Craps Systems and Strategies

An easy to read craps strategy guide.

craps image

Craps Top Tips

  • Place six/eight bets, as they’re the next best wager after the pass/come bets.
  • Only play at tables where you can take odds on the pass/come bets.
  • Never place proposition bets.
  • Only play at tables where commission isn’t paid up front when buying numbers.

There are many online craps strategies available, generally designed to suit players of all styles, such as betting with or against the shooter and hedge betting. However, as a starting point, it’s worth your time to learn about all possible dice combinations.

From this table, you can see the chances of rolling a certain number and, if nothing else, it should help you to understand why the payouts and house edges are as they are.

Dice Roll Possible Dice Combinations
Two 1-1
Three 1-2, 2-1
Four 1-3, 2-2, 3-1
Five 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1
Six 1-5, 2-4, 3-3, 4-2, 5-1
Seven 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1
Eight 2-6, 3-5, 4-4, 5-3, 6-2
Nine 3-6, 4-5, 5-4, 6-3
Ten 4-6, 5-5, 6-4
Eleven 5-6, 6-5
Twelve 6-6

Many gaming experts disagree on the chances of winning at craps. This is mainly because the house edge can reach as high as 16.67% on some bets. But there are a few pointers that are accepted across the board.

Our guide to what we believe are the best craps strategies are listed below. We've chosen these betting strategies as they're both simple to understand and easy to follow.

Play the Pass, Don't Pass, Come or Don't Come Bets Strategy

The low house edge of 1.36% to 1.41% gives you a great chance of winning, but playing this bet consistently does require a lot of patience in order to create large profits.

Take the Odds Strategy

Once you’ve made the above bets, always take odds on them once the point has been established, since it has a house edge of 0%. This reduces the already-low house edge for the bets listed above and means you have a great chance of winning. The greater the odds offered on this bet, the lower the overall house edge becomes.

Place Six and Eight Strategy

These are the next best bets in craps in terms of odds and house edge since they're the numbers (that can be placed) with the highest number of dice combinations.

Never bet on the big six or big eight. Essentially this is exactly the same bet as placing six or eight, but with worse payouts.

Apart from these three bets, all others should only be played as a speculative bet because the house edge for most of them is quite high. However, if these systems and strategies are followed, you’re more likely to win regularly, as well as experience all the fun and excitement that craps has to offer.

To get the lowest possible house edge when taking odds on the pass, don’t pass, come, and don’t come bets, find a game that offers the largest odds you can find.

In terms of more specific strategies or “system play”, there are a few ways you can increase your chances of winning. But always remember: The best faultless strategy you use is money management.

Martingale System in Craps

The martingale system is often used when playing a variety of casino games and is a base for other betting systems that have been created. This system is essentially a money management system as it consists of you increasing your bet when you lose and keeping it at the same value when you win. Unfortunately, you’d need an infinite bankroll for this system to really work. Even then you may not win much, if at all.

Safe Craps System

However, there's a system that does work, and that’s often referred to as the “safe craps system”. This system consists of placing a bet on “don’t pass” at the start of the game. Then, once the point has been established, you place an equal amount on the point.

This means that if a seven is rolled before the point, you win at one to one and receive the same amount that you’ve bet. However, if the point is rolled first, you win and make a profit. The only way you can lose when playing this system is if you roll a seven or an eleven on the come out roll.

Essentially, once the point has been established, you can't lose. The only remaining options are for you to get your money back (when a seven is rolled) or win (when the point is rolled). Below is an example of what can happen when playing a game using this system, and betting $10 on each bet.

Example:
  • Place $10 on the don't pass line.
  • If a seven or eleven is rolled on the come out roll, you lose $10. If a two or three is rolled, you win $10, and if a twelve is rolled, the bet is pushed. However, if the come out roll results in a four, five, six, eight, nine, or ten, then the point has been established. From this point, you can't lose.
  • If a seven is rolled before the point, you win $10 and lose $10, effectively meaning that you’ve neither won nor lost. But, if the point is rolled again, you win $8 if the point is a four or ten, $4 if it’s a five or nine, and $1.50 if it’s a six or an eight.

As shown in the example, the wins aren’t that large unless you’re willing to bet large amounts per game. If not, then the wins are small and progress is slow, and you must stick to the system in order to win consistently.