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  • Craps Strategy

    In our "rules of craps" section we walked you through the opening events at a round of craps. We introduced you to the craps crew, the dice and a bit about them, and most importantly the come-out roll and pass line bets. As what we talk about slowly morphs itself into craps strategy talk as opposed to just a description of rules, we move from the pass line bet to its better odds cousin, the pass line bet with odds. We will also discuss every other bet on the table so that you can define your own craps strategy.

    Once you have the whole come-out roll thing figured out, you know what a point is and how the basics work. The next step is to talk about the pass line bet with odds, then move on to the other bets. Although it may seem like we are starting with the easy bets, it goes a little further than that. The fact of the matter is, the best bets you can make at the craps table are these basic ones, as they maintain the lowest house edge.

    A pass line bet with odds is just like the pass line bet in how it wins and loses, but different in how it begins. The difference is, while you can make a pass line bet before the come-out roll, you can't do that for a pass line bet with odds, because what your 'odds' are set to is a function of what the point is set to.

    To place a pass line bet with odds, place a pass line bet and then 'back it' after the point is set. For example if you were betting $5 on a pass line bet and the point got set to '4', you could put down the equivalent to, or a larger bet, just below your original wager. Physically place the chips half on and half off of the bottom of the pass line. If on the next roll a '4' is hit you win your pass line bet back, and an additional sum of money derived from the odds bet. In this case you are paid 2 to 1 on the odds bet. What determines the payout on odds bets is the actual number the point is set to (because some points are easier to hit than others, refer to the dice chart on our rules of craps page). If the point is set to 4 or 10, odds bets are paid back at 2 to 1 odds. If the point is set to 5 or 9, odds bets are paid back at 3 to 2 odds. If the point is set to 6 or 8, odds bets are paid back at 6 to 5 odds.

    The odds bet is simply the most intelligent bet in the game of craps. This stems from the fact that the more you wager in odds (double, triple, quadruple) the lower the house edge drops. A standard pass line bet holds a house edge of 1.41, which alone beats the house edge of the best bets in almost every other casino game. When you add odds to the bet the house edge can downright plummet. The house edge on a pass line bet with ten times odds is only 0.18%.

    Bet Casino
    Payoff
    Casino
    Advantage
    Pass Line Bet Even Money 1.41%
    With Single Odds (1x) Even Money Plus Odds 0.85%
    With Double Odds (2x) Even Money Plus Odds 0.61%
    With Triple Odds (3x) Even Money Plus Odds 0.47%
    With Five-Times Odds (5x) Even Money Plus Odds 0.33%
    With Ten-Times Odds(10x) Even Money Plus Odds 0.18%

    The ultimate craps strategy is truly to only ever play pass line bets with odds, as you won't find a lower house edge on any other bet. If this were all there was to the game though, regular players would quickly die of boredom. To look further into developing a strategy, simply learn every possible bet, and choose between the best and worst. Each of the other bets available on the craps table are described below, along with where to find them on the table.

    Pass Line Bet
    Pass line bet with odds
    The field bet
    The don't pass bet
    Craps InstructionsThe come bet
    The don't come bet
    The hard way bet
    The place bet
    Proposition bets
    Big 6 / big 8 bets


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