30 Jan

Craps Strategies – The Iron Cross

The Iron Cross Craps Strategy: Simplicity at its bets!

Execution of the Iron Cross Craps Strategy – Simplicity at its BetsGambling strategies come a dime a dozen. For every game that can be wagered on, there are at least a dozen ways to do it more strategically. In craps, we know that certain options have much better odds (lower house edge) than others, and that avoiding the high-edge bets is imperative. We’re taught that Pass Line and Max Odds are the right way to play the game. But it’s not the only way.

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Like most gambling games, craps strategies come in all shapes and sizes. In this case, they come in the shape of a cross – an “Iron Cross”, to be precise.

The Iron Cross Craps Strategy

The Iron Cross is a strategic betting system in which players can easily cover every possible number (except the 7) with four small bets. If any number hits (except the 7), a profit is made. The danger in the system is, of course, the rolling of a 7.

Here’s how it works. For ease of explanation, we’ll assume the table minimum is $5, and place all minimum bets. Note that the Place 6 and 8 wagers pay 7:6, therefore we must place these bets in increments of 6 (i.e. $6).

  1. Wait for the shooter to establish a point.

  2. Place the following four bets:

    • $5 Field Bet
    • $5 Place Bet on 5
    • $6 Place Bets on 6
    • $6 Place Bets on 8

This image shows what the craps table should look like with your Iron Cross bets in place.

Craps Strategies – The Iron Cross

Now, if the shooter rolls anything but a 7, all other numbers will generate a profit. The best numbers to roll are those in the Field section, since Place Bets remain on the table until they win, or the shooter craps out (rolls a 7). If a Place Bet wins, the Field Bet will lose, but not as much as the Place Bet wins. You’ll need to replace the Field bet before the next roll.

All things considered, here’s the net win (total win minus loss) you can expect when the shooter rolls any number you bet on.

  • 2 wins $10

  • 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 wins $5

  • 5 wins $1

  • 6 or 8 wins $1

  • 12 wins $15

Rolling a 7, of course, wipes the board clean of all your bets, costing you $22. When this happens, wait for another point to be established, then replace the Iron Cross.

What Are the Odds?

Mathematically speaking, the odds of rolling any 7 are 16.67%. That leaves an 83.33% chance of rolling a profitable number. In this regard, the Iron Cross strategy looks quite tantalizing. However, let’s remember that rolling a 7 means losing the entire $22 bet in one fell swoop. Our 83.33% odds of winning come with a profit of anywhere from $1 to $15, with the $1 win being 8x as likely as a $15 win.

Here’s a quick chart to help explain it all:

3, 4, 9, 10, 1138.89%$5.00$0.00$5.00
6 or 827.78%$7.00-$5.00$2.00

You’ll notice there’s no Total for Win, Loss or Net. That’s because, to find that total, we must multiply the odds by the win/loss rates. In doing so, we get an average win/loss per roll of:

RollAvg Win per RollAvg Loss per RollNet Win/Loss
3, 4, 9, 10, 11$1.94$0.00$1.94
6 or 8$0.56$0.00$0.56

Like all craps strategies, the Iron Cross crap strategy is going to present a negative expectation. However, after crunching all those number, we find that for every $22 Iron Cross bet you place, your negative expectation is only -$0.25. That translates to a house edge of 1.136%. That;’s higher than the supposedly lowest house edge bets of 1.41% on Pass Line, and 1.36% on a Don’t Pass.

Learn about other craps betting systems and strategies:

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