Craps Playing Strategy

Today’s guide to craps playing strategy will focus on hop bets and hardways. These are two bets that have a high disadvantage for the player, so keep that in mind when putting your chips into play. Even people who have been around the game for years, such as dealers or just frequent players, think that the casino advantage is higher on the 6 and 8 hardways than the 4 and 10 hardways since there are more ways to roll easy sixes and eights than fours and tens. The actual odds though are pitted against the payout to the player and have nothing to do with how many ways you can roll and easy six or eight against the four or ten.

When you bet a hard 10, there are eight different way you can lose: the six ways to throw a seven, and two ways to throw a 10 the easy way. This would mean the correct payoff for a hardway 10 should be 8-1. The house only pays the player 7-1 though, which effectively gives the casino a house edge of 11.1%.

As for a hard 8, there are ten ways to lose: again, you will see the six ways that you can throw a 7, and the four ways to throw and 8 the easy way. Because there are now ten different ways to lose,t he correct payoff should be 10-1 on the hard 8, but the payoff this time is only 9-1, which gives the house an edge of 9.09% on the bet.

There are a lot of ways to lose your hardways bets, and only one way to win these. With payouts not really being to the player’s advantage we recommend to our readers that they should stay away from these harmful bets.

Then there are “hop” bets, which is a wager on any combination of the dice on the next roll. For example, a “hard” 6 on the hop pays the player 30-1, but the actual odds are 35-1 of matching 3’s appearing on the thrower’s next roll. You may also bet “easy” combinations such as a 4-2 or a 5-1, but these pay off at 15-1 with actual odds of 17-1.

Hop wagers do not have a spot on the table so they are usually placed in front of the boxman, sometimes there is a “hop” marker placed on top of the chips to designate the wager.

One thing that newbies frequently make a mistake with is relying on past dice rolls to influence their wagers. This is one of the biggest gambler’s fallacies out there. Each roll is an independent event, with the probabilities not changing no matter what was rolled in the last few rolls.

Craps can be an enjoyable game to play, but if you want to place any bets then we recommend the pass line. Even though less than 1% of players who step up to the table can stick to the plan with the hopes of the steep payouts that are on the table, you are going to be better off if you take the steep house edge out of the game. Bet on the pass and come line bets, and place a few on the 6 or the 8. These are the three bets with a house edge of 1.5% or lower.

One thing you should notice if you plan on playing the field bets, is what the casino you are playing at pays out for this wager. A Field bet is a wager that the next roll of the dice would turn up a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or a 12. This one-roller pays even money for 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11. Some places pay at 2-1 if a 2 or 12 rolls, some just choose one of the two to pay 3-1 and others pay 3-1 on both numbers.

When the casino pays 2-1 on the 12, the house edge is 5.56 percent. If they pay 3-1, the casino advantage is reduced to 2.78 percent. Either way, both advantage levels are far higher than the 1.41 percent edge on a pass line wager or 1.4 percent on the Don’t pass so this isn’t a recommended wager.

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