Goals and Strategies for the Novice Craps Player

min read
A close up of a craps table and a dealer’s hand with dice and a craps mop
BetMGM Oct 28, 2023, 1:09 PM

You know the basic rules of craps, and you’ve seen progress in your results. Nevertheless, you’re looking to enhance your skills even further and become a true expert. This article is here to help you on that journey.

Discover the best craps strategy, as recommended by experienced players. Find out what goals you should set in order to boost your skills. Whether you’re rolling the dice in person or enjoying online casino table games, this advice can help you to succeed.

Most Common Mistakes

While you can certainly learn from your mistakes, it’s preferable to try to avoid them completely. Here are some of the more common errors that novice craps players make. Take these on board and try to cut them out.

Gambler’s Fallacy

This fallacy is aptly named. It’s present among gamblers at all levels, both in brick-and-mortar casinos as well as live dealer casino games. Here’s a quick test to discover whether you may succumb to it.

Mathematically, the odds of rolling a 7 while playing craps are 1 in 6 (16.67%). Imagine that’s exactly what happens. What’s more, your next three rolls are also 7, meaning you’ve now rolled it four times in a row.

Considering this, what are the chances that your fifth roll is also a 7? Is it now less likely, more likely, or still 1 in 6?

Answering anything other than 1 in 6 shows that you’ve been swayed by the gambler’s fallacy. Past rolls don’t affect future outcomes at all. Before the first roll, the odds of five in a row being 7 were close to zero. However, each throw is unique. Once you’ve made four such rolls, the odds remain 1 in 6 for the next throw.

Basing your decisions on past rolls when the table is seemingly running hot won’t offer you an advantage. Don’t do it.

Chasing Losses

There are many craps tips and tricks that you can follow, but if you make this one mistake, it’ll all be for naught. Chasing losses is the single worst thing you can do while playing craps, or indeed, any form of gambling.

It happens when you’re losing, and instead of walking away, you keep playing. 

“I just need to win a couple of hands to earn my money back” is something often heard in a casino. It’s even more common when playing online casino craps, where you’re often alone, and there’s nobody to help you rationalize your decisions. However, it doesn’t work. 

First, you end up playing with money you didn’t plan on spending. Sometimes, you might even succeed and get away with it. But when you don’t, it’s horrible. You’ll lose even more money, possibly getting into serious financial trouble, all while not enjoying yourself. 

What is the point of playing like that? Remember: never chase your losses.

Making Bad Bets

You could make a bad bet for various reasons, but it might not always be obvious that you did so.

Perhaps you want to show off your knowledge with an over-complicated bet. With such wagers, it can become hard to figure out the house edge. Typically, though, if you’re combining multiple bets, you’re just increasing the casino’s advantage.

On the other hand, you could just be ignoring the house edge altogether, making bets at random. If you’re playing just for fun, perhaps that’s a justifiable decision. However, it isn’t the best way to play craps if you want to minimize your potential losses.

Instead, you need to fully understand the odds and payouts that different bets offer.


Considering these mistakes, here are some goals you should set in order to become a better craps player. These will also help you to have fun while playing.

Quit When Ahead

The first one is simple. Once you’re ahead, quit. If you never do that, you’re always going to quit with a loss.

But how do you know when to quit? After you’ve made one dollar? Or after you won your initial money back tenfold? The answer is probably somewhere in between and always depends on the individual.

What’s important is that you plan before you start playing. Understand what is a reasonable amount of money that you’d be happy to win. If you hit that number, simply stop playing and take your winnings. 

Limit Your Bankroll

No matter which craps betting systems you’re using, the house is always the favorite. You’re going to lose money over a long enough time period. The casino math dictates this. It’s therefore crucial to limit your spending.

Consider how much money you don’t mind losing when gambling. This should form the basis of your bankroll. Divide this into small portions or unit stakes. Your starting buy-ins should always be equal to this amount. 

Further, think about how long you want to play and size your bets accordingly. If you’re happy to play for a long time, you should lower the unit stake size.

Have Fun

Last but most certainly not least, your goal should always be to have fun. Since all bets ultimately favor the house, you’re likely to lose money in the long run. So, if you aren’t having fun, ask yourself if it’s even worth playing.

Betting Strategies

So far, you’ve learned about the big-picture concepts that are essential to do well. Up next, you’ll discover a couple of popular and relatively successful craps strategies.

Don’t Pass and Don’t Come

These two bets are quite similar. Both have a low house edge of just 1.36% and pay an even money return. However, the don’t come bet can only be placed after a point has been established.

Even though these two bets come as close as they could to a profitable craps strategy, some players might dislike them. Why? Because they would be betting against the shooter, and that’s not something they enjoy doing.

Is live dealer craps difficult to play?” is a common question among beginners. That’s up for discussion, but there’s certainly one advantage to it. You don’t have to stand next to the shooter. As such, you might feel more comfortable betting against them.

Pass and Come

If you want to bet with the shooter, the pass and come bets are available. As their names suggest, they are the opposites of the aforementioned bets.

The house’s edge is slightly higher but still relatively low at 1.41%. The payout remains the same, so this is a marginally worse bet mathematically. However, if it’s more fun for you, just go for it. Remember, entertainment is always the key.

May Your Dice Always Be Lucky

Now that you’re well on the way to becoming an expert and fully understanding optimal craps strategy, why not register to play at BetMGM? Put the above advice to the test, and remember to bet responsibly. 

Alongside craps, you’ll find slots, classic table games like blackjack and roulette, plus a number of other enjoyable casino dice games.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.