Nearly every bet in the casino features a house edge. This house advantage is how casinos make their money.
Craps, however, offers select bets that don’t carry a house edge. Odds pay at your true odds of winning, which means they don’t give the casino any advantage.
You should definitely take advantage of odds when playing this game. The one exception, though, is if you like using craps betting systems.
How do these amazing wagers somehow make betting systems worse? You can find out below by reading more on craps staking strategies and why odds don’t mix with them.
Examples of Betting Systems that You Can Use with Craps
Craps players use a variety of betting strategies. Here are three of the more-popular systems that are used with this game.
The Martingale is a highly risky, yet extremely effective, betting system. It’s also really easy to use when compared to other staking systems.
You need only follow three simple rules with the Martingale:
- Start with the table’s minimum wager.
- Double your bets after every loss.
- Return to the minimum wager following any win.
This system is so basic that any beginning craps player can use it. It also allows you to profit in the majority of sessions.
Here’s an example to show how easy it is to scoop profits with the Martingale:
- You bet $1 and lose (-$1).
- You bet $2 and lose (-$3).
- You bet $4 and lose (-$7).
- You bet $8 and lose (-$15).
- You bet $16 and win (+$1).
- Return to the $1 minimum wager.
In this example, you’ve lost four times and only won once. This single win, though, is enough to help you book a profit.
The Paroli is essentially the opposite of the Martingale. Rather than doubling bets after losses, you double wagers following wins.
Here are the steps to using the Paroli:
- Begin by placing the table’s minimum wager.
- Double your bet following any win.
- Return to the table’s minimum wager after any loss.
- Return to the minimum bet following three consecutive wins.
This craps strategy helps you capitalize on winning streaks. It also carries less risk than the Martingale due to the fact that you’re doubling bets after wins—not losses.
Here’s an example on how the Paroli can be effective:
- You wager $5 and win (+$5).
- You wager $10 and lose (-$5).
- You wager $5 and win ($0).
- You wager $10 and win (+$10).
- You wager $20 and win (+$30).
- Return to the $5 minimum bet.
The system is a bit more complicated than the two covered above. It requires you to create a number sequence and keep betting until completing it.
Here are the steps to using the Labouchere:
- Create a number sequence that represents your desired profits.
- Combine the first and last number in the sequence to determine your bet size.
- If you win, cross off the two numbers and move onto the next wager. If you lose, the bet goes at the end of the string.
- You continue in this manner until completing the sequence or running out of money.
The Labouchere can still be difficult to understand even when you know the rules behind it. That said, here’s an example on how it works:
- You create the following number sequence: 3, 4, 4, 2, 3 = $16 profit
- You win your first bet of $6 (3 + 3)—new sequence is 4, 4, 2.
- You win your next bet of $6 (4 + 2)—new sequence is 4.
- You lose your next bet of $4—new sequence is 4, 4.
- You lose your next bet of $8—sequence is completed and you win $16 overall.
Normally, Betting Systems Work Well with Craps
Betting systems call on you to take risky approaches to gambling. Therefore, you want to choose casino games and bets that have low volatility.
Lower volatility ensures that you’re not adding even more risk on top of the systems. Even-money bets ensure that you’ll deal with lower volatility.
Real money craps has several even-money wagers, including the following:
- Pass line – 49.29% chance of winning; 98.59% RTP.
- Come – 49.29% chance of winning; 98.59% RTP.
- Don’t pass line – 47.93% chance of winning; 2.78% chance of pushing; 98.64% RTP.
- Don’t come – 47.93% chance of winning; 2.78% chance of pushing; 98.64% RTP.
These bets are not only great because they have high odds of winning, but also due to their high RTP. Therefore, you get the best of both worlds when using staking strategies with this game.
Craps is actually one of the best casino games with regard to systems. It offers lower volatility than blackjack (42% chance of winning), for example, and higher RTP than European roulette (97.30% RTP).
Baccarat is perhaps the only game that beats craps in both of these respects. That said, you can’t do much better than craps betting systems.
Odds Make Systems Too Risky
This game is already great if you love betting strategies. Why not make it even better by adding odds the equation?
After all, odds are the only bets where the house doesn’t hold an advantage. The key problem, though, is that odds also require you to risk more overall.
Here’s a look at how much more you need to bet with odds involved:
- The table’s minimum wager is $5.
- 1x odds = $10 bet overall (5 + 5); 99.32% overall RTP (w/ don’t pass line bet)
- 2x odds = $15 bet overall (5 + 10); 99.54% overall RTP
- 3x odds = $20 bet overall (5 + 15); 99.66% overall RTP
- 5x odds = $30 bet overall (5 + 25); 99.77% overall RTP
On one end, you’re improving your chances of profiting by adding odds to the equation. On the other hand, though, you’re betting double, triple, or more in these instances.
Betting systems work best when you can place the lowest minimum wager possible. Low minimum bets are especially important with a high-risk system like the Martingale.
Here’s a comparison to show how you’ll hit the maximum table limit faster with the Martingale when using odds versus not:
With 1x odds
- $5 don’t pass line bet; 1x odds = $10 overall starting bet
- Table’s maximum wager is $500.
- You bet $10 and lose (first loss).
- You bet $20 and lose (second loss).
- You bet $40 and lose (third loss).
- You bet $80 and lose (fourth loss).
- You bet $160 and lose (fifth loss).
- You bet $320 and lose (sixth loss).
- You can no longer double wagers.
- $5 don’t pass line bet.
- Table’s maximum wager is $500.
- You bet $5 and lose (first loss).
- You bet $10 and lose (second loss).
- You bet $20 and lose (third loss).
- You bet $40 and lose (fourth loss).
- You bet $80 and lose (fifth loss).
- You bet $160 and lose (sixth loss).
- You bet $320 and lose (seventh loss).
- You can no longer double wagers.
Being able to last one extra bet may not seem huge. It is, however, a major advantage with a system like the Martingale.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from still adding odds to the mix. But you’re better off either choosing these special bets or using a staking system—not both simultaneously.
Should You Focus on Systems or Odds in Craps?
You should go with odds if you’re mainly concerned with long-term winning prospects. Odds will improve the RTP to its highest point.
If you’re looking to win in any given session and/or boost profits immediately, then systems work great. Many of them are designed to ensure that you quit sessions with a profit.
Of course, no betting systems can overcome the house edge. They aren’t going to improve your long-term chances of winning.
This leaves you circling back to whether you’re more interested in the RTP or immediate results. Staking systems can usually provide the latter.
The difference between using and not using odds with craps betting systems isn’t huge. Nevertheless, you face less risk when using betting strategies without odds.
As one of the examples showed, you can survive a longer Martingale losing streak with no odds involved. This single bet makes a big difference when using a betting system.
Of course, you’re better off in the long run when relying on odds over a betting strategy. Odds lower the overall house edge when combined with a pass line or don’t pass line wager.
That said, you may want to decide between odds or a betting system. Using both in combination, though, presents a riskier proposition due to the larger bet sizes.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …