Craps Play for Beginners - Part 3 . April 2001

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Craps Play for Beginners - Part 3

by Gayle Mitchell

Lastly, to complete your basic craps education--the third best wager is the place bet.

It can be made any time after a point is established. The place bet on a 6 or 8 has a casino advantage of 1.5%.  Wagers must be made in multiples of $6 because the payoff is $7 for every $6 bet.   It's very important that you clearly state your desire to make a place bet and have the dealer place the 6 or 8 for you. Do not confuse the place bet with the Big 6 or 8 that is prominent on the layout.

This wager is even money and has a casino advantage of 9%.  Place bets can be taken off at any time, and the bets are off on a come-out roll. When a place bet is won, the dealer will hand you your winnings only.  If you want it all back, tell the dealer to please take down the 6 or 8.

Wager Management Tip - keep your pass-line bet to the table minimum. Save the parlay (progressive betting) for betting odds--double, triple or whatever the table will allow, where the house advantage is low.

And what about all those other bets on the layout? Stay away from them. They are all sucker bets with anywhere from a 4% to 16%  house advantage. Focus on the educated bets, the big three with the lowest house advantage. Plenty of action there.

There are a couple of other bets you might want to consider: the don't pass/don't come bets that are easily recognized on the table layout.  These are called "wrong bets" , but they still keep you in that low 1% casino advantage range.  I make no apologies for recommending wrong bets, because you know you're going to run into cold craps tables, and this is the only game where a losing streak can give you a betting advantage. 

"Wrong bets" can be right bets sometimes. Caution: don't  be loud and conspicuous when making these bets, especially when the dice come up in your favor, because the rest of the table likely bet the other way. 

Now for some Craps Lingo just to show off your 'game smarts':

Boxcars=12; Cinco, Dos and Adios=7; Big Red=7 out; Dice=bones, cubes, G.I. marbles.   Bears' paws=double 5's; Ducks going to water=hard 4; Little Joe from Kokomo=point 4; Fiver=point 5; Jimmy Hicks-point 6; Eighter from Decatur=point 8; Niner from Caroliner=point 9; Field is alive after 5=field bet. 

Hook: imaginary line that separates players 3 and 4 or on larger tables, players 4 and 5. It dictates where the dealer will place the players' Come, Don't Come, Place, Buy or Lay Bets--helps to eliminate misunderstandings. The words SIX and NINE are used instead of 6 and 9 for the same reason.

Blowing on the dice comes from an old superstition that bad luck can be restored by an application of healthy breath.

I hope that I have served up enough information to persuade you to diversify your gambling plan and consider the game of craps!


Gayle Mitchell is author of  Casino Gambling Made Easier   books, booklets and strategy cards.