Craps: Learn the “fundamentals”

A game as daunting as craps is probably the least inviting to those who don’t understand it’s many betting options. For a beginner, learning the fundamental bets (or the basic betting strategy, as some would call it) is a great way to ease your way into the game – something that could easily take a year before you’re comfortable taking more chances.

A fundamental bet in craps is just another way to say how you should bet. Most people steer newcomers in the direction of the pass line bet. This bet has the lowest odds for the house, but also one of the lowest returns. That’s fine, you don’t need to be joining in on the table screaming just yet. Let’s say you play a $5 table. If it has 10x odds, you should make a straight $5 pass line bet and take the odds, since this gives you a “fundamental” edge over the casino house odds. The payoff, of course, would be $50 on the win.


This is just the first as easiest way to get yourself up to an online craps table and be part of the action without worrying about losing your shirt to a game you’re not familiar with. At some point, though, you’re going to want to research the odds on the other bets. Craps offers a wide variety of gambling options to increase even more your advantage against the casino, and if you’re going to take the time to play the game, you’d be doing yourself a great disservice by not having all the information available to you.

Then again, many players make a living (sometimes figuratively speaking, sometimes not) at the pass line, don’t pass line and call bets. All are very easy to learn, are relatively “safe” bets, and if you hit a hot table, they can carry you to some very nice profits. Being able to commit to something like this requires patience and a decent-sized bankroll, as with any grind, there’ll be times when you have to ride out a cold streak, and that’s where the bankroll size might come into play.

Craps is a great game with some of the best odds in the casino. It requires a great deal of strategy and skill for a dice game. I enjoy playing it for at least a half hour to an hour at a time, and admittedly keep my bets fairly “safe.” Eventually, I’ll throw myself 100% into that world and be ready to take on more advanced strategies and betting combinations.