How and Why to Play Crapless Craps

Crapless Craps

Craps is one of the oldest casino games, and has existed in its current form for over a century.

This long history means craps is a popular game that has passed the test of time. But casinos like to put a fresh spin on older casino games – especially if it increases their edge.

Enter crapless craps, which is a variation on this time-honored game. Crapless craps add an interesting rule where you can’t lose on a pass line bet.

But does this variation help you win more often? Or is this just a gimmick by casinos?

Find out as I cover the rules of crapless craps, why you should play this game, the downside of crapless craps, and how this version compares to traditional craps.

Rules of Crapless Craps

Pass line is a bet that you make on the come out roll, which is the first roll of a new round. This wager wins when a 7 or 11 is tossed on the come out, and loses when a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled.

Any other number establishes a point. The point must be rolled before a 7 in order for pass line to win.

Crapless craps differ because you can’t lose on the come out roll. The reason is because 2, 3, and 12 are all point numbers in crapless craps.

But the catch is that 11 is also a point number. This means that the only way for you to win on the come out roll is by tossing a 7.

Once you get past the come out, normal pass line rules apply. This means that you need the point number to be rolled before a 7 in order to win.

Also, keep in mind that don’t pass line and don’t come bets aren’t available in crapless craps. This is bad because you don’t have a viable alternative to pass line.

Why You Should Play Crapless Craps

The main reason to play crapless craps is if you want to try something different than the regular game.

Perhaps you’re bored with how pass line bets work at regular craps tables. In this case, crapless craps offer an interesting alternative.

Another reason to try this game is if you have bad luck on the come out roll.

Maybe 2, 3, and/or 12 come up far more often than you’d like on the come out. In this case, you’ll be glad to know that these numbers won’t cause you to lose in crapless craps.

Another bonus is that the 7 at least gives you one option to win on the come out roll.

This is good because 7 has better odds than any other number in craps. 6 out of the possible 36 dice combinations can form a 7.

Downside of Crapless Craps

The biggest problem with crapless craps is that its pass line bet carries a 5.38% house edge.

This is really bad in comparison to a regular pass line wager, which has a 1.41% house edge. If your primary goal is to win, then you need to avoid crapless craps.

Why does crapless craps give you such a poor chance of winning?

This game seems good at face value because 2, 3, and 12 don’t cause you to lose on pass line. Instead, they’re neutral because they become point numbers.

The only thing that you’re sacrificing is the ability to win with an 11 on the come out roll. But if you take a deeper look at the math, this is a bad tradeoff.

Your odds of getting a 2 or 12 on the come out are 17:1. Your odds of landing a 3 or 11 on the come out are 9:1.

The problem here is that converting 2, 3, and 12 to point numbers doesn’t offset what you lose by not winning with 11.

This is why you face a 5.38% house edge, which is among the worst in table games. Let’s look at how crapless craps’ pass line bet compares to other casino games:

  • Video poker = 0.46% house edge (9/6 Jacks or Better)
  • Blackjack = 0.5% to 2.0% (varies by table rules)
  • Baccarat = 1.06% (betting on banker hand)
  • French roulette = 1.35%
  • Regular craps = 1.41% (pass line bet)
  • Pai gow poker = 1.46%
  • European roulette = 2.70%
  • Let It Ride = 3.51%
  • Online scratch cards = 5.0% (varies by provider)
  • Caribbean stud = 5.22%
  • American roulette = 5.26%
  • Crapless craps (pass line) = 5.38%
  • Keno = 10% to 40%

Strategy for Crapless Craps

Crapless craps is different from standard craps in terms of strategy.

This is because you’re facing a 5.38% house edge with the pass line bet. And you can’t get around this by making don’t pass line and don’t come bets because they don’t exist.

This means your best option is to make a Place 6 or Place 8 wager. Both of these bets have a 1.52% house edge, which makes them the best in crapless craps.

With Place 6, you need a 6 to be rolled before a 7. The payout for winning is 7:6, and your true odds are 6:5.

Place 8 works the same as Place 6 in terms of the payout and true odds. But the difference is that you need an 8 to be rolled before a 7 to win.

Keep in mind that some casinos only let you make place bets on 2, 3, 11, or 12 in crapless craps.

This is a huge problem, because Place 2 and Place 12 carry a 7.14% house edge, while Place 3 and Place 11 have a 6.30% house advantage. This makes these bets even worse than the pass line wager.

One more point worth making here is that some casinos allow you to place free odds behind 2, 3, and 12.

This is good because an odds bet doesn’t have a house edge. Instead, it pays at your true odds of winning.

Odds behind 2 and 12 offer a 6:1 payout, while odds behind a 3 deliver a 3:1 payout. Here’s a look at how the house advantage changes based on the amount of odds you bet:

  • 1X odds = 2.94% house edge
  • 2X odds = 2.02%
  • 3X odds = 1.54%
  • 5X odds = 1.04%

Even at 1x odds, you’re almost cutting the house edge in half. Taking 3x odds makes these bets about as good as a Place 6 or Place 8 wager.

If you’re able to bet 5x odds or higher, then you’re dealing with an even lower house edge than a regular pass line or don’t pass line bet.

Here are the instructions for how you place odds bets in crapless craps:

1. Make a Place 2, 3, or 12 bet.

2. Tell the dealer that you’re going to put odds behind your wager.

3. Place your chips behind your original bet (there’s no official space for odds).

4. You need your place bet number to be rolled before a 7 for both your regular bet and odds to come through.

How Does Crapless Craps Compare to Regular Craps?

The biggest difference between standard craps and crapless craps is the latter’s pass line rules.

As covered before, the pass line bet can’t lose on the come out because 2, 3, and 12 are all point numbers. But the drawback is that 11 also becomes a point, rather than delivering a win.

In standard craps, pass line wins with a 7 or 11 on the come out roll. And it loses with a 2, 3, or 12.

The other big difference is that crapless craps doesn’t offer don’t pass line and don’t come. This is a major downside because these wagers would normally help you bypass the unfavorable pass line wager.

Another notable change is that crapless craps allows you to bet free odds behind Place 2, 3, and 12.This doesn’t suddenly make crapless craps a great game, but it does help you reduce the house edge.

What’s the Best Craps Strategy?

If you want to exercise good craps strategy, then your first rule should be to avoid crapless craps.

This game features really bad odds on the pass line bet, despite the fact that you can’t lose on the come out roll. What’s worse is that you’re not able to make don’t bets.

Crapless craps only becomes further unplayable when you can’t make Place 6 and Place 8 wagers.

The best craps strategy begins with finding a regular table. If your casino only offers crapless craps, then you’re going to be at a major disadvantage.

The second step to perfect craps strategy is making either a pass line or don’t pass line bet and backing it with odds.

As explained earlier, odds bets don’t have a house edge. This means that you can improve your overall chances of winning by making this wager.

You must wait for a point number to be established before placing an odds bet behind your pass line or don’t pass line wager. You “take odds” when backing a pass line bet, and “lay odds” when betting behind don’t pass line.

Taking odds requires the shooter to roll the point before a 7 for you to win. Here are payouts on taking odds:

  • 2:1 on point numbers of 4 and 10.
  • 3:2 on points of 5 and 9.
  • 6:5 on points of 6 and 8.

Laying odds requires the shooter to roll a 7 before the point for you to win. Here are payouts on laying odds:

  • 1:2 for points of 4 and 10.
  • 2:3 for points of 5 and 9.
  • 5:6 for points of 6 and 8.

It’s to your advantage to take the highest odds available. But most casinos cap the amount of available odds to 5x or less.

Here’s how much the house edge drops based on the size of your odds bet:

OddsPass Line/ComeDon’t Pass Line/Don’t Come
0x1.41% house edge1.36% house edge
Full Double Odds0.572%0.431%
3x 4x 5x0.374%0.273%

The Cromwell in Las Vegas is the only place I know of that has 100x odds. Vegas’ Main Street Station is one of the few that offers 20x odds.

Of course, you need to be wary of making bigger odds wagers, because you also need the money to back them. Here’s an example:

1. You place a $5 pass line bet.

2. You take 20x odds.

3. This means you have to bet another $100, or $105 total.

Most craps players don’t have $105 to place on every bet, even if there isn’t a house edge. This is why you need to take your bankroll size into consideration along with the odds.


New casino games are fun to try, especially when you’re tired of classic games like baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette. But as we’ve covered with crapless craps, you also need to be careful when playing gimmicky games.

Crapless craps fools players with the promise that pass line bettors can’t lose on the come out roll. But the rules behind this proposition create a 5.38% house edge.

What’s worse is that you can’t make don’t pass line and don’t come bets. Sometimes you can’t even choose Place 6 or Place 8 wagers, which takes away all of your good options.

If you must try crapless craps, then I suggest keeping your bets as low as possible. This is, after all, just a gimmick used to boost the casino’s advantage.

Ideally, you’ll play regular craps games and back your pass line and don’t pass line bets with odds. This gives you the best chance to win and is much better than crapless craps.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.