Reader Cal sent me the following email, which I publish with his permission:
Just started playing craps recently, went to Soaring Eagle in Mt. Pleasant, Mi and watched my buddy play craps and had no clue and started to play and did the basic technique for new gamblers you go over by placing bets on the pass line, odds, then the 6 and 8, ended up getting up $120 but started to lose and ended up $20 up. The reason I’m contacting you is I’m curious on what the best technique is that you like to use, I’ve watched almost all your videos and a lot of videos from Color Out on YouTube and I have really liked the Iron Cross Technique. Only thing I don’t like is when you’re betting the field and main numbers if the shooter were to roll a 5,6, or 8 I lose on my Field bet and only win like $4 if I’m betting $10 hands. Any tips or help you can give me is greatly appreciated, I really enjoy playing craps, it almost has a roulette feel except it last longer (for the most part).
Let’s talk about Cal’s results. I will also give you four reasons why you, too, should follow the RoadGambler ‘script’ for new craps players.
Here is the script, if you’ve never read it: https://roadgambler.com/gambling-guides/game-craps-beginners/
REASON 1: THE HOUSE EDGE IS LOW ON BOTH THE OVERALL BET AND LOW ON YOUR ADT LOSS
I can’t emphasize enough: you must play low house edge bets. This is the key to winning at craps on each session. Let’s be real. Craps is a negative expectation game. Over the long run, if you play the craps straight up, you will lose, unless you take countermeasures. I’ll go over some of those countermeasures in a future article, but for now, let’s focus on the very basic aspect of the game.
It’s important that not only is the house edge low on the overall bet but that the house edge is low on your average daily theoretical loss. If you don’t know about ADT, read this: https://roadgambler.com/faqs/
Let’s compare two examples: the place 6 or 8, and the field bet.
The place 6 or 8 each has a house edge of 1.52% per bet resolved. It takes several rolls to resolve the place bet. The fact that it takes several rolls to resolve means that each roll has a house edge of .46%. Let’s hypothesize Cal is betting $6 on the 6 and $6 on the 8. That’s a cost per roll of 5.5 cents between the two bets (or 2.76 cents each number). Assuming 60 rolls an hour, that a cost of $1.62 an hour to the casino to place the 6 and 8.
Now let’s examine the same $12 on the field bet. The field bet is a one roll proposition. That means the player will win or lose after each roll. Let’s assume that the field pays double on the 2 and triple on the 12, for a total house edge of 2.77%.
You’re thinking, ‘ahhh, RG, 2.77 isn’t too far off from 1.5, what’s the big deal’?
The big deal is that it’s 2.77% PER ROLL!
That means each roll, on the $12 field bet will cost you 33 cents. Over an hour, assuming 60 rolls an hour, your expected loss is approximately $19.80.
I’m not here to tell you to avoid the field. It’s your money. Bet what you want. But do you want to pay $19.80 per hour or $1.62 per hour?
Heck, after the high-end drinks I order, versus buying them at the bar, I come out ahead, if I stick to place bets.
That’s the power of low house edge bets and low ADT bets.
REASON 2: THE SCRIPT IS LIMITED TO SIMPLE BETS
The biggest myth about craps is that it’s complicated. It’s not.
You know what is actually complicated? Blackjack.
Blackjack is complicated because of the decisions that the player must make as each hand plays out. There is the option to hit, stand, split, double down, split and double down, surrender, buy insurance, take even money (which is the same as insurance), etc. What are the decisions on craps? What to bet and how much. In craps, you put your money down…and wait.
Blackjack has the illusion of being simple because there is only one betting circle (ignoring the side bets).
The reason why craps appears complicated is because of the layout and the number of bets on the table.
That’s easily solved. When you go up to a craps table. I want you to pretend this is what the craps layout looks like…
If you can imagine that a craps table only has the bets above, you start to realize the game is much simpler than it appears.
Take a look at another one of my pics…looks complicated right?
If you apply what I suggest, the layout above is quite simple…
Now, all of a sudden, the game looks much simpler now. That’s because craps IS a simple game. You just have to ignore the bets that allow the casino to pay its’ bills.
REASON 3: THE SCRIPT ALLOWS YOU TO PLAY WITHOUT ASKING FOR ADVICE FROM OTHER PLAYERS AT THE TABLE
One of the worst places to ask for advice is at the actual craps table. You see in the picture above (two up), how the players love making the high house edge proposition bets, i.e., the bets in the center of the table?
If you ask for advice, you will inevitably be told to do things like bet the hardways or start making bets in the middle of the layout. Those bets in the middle of the layout are how the casino turns an enormous profit on the game.
Don’t believe me? Test it for yourself. Next time you’re at the craps table, pretend you’re a noob and ask for advice.
Also, as much as I love the dealers and stick persons, DO NOT TAKE ADVICE FROM THEM on what to bet. Do you hear the stick person selling the bets in the middle? ‘Hi, lows, yos, hard ways, get ’em while they’re in the middle’. This is a common sales pitch that the house tells the stick man to make. If you ask the stick person for advice, what do you think they’re going to tell you to bet?
Just stick to the RoadGambler script. It speaks for itself and doesn’t require outside input.
REASON 4: YOU WILL LEARN AT AN EASY PACE AND BE ABLE TO TRACK YOUR BETS
As you make these simple bets that I’ve outlined in my script, you will naturally pick up more information. Eventually, the game of craps will come to you, and you will know craps like you know the back of your hand.
From what I have observed, there are two things that turn people off from craps: 1. mean players admonishing or being rough with new players; and 2. the misconception that the game moves too quickly (because it’s complicated).
If you follow my script, you will find that you are only making a limited number of low house edge bets. This makes it easier for you to track your bets and also enjoy your bets. There is a certain thrill to thinking or saying ‘come on 6 and 8’ because you know that’s what you need to win. You know what to root for. Even if you lose because the 7 appeared, you know why you lost. Part of the thrill of gambling is the anticipation. It’s not very fun when you lose, and you didn’t know why you lost.
Want to do a simple experiment to prove my point? Go up to a Pai Gow tiles game. It’s a game very few people know how to play. Put down a bet in the betting circle and say, ‘house way’. The dealer will deal the dominoes to you and set the hand for you. Did you enjoy that?
In response to Cal’s email, I told him to stop betting the field. The field has too high of an edge overall, both on bets resolved and on bets per roll.
I also told Cal to start asking for comps. For new players, asking for comps might be intimidating. Some casinos have made it difficult to ask for comps by removing the ability of the floor person to write a comp. If that’s the case, you can: 1. find a new casino or 2. find the host who can write the comp.
Just follow my script, and do not deviate from the script. You can deviate if you want. Just know that it will cost you money in the long run, in the form of a higher house edge.
There are some other tricks that you can employ to possibly tilt the edge in your favor. I am writing articles on those techniques. Stay tuned.