Advanced Craps Betting Strategy
Breaking down advanced craps betting does not have to be difficult, and here we do it for some of the best non-standard wagers available in the game.
There is no way to deny that craps is a difficult game with a lot of different betting options. The biggest danger with a game like this is in accidentally taking bets that have a huge house advantage. In craps, there are some wagers with two-digit house edges, and you’ll obviously want to dodge those as much as possible. With that having been said, there are also some non-standard bets that can give you pretty good odds without having to stick to the relatively boring pass line bet. We’re going to break down everything you need to know about these alternative ways to play here.
The Place Bets
The numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 are known as the place numbers in craps, and all of the alternative bets we’re going to look at here are based on those six numbers. The first set of bets we’ll look at are called the place bets, which makes sense because they’re based on hitting a place number. You can wager on any place number on any roll, no matter if it’s a come out roll or not or if there is a point established.
A place bet is a wager that wins if your chosen number (one of the six place numbers) comes up on the next roll, and it loses if a seven comes up. All other numbers are a push, which means it’s a tie, and you don’t win or lose anything. Here are the three sets of place number bets along with their payouts and the house advantage per roll of the dice:
- A place bet on 6 or 8 pays 7:6, and it has a house advantage of 0.46 percent.
- A place bet on 5 or 9 pays 7:5, and it has a house advantage of 1.11 percent.
- A place bet on 4 or 10 pays 9:5, and it has a house advantage of 1.67 percent.
The key thing to note here is that a place bet on a total of 6 or 8 has a pretty small house edge that’s as low as what skilled players can achieve in a more strategic game like blackjack.
Place to Lose Wagers
If you want to bet on a total of 7 coming before a specific place number, then you can bet on the place to lose wagers instead. They work exactly the same as the place numbers except the winning and losing conditions are reversed, and the odds are a little different. As is the case with the place bets, wagering against a total of 6 or 8 has the best house advantage, but all of the place to lose bets have competitive house edges compared to other craps bets.
For the sake of clarity, a place to lose bet is a wager that wins if you get a seven, loses if you hit the number you wagered against and pushes on all other values.
- A place to lose bet against 6 or 8 pays 4:5, and it has a house edge of 0.56 percent.
- A place to lose bet against 5 or 9 pays 5:8, and it has a house edge of 0.69 percent.
- A place to lose bet against 4 or 10 pays 5:11, and it has a house edge of 0.76 percent.
You can see that the place bets and the place to lose bets allow you every combination of betting for or against any of the six place numbers. There are other sets of wagers that allow you to make the same exact types of bets in craps with different odds, and that’s what we’re going to look at here.
The Buy Bets
In the second stage of a craps game with the pass line bet, you get a chance to play with an odds bet that is even money, but it requires that you have made a pass line bet in the first place. The buy bets allow you to make the exact same wager with the exact same odds, but you have to pay a 5 percent commission on your wager in the meantime. The buy bets have the same payouts as the odds wagers, but you have to account for the 5 percent commission when you make your bet.
If you think about it, the buy bets are the same as the place bets with different odds. You’re winning if your number comes, losing if a seven comes and pushing on any other number. Along these lines, here are the house edges for each of the available buy bets:
- The buy bet for 6 or 8 has a house edge of 1.46 percent per roll.
- The buy bet for 5 or 9 has a house edge of 1.32 percent per roll.
- The buy bet for 4 or 10 has a house edge of 1.19 percent per roll.
What’s critical to notice here is that, although the buy and place bets are completely the same in terms of your chances of winning and losing, the house advantage is different for each of the two with respect to the number you’re wagering on. For a bet on a 5, 6, 8 or 9, the place bet is better than the buy bet. However, for a bet on the 4 or 10, the buy bet is better than the place bet.
Laying Odds or the Lay Bet
In the sense that the buy bet is just like the place bet with a different house advantage, the lay bet is just like the place to lose bet, but again, the house edge for each of the available wagers is different. The basic idea is that you’re getting the same odds as you would if you were playing an actual odds bet while playing the don’t pass bet (the opposite of the pass line bet), but again, it’s minus a 5 percent commission. This means you’re betting against one of the same six numbers, so if that number comes first, then you lose, but if a seven comes first, then you win. Like each of these other options, any other number is a push, and the bet continues on the following roll.
Here we list the house advantage for each of the lay bets:
- Laying against a 6 or 8 has a house advantage of 1.22 percent.
- Laying against a 5 or 9 has a house advantage of 0.90 percent.
- Laying against a 4 or 10 has a house advantage of 0.61 percent.
Again, we can compare the house edge for each of these lay bets with the place to lose bets. If you want to bet against a 5, 6, 8 or 9, then you should use the place to lose bets for the best odds. However, betting against the 4 or 10 with the lay bet has a more favorable payout than what you find with the place to lose.
The place, place to lose, buy and lay bets are four sets of bets that are all about the fundamental mechanic of craps where you are betting either for or against one of the six place numbers coming before a seven is rolled. The place and buy bets have the same winning conditions, as do the lay and place to lose bets, so you should pay attention to which number you’re betting for or against when it comes to choosing your specific way of wagering. You can cut down the house edge quite a bit in this way, but you have to know these four bets pretty well to do it, which is what makes playing these bets a part of a more advanced craps strategy.