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Craps: Advanced Strategies
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Smarter Bet Guide to Craps
by Basil Nestor
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Some craps bets are good, some are not-so-good, and some are for suckers. The Smarter Bet Guide to Craps separates the best from the rest, and makes craps easy to learn. Everything is here in a clear-cut format: Table layout, dice-shooting techniques, a detailed analysis of every craps bet, and mathematically proven strategies that help lower the casino's advantage. A good basic guide to the game for players who are just starting out.
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Craps: Advanced Strategies

Here’s where we get into the nitty gritty of beating the casino at the craps table.

Obviously, the first step is to stay away from the fancy bets in the center of the table. In case you’reBasil NestorBasil Nestor is the author of the new Playboy Complete Guide to Casino Gambling. This wonderful book teaches players how to avoid sucker bets and win more when playing gambling games.  He is also the author of The Smarter Bet Guide series for video poker, slots, craps, and many other books about gambling.  Basil's website is  still temped, here’s something to consider. It’s an equation you learned as a child.

1 + 2 = 3

And, of course, switching the order of the numbers doesn’t change the sum.

2 + 1 = 3

No matter how we divide or merge three units, the result will always be three, and never four.

1 + 1 + 1 = 3

Yes, it’s simple enough, but craps’ cornucopia of betting options tends to obscure this basic truth:

A combination of bets will never outperform the combination’s individual components.

And yet some people can’t resist the challenge of trying to pull four out of three. For example…

Trimming the Hedges

The worst craps betting strategies usually involve hedge bets. These are tricky systems that combine bets to supposedly reduce risk. They actually do work to the extent that they protect against one particular result, but the alternative is usually even more expensive. For example, some bettors “insure” the pass line by also betting any craps. That supposedly turns the first roll into a can’t-lose bet. Right? Wrong! Let’s do the arithmetic. The table titled “Craps Insurance” shows why insuring the pass line is usually an expensive mistake.

Craps Insurance


Ways To Win
Ways To Lose
No Effect (point)
Total Average Dollars Won
Line Bet $20
Line Bet $20 and Any Craps $5
The above numbers represent average results after thirty-six come-out rolls.
In this example $20 is wagered on the pass line and $5 is wagered on any craps. The combination guarantees that the first roll will always win $15 or establish a point at a cost of $5. Unfortunately those points come frequently enough to wipe out the advantage of winning on craps. The line bet does much better by itself.
Keep in mind that a bet on the pass-line has its greatest probability of winning on the come out. The above system hedges the bet precisely when it needs it the least.
Okay, so how about betting any seven (often referred to as big red) once a point has been made? That would avoid a loss on seven-out, right? Yes, but only if a 7 or the point appears immediately. Those pesky dice are generally not so cooperative.
Seven-Out Insurance
Ways To Win
Ways To Lose
No Effect
Total Average Dollars Lost
Line bet $20
Line bet $20 and any seven $10
The above numbers represent average results after thirty-six rolls.
The table titled “Seven-Out Insurance” shows that big red costs much more than it earns (on average) after thirty-six rolls. In this example it quadruples the expense of rolling 6/8. Any seven with 5/9 or 4/10 is even worse.
That realization causes hedge bettors to search for new ways to protect their money against loss. Betting the field? Betting the hardways? Buying the numbers? It can’t be done. The smart way to play craps is to pick a wager with a low house edge and make it even lower.
“Lat not this wrecched wo thin herte gnawe, but manly set the world on six and seven.” (In other words, have courage in the face of adversity, and bet the best numbers.) Geoffrey Chaucer – from his poem Troilus and Criseyde published in 1385.
The preceding material is just a sample of what you'll find in Basil Nestor's Smarter Bet Guide to Craps.
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