 12
  • Any craps
  • Craps 11

Use the Classic Regression Strategy

To earn more profits on a single hit, the “classic regression” tactic works wonders. So, here are a few guidelines for you to follow:

  • Wait for the shooter to establish a point prior to placing your bets.
  • After the point has been decided, place Rs.500 (in 2 units) on both 6 & 8 (for a total of Rs.1000).
  • After the single hit, request the dealer to go down 1 unit on both 6 & 8.

The idea behind this strategy: There are totally 10 different and yet combined ways of creating a 6 & 8. Similarly, there are totally 6 combined ways of creating a 7.

The outcome: You’ve earned Rs.200 and certainly can’t be taken by the 7. And you still have Rs.1000 working for you. After the second hit, decrease all your bets and wait for the shooter to establish the point or perhaps, a 7. If this is attained, begin the process once again.

On 2 hits, your overall earnings will be Rs.1500. You can decline your bets after the 1st hit, helping you to earn Rs.1200. Or maybe, you can proceed betting on 6 and 8. But if you continue to ride your bets, ensure that both 6 and 8 are covered.

Screenshot of Regression Strategy at Craps Game

Use the “3-Point Molly”

In order to have 3 numbers working for your benefit, the “3-point molly” is the best. Here’s what you need to do exactly:

  • Place your bet on the Pass Line.
  • Back this up by placing another single/double odds on it.
  • Then, place a Come bet.
  • Again, back this up by placing single/double odds on it (but a maximum of 2 come bets).
  • Once the Come bet wins, instantly place another.
  • Keep doing this till the shooter rolls a 7 (seven-out) or the point.

The idea behind this strategy: Each Come bet that you place will shield your Pass Line bet. This also lets you to take benefit of a lucky shooter.

The 5-Count Tactic

Before I explain this craps strategy to you, I would like to tell you that the 5-count method isn’t for players who love to experience their heart racing while placing their bets. The strategy is rather more simplified to make sure that you play in a relaxed, cool fashion and yet place the most ideal bets.

This strategy will help you to minimise any losses at the table. However, the house advantage towards the bets stays the same.

The objective of this tactic is to prevent you from losing your hard-earned money on bad shooters who seven-out too quickly.

So, to execute this, here’s how to do the counting:

  • Count 0: The shooters 1st dice roll, the come-out roll, is count 0.
  • Count 1: Here, the count remains 0 until the shooter establishes a point (4/5/6/8/9/10). Further, the count goes to 1. However, with a 2/3/7/11/12, the count remains 0.
  • Count 2-4: Here, you’ll count 1 point for each dice roll once the point is established and until you hit count-4 irrespective of the number being rolled.
  • Attaining Count 5: After you’re at count 4, the shooter should establish a point (4/5/6/8/9/10) again to add the 5th point whereas you remain at count-4 with any number.
  • Start Betting: Now that you’ve 5 points, start placing your bets. Go with Pass Line/Come or Don’t Come/Don’t Pass bets, and taking/laying odds. Don’t go for proposition bets.

The Martingale Strategy for Craps

Experts often say that when you’re at a casino, the Martingale system works more like a Swiss army knife. Well, if you use it smartly, you can certainly win big.

Before I get into the details, let me tell you that the Martingale system isn’t a recently discovered tactic. It has existed even before the 18th century and is still one of the world’s most popular betting strategies.

What exactly is the Martingale Strategy?

Well, the Martingale Strategy is more like a betting “plan,” which requires you to double your bets each time you lose. I know this sounds foolish but it’s actually not! But whenever a winning bet occurs, you’re guaranteed to regain all that you’ve lost with your initial bet.

The beauty of this strategy, however, exists only theoretically. So the table’s betting limits and the size of your bankroll together make them one of the most ineffective betting systems in gambling.

But when it comes to a game like craps, is it really okay to use this strategy?

Let me make you understand even better.

Some experts and even professional players firmly believe that they’re provided with the lowest house benefit while playing craps and by using the Martingale system. There isn’t any bet that doesn’t have a house edge, however, the edge is significantly lowered after you implement the Martingale strategy in craps.

Here, the best bets are:

  • Pass Line & Don’t Pass Line
  • 6 & 8 place bets
  • 4 & 10 buy bets
  • Come & Don’t Come

Benefits of martingale system while playing craps

In spite of the lower house edge, you’re provided with an opportunity to make low bets and further, distribute them, as you play so that you can be in the game for longer. The Martingale tactic also offers the possibility to make small bets to control your bankroll better.

Drawbacks of martingale system while playing craps

You cannot avoid the house edge completely, but the Martingale strategy can minimize it. But the truth is also that you can never manipulate the winning possibilities with this strategy. Therefore, there isn’t any guarantee that you’ll manage to make a winning even after multiple unsuccessful bets.

So, what can you do instead?

You can make use of what its called a modified or reverse martingale system along with no table limits, which I’m going to explain below.

First, consider the Don’t-Pass bet: Here, you bet 1 unit on the Don’t Pass Line. Rather than doubling while losing, raise your bet only by 1 unit. When you win, decrease your bets by 1 unit unless you’re back at 1 unit again.

Say, for instance, if you lose the initial 2 Don’t-Pass bets, your 3rd bet would be for 3 units on the come-out. But if you win, the subsequent bet would be for 2 units and then 1 unit. Luckily, if you win once again, remain at 1 unit unless you lose again.

Modified martingale trick: The benefit of using the modified martingale strategy is that you will stay ahead instead of breaking-even.

Say, for instance, your unit is Rs.100 and assume that you lost your initial 4 bets, you’ll be down to Rs.1000 (Rs.100 + Rs.200 + Rs.300 + Rs.400). Your 5th bet will be for Rs.50, and if you win now, you’re down only at Rs.50. But if you win in the upcoming 4 bets (Rs.100 + Rs.200 + Rs.300 + Rs.400) you will be ahead by Rs.50!

If you’re placing a field bet and tend to hit either a 2 or 12, you’ll be even more ahead!

Other Craps Tips & Tricks

While playing craps at any online casino, the best and ideal wagers are the pass line, don’t pass line, free odds, come, don’t come, and the 6 & 8 wagers. Initially, play with pass line and come bets or both (but with odds).

As far as the house edge is considered, pass line bets have 1.41% whereas don’t pass have 1.36%. By laying the odds, these numbers decrease, too.

  • Always make the right betting choice(s) or have a pattern to play and make sure to stick to it.
  • If you want to be in the game longer and have fun, the ideal craps strategy is to stick to the pass/don’t pass bets and come/don’t come bets.
  • If you want to win, go for high-odds bets.
  • If you’re winning, raise your wagers and lower it if you’re losing.
  • Last but not the least, don’t plan or hope that you’ll win with each dice roll.
  • Take the Odds bet always, as this bet type has 0 house edge, meaning that the casino won’t have any benefit over you.
  • Never take the Big 6 & Big 8 bets because they indicate that 6 or 8 will be rolled prior to a 7. When you compare them with the place bets on 6 & 8, they have a worse payout, which are 1:1 and 7:6 respectively.