Lessons I Learned From Losing at the Craps Table

Lightbulb With Dice and Craps Table

Craps is a fun game, and there’s no doubt about it. But just because you’re having fun, it doesn’t mean you’re always winning. Personally, I haven’t spent as much time at the craps table as some other games. I’ve been playing off and on for a few decades. In that time, I’ve learned many important lessons about craps.

The most important lesson I’ve learned about craps is that it’s not a game that can be beat in the long run. This doesn’t necessarily make craps unique, though, because most casino games are the same in this regard.

Here’s a list of seven lessons I’ve learned over the years playing craps for real money. Now, you can learn from my mistakes so that you don’t have to lose money learning the same lessons.

The Best Way Is the Wrong Way

When I make a come-out roll bet at the craps table, I always use the don’t pass option. According to many craps players at the tables I’ve played at over the years, this is the wrong way to play.

For some reason, many superstitious gamblers believe that if you don’t use the pass line option, you’re betting against the other players. The problem with this is that the don’t pass option is always better statistically than the pass line option.

If you want to use the best option on a come-out roll, you have to forget about what anyone else thinks. I don’t care what anyone else says unless they’re giving me money to bet. As long as I’m betting my money, I’m going to gamble on what gives me the best chance to win.

The don’t pass option offers a slightly higher return than the pass line, so it’s the best opening wager to make. This is all that matters and all you need to know when you play craps.

The Odds Bet is Really Good

Usually, when you read about the odds in relation to gambling, you’re reading about your chance to win. But when you read about the odds bet at the craps table, you’re reading about a special betting option called the odds.

You can look at every craps wager using traditional odds, and it’s good to do this. But the odds wager is a bet that every craps player needs to know about and use.

When you look at every wager available in a casino, you’re going to find that they all have a casino house edge built in. Every wager in the casino is designed to make the casino money except one. That bet is the odds wager at the craps table.

California Craps Game

The odds wager has a return to player, in the long run, of 100%. What this means in practice is that every dollar you risk on the odds, over the course of your craps gambling life, is going to be returned to you. In other words, the odds wager is the only break even or fair wager in the casino.

The only way you can make an odds wager is by placing a come-out wager. If you bet on the come-out roll and a point gets set, you can place an odds wager before the next roll.

You learned in the first section that the don’t pass option is the best bet. This means the best way to play craps is bet on don’t pass, then use the odds. This gives you the best chance to win.

Every Other Wager Is Terrible or Worse

Outside of the two best wagers at the craps table, there are many other betting options. The pass line isn’t much worse than the don’t pass, but it’s still worse so you shouldn’t use it.

When you evaluate the return numbers for every other available craps wager, you can quickly see that none of the other options are as good as the two best bets listed in the previous sections. This means that you should never make any other craps wagers. Some of them are worse than others, but none of them give you a chance at a high return like don’t pass and the odds.

Some of the craps wagers called “inside bets” are worse than slot machines. And slot machines are among the worst casino games to play in terms of returns.

Online and Mobile Craps Are Good and Bad

When I started playing craps, the only option was to play in a land-based casino. Eventually, online casinos started offering craps tables, and mobile casinos became a thing. The main lesson I learned is that mobile, online, and land-based craps are all the same.

When you play online and mobile craps, you can make smaller wagers, find games with the highest odds wager amounts, and control how fast you play. These can all be advantages, but they don’t really change anything.

Online Real Money Craps Game

The biggest downside to playing mobile and online craps is that you might play faster than when you play live. Instead of playing 50 or 60 rolls an hour, you might play 400 or more rolls every hour. This means that even if you’re betting less per roll, you can still end up risking more than you do when you play live craps.

Craps Gambling Systems Don’t Ever Work

Craps systems aren’t as popular as roulette betting systems, but they have at least one thing in common. The main thing that craps systems and roulette systems have in common is that they don’t work.

When you learn exactly how the numbers and math works at the craps table, you can get a clear understanding why craps systems don’t work.

Everything is based on the probabilities of rolling two dice. The probabilities dictate how often each possible roll comes up, and the amount you win based on what wagers you make dictate how much you win or lose over time.

The numbers are clear in craps. No matter what system you try, you’re going to lose in the long run.

The Long-Term Outlook Is Bad

The long-term outlook for craps players is bad. Even when you stick with the two best wagers, you’re still playing with a disadvantage. The casino always wins at the craps table in the long run.

As long as gamblers are willing to play craps, the casinos are going to keep offering it. And the truth is that there are worse casino games you can play. When you play craps using only the two best wagers, you’re playing with a higher return than most other games.

Person Holding Dice Over a Craps Table

But there are a few better opportunities in most casinos. You have to use good strategy and find the right games, but blackjack and video poker both offer opportunities to play with a higher return number. Even baccarat, when you bet on the banker, has a higher return than craps.

In the long run, craps isn’t a good option for gamblers. I understand that craps is fun, but I prefer to look for opportunities to make money over having fun. What do you want when you gamble—fun or a better chance to win?

Dice Control Is a Pipe Dream

A few gamblers claim that they can beat craps using dice control. And if dice control really worked, you could make a profit playing craps.

The main problem is that I’ve never seen any proof that dice control works, and I’ve never been able to make it work. As far as I’m concerned, dice control is a pipe dream.

Dice control is just like craps systems. It promises profits but just ends up costing you money. If you think you can make dice control work, feel free to give it a try. But even the people that say it works claim that you need thousands of hours of practice.

If you’re going to invest 1,000 or more hours into mastering something, you’re going to make a lot more money as a blackjack counter or poker player.

Best Chances to Win at Craps

It took me quite a few years to figure it out, but when I play craps now, I only place two wagers. These two bets give me the best chance to win, no matter what anyone else says or thinks. If you’re making any other wagers, you’re not giving yourself the best chance to win.

In the end, there’s not much difference between online, mobile, and live craps play. They all have advantages and disadvantages, and you’re not going to beat any of them in the long run.

Craps systems and dice control aren’t going to help you win, no matter how good they sound. The long term outlook playing craps isn’t good, so you need to decide if craps is the right game for you.