Craps versus Blackjack

Ignoring the obvious, one is a card game and one is a dice game, there are a lot of differences in craps and – just as there are a lot of similarities. But there’s one major difference. A skilled dice influencer with a long-run SRR of 1:7 has an advantage on the individual bets that is pretty much constant if he does everything correctly. Oh, he will win some and lose some due to the variability inherent to the game. But over the long run it will all work out to his advantage.

A skilled card counter may have an advantage over the house when the composition of the deck is correct, but that advantage varies with the composition of the deck, how many decks are being dealt and how deep the dealer is dealing into the shoe, and the rules of the specific table he is playing. Therefore a card counter must effectively range his bets so that he maximizes his action when the deck is in his favor. The advantage craps player, on the other hand, only has to resize his bets as his bankroll increases or decreases. His edge is constant.

Let’s say our skilled dice controller tosses a six. On the next toss he throws another six. Then he tosses another, and another. Guess what? The dice still have the same number of sixes on them. The shooter hasn’t exhausted the supply. He may go on to toss fifteen or twenty sixes in a single hand and the dice will still be the same. But what about a single deck blackkjack game where all four aces have been dealt? Think you’re going to be dealt a blackjack on the last hand before shuffle-up? Not a chance.

Craps has one bet – the Free Odds bet – that actually offers a correct payoff. The house has no advantage over the players on the Free Odds bet. And if the shooter is a skilled dice influencer the Free Odds bet offers him a significant positive EV. After all, there’s no house edge to overcome.

BLACKJACK has no bet that offers a correct payoff. Yes, you can double after a split, but you cannot add additional money to an existing wager once the first cards are dealt. In craps you can put more money on the table all the way up to table max. Craps even has a bet – the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come – that allows you to bet that you will lose. The closest thing to that BLACKJACK has is the insurance bet.

Speaking of the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come – have you noticed how closely blackjack players resemble wrong way craps players? You don’t see them bumping knuckles with their neighbor or exchanging high fives. When was the last time you a blackjack player – or a dark side craps player – cheering at the table? Yeah, they are a quiet lot.

So why bring up the subject of blackjack in a craps article? Simply because blackjack is one of just a handful of casino games that CAN be played with a positive expectation. Even if you cannot count cards, blackjack offers an extremely low vig to those who can manage to play correct strategy. And sometimes having a second game is a good way to reduce some of the heat you’re getting at the craps table.

As dice influencers we have a huge advantage blackjack players will never have. With skill and practice we can develop a constant edge at our game. No, you won’t win on every toss. Craps is still a volatile game. But you can stack the deck in your favor.