Before reading this craps strategy page, hopefully you had a look at the rules and the odds pages. The reason for this is that without this necessary background, understanding the strategy might not be as clear as it could be. Being familiar with the rules of the game as well as the odds that each of the bets offers aids in comprehending the logic behind the strategy and why it's being suggested.
Anyone can come up with their own craps strategy given they know the basics of the game and have some common sense. Coming into the casino, you have to fully understand what a casino really is; it's not a charity where they give in should you be on a losing streak, be aware that the longer you play a negetive expectation game, the better the chance you'll lose cash. The casino ensures, in more ways than one, that they will always come out on top. There are of course chances to win - if there wasn't who'd want to play? But what makes you a winner is how you play, especially at a game like craps. It's all about the strategy and where you put your money. Yes, you could get lucky and win by chance, but that's a slim chance we're talking about. There are two key components of a successful craps strategy:
There are some things to consider when playing the game of craps, the first being your bankroll. A person needs a certain amount of self-discipline when it comes to craps, where you can easily have loads of money riding on the table at once, spread around a multitude of bets. Money management quickly becomes a key component in a game like craps. The best idea is to set aside a specified amount of money to gamble with and once that's gone, you should be gone from the casino. It's easy to fall into believing that playing for a given amount of time will eventually benefit you. If this was true, everyone would walk out of the casino a winner, but that doesn't happen that often, does it? The truth is that the casinos wouldn't profit if this was the case; in fact, they would lose tremendous amounts of money and no one goes into business to lose. My personal money management strategy is fairly modest. I begin a craps session with a predetermined amount of money, which depends on the minimum of the table. If I'm playing a $5 table I usually take 75-100 dollars as my full bankroll. If the table is hot and you're winning, it's very easy to double this small bankroll in a short amount of time. My rule of thumb is, I start with $100, if I double it I pocket the original $100 and only play with the $100 of winnings. If I double it again I pocket the $100 winnings and play out what I have left again. This way the majority of my play is done stricktly with winnings, and I never walk away down. For this to work of course, you have to manage to double your bankroll before losing it. I figure, if I can double my bankroll before losing it more often than not, then in the end I'm making money playing craps.
There are several ways to avoid getting into financial trouble and still enjoy the liberty of gambling. Depending on what your bankroll is, you should limit your bets to a certain amount so that you can extend your time at the table, and if you truly enjoy the game, play where there is a low table minimum, you'll get more time out of your bankroll. Whether it's pocketing a given percentage of your winnings each time or leaving the table once you reach a certain minimum, both are good methods to play a trouble-free game. Everything has to be done in moderation, and gambling is no exception to this rule.
Part of a good craps strategy is to avoid the high house edge bets. Although the payouts are significantly better than the come or pass line bets, the chances of winning them are virtually nonexistent, unless you're willing to lose a lot of money for one victory, which even then probably won't make up for what you've lost. Remember that the higher the house edge on a given bet, the worse off you'll be making it. Yes, I know they look nice and yes, they look quite promising also, but that still doesn't help your cause. The last time I was in vegas I played some bad bets just for the variety (which is why most people play them, to get away from the pass line for a bit and add some spice) - I took to trying for a hard six, but after a week in vegas with at least one bet on hard six for each session, I hit a grand total of 0 hard sixes.
If you're looking for a good strategy, forget about any "gut feelings" because they can't predict the future. If a table feels hot though, I do suggest you go with it, if only for the fun time you're likely to have. Remember, just because a seven hasn't shown up in a while, does not give it a greater chance of coming up on the next roll - the odds are still the same. Often, players get the urge to place bets other than the pass line and come bets, because the offer more excitement. I agree that being more spontaneous at times gives people that much sought after adrenaline rush at the craps table, but it can also helps empty your pockets quicker if you're not careful. Bet high house edge bets rarely, and only with your winnings. Before playing the game, first identify what your intentions are. Do you want to play the most efficient way and increase the likelihood of winning or do you want to enjoy yourself to the fullest? Based on that, you'll know how closely you want to follow my craps strategy advice, and how much you want to wing it.
If you're not convinced, read the craps odds page.