7 Dice Secrets Every Craps Player Should Know

by Jeff Harris
on April 21, 2018

Craps is one of the most popular games in the casino. Therefore, it feels like craps is an open book for many players.

But there are also things that the majority of craps players don’t know about the game. Knowing these secrets can make the game more entertaining and help you win extra money.

I’m going to discuss 7 craps secrets that every player should learn in order to improve both their knowledge of the game and their odds of winning.

Perhaps you already know some of these secrets. Keep reading to see if there are ones that you don’t know.

1. Craps Features a Bet with No House Edge

Craps offers two of the best wagers in casino gambling including pass line and don’t pass line. Here’s how both of these bets work:

Pass Line

  • Pays 1:1
  • True odds are 251:244
  • 1.41% house edge
  • Wins on come out roll (first roll of new round) when 7 or 11 are rolled
  • Loses on come out roll when 2, 3 or 12 are rolled
  • Point is established if 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 are rolled
  • Point number must be rolled before 7 to win

Don’t Pass Line

  • Pays 1:1
  • True odds are 976:949
  • 1.36% house edge
  • Wins on come out roll (first roll of new round) when 2 or 3 are rolled
  • Pushes on come out when 12 is rolled
  • Loses on come out roll when 7 or 11 are rolled
  • Point is established if 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 are rolled
  • 7 must be rolled before the point number to win

Considering that the pass line and don’t pass line have such low house edges, they give you a great opportunity to win.

But the number one secret craps players should know is that there’s also a wager called “odds,” and it doesn’t have any house edge.

An odds bet is placed behind your pass line or don’t pass line wager. These bets pay at true odds, which is why they don’t have a house advantage.

The higher the odds you take, the lower the overall house edge you’ll be facing. Here’s how much the house edge drops based on the size of your odds:

Odds Pass Line Bet Don’t Pass Line Bet
0x 1.41% house edge 1.36% house edge
1x 0.848% 0.682%
2x 0.606% 0.455%
Full Double Odds 0.572% 0.431%
3x 0.471% 0.341%
3x-4x-5x 0.374% 0.273%
5x 0.326% 0.227%
10x 0.184% 0.124%
20x 0.099% 0.065%
100x 0.021% 0.014%

Some players are unaware of odds wagers because casinos don’t list them on the table. Instead, you need to notify the dealer that you’re going to back a bet with odds.

Here’s what you must know when putting odds behind either the pass line or don’t pass line:

Odds with Pass Line

  • Called “taking odds”
  • Placed after point number is established
  • Point number must be rolled before a 7 for you to win
  • Pays 2:1 on point numbers of 4 and 10
  • Pays 3:2 on points of 5 and 9
  • Pays 6:5 on points of 6 and 8

Odds with Don’t Pass Line

  • Called “taking odds”
  • Placed after point number is established
  • 7 must be rolled before a point number for you to win
  • Pays 1:2 for points of 4 and 10
  • Pays 2:3 for points of 5 and 9
  • Pays 5:6 for points of 6 and 8

2. The Cromwell Offers the Highest Odds Bets

Odds is the only wager in the casino where you’re not facing a house advantage. This is why some gamblers take the highest odds they possibly can.

The downside is that you actually need to front the money for your odds bets. Here’s an example:

  • The minimum bet is $10
  • You want to take 10x odds
  • You’ll need to bet another $100
  • Your total wager is now $110

Despite this larger investment, craps players are willing to bet more money to improve their chances of winning.

If you want the highest odds possible, then you need to visit The Cromwell in Las Vegas.

The Cromwell currently offers the world’s largest craps odds at 100x. This casino also lets you make a $5 minimum wager, which is incredible considering the size of odds you can bet.

Main Street Station is another Vegas casino that offers generous odds. Their maximum odds are 20x, combined with a $5 minimum bet.

If you don’t plan on taking a trip to Sin City any time soon, then you’re out of luck as far as getting really high odds. You can take advantage of Betsoft and Playtech craps games though, which both feature 3x odds combined with a $1 bet.

3. Casinos don’t Offer Big Comps to Craps Players

Many beginner craps players come into the game with visions of racking up big comps. But the truth is that craps is one of the worst games in terms of rewards.

The reason why is because craps gives you such a strong chance to win that casinos can’t afford to generously comp you.

Therefore, you’ll often receive a 0.1% comp rate on your total bets. Some casinos offer a 0.2% rate, but this is becoming more rare these days.

The only craps players who earn big rewards are those who place several wagers on each turn. Of course, this also exposes you more to the house edge, especially when you’re making risky prop bets.

Here’s an example of what you’ll typically receive in terms of craps comps with minimal betting:

  • Casino comp rate is 0.1%
  • You make $25 pass line wagers (1.41% house edge)
  • The average number of rolls per hour is 119
  • Your pass line bet requires an average of 7 rolls to be decided
  • This puts you at 17 bets per hour, or $425 in total wagers
  • Your theoretical comp value is $0.43 each hour (425 x 0.001)
  • Your theoretical losses are $5.99 per hour

Obviously, no craps player would continue rolling just for comps that are worth just 1/10 of theoretical losses. Nevertheless, you should definitely put yourself in line to earn craps rewards.

The nice thing about playing online craps is that the software will automatically keep track of your rewards points. At most online casinos, all you need to do is sign up and make a deposit to be part of the rewards program.

Land-based casinos are different, though, because you actually have to sign up for the program yourself. You can either do this by going to the casino’s website or visiting the player’s desk in person.

Once you’re part of the rewards program, you can give your player’s club card to the craps dealer and tell them that you wish to be rated. The dealer will then give your card to the pit boss who will keep track of your bets and assign comps fairly.

4. You’ve been Lied to about Dice Control

Some casino games have an advantage play method that allows skilled players to win long-term profits. Dice control is allegedly the advantage play method in craps.

Dice control begins by holding the dice in a specific manner (a.k.a. setting). The V-shape – where you hold the dice with 3s forming a “V” – is one of the most-popular sets.

The second aspect to dice control is that you need to practice tossing the dice in the same manner every time (a.k.a. controlled shooting).

Controlled shooting enthusiasts often rig a craps table in their basement so that they can practice. The idea is that with enough practice, you’ll eventually be able to control some of your throws. This is similar to how a pro basketball player will practice their shot over and over until they’ve developed great technique.

What’s great about dice control is that you only need to produce a desired throw (usually avoiding 7’s) once in a while to win. Here’s an example:

  • You’re trying to avoid tossing a 7 on point throws
  • 7 comes up an average of seven times per 42 tosses
  • You’ll gain a long-term edge if you only toss a 7 on six out of 42 rolls

All of this sounds great in theory, but can you really control a craps toss with any certainty when you have to bounce dice off the rubberized back wall?

Dominic LoRiggio and Frank Scoblete claim that you can, and they’ve made a fortune selling books and training courses on the subject.

Scoblete often references “The Captain,” a late craps player who was supposedly banned from many casinos, as proof of controlled shooting.

But there’s no proof that The Captain ever existed, nor that dice control works.

Gambling legend Stanford Wong was skeptical of controlled shooting and challenged Scoblete on the matter. Wong eventually came to the conclusion that dice control may or may not be possible. This is the closest I’ve ever seen regarding an established expert outside of LoRiggio or Scoblete claiming that dice control might work.

This isn’t like card counting where we have verifiable proof that it works, including successful players being banned. Instead, dice control is a theory that has never been proven as a whole.

5. The Longest Craps Roll Belongs to a Complete Amateur

One account that shatters the controlled shooting theory is the story of Patricia Demauro.

This New Jersey grandmother once produced 154 consecutive rolls before sevening out. The odds of this happening are just one in 1.56 trillion.

One especially interesting thing here is that Demauro was only playing craps for the second time ever when she embarked on her legendary turn.

She was visiting Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa with a friend. Demauro planned to play slot machines while her friend was playing table games, but she got bored and found her friend who suggested that they should play craps together. Little did they know that Demauro would end up rolling for 4 hours and 18 minutes.

A crowd gathered around to witness craps history as she kept rolling again and again. Demauro was surprised at the spectacle and even admitted to the table that she wasn’t an experienced player.

Nevertheless, she produced 154 consecutive tosses and made a fortune in the process. This story shows that any craps player, regardless of their experience, can get hot.

6. World War 2 Soldiers Popularized Craps in America

Historians have traced craps back as far as 900 BC, when Etruscans held a priestess ceremony that involved a hybrid version of baccarat and craps.

The Etruscans would have a potential priestess throw 9-sided dice to determine her fate. If she rolled an 8 or 9, she was destined to be a priestess.

Rolling a 6 or 7 meant that she wasn’t fit for the duty, but still got to live. Rolling anywhere from 1-5 had dire consequences in that the woman was drowned in the sea.

English soldiers played a craps variation called Hazard during the Crusades. This is the first known point in history when craps began to take its current form.

The French quickly adopted Hazard and began playing it in their gambling houses. The French also brought Hazard to America where Cajuns coined the term “craps.”

While craps retained some popularity in the American gambling community, it wasn’t until after World War II that the game truly took off.

WWII soldiers frequently played street craps during their downtime. The reason why they played craps so often is because it’s easy to carry around a pair of dice and money.

Soon, soldiers were playing the game on ship decks, air force bases and in the cargo beds of trucks. These same WW II veterans made craps more popular in casinos when the war ended.

Craps’ popularity has continue to remain strong ever since. Many players have come to realize that this game features camaraderie unlike any other in the casino.

7. Craps Features Hidden Superstitions that you should Avoid

Some of the biggest craps secrets include the numerous superstitions that you should avoid. Otherwise, you can upset veteran craps players who are also highly superstitious.

The casino doesn’t require you to know any of these beliefs, but other players count on luck to win, and they don’t want anybody bringing bad karma to the table.

Here are the biggest craps superstitions that you should abide by in order to get along with fellow players:

  • Don’t roll the dice off the table. Many players believe that dice hitting the floor is a bad sign.
  • Male virgin shooters, or those taking their first turn shooting, are bad luck. In contrast, female virgin shooters are considered good luck.
  • Don’t touch a hot shooter in any way (e.g. high-fives, pats on the back), or you could theoretically disrupt their rhythm.
  • Avoid saying the word “seven” at the table.
  • Keep your hands off the table. Dice hitting a player’s hand is another bad sign.
  • Some players won’t bet on a new shooter since they think the dice will be “cold.” The new shooter needs to “warm up” the dice.

Conclusion

The main craps secrets that will help your bottom line include knowing about odds bets and where you can find the highest odds.

Also note that there’s no way to beat craps beyond backing the top wagers (pass line, don’t pass line) with odds. Controlled shooting might sound interesting, but I strongly believe it’s a hoax.

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