Craps betting systems

Many new players confuse systems with strategies. Strategies are all about how you play craps game, whereas systems are about how you will place your bets. Both focuses on how to reduce the house advantage and improve your own winnings, however, they approach the problem from different angles. There are many different systems out there, but the effectiveness of each varies. Some are better for different types of players, and some quite frankly don't work for anyone.

cpr-system.png The CPR stands for "collect, press, and regress". After the come out roll, you place a bet on a certain point. For the ease of calculating payouts, we will say you are placing your bet on an 8. If you bet £6 and the shooter rolls 8, then you collect a win of £7, putting you one ahead.
When your point is hit again, you tell the dealer to "press" your bet. He will place an additional £6 on your point, returning the second £1 profit for a current total of £2 profit. When the point is hit a third time, tell the dealer to "regress" your bet. The dealer will take your bet back to the original £6, giving you the £14 earned from your original place bet plus £6 from regressing for a total of £20 and a profit of £22 overall.

Obviously, your profit is contingent on winning, but your risk is only your original place bet. Besides the earlier mentioned Pass/Don't Pass bets, the 6 and 8 places have the lowest house advantage, making them the best bets for beginners and the most common place bets for the CPR system.

hedge-system.png Hedge betting, unlike other craps systems, does not focus so much on betting with the lowest house edge as with betting to protect the player. A hedge bet is used to counter another bet. A hedge bet is usually a small bet with a high payoff meant to compliment a large bet with a low payoff. An example of this is betting big on the Pass Line and then hedging that bet with an "Any Craps" bet. If the player bets £10 on the "Pass Line" and £2 on the "Any Craps", they have a total investment of £12. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 then the "Pass Line" bet is lost but the "Any Craps" bet will yield £14 for an overall profit.
This sounds very logical but in truth is not a great system because you are now dealing with two house advantages and a hedge bet of "Any Craps" is against a house edge of more than 11%. The likelihood of you hitting one bet is slightly raised, but not enough to compensate for the additional expenditure on an unlikely payout.

iron-cross-system.png If you hang around craps players for any length of time, you're bound to eventually hear someone mention the Iron Cross betting system. It's the most popular system in the world, and for good reason โ€“ it results in a win 80% of the time!
But like every other betting system out there, the Iron Cross is a member of the "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" camp. But before we debunk this system, here's an explanation for those of you out there who have yet to run across it.

The Iron Cross isn't really a betting system, it is more a combination of two different craps bets. Players who want to place an Iron Cross bet simply place a field bet and a place bet on the 5, 6, and 8.
If you recall the field bet, it is a bet that you can make at any time. It wins when the dice land on a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 and it loses when the dice show 5, 6, 7 or 8. The field bet pays out 1:1 except when the dice land on 2 or 12. When the dice land on 2 or 12, the casino pays 2:1 on your money.

At the same time, you make a place bet on the numbers 5, 6, and 8. With both bets in effect, you win on every number except seven. Not a bad bet, right? Wellโ€ฆ actually, it is not that great of a bet. It is not the worst bet in the casino but there are many better ones available. So it sounds great winning 80% of your bets, but that is a meaningless statement without breaking it down into real numbers. The problem with the Iron Cross bet is that when a seven hits, you lose all your bets at once. The other problem is that sevens appear quite frequently (4 and 3, 5 and 2, 6 and 1).
If you add up all the times you win and then subtract the few times you lose, you'll see that the Iron Cross bet will actually result in you giving up about a 3.87% advantage to the house. If you just stick with the pass line bet, you'll only be giving up a 1.41% advantage.

If the Iron Cross isn't so special, why do so many people use it? Some people use this system simply because they don't know any better. Someone might have told them it works, they might have read about it somewhere, or whatever โ€“ they just think it works. Other people realise the system doesn't negate the house advantage but they use it anyway because they find it fun to win 80% of their bets! There's nothing wrong with giving up a little edge to have a good time. As long as you understand what you're doing, you can consider it the cost of an evening of pure fun.

paroli-system.png Here we talk about a positive progression betting system, making it the opposite of the Martingale. Instead of increasing your bets after every loss like in the Martingale system, the Paroli requires you to increase your bets after every win and decrease them after every loss.
It is a much more stable betting system than the Martingale because it never requires you to wager more money than your beginning bet. The only time the bets increase in the Paroli is when you win and let your winnings ride. If you are determined to use a betting system at the craps tables, the Paroli is definitely the one to use.
Imagine you want to use it on the pass line at a craps table. The first thing you will need to do is decide your starting bet and choose how long you want to allow wins to ride before you restart the system.

In this example, we will say that after three wins in a row, we will start the system over:

    Bet - Outcome - Net Win
  • £5 - Win - £5
  • £10 - Win - £15
  • £20 - Win - £35

New Round:

    Bet - Outcome - Net Win
  • £5 - Win - £5
  • £10 - Win - £15
  • £20 - Loss - -£5

As long as you realise that the Paroli betting system does not do anything to overcome the house advantage, there is nothing wrong with using it at the casino. It is a pretty stable because it doesn't require you to get in over your head like the Martingale system. The Paroli is a useful bankroll management tool for players who have trouble sticking to their self-imposed betting limits. By using this system, you never wager more money out of pocket than the amount of your beginning wager. Using the example from above, you start out with just £5 and then let it ride every time. Your bets increase in size but you never have to pull out more than £5 at a time from your pocket.

Some gambling theorists will argue that money you have already won, whether you pocket it or not is still money you own and should not be counted separate from your bankroll. Although they are technically correct, the Paroli system is still useful for keeping players from dipping too far into their gambling bankrolls.
Some websites claim that the system takes advantage of hot streaks and minimises losses during cold streaks. Although it can be fun, the premise of hot and cold streaks is fundamentally flawed. There is no such thing as a "streak" in gambling. Every roll of the dice, a flip of the coin, or spin of the wheel is an independent and random event. There is no such thing as being "on a streak". Every time you throw the dice, the odds of any particular result are exactly the same no matter what has happened recently.
For example, if a coin is flipped five times and happens to land on heads every time, it does not mean you are on a heads streak. The past results look like a streak but that doesn't tell you anything about future coin flips. There is still a 50-50 chance the coin will land on heads during the next flip. What that all means is that the Paroli system doesn't really take advantage of streaks or make it any more likely that you will win. Even so, that doesn't mean it is completely useless. It is still a fun way to exercise the old gambler's adage of "playing with the house money".


There are all sorts of systems being advertised on the internet, but you have to realise you are most likely paying for just a better way to lose money. Many experts offer tips, strategies, and basic system information for free on their blogs, and will back this data up with tables and true odds.
Regardless of what craps system you choose, it is important to go into the game knowing that you're not the favourite, but might be able to hit a few nice bets.