Winning at Craps

To get the most out of a trip to the Craps table, it is important to have a plan that takes advantage of the best odds available. As mentioned in the section on Craps Strategies, one good approach is to combine Pass Line wagering with Taking Odds.

The House edge is just 1.41% on the Pass Line. When Free Odds are taken at 2X Odds, that margin drops considerably, to just 0.60%. At 100X Odds, the House edge all but disappears to just 0.021%. Taking Odds, therefore, can be a key to winning play. Let’s see how it works in actual play.

Managing Multiple Wagers

Consider the player who starts out with a $5 bet on the Pass Line and sees the shooter roll an 8. Backing up the initial bet at Double Odds requires placing $10 more on the apron. If an 8 comes up before a seven, the player will win $5 for the Pass Line and $12 for the Free Odds at 6-to-5 for a total of $17 in profit. The risk was $15.

The problem with limiting wagering to the Pass Line and Free Odds, however, is the length of time it can take to get a payout. Many intervening rolls can occur before the Point is resolved. What about the opportunities lost waiting for that 8 to come up?

If only one other bet is made, a good one is a Place Bet on the box number opposite the Point. In this case, the 6 is opposite the 8, and a $6 wager will secure it. The House edge here is just 1.52%. Because it will pay $7 for a win, if a 6 comes up even once, a profit is assured. The Player can simply come down off the 6, remove the Free Odds wager, and leave just the original $5 Pass Line bet in place—a guaranteed profit of $2.

On the other hand, if the Point is made before a 6 arrives, the Place Bet remains working for the next come out roll. It can’t lose on any number but a 7, and the next bet on the Pass Line will win if that happens, so no more than $1 would be lost.

Another good follow-up bet once the Point has been established is the Come Bet. It can be played the same as the Pass Line wager, Taking Odds when the Come Point is established and making a Place Bet on the number opposite. At this point, the player has no more than $41 at risk, with at least 16 ways of winning and just six ways of losing out of 36 possible rolls.

Pressing for Profit

As soon as one of the two Place Bets wins, it can be “pressed” at no additional risk. The House’s money will be working for the player. For example, if the 6 is rolled, it will pay $7. Pressing means the Place Bet will increase by $6, and the player can pocket the remaining $1. Should the 6 hit again, it will pay $14 plus the $6 pressed and the $1 profit, for a total of $21 in winnings if a decision is taken to come down off the 6 at this stage and $35 still at risk. Or the Free Odds wagers on the Pass Line and Come Bets as well as the second Place Bet can be removed, too, leaving just $10 at risk for a guaranteed profit of at least $11.

Many other winning scenarios are possible when playing this $41 combination of the Pass Line/Come with 2X Odds and two Place Bets. If the Point is made, it pays $5 for the Pass Line wager and $12 for the 2X Odds. Taking down all the other wagers except the original Come Bet would leave $5 at risk and a guaranteed profit of $12.

If the Come Bet Point is made, a similar situation ensues with a slightly higher profit, depending on whether the Come Bet Point is a 4, 5, 9, or 10. Other possibilities include getting a natural 7 or 11 on the Come (which guarantees breaking even if all other removable bets are taken down), and catching the Point on the Come (which guarantees $7 profit).

On the downside, a crap number on the Come will require an additional $5 Come Bet on the next roll, but the only way to lose everything is a Seven Out after the Come Bet Point has been established and before either Place Bet pays off. The objective of multiple wagers, then, is to pocket enough wins on prior series of rolls to cover that eventuality.