Mastering Craps with Ted Knuden
Mastering Craps with Ted Knuden
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Mastering Craps with Ted Knuden
Mastering Craps with Ted Knuden

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If you've read the rest of my craps strategies area, you'll notice I differentiate 'strategies' from 'systems', although many writers fail to. To me, a craps system is a methodical routine that tells you exactly how to play. Craps strategies, on the other hand, are suggestions for styles of play or good bankroll management. The aim of both are supposedly the same, they want you to make more money, but those selling a system often try to convince you that this exact method will swing the odds into your favor and let you win in the long run. Sadly though, such a craps system simply does not exist. Craps is a negative expectation game, which means it is mathematically unbeatable in the long run, which means anyone selling a system to you is flat out lying.

Anything telling you that you can win consistently or beat the house is just trying to trick you. There certainly is a craps system or two out there that will let you win 6 times out of 7, it's just that the 7th time you end up losing more than your cumulative wins over the first six. There is no magic formula, and people selling systems are just trying to make a quick buck. If their system worked, they would be guarding it like gold and making a fortune playing for themselves. They would also be breaking the laws of mathematics, so more power to them if they manage that feat.

Most every craps system takes advantage of the million bets available on the table, and form a hedge. Hedging your bets means to cover one bet with another. Say you were playing roulette and betting 10 bucks on red. If you also placed 5 bucks on black, you would be hedging your original bet, ensuring that it doesn't lose completely. There is obvious false logic in such a simple example, but the examples don't always stay simple, especially in craps. Take this craps system as it was described to me a while ago:

Take $22. Place the six and 8 for $6 each, then place the 5 for $5. Put another $5 down on the field, leaving the only number not covered as 7. This means that on the next roll you have 30 ways to win and only 6 ways to lose. That certainly sounds like the player has the advantage, but do they really? Lets look at the expected outcome for this bet. Adding up all of the potential wins and losses, multiplied by the corresponding odds on making the specific bets, it works out that this craps system has a house edge of 1.136%. Now don't get me wrong, that's a very respectable house edge for any game, but remember that you could put $11 down on the pass line and back it up with $11 of odds for a house edge of only 0.85%. In fact there are a number of simple ways to get a house edge under 1%. Looking the 'system' straight in the face you realize you're betting $22 with the potential to make $15. You can do better than that.

This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Systems are designed to make it seem like the player has the advantage, but in reality the best they can do is come up with something that lowers the house edge a little more than playing randomly.

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