HOUSE EDGE: 1.41% (PASS LINE), 0.0% (FULL ODDS)
IGNORE MOST OF THE REAL ESTATE
Craps looks complicated, but in the end you can ignore most of the felt and pay attention to just a small portion, for there are really only four bets you should make: pass line and full odds, and come line bets and full odds. Do not wager on any other proposition bets, which includes the field, hard way rolls (betting that the next eight, say, will come up as two fours, rather than a six and a two or a five and a three), or any craps, as they are major sucker bets.
HOW TO PLAY
Your first bet should be the pass line, which pays even money. On the first roll for a new shooter, known as the come-out roll, you will be paid for a seven or 11, and lose with a two, three or a 12. Any other roll becomes the point, and that’s where the real action begins. You get paid if the point is made before a seven, but you need odds to steepen your profits and cut into the house edge.
PUT YOUR CHIPS ON THE BLANK SPOT
Once a point is established, your next bet is to take full odds behind the pass line. Unlike all of those bad bets with the bright colors and vast real estate, the odds aren’t marked—it’s just the space behind the pass line, directly behind your pass line bet. The house has no advantage here as it pays the exact odds of your point or number coming up before a losing seven is rolled. The idea is wager as little as possible on the pass line and take the full odds, which depends on the casino.
I found one place on the Vegas Strip that, for a time, would let you bet $1 on the pass line and take up to 100 times odds (in that case, up to $100) on your pass line bet, meaning that the only house advantage on me was on the $1 I bet on the pass line. That allowed me to shoot dice for five to seven hours breaking even, not losing much or leaving as a big winner depending on how the shooters did. Sadly, that casino no longer allows a $1 bet, but you can still find casinos that will offer up to 100 times odds on craps. If a casino does not offer you five times or better, don’t play there.
COME ONE, COME ALL
I also recommend one or two come line bets if you can keep track of them. The come line works like a mini pass line, allowing you to play for another point while awaiting the outcome of your pass line bet. Always take full odds.
AVOID ROUNDING ERRORS
Since the five and nine pay 3:2, always keep your full odds bet an even amount, as casinos usually don’t pay an uneven amount. An odds bet of $5 on the five or the nine would pay $7.60, but the casino will round that down to $7, as their smallest chip is usually worth one dollar. The six and the eight pays 6:5, so keep your full odds bet divisible by 5 to ensure you get the correct payout.
CRAPS TABLE: BOB KRIST / GETTY IMAGES; DICE: JEFF HARRIS ■