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The game of craps has undergone some big changes in casinos with the addition of certain feature or bonus bets that pay jackpots. With these changes, some players are using new strategies. Here we will take a look at some of those new strategies. No strategy is being endorsed and each player is urged to play a strategy that is right for their own budget, temperment and interest in the game.


Update February 28, 2016  Up until just a couple of years ago, the game of casino craps was losing its allure and its floor space in American casinos. Players just weren't going to craps tables the way they did in the 1970s and gamblers didn't play craps like they did when they were rolling dice as GIs during World War II. By the 1980s craps was losing interest and market share to slot machines and to video poker and other traditional games such as blackjack were gaining in popularity because of the news that so-called "advantage players" who could count cards could have an edge and beat the casinos. At the same time, there were no advantage craps players and only stories of a few players who could beat the casinos.

What changed the game of craps and rescued it from oblivion in the era of slot palaces was the development of new bets that offered big jackpots. These new bets included the Fire Bet which offered a jackpot of as much as $1,000 for every $1 bet, and the ALL bet which offered a jackpot of as much as $176 for every $1 bet.

Fire Bet layout. Discs show points made.
Top bet pays 1,000 to 1.

With the Fire Bet if a shooter established and made all of the points -- 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 -- in his turn then the jackpot of 1,000 to 1 was paid. There were smaller jackpots for 5 different points made and for 4 different points made.

ALL pays 175 for 1 in Bonus Craps.
SMALL pays 35 for 1. TALL pays 35 for 1.

With the ALL bet if a shooter made all of the number combinations on the dice before throwing any 7 the bet would be paid 175 to 1 (or 176 for 1). There were other bets for making the SMALL numbers of 2 through 6 and if those numbers were all thrown before any 7 the bet would be paid 35 for 1. There was also a bet for the TALL numbers of 8 through 12 and if those numbers were all thrown before any 7 the bet would be paid also at 35 for 1. (Check the exact wording at each casino offering these exotic bets.)


These new exotic or jackpot bets -- also called bonus or feature bets -- brought new life and interest back to the craps pit because it gave craps a jackpot that until now had been available only for machine games such as slots or video poker. Now, craps had a bet that could return a big profit for a small amount of money, just like a bet of $1.25 in video poker could return $1,000 for a royal flush.

Until the jackpots for the Fire Bet and the ALL bet came around, the biggest payoff on a craps game was 30-to-1 for the one-roll bet of a 2 or 12 being thrown. The appearance of payoffs like the 175-to-1 for the ALL and the 1,000-to-1 payoff for the Fire Bet also brought in the new blood of jackpot-seekers without a lot of money. It is because of those players without a lot of money that there had to be a new strategy for playing craps. The new strategy is really simple: you want to be at the table when the big, hot rolls come so that there are payoffs on the Fire Bet or the ALL. So what do you do?

Until the addition of the jackpot bets the only way to win big money at craps was to bet big money, and this was because the payoffs for most bets on the table were limited. For example, the passline bet paid "even money" so a $5 bet paid $5. A bet on the "place 6" paid $7 for every $6 bet. Betting that a hard-6 would be rolled (3 and 3 showing on the dice) before any 7 or any other combination of 6 (4-2 or 5-1) were rolled paid $10 for $1 bet. The new jackpot bets changed that.


Perhaps the best strategy for winning a lot of money without having much money at the craps table is to make only these jackpot bets. Some casinos will allow a bet only on the Fire Bet and only on the ALL bet. But some casinos will require another bet on the table and that would include the Pass or the Don't Pass bets which have the lowest house edge or advantage.

But if a casino does require a second bet in order to allow a player to make the Fire Bet or the ALL bet, there is no requirement that the second bet must continue to be made. This means, for example, that you could start with a $5 pass line bet and a $5 Fire Bet and should the shooter make his first pass you don't have to make another pass line bet and your $5 Fire Bet will continue to "work" or be active.

Consider this strategy for the Fire Bet: You make a $5 passline bet and a $5 Fire Bet for a total outlay of $10. The shooter's first throw of the dice is a winner 7. You are paid $5 for your passline bet and the $5 Fire Bet stays active. At this point you can take the $5 win on the passline and put it in your pocket, and remove your $5 passline bet also and put that in your pocket. The result is that you have your $10 back and the $5 Fire Bet is still working and could get you as much as $5,000 if a hot roll follows.

Consider this strategy for the ALL bet: You make a $5 passline bet and a $1 bet on the ALL. You also make a $1 bet on the SMALL and a $1 bet on the TALL. Your total outlay is $80. The shooter throws the dice and rolls an 11 -- a winner called the "Yo" which is also a "natural" or a come-out winner for the passline. You are paid $5 for the "winner 11" on the passline and you are one roll closer to winning the ALL and the TALL bets. You put the $5 passline winning bet in your pocket and you take down the passline bet of $5 and put that in your pocket. You now have $10 in your pocket and an initial outlay of $8 and you could still win $35 on the SMALL, $35 on the TALL and $175 on the ALL.

There is a distinct advantage for low-budget players making these bets: you get to cheer along with the high rollers on the action betting a small amount and your liability is limited to the loss only on these exotic bets. In some casinos table minimums are high or very high, but these exotic bets start at $1 so theoretically you could play at a $25 minimum bet table or even at a $100 minimum bet table for only $1 on the Fire Bet or $1 on the SMALL or TALL or ALL bets. With the Small, Tall, All bets you are not required to bet all three wagers. Check with the casino to be sure of their policy.


There might come a point when you might be close to winning the 1,000-to-1 Fire Bet or the 175-to-1 (176-for-1) ALL bet but you might think about hedging your bet in case the final winning number is not thrown. Generally hedging is bad at craps because every bet on a craps table carries a house edge or advantage. So when you hedge one losing bet you are simply giving the house more money to hedge another losing bet. Yet, a hedge can lock up some profit if not a big profit.

With the Fire Bet if a shooter has made five of the six points and is working on the final point (in the photo above the 8 is the final point) a player could bet a No-8 (laying the 8) which will pay off if the shooter sevens-out.

Recently I saw a player hedge the ALL bet when a shooter needed to throw a 4 before a 7. The player made a big bet on the No-4 with this strategy in mind: if the shooter throws the 4 he will get a big payoff on the ALL and if he throws a 7 before the 4 he will get a big payoff on the No-4.

Whether or not you want to hedge is up to you.

To sum it up, these exotic bets allow low-budget players to have big wins and to be at craps tables betting even when they don't have a budget to make the regular bets with high table limits. The exotic bets have made craps more affordable and at the same time given more players a chance to win big with their small budgets.


With the Fire Bet there is no need to hedge the come-out roll. No matter what is rolled on the come-out the Fire Bet is never impacted. If you have a Fire Bet made and there is a craps on the come-out roll there is no impact. If a winner-7 is rolled on the come-out or a winner-11 is rolled on the come-out there is no impact on the Fire Bet. Of course what you do want is the come-out roll to show a point that hasn't been made yet because you need to make at least four different points for the smallest of the Fire Bet payments.

It is different with the Small, Tall, All Bets. With the STA Bets any number rolled will help you except a winner-7. Remember that the goal of the STA Bets is to roll all of the numbers without rolling a 7. When you roll a 7 you lose your STA Bets. That means a winner-7 will make your STA Bets lose even though your passline bet will win.

Because a winner-7 on the come-out roll will make your STA Bets lose some strategy adjustment might be necessary.

One strategy is to be sure your passline bet equals or exceeds the value of the STA Bets. For example, you bet $25 on the passline and $5 on each of the STA Bets. This way, if a winner-7 is rolled your $25 passline win will give you a profit to replace your STA Bets.

Another strategy is to make an any-7 bet to "insure" your STA Bets. Some players will not like this because the any-7 bet, or any combination of the 7s bet, have high house edges.

Another strategy is to have a passline bet that is equal to the value of your STA Bets so if you are at a $15 minimum bet table you will have $15 on the passline and that will cover $5 bet on each of the STA Bets.

There is another strategy option and that is to just suck up the loss of a winner-7 when your STA Bets lose and your passline bet doesn't cover them. This strategy is simply to just replace them.

Here on our new media website "Moneyman" Alan Mendelson who is the original Best Deals TV Show reporter on KCAL9 and consumer advocate, shows you the best deals on TV, and the best buys, bargains and where savvy shoppers go to save, and how to get the most for "your money" with the best of Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura County, Riverside County and San Bernardino County. Some content on is paid advertising. The Best Buys TV Show is a paid infomercial program which may also include news and information which is not sponsored or paid for by advertisers.

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