Craps Strategy

Craps is one of the most fascinating games in the whole casino. It enables you to play a game where you get a real shot of making some good money with a very small house edge (if you know how to bet, that is). But sometimes it’s not about the strategy, but about the hard luck you get. Might be your lucky table, might be your lucky dice or your lucky night – even though the odds might frequently be against you, sometimes you may walk out of the casino with fat stacks of cash and joyful smile on your face simply because you got lucky. It rarely transpires, but when it does, it’s a most memorable experience. And since Craps is a very social game, people will keep talking about it long after it’s happened. Here are some stories you might enjoy. Most of them are at least partly true.

Stories About Winning Players

Do you know how legends are born? Something occurs at one point time – no one expected it and no one can explain it, but it did happen and it left people wondering. The more unanticipated and enigmatic the phenomenon is, the more interesting and vivid the legends become. Legends such as this one…

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A man walks into the Binion’s Horseshoe Casino carrying 2 suitcases. He’s your Average Joe and by looking at him, you wouldn’t possibly be able to tell what would happen. He just opens one of the suitcases and takes $777, 000 out of it, then changes the money for chips and rushes to the nearest Craps table. At the table he bets everything on the Don’t-Pass Line (he doesn’t even bother with Odds Bets). He bets more than half a mil on one game. Playing against the table, he hopes for a 2 or 3, but the Shooter establishes a Point. The man just patiently waits for the Shooter to throw again and roll 7 before the Point. And indeed he does, in the third roll. Everyone at the table is astounded. Without saying anything, the man just takes his winnings, fills one suitcase with his original sum of money and the other one with the profit and exits the casino, never to be heard from again. Legend has it that he returned to the same casino ten years later, but this time bet only $150, 000 and left the casino after a colossal loss. At this point, though, anyone can say anything and almost nothing can be proven.

Did you know that most Craps players are extremely superstitious? For example, you will be frowned upon if you say the S-word (seven) before the Shooter rolls the Point. This is why there are certain nicknames you can use if you want to make a Proposition Bet. Since in most American casinos, seven is written with big red letters, they call it “The Big Red”. So if you want to make an Any 7 Bet (which I advise against) you can just call it “Big Red” instead of seven.

Knowing that players can get really superstitious over Craps, it should come as no surprise that the same fate can befall the casino staff, as well. There have been stories of “lucky dice” being thrown away, crushed, burned and even buried into the desert. If a table start losing the casino too much cash, they can just close it because they believe it’s a lucky table at that particular point. There is even a story about a pair of dice being exhibited in a glass case at a casino because of a winning streak. The streak was 17 Points in row, which I don’t need to tell you is a lot. However, one day it was discovered that the case was broken and the dice was removed. A few weeks later, they found out it was the shifts manager who was the perpetrator. He hated the dice so much he just needed them gone. I guess I can relate to that, at least to some extent. That pair must’ve caused the casino a fortune.

There is also a story of a man who turned a $50,000 bankroll into $950,000 on a Craps table. It took him about 24 hours of playing and all his physical and mental energy. Even through the exhaustion, he decided to keep playing until he reached a mil. He then played for another 24 hours but never managed to reach his goal. He left the tables with $850,000.

Whether these stories are true or not is irrelevant. There has to be at least some point in time when the odds must be so much with the player that he manages to collect gigantic winnings so I’m inclined to believe them, at least to some extent. Still, caveat emptor!

Strategy for Playing Craps

Even though there are many bets you can make and lots of ways you can lose your money, if you want to win at Craps, there aren’t many strategies you can employ. In fact, there are very, very few revolving around the good bets. Everything else is to be ignored. This isn’t to say that people never win at the terrible bets. You might bet on the “Big Red” and win immediately. You might bet on a Hard 8 and win right after that, but the chance is smaller, casino edge bigger and if you play those bets, you will lose more than you win in the long run. This is why it’s a bad idea to even think about them. Simply make sure that you make the right bets – this is your only winning strategy in Craps.

First, if you hope to be successful, you need a good bankroll. What is a good bankroll, you ask? Well, think about the Line Bets you want to place and then multiply by 75. This way you can make 75 equal bets if you follow your original idea and you won’t feel that pressured. Even if you end up betting more, you still have enough left to keep betting.

As for the betting part, itself, bet on the Come-Out Pass every time. Your basic Line Bet should be backed up by the maximum Odds Bet allowed every time. You can also make Come Bets, usually smaller than your Line Bet. Place the maximum Odds Bets the table allows behind your Come Bets. This way you will cover more numbers. The more Come Bets you make, the riskier it gets, but with great risk come great rewards. If you don’t feel like betting too much, you can make only one Come Bet and back it up at full Odds, and then place another one only if you win. Stay away from the Field, Proposition Bets, Place Bets and even Buy Bets. They are really not worth it.

If you end up losing a lot, and this bit is very important, don’t get temped to go get more money and exchange them for chips right away. It’s obviously not your night. Wait for your luck to change. Live to gamble another day.

If you start winning a lot, consider locking away a percentage of your winnings. People tend to start gambling more when they win and sometimes lose a lot of money in attempts to repeat a hot streak. A good gambler always knows when to back off because his luck is no longer with him. You need to realize that this is a game of chance – you might win a lot now, but now lose later (and vice-versa). Be careful. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you got a lucky streak, it will go on forever. Play the odds carefully. If they are against you, back away. Ask yourself if people were winning that much, why is the casino business thriving?

It is, because most people don’t know when to stop and lose way more than they win. If you want a winning strategy, learn when to quit. Even when you win, follow your initial intentions. Don’t start betting more just because you think you will win. This is the best way to squander off your profits – bet and lose them. Like I said, it’s always a good idea to lock away half and be strong when the desire to bet it all arises. After all, you are there to have fun and maybe make some money, but you can’t do that if you bet all you have and lose it, can you?

This is it – make smart bets, ignore the bad ones and never bet too much on just one roll. Always take full Odds because when you win, you will win big. Keep in mind that the house always wins. If you play smart, though, Craps is one of the games that can actually enable you to beat the house at its own game and leave the casino with a considerable profit while the casino manager is tearing his hair off. This is what the game is all about!

Craps Basics
Craps Table Layout
How to Play Craps
Playing Best Odds in Craps
Craps Bets
Craps Strategy


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