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Craps Strategy

In craps there are three betting levels that you can play. The three levels are based on the amount of risk you wish to take;

Basic: The pass-line betting tactic

Moderate: Place betting the 6 and 8

Aggressive: Covering all the numbers

The assumptions for each of these are (a) that you are “grooved in” throwing in the advantage zone with a SRR greater than 6.5;(b) that you have a 100-unit bankroll to play with, and (c) that one unit is your basic bet size. If you’re playing at a $5 minimum table, you will need to have at least $500 in your bankroll. The examples that follow use a $5 and $500 assumption.

Betting Tactic 1; The Pass-Line Betting Tactic

This tactic has you increasing your odds bet as you make successive passes. An odds bet is the wager you make after your point is determined by positioning the bet behind your pass-line bet. This is the only bet on the table that pays off at true odds, which are:

Points 6 and 8 - pay 6 to 5

Points 5 and 9 - pay 3 to 2

Points 4 and 10 - pay 2 to 1

This is called an odds bet because you are taking the odds that you will make your point. You really should memorize the payoff numbers provided here because you should always check your payoff made by the dealer to ensure that it is correct.

The odds bet is an even bet with no built-in casino advantage, this makes it an important part of your craps strategy because when we start even with the casino, the rhythm roll offers an even larger advantage.

Each of the steps that following assumes that each successive pass-line wins. The essence of this pass-line craps strategy is to increase your bet one unit after each pass-line win – the increase, however, starts on the odds bet, not the pass-line bet. This, increase your bet as you win tactic exploits the advantage over the casino.

Steps 1 and 2

Step 1: Bet one unit in the pass line with no odds.

Step 2: Bet one unit on the pass line; take the odds bet for one unit.

Example. Bet $5 on the pass line and take the odds on 6 or 8, betting $5 to win $6.

If your point is 5 or 9, you bet $6 on the odds bet. Remember when the point is 5 or 9, make your odds bets an even amount to accommodate the 3-to-2 payoff. The reason for this is, a $5 your 3-to-2 payoff would equal $7.50 and most casinos don’t handle 50-cent pieces. So your odds bet is $6 to win $9. If your point is 4 or 10, take the odds bet for $5 to win $10.

Step 3

In this step bet one unit but take the odds for two units. Since most casinos allow double odds this normally would be your last step in increasing your odds on a one-unit bet. However, some casinos allow up to 5 or 10 times odds or even more. If this is the case, keep progressing your odds bet on successive passes. Don’t progress beyond 5 times your pass line bet. For example, betting $5 on the pass line and $25 as the odds bet (with $26 or $30 on the 5 or 9, remember the even rule). For the remainder of the steps we will assume that your casino allows up to double odds on your pass-line bet.

Step 4

Now you will want to bet two units with an odds bet of two units. At this level, we move right to an odds bet to keep the progression moving up. In Step 3 we placed a bet of three units (1 pass line + 2 odds), so in this step we move to four units (two units on the pass line and two units on the odds bet).

Step 5

To keep the progression moving you will need to bet two units with an odds bet of three units. At this level, most casinos will allow you to take up to five units on the 6 and 8 to facilitate a 6 to 5 payoff.

Step 6

Bet two units with an odds bet of four units.

Step 7

Bet three units with an odds bet of four units. Note that we are following our increase your bet as you win tactic by one unit overall, from six units in Step 6 to Seven units in Step 7.

Step 8

Bet three units with an odds bet of five units.

Step 9

Bet three units with an odds bet of six units. Continue in this manner, progressing up to a four-unit pass-line bet.

If in all the excitement you get confused about where you are in the progression, don’t worry if you miss a step or two. Simply make the same size pass-line bet as the last one, take single odds, and start the progression aver again. If you forget your next step in the odds progression, just glance at the odds bet before the dealer pays you off. Notice the number of units and mentally add one to it; that’s it, you have you next odds bet after the come-out roll establishes the point.

A note to conservative players: You don’t have to raise your bet to get an advantage. Flat-betting is an accepted craps strategy when you’ve developed your rhythm roll. I would recommend, however, that if you flat-bet, take double odds.

Betting Tactic 2: Place Betting the 6 and 8

The essence of this craps strategy tactic is to flat-bet the 6 and 8 until you make your pass-line output; after every point is made, you increase your 6 and 8 place bets by one unit. It’s that simple.

Step 1

After the come out roll, place the 6 and 8 for $6 each to win $7. If your point is the 6 or 8, just place the other one (if the point is 6, bet the 8 and vice versa). Collect on the 6 and 8 place bets for all times they hit. Continue collecting until you make your pass line number or seven out.

Step 2

Now we need to increase the 6 and 8 place bets. Of course this assumes you make your point and win your pass-line bet. After the next come-out roll, increase your 6 and 8 place bets one unit as follows:

If the new point is not 6 or 8, and the last point was 6 or 8, you will want to bet $6 on the one not covered. Now on the 6 and 8 you have a $6 bet and you are rolling for your new point.

If the new point turns out to be a 6 or 8, leave your one place bet up and use it to cover the other number (if your pass line is 6, move your $6 bet to the 8, and vice versa). If you have bets on both the 6 and 8, which you probably will, take down the one that is not your number (if your point is 6, the jargon is “down on the 8 bet” and vice versa).

For this Step, you will double (or press) on the next hit. In this example, if 6 or 8 hits, double up your bet to $12. Your objective on this pass-line roll is to move up to a $12 bet on both the 6 and 8 or $12 on whichever one is not your point. When either the 6 or 8 hits, your instruction to the dealer is simply “Press.” He will take $6 of your $7 payoff, reposition the bet, and toss you the “change” of $1.

You have used your advantage to move to a two-unit pass-line bet; now you want to do the same with the 6 and 8 bets.

Once you have achieved this objective, continue to collect $14 each time you roll a 6 or 8. Do not progress until after you make your pass-line point, this will be described shortly.

Step 3

As you make each pass line number you want to up your bet by one unit as you make each pass-line number. So after you make two points (two pass line wins), increase your bet from two unit’s or $12 to three units or $18 on the next 6 or 8 hit after your third pass line number has been established. Remember a seven on the come out roll do not count for increasing your place bets.

Step 4

Finance the next bet increase to $24 (four units) by using the next place bet win on the 6 and/or 8. To reach this step, you will have had to make three pass line numbers. A possible point of confusion is when 6 or 8 is your point, winning the pass line win, and then throwing a non-six or eight on your next come out roll.

To look at this a little more closely, let’s say you have an $18 place bet on the 6, and your new point roll is a 5. How much do you place bet on the 8?

A conservative bettor should hand the dealer $6 and say, “Make my 6 place bet look like $12 each on the 6 and 8.” What will happen is that the dealer takes $6 off you 6 place bet, and place it on the 8 along with the $6 you just handed to them. This results in $12 on both the 6 and 8. Sure, you’re backing off a little, but that’s okay. Keep it simple and keep your focus on your rhythm roll.

For aggressive bettors the bets should be places on the 8 for $18 and finance it out of their winnings that have been accumulated to date. Another option available for aggressive players for this betting tactic is to press the 6 and 8 on every other hit; for example, roll a 6 and win $7; roll another 6 and press your bet to $12; roll another 6 and win $14; roll another 6 and press to $24, and so forth. This works the same way for the 8.

You will have a little time to note you place bets and decide what to do on the next come out roll while the dealer is paying off the other winners. As you gain more experience, this process should only take a few seconds.

You can also use this time to isolate your winning into the back rake and, of course, decide on your next pass line bet, with the odds you will take depending on the point rolled.

In front of you on the table there are two “racks” or “rows”. It is wise to keep your buy-in chips in the front rack. But, it is important not to get caught up in worrying about your chips and managing your money to the point where it affects your play.

Betting Tactic 3; Covering all the Numbers

This is the craps strategy for players with small bankrolls who want action on every roll.

As you become experienced with the rhythm roll, you will want all the numbers working for you – even the 2, 3, 11, and 12, which do not count after you have established your point. The way your achieve this is to work with a field bet. The field bet is a one-roll bet that pays even money if you roll a 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11, and double on the 2 and 12. You win if any of these numbers are rolled on the next roll, but you will lose on a non-field number; which are 5, 6, 8, and, of course, 7.

The plan behind this tactic is to place wagers on 5, 6 and 8 for two units each ($10, $12, and $12) and play the field for one unit ($5). No matter what the outcome, you win regardless of the roll is (except a 7 of course). If the 5, 6, or 8 hit, you win $14 and lose your $5 field bet for a win of $9. If the field hits, you win $5 (or $10 should the dice hit 2 or 12), with your place bets not affected. Remember you have to bet the field on every roll because it is a one roll bet.

This is an aggressive betting craps strategy as you are risking $30 or just about eight betting units to win just one or two units. Players that are conservative may wish to take their place bets down after four, five, or six rolls and stop betting the field. In this way you lock up your profits before the losing 7 shows. Aggressive bettors will use their profits to finance the other place bets – the 4, 9, and 10. The field bet would be terminated as these bets are made.

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