Play Like the Pros
The right ways to play craps the right way
By Frank Scoblete
There are two main games at a craps table. The ﬁrst is to bet with the dice; that is, you want just about any number to appear except for the dreaded seven during the point cycle of the game. The second is to bet against the numbers, rooting for the seven to appear and wipe out all the other numbers you are betting against.
The ﬁrst group of bettors are called “right bettors,” while the second group of bettors are called “wrong, or darkside, bettors.” Most players fall into the “right side” of the ledger, while maybe ﬁve percent of the bettors fall within the wrong side of the game.
[Please note: On the come-out roll, the “right bettors” actually want the seven to appear while on the come-out roll the “wrong bettors” do not want the seven to appear. Go ﬁgure!]
Since the right side of the game is the predominant one, let me take a look at the best ways to approach betting the right way at the right side of the game. I use as my general criteria the house edge on the bets and how many decisions are usually reached using the method I am advocating. So here goes:
The Traditional One, Two, Three
If you read many of the gambling books of the last 50 years, you will note that many writers subscribe to three bets: the Pass Line with odds and two Come bets with odds, giving the player three bets total with every shooter. The house edge on the Pass Line bets and the Come bets is a mere 1.41 percent.
The amount you add to those bets from the odds will not add any house edge to the original bets, although the overall edge will be lowered because, obviously, more money is being wagered.
Raising one’s bet in a hot streak: The edge the house has is not diminished because a player has won some hands in a row and is ahead of the game. Therefore, raising one’s bet comes with a cost as more money is now being wagered. However, many players want to “take advantage” of a hot streak, thinking such a streak will continue. Sadly, for the player, hot streaks are past events and tell us nothing about the future.
So, should you pump your bets up? The logical answer is “no.” The emotional answer is “yes.” I guess waiting until you have tripled what you have on the layout might be the way to go in a “do not go” situation. Your choice.
Adding more bets: Some players would prefer to add more bets after a winning streak, which will also increase the total amount they are wagering. This has the same eﬀect as simply adding more money to the bets already on the table. The house edge will dominate these new bets as it dominates the bets already on the table.
The Second Traditional Method
There are many craps players who do not like to make Come bets. They have sundry reasons for this, one of which is the fact that they like to choose the numbers on which to “place” their money. (Yes, such betting is called “Place” betting.)
While Place betting is convenient, it comes with a higher cost than using the traditional one, two, three method. The house edge on the 4 and 10 is 6.67 percent; on the 5 and 9 it is 4 percent; and on the 6 and 8 it is 1.52 percent.
Usually, Place bettors will make a Pass Line bet to be followed with two Place bets. Such players will often want to increase their bets as do the Traditional One, Two, Three players, and I give them the same cautions concerning the house edge grinding away at the new money or added bets on the table.
The Action Players
The casinos deﬁne action craps players as those who make many of the “Crazy Crapper Bets,” which is a term used by my mentor the Captain of craps to deﬁne bets that should never be made because their house edges go from bad to awful.
The more of these Crazy Crapper Bets that players make, the more action they give the casino (meaning the more money they are throwing out there) and the more the casino will ultimately win from them.
Since “comps” are based on the players’ theoretical losses, action players tend to get more in comps. But comps aren’t free—they cost the player in losses.
Are action players doing themselves justice by playing in such a costly manner? I think not. But action players just can’t seem to turn down these bets as they return more money for fewer amounts wagered. That “more” really translates into more losses.
Action players evidently don’t seem to mind that.
The In-Between Players
There are some players who like to make some of every kind of bet. They will use Pass Line bets, Come bets, Place bets and Crazy Crapper bets. At any full table, look at the layout and you will see chips on just about every kind of bet. Craps can be a gold mine—for the casinos, that is.
All the best in and out of the casinos!