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Craps Crap and Craps Gold - Part 1

13 April 2002

By Frank Scoblete

What do the following sayings have in common?

  • "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
  • "Better late than never."
  • "High fences make good neighbors."
  • "Always play the Pass/Come and take full odds."

Answer: The above statements are true. Yes, some people might quibble and say that you can eat as many apples-a-day as you like, but that fateful day when you drop like an apple off a tree will come no matter what. A groom arriving an hour late for his wedding day might find he'll never get to marry his lady-love. True, high fences keep out the nosy neighbors and give you privacy, but they also make it easier for bad guys to burglarize your house.

And playing the Pass/Come with odds, while the mathematically best overall strategy, can't guarantee that you'll win at craps in the long run; such advice can only guarantee that you'll lose the least amount in the long run based on your total amount wagered.

So, for want of a better way to say it, the above are "true-truths."

Now, what do the following statements have in common?

  • "If something that should happen a certain percentage of the time and it
  • hasn't happened that percentage of the time, it will happen in the future."
  • "Win 80 percent of your decisions at craps - guaranteed!"
  • "Win 99 percent of your betting sequences at craps - guaranteed!"
  • "Protect your Pass Line bet from the losing on the Come Out - guaranteed!"

The above statements are all true as well. Yet, they are as false as "dicers' oaths," as Shakespeare put it. Thus, the above are "false-truths."

True Truths

True truths are mundane, especially in craps. Pass/Come betting with odds is boring for many craps players who just love the action and can't be bothered with making this two-step process of going up on the Pass and/or Come, waiting for the dice to roll a point number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), then placing the full odds (or as much as they can afford) on the number and pray that the number hits before the dreaded 7. Even the eight times in 36 when they win on a 7 and 11 during Come-Out rolls just isn't all that exciting to such players.

So what have craps players done? They've invented or bought systems to beat the game.

With one controversial exception (which I will discuss in the final paragraphs of this piece -- stop! don't rush to the end), all such systems at craps have failed utterly to establish themselves as winners or, as in the case of the Pass/Come with full odds, as "less losers."

First, let's quickly establish why Pass/Come and Don't Pass/Don't Come with full odds are the absolute best betting approaches to the game of craps. It's all in the math.

When you bet a Pass or Come bet of "X" and then take "2X" in odds, the casino's overall edge on you is a mere 0.61 percent (fractionally less on the "don't"). That's right, your expectation is to lose a measly 61 cents for every $100 you bet in this fashion. In a 5X odds game, the casino edge is 0.33 percent, in 10X odds games it is 0.18 percent, and in 20X odds games, it is 0.10 percent -- one dime for $100 wagered. That is about as close a mathematical contest as most players are likely to see in a casino.

Next time: "Some systems have a kind of compelling though superficial logic behind them."

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at

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