How to Win at Craps

Craps games feature a lot of bets compared to other casino games. They are split over two betting rounds – and include many side bets on top. For the basic bets, craps has a low casino house edge. This can be as low as 1.36% with points betting having no edge at all, plus the opportunity to ‘press’ your bets to multiples of your initial (come out) bet.

Understanding the game and various bets is only part what is required to win at craps. Once you nail the basics, your betting strategy can be developed. Online craps games are an ideal way to do this for small stakes. Reducing the house edge and natural volatility of the games is easier if you take advantage of the bonuses and promotions offered by casinos.

This guide to winning at craps covers the bets, strategies, and the practical aspects of getting the best online casino bonuses. Before we ‘seven out’ at the end of this page, you will find an FAQ on beating craps games. (Our other guides include how to win at slots and how to win at sports betting.)

Understanding craps: two betting rounds

There are two betting rounds in a craps game;

  • The ‘Come Out’ Round: Here you can bet on the ‘pass line’ (it is also possible to bet ‘don’t pass’ – see below for this). A 7 or 11 roll will win, a 2, 3 or 12 will lose. If any other number is rolled, this sets a ‘point’ which is used for the next round.
  • The ‘Point’ Round: Once a point has been set, the dealer switches a disc to ‘On’ and players can bet on individual numbers. Any time the point is rolled before a 7, players are paid on the pass line bets. This round will continue until a 7 is rolled. You will see players load up on individual numbers at this point, doubling down on winning bets.

Playing the ‘don’t pass’ bar for the come out round has a slightly lower house edge than the more popular pass line. Here you win with a 2 or 3, tie with a 12 and lose with a 7 or 11. Points are set in the same way.

There are social pressures to play the pass line in live casino craps games. Since almost all players choose this (despite the higher casino house edge), anyone choosing ‘don’t pass’ is effectively betting in the opposite way to the other players. That small mathematical difference is balanced by cheering with the other players when everyone wins at the same time.

If you are playing craps online against a computer program – then it makes no difference which ‘side’ you choose for the come out round.

You can make these same bets after the point has been set. These are called the ‘Come Bet’ and ‘Don’t Come Bar’. They work in the same way as the come-out roll. There are bets that cover single rolls and multiple rolls that can be placed at any point.

Point Round

When a point has been set, the house edge for many bets disappears. This applies to bets on points 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. Bets on these numbers are that they will be hit before the shooter rolls a 7. If the point set in the come-out roll is hit again, then pass line bets pay and don’t pass bets lose.

Additional bets: field bets, props, hard ways and more

As well as the main bets, there are side bets, props and a mix of multi-roll and single roll wagers you can place.

Here are the most popular

  • Big 6 / 8: Here you are betting on hitting a 6 an 8 before a 7 is rolled.
  • Field Bets: This bet pays 2-to-1 if you roll a 2 or a 12, 1-to-1 for a 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11. The other numbers lose. This is a single roll wager.
  • Hard Ways Bets: This single roll bet is that you will get a double before a 7 is rolled. You get 7 to 1 for a 4 or 10 and 10-to-1 for a 6 or 8. There are also single bet wagers on 2 or 12 (which pay 30 to 1 on a 36 to 1 shot, representing terrible value).
  • Any Craps: You can bet on 2, 3 or 12 being rolled. This has a high house edge or 11.11%.
  • Any 7: This has one of the highest house edges of any single roll bet at 16.67%.

There are variations and more advanced prop bets available in some live casinos. Examples include the ‘Fire Bet’ which pays based on multiple points being hit on a point round. There are also bets like all tall and all small, the horn bet and 2 / 12 hi-lo.

Strategy: how to win at craps with smart betting

Nobody can beat the casino house edge. This is a mathematical certainty with any game given enough time. What you can do with betting strategy is to reduce the volatility / swings – and to push hard when you have a win to give yourself a shot at a giant payday.

Online craps games are the perfect place to perfect your betting strategies. You can play for real money at small stakes, or even use demo games to try out different betting systems with no risk.

Here are some of the most popular craps betting strategies

  • Basic Strategy: The point round betting has no house edge (unless you play side bets). This means that a solid basic craps strategy is always to bet small on the pass line or don’t pass – and then bet bigger when the point is set. The ‘odds’ of a game will be advertised, you will find 2x, 5x and 10x are standard – with some casinos offering 100x odds. This is the multiplier of the pass line bet you can bet during the point round.
  • Avoiding Props: Many bets on a craps table are literally throwing money away. Hard ways bets are examples, with field bets also having a bigger edge than the main game. If you are regularly making prop bets, then your chances of being a regular winner are far lower.
  • Systems: All ‘systems’ sold for casino games only make the sellers money, and don’t give players and edge in the long run. What they can do is reduce variance and give you a shot at going on a winning streak from time to time. Examples include the ‘Iron Cross’ single bet system. This is a way to cover all outcomes except a 7. You will also find various Martingale-inspired betting systems. They involve doubling stakes after a loss. This type of system typically reduces variance, right up until players hit a huge losing streak and blow their bankroll.

A good strategy whether you play live or online is to make sure you are clearing bonuses and / or receiving rewards for your play. While this will not cover all of the house edge, it can reduce it and get you free play / comps along the way.

How casino bonuses and loyalty rewards affect your craps win rate

Casino loyalty rewards and bonuses make a big difference to your casino bankroll. This applies to live casinos, where you will accumulate points for resort credits and free play via card schemes. It is even more important at real money casinos. Fortunately, the competition between the brands for craps players is fierce. This gives you a lot of bonuses to choose from.

As with all offers and deals online, the devil is in the details. It can pay to check the terms and conditions of any casino bonus before you jump in.

Here are the types of offer that online casinos feature:

  • No Deposit Bonuses: Many state-regulated casinos offer small bonuses with no deposit needed. This type of bonus is often restricted to slots. If craps is your game, then you can take the deals, play it through on slots – then head to the online craps tables with your winnings.
  • First Deposit Bonuses: The most common format is to match your first deposit. This type of bonus can be as big as $1500. You will need to play through the amount a set number of times. Look out for casinos that exclude craps or give it a low ‘weighting’.
  • Loyalty Rewards: Online casinos have tiered systems where you accumulate points to unlock additional bonus offers. For craps players, it can pay to check how many points you get for your bets when compared to slots or other casino table games.
  • Promotions / Special Offers: If a casino brand does not have a long list of special deals and standing promotions, it is time to look elsewhere. The best brands are always coming up with new ways to reward their loyal players.

With some money management and regular checks – there is no need to roll the dice in any online craps game without taking advantage of one casino offer or another.

FAQs

Is Online Craps Rigged?

No, games are controlled by random number generator software. Legitimate casinos such as those licensed by state governments require that RNG software has regular audits. Games are played millions of times to ensure that the outcomes are completely random.

Is it Legal to Play Craps Online for Real Money?

This depends on your state. A growing list of states have regulated / licensed online casinos. They include Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and West Virginia. More states are at different stages of legislation.

What Type of Craps Games are the Best to Play in Live Casinos?

In live casinos, you can choose from craps, crapless craps and electronic options such as bubble craps. In terms of craps odds, the best game is the traditional table. ‘Crapless’ tables use 2, 3 and 11 as points, which boosts their house edge to over 5% (from 1.41% for pass line bets on a regular game).

Should I Bet on the Don’t Pass Line?

The don’t pass bar / line has a smaller house edge than the pass line. This is 1.36% compared to 1.41%. The reason most people choose the pass line is so that the entire craps table in a live casino can win / lose together. If you play don’t pass, you will win when most other players lose. If you are playing online, then there is no social pressure – you can bet on whichever ‘side’ you prefer.

Can I Become a Professional Craps Player?

No. The house edge is baked into the game. Unlike card counting in blackjack, there is no way to change the odds to your favor. You can avoid betting on the high-edge wagers like hard ways and use systems to reduce your variance. Bonuses and comps will also help. Over the long run, it is impossible to beat this game.

What is the House Edge in Craps?

Craps betting is complex, with each bet having a different house edge. If you stick to the main bets, then the edge is small compared to other casino games. Pass line bets have an edge of 1.41%, with bets on numbers during the point round having no edge at all. By contrast, hard ways (single roll bets on doubles) can have an edge over 11%.

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