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Craps Strategy

A good strategy in craps is to start with a pass line bet. Once you have established a point number then take the maximum odds on that number. ie the maximum pass line odds. This will ensure you can paid at a better rate.

For example:

Say we place a passline bet of $5 and roll a 5. We can now take odds of 4 times that amount on most tables. ie we can take odds on the number 5 for a further $20.

If we didn’t take odds and a 5 hits, we make a $5 profit (ie a return on investment of 100%)

If we take just $10 on the odds and a 5 hits, we make a profit of $5 + $15 = $20, which is a return on investment of 133%)

If we take the full $20 on the odds and a 5 hits, we make a profit of $5 + $30 = $35, which is a return on investment of 140%)

On very rare occasions you might see such craziness as 100 times the odds being offered. Again exactly the same would apply, and you would get a return of $755 on a $505 bet or a return on investment of 149.5%.

The chance of a 5 hitting before a 7 is always the same, so really we want the maximum percentage return on our bet if it does hit. ie we want to take the maximum odds

The true odds of a 5 coming before a 7 is 3:2. ie there are 6 ways of making a 7, and 4 ways of making a 5. 6:4 is the same as 3:2. If we equate that to the expected ROI% it would be 150%. And as you can see the higher the odds taken, the closer it converges towards this 150%.

On the next roll of the nice you should make a Come bet. Once a number gets established via the Come you should take the full odds on that. Again this is for the same reason as our example above.
And then we should repeat that again to establish a 2nd number via the Come. This will give us 3 numbers in total. Lets say they were 8 on the come out roll (the true point number), and 5 and 9 on the Come bets (the pseudo point numbers).

This puts us in the situation of winning on 5,8 and 9. Nothing happening on 2,3,4,6,10,11, and 12. And losing on 7.

Stopping at 3 numbers is recommended because a 7 is going to be rolled once every 6 times on average, so you want to minimise you losses when the dice is unkind to you.

If you hit the 5,8, or 9, the number you hit gets paid off and cleared so it is good to re-establish 3 numbers again (all with max odds) either via the pass line or the come box (depending which number was cleared).

After that you might want to consider not recharging the numbers, as a seven has to appear eventually.
If we manage to get say get 5,8,9 cleared, establishing replacements of 4,5,10 as we go, which also get cleared. And then keep playing a single number (say 6), hitting it once, and then losing, our outcome would be like this:

  • Hit the 5 = $35 profit
  • Hit the 8 = $35 profit
  • Hit the 9 = $35 profit
  • Hit the 4 = $35 profit
  • Hit the 5 = $35 profit
  • Hit the 10 = $35 profit
  • Hit the 6 = $35 profit
  • Hit the 7 = $30 loss
  • Total profit = $215

So by throwing and avoiding the 7 for a while, whilst occasionally hitting our numbers, we can making a nice profit in this scenario.

We want to make enough profit by hitting numbers to more than cover the loss when a 7 hits. So hence sometimes gradually reducing your chips active on the board as the hand goes on is a good approach to leave a very minimal exit loss ($30 in our example).

Another good way to get more numbers in action after the initial point number is established is to make some direct place bets. This is good to get numbers in action straight away. Lets place the same dice rolls out as before, just with the numbers bet via place bets:

The payments calculation are slightly different here between Pass line and Place bet, but the outcome is very similar. Lets say that the 9, 10, and 6 were our points numbers. If we bet an equivalent amount (eg $30 directly on the 8 instead of $5 on the Come and $25 odds) then it would actually come out to a $216 profit. Also identical. The difference coming from the 4 being paid 9-5, turning $20 into $36. Whereas via the Come box we get $5 at evens plus $15 (the odds) at 2/1 for a total of $5+$30 = $35.

You might conclude that Place bets were better on both fronts (both being direct, and financially) but actually Come bets work out the best overall because you get some free equity from the first stage of the Come bet (ie 7,11 are winners (8 chances), and 2,3,12 are losers (4 chances)).

Whatever your preference Place Bets and Come Bets are both good Craps bets.

Another approach is the (artificial) perception that immediately after a 7, another 7 is less likely. If you like this viewpoint you could simply wait for a 7, then bet directly on 5,6,8,9.

This would play out as follows if $10 was bet on each number:

  • Hit all 4 numbers before a 7 = $14+$11.66+$11.66+$14 = $51.32 profit
  • Hit 3 numbers before a 7 (say 5,6,8) = $14+$11.66+$11.66-$10 = $27.32 profit
  • Hit 2 numbers before a 7 (say 5,6) = $14+$11.66-$20 = $5.66 profit
  • Hit 1 number before a 7 (say 5) = $14-$30 = $16 loss
  • 7 gets rolled immediately again = $40 loss

When playing live you may hear this strategy being called “22 inside”. This signifies the total bet of $22 (a $5 on 5 and 9, and $6 on 6 and 8) – this is because of the rounding factor in live craps where betting $5 or $10 on a 6 or 8 will not lead to a whole dollar amount returned.

There are many different craps strategies, and it is down really to the individual which they find most enjoyable. Our main advice would be to, in some shape or form, concentrate on Pass Line Bets, Come Bets, and Place Bets. A lot of the other bets pay significantly worse odds.

Specific Craps Betting Strategies

Below we will talk a little more in depth about some specific craps strategies that you may wish to give a go.

Regression Strategies

Regression Strategies are a good, often simply and effective, way to play Craps. They involve locking up profits by reducing bets after a win. So you keep money in action but you also get money off the table quickly/safely. A good example of this is as follows:

Regress half on 6 and 8.

Make a place bet of $12 on the 6 and $12 on the 8

If one of them hits before a 7, you will be paid $14. Then reduce the two bets down to $6 on each number. So at this point you have taken $14+$12=$26 from the table and you are $2 up. If 6 or 8 hit again before a seven then get paid and clear both bets. ie you will get $7+$6+$6 = $19.

Overall you profited $26+$19-$24 = $21.

You can extend this strategy into a triple regression, starting with $36. You first bet $18 on 6 and $18 on 8. After a win you regress to $12 and $12, and after a second win you regress to $6 and $6, and you then clear the board.

Overall on a successful run you will profit $21+$12+$14+$12+$7+$12-$36 = $42


Readers may be familiar with the Martingale system from roulette, which involves betting increased amounts on even money bets until you win. Well we can do exactly the same thing in craps.

Once a point is established, we start by betting $5 on the field (2,3,4,9,10,11,12). If it wins, great, we wait until after another come out roll and start again at $5. If we lose again we wait, but next time we bet $10. And so on upwards (after losing bets), doubling each time.

It is best to set a cap at $155 (ie $5 + $10 + $20 + $40 + $80).

  • Chances of us hitting a field number on any give throw is 16/36 = 0.4444
  • Chances of us not hitting one on throw ($5 level) = 0.5555
  • Chances of us not hitting one in 2 throws ($10 level) = 0.3086
  • Chances us us not hitting one in 3 throws ($20 level) = 0.1714
  • Chances us us not hitting one in 4 throws ($40 level) = 0.0952
  • Chances us us not hitting one in 5 throws ($80 level) = 0.0529.

So we go looking to make a quick $5, we are 95% likely we will be successful.

Obviously this does carry risk, so set a strict limit beforehand of how far you will go up to.

The 119

$119 profit from a $12 bet, locking profits after 1 successful roll.

Bet $12 on the 6 or the 8 (just one of them). After it hits, regress it to $6. You have now locked a $8 profit and you can relax. Continuing on the 6 or 8, if it hits a second time, increase it back to $12, taking the $1 remainder from the table. Then if successful double it up for 2 further hits of your chosen number (6 or 8), and then remove all bets.

The progression would look like this

  • $12 – paid $14 (regress to $6)
  • $6 – paid $7 (remove $1)
  • $12 – paid $14 (remove $2)
  • $24 – paid $28 (remove $4)
  • $48 – paid $56 (remove all)

If successful you will profit $14+$6+$1+$2+$4+$104-$12 = $119. If you hit the number first just one time, you are guaranteed a $8 profit (then subsequently increased to $9, then to $11, and then to $15). If 7 comes first in the first hand you lose $12.

In summary, you first look to lock a quick 1 hit profit. Then you parlay what is left hoping for a hot shooter, with an aim of reaching $119 and then removing bets.

A bit of fun if nothing else. If the shooter hits a few of your number, you can start to smell that $119.

Delayed Odds

Start off with a passline bet, and keep playing the pass line until a Point number is established. Now don’t take the odds on the passline, but instead just bet the Come box. Once a number is established via the come, now take the full odds on both the pass line bet and the Come number bet. Keep rolling until you hit the Point number, or seven out. Take the Come bet number down afterwards (if it hasn’t already been hit along the way).

This strategy has the benefit of protecting the passline bet until 2 numbers are established with odds. This happens because if a seven is rolled you lose the passline bet but win the Come box bet.

If successful (hitting both), off of a $5 base bet with 3x/4x/5x odds, you will profit $70. If you hit just the Point (not the Come number) you will profit $35.

Against the Point

With this craps strategy you are betting against the shooter, or more specifically against the Point being made.

Start by betting $30 on the Don’t Pass line. If/when a point number is established you have cleared your first hurdle of avoiding sevens and elevens on the come out roll.

Now make place bets on the inside numbers, minus the point number. In other words bet $10 on 5, $12 on 6, $12 on 8, and $10 on 9. But if any of those numbers are the point number don’t bet it.

If you hit 3 of your place numbers (when you have bet four), then take the rest of the bet down.

The result is:

  • If any of your place bet numbers come up before a 7 you will make a profit (or more accurately, you will not make a loss).
  • If a 2 or 3 of your place numbers come up before a 7 you will make a good profit.
  • If a seven comes up before anything you will make a loss of between $2 and $14
  • If a point number comes up before you hit anything, you will lose $30
  • If 3 of your numbers come up before the point number, you will make a profit

Example. Lets say the point number is the 5.

If the shooter hits a 6 and then a 7, you will win $14 on the 6, and then $30 on the 7. And you will lose $12 from the 8, and $10 from the 9. This is a net profit of $22.

If the shooter hits an 8, then a 9, then a 7, you will win $14 + $14 + $30. And you will lose $12 (from the 6). Net profit would be $46.