Whether you are just starting out, or have been an avid craps player for years, we can all benefit from learning a new strategy or two!
I’ve been playing craps for about 20 years and have used about every betting strategy or craps systems you can imagine. Unfortunately, most don’t work. And honestly, there is no system that can guarantee a win. The house always has an edge.
But, if you are going to play craps, there are certainly some things you can do to help increase your chances of winning, or at least minimize your losses.
Here are some of my favorites!
Knowing when to walk away from the craps table is one of the most valuable lessons for new players. Inexperienced, and even seasoned players often get caught up in a losing streak and end up depleting their session bankroll.
This is typically referred to as “chasing your losses”.
A practical craps strategy for beginners is to set a reasonable “win” goal before starting a session and have the discipline to leave the table once that target is achieved. A reasonable win goal is 25% of your bankroll.
You should also set a “loss” limit. If things aren’t going your way, walk away for a bit. The table will still be there when you get back. I typically set a loss limit of 50% of my bankroll.
Craps Systems for Beginners
For beginner craps players, check out my article on how to play craps to understand the rules of the game and the table layout.
I would also recommend trying a free game (right here on this page) before you transition to playing for real money.
Pass Line Craps Strategy
The Pass Line strategy is a popular and straightforward approach in craps, and will help you learn the game and point cycle. It offers a relatively low house edge of 1.41% and provides an even money payout (1:1).
To employ this beginner-friendly craps strategy, players place their bets on the pass line during the come-out roll. If the dice result in a 7 or 11, the pass line bet wins. A 2, 3, or 12 and the pass line bet loses. Any other number becomes the point, and now you simply wait for your number to be thrown again to win.
Taking odds after the point is established is the best bet at the table. Odds carry no house edge, so it significantly increases your long-term chances of winning. Any odds are better than no odds. Place as much as your bankroll will allow!
Don’t Pass/Don’t Come Craps Strategy
For online craps games where social interaction is less of a concern, the Don’t Pass/Don’t Come strategy can be quite effective. Playing it at a live table is sure to make some enemies.
With this approach, players bet against the shooter by placing a Don’t Pass bet. In this case, players win when the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, they lose if a 7 or 11 is rolled. If a 12 appears, the Don’t Pass bet is considered a push, and players get their wager back.
After a point is established, players can then make a Don’t Come bet. Similar to the Pass Bet, the Don’t Come bet pays out when the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 on the subsequent roll, and a 12 results in a push.
Compared to the Pass Line strategy, this approach has a slightly lower house edge of 1.46%. Since the number 7 has the highest number of possible dice combinations, the odds of winning Don’t Pass bets are lower.
Intermediate Craps Systems
You’ve played craps for a bit and know the flow of the game. How well do you know the various craps bets payouts and odds?
These strategies will help you minimize the house edge and account for the probability of certain numbers being thrown.
Three and Down Strategy
I had been playing craps for about 2 years when I came across a very old YouTube video that unfortunately no longer seems to exist. It outlined the Three and Down strategy and I used it with a lot of success.
After a point is established, make a place bet on both the 6 and 8. Only let it go for 3 rolls, at which time you will pull all of your initial bet down. If you were lucky enough to hit on one of those 3 rolls, leave the initial bet in place and let it ride.
The probability of a 7 being rolled is 1 in 6. Allowing your bet to remain on the table for only 3 rolls reduces your exposure to a loss.
If you hit twice during those 3 rolls, you can leave both bets up and you are guaranteed a win for that session.
As an example, place both the 6 and 8 for $12 each. A hit on either pays $14. If you hit twice in those 3 rolls, you would have been paid $28 for a $24 outlay. You win at least $4 no matter what happens now.
Lets say only 1 hit, pull the one that didn’t after 3 rolls and you are up $2. If none hit, simply pull all of your money down and wait for a new point cycle.
You can expand this to include the 4 and 9 – more on that below.
Craps Press Strategy
The Press strategy, also known as Press-and-Pull, is a craps betting approach where players increase their bets when the Place bet succeeds and collect their profits after the bet wins four times.
This is a great way to win a substantial amount of money, but it is also one that doesn’t actually work very often.
Let’s consider a scenario where a player wants to make a Place bet on 6. The payout odds for this bet are 7:6, so the player places a wager of $12. If the dice land on 6, the bet pays out $14. In the Press strategy, the player keeps $2 and asks the dealer to increase the bet to $24. If the number 6 lands again, the player wins $28. With the Press strategy, the player then adds $24 to the bet increasing it to $48. If the number 6 appears for a third time, the player adds $48 to the existing bet, resulting in a total place bet of $96. If the number 6 is rolled for the fourth time, the player receives $112 for that bet and pulls the $96 bet down. This would be a total win of $202 (after subtracting the initial $12 bet).
The purpose of the Press strategy is for players to achieve substantial winnings with minimal investment from their bankroll. Instead, they utilize their profits to progressively increase their bets in each round.
In the example above, only $12 was risked. However, it is important to note that the Press strategy is highly aggressive, and the chances of landing a number three or four times before a seven is rolled are quite slim.
6/8 Progression Craps Strategy
The 6 and 8 have the second-highest probability of appearing on the dice (after 7). With the 6/8 progression approach, players place a $12 bet on both 6 and 8. If the dice land on either of these numbers, collect your profits and leave the bet up. If you have a point cycle with a loss, increase the wager amount. Some choose to increase by one unit, others double each time.
Similar to other progressive betting strategies, players may experience prolonged periods without a win. When this happens, you are doubling your bet each time, potentially increasing your losses exponentially. When it hits, you essentially get all of your money back plus a few bucks, but if your bankroll runs out before it hits, you’ll be broke!
As with any betting system, it is crucial to only bet money you can afford to lose.
Advanced Craps Strategies
Most advanced strategies are complex and require a true understanding of the game, including payouts, timing, and attention to detail in order to ensure you’re tracking all of your bets and being paid properly.
More craps bets don’t always mean a better strategy, but dealing with come bets, and constant movement from one-roll bets can be a lot to keep up with.
They can also work the dealers – so tip them well!
Three and Down – $44 Inside
Similar to the “Three and Down” detailed above, we will expand to include the 5 and 9. Go $44 inside, and no matter the outcome, after 3 rolls reduce your bets, leaving less money on the table than you’ve taken in.
If that means you didn’t hit anything, pull it all down and wait for a new point cycle.
Let’s say you hit two of your numbers, leave two of your bets up, ideally the 6 and 8. Aside from odds betting strategies, I think this is the best craps strategy to minimize losses and make a few bucks.
The downside to this approach is – it is slow! It gets boring. You do a lot of work for very little return.
I used to play this a lot on one of my craps apps, and I’d always do pretty well. But after a while, I’d get bored with it and leave my money out for a fourth or fifth roll, which always seemed to go poorly.
If you are employing this craps strategy at the table and you find yourself getting bored or losing the discipline to follow the system, leave the table. Go get some dinner, or a drink and go back later.
3 Point Molly – The Best Craps Strategy (IMO)
The 3-point molly is a come betting strategy with max odds, which ensures the lowest possible house edge.
Related – Check out my article on the best craps strategy, with a full breakdown of odds and house edge. I basically describe the 3-point Molly, with all of its benefits in much more detail.
It’s pretty simple, you want to make a pass-line bet and place max odds. Then establish two come bets, both with max odds. This will get you covering 3 different “points”. Once you have three covered, maintain it with new come bets and start to expand once you are playing with house money.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to expand beyond 3 working bets, you can increase your initial come bet, which allows you to place more odds on each bet.
Iron Cross Craps Strategy
The Iron Cross will basically allow you to win on ANY number thrown, except the 7. You can make the bet at any time, although most players wait until a point is established.
You make 4 bets, which will cost you $44 on a $10 table. You make a $10 field bet, then place the 5, 6, and 8. The 5 will cost you $10, and the 6/8 will be $12 each.
At this point, you have every number on the table covered with the exception of the 7. The field covers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12. Your place bets cover the 5, 6, and 8.
A hit on the 5, 6, or 8 will carry a $10 loss on the field, but a payout of $14 from your place bet. With this strategy, you really want the field numbers to hit to maximize your winnings.
I have occasionally paired this with the Three and Down strategy, where I’d set up the Iron Cross instead of $44 inside. If the field hit on the first roll, I’d place the 9 and remove the field bet. Then simply let it go for two more rolls before reducing. If one of my place bets hit first it kind of ruins it, letting the field bet go at that point is best.
What is the Best Craps Betting Strategy?
The best strategies to win at craps are ones that minimize the house edge. To achieve the lowest house edge possible, odds bets are your…well…”best bet”. But it has to be odds on the right side. Come bets and pass line bets!
Related – Craps Odds Bets
You’ll find a number of strategies out there that include high risk/high reward where you’re making world bets, yo bets, and hop bets. These one-roll bets carry the worst possible house edge on the table. They are definitely not the best craps strategies to employ!
Any Strategies for Rolling Dice?
Yes, there are! But this approach is controversial and although it may be possible to have a minor influence on the dice, it is very rare that a player can actually acquire the skill necessary to do so effectively.
It takes a lot of hard work and practice to consistently throw the dice. And, even if you do throw them perfectly every time, you still have to deal with the back wall, which can wreak havoc for dice controllers.
I have a practice table at home and have spent a lot of time honing my skill. It takes a lot of hours. My wife and I love to play craps and throw dice. But every craps table is different. Even if you can exert some level of control on one craps table, the next one may bounce much differently.
The best craps strategy is one that reduces the house edge as much as possible. But, that is also one that can be difficult and may require advanced knowledge of the game.
If you are a beginner, start slow and familiarize yourself with the game through some of the beginner strategies identified above. Once you get a better handle on the game, move into some of the more complex strategies.
Bottom line – no craps strategy can guarantee a win, the house always has an edge. So, be responsible and only bet money you can afford to lose. That being said, I hope you can take advantage of some of these tips and win some money at the tables.
As with any game in the casino, Craps should be a fun game that we play occasionally. Do not bet money you cannot afford, if you think you may have a gambling problem, call the gambling helpline. 1-800-GAMBLER