Should You Change Your Betting Strategy in Craps?

 Should You Change Your Betting Strategy in Craps?

Just about every craps player has a favorite way to play. Some play the percentages and make sure they take the free odds offered when you back pass or come bets with additional bets. Some like the place bets on 6 and 8, to make sure they always have the most frequent non-7 numbers working. Some like to take their chances for bigger payoffs on the one-roll props such as yo-leven or any 7, and let the house edge fall where it may.

Recently, I got an email from a reader wondering if he should change his method.

“When I play craps, I make a pass bet with odds, then make come bets on 6 and 8, or whichever one of them is not the point on pass,” he wrote. “I’ve been poking around on the Internet, and see some people recommend that after the pass, I should make come bets instead. What’s the advantage?”

The advantage is that you can back come bets with free odds, just like you can take the odds on a pass line bet. There is no house edge on the odds, and that lowers the edge on the pass-plus-odds and come-plus-odds combinations to less than 1 percent, compared with 1.52 percent on 6 or 8.

Let’s say you’re at a casino that permits 3x-4x-5x odds, a pretty common offering nowadays. That means if the point is 4 or 10, you can back a $10 pass or come bet with $30 in odds; if the point is 5 or 9, your odds bet is $40, and if it’s 6 or 8, the odds bet is $50.  Since true odds are 2-1 on 4 or 10, 3-2 on 5 or 9 and 6-5 on 6 or 8, any winning $30 odds bet pays $60.

If you have a pass bet and two come bets, all backed with 3x-4x-5s odds, you have three numbers working, each with a house edge of 0.37 percent. If you have pass plus odds followed by place bets on 6 and 8, you have one number with a house edge of 0.37 percent and two with house edges of 1.52 percent.

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