A smart way to improve your intelligence is to learn two or more things at the same time. In this article you’re going to learn how to be a better craps player and learn how to use some of the same skills to make better decisions in other areas of your life.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can’t learn useful everyday information from craps. Many qualities that good craps players have help you in other areas of your life.
Here’s a list of five ways that learning how to be a better craps player can make you smarter.
Learning How Casino Dice Work
It might not seem like a big deal, but learning how dice work can be helpful in other areas of your life. You might not need to make decisions based on dice outside of the craps table, but the thought process required to understand dice is valuable. It teaches you how to make judgments dealing with other things using different methods than most people use.
Playing craps for real money involves 2 dice and the possible results from rolling the dice create odds. In other words, the odds of rolling a 2 with 2 dice are different than the odds of rolling a 7. I’m going to cover this in more depth in the next section.
The reason why it’s harder to roll a 2 is that each of the dice has to land on 1 to get a total of 2. But the dice can land on a 1 and 6, 2 and 5, or 3 and 4 to get a total of 7. And the chance of rolling a 7 is actually twice this number because it can be a 1 and 6 or 6 and 1.
This means there’s exactly 1 combination that results in a total of 2, and 6 combinations that result in a total of 7.
The combinations to roll a 6 or 8 total are 5. To roll a 5 or 9 the total combinations are 4. To roll a 4 or 10 total have a combination total of 3. And there are 2 combinations that total 3 or 11. These numbers control the odds when you play craps.
Picking the Best Wagers Based on the Odds
Now that you know there are different possibilities or odds of rolling certain totals when you play craps, the next step is to use this information to choose the best bets to make.
But there’s another step that’s important when you choose what to bet on. You have to look at how much each betting option pays and compare it to the odds of rolling what you bet on.
This means that you’re losing $50 on the 36 rolls, which is an average loss of $1.39 on each roll.
Every available wager but 1 at the craps table pays back less than you risk over the long run. But some craps bets are better or worse than others. You can run the odds and look at the payments like I just did, but there’s a better way to choose the best wagers. You can learn about it in the next section.
Using the Casino Edge to Pick Your Wagers
While you can use the odds and payment amounts to pick the best craps wagers, there’s a much easier way. You can look up the actual casino house edge for each wager option and pick the options with the lowest edge.
The best option is a wager on the don’t pass line. This wager has an edge of 1.36%. This is followed closely by a pass line wager that comes in at 1.41%. The other wager option with a decent edge is a place 6/8 that comes in at 1.52%.
A few other craps wager options aren’t terrible, but most of them are quite bad. Any 7 is the worst, coming in at 16.67%. A bet on 2 or 12 is a terrible 13.89%. And several wager options come in at 11.11%.
You can look up a list of the edge for each of the available craps wagers, but all you really need to know is that you should only use the pass or don’t pass options and 1 other wager. Here’s more information about the other wager to use.
I mentioned in the last section that there’s a craps wager that pays out as much as you risk over time. This means it has a 0% edge. This is called an odds wager, and you can only place it after betting on either don’t pass or pass and a point being set.
You should always use the odds craps wager when it’s available. This reduces the overall edge the casino has against you when you play.
Learning to Resist Outside Gambling Advice
You just learned a proven mathematical way to choose the best way to play craps. You don’t need any other information to make the best decision.
But you’re going to hear all kinds of advice about the best way to play when you’re at the craps table.
The problem is that almost all of this advice is wrong and it’s going to cost you money. In fact, any advice you hear that isn’t exactly what you just learned about the come out rolls and the odds is wrong.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes you need to look for outside input to get all of the information you need. But be careful about who you’re getting the information from and where you’re getting it from.
If someone that has already done what you’re trying to do is giving advice, it’s probably more valuable than someone that hasn’t done it. And there are plenty of people who have never beat craps that are willing to give you advice.
The Value of Slow Versus Fast Play
Sometimes in life you need to take fast action and sometimes it’s more beneficial to take a wait and see approach. As you learn which is the best tactic in situations you start making better decisions.
When you’re gambling it’s almost always better to play slow. When you gamble fast you put more money at risk. And when you risk more money when you’re playing against an edge you end up losing more money.
Craps plays slower than most other casino games. Often a point is set and it takes several rolls to resolve. But this is only beneficial to you if you stick with the odds and come out roll wagers. If you’re placing a wager on each roll after a point is set you’re not using the slow pace to limit your losses.
Of course, this means that you can play faster than normal, which is going to make you lose more. But you can also play even slower than when you play in a land based casino. Try out mobile or online craps to see how you like it, and to play slower than you do in live casinos.
Craps probably isn’t the first gambling activity you think of when considering the best option for learning life lessons. But many of the skills you need to be a good craps player are also useful in life. Just learning the simple lesson on how dice work teaches you to think in a different way.
When you pick the best option based on the odds of things happening, it improves your decision making. Everyone can benefit from improved decision making skills.
Possibly the most important skill that craps can teach you is to ignore too much outside input and determine the best course of action based on the facts that you have.