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Craps – Advanced Tips and Strategies
Craps might be a game with an incredibly simple premise, but it actually has more depth than many other casino games out there. In fact, many of its most dedicated fans say that it’s a game that can last you for a lifetime. That might be exaggerating things a bit, of course, but it is definitely true that there’s more to the game than meets the eye.
In this article, we’re going to look not only at the mathematics that underpin the game, but also at some of the less mainstream bets and whether craps can be beaten or not.
If you are entirely unfamiliar with the game, check out our basic craps guide before continuing here.
Before we can examine the house edges the different bets carry, we should take a look at some of them. After all, there is a plethora of bets that can be taken apart from the traditional duo of Pass and Don’t Pass, so it would be a shame to not know any of them.
First of all, there are the Odds bets that players can take only if they already have a Pass or a Don’t Pass bet in play and only after the point has been established. Pass Odds bets win whenever the point is rolled before a 7, while Don’t Pass Odds bets win whenever a 7 is rolled before the point. The payouts vary depending on what the point is.
The second combination of bets that we’re going to talk about is the Come/Don’t Come duo. They are a bit like the Pass/Don’t Pass duo, but they can only be taken only after the point has been established, i.e. only after a come-out roll. They then work exactly like Pass and Don’t Pass – the roll that comes immediately after one places the bets will count as the come-out roll for them.
That’s probably enough from the more complicated stuff – let’s now take a look at some of the single-roll proposition bets that are ideal for punters who just want to enjoy a bit of pace in their betting. The Field bet, for example, is a single-roll bet on one of the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 appearing on the next roll. The payout should be at least 2:1 on twos and twelves, while all the other winning numbers should be paying even money.
Since seven is the magical number in craps, you might sometimes be tempted to have a bet on that number appearing after the next roll. This bet – sometimes called “Any Seven” or “Big Red” – carries a payout of 4:1.
Another interesting single-roll bet is the so-called Horn bet, which wins if the next roll totals 2, 3, 11 or 12. Its typical payouts stand at 27:4 (on twos and twelves) and 3:1 (on threes and elevens).
Finally, let’s also mention the Whirl (or World, as it is sometimes called) bet, which wins if the next roll totals 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12. Its usual payouts are 26:5 (on twos and twelves), 11:5 (on threes and elevens), and 0:1 (on sevens). If you’re unsure about what the last number means, we can tell you that it means a voided bet.
Although one could spend quite a lot of time trying to figure out the mathematics behind the game of craps, that would be a fairly pointless exercise in this day and age, as all those secrets have already been revealed. They are also naturally widely available – in full detail – elsewhere, so we’re going to stick to just the most important numbers here.
The most basic bet of them all, the Pass bet, carries a house edge of 1.41%, which is fairly low for a casino game – and it actually decreases to 1.36% when it comes to the Don’t Pass bet. If you stay within the borders of these two bets, chances are that you’re actually going to walk away with some winnings here and there.
There are even better bets in craps, however! The Pass Odds and Don’t Pass Odds bets typically carry no house edge whatsoever, which really is something very rare when it comes to casino games.
Players that like to go for some of the less unconventional bets, however, should know that they all carry house edges that are significantly higher. For example, bets on 2s and 12s carry a house edge of 13.89% (when paid out at a 30:1 rate), while bets on 7s carry a house edge of 16.67% (when paid out at a 4:1 rate). This naturally doesn’t mean that you should stay away from these bets completely – after all, they’re those ones that will always get your heart racing. Just know that they aren’t the best ones from the mathematical point of view.
Can Craps Be Beaten?
Since craps is one of the few casino games in which players have a direct influence over the outcome, it has always attracted plenty of players keen on skewing the odds in their favor. Of course, casinos now have certain rules in place – like the rule that the dice have to hit the back wall of the table in order to be considered correct – that are supposed to prevent that from happening, but those rules certainly haven’t stopped players from trying.
In fact, there’s a fairly dedicated community of players that claim that dice setting is possible even with such limiting rules in place and, from what we understand, it’s actually been proven that players can beat the house edge after enough practice. It should be said, however, that dice setting is much harder than, say, card counting in blackjack, so those of you who dream of breaking the bank at a local casino have their work cut out. It will take more than just a couple of months of practice – and your performance will never be as consistent as it could be in the aforementioned card counting.
Bonuses and Comp Points
Those of you who would like to play craps online should always look around for the best possible bonus deals – after all, fabulous promotions are basically the essence of online casinos.
While the initial deposit bonus offers look good, when you check the small print you will often find that you are not allowed to play craps, or other low edge games, while clearing a bonus. Those sites that do allow you to play craps with bonus money will always calculate your wagers at a low percentage level.
Apart from that, you should also check whether the first bonuses are all there is to the given online casino or whether there are regular offers after that as well – virtually all good online casinos have them, so it’d be a big mistake to play at one that doesn’t.
To round things off, you should never fail to explore the loyalty programme the online casino of your choice offers. Some come with multiple tiers that will eventually give you a multitude of perks, while others are pretty bland and will never reward you with anything substantial.
Even though it might look like a hassle, you should always read the exact terms and conditions for every promotional offer that you’re about to accept. That way, there will never be any bad surprises waiting for you down the line.