Craps Secrets

Craps is a very simple game played with two dice. There are no secrets hidden within the game that players have yet to discover. All there is to know about Craps is already known.

That said, the game of Craps is also complex because of the difficulty of mastering it. No matter how much one studies its history, systems, patterns, strategies, theories, probabilities, and skillful practitioners, there are always new levels of competency that can be achieved. There are also quite a few lesser known aspects of Craps betting, which may qualify as “secrets” to those who are not completely familiar with its subtle nuances.

Free Odds Bets – These wagers are taken at fair odds, so the House has no advantage. That’s why, over the long-term, a player who is consistently Taking Odds will not lose. But there are two aspects of Free Odds that a lot of players don’t realize or else tend to forget: 1) they may be taken on the Come as well as on the Pass Line and laid on both the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come; 2) they can be removed at any time. This second part is especially powerful as a tool for hedging a single roll, such as Laying Odds on the Don’t Pass as a one roll hedge against a possible 7 when betting the Don’t Come.

Full Double Odds – Many casinos offer “Double Odds” or 2X Odds, which are easily understood as the opportunity to take or lay Free Odds up to two times the original wagered amount. However, some Craps tables allow “Full” Double Odds, which means it is possible to take 2.5X Odds on the Point when it is 6 or 8, and 2X Odds on all other points.

3-4-5 Times Odds – This refers to allowing 3X Odds on the Point when it is 4 or 10, 4X Odds on the 5 or 9, and 5X Odds on the 6 and 8. When the maximum Free Odds are taken, the payoff is 6X the Pass Line or Come bet, which is an easy calculation for both the dealers and the players.

Buy Bets – Much like Place Bets, these are wagers that a certain box number will be rolled before a 7 comes up, but they are paid out at fair odds, namely 2-to-1 for the 4 or 10, 3-to-2 on the 5 or 9, and 6-to-5 on the 6 or 8. A 5% commission is charged on Buy Bets, so the wager should be in increments of 20 units. For bets not exactly divisible by 20, the commission is rounded off to the nearest unit. In terms of House edge, Buy Bets are preferable to Place Bets on the 6 or 8. The reverse is true on the 4 or 10.

Place Bets to Lose – This betting option is infrequently seen in casinos outside Australia, but it adds yet another wrinkle to the way players can win by betting “wrong.” It is a wager that a 7 will come up before the selected box number. The payouts are 4-to-5 on the 6 or 8, 5-to-8 on the 5 or 9, and 5-to-11 on the 4 or 10.

Lay Bets – More commonly offered than Place Bets to Lose, but similar in intent, these wagers win if a 7 appears before the selected box number. The difference is that a 5% commission is taken from winnings, calculated at fair odds, so the payouts are as follows: 19-to-25 on the on the 6 or 8, 19-to-31 on the 5 or 9, and 19-to-41 on the 4 or 10. Commissions are typically rounded up on uneven amounts.

Put Bets – This is a form of “late bet” in which the player skips wagering on the come out roll and then makes a bet on the Pass Line (or the Come) after knowing the result. This is one case where waiting is not wise. By missing the initial come out role, the player has lost the opportunity to win on a natural 7 or 11, eight ways to win, and avoided only the craps (2, 3, or 12), four ways to lose. Note: Any player may skip betting on the come out roll except the shooter, who is required to wager on the Pass Line, Don’t Pass, or both (an unusual wager that fails to break even if a 2 is rolled, losing the Pass Line and pushing on the Don’t Pass).