The most important thing to remember when looking at the numbers involved in casino craps is that it is not an exact science. This article briefly explains the various relevant factors and summarises the rather complex probabilities table.
Craps, like all casino games, remains a game of chance – impossible to predict with absolute certainty. This means that to play casino craps by the numbers simply means making the most informed decisions that you possibly can, which will increase your chances of winning in the long run.
If your craps is a little rusty or you’re new to the game, you’re better off thoroughly familiarising yourself with the rules than worrying about probabilities at this point. But there’s no harm in getting the gist of probabilities in the meantime.
The Role of the Dice
Unsurprisingly, since everything in casino craps comes down to how the dice land, they come under much scrutiny. Imperfections, excessively worn edges or unbalanced weights can seriously sway the outcome of a game. So, casinos take every possible precaution to ensure that they are not tampered with. Of course, when you play online, you’re dealing with certified random number generators (RNGs) designed to mimic the action of real-life throws. The upside of this is that issues like wear-and-tear and dice tampering are null online, and reputable casinos have their RNGs independently audited to ensure total fairness.
What’s more significant, then, is the statistical probability of each of the various possible number combinations being thrown. Since the game is played with two six-sided dice, each bearing the numbers 1 to 6, there are 11 possible number combinations (between 2 and 12) in casino craps.
Add to this the fact that the numbers on the opposing sides of a craps die always add up to 7. This is why 7 is, statistically, the most common result when you roll a pair of craps dice. This becomes rather significant when you start considering probabilities.
Basic Casino Craps Probabilities
As we have already explained, it is not advisable for the inexperienced gambler to try and memorise the entire craps probabilities table. Suffice to say that, because of the aforementioned arrangement of the dice, probability becomes a little less natural (but no less guaranteed) in craps than it would be in a real-life situation.
The bottom line is that, the closer the combined value of the two dice is to 7, the more likely it is that it will appear. In other words, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 will appear more often than 2, 3, 10, 11, and 12 – in theory. So, for now, it’s fair to assume that the first lot of numbers is a safer bet than the latter group. But this is only true up to a point.
For one thing, 2, 3 and 12 are craps on the first throw but meaningless after that. Also, beware of 7 because, like 11, the only time it’s of any good to you is also in the first throw, where it will win you a natural. This leaves 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 for the next round: point.
What to choose for Point
As mentioned, the numbers available for points are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. There are six ways to roll a 6 or an 8 and four ways to roll a 4, 5, 9 or 10. In other words, it’s more probable that you will roll a 6 or an 8 than that you will roll any of the others.
However, the better the probability, the worse the odds. That’s how casinos make their money. It’s up to you to play it safe with high probability for a small potential payout or risk lower probability for the chance to win big.