Let’s go make some money. The first thing that you have to do is set a goal. When I show a new player how to play craps, there are a few basic questions that I like to ask:
What type of player are you – conservative or aggressive?
What do you consider a win?
Would you be satisfied breaking even?
What would you consider a lot of money?
How much do you feel comfortable losing?
A Basic Look at the Odds of place bets:
|The odds of throwing a 7 are constant at 6 in 36 or 16.7%|
|The odds of throwing a 4 or 10 are 3 in 36 or 8.3% vs. 16.7% for a 7||the payoff is 9 to 5|
|The odds of throwing a 5 or 9 are 4 in 36 or 11.1% vs. 16.7% for a 7||the payoff is 7 to 5|
|The odds of throwing a 6 or 8 are 5 in 36 or 13.9% vs. 16.7% for a 7||the payoff is 7 to 6|
vs. the payout of a buy bet:
|The odds of throwing a 7 are constant at 6 in 36 or 16.7%|
|The odds of throwing a 4 or 10 are 3 in 36 or 8.3% vs. 16.7% for a 7||the payoff is 2 to 1|
|The odds of throwing a 5 or 9 are 4 in 36 or 11.1% vs. 16.7% for a 7||the payoff is 3 to 2|
|The odds of throwing a 6 or 8 are 5 in 36 or 13.9% vs. 16.7% for a 7||the payoff is 6 to 5|
Now factor in that a buy bet requires a 5% fee and you will see that if you buy the 6 or 8, that you will receive $72 for your $60 bet 6/5 but pay $3 in “vig” or house commissions so it is actually a worse bet than a standard place bet and on a $100 bet on the 5 or 9 you would get $150 on a buy instead of $140 but it would cost you $5.00 in “vig” so the benefits are quite small. For that reason, we only recommend buying either the 4 or 10.
In all of the years that I have played craps, all of the major wins (over $1,000 on a $5.00 table) that I have witnessed or participated in have all involved aggressive strategies with presses and/or parlay bets. For discussion sake, I am reducing the amount bet to reflect a $5.00 table. All examples also assume a point of 9, if the point were 6 or 8 the actual bet would be $26 across.
Strategy 1: 27 Across with automatic press. Goal is $1,000
If you bet $27 across, that means that you have bet $5 on the 4,5 and 10 and $6 on the 6 and 8.
When a number hits, you simply press the number and take the excess profit. On the 6 and 8 you will get $1.00, on the 5 you will get $2.00 and on the 4 or 10 you will get $4.00. As you begin to hit numbers, your bets will increase geometrically and it is typical to have $30 bet on the 6 or a $90 bet on the 8. When a number hits for a second time,
Now lets take a look at what happens with a random series:
The end results (4 is now at $40, 5 is now at $20, 6 is at $6, 8 is now at $48, 10 is at $5). You have dragged : $31 on the 4 which may be hard for you to figure out since you would buy the 4 at $20, $6 on the 5, $7 on the 8 = $44 but you currently have $119.00 in bets on the table. This is where money management comes into play, many players will either start over or redistribute the bets to $54 across (banking the additional $65.00). This is why its important to have a specific goal and understand the trends of the table. If it has been a hot table, then go with it. Setting the point a 9 again here is another random series:
4 – $40, 5 – $20, 6 – $12, 8 – $192, 10 – $5
This is a very typical series. At most tables during hot roles, you will see stretches of numbers, and then a few numbers and a point. Most players would not press the 8 to $192 while only having a $5 bet on the 10 or a $12 bet on the 6, but that is what’s hitting. The whole reason that we press numbers is that every game in the casino runs in streaks. Back to Back Black Jacks, numbers repeating at Roulette, and somebody throwing a number several times in a row.
Again, here is a decision point, you have dragged a total of $44.00 + $1 on the 6 + an additional $24 on the 8 so your total in the rack is $69.00 with $269.00 on the table or a running total of + $311 (338 – 27). The money on the table is pure profit … that is why we asked the original questions, how much is your goal? If being ahead $300 would be enough, then lock in your profits. Other options at this point would be to redistribute the bets to $266 ($50 buy on 4 & 10 (+2), $60 on 6 & 8, and $50 on 9) or $132 across ($25 buy (+1) on 4 & 10, $30 on 6 & 8 and $25.00 on 5). We have set our goal at $1,000 so let’s keep going. Here is another random series:
Point is set at 5 (so the $20 bet on 5 moves to the 9)
Should we have redistributed the bets? Let’s take a look. The 4 would now be $80, the 6 would now be $48, the 8 would now be $768, the 9 would be $40 and the 10 would be $10.00. Total dragged would be $69 (previous) + ($39 on 4, $6 on 6, $96 on 8, $8 on 9 and $4 on 10) = $222 with $946 on the table = $1168. Had we redistributed to $264 across we would have gone to $100 on 4, $480 on 6, $240 on 8, $100 on 9 and $100 on 10 or a variance of $74. That’s easy to second guess, but what if we had thrown 3 or 4 more 8’s?
Although we reached our goal, remember that every time a point is made, you have to be aware of what is on the table and how much have you dragged. You have to keep a balance. I have often seen players press numbers to $300 or $600 with only a $100 in the rack in front of them. Part of solid money management techniques is to make sure that you lock in a portion of your profits.
Remember, a seven will be thrown 1/6 of the time. The odds of 1 roll not being a 7 are 5/6, 36 possible numbers with only 6 ways to throw a 7. With that in mind, the odds of not throwing a 7 in 10 rolls would be about 1.6 to 1 and the odds of not throwing a seven in 30 rolls at about 5 to 1. Statistically, you will find that about 1 in 25 shooters will actually have a good roll (30+ numbers) with about 1 in 75 shooters having a great roll (50+ numbers). Most Great Rolls will have numerous 7’s, they just happen to fall on a coming out roll.
Variation: Speed Press
A great way to build on a hot table is a speed press. You start with 27 or 32 across. When either the 6 or 8 hits you drop an additional $5.00 and go to $18. On the 5 or 9, you drop an additional $3.00 and go to $15 and on the 4 or 10 you drop $1.00 and go to $15. On the next hit, go to $30 and drag the profits. Continue as shown above.
One of the quickest ways to take advantage of a hot table is systematic progressions. By definition, most hot tables will have multiple hits on several numbers. Quite often you will see groupings of 6 – 10 hits on one or two numbers … 8,9,9,8,10,9,9,5,9,9 … As often as I have seen those sequences … we have all seen the poor soul at the end of the table who watches a hot table with $10 on one number only to see it hit all around for what seems like eternity only to seven out … You want to look for that person (and never be that person) … react to the table, there is always someone who is lucky and when you know how to bet on other peoples luck … you can always make money …
(By the way, if you hit a big score … take care of the dealers and flip a couple of chips to the poor guy who’s loosing streak you just capitalized on … it’s good Karma)
Take a standard bet of $5 on the 4 or 10 … (use whatever base bet amount you want)
On each hit double the bet unit until you reach $80 on that number:
$5 to #1 – $10 to #2 – $20 (buy) to #3 – $40 (buy) to #4 – $80 (buy)
Here you have locked in $80 in profit (4+7+19+40) and you have $80 on the table … you only pay for the buy when it hits (Vegas, not Atlantic City) Every time the number hits, you are locking in another $156 in profit. If you prefer, go to $100 after the next hit and then press in $25 or $50 increments.
On the 5 and 9 – again double the bet until you reach $80
$5 to #1 – $10 to #2 – $20 to #3 – $40 to #4 – $80
After the 4th number, you have $22 in the tray with $80 on the table. This goes against money management principles so be careful … it’s all feel … but you have recovered your bet and now every time the number hits, you collect $112.00
On the 6 and 8 – again you double the bet until you reach $84 or 90 (must be $6 increment) so your $6 bet goes to $12 after the first press, after the 2nd it goes to $24, after the 3rd hit go to $48.00 and finally after the 4th hit, go to $84 or $90. Take note that the increase is faster … this is because the base bet amount is higher … but it also means you recover less money if you don’t complete the cycle of 4 hits. In fact, you will only have $19.00 (1+2+4+12) in the tray once you complete the cycle so don’t be afraid to modify this and drag one bet to lock in a profit. Once you have completed the cycle, each hit on the number will net you $98.00
As you can see, once you have the table loaded up … you are making serious money on every roll of the dice.
Many players resist betting against a shooter. There are times when you have to face the fact that a table is cold … maybe they are all cold … maybe its the only game open … but for what ever reason, you are at a table that is cold or worse yet … choppy.
A cold table is just as easy to make money at as a hot table, you just have to think backwards…but a choppy table, where the shooter will make one point and then seven out … that can be difficult to survive let alone make money.
Betting wrong simply means betting the Don’t Pass and The Don’t Come. Odds are taken, but the payoff are exactly the opposite – you lay 20 to get 10 on the 4 and 10, 30 to get 20 on the 5 and 9 and 30 to get 25 on the 6 and 8. Instead of placing numbers, you lay against them (40 no 10) means you be $40 that there won’t be a 10 and if there is a seven before the 10 is thrown, they pay you $20. You can lay against any number … we just used 10 as an example.
One strategy that often works on a cold or choppy table is a hedge strategy. You start with a bet of $15 on the Don’t pass. I typically don’t insure it with an any seven or a YO bet because you can’t afford the house edge when you are playing tight. With a point established, I will bet $15 – 22 inside (adjust if the point is inside and either play 3 numbers or add the 4 or 10) and place a $6 don’t come bet. As each number is thrown, I now increase my bet on the established point until it equals my bet on the Don’t pass … and have turned the house edge in my favor … every number thrown results in a small profit and in the event of a seven … every bet is covered so you will have had several roles with no risk.
Protection and When to Take it down …
We’ve covered a lot of material in this section, but no Craps strategy guide would be complete without a frank discussion of when to take it down. Feel is so important in the game, it’s like life … when things are going good … they go great … when the go bad … it goes bad in a hurry. Many people blame the dice leaving the table, or a waitress brining a drink, or a nagging wife/girlfriend (my favorite) or a new player jumping in … What do these factors all have in common??
They all change the tempo of the game.
When you notice anything that changes the rhythm of the game … don’t be afraid to take your bets down … (you can just say “I’m off” to the dealer and they will mark your bets off).
If you don’t want to take your bets off, there are a few ways to protect yourself.
Any seven – Once the table is loaded, you are making about $100 per throw … you can protect yourself with a bet on any seven (a very bad bet odds wise) which pays 4-1 or you can make a come bet of an amount that is a “recovery bet” say $50 – 100 so if they throw a seven, you at least recover a portion of what you have at risk. If you have a gut feel that things are going to end but you don’t want to miss out if the roll continues … take your bets down to 54 or 108 across and start over … you should never regret locking in a big win …