Every game of craps starts with the initial roll, known as the come out roll, before the point is determined and the action flows until a player "craps out". During this dynamic, your aim as a player is to simply predict the outcome of a different dice roll based on a series of conditions.
The come out roll: Every craps round begins with the come out roll and at this stage in the game the players must make pass line bets. During the come out roll, if the player has made a bet they will receive a return on their investment if a seven or eleven hits.
If a seven or eleven doesn't roll in, but a two, three or twelve (all known as craps) hit then all pass line bets are declared losers and a new betting round kicks into life. However, if none of the above numbers are rolled, then the number that does land on the table becomes "the point" and the action progresses to stage two.
The point: If no winning bets have occurred during the come out roll and craps hasn't been rolled in, the point is in play and at this point the significance of seven and eleven change. Now, if these numbers roll in, all player bets are declared losers (something differs from the come out roll). Alongside trying to avoid a seven or eleven, players will be aiming to bet on the right point numbers in order to secure a return on their investment.
Although craps might seem like a complex game, there are really two main concepts you need to understand:
When it comes to craps strategy, the first thing you need to think about is the pass line bet. The reason it's important to focus on this wager from the outset is that it directly influences any subsequent bets. Basically, you need to watch the amount you're betting on the pass line because you will have to double that amount when you make what's known as an odds bets.
Making odds bets in conjunction with a pass line bet is a great way to improve your win rate; however, it means you need to be more careful with your bet sizing. In practice, to ante-up and make an odds bet, you must place your chips (must be double the size of your pass line wager) behind the pass line.
The beauty of an odds bet, when used alongside a pass line bet, is that, depending on the point that's established, you can essentially cover almost every eventuality at the table.
The payouts for odds bets are as follows:
When used in conjunction with pass line bets – which pay out at 1:1 - there are only three numbers that will lose you money during a standards game of craps: two, three and twelve. Therefore, if you're looking for a way to make a consistent profit at the craps table, you should consider using odds bets as they help to reduce your risk and increase your overall EV.
Playing craps, whether it's live or at an online casino, might not be the first move every novice will want to make. However, if you're able to understand some simple concepts (as outlined above) and combine pass line and odds bets, you'll find that it's possible to achieve a healthy win rate in this game. In fact, other than blackjack, it can be argued that craps is the casino game that offers players the greatest scope to employ solid strategy and increase their win rate.