Craps is known for being one of the easiest games to learn on the entire casino floor. Not only that, but it provides some pretty favorable odds to gamblers of all skill and experience levels.
While the learning curve might not be as significant as it is with other games, there are still a number of strategies that can help take your success up a notch. If you’re new to the game, it’s important to understand the basics and put them into action.
In this article, I’ll lay out the top 7 strategy tips for craps beginners.
1 – Bet the Right Way
One thing that can get lost in a gambling strategy (somehow) is the importance of not just playing the game the right way, but betting the right way as well. For this particular game, betting the right way means something additional.
When it comes to craps, play the pass and come bets with the table. These are the bets which are widely thought to be the best because of the low house edge, and are well-suited for beginners who aren’t as familiar with the game.
The most popular bet for craps is a pass line bet which has a house edge of only 1.4%. What you need to know is that you only have four ways to lose, so your odds are quite favorable.
2 – Look for the Right Shooter
Think dice rolls are completely random? You might be surprised to learn that some shooters have developed ways to take at least some of the unpredictable nature out of their roll.
Players who shake and roll the dice in their hands prior to their throw probably don’t have much control over the outcome.
On the flip side, some players roll exactly the same way each time and have a higher probability of getting a winning outcome.
When you walk into the casino and are looking for the right table to start placing bets, do your best to find someone who looks like they’re in relative control of the throws they’re making. It sounds like a small thing, but any time you can take measures to reduce unpredictability in gambling, it’s worth taking advantage of the opportunity.
3 – Manage Your Bankroll
You might not be as experienced as some of the other players at the table, but it only takes discipline, not skill or experience, to effectively manage your gambling bankroll.
If you’re unfamiliar, your bankroll is the pool of money that you’ve set aside for the sole purpose of gambling. Most experts recommend only betting a small, predetermined percentage of that bankroll on any one play. You can determine the percentage for yourself, but keeping it between 5% and 10% is most effective.
Remember that it’s crucial, especially when you’re just starting out, to think of gambling as a long-term game. Trying too hard to hit the jackpot and betting huge amounts of money is a good way to drain your bankroll and put you in a bad financial position.
4 – Be Wary of Prop Bets
In craps, there are a number of advanced betting combinations that can result in huge payouts. However, in order to use these to your advantage, you need to have a pretty solid grasp on how the game is played.
In my opinion, if you’re new to craps, it’s in your best interest to stay away from these prop bets and stick to something that you understand. Prop bets have a much higher house edge than regular bets, and the added risk means that if you aren’t making the correct plays, you could just be giving money away to the casino.
Not only do you need to be aware of the odds on prop bets, but they also require you to have a significant level of knowledge in regards to the board layout and gameplay process. To make things even more complicated, there’s a specific etiquette preferred when making these bets as well.
I’m not saying that prop bets should be totally off your radar forever, but it’s best to observe others utilizing them before you start throwing down your money hoping for a big win.
5 – Practice Online
Nobody likes to feel like they don’t know what they’re doing – especially when surrounded by a bunch of strangers who do know what they’re doing. Unfortunately, the only way to get experience is to go through the learning curve, as uncomfortable as it may be.
Throughout most of history, this has meant that beginner players had to positon themselves at the table right next to the experts, and let their inexperience shine. However, in today’s world, there is another option that has helped countless beginner gamblers: online gaming.
The best part of online casinos is that they provide users with a place to hone their skills, without the social embarrassment or anxiety that comes with being new to the game.
Even more beneficial is the fact that there are plenty of sites that don’t even require you to risk any money in order to learn.
Before you visit a casino and start wagering your hard-earned money, make sure you know what you’re doing. Find a free online site that allows you to learn the game, then move on to a low-limit, real money online casino, and then you’ll be ready for the real thing.
6 – Don’t Listen to the Dealer
I don’t actually mean you should tune him or her out, but rather you should not fall victim to their appeals to increase your bet.
Dealers, although they might be technically impartial, still work for the casino. The more money they’re able to collect from their table, the better they look when being evaluated by their bosses.
During your time at the craps table, you’ll likely hear dealers encourage players to “bet hardways,” which is a prop bet in which you need equal numbers on the dice to add up to a certain number. For example, a 5-5 is the “hard way” to make a 10.
These bets do have a nice payout if you hit, but the odds of that happening are unlikely, and don’t fit into the strategy of someone who is looking to play conservatively and learn the game.
The bottom line is, if the dealer suggests you do something, politely decline and continue on with betting the odds.
7 – Learn the Etiquette
As I mentioned earlier in the article, there is a certain etiquette to prop bets. There is also a larger set of “unspoken rules” that you’d be wise to follow if you want to fit in.
First, it’s important, regardless of which game you’re playing, to tip your dealer. This should be a pretty standard practice at any casino. Simply put, don’t leave the table without showing the dealer a little appreciation by way of a tip.
The second, and much less obvious craps etiquette practices involves the number seven…as in, don’t say the number out loud.
In fact, it’s considered so unlucky that if you do say it, people will even leave the table. If you must bring it up, some refer to the number seven simply as “devil.”
Finally, it should be noted that craps is a fast-paced, action-packed game. One easy way to make the table mad is by shooting slowly or generally slowing down the speed of the game. This is why it’s so important to know what you’re doing before you step up to the table.
Craps can be one of the best games for less experienced gamblers because of the low house edge. With that being said, it’s important that you don’t try to get too fancy with your plays until you truly understand how the game works.
Practice your skills online before heading to the casino, and keep these tips in mind when you’re ready to play. If you manage your money and stick to the appropriate plays, you could be walking out with some extra cash in your pocket.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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