Craps can be one of the best bets in the casino or one of the worst. It all depends on how you play and which of the many bets you focus on. For example, the ‘Pass’ and ‘Don’t Pass’ lines have a house edge of 1.41% and 1.36% respectively. On the other end of the spectrum the ‘Any Craps’ bet that pays 7-1 has a house edge of 11.11%. The ‘Any Seven’ bet pays 4-1 and has a house edge of 16.67%. That’s worse than the ‘Hard 8’, which is a bet that novices are always warned is a ‘sucker bet’. The ‘Hard 8’ pays 9-1 and has a house edge of 9.09%.

The specific strategy that a player should use for craps depends on his goals and playing style. If he wants to minimize the house edge, extend his playing time and try to ‘grind out’ a profit he should target the bets with the lower house edge. Unfortunately, they all have relatively low payouts. The other extreme is the ‘hit and run’ strategy–the player targets high risk, high return bets and if he wins he takes his money and walks away. Another consideration is complexity. Playing the simple bets makes the game easier to manage and particularly for beginners. Playing the high risk, high reward bets are challenging to keep track of at all or in some cases to even know what’s going on.


Simplicity is helpful to craps newcomers but often it’s also the best strategy for more advanced players. The strategy outlined below is extremely easy to understand and implement. It’s also as effective as any craps strategy we’ve seen as it combines ‘ease of use’ with a very low house edge. Don’t misconstrue this to think that this strategy will give you the best of it. In craps, that’s mathematically impossible. This strategy will give you a fair shot to grind out profits and will definitely extend your playing time as much as anything.

Not only does it leverage the most player friendly bets on the craps table it also focuses on the most basic–the ‘Pass Line’ and odds bets. These are fundamental craps bets that you should learn before anything else. Best case scenario, you should already know how these bets work but we’ll explain them below just in case. If you’re *not* familiar with these bets or any of the other craps bets you should do yourself a favor and learn about them before you put any money in play.


This strategy is simple because it combines just two types of bets–the pass line and odds betting. There are some advanced refinements of this strategy involving a few other fundamental bets (come, don’t come and don’t pass bets). Here’s how it works:


The ‘Pass’ bet is essentially a bet *on* the current dice thrower. Winning ‘Pass’ bets are paid off at even money and have a low house edge of 1.41%. So you start this strategy by placing a ‘Pass’ bet on the ‘come out’ roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 you win even money. If he rolls a 2,3 or 12 you lose. If he rolls a 4,5,6,8,9 or 10 that number becomes the ‘point’ and he keeps rolling. Now the goal is for the player to hit his ‘point’ before he rolls a 7. If his point shows first you win. If a seven shows first, you lose.


This bet is usually known as ‘taking odds’ on the point roll. Basically, you’re making a ‘side bet’ that the shooter will hit his point before he hits a seven. How much you can bet on this wager depends on the casino–if you’ve ever seen signs around Las Vegas advertising ’10X odds’ this is what they’re referring to. Since this is a true even money bet you want to bet as much as possible. This is the only true ‘even money’ bet in the casino and as such it has *no* house edge.

The most common ‘odds bet’ rules are the “3X-4X-5X odds”. This means that players can bet odds for up to three times the size of their pass line bet on points of 4 and 10, up to four times their passline bet on points of 5 and 9, and up to five times their pass line bet on points of six and eight. 3X odds are common at many online casinos meaning that the player can wager up to 3X his pass line bet regardless of the point that is rolled. Better still are 5X and 10X odds which allow 5 and 10 times the size of the pass line bet.


If you always bet the ‘Pass’ line and follow that up with a max odds bet when it’s offered you bring the house edge down to less than 1%. The bigger the odds bet you can make, the lower the advantage. At 3X, this strategy reduces the house edge to 0.47%. With the 3X-4X-5X it’s 37%. With 10X odds the strategy produces a house edge of 0.18%. Once again, this *still* doesn’t give you the best of it–or an ‘overlay’ in gambling parlance–but it does give the player a fighting chance to grind out a profit.