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The Secrets of Basic Craps Tournaments

Pssst...! Wanna know a secret?

How about the secrets of basic tournament play?

If you are a regular crapshooter, you might want to enter a craps tournament some day. Some of these contests are free to enter, some cost a few hundred dollars, and a few cost quite a bit more, depending on the prize money. Several casinos also have weekly craps tournaments with no entry fee and a low $50 buy-in, just to bring people in the door.

Wanna know how craps pros succeed at basic tournament play?

Let's find out!

In a tournament you make different bets than you would in a normal craps game. You are no longer playing against the house, but against all of your fellow contestants. Your goal is to have the most money at the end of a certain number of rolls (like 100), or a certain amount of time (like 30 minutes). This means you need to keep an eagle eye on the chips in the racks of your fellow players and be aware of their bets.

Let's say, for example, you have $300, your closest competitor has $200 and he bets $90 on the six and eight. You need to aware of the consequences of the six or eight rolling. In this case, he'll jump ahead by $5 (enough to win). Your strategy might be to match his bets to stay ahead.

Or, what if you're in second place with $200 and the number one player has $300? You've placed the six and eight for $90 each and he matched you. Maybe you might bet hard ways or prop bets. You must do something different in order to overtake the front-runner.

Some people who are close to last place resort to bets not normally made - like betting a large amount on the two or twelve. In the last few rolls of the game, they realize it's the only way they can win.

When you begin play, you'll see that there are conservative players, playing pass or come with maximum odds, and aggressive players who bet hard ways and proposition bets. If these aggressive players continue, they'll usually (but not always) lose their money before the final round. If you're in the group playing pass/come, you need some way of breaking out of the pack - like waiting for two consecutive points to be made and then jumping to the don't. You have to start doing something the other players are not doing in order to win.

Let's say the leader has $100 on the pass line and the point is 4. He takes $200 odds. You could then lay the 4 for $200. If a seven rolls, he would lose $300 and you would win $100. You've got to try things, be inventive, and make bets that the other players wouldn't think of making.

For example, in the last few rolls of the game, you must become super aggressive if you're behind. Sometimes this means betting all of your bankroll on one number. Say eight is the point and the leader is $300 ahead and has $100 on the pass line with double odds. You're in third place, and all you have left is $300. You might place the whole $300 on the six, take it down after it hits once, and then pray that a seven rolls before the eight does!

Tournaments are not for everyone, but they're fun to play, especially the inexpensive or free ones. Give them a try. You're sure to learn a lot, make some friends, and maybe some good money as well!

Pssst...! Now you know the secrets of basic tournament play!

(c) 2005 by Larry Edell

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