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Craps Strategy: Popular Strategies Explained

Bill Collins
Written by Bill Collins
This guide is suitable for advanced players. Advanced Percentage of users that found this guide helpful. 100% Estimated reading time based on the average reading speed. 10 Min
Craps Strategy: Popular Strategies Explained

Discover our hands-on craps strategy guide, where professional player Bill Collins will explain the most effective five betting patterns and how to apply them at the craps table.

So, if you want to learn how to win more at craps and lower the house edge using betting strategies like Three Point Molly, Iron Cross or Six and Eight, then you will love his step-by-step actionable guide.

Recommendation

Are you a complete beginner? We suggest checking out our learn craps online section to find out more about the game.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Three Point Molly betting strategy

With Three Point Molly craps strategy you will be taking advantage of playing against the lowest casino vig, their built-in house advantage. 

How 3 Point Molly Works

Start by placing a small bet out in front of you where it says “PASS LINE” on the table at the start of a shooter’s roll. 

If he rolls a come-out seven or eleven before rolling a four, five, six, eight, nine or ten to establish his point, your pass line bet wins and pays off at even money. 

If he instead rolls a two, three or twelve, you lose your pass line bet and will need to replace it.

Crap 3 point molly pass line bet

After a point is established on four, five, six, eight, nine or ten, put an equal sized bet in the center section of the table labeled “COME” for the shooter’s next roll. 

Craps 3 point molly come bet

You’ll want to repeat that move until you have two come bets that have successfully traveled to numbers other than your pass line point.

Craps 3 point molly bets on 5 and 6

If you make your second come bet twice the size of your first come bet, a losing 7 on any of the first three rolls after the point is established will not cost you any losses. Each come hedges against such losses up until that point.

After getting bets successfully on pass, and two come numbers, you can add single or double odds on each of your three bets. 

Craps 3 point molly setup

Your pass odds are placed behind your pass line bet. The dealer puts your come bet odds on your come bets for you. 

Highlight

Odds pay better than your even-money-paying pass line and come bets and reduce the casino’s advantage.

Up until now you’ve hedged your bets against seven making them lose money. But, you are now at the danger point where you can lose all your bets and odds, should that seven roll next. You’ll be hoping for your bets to win several times before the 7 finally rolls.

As your bets win, you can replace them by putting out an additional come bet, or pass line bet should yours win by that number rolling again.

If on a come out roll, after a point is made, seven rolls and you have come bets with odds, your come bet odds will be returned to you. You’ll only lose your come bet.

Betting Dark Side Three Point Molly Strategy

The Three Point Molly can also be played betting dark side, using Don’t Pass and Don’t Come, where you are betting the shooter loses, instead of winning. 

Please note

The drawback is that betting odds on dark side bets, you have to bet more to win less. 

You can get around betting more to win less by making your don’t pass line and don’t come bets bigger, then don’t add the dark side odds, so you will be paid even money, instead of less money than your odds on each bet win. 

Darkside betting gives you the same winning frequency that the casino enjoys every time the seven rolls.

If you are playing on the weekends at a casino, the dark side Don’t Pass/Don’t Come betting will probably work better; simply because the players are probably mostly weekend warriors and not very good craps players. They will tend to lose more points than they win.

If you are playing mid-week, the Pass/Come bets will probably work better; because the players playing mid-week are more seasoned players and have learned a few tricks that might make them win more points.

Pass Line and/or Place Bet Six and Eight

If you want to shoot you will need at least a minimum bet on the pass line, otherwise, a pass line bet is optional. 

After you establish a point, make place bets on just six and eight in multiples of $6, but they will need to be at least table minimum bets. 

Craps place bets on 6 and 8

Insight

Those two numbers, six and eight, roll the most of any of the point numbers. 

On come out rolls you can even tell the dealer “my place bets are working”, so that you win if six or eight rolls

But they lose if the come out roll is a seven and you made them working. 

Place bets are normally off for come out rolls.

Place Bets vs Three Point Molly vs. Pass Line/ Come Bets

Place betting pays every time that number rolls; while with Three Point Molly, each number has to roll twice in order to be paid once; but come bets pay on come out 7’s. 

And place bets pay more than pass line or come bets. 

Place bets can be removed, called off, reduced or increased at any time, but pass line and come bets are contract bets and must be left up until that bet is decided by being won or lost.

Regression Betting

You can take all your risk up front by getting two Early hits on your bets, then cut your bets in half. 

A fifty percent regression on your bets usually gets your bets paid for before the average eight roll length a shooting turn lasts.

Craps regression betting

Example: 

Place bet $88 inside, $20 on five and nine and $24 on six and eight. Just give $88 to your dealer and say, “Inside”. He will put your bets on the table for you.

Each hit at that bet level pays $28. 

Get two inside hits, then regress fifty percent to $44 inside, $10 on five and nine and $12 on six and eight. 

You have $56 in winnings at this point, and $44 bets still on the table, so your bets are paid for and you’ve added $12 to your rack with the chance to win more. 

Craps regression betting step 2

Or, just tell the dealer “take my bets down” and you keep the $56 as winnings, then wait on the next shooter and repeat. 

Feeding Six and Eight Betting Strategy

If your buy in amount will allow it, you can place bet $64 across ($10-$12 units on four through ten). 

Every time a number other than six and eight wins, use the winnings to increase your bet on six and/or eight. 

Craps feedin six and eight betting strategy

Nine rolls, paying $14, increase your six or eight by $12 and rack the extra $2, or add $6 to each six and eight. Every time six or eight wins, rack those winnings.

Your winnings on four, five, nine and ten, will make your bet size on six and/or eight grow, so that it pays more per every win from then on. And six and eight are the place numbers that roll most often.

Feeding 6 and 8 craps strategy examples
($10  bets on 4, 5, 9, 10 and $12 on 6 and 8)

Roll Add bet on 6 Add bet on 8 Rack
5 and 9 pay $14 +$6 +$6 $2
+$12 0 0
0 +$12 0
4 and 10 pay $18 +$6 +$6 +$6
+$12 +$6 0
+$6 +$12 0
+$18 0 0
0 +$18 0
6 and 8 pay $14 0 0 $14

The amount 6 & 8 pays more as those bets grow from hits on the other bets, out of profit and without further risks.

Please note

The danger here is the threat of short rolls that cost your bets on six numbers before getting them paid for. 

Increasing the bets on six and eight can cut down on how long it takes to get them paid for and show a profit.

Iron Cross Betting Strategy

You may place equal unit sized bets on five, six and eight, ($20 five, $24 six and $24 eight), along with a half-sized $10 field bet. 

 Craps Iron Cross

That betting combo lets you win money on every roll that isn’t a seven. Everybody likes that. 

The weak point is that every time one of your main place bets hit, those better paying winnings are reduced by the amount you lost on your field bet. 

You’ll get your full pay on your place bets, but your $10 field bet gets swept away, reducing your winnings for that roll by $10. 

Remember

You’ll have to remember to always replace your losing field bet every time it loses.

The Iron Cross strategy is simple for a newbie to play, just not the most rewarding payoff amounts. You can learn more from the Iron Cross Craps strategy guide.

If you want to shoot the dice, you’ll also need to add a minimum pass line bet. Otherwise, that pass line bet is optional.

Free Advice

If someone has a hot roll started, where they have passed about ten rolls, don’t be afraid to use part of each addition win to increase the size of your bet on a number, or spread out to cover more numbers. 

On a hot roll that can be the difference between winning a lot or winning next to nothing. 

There is nothing sadder than seeing a person toss forty or more times and see that they have only won about $150.  

Once the turn is well started, don’t hesitate to add part of each win amount to one of your numbers. 

If the shooter did that, they could have won five to ten times as much. Watching a good roll happen without starting to raise regularly is called the “Newbie Freeze” when it happens.

Don’t let fear freeze you up, just because you are unsure of how to bet a hot roll.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this advanced craps strategy guide.

Now, you can head over to a craps online casino and use this knowledge to improve your winning chance and get more consistent wins at the table.

Tip

Don’t feel too confident in your skills yet? Check out our craps rules guide to find out everything you need to know about the game and how it works.

From our experience, all the strategies outlined by Bill Collins in this guide are effective and you should try them out during your next gambling session to decide which one works best for you.

Using the strategies outlined above will help you get a better advantage over the house. However, the community  still has some curiosities that weren´t covered in the article. 

After discussing with Bill, he was more than happy to answer all of your questions.

We hope that you will enjoy them and learn something new about playing craps.

Popular Craps Strategies FAQs answered by Bill Collins

Why is it so hard to win at craps?

The odds favor the casino on every bet from the outset, so the longer you stay at the table, the more the casino’s built in edge grinds away at your bankroll. A good tactic to counteract this from happening is to develop a good hit and run short-length session strategy. The ability to choose exactly when you color up is one of the biggest advantages any player has. 

Greed might be the worst enemy you will face at the craps table. Casinos usually let players beat themselves. Players do not usually want to quit when they get ahead, just one more go around, one more bet before I regress my bets so that I am in safe territory, with my bets paid for so that I can not lose money this turn. 

Players tend to think, after getting their bets paid for on a turn, that they are playing on the casino’s money. When you have won it, it is your money you are playing with. You have the option not to leave winnings on the table until the seven rolls. You can rack it and take it home. Want proof? Just try to rack the casino’s money and see if that doesn’t get you arrested. 

A lot of players lack discipline and money management skills. They play with too small a buy-in to give themselves staying power at the table, then go make too big of bets for their bankroll. Both of these errors almost always lead  to a quick losing session. 

A good rule is for your total bets to never exceed ten percent of your buy-in. If you are playing on the cheap, with $100 buy-in, then the maximum total bet you can afford to make is only $10. That will give you ten different opportunities to still be playing and catch a hot roll. The trick is still being at the table when that hot roll happens. If you busted out before then, you will miss playing that hot roll. 

A lot of players can not resist the casino’s booby-trapped,  bad odds sucker bets in the center of the table, the prop bets. They toss chips on multiple sucker bets all the time, like a kid buying penny candy. That makes them bleed their money like crazy. One of the best moves a player can make is to analyze their betting to find and plug those bad-bet money leaks. Not losing money foolishly is as good as winning the same amount. 

Those same players usually want to bet on every shooter, too, which can quickly drain your bankroll and end your day at the table prematurely. A lot of seasoned players will wait until the possibility of a short roll has passed before they start betting to eliminate that ever-present danger. A loss is usually on its way if you insist on betting on every player. 
Professional gamblers bet on only what is most likely to happen; while weekend warriors tend to bet on what they think could happen. There is a world of difference between the two that separates the winners from the losers. 

Players sometimes fail to establish win goals and loss limits when playing. That makes them usually stay too long at the fair and paying a hefty price for doing so. I think your loss limit should be time and a half to twice your win goal. The idea here is to keep yourself from chasing your losses, to keep losses small. On the win goal level, I usually quit as soon as I get over that mount, because I prefer to string back to back winning sessions together, over going for the monster win. That helps keep the killer greed at bay. 

YouTube is full of craps betting strategies people have thought up. The only problem there is that the person who put the video up usually doesn’t discuss the shortcoming or danger points of the strategy. Players will watch a YouTube craps video, think it looks great, then run off to the casino to try it out. They are usually left to discover the strategy’s weak points on their own, with real money at stake.

Is the iron cross a good craps strategy?

The Iron Cross does not appear to stack up very well against other bets on a level playing field. It came in last place for the bets listed below.

I have a craps spreadsheet I use that I’ve been working on for six years that is capable of telling me so much about craps that others never get to see. One thing it does is figure out how much money each different way of betting gets me for my most money winning tossing sets for that bet over the same exact 1,700 logged practice rolls. It is figured with equal-sized bets. 

Here is how the Iron Cross ranks on my spreadsheet for average winnings per every single toss. It finished in last place to the other bets listed.

BET: (ALWAYS FLAT BET & WORKING)

My True All Tall ($377: $132 8, $105 9, $105 BUY 10, $30 11): $15.42 average win per every toss

6 & 8: $327 ($186  6 & 8): $12.27  per toss

8, 9 10: $374  ($138 8, $115 9, $115 BUY10): $11.98 per toss

6 8 9: $374 ($110 9, $132 6 & 8): $10.56 per toss

5,6,8: $374 ($110 5, $132 6 & 8): $10.65 per toss

INSIDE: $374 ($85 5 & 9 + $102 6 & 8): $8.97 per toss

REVERSE IRON CROSS: $374  ( $50 B4,5 9 & B10,& $60 6 & 8 + $50 FIELD: $8.44 per toss

ACROSS: $390 ($60 OUTSIDE + $72 6 & 8 BUY 4 & 10): $8.13 per toss

IRON CROSS: $375 - $100 5, $120 6, $120 8, $35 FIELD: $7.82 per toss

What drags the winnings down on the Iron Cross is that even though it wins money every time the roll isn’t a seven, the losing field bet gets deducted from the better paying wins on five, six, and eight. Those bets get paid in full, but the losing field bet get swept away in the process.

Is three point molly a good craps strategy?

The Three Point Molly protects you from loss for your first three rolls when you double your second don’t pass bet, so you will not lose on extremely short rolls. You are also playing against the lowest house advantage. Both are positives. 

When playing the right side, with pass and two come bets, all your bets, other than odds bets make later, are contract bets that you now have no control over. You can not take them down, reduce them or call them off like you can with place and buy bets. 

You will not win on those three starting rolls, other than when a seven or eleven rolls or you come right back with a repeating number win on your pass or come bet rolls. You lose a bet on any of your first three come out bets to a craps two or three rolling. 

If instead, you were to place or buy betting and working your bets on come-out rolls, you might already have three wins in your rack by the time the Three Point Molly gets set up.  

The danger point begins after you get your bets set up and odds added to each. From there on out, a seven rolling take all those bets and odds. This is where you hope for enough hits to at least get your bets paid for.

Is craps a skill or luck game?

That is highly debated, both ways, by most craps players.  

For it to be a skill, you have to have practiced your toss a lot and perfected it to where you have developed a highly repeatable toss that mirrors itself on each toss. There are 576 different ways to set the dice. Then, if you know which tossing set, of these 576 possibilities, wins you the most money on the bet you are making, you have become a dice influencing advantage player and it now becomes somewhat of a game of skill. Like bowling for dollars. 

On your own, through trial and error, you’ve got a one in 576 chance of picking your most money winning dice set for that bet each time you try a different tossing set. Without help from a craps spreadsheet like mine, the odds are terribly against you picking it, or anything close to it, on your own.  

There are very few players that become advantaged dice influencers for that very reason. Nobody can control the dice, as in dice control, you can only hope to influence the dice’s outcome often enough to swing the advantage to being in your corner. 

How much difference does tossing the most money-winning set for your bet make? My craps spreadsheet shows that for placing 6 & 8 for $30 each and flat betting, with bets always up and working on come out rolls over the same 1,700 logged tosses, my current best set, 51-36, won me $3,380; while my 576th ranked tossing set, 24-12 lost me -$4,210. That is about $7,500 difference between best set and worst set over just 1,700 tosses. A lot of people believe craps is a game of luck and every set will get the same results each toss. 

But there are also many distractions at the table that can take even an advantaged player out of his game. The physical part of repeating your toss and knowing your best set for your bet is only a part of what it takes to win regularly through skill. The mental aspect of being able to stay focused and unrattled are probably over half the challenge.

What is the best craps strategy?

I am a fan of early bet regression to get your bets paid for and show a profit with my first two hits on inside bets. 

Example: I bet $330 inside, $60 on five and nine and $90 on six and eight. After two $105 inside hits, $210 total wins to that point, I regress by fifty percent to $25 and $30 bets for $110 ($25 on 5 & 9 and $30 on 6 & 8) at risk. My regressed bets are paid for and I have $100 locked up in my rack for that turn shooting. 

Taking all my risks up front, for me, is an advantage play, because I toss my sets that roll my fewest sevens and most inside numbers. Over my last 1,700 tosses, my spreadsheet tracked me  only tossing ten come out sevens, so my danger isn’t great. And any damage I suffer is usually just a temporary setback that does not bother me.

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Bill Collins

Bill Collins

Professional Craps Player

About Bill Collins

  • Over 2 decades of triumphant experience in the game of craps, with a winning streak since 2003;
  • Noted author of the acclaimed craps novel, "Vegas Fever";
  • Proficient Craps writer, with a wide range of published articles;
  • Administrator of the popular Facebook group "Craps Crusher", which has 4.3k+ members, sharing daily insights into successful craps strategies.

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