Craps Strategy

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the action and betting options the first time you approach a craps table. With dice flying around, players making noise and having fun, and all of the fancy looking bets available on the felt layout, it’s easy to think that your best bet is to just find an easier game to play.

The good news is that not only does craps offer some of the lowest house edge bets in the casino; it’s also easy to start playing. Just because there are plenty of betting options doesn’t mean you should consider using all of them.

As you’ll see, only a few craps wagers are worth considering. Learn what these bets are and how to place them. You can join in the fun at any craps table and give the casino the lowest chance to win your money at the same time.

The best strategy is to only place wagers on those bets that offer the lowest house edge. Only a few of the many available craps wagers offer low enough house edges to consider using.

Craps Wagers

Here are the craps wagers that are available along with the house edge for each. The percentages are approximate, but most of them are so large you don’t want to use them anyway. I don’t explain what each of the bets means. That’s already been covered on the craps page. I list the bets from best to worst.

The odds bets are the best that the casino offers. They pay out at true odds. The house edge is zero. Of course, you have to make a bet with a house edge before you can make odds wagers. Always take the maximum allowable odds bets to reduce the house edge as much as possible.

Here’s what you should do if the maximum odds aren’t posted:

Ask the casino personnel at the table what they are.

You can find odds bets available in up to 100 times your original wager. That’s unusual, though. Most casinos have lower limits. The most common is 10 times. The higher the odds limit, the lower you can make the house edge by taking the maximum odds.

Don’t pass and don’t come wagers have a house edge of just under 1.4%. Other than the odds wagers, these are the lowest casino edge craps bets available.

The pass and come bets come in closely behind the don’t pass and don’t come wagers. Their house edge is just over 1.4%.

The place 6 and place 8 wagers have a house edge of just over 1.5%.

A field bet with the 12 paying three to one has a house edge of just under 3%.

The place five or place nine wager has a house edge of 4%.

A field bet with the 12 paying 2 to 1 has a house edge of over 5.5%.

Placing a bet on the place four or place 10 has a house edge of over 6%.

Betting on the big 6 or big 8 has a house edge of just over 9%.

The hard six or hard eight bet has a house edge of just over 9%.

Any craps has a house edge of just over 11%.

Betting a hard four or a hard 10 has a house edge of over 11%.

The three, 11, and all of the easy hop wagers have a house edge of just over 11%.

The two, 12, and all of the hard hop wagers have a house edge of just under 14%.

Any seven offers the worst house edge on the craps table at over 16%.

Your Best Craps Bets

Only four of those bets are worth making:

  1. The odds bet
  2. Pass and/or don’t pass
  3. Come or don’t come
  4. Place 6 or Place 8

The house edge for all of these bets is 1.5% or less.

Skip the other craps bets.

What’s the bottom line best strategy?

Taking the don‘t pass with full odds and never placing a wager on any other bets.

Many craps players are superstitious and/or they frown on anyone placing don’t pass wagers. Most craps players play the pass line with full odds.

Doing this costs you .05% over the long run. That is 5/100 of a percent. Bet $1,000 in a session on the pass line instead of the don’t pass line, and it costs you an expected 50 cents in the long run.

Should You Throw or Shoot the Dice?

You don’t have to be the dice shooter unless no one else is at the table. You can pass them to the next shooter if you don’t want to roll.

But a big part of the fun for many craps players is throwing the dice. Even if you aren’t comfortable being the shooter, do it until you are comfortable. No one was a great shooter the first time they played craps. The more you play the better you will be at throwing the dice down the table.

Does Throwing the Dice Change Your Odds?

The odds are the same regardless of whether or not you’re throwing the dice.

Players who believe otherwise are superstitious.

Hot streaks and cold streaks happen.

But they don’t happen based on whether or not you’re throwing the dice.

The casinos operate under the assumption that the dice are rolled at random at the craps table and turn up the expected amount of times over the long run. All of the odds and pay outs are based on the mathematics of random dice rolls. Unless you can make the dice rolls that you throw not random then the odds do not change when you are the shooter.

When you play online craps, the dice rolls are completely random. They’re controlled by the same random number generator that is used to power all of the casino games. Playing craps online doesn’t hold the same level of excitement as live play for many craps players. But it’s a great way to learn more about the game and how to play.

What Is Dice Control and Is It Real?

Dice control advocates believe you can influence the outcome of each roll. You do this by setting the dice in a particular way and training your body through practice and muscle memory to throw the dice the exact same way every time.

If you can make the dice rolls nonrandom you can quickly gain an edge at the craps table.

Plenty of people claim that they can control the dice. No one has offered definitive proof in real life. In a controlled environment it might be possible.

Do your own research to decide if dice control is real or not. I think it’s possible. But it would require such a great amount of practice that it probably isn’t practical for the average craps player.

Also the results will be erratic and the ability to gain a large edge will be limited.

The biggest issue is that the shooter is supposed to bounce the dice off the back wall of the craps table. The back wall has a protruding pyramid angle pattern built in. These make the dice come off the wall in an unpredictable way.

Are Hot and Cold Streaks Real?

Lots of people believe in dice control.

A hundred times more craps players that believe in hot and cold streaks. They believe a shooter can get hot and avoid crapping out for dozens of rolls.

Are they real?

If you’re in the camp that believes in dice control then you believe that a dice controller can get on a hot streak.

At least you should believe this.

Don’t believe in dice control?

You’ve still probably witnessed craps shooters go long periods without crapping out.

I’m sure you’ve also seen shooters crap out on their first roll quite a few times as well.

Here’s the question:

Do these things prove the idea of hot or cold streaks?

Or are they simply the normal variance and streaks associated with any random act?

It would be easy to claim that there is no such thing as a hot or cold streak at the craps table.

But I’ve seen a few rolls go on much longer than I ever felt statistically possible if everything was random.

I don’t believe in hot and cold streaks for random events.

But I’ll admit seeing things that make me look for some other explanation.

This is one of the reasons that I believe that it is possible to control the dice by some players.


The best craps strategy is to take full odds after a don’t pass bet. This is followed closely by taking full odds after a pass line wager.

Anything beyond these two bets is giving the casino a larger house edge than is required. You can place six or place eight if you want to add an additional wager to your arsenal, but never place any bets beyond these while playing craps.

Figure out how to control the dice and you can change the odds. That might not be possible. But it might be worth your time to check it out.

If you do learn how to even control the dice a little, keep the information to yourself. Just focus on beating the casinos.