Crazy Crapper

You now know everything you need to know to get your feet wet playing craps. Still, as you have no doubt noticed, there are a multitude of betting possibilities on the table layout that we have not mentioned yet. The reason for this omission is a simple one-these bets stink! They are what the Captain calls "Crazy Crapper Bets" because you have to be crazy to make them. All carry heavy house edges of from 5 percent to 16 percent or more. What follows is a brief description of the bet and the house edge. These are also known as proposition bets. These bets can be made at any time, even during the come-out roll, and they can be working (at risk) or not working (not applied to the next roll of the dice). They can also be taken down (withdrawn from play completely) at the player's request.

Some casinos will offer more attractive odds on the bets that are shown here during promotional periods, or during competitive wars with other casinos. However, the best of these special promotions only reduce the odds enough to make them less horrible.

By the way, most of these bets have exciting crapsy-type names. Here's a good rule of thumb-if the name sounds good, the bet is bad!

Any Craps This is a one-roll bet that the next roll will result in a 2, 3, or 12. Since there are four ways to make all these numbers, the probability of this happening is one in nine, giving us true odds of eight to one. The casino pays off at seven to one. Casino edge: 11.11 percent.

Any Seven (Big Red) A one-roll bet that the next roll will be a 7. Since there are six ways to make the 7, the probability of this happening is one in six, giving us true odds of five to one. The casino pays off at four to one. House edge: 16.67 percent.

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Game Selection

Game selection is the key to winning at poker. You don't win money at poker by being a good player. You win money by being a better player than the others at your table. Don't forget this. For this reason, it's important to learn all the games that are available to play. If you see a really good Omaha/8 game, you want to be able to play in it. You don't want to be shut out of the best game in the room because you only know how to play hold'em.

Learn how to play hold'em, seven-card stud, Omaha, and hi-lo split games. Don't be ashamed to play at a lower limit than you usually play at. The best game, the game with the most profit potential, isn't always the biggest game in the room.