Partner Play for Fun and Profit

Think about it. Why do you play craps? If you’re like me you play for two reasons. First, you want to win some of that money the casino keeps in the cage. Second, you enjoy the action. It’s just a fun game, and playing with a partner is a great way to win MORE money and have MORE fun.

Let’s look at partner play from the winnings point of view. How many times have you tossed a great hand only to count your chips and discover that you didn’t make any money? It’s not unusual for a dice influencer to get so deep in the zone while tossing that they ignore their betting. Even veterans like me fall victim to this.

In a recent group hook-up in Albuquerque I decided I would put my bets on auto-pilot so I didn’t have to concern myself with them during a long hand. I told the dealer that I would be pressing every other hit, regardless of which number rolled. Throughout the afternoon I tossed several hands in the high teens and low twenties. All of them fell well short of their potential from a winnings standpoint. Oh, I won money. But I left way too much on the table. Playing a simple $5 Pass Line bet with max odds and pressing every other hit beginning with the first box number tossed, over the course of a twenty number hand I won roughly $300. But when I sevened out I had $55 invested in my line bet with odds, $50 on the four, $35 on the five, $42 on the six, $18 on the eight, $10 on the nine and $25 on the ten. My net profit for the hand – around $65. At the other end of the table one of the local players had made over $400. Had I been paying more attention to my betting and less on my throwing I might have made more profit. Then again, my shooting may have suffered when I shifted my attention to my betting.

Partner play – and I’m talking about one partner that you play with regularly – can help take this issue off the table. Why? Because when playing with a partner using a shared bankroll you can pre-plan your betting strategies to include regressions and keys to turn bets off during your hands. And in the end you can turn more profit.

Some of the most successful pro craps teams I know of consist of just two players.  In most instances both of these players are skilled shooters who rotate tossing and betting assignments between them. However, some such teams operate with only one shooter and one betting specialist who passes the dice. They may play the right side of the game or the wrong way.

Generally the shooter takes up his preferred shooting position and limits himself to a Pass or Don’t Pass Line bet with odds when tossing the dice. The other team member runs the rest of their wagers according to a predetermined betting strategy. After one shooter has his turn with the dice the players roles are reversed.

In the event that only one of the players is a designated shooter the second player should take up a position straight out in order to defend the shooter’s landing zone. In this case the shooter plays a Pass or Don’t Pass bet with odds. The other team member runs place bet strategies and does not play the line. This reduced the chances that the dice will hit a chip, generating a random roll.

In some cases a shooter may prefer to shoot from the straight out position instead of from near the stickman. Some stickmen will deliberately interfere with a player’s toss from stick left or stick right. Generally this is not an issue when shooting from the straight out position. It is also easier to toss the dice on a straight-line vector to the back wall from straight out. The trade off is that the dice are more difficult to influence as the length of the toss increases.

There are two ways to play with a partner if you prefer shooting from straight out. The first way is to play at the same table with each of the team members occupying a straight out position and serving as landing zone blockers for one another. Betting would be handled the same as mentioned before – with the shooter playing Pass Line or Don’t Pass only and the blocker running the pre-planned place betting strategy.

The other two-person strategy is to play back to back on separate tables. By playing on separate tables the two shooters effectively double their opportunities to catch a hot hand tossed by another shooter. If one table gets hot it is relatively easy for the partners to advise one another and make room for each other on the hot table. While betting on random rollers is discouraged, there are many skilled shooters out there capable of tossing hands you can profit from.

A final approach to partner play is simply to play for increased comp credit.  Some players do this by betting the equivalent of the Doey-Don’t; that is, one player bets the Pass Line while the other player bets the Don’t Pass.  The only number that can hurt the team’s total bankroll is the Come Out 12 where the 12 is barred – or the Come Out 2 where the 2 is barred.  Both players could bet $100 each on the Pass or Don’t Pass and be rated as $100 bettors.  Use the hardway set to axle off the aces and sixes and a skilled dice influencer should rarely see the two or twelve.  If you’re interested in earning additional comps it’s not a bad play.

Whatever approach you take to partner play – make it fun.  My preferred playing partner and I always play about the same time of morning.  We rarely play more than 90 minutes.  We quit when we’re ahead and enjoy a great lunch compliments of the casino.  Then we sit around over desert and relive the day’s session throw by throw before calling it a day.  It’s a great way to play.