Useful Craps Tips

casino craps guideCraps is one of the most popular casino games of all time and a favorite of millions of players across the world. Most people share the common view craps is purely a game of chance, so winning and losing depend largely on a given player’s luck as there is no predictable pattern for the outcome of the dice rolls.

While such statements are indeed correct, there are other aspects of the game that need to be taken into consideration. For instance, unlike roulette where basic bets such as red/black and odds/evens pay even money with true odds of 1:1, common bets in craps like the Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line bets have slightly biased odds of 244:251, tipping the scales in casinos’ favor with a house edge amounting to 1.41%. Moreover, the casino’s built-in advantage for more complex bets like the Snake Eyes and the Boxcar bets sky-rockets to 13.89%. For this very reason, craps is deemed a negative expectation value game where the casino, unlike most players, is always on profit.

While such statements ring true in most cases, whether or not a given player will succeed in turning a profit depends largely on themselves. There are ways to reduce the house edge and turn the tables in your favor as long as you are disciplined, composed and employ strategies that will effectively help you to accumulate winnings. If you are interested in rolling the dice, the following tips might prove to be useful and allow you to end your craps gaming session with success.

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Useful Tips for Craps Players

In craps, there is no way to determine the outcome of a dice throw, it all comes down to consistency, patience, know-how and discipline. Those in possession of such qualities are far more likely to emerge winners at the end of their craps session. Of course, being acquainted with the game, its rules and more importantly, the bets you can place is an absolute must, so players should most definitely do their homework and study the game in depth prior to joining the table. Here are some tips that might be useful if you are less experienced, yet interested in playing this game of chance.

Be Consistent

Similarly to other aspects of life, the saying “Practice makes perfection” is valid for the game of craps as well. Keep in mind that going through the game’s rules in brief will not be of much assistance at the table. Learning the rules is one thing (and a very important thing indeed), implementing them is another. Furthermore, craps is one of the games that call for a holistic approach and great persistence.

What inexperienced players need to remember is that craps is an extremely fast-paced game and beginners find it hard to keep track of all that is going on at the table. In fact, memorizing the bet types, their odds and the peculiar lingo is quite a feat on its own. Not to mention the adrenalin rush and all the action can be extremely overwhelming, especially to beginners.

To avoid confusion, players are recommended to start by practising regularly in the privacy of their homes until they get the hang of the game. There are two options to choose from. The first one is to pay a visit to a gaming store where you can buy a craps table layout and attach it to the inside of a box. Registering at an online casino and playing in Fun Mode without risking your funds is another convenient alternative.

Once you complete your registration, you can proceed by practising different bet patterns and strategies as well as implementing suitable session rules. This will be the most effective way to determine what works for you. Recording your results, the size of your starting bankroll, the bet units used as well as the overall amounts you have bet, won and lost is of extreme importance. This way, you will join the craps table or start your Real Money session online well-prepared.

Use Smaller Bet Units

Determining the size of your bet units (the amount you wager per bet) largely depends on the size of your starting bankroll. However, what’s important to remember is that you should avoid using greater bet units, even if your starting bankroll is substantial. In craps, money can be won and lost very quickly.

If you are completely new to the game, start by using the smallest unit possible or the table’s minimum. The latter varies from one casino to the next, but rarely exceeds $5. Let’s assume your initial bankroll is $100. If this is the case, you should avoid placing bets that amount to one-tenth of your overall budget. Several losing Line bets and your gaming session will come to an end as you will be left with nothing to bet with. In craps, players are recommended to use betting units amounting to 1% of their starting bankroll.

So if you are playing online and the table’s minimum is $1, you should stick to that bet unit until you turn some profit. Placing larger bets every now and then, when you are feeling lucky is an option only if you are on profit. Whatever happens, please do not attempt to offset the losses you’ve incurred on a losing streak by increasing your bet units substantially – chasing your losses is never a good idea.

Consider the House Edge

Understanding the house edge is of crucial importance in this game. As mentioned above, craps is a negative-expectation value game, but being smart about the bets you place might have a positive impact on your overall profits. In some instances players are not even paid fairly. Such is the case with Any Craps bets (and other Proposition bets) where payouts are 8 for 1 – pay close attention to the wording because in this context the preposition “for” is used instead of the usual “to” to denote players are paid $7 for each winning $1 bet and not like many seem to think – $8 for a $1 bet. Besides, Any Craps bets have a massive house edge of 11,11% which works to players’ disadvantage.

Experts advise beginners to stick to the 3% Rule, at least until they gain some experience. The 3% Rule entails using bet patterns that aim at giving the house only a small statistical advantage amounting to no more than 3%. If the house edge for a given bet greatly exceeds 3%, players should stay away from placing such wagers.

Overall, players are recommended to implement a bet pattern for their craps session where Pass Line and Don’t Pass bets are kept in play 100% of the time. These can be occasionally alternated with taking or laying double odds or Come/Don’t Come bets. The house edge for the two types is respectively 1.41% and 1.40%. 6 and 8 Place bets with a house edge of 1.52% can be incorporated in the player’s bet pattern every now and then to diversify the session a bit. Free Odds bets are an interesting alternative since they typically have a 0% house edge. Any Seven and Hop Bets with their house edge of 16.67% should be avoided like the plague.

girl playing craps

Set a Time Limit for Yourself

Some craps players seem to be extremely reluctant to leave the table regardless of whether they are winning or losing – in both instances, quitting is out of the question for them. This is the easiest way to part with your profits or in the worst case scenario – to incur massive losses.

The smart thing to do is to always set a time limit for your gaming sessions. Once your time is up, you collect your chips, leave the table and that’s that. This is the most effective way to cut your losses short, if your luck is failing you as well as to secure your profits, when such have been accumulated. Another important thing to consider – the longer the time you spend at the table, the closest the odds will match up to the built-in casino advantage.

This rule is difficult to follow, especially in the beginning. Even more so if you are about to break even or are riding a nice winning streak. You can begin by taking short breaks to grab a snack or take a walk to clear your head until you build up some discipline. Then set a time limit for your next gaming sessions to suit your individual needs.

Redeem Bonuses and Comp Points

This tip is suitable for players who prefer to engage in the game online, from the comfort of their home. Online casinos aim to attract more new players by offering them nice bonuses and numerous promotional offers, designed to boost their bankrolls and increase their chances of winning. In most cases, when players register and deposit at an online casino, their initial deposit is matched with a bonus. So those who claim a 100% match bonus and deposit $100, for example, will receive $100 more to play with.

In addition, many web-based casinos have set up special Loyalty programs to reward and encourage their players. Each real-money wager you place at the casino earns you a specific number of Comp points which can later be converted into more free casino chips to play with. The exchange rates vary, depending on the online gaming operator.

Redeeming such bonus funds is a great way to extend and diversify one’s craps session, not to mention it prevents you from risking your own money. When playing craps, you can use your bonuses and points to experiment and add additional bets to your repertoire or simply increase the size of your bet when you feel you are on a hot streak. Please, bear in mind the bonuses typically have some wagering requirements attached to them which players are expected to meet before their winnings become withdrawable.

Don’t Fall Pray to the Gambler’s Fallacy

One important thing to remember with craps (and any other game based purely on chance for that matter) is that dice do not roll in any predictable pattern. There is no way to determine what the outcome of the next roll will be on the basis of the previous throws. Many players appear to fall prey to the so-called “Gambler’s Fallacy”, believing the next roll of the dice is influenced by the rolls that preceded it. For example, one such player would bet on a boxcar (12) because the shooter had rolled it several times in a row. Unfortunately, the player loses since Ace-Deuce is rolled this time, for example.

There is no such thing as dice rolls affecting each other’s probability. In craps, numbers (and combinations of numbers) are never “due”, they either come out or they don’t. More importantly, such beliefs are completely unwarranted and are backed neither by common sense nor by mathematical statistics. However, while the dice follow no predictable pattern, the way a shooter throws them might increase the probability of a specific number being rolled.

Set Aside Some of Your Profits

Setting aside some of your winnings is always a suitable approach, at least for those who are reasonable enough and wish to walk away from the table on profit. Provided that you intend to play craps in a landbased venue, you can simply place some of the chips you have won in your pocket or go to the cashier and exchange them for money. Feel free to use the rest of the chips you have won to play some more, but whatever you do, do not waste everything on a single sitting.

Why is this important? It certainly is not difficult to discern craps is a game of high volatility where losses can be incurred in a matter of minutes. Continual losing streaks have a bad impact on less level-headed players causing them to chase their losses and lose their patience while at the table. But consider the following situation – you have started your session with a $100 bankroll and have managed to double it to $200. You have $100 net profit now in addition to your start amount. But if you set aside $50 or half of your net profits, it would be much easier for you to walk away satisfied and in a good disposition. You can use the remaining $50 to place more bets and enjoy yourself to the fullest. Whatever happens, do not fish in your pockets for the chips you have set aside.

craps croupier

Increase Bet Units Only When on Profit

Many players have attempted to offset the losses they had incurred at the craps table by implementing the famous Martingale betting system which involves doubling one’s bet units after each loss and decreasing them back to the starting unit after a big win. Unfortunately, applying this strategy in a game of craps is not the best way to go for several reasons.

First of all, even if you win after a long losing streak, your profits would be far from impressive, especially, if you consider the massive amounts you would have lost in a short period of time. Then again, a longer losing streak is more than likely to result in you reaching the table’s limit. And finally, the Martingale was first introduced in the 18th century by a famous casino proprietor which by itself speaks volumes about this strategy’s efficiency (or inefficiency, depending on how you look on things).

That is why it would be a far better idea to implement the opposite approach in your craps gaming session. Increase bets only when you are winning and decrease them when losing. What is more, experts with years of experience recommend craps players to increase their bets when winning, but at a decreasing rate. This will enable them to generate satisfactory profits when on a hot roll, but would also minimize the negative impact of the so-called “chopping” of the dice when winning and losing rolls alternate.

It would be best to demonstrate how this approach works with an example. Let’s assume you are not an aggressive player and would increase your bets by 50% for the initial bet and $5 for the rest. Thus, you will increase your bets as follows $10, $15, $20, $25, $30 etc. Obviously the bets increase, but the increase percentage gradually drops. Of course, you should feel free to choose betting units you are comfortable with as the ones listed above are more suitable for those who like to play it safe. More aggressive players might opt for $50, $75, $100 etc.

Increase Bet Units Only When the Point is Established

The following suggestion is more suitable for players who intend to place predominantly Pass Line and Come Bets. Seasoned players and experts alike recommend us to treat each bet individually. If your first bet wins, you increase the amount of your next bet, if the second bet wins again, you increase your next betting unit. However, if you place Pass Line bets with two Come numbers, it would be best to increase your betting units only after the Point has been established. Again, the increase should be at a descending rate as follows $10, $15, $20, $25 etc.

Once the Point is established and you win on the Pass Line, you increase your next Pass Line bet at $15, but your two Come bets remain the same at $10. Should the Come bets repeat, you can increase them at $15, which now coincides with your Pass Line bet. The Come bets remain at $15 until the Point is repeated again so that your next Pass Line bet will be equal to $20. Provided that the two $15 Come bets win again, you increase them at $20 to match the Pass Line bet and continue in the same manner.

While this betting system might seem a bit confusing to inexperienced players, it is a suitable approach since it lessens the negative impact seven-outs will have on one’s bankroll. Overall, it will work better than increasing your Pass Line and Come bets individually, but bear in mind it should be employed on bets with double odds.

craps table layout

Use Streaks to Your Advantage

Ask any seasoned gambler and they will tell you streaks, both winning and losing ones, are an inseparable part of the game of craps and of gambling, in general. It all depends on whether or not a player knows how to exploit them properly and use them to gain advantage. Now, while no one can predict with an absolute accuracy what would happen on the next dice roll, players are advised to keep close track of what’s going on at the table in hope of noticing when a good streak begins to develop. It does not necessarily have to be an exceptionally long one – even three or four consecutive passes of the dice will suffice for you to generate a nice profit, provided that you remain alert and wait for the right moment to join in with a bet.

One important thing to keep in mind is that even if the dice have passed several consecutive times, there is no guarantee the outcome will be the same when you place your wager. That is why, it is crucial to stick to the previous two tips and increase your bet units gradually when winning. The same applies to losing streaks as well. Don’t chase your losses by dramatically increasing your bet units because you have a gut feeling your are “due” to win this time. In this instance, the wisest thing to do is to wait it out by reducing your bet units to the absolute minimum until your losing streak runs its course without damaging your bankroll irreversibly.

Avoid Alcohol Consumption

The last tip on this list is especially valid for players who intend to enjoy the game in a brick-and-mortar venue. In landbased casinos, offering complimentary drinks to customers is an established practice and it isn’t difficult to see why. Alcohol will quickly cloud your good judgement and lead to rash decisions you will soon find yourself regretting. The best way to go is to stay out of harm’s way and decline politely if free drinks are offered to you.

If your intention is to play at home on your desktop computer, you should do good to pass on consuming alcohol as well.

Conclusion

As you can see, the game of craps is not as easy as most inexperienced players assume before they take a seat at the table. Despite the fact craps is a game with a negative expection value, there are ways to turn things to your advantage through planning and implementing different strategies and betting patterns, through proper bankroll management, discipline, patience and positivity. Keeping your emotions in check can also prove to be useful, especially when you are losing.

The most important thing of all is not to get unnerved or discouraged during a longer losing streak as there are ways to minimize its damages on your bankroll. Remember, luck does not come to the the lucky, it comes to the prepared.

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