Advantage Play and Cheating in Craps

One of the most interesting and controversial topics in gambling and craps play, in particular, is advantage play. Some craps players, as well as the vast majority of inexperienced gamblers, believe that there is a genuine, reliable way to change the odds of the game and gain an advantage over the casino. Game theory, however, does not support this concept on the grounds that, after all, craps is a purely random game.

So, is it possible to shift the odds in favor of the player? Those who use progressive betting systems rely on predicting the outcome of the rolling dice. Other individuals claim that they are capable of setting and tossing the dice in such a way so they can influence the result. In the past, cheating was also common among gamblers who would try to tamper with the dice or swap the casino dice with a rigged one. Nowadays, casinos have taken various measures to stop cheaters from even trying to manipulate the dice in any way. But does that mean that advantage play is not possible at all in craps?

What Is Advantage Play in Gambling?

1Gain a Mathematical Advantage Over the Casino

Advantage play is a term that refers to a wide range of techniques and systems gamblers use to gain a mathematical advantage over the casino. Typically, casino games such as roulette, blackjack, and craps have rules and payouts that ensure the long-term profits of the gambling operators. This can be seen in the house edge or the theoretical return of the games. Both express the same thing – that players are expected to lose a certain percentage of their bets because the odds are stacked against them.

2Use Strategies

This applies to all forms of gambling – casino games, sports betting, lotteries, etc. In most casino games, players can use certain strategies to at least improve their odds. The most common image of an advantage gambler is the card counter in blackjack, a game where the final outcome depends on both chance and skill. Card counters rely on one of the fundamentals of blackjack – that every deal has a direct effect on the composition of the cards left in the dealing shoe. By determining the deck composition, they can effectively predict what cards would be dealt next and adjust their bets accordingly.

3Can You Take an Advantage in Craps

However, craps cannot be “cracked” and beaten in the long run. Unlike blackjack, craps consists of random, independent events that cannot be effectively predicted. Each roll of the dice is different and its outcome relies simply on chance. In theory, all bets, except for the Odds on the Pass and Don’t Pass wagers, favor the house rather than players. This means that in the long run, even lucky players would lose money when playing craps.

Craps Strategy

Is Craps Strategy Enough to Gain an Advantage

Using Comps and Casino Bonuses

As we have explained above, most casino players use tactics to reduce the house edge and improve their odds of winning the game. Card counting, for instance, has been proved mathematically to be effective in gaining an advantage over the casino. Since craps is a game of chance, however, such a scenario is simply impossible. Rather than depending on players’ decisions and actions, the outcome of the game depends on the random throwing of the dice and physical variables such as dice speed, weight, trajectory, and so on.

Up to date, craps researchers have found no evidence suggesting otherwise – theoretically, there is no way to gain an advantage over the house. When it comes to the practical side of the game, however, players can opt for bets, which have a house edge that is so low that it is almost non-existent. The most commonly recommended craps strategy includes betting on the Pass Line and on the Come field and covering these wagers with odds. An even better alternative is to choose the “wrong” counterparts of these bets, the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come. A good bankroll management plan is also useful to players and should be a part of a successful craps strategy.

Following these basic steps, craps enthusiasts could play the game at an incredibly low house edge of around 1% or even less. Even the best strategy, however, cannot help them gain an advantage over the casino. This is, of course, a long-term expectation but in the short run, players can make decent profits on the craps table. Overall, craps strategy cannot change the odds of the game but it is good enough to improve players’ chances of winning over a short period of time.

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Controlled Shooting

The only way to gain a real advantage over the house in any gambling game is to find a way to adjust the odds. In craps, this cannot happen by using a playing strategy and it is theoretically only possible by utilizing some sort of controlled shooting. This is a very controversial topic in craps literature, however, and while some authors claim that dice control, dice setting, or rhythmic rolling, as it is also called, is possible, many researchers say that it is just a sales gimmick.

According to proponents of dice control, skilled players can learn how to set and grip the dice and how to throw it. The idea behind this practice is to be able to adjust the randomness of the dice at least a little bit, although some craps players say that they can throw the number they want 90 percent of the time. There are various ways these shooters claim they can adjust the roll of the dice. Of course, this applies to land-based casinos only – dice manipulation is simply out of the question when talking about online craps.

Dice Sliding
Rhythmic Rolling

Cheating at Craps

Along with the “honest” forms of cheating in craps such as dice sliding and controlled shooting, some gamblers still resort to actual cheats when they play in live casinos. This is quite uncommon, however, since casinos have taken various measures to prevent such dishonest and criminal practices. Still, cheating was the norm in the past – both players and dealers used a wide range of techniques to lie, trick, and deceive their opponents in order to make a profit.

Unfortunately, some of these cheats are still practiced and with the rise of online casinos, even more complex ways to exploit the games have been developed. In the past two decades, there have been multiple cases of online casino players using software to gain access to in-game information such as their opponents’ cards in poker, for example. There have been multiple attempts to cheat in online blackjack, craps, and other games, as well. All modern gambling sites today, however, use state-of-the-art firewalls, encryption, and other technologies that provide a high level of security and protect the gaming software, as well as user data and any sensitive information.

Fixed, Rigged or Loaded Dice
Past Posting
Lying to the Dealers