Patience playing craps counters huge house advantage

Feb 26, 2013 3:09 AM

Craps is easily my favorite game in the casino. It’s loud, fun, fast and has great odds. It also has betting options with a huge house advantage so the game is best when played with patience.

By keeping your play simple at the craps table you can bring the casino house advantage to almost zero. Unfortunately the craps table is filled with wagering options that distract you from making smart bets and, as you would imagine, the gaming companies are looking for more ways to distract you from making the smart bets.

Last year Galaxy Gaming created a new craps layout you should be seeing in casinos along the Vegas Strip. Galaxy Gaming introduced All Small, All Tall and All or Nothing bets that pay either 34-1 for the “small” or “tall” bets or 175-1 for the All or Nothing bet.

Sweet payouts for a $5 bet but the house edge on these new wagers is more than 7% for each of the three. That’s not very good.

The All Small, All Tall and All or Nothing bets last for an entire roll, which will provide more fun than say a single roll bet or a hard way, which is over when that number is rolled, hard or not.

The house edge on a hard 6 and hard 8 is over 9% (9.09%) and hard way bets only last until someone hits a 6 or an 8. A hard 4 and hard 10 each have an even greater house edge at more than 11% (11.11%). These are some of the more fun bets to yell out at the craps table but aren’t the smartest bets you can make.

Hard Way bets still aren’t the worst wagers you can make at the craps table. Some of the betting options with the largest house advantage are the single roll bets.

There are many single roll wagering options ranging from proposition bets in the middle of the craps table to the field bets, which are right above the pass line in front of the players on the side of the table. Betting on the middle part of the table is a no-no for the smart craps player since you’ll find some of the wagers with the largest house advantage there.

Betting on any 7 to come out on a single roll may pay 4-1 but it comes with a house edge of almost 17%. Yowza! The house edge on other single roll proposition bets range anywhere from 5.56% to 16.67%. Depending on what casino you play, the field bet has a house advantage of around 5.5%. That’s better than many of these options but still bad in the grand scheme.

Craps is a great game and the most fun table game in the casino but it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness and make some poor wagering decisions. Just keep it simple when you’re at the craps table and keep your bets on the pass line with maximum odds. If you need more action feel free to make a couple of come bets, again with maximum odds.

Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gambling and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Follow Marc on twitter @eastcoastgamblr. Check out his blog at Contact Marc at [email protected].

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