So you're a dice shooter, eh? Would you rather spend an hour at the craps table, or in your boss' office? Would you rather fill out spreadsheets and eat fast food at your desk, or read five star menus and have cocktails with high rollers? These are probably hypothetical questions for the average person . . . who really likes working in a cubicle or delivering pizzas on the side? If you're looking to make a living playing craps, you'll have to approach it as a lifestyle choice, not as a whimsical weekend jaunt into a life of luxury. It would seem that most professional gamblers (and there are professional gamblers) don't even get much joy out of gaming, and I would go so far as to suggest that getting joy out of gambling hinders your ability to make a living. For those of you still interested, here's my best advice.
For starters, you'll need to read up on the game. Ironically enough, there is a book called How to Make Your Living Playing Craps, written by Larry Edell - yes, that Larry Edell, purveyor of CrapShooter.com and author of multiple books and eZines on craps and other casino games. Unfortunately for Larry, and for those who pay good money for his book, most craps players find this book practically useless. Reviewers of the book on Amazon.com say things like "waste of time", "the only person who will make money with this book is the author", or "I doubt it very much if anyone takes this book serious[ly]" - the main complaint seems to be that there is very little in the book that would actually teach anyone what the title claims, and instead focuses on outmoded and standard craps techniques covered for free elsewhere on the web.
Playing craps for "a living" means making a business of playing craps. Treat this endeavor the way you would treat an interest in starting any new business or job, where you would do some standard research before investing your hard earned money. You will, of course, need to be a pretty good craps shooter, have a solid bankroll, and know how to carry yourself in the casino. But how can you turn an interest in gaming into a profession?
Any number of supposedly "safe methods" exist for slow but steady earning patterns in the game of craps. As an example, there is the standard "controlled shooter" method -- find a controlled shooter and bet off this guy. You should look for a shooter that takes care at setting the dice and throwing them in a controlled manner so they fly through the air and land the same way at the same part of the felt every time. This is a player who knows his way around a pair of die, and the controlled shooter method requires you only bet on this type of shooter's game. Controlled shooters are often difficult to find . . . you might find a couple per day, you might not find any.
Standard behavior for craps amateurs (dangerous bets) is to pick up the dice and toss them at random, sometimes off the table itself altogether. When you find one of these shooters, only bet the pass line with odds and then take out two come bets with odds. Each time a come bet is won, put it back up (or even increase it) until the shooter you are watching hits 7 and goes out. This is a simple method, almost amateur it is so easy, but its proponents say it results in a much more likely reward for your patience. The truth is, any single method is likely to lose you money in the long run.
The point of the example is you can't just learn a method and stick with it win or lose. John Patrick, in his book John Patrick's Advanced Craps, says it this way:
"Seventy percent of craps players get ahead at one point in their casino visits. Of that seventy percent, ninety percent give back their winnings . . . and then some."
What is John Patrick's message? Know when to walk away from the pretty green table. Consider this a "business plan". How much do you plan to win? Most importantly, when you win this amount, walk away from the table with your head high and your wallet heavy. Realistically, one cannot play craps "to have fun" and to win at the same time. Yes, winning is fun, but once you've started to win your way into fun, you have to walk away from it. If you hit your goal in the first 10 or 15 minutes of play, you're just as likely as the craps newbie to get restless, irritable, and discontent -- and to walk away a loser.
Making a living at craps means running your life like a business, I can't say this enough. Rarely has there been an entrepreneur in any line of work who simply threw money at a store front and ended up turning a profit. Sam Walton, of Wal Mart fame, says it like this: "Information is power". Part of your "business plan" (which should already include bankroll management skills on top of your knowledge of the game of craps) is working tables, testing "methods", reading up on new strategy (because no single method or strategy should ever be relied upon by itself), and sharing what you've learned with others. That's right - there is no better way to perfect a winning business plan than by sharing it with others, even if this just means a handful of choice individuals.
Don't forget that at best, playing any single method, you'll only win in the short term. This is another reason to pick at a table in short bursts, and leave while you're ahead.
I can already hear some of you saying "Alright, but according to you, there doesn't seem to even BE a way to make a living at craps". Unfortunately for you naysayers, there are plenty of people whose business is made at the casino. What do they do? How do these gurus make their paycheck in the casinos?
The answer is not all that exciting. Professional craps players bet the pass line and take odds. They place their bets on the 6 and 8, like their hard gambling mamas taught them to do. When these guys get so antsy they can't stand it, they might press a place bet or two. Occasionally, they pull BACK, placing just the 6 and 8 without betting the pass line. Thrilling stuff, I know . . . but the difference between these guys and you is - they make a living playing and you punch the clock.
Decide your risk capital before starting the session, and walk away from the table if you lose it. After digging through several dozen "methods" and talking with pros, it seems this is the final answer. Don't get sucked in by a strategy, no matter how solid it looks. Bet the best odds, play your bankroll and know your limits. Here's hoping you pay for your next house doing what seems impossible - earning money at a craps table.