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Craps Strategy

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Craps Strategy

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While craps is typically portrayed as one of the most glamorous casino games—picture a movie scene that showcases a character’s impeccable luck—it is also easy to learn quite quickly.

At its most basic level, craps is simply a dice game. However, with multiple opportunities to bet and a feeling of momentum that comes from the rhythm of round after round, craps is one of the most fast-paced and exciting online gaming experiences.

The best craps strategist understands the likelihood of dice combinations and approaches the betting table with a healthy respect for the risks associated with betting.

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Rolling Probabilities

Understanding craps strategy is largely centered around your ability to comprehend and remember dice probabilities.

Mathematical craps strategy and the opportunities for success in craps are based on the likelihood that a given number will occur with two six-sided dice. While 2 and 12 have the lowest probability (as they can only occur in one possible combination), 7 has the highest probability (as it can occur in six different combinations). Remembering this general principle is helpful during each roll, but especially during the opening moments of a craps game.

Roll Total

Probability

2, 12

2.78%

3, 11

5.56%

4, 10

8.33%

5, 9

11.11%

6, 8

13.89%

7

16.67%

While percentages might not mean as much to your conceptual understanding of your chances, picturing each of these rolls as combinations can visually make the opportunities make more sense:

Rolling_Probablities_Img.png

When pictured visually this way, it becomes easier to understand why 7 has the greatest opportunity to occur—it has the most combinations that can create it. As you learn, 7 is a fantastic roll to open the game, but when the point is set for subsequent rolls, you’ll learn to avoid 7, due to understanding its likelihood to occur and the volatility that can occur as you attempt to avoid it can help you to safely and wisely wager.

The Come-Out Roll and Pass Line Bets

Dice.png


The opening roll of a craps game is called the “come-out roll.” Prior to this roll, participants will place a “pass line bet”—they are betting that the opening roll will either be a 7 or an 11. 

On the come-out roll, there are three possible outcomes: Outcome one is that 7 or 11 are rolled, and pass line bettors have placed a successful bet. Outcome two is a losing outcome—2, 3, or 12 are rolled, and pass line bettors have lost their wager (conversely, if players have placed a “don’t pass” bet, 2, 3, or 12 are a winning outcome). Outcome three is when 4,5,6,8,9, or 10 are rolled. If any of these numbers are rolled, they become the “point.” Players now want the number from outcome three to occur again before 7 is rolled again.

Place Bets
Following the come-out roll and the point having been set, players can make “place bets” in which they can bet on a specific number to occur. While playing online, you’ll have multiple opportunities to bet on a winning occurrence. For example, the point is set at 5; you also place wagers on 4 and 6. If 7 is rolled, you lose all three bets. If 4, 5, or 6 occur, you’ve won one of your bets (though you have still lost two).

Because their occurrence is less likely than the 7, a successful placed bet can have a stronger payout. Thinking of rolling probabilities, because 4 can only occur in three combinations, it will have a better payout than 5 which can occur in four combinations.

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Betting Wisely
Generally, the pass line bet is considered not only the safest bet in craps (remember that 7 is the number most likely to occur) it is also considered one of the safest bets across all casino games. As always, the safer bet results in a slightly lower payout, so as you weigh your options of pass line bets, don’t pass Bets, and place bets, you’ll want to consider that volatility to keep your emotions or any sense of momentum from getting the best of you.

Playing craps online with DraftKings is for its entertainment value first. You’ll never want to wager money you can’t afford to lose. Gaming responsibly means taking your time, setting clear limits, and considering the risk of each choice carefully; online games are never a means to pay your bills.

For more information on specific types of bets and opportunities in a craps game, see our guide on how to play craps.

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