Craps Winning Strategies and Tips

A good craps strategy comes in handy when playing this game, whether you’re a beginner or a pro at shooting craps. There’s always talk about beating the casino, and while that isn’t likely in most table games, your best shot is to use a strategy.

The tricky thing with craps is that it doesn’t have the most straightforward rules. It also has a wide variety of bets. On the one hand, this creates opportunities for applying strategies. On the other hand, not every strategy is suitable for all player levels.

This guide will cover the top craps strategies applicable to this game. We’ll highlight the best beginner strategies and those best for intermediate or advanced players. We’ll also provide the ins and outs of how they work and the best bets to use them on.


Anne Ifeanyi

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Table of Contents

The first step to understanding winning craps strategies is to learn how to play craps. Although craps isn’t the difficult game it’s made out to be, it’s not the easiest casino game either. So you need to familiarise yourself with the basics first. Once that’s out of the way, you’re ready to use the beginner’s craps strategies.

Pass Line Craps Strategy

The pass bets are the simplest in this game, and thanks to a 1.41% house edge, they’re a good chance to win. Betting on the pass line simply means you’re backing the shooter getting a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll. If the shooter rolls a point, this bet still wins if the point number is rolled again before a 7. For newbies to the craps table, this should be your go-to bet.

At traditional casinos, multiple players typically bet towards the common goal of the shooter winning the pass line. So this is one case where following the crowd often pays off.

Don’t Pass Craps Strategy

It’s less popular to bet against the shooter in this game. However, don’t pass bets are even more generous, having only a 1.36% house edge. This is another incredibly simple bet that wins if the outcome of the roll is a 2 or 3 (craps). The lower house edge here is due to the fact that whenever a 12 is rolled, your bet is a Push. So you get your stake back. This bet also wins if a 7 is rolled before the point number comes up again. And since 7 is one of the most frequently rolled numbers, this is an advantageous bet.

Don’t Come Craps Strategy

A don’t come bet is like a don’t pass bet which you make after establishing the point. You’re betting against the shooter making his point. So you win if a 7 is rolled before the don’t come bet point. This also has a 1.36% edge.

Note: All beginner-level strategies above have a 1-1 payout. This means a winning $5 bet will reward $5 in profits, making a total payout of $10.

Taking it up a notch, the intermediate craps strategies are for players who are a bit more experienced in the game and find the beginner strategies too easy. There are three major techniques to use at this level:

The Craps Odds Strategy

This is the best mathematical strategy in craps because odds bets take the house edge down to 0%, offering players the best advantage. The idea of the craps odds strategy is to lay the odds on the don’t pass/don’t come bets. This means you’re betting on the shooter sevening out before rolling the point again. Then you back that bet several times over, as allowed by the table (up to 5x on most craps games).

The best way to do this is to bet the table minimum and then reach your desired total wager by laying the odds. The craps odds strategy focuses on the ‘don’t bets’ because these have a smaller house edge than the pass/come bets.

Placing 6 and 8

The idea behind this strategy is that you stake a place bet on 6 and 8. When you win, you keep your profit and wager your original bet again. When you lose, a progressive betting element kicks in, and you double your stake. This way, a subsequent win will recoup back your losses. You can also choose to increase your stake in pre-selected percentages.

This strategy works for three reasons:

  • Place bets allow you to pick your numbers without waiting for the shooter to establish a point.
  • The numbers 6 and 8 are the most frequently rolled numbers alongside the 7.
  • The house edge on 6 and 8 are the lowest out of the other place numbers (1.52%).

Payout odds are 7:6 for these bets, so you should bet in multiples of $6 to maximise your winnings.

The Press and Pull Strategy

This craps strategy requires you to press (double) your bets when the place bet wins and pull (take away) your profits after reaching a certain level. This is another progressive strategy, and it capitalises on winning streaks to safeguard your bankroll.

The most common variation of this technique involves pressing up to four times before pulling. Once the pressing sequence is complete, the pull ensures a substantial profit is locked in as long as the selected numbers continue to hit.

Here’s an example of an incremental press, then pull:

  • Starting Point – Begin with a $6 bet on the 6 and 8.
  • First Hit on either the 6 or 8 – Press the winning bet by adding $6 to it. Your bet goes from $6 to $12.
  • Second Hit on that same number – Press again by adding $12 this time, taking your bet to $24.
  • Third Hit on that same number – Press by adding $18, taking your bet to $42.
  • Fourth Hit on that same number – Pull the entire amount, collecting the $42 bet along with your winnings.

Similarly, if the other number hits, you start the same pressing sequence. This strategy incrementally increases the bet before pulling in the profits after the fourth hit.

The top-tier craps strategies reserved for pro bettors are much more aggressive. These advanced techniques are not just for experienced players. You’ll need to be willing to up the ante on the gameplay and take some bigger risks in order to maximise them.

The Iron Cross Strategy

At the heart of the Iron Cross strategy is a simple concept: covering more numbers to increase your chances of winning on every roll after the come-out. You implement this strategy by placing a field bet (2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12), as well as place bets on 5, 6, and 8 (inside numbers). With the Field bet combined with the inside numbers, you’ll have every number covered except the 7.

Out of the 36 possible dice combinations, there are 6 ways to make a 7. This means you have 30 ways to win when using the Iron Cross Strategy. The catch is that when the 7 rolls, you lose all your bets. So, the goal is to win as much as possible before that dreaded 7 shows up. It’s about making hay while the sun shines, then resetting and starting again.

The 3-Point Molly Strategy

This strategy focuses on protecting Pass Line bet while also giving you three numbers working for you. Here’s how it works:

  • Start with a Pass Line bet. When a point is established, back it up with odds.
  • Make a come bet, which will pay on a 7 or 11 (this is to secure the pass bet which would lose on a 7 after the point is established)
  • If another point is rolled, move the come bet to the new number and back it up with odds.
  • Make a second and then a third come bet, each time backing them up with odds once they move to a number.
  • You’ll end up with three numbers working for you.

This strategy provides multiple layers of excitement. Not only are you cheering for your Pass Line and come bets, but also for the odds, which pay out more than even money! The beauty of this strategy is in the protection it offers. If the 7 rolls, you only lose one unit. The other bets will stay in action. But when your numbers hit, you get paid multiple times, thanks to the odds backing up your bets.

Factors that Affect Your Craps Strategy

Before you decide on the craps strategy to use, there are three factors you need to consider. These factors will usually affect how effective the strategy will turn out to be:


Depending on your bankroll, you may be better off avoiding some progressive strategies like placing 6 and 8. Such strategies rely on you doubling your bets on a loss, which may be difficult to follow through with a small budget. You’ll need to hold out for a win, and if you deplete your bankroll before then, you’ll end up with a miserable loss. Aggressive strategies like the 3-Point Molly also require a sizeable bankroll since you have to place multiple bets.

Risk Level

The risk level is another factor to consider. Are you willing to take a chance on a risky bet with a large payoff, or would you rather stick to safe bets with the highest chances of winning? If you’re not a risk taker, you may not appreciate the advanced craps strategies.


It’s safe to say that every player hopes to win when playing real money craps. However, you need to decide whether you’re looking to turn a big profit or just win some change to pay for dinner. Iron Cross, for instance, is designed as a hit-and-run strategy and is better suited for players looking to quickly take a profit and move on. On the other hand, the basic beginner strategies are great for a lengthy gaming session while slowly grinding out a profit.

Do Blackjack Betting Strategies Work for Craps?

Betting strategies like the Martingale and Paroli are the most common techniques for online casino table games like blackjack and roulette. These betting strategies are designed for bets with a roughly 50-50 chance of winning. Although craps has many different betting options, none offers a 50-50 winning opportunity.

You could place multiple bets in order to cover enough numbers and achieve such winning odds. However, this may increase your stake significantly, in which case the payout wouldn’t be worth it. Hence, such betting strategies would be disadvantageous for craps.

Top Hacks for Winning Craps

The standard tips you’ll come across playing craps are understanding the basics, placing simple bets and managing your bankroll. Granted, these are fundamental to your gameplay. However, there are several hacks that are often overlooked but are just as easy and can significantly influence your game. Below are the top winning hacks when playing craps:

Max Out the Odds

If you’re playing at a table that allows it, consider taking or laying full odds on your pass/come or don’t pass/don’t come bets. Odds bets have no house edge, so they’re fair and one of the few bets in the casino that pay out true odds.

By maximising your odds bets, you’re putting more money into action when the house has no advantage. Over the long run, this can significantly reduce the overall house edge on your total action, increasing your expected return. You’ll need to bet more, but this is a risk worth taking.

Engage with the Dealers

Craps dealers are trained professionals who manage many games daily. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge about the game. Moreover, they often appreciate players who are polite and eager to learn. 

Engaging with the dealers not only makes your gaming experience more enjoyable but can also be beneficial in terms of gameplay tips. They might subtly point you in the right direction or remind you of a favourable bet you might be overlooking. It’s a blend of education and entertainment. While this doesn’t apply when playing online, it’s a handy tip when playing at live craps.

Watch and Learn

The craps table can be one of the most intimidating places in the casino, with its complex layout and energetic atmosphere. This is why many players are not very confident playing this game. However, you don’t have to jump in right away simply because you know the basics or have played free craps online. Instead, spending a few moments observing can demystify a lot of its intricacies. By watching, you can pick up on the flow of the game, the type of bets people are making, and even some table etiquette (at physical casinos). Observing ensures you’re better prepared when you join the game, reducing the chance of making rookie mistakes.

Choose Your Table Wisely

Just as poker tables have different players and vibes, craps tables can have varied dynamics based on the odds offered and the minimum bets. Some tables might be fast-paced, while others might be more strategic.

Selecting the right table affects your overall playing experience and, potentially, your profitability. A table with better odds will, by definition, reduce the house edge. Meanwhile, finding a table with a minimum bet that suits your bankroll ensures you can play longer and weather the natural ups and downs of the game. So look around the casino to find a table that matches your comfort level and bankroll.

Craps Winning Strategies and Tips FAQs

What is the best craps strategy online?

The best strategy in craps depends on your player level and which technique you’re most comfortable with.  the basic craps strategy for beginners. These have the smallest risk with low house edges.

Can you beat craps using strategy?

The best craps strategies will certainly offer you better chances of winning by reducing the house edge. However, the casino will always have the advantage in the long run. You’d have to win consistently in this game in order to beat the house, which is unlikely since craps is a game of chance.

Should you bet against the shooter in craps?

Betting against the shooter has its advantages, which include a lower house edge and better winning chances, especially after the point has been established. At the live casino, this is referred to as playing the dark side since you’re most likely betting in the opposite direction to everyone else. When playing online craps, however, you don’t have to worry about that.

Can beginners use the 3-Point Molly strategy?

Inexperienced craps players are not prohibited from using this strategy. However, the 3 Point Molly is best suited for experienced players because it involves placing multiple bets and can easily throw off players who aren’t very confident in their knowledge of craps rules.