Betting Patterns and Tactics to Win in Craps

There are many different ways to play craps and while some players stick to safer, more conservative betting, others prefer to play the game more aggressively and have a chance at winning big. Before developing their individual betting style, however, novices could benefit from creating a betting pattern that is suitable to their skill level and bankroll, and then, from and using it consistently.

Betting patterns could be described as a combination of two or more bets placed simultaneously to provide more coverage of the betting layout. They may be useful to players, depending on a number of factors, including the size of the player’s bankroll and their tolerance for risk. These patterns can sometimes cost a lot more than initially expected, so a good money management plan would certainly be helpful to those who are just entering the world of craps.

If used aggressively, on the other hand, these strategies could lead to quickly losing a lot of money. Players should be aware that in many cases, covering one bet with a second bet (the so-called hedge betting) does not insure them against loss. On the contrary, while they may be winning one of the bets, they could be losing much more money from the second bet. This article explains different betting patterns in craps, along with the potential benefits from them and the risks they can pose if used hastily and without care.

Basic Craps Strategy for Beginners

1You Cannot Change the Odds

Craps is a fun game but it is incredibly fast, especially when played in a brick-and-mortar casino. Beginner-level players would often bet the same way as the rest of the people on the table, which is not necessarily the best approach because many casino patrons tend to make the sucker bets, thinking they would eventually win and compensate for all the losses. But this is not an effective strategy – not in a game, where you cannot change the odds and influence the outcome in some way.

2Make Bets With The Lowest House Edge

Since craps is a chance-based game, it is impossible to increase one’s chances to win against the house, which always has the advantage. The optimal strategy, then, is to keep making the bets with the lowest house edge possible and hope for the best scenario rather than trying to “insure” yourself against losing every single bet. These wagers include the classic Pass Line and Don’t Pass bets, as well as the Come and Don’t Come bets, which are almost the same. Adding Odds on them decreases the house edge, which is why it is always best to put fewer chips on the Pass Line and then take maximum Odds.

3Explore Other Wagers

Once players learn how to make these fundamental bets, they can try exploring other wagers with a relatively low house edge. The choice of bets, however, constitutes only half of the basic craps strategy all players should be aware of. It is also important for gamblers to organize their style of play – to put a time limit to their gaming sessions and to know when to quit the craps table. Once the time is up – it may be an hour, 4 hours, etc., players should just leave the table without trying to recuperate their losses.

4Set up Win or Loss Limits

It is also a good tactic to set up win or loss limits – this way, they make sure they end up the gaming session with a decent profit or at least, they can minimize their losses. Players should know that the longer they play craps, the closer they get to the expected return of the game. As we know well, craps has a house edge ranging from 1.36% to 16.80%, depending on the bets we make. This means that despite the winnings we may generate within a short period of time, we are expected to lose eventually.

Pass Line Betting Patterns

Many players apply Pass Line betting patterns on the craps table. These systems are simple, relatively easy to track, and less risky than making proposition bets, for instance. Based around the Pass Line bet, these patterns can be used by both novices and experienced players, depending on the level of difficulty, of course.

Pass Line Bet Plus 1 Come Bet
3 Point Molly: Pass Line Bet Plus 2 Come Bets
Pass Line, 2 Come Bets and Place 6/8 Bets

Don’t Pass Betting Patterns

There are several betting patterns based on the Don’t Pass bet and they are very similar to the ones using the Pass Line. These systems, however, are betting against the shooter, which is why they are usually avoided by players in land-based casinos. That being said, wrong players typically face lower house edge – the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets, which are the opposite of the Pass and Come bets, offer a house edge of only 1.36%.

Don’t Pass Bet Plus Don’t Come Bet
Don’t Pass and 2 Don’t Come Bets
Don’t Pass Bet, 2 Don’t Come Bets, a Field Bet, and Lay 4/10 Bets

The 5 Count Method

1One of the Most Popular Craps System

There are dozens of different systems and strategies for playing craps and one of the most popular ones is the 5 Count Method. It was presented by Frank Scoblete, a best-selling author who has written multiple books on craps, blackjack, and casino gambling as a whole. Unlike other systems that claim to change the odds of the game, this method states that it aims at giving players the advantage by doing three different things:

  • It eliminates half of the shooters on the table who would make the player lose money.
  • It helps players bet money when lucky shooters are having good rolls or when a “rhythmic roller” takes the dice.
  • It helps players earn more comps than usual and, therefore, gain an advantage over the casino.

2The Concept of the 5 Count Method

The concept of the 5 Count Method is very simple – with it, players wait for the shooter to roll 5 point numbers before they make a bet. Then, they stick to the Pass Line and Come bets (alternatively, to the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets) and support them with maximum Odds. According to the author, players should bet on up to three numbers, i.e. they should make one Pass Line bet and continue with two Come bets. However, bettors could have as many numbers working for them as they want – 2, 3, or 4.

It is also possible to make Place bets on 6 or 8, or both. The particular choice of wagers would depend on the size of the player’s bankroll. Those with a large enough bankroll could also bet on all point numbers that have not been covered by the Pass and Come bets, as well. As you can see, this is not a strict system for betting but it is still considered controversial among the gambling community due to the practically non-provable idea that you can identify “lucky” shooters. Moreover, the system has received even more criticism over the concept of “rhythmic rollers” – craps players who are said to be skilled at dice control.

3Is it Effective?

Although researchers are highly skeptical of the effectiveness of this system, they all agree on one thing – that the 5 Count Method is completely harmless in comparison with the vast majority of craps systems and strategies developed in the past few decades. Indeed, this method is very safe, especially if players bet the table minimum and opt for double or triple rather than maximum Odds. It is, in fact, a great alternative to the complex betting patterns used by skilled gamblers.

By counting to the fifth point to make a bet, less experienced players can learn how to control their betting. Often, novices start placing chips chaotically on the table or try applying some advanced strategy that requires tracking several multi-roll bets at a time. In almost all cases, this ends in losing their entire bankroll within an hour. The 5 Count Method prevents this from happening and helps players last longer on the craps table even if they have smaller bankrolls. It does not, however, change the odds of the game at all.

Combining Bets with Low House Edge

Some craps players use the so-called hedge betting, believing that they can protect one bet with another. Others believe that the more chips the larger portion of the betting layout they cover with bets, the higher their chances of winning. Many experienced players use the complex patterns and systems based on the Pass Line and the Don’t Pass bets. None of these strategies, however, can guarantee long-term profits on the craps table.

In reality, this is a game based on chance and most of the time, players are expected to lose since the house has an overall advantage over them. Although the house edge is a purely theoretical concept, it has very real consequences – it shows the average loss players can incur over time and how likely they are to win or lose when making certain bets. This is why the most effective approach would be sticking to the types of wagers that offer the tiniest house edge.

Moreover, some experienced craps players rely on different combinations of bets to keep the game interesting, while maintaining the risk of losing very low. However, some strategies are more effective than others and certain combinations of bets only seem to be working in favor of the player.

Pass Line and Don’t Pass Bets
Don’t Pass Bet with Odds and Place Bets on 6/8

Aggressive Betting Styles

1Attracted to the High Payouts

Most craps players tend to start their game with the classic Pass Line bet, then take Odds on it and place a couple of Come bets on top. Some players like to add a few Place or Buy bets, while others would occasionally make some proposition bets to try their luck and keep the game exciting. There are also players who bet extremely conservatively and always stay away from wagers with a house edge of over 2%. Of course, most craps bets have a house edge higher than 2%, which means that these conservative bettors are not even considering the entertainment aspect of the game.

There is a third group of players, however, who are easy to identify on the craps table. They may start with a few Pass Line or Come bets but soon, they are making riskier proposition bets and losing their chips very quickly. Such gamblers are attracted to the high payouts of bets that rarely win and often, they leave the craps table with zero chips in their pockets. Such high-paying bets with a high house edge include the Hop bets, the hard totals, the straight craps and 7 or 11 numbers, the Whirl and the Horn bets, etc.

2Not a Long-term Successful Strategy

This is why beginner players should avoid single-roll proposition bets and all wagers with a high house edge in general. Relying on these so-called sucker bets to bring huge profits is not a long-term successful strategy – it exposes players’ bankrolls to huge risks and even if bettors are on a winning strike, their tactic is not sustainable. Often, they may win $1,000 with a single bet but lose twice as much throughout their gaming session.