Craps strategies take advantage of the seeming complexity of the game. The rule of thumb for casino games is that the more complicated the rules are, the better the odds are for the player, and vice versa. For example, slot machines have a very high house edge. They're also very easy to play. On the other hand, blackjack has a very low house edge IF you've memorized basic strategy (which can be quite a challenge in and of itself.)
That's not to imply that a skilled craps player can get an edge over the house. Some craps strategies involve trying to control how the dice land. I'm skeptical about dice control as a practical craps strategy, but I suppose it's possible. But for me, the best craps strategy involves sticking with the bets which have the lowest house edge. And when I lose money, I just chalk it up to the cost of entertainment. And that's one thing that craps can offer you in spades. No casino game is more exciting or fun than craps.
Craps Bets and Winning Craps Tactics
What makes craps seem complicated is the large number of bets which are available. And craps has a language all its own, and the action at the craps table is fast and furious. This combination of factors can intimidate new craps players, but it needn't intimidate you, because you're reading this site. And this site has a single purpose--to make craps strategy and tactics simple for the novice.
The only bets you really need to understand at the craps table are the pass line and the don't pass bets.
The Pass Line Bet
When you bet on the pass line on the come out roll (the first roll in a series of rolls with a particular shooter), you're betting that one of two things is going to happen:
1. The shooter is going to get a 7 or an 11 on her first roll.
2. The shooter is going to make her point.
If the shooter gets a total of 2, 3, or 12 on the come out roll, then you lose your pass bet.
If the shooter gets ANY number besides 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12, then that sets the point.
What does it mean for the shooter to make a point?
That means that if the shooter rolls the same total as she got on her come out roll on any subsequent roll, the bettors on the pass line win their bets.
The shooter rolls until she makes her point or until she gets a 7. If she rolls a 7 before making her point, then the pass line bet is a loser.
The Don't Pass Bet
What's a "don't pass" bet? It's exactly the opposite of the pass line bet. When you place a don't pass bet, you're considered a "wrong bettor." Most people prefer to root for the shooter, but some people don't care, and they always bet the don't pass bet.
This bet pays out whenever the pass line bet loses. (Except in the case of a 12 on the come out roll, which is considered a tie.)
The House Edge
The house edge on the pass line bet is 1.41%, making it one of the bet bets in the casino. If you bet $100 per roll, over time, you'll average a loss of just $1.41 per bet. That can make for a lot of entertainment at a pretty low price.
The house edge on the don't pass bet is 1.36%, so it's a slightly better bet, if you don't mind rooting against most of the rest of the table. I'm willing to pay the extra nickel per bet average in order to enjoy the camaraderie at the table.
If that sounds too simple, then that's because it is. Once the come out roll has happened and a point has been set, you have the option to place an additional bet, and this bet is called "taking odds." The brilliant thing about taking odds is that it has a 0 house edge. This is the only bet in the casino where the casino pays out at exactly the same rate as the odds of winning the bet.
The odds bet varies from casino to casino, but it usually has a maximum equal to a multiple of your original bet on the pass line. When you combine the odds of winning on the come out roll with taking odds, you wind up with a VERY low house edge game. In fact, the odds become less than 1%. This makes craps the best table game in the casino, unless you count cards in blackjack. (Which can hardly be considered "fun.")
All of the Other Craps Bets
All of the other bets on the craps table have significantly worse odds than the pass line and the don't pass bets. And that's especially true when you take into account taking odds.
So what's the best craps strategy? Always bet on the pass line, and then always take the maximum odds you can when a point hits.
Then relax and enjoy the excitement of the game. Since the house edge is SO low, you can have LOTS of fun and even come home a winner on a pretty regular basis. And craps isn't nearly as complicated as you though, is it?