Playing Craps With a Partner

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 our recent Emeritus member 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.

Let’s run through an example. And feel free to check my math on this. If I mis-pay a bet it won’t be the first time. We’ll assume you and a partner decide to play with a total bankroll of $2000. It’s a $10 3-4-5X odds game. Each of you buys in for $1000. Each of you plays a pre-determined strategy when the other is shooting. With a total bankroll of $2000 the shooter could play the pass line and take max odds. The shooter’s partner could start out with $160 across working on the come out. The shooter sets a point and the partner collects from $35 to $50 and comes down off the point. Remember, they’re playing partners and they already have the point on the Pass Line. Coming down off the place bet on that number reduces your total exposure to the seven. For the sake of this example we’ll say the shooter’s point is ten. The partner collected $50 (less $1 vig) on the come-out win and took down his $25 ten. That’s a net $49 win. The shooter takes 3X odds giving him a total of $40 on the Pass Line and in odds. The ten had netted the team $9 on the Come Out.

Next the shooter tosses an eight. Since he has no action except the line bet and odds he has nothing to think about but his next shot. He stays in his shooting zone while his partner collects $35 and says “same bet.”

On this third toss the shooter throws a five. Again the partner collects $35. That gives the team a total of $79 in winnings, and it’s time for the partners to regress. The partner says “Bring all my action down then give me an $18 six and eight.” This gives the team a total of $76 action and a $3 guarantee for the hand. Now they’re prepared to win. They have three numbers working – the six, the eight, and the ten on the Pass Line.

Let’s say they picked the right number to place and the shooter tosses an eight next. It pays $21. The partner locks up the win and you have a $24 guarantee for the series – and we’re only four tosses into the hand.

On the fifth and sixth tosses the shooter throws an eleven followed by another five. Then, on toss seven he tosses a six. It pays $21. Since the five has shown up twice we’ll go ahead and place the five for $15 and lock up $6. Total guarantee for the series is not $30 and we have $91 action total.

The eight shows up again on toss eight. It pays $21. Let’s press the eight $6 and lock up $15. We now have a $45 win guaranteed and $106 action.

On roll nine the shooter scores a Pass Line win by tossing a hard ten. He locks up $70. The combined win jumps to $115. The team is in fat city.

Once again the team is working on the Come Out. The shooter gets a Pass Line bet and the puck moves to the eight. He takes $50 odds. Meanwhile his partner collects $28 on the eight. The guaranteed win goes to $$143. But the shooter has an additional $20 in free odds compared to the last hand so we’ll reduce that guarantee to $123 total.

At this point the partner executes a pre-planned regression. He has a total of $65 in remaining place action. He tells the dealer to “Make it look like $34 inside excluding the point” and locks up an additional $31. The combined guaranteed win jumps to $154 and all of the action on the layout – $94 total – is paid for. On the next toss the shooter sevens out. End of hand – and if the partners colored up and moved on each would have won $77 on the exchange. If they continue to play, the dice move over to the partner, who is the next shooter, and we repeat the entire process.

Now, partners should also have a plan on how to handle other shooter’s at the table. You might consider playing a doey-don’t, with one player making $10 Pass Line bets with single odds while the other player plays $25 Don’t Pass bets and places the six and eight for $12 each for one hit and down. Or you might want to have different strategies when betting on Randies and known DI’s. But the key is to have a defined strategy that each player follows meticulously.

Is this kind of play fun? Well, it’s certainly fun when you head to the cage. Then you can take a break, grab a comped meal from one of the casino restaurants, recap your adventure and plan the next one. Knowing you don’t have to worry about betting when you’re the shooter also takes off a lot of the pressure to perform. And sharing these good times with a friend makes tossing a great hand all the more enjoyable.