Here at OnlineGambling.com, we believe that craps strategy depends on two things: 1) minimizing the house edge and 2) keeping yourself entertained.
The first part is easy if that's all you are concerned with. Craps has some of the best odds in the casino and is one of the easiest games to play if you want to maintain a low house edge. Its most basic & popular bet - on the Pass Line - has a house edge of just 1.41%. But if you're playing online craps, only placing Pass Line bets is unlikely to be entertaining for very long! It's a different story if you're playing in a live casino because the craps table is a very social environment and you could probably happily keep playing the pass line all night with a drink in your hand whilst hanging out with the other players. I know that's what I do anyway!
But this article is about craps strategy, so here are several other tactics you may like to follow when playing craps online or offline, tailored to different player temperaments.
The Lowest House Edge
If you really are just concerned with maintaining the lowest house edge, then you simply play Don't Pass at the minimum bet, and then back that bet up with maximum odds whenever a point is established. The basic Don't Pass bet has a 1.36% house edge, but this will be lowered by the fact that odds bets have no house edge. At a casino that allows players to lay the odds up to 100 times their bet, the combined house edge of playing a Don't Pass bet and maximum odds is just 0.014%. This strategy can also be used with Don't Come bets, for those players who want to make more bets while their Don't Pass bet is waiting to be resolved.
Be aware that at a live casino you will want to adjust this to playing the Pass Line bet with full odds backing it up, or the Come bet with full odds. While the lowest possible house edge with this method is 0.021%, which is higher than for Don't Pass, superstitious players will give you fewer dirty looks if you bet with the shooter, rather than against. Many players at live casinos think betting against the shooter, or 'wrong', is going to make it more likely for them to crap out or seven out. You can play the optimum strategy without concern at online casinos, as your opinions are the only ones you have to concern yourself with.
The Iron Cross or Anything But Seven
This is a strategy that appeals to players who love frequent wins, but it will make 7 your bitter enemy as The Iron Cross sets it up so you hit a win on any number other than 7.
An example of playing the Iron Cross is to place a bet of $10 on Place 5, $10 on the Field, $12 on Place 6, and $12 on Place 8. This is a total bet of $44, and it guarantees some kind of win on any roll other than a 7. While this is often claimed to have a lower house edge than any of the individual bets, that belief is based upon incorrectly comparing the house edge of bets resolved rather than the per roll house edge. Place 6 and Place 8 have a house edge of 0.46% per roll, much lower than The Iron Cross.
This bet may not have the lowest house edge, but it is a fun way to play if you want frequent wins.
The Wild Bettor
If you are having a night of fun and don't care about losing your bankroll quickly as long as you have the chance to score a big win, then these bets could be for you. The house edge will be high and a bet will only last for a single roll, but these proposition bets have high payouts.
- Betting on a 2 or on a 12 has a payout of 30 to 1, the highest in Craps
- Yo (11) is a very popular proposition bet, and it has a 15 to 1 payout. The same bet can be made on 3, but that's less popular due to it being one of the Craps numbers (2, 3 and 12).
- Hi-Lo is a bet on a 2 or a 12 being rolled, and it has a payout of 15 to 1
Both Yo and Hi-Lo have a house edge of 11.11%, while bets on 2 or on 12 have a house edge of 13.89%. You are taking on a greater risk with these bets, but the risk is a major part of the excitement that makes gambling fun. Some people are inclined to take more risks if the potential payoff is big enough, so if that sounds like you, this will be a more entertaining strategy than the aiming for the lowest house edge. And if you win you'll be the toast of the table!
Can a win be guaranteed in Craps?
No, but that shouldn't stop you from having fun and giving the game a try! There are few games that can provide as much visceral action as Craps, where a big bet on the Pass Line could ride for many rolls before finally hitting the point or sevening out. You don't want to over-think your bets in Craps. Make the bets you feel would be fun and only bet what you can responsibly risk. If following a Craps strategy makes the game more enjoyable, then stick to the strategy and have a good time.
Playing at an online casino allows you to experience all the fun of Craps without the hassles of other players so it's a good way to fine tune your strategies and learn the game. The online casinos on our casino review pages nearly all feature Craps, and they welcome new players with massive deposit bonuses.
If you would like to learn more about the basics of Craps, then please visit our other pages devoted to this compelling game of chance.