How to Play Craps

Before implementing any strategy in craps, players should first establish guidelines to follow. This will make it easier for them to follow their craps strategy and test its success. Here are a few points to consider:

  • 1

    Research online craps games.

    Online casinos can feature multiple varieties of craps games. Before committing any funds, players should check the rules for any differences from regular craps gameplay, and how these can affect their craps strategy.

  • 2

    Assess your bankroll.

    Players should be realistic about the craps betting strategies they can apply in a game with the bankroll they have. It's unlikely a high-stakes strategy will win with a low bankroll, for instance.

  • 3

    Check for minimum/maximum bet limits.

    These bet limits can seriously affect the longevity of a craps strategy. Players should judge their bankroll against these limits and be prepared to walk away if it doesn't suit their gameplay.

  • 4

    Set a time limit.

    It's easy to get swept away by the excitement at the craps table, particularly when players think their craps strategy is due to pay out soon. To prevent themselves from losing too much on a bad session, players should set a time limit on their craps games.

  • 5

    Make your bet several times.

    To assess how well it truly works, players should bet on a craps strategy several times. Only make bets you can afford to lose, though.

  • 6

    Analyze your results.

    At the end of a craps session, players should look at the results of a craps strategy and determine whether it met their expectations. This is also a good time for players to assess their own habits, such as tilting at the table.

Basic Craps Strategy for Beginners

For beginner players, we recommend they use free online craps games to practice craps rules and strategy before transitioning to real money. Our 'low risk' or 'safe' craps strategy suggestions below aim to help players improve their craps knowledge and have fun, while potentially earning some small winnings in the process:

Pass Line Craps Strategy

Pass Line Craps Strategy

Betting on the pass line is the simplest craps strategy, and one most bettors make in a land-based casino. The house edge is a low 1.41% and winning pass line bets stand to make even money (1:1). Players can start this craps beginner strategy by betting on the pass line on the comeout roll. If the dice land on 7 or 11, the pass line bet wins.

Don't Pass/Don't Come Craps Strategy

Don't Pass/Don't Come Craps Strategy

This strategy won't win you any friends at the table, which makes it perfect for online craps games. With the Don't Pass/Don't Come strategy, players bet against the shooter with a Don't Pass bet. Effectively, players win if the shooter lands on 2 or 3 and lose on 7 and 11. If a 12 is thrown, the Don't Pass bet becomes a push, and players receive their wager back. If a point is thrown, players should then make a Don't Come bet. Like the Pass Bet, the Don't Come bet pays out if the shooter lands a 2 or 3 on the next roll, and 12 results in a push. The Don't Pass bet forms the foundation for intermediate 'Dark Side' strategies, which are discussed later.

This strategy has a slightly lower house edge than the Pass Line strategy at 1.46%. Given that 7 has the greatest number of dice combinations, the odds of winning Don't Pass bets are lower.

Craps Money Management Strategy

Craps Money Management Strategy

One of the hardest lessons a new craps player can learn is when to leave the table. Inexperienced bettors will follow a losing streak and eventually blow their session bankroll at the craps table. A good craps strategy for beginners is to set themselves a modest 'win' goal before a session and walk away from the table if their reach their target.

Pro tip

We recommend beginner craps players set themselves a win goal of 20% of their session bankroll before joining a game.

Intermediate Craps Strategies

You know the rules to the game and the best payout odds, as well as the craps bets to avoid. Our intermediate craps strategies will help you build on beginner tactics with additional bets and techniques to minimize the house edge and potentially increase your payout odds. In particular, they will discuss Dark Side strategies, where players bet against the shooter in a craps game.

Craps Odds Strategy

Craps Odds Strategy

When looking for the best mathematical craps strategy to use, players can do much worse than lay the odds. Like all Dark Side strategies, laying the odds requires players to bet against the shooter and players. When laying the odds, bettors wager the shooter will land a 7 before throwing a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. These can only be made after the Point has been made. The odds of these landing are statistically fair, so there's no house edge on these bets. On the downside, the payout odds for these are lower than other bets, with laying the odds against 4 or 10 offering 1:2 odds, 5 or 9 paying out 2:3, and 6 or 8 paying out at 5:6.

Craps Press Strategy

Craps Press Strategy

The Press strategy also goes by the name Press-and-Pull. With this craps strategy, players press their bets when the Place bet lands and pull their profits after the bet lands four times.

Let's say a player wants to make a Place bet on 6. The payout odds are 7:6 on this bet, so the player makes it a $6 wager. If the dice land on 6, this bet pays out $7. In the Press strategy, the player will keep $1 and then ask the dealer to push it to $12. If the 6 lands before the point again, the player wins $14. With the Press strategy though, the player will want to add $4 to the bet and ask the dealer to press it to $30. If the dice land on 6 for a third time, the player will add $1 to the $35 winnings, bringing the Place bet total to $66. If the dice are thrown on a 6 for the fourth time, the player will receive $77 on that bet and pull their total winnings of $143 from the table.

The point behind the Press strategy is for players to win large amounts with minimal investment from their bankroll. Instead, they use their winnings to effectively double their bets each round. In the example above, players only committed $10 from their bankroll. The catch with the Press strategy however is that the odds of landing a number three or four times in a row before a seven is slim. This is an aggressive craps strategy and players potentially stand to lose more than their bankroll with this method.

6/8 Craps Strategy

6/8 Craps Strategy

Progression betting strategies are popular in craps because they usually have a low house edge. Players choose the 6/8 craps strategy over other place bets because 6 and 8 have the second-greatest odds of landing on the dice (besides 7). With this strategy, players make a $6 place bet on 6 and 8. If the dice land on one of the numbers, players pull the profits and make the bet again. If their bet loses, they make the bet again, only this time they increase the amount they bet. Some choose to increase bets by specific amounts, others double each time.

Like all progressive betting strategies, players can go long spells without a win, and they are somewhat reliant on a streak. Players should only test this craps betting strategy if they are happy playing with money they can afford to lose.

Advanced Craps Strategy

Experienced players want an advanced craps betting strategy that will up the ante on their gameplay. They're not afraid to make big, aggressive bets and use long-term or quick one-roll strategies in their gameplay. Craps pros, try your hand at some of the advanced craps betting strategies below:

3 Point Molly Strategy

3 Point Molly Strategy

This is an aggressive craps strategy that requires players to have a big bankroll. The approach behind 3 Point Molly is for players to place maximum odds on multiple bets with low house edges and decent odds of landing. Players can potentially mitigate any losses from these multiple bets with lots of small wins throughout the craps game. Here's how to play the 3 Point Molly strategy in craps:

  • 1

    Bet on the Pass Line.

    Players are betting on the shooter to land a 7 or 11. In 3 Point Molly, players will always bet on the pass line. The second stage of the 3 Point Molly strategy occurs once a point has been set.

  • 2

    Place a Come bet, and max odds on the Point.

    After the Point has been established in a craps game, players should bet max odds on the point, and add a Come bet too. So, a bet on point 6 with 5x maximum odds on a $5 bet would be $25. Players will then want to place a Come bet on the table as well.

  • 3

    Move the Come bet to the next 'Point'.

    If the shooter lands another number other than the Point, 7 or 11, this will become your personal second 'Point'. Move your Come bet to the second point bet, add the maximum odds, and then place another Come bet again. At this point in the 3 Point Molly strategy, players should have bets on the Pass Line, Come bet and the Point, and one other number.

  • 4

    Add a bet onto a third number.

    In 3 Point Molly, players should have bets on three numbers on the craps table. So, if the shooter throws a number that isn't a 7, 11, or the two numbers you have bet on already, this will become your personal third 'Point'. Place a bet at maximum odds on this final number.

  • 5

    Keep playing until the Point, 7 or 11 is thrown.

    In the event the shooter lands on your other bets, take the winnings and place a Come bet on the next throw of the dice. If another number lands, move your Come bet to this number. This ensures players always have three number bets in play.

Many advanced players consider 3 Point Molly a good craps strategy because it protects their Pass Line bet. However all players should remember that this is an aggressive strategy that requires a sizeable bankroll.

Pro tip

The 3 Point Molly system is more successful when deployed with a consistent shooter. Watch a craps table and check if the shooter is landing certain numbers more often than others, before deploying this strategy.

Iron Cross Craps Strategy/Field Bet Strategy

Iron Cross Craps Strategy

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.

Players can deploy the Iron Cross strategy (also called, Field Bet strategy) after the comeout roll and the Point has been established. Effectively, bettors make wagers on all numbers except 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 a 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.

The Iron Cross strategy may not have the lowest house edge, but it is a fun way to play if you want frequent wins. Remember though, that 7 is the most frequent number thrown in craps.

Pro tip

The Iron Cross strategy is intended for one-off bets and should not be used as a long-term betting strategy at a craps table.

The Wild Bettor

The Wild Bettor

For players wanting a night of fun and have no concern about losing their bankroll quickly in exchange for the chance to score a big win, then these bets could be for you. The house edges are high and the strategy will only last for a single roll, but these proposition bets have high payouts.

  • A Yo bet (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%. 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.

What is the Best Craps Betting Strategy?

The best strategy to win at craps relies on bets that minimize the house edge and give players the best odds of landing. To win the most amount of money while keeping the house edge low, we recommend players bet the minimum limit on Pass Line/Don't Pass bets, and then lay the odds. The house edge on Pass Line/Don't Pass bets are low (1.41%/1.36% to be exact) and there's no house edge on laying on the odds.

Is There a Strategy to Rolling Dice?

Some players spend hours studying craps dice rolling strategy in the hopes they can control what numbers they land in a game. This is a costly and unreliable strategy to try, as it requires players commit thousands of hours (not to mention their bankroll) recording dice landings. There are many outside factors that can influence craps dice strategy that are beyond the shooter's control. Not only that, but dice rolling strategy is useless in online craps games.

Players should focus on craps betting strategies and money management to improve their gameplay.

FAQs

  • Is 3 Point Molly a good craps strategy?

    The aim behind the 3 Point Molly strategy is that players make multiple wagers on bets with a low house edge, while potentially increasing their payout odds with bets across half the place positions. With this approach, players can potentially offset their losses with lots of small wins. It's an aggressive strategy that can accumulatively cause big losses if players don't understand the system fully. Only advanced players should attempt the 3 Point Molly strategy in craps.

  • Is the Iron Cross a good craps strategy?

    The Iron Cross is a good strategy for advanced craps players that want to land small frequent wins. It has a lower house edge than other craps bets, and ensures players win some payout on the dice. Players should remember though that it loses on 7, which is the most frequent number to land on the dice.

  • How do you win at Don't Pass in craps?

    When players make a Don't Pass bet in craps, they are betting against the shooter. If the shooter throws the dice and lands on 2 or 3 first, then the bettor wins. In the event a 7 or 11 is thrown, the Don't Pass bet loses. If the shooter lands a 12, the Don't Pass bet becomes a 'push' and the player receives their bet back.

  • Should you lay odds on Don't Pass?

    Don't Pass bets have a low house edge (1.36%) and when combined with lay odds, which have no house edge, they form a popular craps betting strategy. The payout odds on these landing is lower than other craps bets, but they potentially offer more consistent, smaller winnings.

  • Why is it so hard to win at craps?

    While craps has one of the lowest house advantages out of all casino table games, it is notoriously difficult to win consistently. Craps offers players hundreds of bets to make, and for most of the game the casino wins on 7, the number with the highest dice combinations. For players to win at craps, they must know the payout odds and probability of dice combinations landing.