Craps – Cutting Down the Casino’s Edge

If you’re here because you want to learn how to play Craps, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Let me recommend as one of the better Craps tutorial sites I’ve seen. My assumption is that if you are reading this it’s because you’ve already played craps a number of times in a live or Internet casino setting and you are looking for tips on how to win more consistently. You’re in luck. You wont find this anywhere else.

Anyone out there claiming to have a ‘system’ for beating the Craps table is selling you snake oil. Show me any system and I’ll be happy to show you exactly how it fails. I’ll cover the ways that most Craps systems try to sell their bag of tricks in another article.

Tip #1: Know which bets carry the lowest edge for the house

Below is a chart which shows the house edge on each bet as it appears on the most common craps layouts. The first thing you need to know is that NOT EVERY CRAPS LAYOUT IS THE SAME. From casino to casino there may be slight variations in the layout that you might not notice unless you look real hard. The most likely places that you’ll see variations are:

Field Bets: Most field layouts today are set to pay for the numbers 2-3-4-9-10-11-12 with the 2 and 12 paying double and this layout carries a 5.26% house edge. There are variations out there that will pay TRIPLE for the 2 or the 12 which cut down the edge to 2.78%, and there are variations that don’t pay any premium for the 2 or 12, which gives the house a staggering 11.11% edge! I’ve also seen a layout that pays on the 5 instead of the 4 which brings the house edge down slightly. Regardless, the house edge on the field will devastate any player over time. Only consider playing it if it has the 2x-3x layout like the one shown above.

Proposition Bets: These are the bets in the center of the table with the payouts marked on most of them. It includes your hardways and C-E bets which are not marked. What you want to look for is the wording on he payout. Using the 11 as an example, does the layout say 15 to 1, or does it say 15 for 1? If the word “to” is used, then after a win you will receive $15 for your $1 bet, and your $1 bet remains on the table for the next roll which of course you can ask them to bring back down. If the word “for” is used then your original $1 bet is gone after the payout. Essentially, it is the same as reducing the payout to 14 to 1. If the layout uses a hyphen as in “15-1” instead of the word “to” or “for”, then be sure to ask the dealer if it means “15 to 1” or “15 for1” before deciding to place your bet. If you don’t you may learn the hardway (pun intended)!

Don’t Pass/Don’t Come: On most layouts you will see either the 2 or the 12 is barred from winning on this bet. There is no difference the the player. The house percentage is the same either way. Every once in a while you might run into a layout that bars the 3. STAY AWAY FROM THIS if you are a wrong side better…The house edge TRIPLES from 1.40% to 4.39%! However, there is a way you may be able to take advantage of this. If a casino bars the 3 on Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets, they are obviously trying to persuade the players against playing these bets. Why? Maybe because their dealers are not strong enough to handle them. You may want to put them to the test by laying odds on the numbers. You probably know the correct payoff better than they do. Who knows what kind of mistakes they’ll make in your favor! Only try this in a live setting, not in an Internet casino.