Play It Smart- Craps Strategies
By Nelson Paul
If you had millions of dollars and enough knowledge, or maybe the ability to write some sophisticated computer code, you could own and run a casino. By following a few basic rules you could run games where you always had and edge over the players. Occasionally the player would win, but then your strategy is to keep them in the game so you give away hotel rooms, free meals and airplane tickets. Eventually the odds catch up with that player and you as the casino operator win back the losses. Or, you could simply bet with the house on a craps table and enjoy the profits while watching the others loose.
The Dark Side
It’s called going to the “dark side” when a player bets the “don’t pass” line. Dark side players on live table play are sometimes viewed like a comedian at a tragic wake, but “don’t pass” play actually makes a lot of sense even though the house still has an edge. The “don’t pass” bet plays in opposition to the “pass line” bet, and by betting the “don’t” the player is siding with the house in the game. The “don’t bettor is looking a 7 before the point is made by the shooter. Dark side bettors win when the 7 is rolled, and lose when the point is made.
Don’t Pass vs. Pass Bets
A “don’t pass” bettor laying maximum odds has a slight mathematical advantage over the “pass line” bettor strategy but the house still has an overall edge over “don’t” bettors. The reason to bet with house isn’t about the slight mathematical difference in the odds; it’s about how you approach the game. Advocates of playing the dark side like to push multiple “don’t pass” and “don’t come” bets onto one players roll. One roll of a 7 seven makes all those bets win, to lose the shooter has to beat the don’t bettor with several individual rolls. If the “don’t pass” bettor has 4 “don’t pass or “don’t come” bets positioned on the table, the shooter is going to have roll 4 matching numbers to completely wipe out the dark side player.
Laying odds bets from the dark side can be a little tricky and the subject of another article, and some dark side players hold the view that odds on the “don’t” side don’t make as much sense. This is because the house advantage against the “don’t” bettor is on the come out roll. Don’t pass bets lose on rolls of 7 and 11 which occur on 8 out of 36 possible dice combinations, and win on 2 and 3 which can only occur on 3 out of 36 rolls. The “don’t bettor expect to lose on 5 out of 36 come out rolls. However, once a point of 4-5-6-8-9-10 are established a “don’t pass” bet has the exact same edge the house has over the pass line shooter. No matter what number the shooter is trying to make, a roll of seven is more likely to occur before that number. Playing the dark side is playing with a house advantage; after a “don’t” point is established.
Play It Smart and don’t be afraid to play with the house.