What's Your Strategy For Craps

I love Craps, it gives pretty good odds if played smartly (of course alwasy in the houses favor nonetheless) and it’s a wonderuflly social game. But I must admit, I play simply, my strategy:

  1. Find a table with low minimums and high odds. The odds bets are where you get it in your favor so you want that high, the minimum is what allows you to “buy” the odds. Good luck, but the Casino Royale on teh Vegas strip offers $3 minimums and 100x odds.

  2. Basically I like to keep around $100 on the table most of the time. So what I usualy end up doing is pass line and two come bets on with the maximum odds that I can afford. Cash management is the key, the casino may offer 100x, but I can’t afford that! But, if you have say a $5 minimum and 5x, 4x, 3x odds then the most I would have on the table is $85. If it was a $5 minimum with 10x odds then I would put up 5x or 6x odds generally leaving me with at most $100.

That’s really about it. I also play some hard ways, hi/lo’s, yos etc. for fun…a dollar here or there.

Any other strategies out there?

That’s pretty much the way I do it, too. Bet the pass line, take the odds, drop something on 6 and 9, and put a buck on 6 and 8 hard.

Keeps me playing all night long, and I usually come back ahead. (knocks wood) :smiley:

i play a similar strategy, but I only lay the full odds on 6 or 8. I lay lesser odds on 4-10.

Just wondering, why do you do that? What odds do you lay on 5 and 9?

I like to sit down on the toilet, get nice and comfy, and then push. After the crap I like to scrunch, not fold the toilet paper. I like to eat lots of fiber to keep my craps nice and smooth.

hehheh, I just posted a book to the roulette thread. Luckily, I composed it in Word (because it was during maintenance) and so I can easily retrieve it. It’ll require some retooling…

Preface: I almost never play odds. The variance is astronomical. I typically play 50-50 systems on the Don’t Pass. I take $1000 to the casino. When I first get to the casino, I play the $10 Don’t system:

$10 Don’t. It’s for a $10 craps table, and requires a $200 bankroll. Bet $10 Don’t Pass / Don’t Come every roll of the dice. You get paid (every established bet on the table wins) by the Seven Out. You can “get hurt” by the initial come out rolls when the point is off. (8-3 against you when coming out.) All money coming back goes to a different rack from the original $200. In other words, you make 20 bets. (Dip into the other rack to finish off the final shooter.) This system is good in two ways: It is very fun, because you get to make a whole lot of bets. And it is very, very low variance. You are almost guaranteed to walk away from this system with between $175-$215. Sure, that isn’t great, but nothing is. But, if you are down to your last $200, and your friend wants to keep playing, this can keep you at the table, and very active, for an extremely long time (assuming you only keep a single rack.) I play this system when I first get to the casino. This is an excellent way to ease into gambling, and I always have over $900 left.

That $900 gets split into three sessions of $300 each, and the first session (if not all three) is almost always the Aggressive Let It Ride system:

Aggressive Let It Ride. I always play this system on the Pass Line, because it feels better on the “light side” than the “dark side”. It requires a $10 table, and a $300 bankroll. Bet $10 on the Pass. When it wins, leave the winnings up and add in another $10, for a total of $30. (The initial $10, $10 winnings, plus an additional $10). If it wins again, leave it up again and put in another $10. If it loses at any point, start over with the basic $10. You are waiting for a 4th win in a row:

10 30 70 150

The 4th win is a $150 bet plus a $150 win, which is the $300 you started with. Put those $300 in chips in your pocket, and continue the system until you are out of your original $300. (Pocketed chips never get bet again in that casino trip.) Either you lose $300, break even, or win $300 (or more!). All you need is 4 wins in a row, which can happen immediately at a craps table. Say the first shooter rolls 7, 11, 7, 7. You’ve just won $300 (actually, $260) in the span of about 30 seconds. Quite fun. :slight_smile: On the flip side, you cannot possibly lose quickly. It takes a couple hours to get through your $300, and though you don’t get much activity, you get to play for a very long time, and you get several heart-pounding big bets to keep you interested.

And that’s my normal strategy. However, I have a ton of systems I’ve played over the years, and still try some out occasionally if the mood strikes me or the situation dictates it:

Poor Man’s Hope This is a good one if you got killed this trip but your buddy wants to stay. $5 Don’t Pass until it wins. When it does, let it ride plus $5 more, for a total of $15. If that loses, start over at $5, but if it wins, pull back $25 to your stack and start over with $5. You can last forever with $100. I once lasted over 2 hours with $40 doing this.

Everything Pays Place the 6 and 8 for $18 each, Place the 5 for $15, and put $10 on the field every roll except when coming out. Basically, every roll of the dice (except 7) pays roughly $10. Any seven loses roughly $60. Can you get 6 non-7s before the next 7? I think we all know the answer to that one. High variance and high activity. Definitely not for the faint of heart. You might catch me doing this if I’m hammered, but in general, this is a very bad system.

2 Point Progressive Actually involves [gasp] odds! Establish a Pass Line with single odds and 1 Come with single odds. Any hit gets re-established with max odds. After both have been established with max odds, establish a third point (second come) with max odds. Stay at 3 points. This is the most-recommended system by the experts. But those experts don’t understand variance.

Let me take a moment to discuss odds. At my local casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, they have instituted 3-4-5 odds. This means you are allowed to play up to 3x odds on 4 & 10, 4x odds on 5 & 9, and 5x odds on 6 & 8. This means that, on a $5 table, any point with max odds will pay exactly $35. That’s why they do it, to make the dealer’s life easier. Inversely, that means that a $5 Don’t on any point has max allowable odds of $30. Nice and simple.

2 Point Darkside Two $5 points (1 Don’t Pass & 1 Don’t Come) with max odds ($30) on both. Neither get re-established if they lose; you wait until the next shooter.

5s and 9s A buddy of mine swears by this one. Place the 5 and 9 for $10 each. When one hits, toss a $1 chip down and press it to $25. If the $25 hits before the other $10 has been pressed, press the other $10 to $25 as well. Leave both at $25 forever. (The aggressive variation: after both are $25, and one of them hits again, bump both $5 per hit, capping at $50 on each. Dealers may get annoyed, though, so be sure to tip.)

Around the World Aggressive Honestly, I’ve only ever done this once. Scariest betting of my life. Buy the 4 & 10 for $20 each (plus the $2 fee), place the 5 & 9 for $25 each, and place the 6 & 8 for $30 each. Every hit, bump every bet by $5 / $6. (One unit.) The dealers will hate you unless you tip well for all this work. But a hot shooter will make you loads of cash.

Lay the Edges A lay, being in effect a “Don’t Buy”, can be a fun, obscure bet. But I only ever do it in scary concert with Place bets. Place $44 inside, ($10 5 & 9, $12 6 & 8) and lay the 4 & 10 for $40 each. (Plus the $4 fee.) Progress the 5 & 9 (as a group) like the 5s and 9s strategy. Also progress the 6 & 8 as a group in the same way, but separate from the 5 & 9. And immediate 7 basically breaks you even. A bunch of 4s and 10s will make you cry. Despite the enormous initial outlay in cash, this system has way less variance than the Around The World Aggressive system.

The Labouchere A good system based on the idea of the Martingale, but has way less variance. (woohoo!) Is complicated, and requires a pencil and piece of paper, which will get you ridiculed by the dealers. hehheh. I’ve done this several times, with mixed results.

2 Point Place Pass Line with max odds. Place its complement (9 if the Point is 5, 6 if the Point is 8, etc…) for $10 / $12, progressing the same way 5s and 9s progresses.

Black & White Don’t Pass with max odds. (5/30) 1 or 2 come bets with max odds. Definitely interesting.

White & Black Pass Line with max odds, coupled with $10 Don’t Come bets on every roll. I’m extremely fond of this one, and sometimes do this instead of a true $10 Don’t as my first session.

Don’t Place $25 Don’t Pass with no odds. Once established, Place every (other) inside point for $10 / $12, progressing (as always) in the 5s and 9s style. This is a good one for “when the mood strikes me”. Lots of payouts, then a break even when you Seven Out. (Hopefully)

Hard Ways I don’t make proposition bets, which are defined as 1-roll bets. They are affectionately known as sucker bets for a good reason. However, this is how I tip. I toss a $5 chip down and say “All four hardways for the dealers.” I try to do this fairly regularly.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. If I remember any more, I’ll post again later.

Regardless of what systems I play, I always bring $1000, and always play three $300 session, with $100 left over for food, gas, and whatnot. (The whatnot being to defray the cost of the initial $10 Don’t session.) Those three sessions may be any strategy, or combination of any strategies, but I always take a nice long break (smoke a cigar, eat a sandwich, or whatever) between sessions. (And I never mix the Aggressive Let It Ride system with any other system in a session.)

Damn, now I wanna go to the casino. Bet big win big!

I generally find myself playing fairly conservatively. Pass, then taking max odds (generally 3x to 5x at the tables I have available.) Make a place bet on 6 and 8, unless the point is 6 or 8, then just put the place on the one that isn’t the point. If I’m up a bit and feel like taking a small risk and the point is on 4 or 10, placing a hardways bet on the point. All bets, except for the odds, are the same amount (generally $5 tables for me). Though some day when I have enough money to go to the casino for a while with a large bankroll, I’m going to have to try some of these other systems.


Thanks for the post, it’ll take me a while to digest it :). I understand your point about the variance with the odds bets, but cosndiering odds bets may be the only fair bet in the whole casino, I find it hard to justify putting my money anywhere else on the table. Which is why I don’t understand the Aggressive let It Ride system you described.

You are at a $10 table and you play $10 on the Pass Line. It wins, now you lay $30 on the Pass Line and say the point is 5 and eventually it hits. You win $30. Why wouldn’t you instead lay $10 on the pass line and put the $20 on the odds? You are stil risking only $30, but this time if you hit the point you will win $40 ($10 on the pass line and 30 on the odds). The only real difference is the amount you stand to lose or win on the come out roll (2,3,12,7,or 11).

If William Macy comes up to your table, walk away.

Press, press and regress should be your motto.

I also like to look for hot shooters. Play at a 5 min table, put out $24 on the 6 and 8, once that hits, regress to one unit and press until the shooter craps out or makes his point. If point is made (should wait a min 5 rolls - no math to this, just superstition), bet w/the shooter.

To modify one of my favorite quotes: Variance is the mind killer

. Interesting. I’ll have to try that. I need to find a way to last until the next hot shooter.

Seems kinda boring. Though, I do sometimes throw a ton of sevens.

This sounds more more of what I’m looking for.

I also call this the Iron Cross. While it sounds good in theory, mathematically, your hamstring yourself. Shooters (even guys who throw with a lot of skill, if you believe that “precision shooters”) will throw more 6s and 8s. The field loss is a huge cut into the 6 and 8 win (and, the 5, too, but it’s easier to stomach). However, you start out bold by putting $60 out on the table instead of the usual starting $20. The best way to implement this is to build into it, one example: established point is 6, place the 8, if that wins, place the five, last bet that wins goes to the field. Press and regress…

There is this other system that I read in a book. It’s called the Doey-Don’t system. This is a really annoying system to play with the pit crew, and even if you tip well, they still don’t like it. It also helps if you don’t like to shoot, or, like shooting from the farthest point. I haven’t played it in a looooooong time (been playing BJ and poker, mostly). I won’t go into detail about the doey-don’t (even though I think it works) b/c a) like all hedge systems, you’re giving more of an edge to the house (but less than the don’t pass); b) it is super-annoying to the pit crew, even when tipping; c) I honestly can’t remember! Sorry! :smack: I play it differently, though. I try to get 4 DC/C bets with 10x odds. After two winners, I play at 5x odds (regress) so that I’m bound to make a profit; d) 12 is a killer, even if you hedge the midnight bet. The way I play it, all you worry about is the 12 on the come out roll, repeaters slow you down (e.g. six is established, then repeats immediately), and you don’t worry about the 7. I would rather not have to worry about the 7 then have the 12 on the come out roll.

One of the other guys I gamble with loves doing this: 40 one-time prop bet on the last number established - his theory is that the last number established but to 7-out will be the next number to come up. He takes that money, and places it on all the numbers. Buy the 4 and 10 once they hit. Press winners, second hit, press the sister number. With a hot shooter, you'll win a ton of . However, know when to take money down, b/c it’s a lot to lose after a 7.

I honestly can’t believe some of the stuff I’m reading here. Waiting for hot hands? Precision shooters? Variations of Martingale? Casinos love people like you.

Don’t Pass is the best, Don’t Come is equivalent to it.
Pass and Come are second best.
Sticking with those gives the best odds.

Odds behind the line are a perfect mathematical bet. If you have the bankroll, you should take as much as you can, it’s the only bet in the casino that isn’t in the casino’s favor. (Not yours either, but that’s better than anything else.) If you don’t have the bankroll, then don’t. Losing at 100x odds a few times will take you out pretty quickly.

Taking 6 and 8 isn’t too bad, and either is field bets, but you are getting into bad bet territory there.

Try not to minimize the importance of variance. Variance is fluctuations in bankroll. Said another way, variance dictates how long you can stay at the table. The higher the variance, the fewer decisions your bankroll will survive. In other words, the more odds you play, the faster you will run out of money and have to go home.

You are half right and half wrong. If we were discussing the Don’t Pass, I would agree completely. But this is the Pass Line. How do you win at the Pass Line? Let me show you a little chart of the possibilities. Note: To keep everything in integer form, I multiply every one of the 36 possible rolls by 55. So instead of going through every possible roll once, it’s every possible roll 55 times each.

                  Ways  Ways
            Ways   to    to
Roll  Ways  x55   Pass  Dont
----  ----  ----  ----  ----
   2     1    55     0    55
   3     2   110     0   110
   4     3   165    55   110
   5     4   220    88   132
   6     5   275   125   150
   7     6   330   330     0
   8     5   275   125   150
   9     4   220    88   132
  10     3   165    55   110
  11     2   110   110     0
  12     1    55     0   n/a
      ----  ----  ----  ----
        36  1980   976   949

If anyone needs further clarification on the chart, let me know.

The chart shows us that there are 536 ways to win odds. (55+88+125+125+88+55=536) It also shows us that there are 440 ways to win on the comeout. (330+110) This gives a total of 536+440=976 ways to win, which checks out.

When you ignore the comeout, you are ignoring 45%, almost half, of all possible winners. That’s why I play without odds. I count on all winners.

Said another way, there are only 536 ways to win odds. That’s a paltry 27.07% of possible rolls. (536/1980=.270707…) Not a very promising wager, eh?

So if you tried to play Aggressive Let it Ride your way, doing odds after the first win, you only make $10 on the later bets in the train when they hit on the comeout. If you need a 27% chance to happen 4 times in a row, you will need to wait for a very, very long time.

This reminds me of another strategy:

Hardway Don’t This is unwise because it involves the hardways, but can be fun. $25 Don’t Pass. When established, if the point is 5 or 9, Place the point for $20. This, in effect, removes your bet. (Pays $4 if the point hits, or $3 if you seven out.) You are looking for a Don’t Pass on an even number. Once you get one, play the hardway of the point for $4 if it’s a 4 or 10 or $3 if it’s a 6 or 8. That way, if the point hits on a hardway, you make a coupla bucks instead of losing your Don’t Pass. There’s many aspects to this strategy that are terrible: Hardways are bad. It emphasizes coming out on the dark side, which is very bad. And you can lose everything easily, especially on 6 & 8, which is also very bad. (You never want to make 6 & 8 numbers you root against.)

I don’t think you fully understand it. The field doesn’t cut into anything, really. The idea is to make every possible roll pay $10, except 7, which loses $60. 5, 6 & 8 all pay $11: the $21 place bet minus the $10 field is $11. The field pays $10 exactly, except for the occasional $20 payout on 2 & 12. Thus the name, “everything pays”. The fact that you roll a bunch of 6s & 8s means you get a bunch of extra $1s, which is good. Anything that makes you root for 6 & 8 is good.

I disagree about the dealers disliking this. They actually don’t mind it too much.

Doey / Don’t Predicated on the assumption that the free odds wagers are where you want to put your money. Bet $5 on both the Pass Line and the Don’t Pass. You are still allowed to shoot. (The only requirement to shooting is that you play a line bet .) All comeouts break even except Bar 12, which loses you $5. Take max odds (on whichever line you feel like) once a point is established. No matter what happens next, your line bets cancel each other out, and only the free odds are in play. Dealers do a neat little “tap” move on your line bets when you play this system, basically leaving them up and just paying or taking the odds. This system is god-awful when calculating expected value. Why? Because free odds have no expected value whatsoever. And neither do any comeout rolls except Bar 12. So, basically, your expected value is -100%. (The only true wager in this system is the Bar 12, and you can only lose it.)

I see from the rest of your post you mean the Doey/Don’t on the Come lines. Yeah, I imagine the dealers would loathe you for that. :slight_smile:

I disagree that free odds wagers are the bee’s knees, for the reasons I stated in the previous post. But you appear to agree with the point about it running through your bankroll, so I’m pretty sure we’re on the same page.

I agree 100% with the fallacy of hot hands and precision shooting. But you don’t even know what “variation of the martingale” I’m talking about. It is this: (It’s long.)

** The Labouchere**. This system is a complicated version of the Martingale with lower variance. All bets are on Don’t Pass. (No Don’t Come bets.) You need a pencil and piece of paper at the table with you. The actual numbers in the “train” are arbitrarily set. My example uses the numbers I like. You need a $5 table, and $400 for a bankroll. Write down, on a piece of paper, your initial “train”. Mine is:

2 3

Now, each bet is the sum of the first and last numbers in the train. 2 + 3 = 5, so the first bet is $5. (If there is only one number in the train, that number is the current bet.) Write down the current bet (5) on the right of the train. If you win, circle the current bet and cross off the first and last numbers in the train. If you lose, recalculate and continue. Let’s say, for example, you start with a Martingale killer, followed by a decent amount of wins. Say, 7 losses, 2 wins, a loss, and finally 3 wins. Okay, so after your first 7 decisions, all losses, a Martingale player would be bankrupt (5 10 20 40 80 160 320 = 635 down, needing 640 more for the next bet) and your train looks like:

2 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17

Now you write down (and bet) 19 on the end, which wins. So you circle (I will bold) the 19 and cross off (I will sub) the 2 and the 17:

[sub]2[/sub] 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 [sub]17[/sub] 19

The next bet should be the first and last numbers in the train, which are currently the 3 and 15, so your next bet (and next number in the train) is 18, which also wins:

[sub]2[/sub] [sub]3[/sub] 5 7 9 11 13 [sub]15[/sub] [sub]17[/sub] 19 18

Next bet is 5 + 13 = 18, and it loses:

[sub]2[/sub] [sub]3[/sub] 5 7 9 11 13 [sub]15[/sub] [sub]17[/sub] 19 18 18

Remember, 18 is the new last number, so the next bet is 5 + 18 = 23. It wins:

[sub]2[/sub] [sub]3[/sub] [sub]5[/sub] 7 9 11 13 [sub]15[/sub] [sub]17[/sub] 19 18 [sub]18[/sub] 23

Your next bet, 7 + 13 = 20, also wins:

[sub]2[/sub] [sub]3[/sub] [sub]5[/sub] [sub]7[/sub] 9 11 [sub]13[/sub] [sub]15[/sub] [sub]17[/sub] 19 18 [sub]18[/sub] 23 20

And the next bet (9 + 11 = 20), also a winner, closes the train:

[sub]2[/sub] [sub]3[/sub] [sub]5[/sub] [sub]7[/sub] [sub]9[/sub] [sub]11[/sub] [sub]13[/sub] [sub]15[/sub] [sub]17[/sub] 19 18 [sub]18[/sub] 23 20 20

Once the train closes, start a new one. This system requires (roughly) half as many wins as losses to resolve, which is not an unreasonable thing to expect. Also, the variance is much lower than the Martingale, so it has more staying power. However, it is a mathematical system, so you will be guaranteed to lose in the long run. But it is far superior to the Martingale. Notice the totals of the losing and winning bets:

Losing: 5 + 7 + 9 + 11 + 13 + 15 + 17 + 18 = 95
Winning: 19 + 18 + 23 + 20 + 20 = 100

It’s a mathematical system: all resolved trains pay out exactly equal to the sum of all numbers in the initial train. I play 2 3, so I play for $5 per train. In books, they recommend initial trains like 5 5 10, or 5 10 15 20, or some such. That’s way too high variance for me. I used to just play a single 5 as my initial train, but that is even too high variance for me. In my example above of 7 initial losses, that would look like:

5 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

Which is a net loss so far of $140, plus the $40 next bet, instead of $77 plus the $19 next bet using my initial train of 2 3. Note: in some cases you may be stuck with a $3 or $4 final bet. Consider that train a wash and start a new one.

I just play the point, with odds, and the 6 & 8 if they are open.

I think I might have to look into the ALiR, though.

Ellis, I don’t understand you tables, but you clearly are not taking into account the fact that odds bets pay better than other bets, including pass line bets.

I calculate that a $30 pass line bet will have an expected payout of -$0.43, but a $10 pass line bet with a $20 odds bet has an expected payout of -$0.14.

I have a friend who is pretty successful with craps…he places “horn bets”…what are they and what kind of odds do the provide?

Assuming we’re talking about the same thing (and I believe I have this right), the horn bet is a proposition (one-roll) bet on 2, 3, 11, and 12. You put down some amount of money that is divisible by four (say, $20 on a $5 min table). If the next roll is a 2, 3, 11, or 12, you win. I believe the normal odds are 31:1 for 2 and 12 and 16:1 for 3 and 11. However, the effect is that the payout gets cut by four. So, for example, if you win on a horn bet of $20 by an 11, instead of being paid the $320 or so that you’d win by making just the prop bet seperately, you win $80.

I grant you I typed a book into this thread, so I won’t ask you to reread my post. But let me assure you I know exactly what all expected values are for all bets on the craps table. I understand fully how odds work and what they bring to the table.

I specifically said you couldn’t play odds when playing the Aggressive Let it Ride system. It doesn’t work. I welcome you to try to figure out how it can be done.

I’ve won many times using that system, at real life craps tables. And win or lose, it gives you longevity at the table. No system/style/strategy exists that meet all the following criteria:

  • Involves playing odds bets
  • Stretches your bankroll to extend playing time at the table
  • Can give you large payouts. (Doubling your initial bankroll or better.)
  • Has a good chance of breaking you even

You can devise a system that meets the last 3 requirements if you remove the first. The Aggressive Let It Ride is one such system.