Guide to Gambling
This page considers several Craps strategies which
will keep the House Advantage down to less than 1%. If you haven't
read the introductory page to Craps yet, please go there now by
Clicking Here or else what you read below
probably will not make much sense.
Note that these systems will only get you close to
a statistical zero House Advantage. It will not guarantee
you success, or even that you can stay at the table for a long period
of time. As we have discussed elsewhere, statistics only give the
House an advantage because it rolls the dice tens-of-thousands of
times per day and can statistically expect certain results. As a
bettor who may only roll the dice a hundred times or so, you will
be subject to much wilder short-term swings of luck, good AND bad.
So, no system or "statistical dead heat"
will guarantee you anything. If you are unlucky, you will still
get clobbered no matter what system you will use.
What we can do is get you close enough to "even
odds" that the House Advantage will not wear you down. In other
words, you will win or lose depending on whether you are lucky or
not, and not a foreordained result such as long-term betting with
a poor-odds game like Roulette.
In other words, we can't tell you that you will win,
or even that you will not lose. What we can tell you is that the
following systems mathematically make the most sense, and are utilized
by the most sensible and experienced craps players.
The Basic Strategy
The Basic Strategy for craps is thus very simple: You make a bet
on Pass, Come, Don't Pass or Don't Come, and you place as much in
odds on that bet as you can afford commensurate with your money
management strategy. Simple as that.
Example: Let's say you are playing at a table
with 3x Odds. Your strategy is to make a $10 Pass bet, and then
once the point is established you make a $30 Odds bet on the point.
On the first roll (a/k/a the "Come Out Roll"), your
Pass bet will win on a 7 or 11 but lose on a 2, 3 or 12. Once
the number is made, if your number is rolled again you will win
only 1:1 although the true odds are 2:1, 3:2 or 6:5 depending
on what the number is. This creates a House Advantage of 1.41%
on your Pass Bet, which you then "dilute" to 0.35% by
placing the 3x Odds.
The Parity Line Bet System (a/k/a
The Parity Line Bet System is popularly called the "Doey-Don't"
after the label given to it in Frank Scoblete's classic book: Beat
the Craps Out of the Casinos and Play Craps and Win, p. 39 (Bonus
Books, 1991). To understand the Parity Line Bet System, you must
first have a solid understanding of the Line Bets and of placing
Free Odds. If you don't understand those bets thoroughly, what we're
about to discuss will probably just give you a big headache.
You will recall that the Odds bets are great bets, and would be
perfect bets except that you also have to make a Pass, Come,
Don't Pass, or Don't Come bet before you can take advantage of the
Odds. The Parity Line Bet System is a simple twist on the basic
strategy which seeks to minimize the Pass, Come, Don't Pass, or
Don't Come bet, by the simple expedient of betting equal, offsetting
amounts on both the Pass and Don't Pass lines, or the Come
and Don't Come bets. The idea here is that you essentially "wash
out" the Pass or Don't Pass bet, by making it's counterpart.
Then, by placing as much Odds as is possible, you essentially water
down the House's Advantage even further.
Example: Same table with 3x Odds. Instead
of making a single $10 Pass, you make a $10 Pass bet AND a $10
Don't Pass bet. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, your Pass bet wins but
your Don't Pass bet loses, so that is a wash. if you roll 3 or
a 12 (or a 2 in some casinos) then your Don't Pass bet wins and
your Pass bet losses, so that washes out. If you roll a 2 (or
a 12 in some casinos), then ONLY your Pass bet loses (your Don't
Pass bet doesn't win). If "numbers" (4, 5, 6, 8, 9,
or 10) are rolled, you then place $30 Odds on either Pass or Don't
Pass (whichever you choose). With the Parity Line Bet System,
you odds of losing your Pass Bet are 1 in 36, which gives the
House a 2.8% advantage. Note that this is HIGHER than the House
Advantage for either the Pass/Come or Don't Pass/Don't Come Bets.
The important difference is that those bets become bad bets on
a little more than half the rolls, whereas with the Parity Line
Bet System, it is only a bad bet the 1 in 36 times that a 12 shows
up on the dice.
Keep in Mind: Even with the Parity Line Bet System, the
dice are either bouncing your way or they are not. If the dice are
bouncing your way, you would be better off betting the Pass/Come
or Don't Pass/Don't Come bets to maximize your income. If the dice
aren't bouncing your way, you won't lose as much, but you will still
be losing. The Parity Line Bet System very slightly helps your chances
over the basic game, but it doesn't automatically make you a winner,
or even switch the advantage to your favor.
Analysis: One way to think of this is as a "tax"
which you pay every 36 rolls to allow you to play the casino with
no advantage. But another way to look it this as a 36 roll "Risk
Cycle", i.e., every 36 rolls the Casino will be up on you one
bet. Then, compare it to the Risk Cycles for the Pass/Don't Pass
and Come/Don't Come Bets -- those Risk Cycles are nearly twice
as long at approximately 70 rolls before the House can expect an
advantage! So, you are really half as well off with the Parity
Line Bet System as you are with the Basic Strategy (so there
is no point in pursuing this strategy).
The Parity Hedge System
This is the legendary craps "system" which was utilized by a Japanese
businessman in the mid-1970s to clean several Las Vegas casinos
out of more than a hundred million dollars -- which infuriated the
casino bosses so much that only a couple of days later he was found
dead in the desert! After that, the few people who knew and understood
the system quit using it and moved on to other games, or at best
used it sparingly.
The Parity Hedge System is so complicated that it is beyond the
description of this website. Suffice it to say that it is a sophisticated
variant of the Parity Line Bet System (with a unique twist!), and
has probably ever been known only by a handful of the very best
craps players. It is so little known and complicated that we seriously
doubt that any of today's so-called craps "experts" or even any
of today's pit bosses, could spot the strategy if it were being
Since we first published our pages on craps, we have been literally
inundated with requests for an article explaining the Parity Hedge
System. So, we will probably try to do an article on this by early
2001 -- watch our (free) newsletter for more details! Keep in mind
that the Parity Hedge System gives about the same edge to the craps
player as does counting cards at Blackjack, meaning that even it
will not overcome bad luck. But with a good player -- and competent
dealers -- the system does create a slight mathematical edge over
the House. (And, no, we will not "sell" or auction
this system to anybody though we've had many e-mail requests to
do this -- when we write about it, we will do so for free and post
it on this site so that everybody can scrutinize it).
Offsetting Bet Systems
Over the years, lots of people have attempted to come up with "offsetting"
bet systems, where they bet a few chips here, and then a few more
chips to protect those chips against bad rolls, and so forth and
so on. Indeed, it is an attraction of craps to attempt to work out
the "perfect" system whereby you never lose and the House
never wins (sort of like those people who cover all the squares
Well, give it up folks. Mathematically, you cannot make a good
bet out of two or more bad ones. Several doctoral thesis have
conclusively proven this fact. Yet, much of the allure of craps
to neophytes is the idea that they can place several bets and somehow
shift the odds into their favor -- and this is encouraged by the
Center Field Sucker Bets (the "Crazy Crapper Bets"), which
give you the opportunity to "hedge" against the seven
on particular rolls -- though at a steep cost.
[Ironically, the "Parity Hedge System" is an offsetting
bet system, though it takes into account a unique twist which recognizes
that on certain bets the odds change (something never covered in
any of the doctoral thesis).]
Additional Pages on Craps
Introduction to Craps -- What
Craps is, how it is played, the mathematical odds, and more
Craps Crap -- Some helpful
hints, and myths and superstitions about craps de-bunked.
The Parity Hedge System --
Short history of the Craps system that took the gambling world
by storm in the early 1970s -- until the system's most prolific
gambler was found dead in the desert!
Books on Craps
For additional reading on Craps, vist our Gamblers'
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