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Craps Rookie Mistakes

Common mistakes to avoid when rolling the dice

By Jack Salay

Craps is an absolute blast to play, and one of the most exciting games in a casino, but it can be intimidating to new players.

People enjoy playing craps for many reasons, including the interactive experience and camaraderie. Strangely enough, the low house edge is one of the most undervalued reasons why people play the game. If you’re a novice craps player, here are a few quick tips to help you win more often.

  1. If you decide to bet on a seven rolling on the next roll, bet on a three-way seven on the hop instead of an “any seven” It pays more for the same amount wagered.
  2. Don’t want to bet on the Pass line, but want to bet on all the numbers? Make a place bet on the five, six and eight, plus make a bet in the field. You’ll win every time a field number is If a five, six or eight gets rolled, you’ll lose your field bet but recoup the field bet loss by winning your place bet on the five, six or eight. You have a bet on every number but the seven.
  3. Another approach is to bet on the Don’t Pass Once a number is established, make a place bet on the six and eight. Wait for either the six or eight to hit. Collect your winnings from the place bet, take down the place bets, and wait for the seven to roll, which wins on the Don’t Pass line.
  4. If you make a bet on the Don’t Pass line and the six or eight gets rolled, and you think they’re going to roll it again, you can take down your Don’t Pass bet (any bet that is in your favor the casino will allow you to take down).
  5. The next time you make a Pass line or Come bet, think about this: There are only four ways to lose this bet on the first Four out of 36! Think twice about making that any craps bet to insure your bet. Most of the time, this bet—and most proposition bets—will eat away at your bankroll.
  6. There are 36 combinations of numbers on the If you make a field bet, there are 16 ways to win and 20 ways to lose. That’s less than a 50/50 chance on every roll. If you play the field every roll, you will lose over time. The numbers are against you. Most veteran players do not play the field.
  7. The worst bet is betting on long shots (proposition bets). An example would be betting on the two or twelve to roll The odds of winning this bet are 35 to 1. And if you win, they only pay you 30 to 1.
  8. One of the most common rookie mistakes I see every night? Continuing to bet the table minimum while they’re on a winning If you’re feeling hot, increase your bet. Invest your winnings back into the game, and go for a big payday. (Note: I’m talking about betting with your winnings. A big part of being a consistent craps winner is knowing when to walk away and save your bankroll for another, and hopefully luckier, day.)


Jack Salay has been in the casino and gaming industry for more than 30 years. He has worked in major casinos in Las Vegas including The Mirage, Sands, Desert Inn, MGM Grand, Trump Plaza and Tropicana, dealing craps, blackjack and roulette. For a copy of his book, visit

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