Craps Success Secrets: Mastering Strategies & Odds

min read
a man throwing a pair of six sided dice onto a craps table in between stacks of poker chips in a casino
BetMGM Jul 08, 2023, 1:00 AM

As one of the most popular casino table games in the world, it’s understandable that many people are looking for winning craps strategies. 

In this article, you’ll take a closer look at the weird and wonderful game of craps, including its history and some important bet types. But more importantly, some of the most popular strategies employed by craps players are discussed.

About Craps

Before diving into the various playing strategies for this popular casino game, you first need to learn a little more about it. The craps table is usually one of the most vibrant and noisy areas of the casino. Since players are actively involved in shooting the dice, it is far more interactive than many games. Coupled with the unusual language surrounding the game, this helps to create a unique atmosphere. 

The history of craps is a long one, thought to be inspired by a 12th-century dice game called Hazard. Europe’s ruling classes discovered this in the 17th and 18th centuries, leading to a surge in popularity. During this time, rule variations were introduced that helped make it look a little more like the game of craps as it exists today. 

After its arrival in the USA, particularly the Mississippi steamboat casinos, further betting options and simplification of the rules took place. John H. Winn played a particularly pivotal role in the evolution of craps. He introduced the concept of betting with or against the shooter, for instance, which helped to reduce cheating.

Key Bet Types

There are dozens of betting options in craps, each with its own individual payouts and respective house edge values. But the main bets to focus on are as follows:

  • Pass
  • Don’t Pass
  • Come
  • Don’t Come

These specific betting opportunities play a vital part in successful craps strategies due to their low house edge. After all, the greater the casino’s advantage, the more likely you are, in theory, to deplete your bankroll.

The Pass and Come bets both have an edge of just 1.41%, while Don’t Come and Don’t Pass are even lower at 1.36%. Not only are they the most player-friendly wagers in craps, but they’re actually among the best bets in the whole casino.

Simple Playing Strategies

Now that you’re up to speed on the various craps bets and payouts, take a look at how to play the game. The most obvious starting point is the simple Pass line and come betting strategy due to the aforementioned low house edge. It’s perfect for beginners, thanks to its simplicity. 

Just place your bet; whenever the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you’ll receive an even money payout. The casino has a built-in advantage of just 1.36%, close enough to break even that you can employ the strategy for a long time. 

Adopting this basic playing method means you don’t have to worry about anything too complex. It gives you the freedom to socialize and learn more about the game’s mechanics. A comparable tactic is to use a Don’t Come or Don’t Pass instead.

This idea is basically the same in that it’s an easy bet to manage and has a 1 to 1 payout. However, there are two subtle differences. Firstly, the house edge is even more favorable at just 1.36%. But secondly, you’re actually betting against the shooter, which might not be popular when playing at a land-based casino.

Advanced Craps Strategies

If you’re looking for a more advanced craps strategy, there are several options available. Check out the following tactics.

Press and Pull

This popular playing style involves place bets. The idea is to bet until you win four times, at which point you remove your profits. For instance, say you make a place bet on 8 which pays 6 to 5 odds. If you bet $5, your returns will be $11, giving you a $6 profit. 

The idea here is to press on and try to capitalize on a potential winning streak. Remove $1, leaving a new bet of $10. If this also wins, your returns will be $22. Remove the $2 and press on. Pull everything after four consecutive wins and bank the profits.

6/8 Strategy

Another playing style commonly found in craps is the 6/8 progressive betting strategy. After 7, these two numbers are the next most likely to be thrown. So the idea is to exploit this fact. Continuing with the $5 example, you’ll start by placing a bet of one unit.

If you win, remove only the profits and leave the original $5 in play. If it loses, double the bet size and repeat the wager. With all such progressive systems, it’s absolutely vital that you set an upper value that you are happy to lose. If you reach this limit, walk away from the table. Otherwise, the doubled bets can quickly get out of control on a losing streak. Never chase losses.

Three-Point Molly

This strategy requires a considerable bankroll and is not for beginners. But if successful, the three-point molly swings the craps odds greatly in your favor, with a casino edge of lower than 0.5%. Here’s what to do:

  1. Bet the Pass line with one unit. You’ll win with a 7 or 11, so take the profit and start again. You’ll lose with 2, 3 or 12, but you can try again. If there’s any other result, move on.
  2. Once the point is set, bet that number at maximum odds. That’s 3x for 4 and 10, 4x for 5 and 9, as well as 5x for 6 and 8. 
  3. Look for another point by betting the Pass line. After a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, your bet switches to a Come bet. You can bet the number again at max odds.
  4. Repeat the above, looking for a third point, eventually betting it at max odds. Once you have your three points, you’re all set.
  5. If you make it this far, you’re set for a big payout if any of your numbers come in. However, if the shooter craps out with a 7, you’ll lose the lot. But a three-point molly sets you up for the best possible chance of success thanks to the greatly reduced house edge.

One More Tip To Win at Craps

Money management is vital when playing craps (or, indeed, any other online casino games.) Keep your gambling bankroll separate from the cash you need for groceries, bills and everyday life. 

What’s more, you should break it into units of equal size to avoid chasing losses and to track your profitable and losing sessions more easily.

Put Your Knowledge to the Test

If you’re ready to try some of these craps strategies out, register at BetMGM today. Not only can you enjoy the thrill of shooting dice, but you’ll have access to a wide range of games, from online blackjack live dealer tables to video slots.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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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.