Iron Cross Craps Strategy: The Complete Guide

Iron Cross Craps Strategy: The Complete Guide

Craps is one of the most popular casino games, and you’ll find it played among people who don’t even usually go to casinos. Winning is quite difficult, though, and you should know about the different strategies and rules available before you start playing. One that you might hear frequently referred to is the irons cross strategy. 

Using the iron cross strategy won’t guarantee that you’ll win, but it’ll go a long way toward improving your chances of doing so (if used correctly). Today, you’ll learn all the basics of the iron cross system in craps and how to play it. 

We’ll also cover the odds for the iron cross system in craps and the pros and cons of using it. Moreover, you’ll learn about why it’s popular in the first place. Without further ado, let’s get started. 

Is Craps a Game of Skill?

Playing craps does require an element of skill and understanding, but it’s also largely luck-based. The skill comes in understanding when to place different bets, but other than that, you’re pretty powerless in influencing the result of each round. 

Craps involves rolling dice, which means that the outcome is very random. Even if you went into serious depth, such as thinking about how the speed of the dice being rolled could influence the numbers you get, you’re fighting an uphill battle. 

Nonetheless, it is still worth knowing about different betting types because they can increase your chances of winning. At the very least, knowing about strategies – like iron cross – will make the game more enjoyable. 

What Is the Iron Cross Craps System? 

The iron cross system in craps is a bit more complex than some of the other betting strategies you can use, but it’s still worth learning about. With this system, you place bets on different parts of the table; it combines field and place bets. 

Because you cover more aspects, the iron cross system provides more opportunities to win money. However, your payout will differ depending on what you choose. 

While some craps strategies focus on winning big and taking more risks, the iron cross system is the opposite. Your aim is to make incremental gains over a longer period, meaning that you have to stick in the game for the long run to make bigger profits. By covering most of your bases, you might find it easier to achieve this. 

The Iron Cross Craps Strategy Explained

Let’s now look at how the irons cross strategy works in principle. As mentioned earlier, it covers the field and place bets. Here’s a quick explanation of these two: 

  • Field bet: The field bet covers 2, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12. 
  • Place bet: The place bet covers 5, 6, and 8. 

When you place these bets, you’re covered on the different combination bets involving each of these. As you can see, the only number not covered is 7. If the dice lands on a total of 7, you automatically lose. 

In theory, you’re guaranteed to win much of the time as it’s unlikely that you’ll hit a 7 every single roll. This is despite the fact that 7 is the most commonly rolled number in craps. However, things are not as simple as placing your bets and watching the money roll in; if they were, casinos would probably not let you use this wager as much as it doesn’t make sense for them to give away money. As you’ll see shortly, the odds differ for different combinations. Subsequently, your payout is different depending on the result. 

See also: How to Win in Craps

Unbeatable Iron Cross Craps: Is It Possible? 

The iron cross strategy covers more numbers than many bets in craps, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to never lose. 7 is the most common number that’s rolled in craps, and you are therefore highly likely to lose at some point. While you don’t have to get a specific combination with the iron cross bet (as long as you cover the included combinations), you will lose all of your money if a 7 is rolled. 

The truth is that regardless of your strategy, you are not going to win every single time at craps. Making big profits is very difficult, and the game isn’t designed to let you win. You’re also always on a knife edge because all it takes is one defeat to lose everything. 

Instead, a better choice is using the iron cross strategy for damage limitation and when you aren’t sure what to do next. You can then think about what are your next moves should be with better accuracy.

craps game dice

Iron Cross Craps With Pass Line

Since the iron cross bet in craps involves losing if the dice roll a combination of 7, you might be thinking about whether it’s possible to further reduce your risk. Using the iron cross in craps with a pass line bet is one option that some players opt for, and it can manage your risk – but it still won’t 100% reduce it. 

First, we need to cover what the pass line bet is. In simple terms, you’ll bet on the dice landing a combination of 7 or 1. However, you lose if the bet gets 2, 3, or 12. You place this bet before the Come Out roll, which is the first roll of the dice in each game. You win if a 7 or 11 is achieved on that roll. 

When you place a pass line bet, any number of other than the winning combinations (7 and 11) and the losing ones (2, 3, and 12) will become the point. The total number will then need to be rolled again before 7; if it is, you win your pass line bet. 

Does this invalidate the risk of rolling a 7, then? 

Well, no. If you don’t win on the Come Out roll, you will still lose if a 7 is later rolled. It’s a good way to cover your bases in the beginning, but it’s not an absolute certainty that you’ll win. Knowing how to use these bets will also be very difficult if you’re a beginner as even learning how to use one is challenging enough. 

You can experiment with different bet combinations once you become more experienced in craps and you know how each game works. However, trying to overcomplicate things in your early days isn’t a good idea. 

Can You Consistently Win at Craps?

While craps has a lower house edge than many casino games, it’s still quite difficult to regularly win (and pretty much impossible to win every time). To win at any game of chance, you need a huge element of luck; there’s pretty much no room for error, which is unlikely to hold up for extended periods of time. 

Having said that, you can mitigate your chances of losing. The first is to be very clear of how much you’re willing to play and then thinking carefully about how to allocate your bets. You can do this by thinking carefully about your budget and not delving too far from this. 

By playing craps more regularly, you’ll also become more familiar with how the game works. While this is certainly not a guarantee that you’ll be successful, it will still give you an upper hand. You’re better off playing craps for fun, though; like any other casino game, it’s not a reliable source of income. Anything you make is a bonus. 

See also: What Is the Come Bet in Craps? (+ Other Things You Should Know About Betting in Craps) 

How to Use the Iron Cross in Craps

Now that you know the basics of using the iron cross strategy in craps, let’s look at how you can make the most of it.

If you’re not going to place a pass line bet, you should wait for the Come Out bet and to find out what the point bet will be. After doing that, you can set your field and place bets. The tricky thing is to manage all of your wagers and ensure that you’re doing things correctly, as the odds will differ depending on what you choose. 

Once you’ve placed your iron cross bets, you can then decide what your next moves should be. You aren’t tied to the iron cross strategy for the whole of your game, so if you don’t think that it’s effective anymore, you can always pick something else. 

Irons Cross Strategy Odds 

Before placing iron cross bets in craps, understanding the different odds is essential. The house edge with an iron cross strategy can drop from 1.52% to 1.14%, giving you a slightly bigger payout if you’re successful. 

The amount of money you win with an iron cross strategy will depend on what you land on. For example, if you land on a 2, you’ll win a 2/1 payout (i.e. double your original stake). 

Most of the numbers covered by the iron cross strategy in craps will pay you out at evens, which means you’ll get your stake back plus profits equal to what you staked. These numbers are: 

  • 3
  • 4
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11

You can land each of the above in any combination; it doesn’t matter as long as the totaled number matches those. 

Meanwhile, you’ll win slightly more if your bet lands on 5, 6, or 8. If you bet $22 across your bets, you will make a $2 profit on these numbers. The reason is that you’ll lose the field bet but win on your place bets. Again, it doesn’t matter what the combination is – as long as the final number that these land on reaches these. 

crap table casino

The Pros and Cons of the Iron Cross Strategy in Craps

To decide if it’s worth using the iron cross strategy in your game of craps, you should first think about the pros and cons of doing so. To help you do that, we’ve broken down the biggest benefits and drawbacks in the sections below. 

The Pros of Using the Iron Cross Strategy

Mitigated Risk 

One of the main reasons to use the iron cross strategy in craps is that your level of risk is lower. You will cover more bases, which means that you’re not relying on a specific combination. Even though 7 is the most commonly rolled combination in craps, there is an argument that you’ll still benefit from the fact that this isn’t always going to happen. 

If you’re in a sticky situation during craps where you’re on a losing streak, implementing the iron cross strategy might help you gain a bit of momentum and continue going. You might also manage to recuperate some of your losses, giving you the opportunity to play for longer. 

More Chances of Payouts 

Because you’re covering most of the combinations available with the iron cross strategy, you also – as a byproduct – have more opportunities for winning a potential payout. Although each one will differ, it’s still possible that you’ll receive money on the majority of rolls. 

However, you should still note that because not every payout is the same, your guarantees of profiting over the long run are still not guaranteed. So, you should think carefully about whether it’s worth implementing the iron cross craps strategy; if you do, you should then track your profits and losses. 

Lower House Edge

Another huge advantage of using the iron cross strategy is that you can lower the house edge by around 0.4%. Because of this, you’ll receive a better payout if you win than would otherwise be the case. 

The Cons of Using the Iron Cross Strategy

Lower Risk = Lower Reward 

The main problem with using the iron cross strategy in craps is that because it’s lower risk, it’s also lower reward. This is the case with every “safe” bet in every casino game; the odds are lower because the probability of winning is higher. Even if you win more frequently, you might still profit less than you otherwise would have. 

Despite being lower-risk than other strategies in craps, you’re still not guaranteed to win each time. So, you’ll need to think about whether it’s worth still approaching this strategy or picking something else. 

All the Information You Need About the Iron Cross Craps Strategy in One Place 

The iron cross strategy is one of many that you should learn when playing craps, even if you don’t plan to use it all the time. It can help you mitigate risk in certain situations, and you can also make a better return on your investment than you would with other bets and methods. The iron cross craps strategy covers multiple winning combinations, and as long as you don’t land on 7, you’ll get some kind of payout. 

The flip side, however, is that 7 is the most common combination rolled in craps. As a result, the risk is slightly higher than it otherwise would be. Rather than relying solely on this strategy, it should be one of many tools that you can turn to when needed. 

Now that you’ve read this guide, you should hopefully have a basic understanding of the iron cross craps strategy and how to use it in your games.

See also: What is the Pass Line in Craps: Understanding Odds, Bets, and Strategies