There are laws in place in certain states where an outcome may not be determined through a toss of the dice. This means Craps games, as we know them, are prohibited. However, clever casino operators have installed Craps games using cards instead of dice. Contrary to popular belief, this is a great opportunity because it offers an advantage to the player that is not available in a standard dice game of Craps.
The game of Craps played with cards is played exactly as is Craps with dice. The table layout is the same (with the possible addition of two colored boxes that determine the shoe to be used. You can also bet on those colored boxes.
The casino uses cards numbered ace through six (1 - 6) instead of dice. They also use a shuffle machine known as a "constant shuffle machine" because they don't bury cards as they are exposed, instead, they are immediately returned to the shuffle machine (that's why it's called constant). The same cards used to get a point on the come out roll may not be available to be drawn again until a new shelf is hit, making it disproportionately likely to throw a seven instead, resulting in a win for the wrong bettor. Remember that fact - we'll use it later.
After the point is established, two more cards are dealt to represent the next roll of the dice. That continues until the point is made or the "shooter" sevens out.
For the purpose of this article, I'm not going into the rules and/or strategies of the game of Craps. I'm assuming you already know them, and the purpose of this article is to point out differences and similarities of the Craps game played with cards as opposed to the dice Craps game.
The short and very sweet difference between the two is this: there is a very distinct and big advantage to playing Craps with cards if you are a "wrong bettor". You, the player, actually have the advantage over the casino and that is not found in any other game nor in any dice version of Craps.
Conversely there is a bigger advantage for the house if you're a "right bettor".
Is there any question as to how you should play the card version of Craps? The answer is obvious - you must be a wrong bettor. Put aside all objections you ever had to betting with the house and against the shooter. You are playing Craps to make money - not friends.
Why are the wrong bettors now in a position of positive odds? In other words, why do we players have an advantage over the casino? That's unheard of - after all, there are strategies that get the house advantage down towards "0" where the house advantage is small (in dice Craps as well as in other games), but nowhere at any time has the player actually had the advantage over the house - until now.
Here's the amazing news:
first, as stated above, the cards that established the point cannot be used again during a shooter's attempts to make the point. This makes a seven even more likely to come up before the point, resulting in a win. That's important, but that's not the best part...
In a game of Craps played with dice, laying odds is the way we get the overall odds against winning down to the lowest (best) number possible. That means we can reduce the house advantage to near zero.
However, in a game of Craps played with cards, by knowing when to lay odds against a number and how much to lay against a number, we get the odds down, past zero and into a very healthy advantage for the player. Here are the numbers:
laying odds against a 4 or 10 in a dice Craps game, results in zero advantage to the house (after figuring the don't pass and or the don't come - the actual odds give the advantage to the house: 1.364)
but, laying odds against the 4 or 10 in a card Craps game has the house advantage at -0.253. Yep - that is a negative number, and thus the advantage goes to the player - absolutely unheard of! California casinos like the Viejas in San Diego generously offer 10x odds (up to $1,000 winnings), so you should take full advantage of maximum odds against a 4 and 10.
Laying odds against a 5 or 9 in both games remains at zero - no advantage to the house nor to the player. So, lay your "normal" odds against a 5 or 9.
Laying odds against a 6 or 8 in a dice Craps game, results in zero advantage to the house.
But, laying odds against the 6 or 8 in a card Craps game has the house advantage at -0.207. Yep, another advantage for the player! Again, in California, lay maximum odds.
So, if the player laid the maximum odds on points of 4, 6, 8, and 10, then the overall player edge between the don't pass and laying odds would be +0.022%. That's amazing!
So, take advantage of this golden opportunity, and gratefully play Craps with cards instead of dice!