The Crapspit’s Preferred Craps Strategy for Playing Craps

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To win you need a strategy

To win you need a strategyHere at the Crapspit, we encourage our readers to share their craps-playing stories, including their favorite systems and strategies for playing the game. We thought we’d add our preferred system to the list, too. Enjoy!

We assume you’ve read and understand our other articles about what “craps systems” are and the validity of them, as well as our articles on craps basics and what to expect from the game in terms of winning and losing (e.g., our articles about distribution variance and other articles that explain how craps is designed for us to lose). Our preferred craps system, or craps strategy, is reflected in three of our articles (we suggest that you read them in the sequence listed below):

1. How to Bet to Minimize Losses and Be Around for the Hot Roll

2. How to Adapt to a Cold Table

3. Know When to Quit Playing Craps

With the first article, we explain our favorite craps strategy. It’s important to understand that our primary goal is not to win a million dollars. Our primary fundamental goal is to minimize our losses so we can play longer sessions (this assumes we’re not already rich with an unlimited budget). If we can extend our playing sessions, we increase our chances of being around when the distribution variance produces the infrequent hot roll. Although winning a million dollars is desired, it’s merely a consequence of achieving our fundamental goal (i.e., if we can make our craps budget last longer, then we have a better chance of being at the table when the hot roll hits, which we can then take advantage of and rake in gobs of money). So, remember, our goal is to minimize our losses and be able to stay at the table as long as we can to hopefully hit a hot roll. Also remember that we’re not going to win every session and some sessions are going to be short-lived. You must accept that fact; otherwise, you should not play craps.

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The fact is, the best strategy for playing craps is to keep the house advantage as low as possible. That’s done by playing the Don’t Pass and laying odds or the Pass Line and taking odds. That’s it. Nothing more. No other craps bets. No wacky betting patterns with different bet combinations for different situations and rules for taking bets down after a certain number of rolls. If you want to give the house the least amount of advantage, then the only way to play is straight Don’t Pass or Pass Line with odds. Nothing else. Although playing nothing but the Don’t Pass or Pass Line keeps the house advantage at its lowest, they can get boring quickly. We play craps for the fun and excitement it can provide, so to avoid the tedious nature of the Don’t Pass and Pass Line, we add a secondary goal in hopes of obtaining that fun and excitement. How we achieve our secondary goal is explained in our preferred system, How to Bet to Minimize Losses and Be Around for the Hot Roll.

Our preferred strategy goes a step further than almost every craps system explained on the Internet. We talk about what to do when the dice don’t cooperate with the rules of our system. That is, we talk about how to adapt to a cold table, and when that doesn’t work, we discuss the importance of calling it quits for the day.

We welcome comments and questions about our preferred strategy. So, please enjoy the material. And don’t forget to browse our entire site for more material that we believe will help make you a tough, solid-rock craps player who the casino fears.

Good luck and have fun at the tables!

You can now head over to the table of contents to find more great content.

  • Shosuko

    What do you think of taking hard 4 / 10 when your point is a 4 / 10, rather than taking odds? This can reduce the amount of your wager, say a $10 bet you could put $30 odds and risk 40 total on a low win chance for a win of 70 if you win, while a $10 pass bet with $10 on hard 4 is a total risk of 20, with a pay out of 80 if you do win, while the soft 4 turns into a push. Less chance of winning, but less risk for a weaker point eh?

  • crapspit

    Shosuko, thanks for your comment. Your proposed approach is a classic attempt to hedge your bets. The idea of hedging the Pass Line 4 or 10 with a Hard 4 or Hard 10 (also, hedging a point of 6 or 8 with a Hard 6 or Hard 8) has been thought of and tried by many craps players ever since the game was invented. Your idea is nothing new, so don’t start thinking you’re some kind of craps genius for dreaming it up :-). We suggest that you read our article on “Hedging Your Bets.” http://www.crapspit.org/hedging-bets-dont-do-it/ The article focuses on the 6 and 8, but the same holds true for the 4 and 10. The Pass Line with Odds is one of the best bets you can make on the craps table. Taking Odds on the point is the best bet you can make on the craps table because it’s the only one that doesn’t have a built-in house advantage. By adding a hedge bet on a Hard 4 or Hard 10 to protect your Pass Line bet only does one thing—it makes your Pass Line bet worse (i.e., the overall house advantage increases). Regardless of how badly you want to believe a hedge bet “protects” another bet (you can analyze it and rationalize it until the cows come home), the simple mathematical fact is that hedge bets only make good bets worse. Our advice is to stop trying to dream up ways to get an advantage. You can’t. You never will. Math geniuses have studied the game to infinity and no one has ever found a way to gain an advantage over the house (and no one ever will, not even another Einstein). If you can’t help yourself from making hedge bets, then do it sparingly, but don’t make them a habit. Have fun and good luck at the tables.

    • phil from mohegan

      hedge bets are ok if you know what your doing. A great hedge is $1 dollar yo, hop the sevens for $ 3 dollars. then put $ 15 dollars on the don’t pass. at the come out roll. Once the number is established, you place the established number and two other numbers then wait, If your numbers are hit you take your profit, let it ride and wait for the 7 Then you get paid on the don’ pass $ 15 dollars. wow

      • crapspit

        Hello Phil! People wish to believe a hedge bet “protects” another bet but the fact is that hedge bets only make good bets worse. If you can’t help yourself from making hedge bets, then do it sparingly, but don’t make them a habit. Also check out our post about hedge bets.