Turbocharging Crapless Craps

Although most DI’s love the game, deep down inside we all know that “Crapless Craps,” also known as “Never Ever Craps” is a terrible game.  It’s unique properties – elimination of the eleven as a natural winner and turning the 2, 3, 11 and 12 into “hard” point numbers effectively ratchet the vig on the pass line up to a whopping 5.382%.  Placing single odds will reduce the vig to 2.936%.  Double odds reduces it further to 2.081%.  But it is not until you get to 5X odds that the vig gets halfway respectable – down to 1.042%.  So Rule number one for playing Crapless Craps is to only play if the game offers at least 5X odds on the Pass and Come bets – and only make those bets when you are the shooter.

Odds on the place bets and buy bets are the same as on a traditional layout, so Rule number two would be to stick to the lowest vig bets by placing the six and eight and buying the four and ten.  The four and ten buy is especially attractive if the casino doesn’t collect the vig until after the win.

Now, imagine that you have $5 on the line and the shooter establishes the twelve as his point.  You place full 5X odds behind the line bet and have a total of $30 in action.  What would be the correct pay off if the shooter made the point?   There is one combination of the dice that adds up to twelve.  The six-six.   But there are six combinations that add up to seven.  Therefore, the correct true odds on the twelve are six to one.  In our example, if the shooter made his point we would be paid $5 for our line bet, and $150 for our $25 free odds bet, for a total payoff of $155.

If the three or eleven is established as the point, the correct true odds payoff is three to one.  Using the same example as above, a five dollar line bet with 5X odds would pay a total of $80, five for the line bet and seventy-five for the free odds bet.  The rest of the numbers pay the same as in a traditional game.

Now let’s take a look at place betting for Crapless Craps.  Obviously, the traditional 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 bets are played – and paid exactly the same as in a standard game.  The vig on these bets is no different than what you are used to.  The major difference in this game comes with the placing of the “extreme outside” numbers, the 2, 3, 11, and 12.  The pay off odds for place bets on the 2 and 12 is 11:2.  The pay off odds for place bets on the 3 or 11 are 11:4.  As with the five and nine – you must bet an even amount of money to get a correct pay off on the extreme outside numbers.  On a five dollar table the minimum correct bet on the two or twelve would be six dollars.  For a correct pay off on the three and eleven you would place eight dollars.  Placing an incorrect amount will result in a reduced payoff, which increases the already considerable vig.  The  11:2 payoff on the 2 and 12 yields a outrageous house edge of  7.143%.  The 3 and 11 run a close second with an edge of  6.250%.  That is why most veteran players “buy” the extreme outside just as they would the four and ten.

A Buy bet is similar to a Place bet except that in most jurisdictions you pay a 5% commission up-front in exchange for receiving a true payoff if it wins. The commission is based on the amount wagered. For example, if you wanted to make a $20 Buy bet on the number 11, you’d put down $21 in the Come area and tell the dealer “Buy the 11”. He or she will move $20 to the number 11 point box and place a BUY button on top it. The extra $1 (5% of $20) is the vig for the house. The result is that you’ll win $60 (3:1) instead of $55 (11:4) for a place bet in the same amount.  If your bet wins and you want to keep it up, you’ll have to pay the dealer another $1 commission. The vig is returned if you remove the bet before it wins or loses.

Casinos have long allowed green chip bettors to buy the four and ten for $25 and only pay a $1 vig.  Since most casinos don’t keep fifty-cent chips at the table, the vig is traditionally rounded up or down – depending on the size of the buy bet.  Because of this rounding policy, you can often buy a number for as much as $30 and still pay only $1 for the privilege.  In some jurisdictions, casinos are even more generous.  Most Mississippi casinos, for example, will allow you to buy a number for as much as $39 for a $1 vig.  That reduces the commission from 5% to 2.56%.  The very best casinos will fix the break point at $39 and only charge the vig after the bet wins, which reduces the house edge even further.  The thing to remember is that the vig not only varies from casino-to-casino – it can vary from box man-to-box man within the same casino.  If you do not ask for a better deal you will not get it.

Is there a way to turbocharge your place bets on the Crapless Craps game?  I think there is.  And the secret lies in a couple of old friends many of you are familiar with – the Field bet and the Crossed Sixes pre-set.

Let’s start out by placing all the numbers across on a $5 Crapless game.  You’ll need to drop $60 on the layout for this action.  It breaks down to $6 each on the 2, 6, 8, and 12, $8 each on the 3 and 11, and $5 each on the 4, 5, 9, and 10.  Now let’s turbocharge this action by tossing in a $5 Field bet and see what happens.

Toss the 2 or 12 and you’ll be paid $33 for the place bet plus $10 (double the Field) for a total of $43.

Toss the 3 or 11 and you’ll be paid $22 for the place bet plus $5 from the Field for a total of $27.

Clearly, it doesn’t take many hits on the “extreme outside” numbers to pay for all of your place action and put you in a position of power.  Now let’s look at the rest of the payoffs.

Throw the 4 or 10 and you’ll be paid $9 for the place action plus $5 from the Field for a total of $14.

Toss the 5, 6, or 8 and you’ll be paid a net of $2 – winning $7 on the place bets while losing $5 on the Field bets.

Toss the 9 and you’ll be paid $7 for the place bet plus $5 from the Field for a total of $12.

Last of all, toss the 7 and everything falls.

Considering the above, let’s take a look at how the numbers should roll on-axis with the Crossed Sixes. There’s one way each to win on the 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12.  You’ll find two ways each to win on the 5, 6, 8, and 9.  That’s 14 ways to win versus just 2 ways to lose on the seven.  In other words, you should get seven winners for every loser.  And if you go by the distribution of numbers – 25% of the time you’ll toss extreme outside numbers utilizing the Crossed Sixes pre-set.

Is this a play you’ll want to undertake?  That depends.  It depends on your bankroll and risk tolerance.  It depends on your ability to influence the dice.  It depends on whether or not you are willing to take the strategy to the practice table and give it a whirl before risking your hard-earned cash at the casino.

Test it out on the practice rigs – then let me know how it goes.