5 tips to win at Craps


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1. Don’t Pass and Don’t Come With Odds

The rule of thumb is as follows: Put the smallest amount on the Don’t Pass or the Don’t Come lines and wager the largest amount behind them. The house edge is on the Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets, which only pay out 1:1 if you win. But the player has the advantage on the Free Odds bets (those behind the don’t pass/don’t come line), which pay out at the actual mathematical odds. This means if you play it right, the house has no advantage at all.

Free Odds bets are the only bets in the casino where the house has no advantage. It’s important to bet in the right increments, because most casinos won’t pay out in fractional dollars. For example: Free Odds payouts on 6 and 8 are at a 6:5 ratio (i.e. bet $5 get paid $6), so bet in increments of $5. Free Odds payouts on 5 and 9 are at a 3:2 ratio, so bet in increments of $2. Free Odds payouts on 4 and 10 are 2:1, so bet in whatever increments you like.

2. Place the 6 or 8 Bet to Win

Instead of waiting for the shooter to establish a point, pick your own numbers: 6 or 8. When you’re playing in multiples of $6.00 (or the currency of your choice), place the 6 or 8 place-to-win bet. The 1.52% house edge makes this bet a popular choice. The winning bets are paid at 7:6 odds, which means that you’ll be paid out $7 when you bet $6 and the number hits.

The 6 and 8 are the most frequently rolled numbers other than 7. Stay away from other place bets because the house edge is higher: 4% on 5 or 9 and 6.67% on 4 or 10.

3. Place the 6 or 8 Bet to Lose

This tip is the opposite of the previous tip. You’re betting on the shooter to lose, which might make you ‘unpopular’ at a table cheering on the shooter. But you’re not gambling for them; you’re playing the odds. Place a $5 bet on the table and announce “6 (or 8) to lose.” If the 7 shows (which is a very high frequency number) then you win $4.00 as the house edge is only 1.82%. Remember, there are 11 numbers that can be rolled with a pair of dice and some numbers are much easier to roll (come up more frequently) than others. Check out the list below of numbers and the ways to roll them:

2 – one way – 1-1

3 – two ways – 1-2, 2-1

4 – three ways – 1-3, 2-2, 3-1

5 – four ways – 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1

6 – five ways – 1-5, 2-4, 3-3, 4-2, 5-1

7 – six ways – 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1

8 – five ways – 2-6, 3-5, 4-4, 5-3, 6-2

9 – four ways – 3-6, 4-5, 5-4, 6-3

10 – three ways – 4-6, 5-5, 6-4

11 – two ways – 5-6, 6-5

2 – one way – 6-6

4. Lay against the 4 or 10

This tip is similar to the place the 6 or 8 to lose but the payouts are much higher as, while there are six ways to roll a 7, there are only three ways to roll a 4 or a 10 as opposed to five ways to roll a 6 or 8. In this case you take the more “optimistic” approach and place $20 on the table and say “Lay against the 4 (or 10).” If you win, you get back $40!

You must pay the house a 5% commission to make lay bets, but they pay out at true odds. Also, you’re betting against the shooter, so try not to gloat if you win large amounts betting against them. And if you’re playing craps online, you’re not offending anyone.

5. Place the 5 or 9 to Lose

In this bet, you put down $8.00 (remember you have to bet in increments of $2 as the odds are 3:2, meaning for every $2 you bet you get $3 if you win) and bet that the numbers above will lose. Why? The house edge on this type of bet is low – only 2.5% so when the 7 shows (again, that happens often), you’ll win $5.00.

In addition to these tips, always remember that craps is a negative expectation game, so the longer you play, the higher the chances you have of losing. But this is how casinos stay in business, and how the house edges make or break bettors who don’t make smart bets—or know when to walk away.

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