Any craps players here?

I just started getting into craps, and had a few questions for any dice players that might be here.

  1. Can you reccomend a good book on the game? I am going into this knowing the house has the advantage, and the notion I can actually make a living playing dice is a pipe dream. I find the game fun, while accepting that even the best system for playing is still, in the long run, going to end up chipping away at my bankroll.

2)Played a game in AC tonite, and noticed there are some players that will turn the dice to a certain number and then roll. For instance, I noticed this one player turned the dice to a 7 each time, then rolled. I went on Amazon tonight, and noticed that there is actually a book that claims you can turn the odds in your favor with how you roll the dice.

I find this very hard to believe. If that was really true, wouldnt casinos just restrict players in the manner they threw the dice (for instance, I learned tonight that the shooter can only use one hand when handling the dice)?

Any tips, advice on how I can learn more about this game would be greatly appreicated. I am especially interested in table ettiquette tips so I dont make an ass out of myself as I learn!:smack:

I can tackle this one… mostly.

Yeah, Controlled throwing, throwing control… as I understand it, it can be done, but the amount of practice to get good at it, and then, the minimal advantage it brings…

As to why casinos don’t restrict, I would figure, that if it becomes a problem, they would.

A concise, but well written and straightforward, book with an emphasis on math is:

Mensa Guide to Casino Gambling Winning Way by Andrew Brisman - ISBN is 1402713002

Occasional craps player here. I had one very good run in AC back in 1995, and nothing close since.

Basic tips:

  • Learn the true odds of each number coming up on any given roll.
  • Learn how to play the pass & come line with double or 3-4-5 odds.
  • If you want, learn how to play the don’t-pass & don’t-come lines laying single or double odds.
  • Ignore ALL other bets on the layout.
  • The dice work for the house. The dice hate all the players. Make sure your wagering plan takes into account good streaks and bad streaks.
  • The dice hate hunches and will sabotage them without mercy. Train to ignore your hunches and to stick to your wagering plan.
  • Any time the dice appear to like you and like your hunches, remember that the dice work for the house.
  • Once you plan to end your session, put in one last drink order. Make it a good one. When the drink comes, stop putting chips on the table; it’s time to cash out.

I’ve heard it said that aside from blackjack, which takes a lot more training and practice, craps has the best odds for a player. If you only bet the pass line and then bet full odds, it can come closest “evening out.” It depends on how much the casino limits the odds bet, and if they pay it out at actual odds or not (obviously, a lot of places limit it and don’t pay actual odds, so it’s more in their favor.)

Generally, the lower-limit, less-fancy casinos are the ones that usually pay closer to real odds and let you have a higher odds bet (sometimes as high as 5X, most higher min. and fancy places limit it to 3X, IIRC.)

That’s really all you should play. Yes, field bets, no-pass, etc… can be more fun, and sometimes it feels more rewarding because you might win more often, but it makes the odds more towards the house in the end.

That being said, though, craps was by and large me and my buddy’s favorite game on our trip to Vegas. When a table or thrower is hot (especially if it’s you, :p), and there’s a full table of people cheering them on, it is the most fun you can have in a casino. And even a “cold” table is often more fun and rewarding then a bad game of blackjack, IME. I think it’s because you at least feel like you’re in control, since you throw the dice. Even though, after all was said and done, we had lost ~$100 over the long weekend (not bad considering we probably played clos to 24 hours worth of craps,) we felt we came out ahead since we easily drank at least $200 worth of booze for free. :smiley:

I love craps.

A couple of good points were made upthread, including the fact that the ODDS bet is the best bet in the house (except for expert card counters playing blackjack). So the key is to bet the MAX on the odds bet. The maximum bet is usually 3/4/5 x the original pass bet that they’ll let you bet on odds (3/4/5 means: 3x for 4 or 10, 4x for 5 or 9, 5x for 6 or 8).

The casino’s “take” on the Pass line is only about 1.4% to begin with, but if you bet $5 on PASS and then put $25 behind it (on the odds), the casino’s take is reduced to less than 0.25%, because the $25 bet, if it wins, will be paid off at the proper odds (i.e., no “take” for the casino), in this case $30 paid off on your $25 bet. A couple of the smaller places on the Vegas strip have 10x odds and even 100x odds, which if a player actually takes advantage of (and avoids other bets), reduces the house take to very very close to 0.

The field bet is a sucker bet, with a really high take, as are all of the “one roll” bets (such as 2, 12, “ANY CRAPS” bets, and those “HORN” bets, which in 25 years of playing Craps I still don’t really know exactly what they mean. These should definitely be ignored.

If just betting Pass line (and Odds behind it) does not provide enough action (and it usually doesn’t, because you’re just waiting for one number to be rolled and a lot of time may be wasted), you can also bet COME, which is the Exact same concept as PASS, except that it is made starting with any roll after the original roll. For example if you bet PASS and a 6 is rolled, they put a big “ON” Disk on the 6, and that is the Point to be made. If you bet COME on roll #2, and an 8 comes in, your chip will be moved to the 8. And you can then take ODDS on the 8, which works just like your ODDS on the 6 would work. I’m probably making it sound more complicated than it really is. Some people are very intimidated at the Craps table, but it’s really not rocket science. Thes couple of rules really comprise “The Whole Game.”

You can also make “Place bets” on the numbers, especially 6 or 8 to come in before a 7 (the unmentionable word, which I will never utter at a craps table). The take on these bets is not as low as the PASS bet, but at about 2.8% it’s worth tolerating for the exciting action it generates. When I’m shooting, I will also bet 5 and 9, even though the take on these bets is about twice as much as on the 6 and 8 bets. My hope is that I will hit a bunch of #s multiple times, without rolling the “unmentionable #.”

Someone earlier said that a hot craps table is the most exciting place in the casino. I say it’s the most exciting place on EARTH!

The one time I visited Las Vegas, my uncle taught me how to play craps, since it’s the one purely chance-based game* that gives you the best chance of winning, due to the odds bet, which should pay out based on the exact, literal odds of that roll coming up. As noted by others, the pass line bet is still very slightly in favor of the house, so you will never have the advantage or even be completely even, but you can get very close, depending on how you choose to or are allowed to proportion your bet between pass and odds.

Before he would teach me, my uncle made me promise that I would always track both my wins and my losses, and that if the *net *ever amounted to a total loss of $1,000, that I would stop. The threshold may obviously be higher or lower depending on your assets, how often you play, and how long you’ve been playing for, but I think it could be useful to set a limit for yourself.

*I.e., versus something that is partly skill-based like blackjack.

Assuming a loaded bankroll ($400) and take advantage of all the even money bets (odds).

At a $5 table with 5x odds, I bet $5 pass, take full odds (either $25 or $24) and place a $12 bet on 6/8. then I make a $5 come bet. If 6/8 is rolled next, I change the place bet to an odds bet. (with a $1 rebate).

I usually make only two come bets, so theoretically, I could have 5 of the 6 numbers covered if the roll is long enough. $30 on each of the Pass/Come bets and $12 dollars on 6/8 is max liability. A total of $114. OMG! $75 is with no house advantage, which makes me a little better.

If I get up more than $500, I walk away, no matter what and if my $400 bankroll disappears, I walk away no matter what. I can lose it all within 10 minutes if the table is cold, and win $500 within 10 minutes if someone has a long roll. I have been even known to take all my bets down if I get to that $500 level.

I tend to take my bets down if the dice leave the table (always), someone throws money on the table (always), or there is a dealer change (most of the time).

I’m off to Vegas soon and wouldn’t be opposed to playing a little craps. However, notfrommensa’s claims of $400 swings in 10 minutes could make my dice days kinda short.

It sounds like removing the Come bets and removing the 6/8 plays would limit the exposure with out making the house edge any higher - is this correct?

Would a player just making Pass + Odds bets stand out as a total noob? Would I be expected to throw at some point? If so, what should I watch out for to not, again, stand out as too big an idiot?

yes, removing come bets and place bets will reduce your exposure, and there will be plenty of players doing that.

Warning: It may be difficult to find a $5 Crap table at the high end strip casinos, especially at prime time. Where are you staying?

You can pass the dice if you want to.

If you do roll: USE ONLY ONE HAND! The dealers quickly admonish you if you start ‘rubbing’ the dice with two hands. They also want you to hit the back wall of the table with the dice. throw the dice hard enough to hit the far wall, but just hard enough. And if your dice do miss the table, call for the “same dice”. No one wants to see the roller change the dice.

I like being at the far side of the table, away from the stickman. I have been hit in the head before by the guy wielding the stick.

IIRC they also generally want you to shake the dice “open handed” (palm facing up without your fingers closed completely over them).

I only have moderate experience with craps, but of casino games it is the one I like the most. I think it is because I find it the most entertaining. Also, everyone at the table usually wins and loses together so when people win, everyone is happy and that is a nice feeling.

I only bet the pass line and whatever it’s called when you put more money behind it.

Tip. Cruise ships are generally more lax about things. The bets are lower, and you can always blame the sway of the ship if you chuck the dice out of play.

Limits might be lower on Cruise ships but I have been told the house cut is greater. That they do not pay full odds on odds bets, etc.

I have never been on a cruise ship, so I do not have any personal experience.

I don’t know why, but when I first learned to play I started playing Don’t Come / Don’t Pass. So I’m the guy quietly whispering “come on 7…” and smirking silently when the shooter 7’s out. :slight_smile:

There is a contrarian in every crowd. No wonder you are a Cal Bear. :smiley:

I’m a big gambler, though I haven’t gotten out to the casino in years. All I ever play is craps.

I would advise against playing odds. They are true odds bets, meaning they have no impact on your bottom line. What they do is increase variance, which (as a general rule) does nothing but shortens your session at the tables. That whole “lost/won $400 in 10 minutes” thing is what odds brings to the table.

Instead, to increase your action in a more controlled manner I’d play the Pass/Don’t and the Come/Don’t. If you want still more action, instead of odds go with Place bets. With Place bets, the closer to the middle the better your odds, meaning 6&8 are better (have less house advantage) than 5&9, which in turn are better than 4&10.

My typical bankroll was $200 at a $10 table. (Too few $5 tables and the ones that were there were too crowded.) Depending on my mood or the situation I could choose to burn through it in a matter of minutes (go odds!) or make it last for hours and hours.

To illustrate why I avoid odds, if you had to pick one of the following coin flip wagers, which one would you pick and why?

  1. Heads you win $95, tails you lose $105
  2. Heads you win $10,000, tails you lose $10,000

I’m guessing you’d pick 1) because you can’t afford 2). That’s what odds are like, though obviously nowhere near that extreme.

If you’re interested I can happily furnish a bunch of fun betting strategies tailored to your situation, including ones that use odds if you remain unconvinced by my argument to avoid them. How big is your bankroll? How long do you want it to last? How much activity do you want going on? Do you prefer frequently winning a little and occasionally losing a lot, or frequently losing a little an occasionally winning a lot? In both examples the “little” and “lot” are the same. So either lose 10, lose 10, lose 10, win 30, or win 10, win 10, win 10 lose 30.

the biggest key difference between pass/come and dont pass/come is that pass/come bet you win one at a time and lose all of them at once. the “wrong” bets lose one at a time but win all at once. I’m “wrong” and that made and interesting payout when the roller hit most of the numbers once then a 7.

Thanks for the tips!

Waterman, I took your advice and picked up that book at Barnes and Noble, good read so far.

BTW, are there any “free” online craps games or tournaments you’d reccommend? I don’t want to spend real money, just looking to have fun and earning some points and sharpen my skills in between trips to the casinos, found nothing so far on Yahoo! or Pogo, and Google just directs me to some sketchy websites . . .

Mensa, just out of curiosity, is this a superstition, or is there a scientific rationale why you do this? Not questioning you, just curious, thanks Presidente

Here’s my craps anecdote from Star City casino, Sydney. Some guy in an expensive suit with a hot girlfriend starts betting that a twelve will show up for $50 or $100 a pop. After about 20 rolls with no success his girlfriend starts nagging him to go home. He responds by throwing money over every awful bet on the table, hard ways, craps, everything that is going to lose if a seven shows up. The only bet worse than all of his bets is the any seven bet. Do I dare bet on something with terrible odds even though I know this guy is destined to lose? No of course not. But I get to have the satisfaction of seeing this guy having to leave the table, drive home in his flash car to his mansion and have sex with his model girlfriend, LOSER!

Yeah of course he threw a seven.

The pass/come has (effectively*) the best odds on the table and they pay out on a 7.

*The Don’t is slightly better, but the difference is negligible.