# Craps Strategy Guide

The best craps strategy is to learn how to play the game, understand the basic bets which offer the best odds, and stick with those bets. Betting systems which involve raising and lowering your bets based on some arbitrary criteria are a bad idea, because they don’t affect your chances of winning. Hedging your bets is also a bad idea.

Craps is a straightforward casino game, but the bewildering number of bets, many of which are the worst bets in the casino, make it a profitable enterprise in every casino. The strategy that we recommend involves being realistic and having fun while you play. This page looks at some strategies to avoid, and it also explains which legitimate strategic choices actually make sense mathematically.

## Learn How to Play

The best way to learn how to play crap is to take one of the free classes that the casino offers, but keep in mind that they won’t go into a lot of detail about which bets are best and which bets are worst. They will show you how the action works, though, so if you’re new to the game, taking one of these classes is a great idea. There is no faster way to learn the game, in fact.

## Know the Best Bets

The number of good bets at the craps table is relatively small. If you stick with these bets, you’ll minimize the house edge, which is the percentage of every bet that you’re mathematically expected to lose over the long run. Don’t be fooled by short-term standard deviation. In the short run, which is longer than you think, anything can happen. The smart play is still to stick with the bets offering the best odds.

The only good bets at the craps table are the following:

1. Pass
2. Don’t Pass
3. Come
4. Don’t Come
5. Free Odds
6. Place Bets on 6 and/or 8

The house edge for pass and don’t pass bets (and for come and don’t come bets) is only 1.41% and 1.36% respectively. That means that the casino expects to win \$1.41 (or \$1.36) for every \$100 you wager at the craps table. Compared to the house edge of 5.26% at the roulette table, this is a lot of entertainment for very little money. And if you take the free odds when they’re available, you can reduce the house edge even more.

On the other hand, most of the proposition bets on the craps table have a house edge of 6% or more. Some of them even have a house edge in the double digits. Don’t waste your money placing bad bets. You’re better off spending that money on a show or something.

## Don’t Forget to Claim Your Winnings

One common error that neophyte craps players make is forgetting to pick up their winnings from the table. If you leave it on the table, it’s considered part of the action on the next roll, so be sure to pay attention and claim your winnings when you want them.

## Craps Systems Don’t Work

Any number of bogus systems involving changing the size of your bets based on a variety of criteria are available. For example, one system might have you increase your bets when the shooter wins. The stated goal of such behavior is to increase the amount of money you have in action during a shooter’s hot streak.

The reason this doesn’t work is called the gambler’s fallacy. This is the name mathematicians give the idea that previous events have an effect on subsequent events, when in reality, these events are independent of each other.

The thinking goes like this. If a shooter has won four times in a row, he’s hot, and you should bet more in order to take advantage of his winning streak. The fallacy is that the fifth roll’s math has no relation to the previous bets.