Betting Strategies

casino craps guideCraps is a game based solely on chance – a fact, which causes many beginners to incorrectly assume there is nothing they can do to tip the scales in their favor. This is only partially true, however. Realistically speaking, no betting system will help you determine in advance what the outcome of a dice roll will be. But then again, this is not the purpose a betting system is supposed to serve. Applying a good strategy in craps enables players to allocate and manage their bankroll more effectively, which on its own will result in accumulating more substantial long-term profits. Other systems revolve around betting strategically on certain numbers and avoiding specific bet types altogether.

One thing is for certain – one cannot expect to play craps and profit without incorporating a strategy throughout the course of their gaming session. Since there is no bet type in craps that actually pays at “true” odds, players who are not wise enough to bet strategically might incur substantial losses, even if their wagers win most of the time. Below, we have compiled a list of the most popular strategies one can possibly apply in the game of craps. Some are more effective than others, but the choice is yours to make.

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In the best case scenario, a good betting strategy will enable craps players to steadily, though gradually, increase the size of their bankrolls, while enjoying themselves at the craps table. Of course, as is usually the case with sticking to any pattern, betting strategically involves a good amount of persistence and discipline. Check the following nine strategies out and decide for yourself which one would be most suitable for your individual needs and budget.

The Martingale

The Martingale, also known as “double up and catch up”, easily wins the title of the most popular betting system of all times and is applicable to many casino games including roulette, blackjack and of course, craps. Here’s a fun fact for you – this strategy was first introduced and promoted in the late 18th century, in London by a renowned casino proprietor. The Martingale is a negative progression system as it requires players to double their wagers after each loss and reduce them back to the starting bet unit whenever they win. It is advisable to stick to smaller bet units, however. Supposedly, this will allow players to offset the losses they have incurred on previous losing dice rolls.

Let’s demonstrate how the Martingale works when applied to the game of craps. For the sake of simplicity, we will assume a craps player named George starts out with a base bet unit of $1 on the Pass Line. Unfortunately, number 2 is rolled, so George loses his $1 and proceeds by placing a $2 bet on the Pass again, but yet another Craps number is rolled, causing him to lose again. Thus, George doubles his bet again and places $4 on Don’t Pass this time. The shooter throws 3 on this roll, George wins and respectively reduces his bet unit to $1. In this case, the player has managed to offset his $3 losses by turning a profit of $4, so he’s basically a dollar ahead.

The Martingale comes with some disadvantages, which unfortunately outnumber the advantages it offers. First of all, this system is applicable only to players who are satisfied with betting only on the Pass Line as single bets will cause them to incur massive losses and eventually run out of money to bet with. Then again, craps tables usually have a limit – a longer losing streak will most likely result in players reaching the table’s limit. Nevertheless, applying the Martingale is better than going for no strategy at all. Besides, it will enable you to control your spendings at least partially and prolong your stay at the craps table.

The Reverse Martingale

As the name itself indicates, the Reverse Martingale is the opposite of the standard version of the popular betting system. Logically, it follows players who decide in favor of the reverse version are expected to double their wagers after each winning roll of the dice and then reduce them back to the starting bet unit after a loss. Similarly, to the original Martingale, the reverse variant is suitable only for those of you who intend to stick to Line bets throughout their craps session as these are more likely to win as opposed to single bets.

Discipline and self-control are the other factors players need to consider when they apply the Reverse Martingale. It is strongly recommended to know when to stop and leave the table as eventually your bet unit will soar provided that you enter a nice winning streak. So you practically risk losing a good amount of money on the next dice roll.

craps pass line bet

The Doubling Strategy

Many players tend to confuse the third strategy on our list with the aforementioned Reverse Martingale. Such mistakes can be attributed to the name of the system. Nevertheless, the Doubling strategy differs from the Reverse Martingale in one very important aspect – in this case, bettors do not collect their winnings but leave them on the layout instead, thus, their bets are doubled. If the player happens to win a second time in a row, they would still leave their chips on the table, so that both the initial bet and the winnings are doubled once again.

To illustrate how the Doubling strategy works, we can assume our friend George has given up on the Martingale and has decided to try the Doubling strategy for change. George places a $1 bet on the pass and wins another $1 right away. But he is smart enough not to collect his winnings, so his bet on the next roll amounts to $2. Provided that George wins again, he will collect $4, three of which are net profits. If luck fails him the third time, he will lose only his initial $1 stake. As becomes evident, this strategy enables players to accumulate substantial profits when riding a good streak, while at the same time if a loss occurs, they will only part with humble amounts of money.

The “Gambler’s Fallacy” Strategy

Many craps players tend to forget previous dice rolls do not influence the outcomes of the throws that are to follow. Often players fall prey to the so-called “Gambler’s fallacy”, believing that if a given dice combination, say Yo-leven, has been rolled prior to a Deuce for example, another Deuce will be rolled the next time the dice total adds up to a Yo. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as dice are not mathematically proven to follow any predictable pattern.

Players tend to apply this strategy to single bets only. It is said that if one observes closely the shooter’s hand and the manner in which one particular person throws the dice, it is possible to discern a pattern as some people’s throws might increase the chances of specific dice rolls.

The Combination Betting Strategy

Many experienced players tend to incorporate combination bets into their betting patterns. The aim here is to increase one’s chances of winning by placing several low-risk bets. The best example is to combine Pass and Come bets as these follow the same rules. This way, if the dice roll results in a 7 or 11, both the Pass and the Come bet will win. If a point is established and the shooter rolls the point number prior to rolling a 7, you collect with both bets again.

Of course, the opposite combination of simultaneously placing Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets is also an option, if you wish to increase your probability of winning. However, in this instance, players would hope the shooter rolls either a 2 or a 3.

Others opt for combining three bets – Don’t Pass, Don’t Come and a Field bet. As we know, numbers 2, 3 and 12 are included in the Field betting box. If you place one such combination, all three bets will win provided that the shooter rolls either 2 or 3. The payout you collect depends on the number, however. If the roll results in a 2, your Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets will pay out at 1:1, while the Field bet will pay 1:2. This is a great combination because it allows players to collect $4 per each $1 winning bet. The number 3, on the other hand, pays even money. The number 12, if rolled, will pay 1:2 for your Field bet, but you won’t collect anything with the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come wagers.

This strategy is a great option since 2, 3, 12, 4, 9, 10 and 11 are included in the Field box, which makes for a greater number of possible winning combinations.

craps table

The Dice Setting

Players can apply this strategy only if they are appointed as shooters for the following rolls. The idea here is to set the dice in your hand in such a way so as to cause them to bounce and roll a particular number. Most seasoned shooters opt for setting the dice so that the toss will result in the number 7 being rolled. Of course, shooters can opt to set the two dice on any number, some decide in favor of their lucky or favorite numbers, for example.

Nevertheless, prior to making any attempts at dice setting, players should, above all, consider implementing a good betting pattern to limit their losses at craps. Besides, dice setting, though possible, requires lots of patience and practice. At the end of the day, it all comes down to luck, so players should not forget it is impossible to dictate to the dice to roll a given number.

Classic Regression

The classic regression strategy is quite easy to follow and thus, is suitable for beginners and experienced craps players alike. When applying the Regression strategy, players are required to place two-unit bets on both 6 and 8. One unit should be equal to $6, so players are practically expected to place two $12 bets. If one of your numbers is rolled, you should proceed by decreasing your bets on 6 and 8 with one unit, so that two $6 bets are placed on each number. If one of the two numbers is rolled a second time in a row, players are required to take their bets off the table and wait until the shooter throws a 7.

Like most betting strategies, the Classic Regression has both its advantages and downsides. When 6 or 8 are rolled for the first time, you will turn a $2 profit, while your second win will earn you $4. Unfortunately, if 7 is rolled before the point number, both bets will fail you which makes for a loss of $24. However, there are six possible dice combinations for the number 7 as opposed to the ten combinations for 6 and 8, so players’ chances of winning with these numbers prior to the shooter rolling a 7 are more substantial.

The Anything but 7 System

The Anything but 7 strategy, also known as The Iron Cross or the No 7 system, entails placing several bets at the same time so as to cover a greater section of the layout. Thus, players should wait for a point to be established first and then bet $6 (or their bet unit of choice) on numbers 5, 6 and 8 and another $3 on the Field. The next step is to wait for the shooter to roll the dice three times in a row and then take the bets off the table prior to the forth throw. As you practically have chips scattered all across the layout, your chances to collect on some of your bets are substantial. You win as long as any number but 7 is rolled. Then again, a roll resulting in a seven-out can potentially cost you $21. When not careful, players will find this strategy too costly to maintain, so it is recommended to resort to it on rare occasions only.

craps shooter throwing

The Three Point Molly

The Three Point Molly is an interesting betting strategy that is said to greatly limit players’ losses. It involves placing Pass and Come bets in combination with free odds bets. This is how it works: after you place a Pass Line bet, you wait for the point to be established and then back your Line bet with free odds. You proceed by placing a Come bet, but keep in mind your bet units for both wagers should be equal. Provided that the dice end up in the box on the next roll, you place another Come bet and back it up with single or double odds. If you win with this one, you can place yet another Come bet, but note that this system allows for a maximum of two active Come bets at the same time. This pattern is repeated until the shooter’s throw eventually results in a seven-out.

While combining your Line bets with free odds is not an absolute must, the combination enables players to collect more money as Free Odds bets have no built-in advantage for the house. Also, the Come bets aim at protecting your Pass Line bet if the next dice toss results in a 7. The logic behind The Three Point Molly is that each time a player places a Pass/Come bet, they will still collect money when a 7 is rolled. This practically means the players’ losses are offset when 7 is rolled, but the profits will be humble though.

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