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How to Win Craps - Strategy Guide

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Playing is one thing, winning at craps is another matter entirely. Craps may first appear intimidating and complicated but soon opens up to be quite a simple game. Only when you start to look deeper does it become a little more complex again. It is this deeper side we will be looking at in this guide on how to win craps online.

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House Edge

Before going further, it is important that you have a firm grasp on the house edge and return to player (RTP). These represent the likelihood of a specific game or bet paying out. For example, a bet might have an RTP of 95%, which would mean there is a house edge of 5%. Both values equal up to 100% when looking at the same bet. These percentages represent a universal average across all players in all games. An RTP of 95% will, therefore, on average, pay out €95 for every €100 wagered. Some players may win more and others less, but this remains the average.

You can use this to compare with the payouts offered to determine the value in placing each bet. Two bets with the same payouts and different RTPs will likely mean that one is more worthwhile than the other. More on that in the section below.

Best Craps Bets

The entire game of craps revolves around the betting options and the results of the dice. While you can’t control the outcome of the dice, you can at least place your bets more tactically. Becoming familiar with specific bets and their proper application forms the basis for many craps strategies. Below are listed some bets that you want to adopt into your regular play, as well as one that you might want to avoid.

Pass Line Bets

While it might not be the most eye-catching bet type with a payout of 1 to 1, the pass line bet is the bread and butter of many players. A low house edge of 1.41% means that this is one of the least risky bet types available in craps. All you need is a seven or an eleven to win, but a two, three of twelve results in a loss. Any other result will carry the bet over until the box point (the original result) is rolled, triggering the payout. A roll of a seven before this happens will result in the bet being lost. The fact that you can outright win or carry on the bet into more rounds gives your bets a lot more potential even if the first roll isn’t lucky.

Place Bets

Place bets operate similarly to pass line bets, although come with a higher house edge that can go up to 4%. The “4-5-six-8-nine-10” portion of the table is where the place bets are. These numbered segments represent the number you can put money on to appear before a seven. This can be carried over the next rounds just as long as a seven isn’t rolled, which will result in a loss. The payout and house edge vary depending on which number you choose. Betting on a four or a ten will result in a 9 to 5 payout, whereas fives and nines payout at 7 to 5. Lastly, sixes and eights have a payout of 7 to 5. This is great if you are already comfortable with your pass line bets, but want to increase the potential payout at the cost of a higher house edge.

Odds Bets

A bet type with no house edge and no commission might seem too good to be true, but that’s the case for odds bets in craps. You will be hard-pressed to find another bet type in any casino game that has zero house edge. Not all tables have them though, but if you find one with them available it’s worth giving it a try. It functions as a side bet option for your pass and come bet options. It pays out higher ratios depending on the point needed to roll before a seven. 

Big 6 and Big 8

This is the one that is generally recommended you avoid. Having the same payout, but lower odds, than the pass bet options. There is therefore little reason to take any additional risk without the proper potential rewards. The big 6 bet is a prediction that a six will be rolled before a seven, whereas the big 8 is banking on the eight landing before a seven. In either case, it is always more likely that a seven will be rolled on a pair of dice than any other outcome. You would therefore expect a better payout than 1 to 1, but without that, it is probably best you avoid these bet types.

Strategies On How to Win Craps

Like any casino game, there is no perfect craps strategy. Even with the proper application of betting tactics and following more successful players can still result in a loss. The fate of the dice is fickle and that is naturally part of the appeal. Nonetheless, there is still good practice that you can apply, which will go some way in improving your overall experience and hopefully lead you to make more informed plays. The most important thing is that you have fun though and following someone else’s playstyle may not necessarily lead to this.

Check The Table’s Bet Limits

Before jumping in with bets straight away, it pays to do a little research, if you are playing at a new table. Aside from table-specific game rules, there may also be different minimum and maximum allowable bet amounts. One of the benefits of playing online is that you are generally allowed to place smaller bet amounts than at a land-based establishment. Make sure you take advantage of this benefit and try and find a table that lets you place €1 bets. This is especially important for players with smaller bankrolls, as this allows you to stay in the game for longer, even if you have a few unlucky rounds.

The Three-Point Molly

This strategy uses the pass line bet as a foundation that you can build on. If a point is set in your pass line bet, a come bet is placed to back up your original bet, as this will again allow you to win on a seven or eleven. Looking for sevens and elevens is the name of the game with this strategy, as these will turn a profit on your bets.

The Iron Cross 

This method aims to offer players an option that feels similar to hit-and-run tactics. Get in, place a big bet and get out with a good payout. That’s the dream anyway. Four different wagers are combined, which cover each other. A field bet is combined with place bets on results of five, six, and eight. This means that only a roll of a seven will result in all bets being lost. While this is the most common result, it is not more common than every other result combined. The fact that you are betting against a seven though makes this strategy less viable over an extended period of play.

Don’t Give Up On Your First Defeat

Even a perfect application of the strategies above won’t necessarily work out as intended. Should it not work out the first time around, there is no harm in trying it out again. You should obviously never play outside your means, but if your bankroll can afford it, try a few runs with a bet or strategy to get a proper feel for it. You might hit a couple of wins and a couple of losses, but it all serves to give you experience and an understanding of how the different strategies work or don’t work in some cases. Playing in free-play mode is a great place for this, as you won’t be risking your own funds doing the testing.

How to Win Craps With Promotional Offers

You are probably aware of all the different welcome offers and other promotions that online casinos are happy to shower their customers with. It can be tricky though, to find offers that are available to use in craps games and with good value. While bonuses may be wagered on craps games, there may very well be limitations in their wagering progression. It could also be that the wagering requirements are simply too high, to begin with. As online craps aren’t as popular as other gambling games like slots, it may be best to look for other avenues to get the most out of your gameplay.

Loyalty programs offer incentives to stick with a specific online casino. These programs are typically multi-tiered and operate on a points-based system. This allows players to benefit from rewards just by playing, which is particularly important for those who prefer more overlooked game types. While this won’t directly influence your bet outcomes, squeezing out that extra value can make your balance go further. The more rounds you play with good strategy, the more potential there is to come across some extra wins.

Nerijus Grenda
Nerijus GrendaUpdated: 06 Jun 2022
Nerijus is one of our top writers here at GoodLuckMate, and he knows exactly what casino players want to read about. He got started in the iGaming industry as a player, more specif...
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