Okay, this column might ruin your fun if you are a craps player. That is correct. As a busy-bodied gambling writer I want everyone to see craps the way I see it because, well, I am right.

First, as craps players know and as many novices hovering near the table can readily see, craps has such a variety of bets that it can give a new player a headache. Watching players throwing out their chips and calling out weird names (“I’ll take a C and E.” “Give me a Yo for five dollars!” “All the hard ways my man!”) will make many a wishful thinking would-be players scoot right back over to the slots. (“That craps game is crazy!”)

But I am here to tell you that the bets being called above and a host of other bets are a waste of time and money. Their house edges are so high that winning even over a short period of time becomes rather difficult. The two factors that work together to make a game dangerous are the house edge and the speed of the game.

So why do so many craps players make such awful bets? They love the action. They love how their adrenaline flows as the game progresses and the higher payouts of most of the awful bets (called “Crazy Crapper” bets by my late mentor the Captain) makes them forget the cost they’ll pay for making such bets. As the game progresses, their discipline largely disappears and those Crazy Crapper bets suddenly don’t seem so bad. (“Timmy, put your head into the lion’s mouth; he won’t hurt you.”)

In craps you have some excellent wagers such as the Pass and Come bets, each coming in with a house edge of 1.41 percent. That translates into losing $1.41 for $100 wagered. The player wins 244 decisions; the casino wins 251 decisions. That seven decision gap creates the house edge. Still you can see that the Pass and Come bets are excellent when compared to others. It is about as close to 50/50 as you can get.

Rather than go through all the bets at craps, suffice it to say that house edges range from a rotten four percent up to a murderous 16.67 percent and up to 25 percent on jackpot bets such as the Fire bet. Adrenaline must be a part of madness (I would speculate) because making such bets is insane.

If you are the type of casino player who enjoys frequently going to casinos, be it weekly or monthly, then consider revamping your playing style. If you love to throw the money out there wishing and hoping for a big kill keep this in mind: The big kill in craps, over a period of time, is usually on the player’s side of the contest.

So here are my observations garnered from over 26 years of play – often 130 days a year.

  • Do not let the other players influence you. Enjoy the game but do not get caught up in the riot that is craps.
  • It doesn’t matter if some player wins on the Crazy Crapper bets. He will hit that iceberg soon enough and his expectation is to sink.
  • Only make the best bets; Pass Line and Come with odds (as much in odds as you can afford).
  • Do not make any Crazy Crapper bets.
  • Do not bet more than three numbers; in fact I recommend you only bet one number. Every number you bet is a separate game against the house. Bet one number it is one game; two numbers is two games and so on. Why bet more decisions against the house edge?
  • Bet the lowest that still gives you a thrill. If $10 makes your heart beat fast and the joy of anticipation grows within you but $5 bores you, then bet $10. There is no need to bet $15.
  • Do not bet to impress people. The dealers, the floor people and the pit bosses are not impressed by players, no matter how much a player wagers. They know the players will ultimately be losers.

The above rules will go a long way to giving you a shot at winning any given session. Something very close to a coin flip such as the Pass Line and Come bets are far better than wagers with high house edges – that’s a truth that can’t be disputed.

Author Bio: Frank Scoblete’s latest books are I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack; I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps! and Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! Available from Amazon.com, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores. Visit Frank’s new website at www.frankscoblete.com