Craps Players Have the Most Fun

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner!

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner, but it always sounds like the players have the most fun.

Ever play slots next to the craps tables?  How distracting…..all that noise…..and smiles…..and camaraderie……and fun…….and, hmmmmmm?

It always seems like it’s a band of warriors, or the underdogs beating the champs. A group of Davids trying to bring down Goliath together, and whether they do or not,  the banter, the laughter, the “high 5’s” and the joy of making that long roll supersedes all losing.  Together they have made the good fight.

There’s got to be more to it, right?

Let’s inspect this more deeply….. here are five reasons craps players have more fun than any other table games.

1) It’s not just about a beating the house, it’s beating the house TOGETHER! The community, the friends – the kind you bring or the kind you make, and it’s not only OK to vocally yell for their success, it’s encouraged.  Even the dealers at the table seem to get into the fun, or they should – it’s encouragement personified – a battle together against the casino.

Fun at craps

2) It’s about tolerance.  Yes, there are those nay-sayers that believe in the anti-point – the “Don’t-Pass” bettors. But, if they behave, even they are allowed to bring their bad karma to the Spartans fight for the point to be made.

Don’t Pass Bet in Craps. Not the favored bet on the table.

3) It’s about the “stick man” – a dealer that actually announces what’s happening.  A craps stickman is the casino staff member who calls out the dice rolls and then returns the dice to the shooter. It’s like having your own color commentator.  Wouldn’t that be cool to have behind you at a VP machine (“four to a Royal…. draw the three of hearts, no Royal, side out”   ……hmmm, maybe not…..)

Stickman to the left, boxman in the center, dealer to the right makes for a well-oiled machine.

Keep It Simple

4) It’s about playing at different levels of proficiency. For a game that looks so complicated – it’s really not hard. And while asking for advice at other table games usually results in grunts and grumbling from players and dealers alike, your new friends are more than happy to help you.  Go with a buddy who does play craps is even more fun.  “Pass line” – that’s all a craps newbie needs to know to join the fun.  All that other stuff on the table? There’s plenty of time to learn about that.  K-I-S! (Keep It Simple)

5) It’s about throwing the dice – to throw the dice means you control the fate of the table.  As Star Trek’s Spock once said, “”With great power comes great responsibility” – but don’t let that bother you. On no other table game do you have the control – YOU’RE THE ONE TO THROW THE DICE!  The roulette dealer never let’s me turn the little ball in the wheel, and the BJ dealer doesn’t even let me touch the cards, never mind deal!  (Yes, I know you hold the cards in single deck BJ, but try finding that game.) You can make money just by riding along with a good shooter.

Give Craps a Try

Larry Edell, from Casino City Times writes, “Are you are tired of the hassles and changing rules at the blackjack tables? Are you tired of getting no profits and no comps at roulette? Maybe you should give craps a try! It gives you real player control, the possibility of very high profits, a very low casino edge, the ability to ride along with someone else’s skills, lots of easy-to-get comps, occasional long money-making streaks, and the ability to determine how the table is going by talking to the other players. Where else can you find a better game than that?

Shooting the dice everyone gets the chance.

I think the best way to learn is to ask a real craps player to take you to a real craps table in a casino.  Everything I know I can thank Mark Devol and Dr. Mike from “You Can Bet on That” and Cousin Vito from Cousin Vito’s Casino Podcast. In New England, all casinos have real craps tables, except Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway, which sports an electronic version like “bubble craps.”


Want to practice, or learn on your computer or iphone? There are programs and apps galore.  Here are some places to start:

Websites: Gambling Teachers –

Software: WinCraps (Online Casinos also offer free craps play)

Books: “Craps: Take the Money and Run” by Henry Tamburin &

“Craps Made Simple” by Tomas B. Gallagher

Apps: “Aw Craps!”

Craps Dice

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…….keep those dice a-rollin……..and remember, Craps Players Have the Most Fun

Craps for the Low-Roller Beginner

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Craps – if you don’t know the odds, the bets, the terminology, which bets go where and which bets stay longer than one roll, it can be very intimidating- even if it always seems that the craps table is having the most fun.  What you need is two great guys and craps players to help you through it. You need “Craps for the Low-Roller Beginner.”

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner!

The Craps table can be a very confusing place to the beginner!

Thanks to Mark & Dr. Mike, from one my favorite podcasts, “You Can Bet On That,” I now can enjoy craps (low-roller craps, that is).  They were great teachers.  I strongly suggest their podcast “You Can Bet On That” – a podcast for the Recreational Gambler.  See my previous post about them here.

A little known e-book, a free PDF file by Todd Gades, is a great resource. He describes himself as “….not a professional gambler and does not claim to make a living from playing craps.”  He hopes to simplify the game as well as provide techniques for playing craps smartly so that anyone can play the game and have a good shot at coming out ahead.”  His e-book is called “HOW A MATH NERD PLAYS CRAPS” and is a great overview. And now for the main presentation, Craps for the Low-Roller Beginner.

The Presentation – Craps for the Low-Roller Beginner

I will set it up as a 2-level strategy.  First, Level 1 is what to do and what happens on a one-roll game.  Next, Level 2 is what to do if the game continues after the “come-out roll.

Level 1:

Bet minimum bet (hopefully $5) on the pass line. You’re actually betting that the shooter will  win with a 7 or 11. The “come out” roll is the first roll by the shooter .

Craps Table

First bet is Pass Line.

Step 1A – If a 7 or 11 is rolled, you win at 1:1 (even money).  You bet $5, made an additional $5. The same shooter now starts a new game.  Repeat Step 1A

SEVEN On the first roll is good, you win. But any seven on the roll after that is bad.  It’s a seven-out, you Lose!

Step 1B – If 2,3, or 12 is rolled, it’s “Craps” – you lose your $5 bet, and we start another game with the next shooter. Again, repeat Step 1A

The Point

The “4” becomes The Point from the shooters first roll. Note the white “puck” sitting on the number 4.

The POINT – Craps for the Low-Roller Beginner

Result 1C – If a 4,5,6,8,9,or 10 is rolled, things get interesting, or confusing, depending on the level of craps you play.  (But we’re still in the low-roller, beginning stage, so we’re hoping it goes from confusing, to interesting!)  The “point” is the next number rolled next if it’s a 4,5,6,8,9,10. The shooter’s goal is now to roll that same number again before he or she rolls a 7.

Result 1C continues as the shooter rolls.  New numbers can be established. The same shooter rolls until the point is rolled or a seven is rolled to start a new game. Now return to Step 1A.

True Odds

True Odds Bet goes behind your Pass line bet.

Level 2:

Your next bet actually includes two bets – odds on the point, and a come bet.

Step 2A – The Odds Bet. – This is the only bet in the entire casino which has 0.00% house edge – that’s right, no house edge!  So, you make this bet by putting more chips behind your pass line bet in the unmarked area of the felt. Just tell the dealer you want odds on the point, they’ll place it for you.

Here’s a neat rule for odds bets – if the point is an odd number, make the odds bet even.  The  casino sets the maximum odds that can be bet. It ranges from 2x to 10x your bet. If it’s an even number, make it and odd amount.  Odd is Even, Even is odd.  For example, if you’re betting a nickel ($5) on the point and the point is 5, or 9, bet $6 odds.  If it’s 4, 6, 8, or 10, bet another nickel ($5).

Another great thing about odds bets is you can also increase or decrease your odds at any time or even take them completely off the table.

Come Bets

Come Bets

Step 2B – Place a bet on the come.

Shooter rolls again.


Result 2A – If a 7 is rolled, you win that bet, but lose the point & the odds bet. Now go back to Step 1.  Time for a new game.

Result 2B – Whatever the point was (either 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), if that number is rolled, you win the point. Here are the true odds for the POINT number:

You also win the ODDS bet, you know that additional bet behind the POINT?! The odds bet can be 2x, 3x, 10x – basically it’s up to the casino.

When the shooter throws a point or a seven-out, the whole process starts over again.

Conclusion – Craps for the Low-Roller Beginner

There, simple, right? I hope Craps for the Low-Roller Beginner has helped you jump into a craps game, maybe for the first time.

Well, at least it’s a little less confusing, and you can play without embarrassment. Just keep in mind that a “craps-friendly” buddy will enhance that initial experience.

If you’re lucky, you just might meet some new friends that will help.  Thanks Mark & Dr. Mike.


Craps Has The Best Casino Bet – Free Odds

Dogs Playing Craps - Love It.

Dogs Playing Craps – Gotta Love It.

Craps has The Best Casino Bet – Free Odds. The odds bet is one of those bets in a casino that you should definitely make. According to,  “The Free Odds bet carries no house edge. The casino makes no profit on this bet. This is the only table game bet you can make where the odds aren’t against you. How can the casino make this bet available when they don’t make any money on it? Of course the Free Odds bet isn’t totally free. You have to make a flat bet (Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, or Don’t Come) before you can make the Free Odds bet.


How It Works

You make a Pass Line bet, and the shooter rolls a number to establish a point (4,5,6,8,9, or 10). Now you can make a Free Odds bet, by putting your chip(s) below (due South) of your Pass Line bet. It’s kind of like doubling down in blackjack. Now if the shooter rolls the point again, you not only win your Pass Line bet, you also win the Odds bet.

Mike Shackelford of The Wizard of Odds

Mike Shackelford of The Wizard of Odds

According to the Math Master, Michael Shackelford at Wizard of Odds, “because the Odds has zero house edge the player can only bet so much on it compared to his Pass bet. Most casinos allow what is known as “3- 4-5X Odds.” This means the player may bet up to three times his Pass bet on the odds after a point of a 4 or 10, four times after a 5 or 9, and five times after a 6 or 8. How did they come up with this? I think because if the player always takes the maximum odds, and he wins on the pass line, the Odds bet will always pay 6 times the pass line wager, making the math easier for the dealers.

Placing the Odds – The Best Casino Bet

Some casinos pay even more, like 5X, 10X, 20X, or 100X odds on all points. If you see a casino advertising something like “10X Odds,” that means that you can bet up to ten times you Pass bet on the Odds.

Craps Table

The Craps Table – A Daunting Place for the Beginner.

You can place the odds bet on the point OR the come bet.  According to John Grochowski, “when the dealer sees that bet backing your pass bet, he knows it’s an odds bet and words are unnecessary.  It’s a little different with come bets. There, you do have to give the dealer verbal information. Let’s say you have a come bet and the shooter rolls a 6. The dealer will move you come bet to the 6 box.

You make a free odds bet by placing chips in the come box and telling the dealer, “Odds on my come” or “Odds on my 6.” The dealer then will move those chips to the 6 box, positioning them both to indicate your position at the table and which chips are the come bet and which are the odds.

Finally, if comps are important to you, then be warned that most casinos do not count bets on the Odds towards the average amount you bet, because they don’t stand to make any profit on it.