House Of Craps
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Craps Strategy

There are many ways you can approach your craps strategy. Some prefer to stick to simple bets and make their money off of bankroll management. This is a smart thing to do indeed, but most people I meet at the craps table should take a step backwards, and simply learn the nature of the bets in front of you.

A good players strategy in craps is usually based around making particular bets or particular combinations of bets. So this precludes that we be aware of every bet on the table, it's relative quality, and when we could/should put money down on it. To orient ourselves, here is a good look at the craps table in all of its glory:

Craps Table

Let's take a look at the good bets on the table, how to make them, and why we like them. Starting with the Hershey bar of craps gambling, the pass line bet.

The details of the pass line bet are covered in their own page. The pass line bet has a house edge of 1.42%, which is a fairly good number compared to the rest of the games in the casino (for example, it's where a decent blackjack player would be able to bring the edge down to), but it can get better. Once you've made your pass line bet, you're allowed to back it with something called 'free odds'.

Free odds are an additional wager you stack right behind your original pass line bet, after the point has been set. You'll notice almost everyone at the table doing this, that's because it's a part of absolutely everyone's craps strategy. The popular stems from the fact that free odds is actually a 'fair bet'. In other words, the house edge on this bet is exactly zero. The catch is you have to make a negative expectation bet before you can back it with free odds. The pass line bet is one of the negative expectation bets you can back with free odds.

Another bet you can place free odds behind is the come bet. The come bet is a particularly interesting bet on the craps table, as it acts completely independent of the pass line bets and the cycle of play. To place a come bet put your wager down in the large area in the center of the board with the words 'come' written in it.

When you place a come bet, its like you've started your own little session. The next roll that gets thrown will win the come bet if it's 7 or 11, and lose outright if it's 2, or 3. The little difference is, if a 12 is rolled, the come bet is a push (it would be a loss for a pass line bet). If anything else is rolled, the number becomes your personal 'come point'. To signify this the dealer will move your bet to the appropriate numbered square on the table (the same place they put the puck to signify what the session point is). When this happens you can go ahead and back the come bet with free odds.

To read more craps strategy and betting rules, read on!
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