Cheap Craps: A Full Player’s Guide

If you’re here checking out the craps table minimums, chances are that you might be new to the game or looking to play on the cheap. If either of these holds true, then good news! I’m a long-time student of playing craps and having fun while spending as little as possible. I’m here to share my secrets with you.

A Few Disclaimers

Before we get into how I like to play, there are a few important things that you’ll need to keep in mind when starting out:

  1. Craps is Not Beatable – Yes, I said it. You will lose at craps over the long term, just like all other casino games (Poker being an exception as the casino makes money via the rake instead). Always play for fun and hope for profit.

  2. Your Bets Go Farther Than Other Games – Because the average player will roll at least a few times before crapping out (rolling a 7), many of your bets will stay up for awhile. You may not win, but at least you’re still in the game.

  3. Understand the Basics – If you’ve ever cautiously sauntered up to a craps table and observed the action, things can seem a little…intense. Players will be tossing out chips all over the place, spouting out terms like “High Low” and “Horn High 12” that don’t seem to make any sense. On the surface, the game can seem insanely complex and daunting, but it really doesn’t have to be. If you want to learn how to play, there are a ton of guides out there. My favorite beginner’s guide to craps can be found here.

Got It! How do I Play Craps Cheaply?

I’m glad you asked! The key to having fun at craps and enjoying the game for as long as possible is to understand what bets give you the most longevity. This also means giving just a little more house edge to the casino. Statistically speaking, the best way to play craps is to make a bet on the pass/don’t pass bet and stack the odds as far as the house allows. The reason for this is that odds bets don’t give the casino any edge. You’re split 50/50 in your chance to win.

That’s all well and good, but if it goes poorly for you, you’re gonna bust out in very short order. You came to play and have fun, not get smoked and lose your whole buy-in in two rolls, right?

How We Play Cheap Craps in Atlantic City

Note that I’m not making any guarantees whatsoever that you’ll make money; you’re still gambling after all. Still, it can be a fun way to play some cheap craps, and we always have fun with it. Here’s our sequence of play assuming a $10 craps table:

  • On the Come Out Roll: Normally, we don’t play anything on the come out roll, though we may throw a dollar on Eleven or Any Craps.

  • Skip the First Roll After the Point is Established: I’m not superstitious, but it just feels bad to lose a bet right after the point is set. So I just skip it.

  • Time to Bet!: Normally we’ll pick a number that has a low house edge (6 or 8). This will cost you $12 at a $10 table. After a shooter craps out, we’ll switch it up and throw $5 on two hardways bets (4 and 10). This keeps you in the game and can win you some decent money if they come through, but allows you to keep things cheap. Technically, your bet is below minimum, but I’ve never been questioned if I’m betting a number every other roll.

So there you have it! Not the most fast paced way to play, but it’ll keep your stack around for awhile even at the coldest of tables. It’s also a low-stress way to play craps when you’re just starting out. How do you play? Let us know in the comments!