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Craps Strategies and How to Win

Players at a craps table.Source: Pfc. Dalton Precht

Craps is one of the most enjoyed casino games in North America although you will find it being played in many other locations around the world, too. Once you have mastered the basic rules of craps, you need to start thinking about the best way to maximise your winnings. Of course, there is little that you can do about the dice. They will end up where they land regardless of how you roll them – or, at least, they should! It is certainly not worth trying to develop a rolling style that tries to manipulate the outcome of a roll when you are the shooter. Casinos tend to take a very dim view of players who operate in this way!

What you can do in craps, however, is to think tactically about the way you will bet. Remember that the house has an advantage, just like other popular casino table games. That said, you can play with certain strategies that try to minimise this edge and, thereby, help you to win. What are some of the common tactical approaches that will help you to be more successful at craps?

How do you maximise your chances of winning at craps?Source: Niklas Morberg

The Martingale Strategy

This is a betting strategy that is one of the best-known in the world. It works on all sorts of even money bets so long as there is a repeated chance of adding more to your stake. As such, you wouldn’t place it on a two-horse race because these only occur occasionally. You could use the Martingale strategy by betting on an odd number coming up in roulette, for instance. With craps, on the other hand, it works if you use it on an even money pass line bet. The idea is to place a bet with a relatively low stake. If you win, then so much the better. You can either walk away with your winnings or continue as if from scratch.

Where the Martingale strategy comes into its own is when you lose. If that is the case, then you make a similar, even money bet on the next turn. However, rather than betting the same stake, you double it. By betting twice as much as before, if you win, then you will recover your earlier losses. The idea is that you continue to bet in this fashion until you eventually win. Of course, the strategy does not take into account the house advantage, albeit the fact that it is relatively low in craps. Another problem with the Martingale approach is that you have to have sufficient funds to keep doubling and doubling. You could potentially lose big with this method. However, it’s easy and that is a big plus point!

The Reverse Martingale Strategy

As you might expect from its name, the reverse Martingale strategy is a tactical approach which works the opposite way round from the Martingale. Under this approach, you increase your stake when you win and decrease it when you lose. The idea is that your losses that are derived from losing streaks are minimised with this approach so you should be able to continue playing craps for longer with even money bets even if you are suffering from a bad spell. On the other hand, when you are winning, you should be able to maximise your potential by augmenting your stake. You don’t have to double or half your stake with the reverse Martingale strategy but that is the standard way of doing it.

A noteworthy point about the reverse Martingale strategy is that it relies on something known as the gambler fallacy phenomenon. This is a concept that many gamblers comply with whereby they think about betting in streaks of wins and losses. Of course, when an even money event is conducted randomly, such as a coin flip, there is no connection between one result and the next. As such, the strategy is based more on player psychology than cold, calculated statistical evidence.

Craps offers gamblers some of the most attractive bets of any table game.Source: Lisa Brewster

The No House Advantage ‘Odds Bet’ Strategy

Unlike nearly all other casino games, you can make a bet in craps which has no house edge at all. It relies on you making a pass or come bet initially. If you have done so, then after a point has been thrown, you can bet on the odds, which means having the option of multiplying your initial bet. Different house rules apply for the amount you can multiply this stake by depending on where you are playing. However, it is common in many casinos and with online games to allow you to double or treble your first wager. By making this bet, you are predicting that the point will be rolled again before the shooter comes up with a deadly seven which means you would, of course, lose. Importantly, players can also take the odds and multiply their stake on both ‘don’t come’ and ‘don’t pass’ wagers.

The principle behind this betting strategy is that it genuinely pays true odds. There is no house advantage built into it so the chance of winning directly relates to the amount a winning bet will pay out. Given that the house advantage with craps is low anyway, some players choose to overlook this type of strategy. However, to do so would mean missing one of the most advantageous bets in all casino games. If you can afford to do so, maximise your stake with an odds bet when the opportunity to place this type of wager comes up.

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