What is ‘5 Count’?
‘5 count’, or ‘five-count’, is a craps term which refers to a playing strategy where the player selects which shooters to bet on, rather than the numbers they are rolling. To use the 5 count system, players must count five turns in succession where the player showed good luck over bad – at which point, bets should be made with the hope of cashing in on the streak.
‘5 Count’ Explained
If a craps player refers to using the ‘5 count’ system, they are talking about counting the number of successful or positive rolls made by a shooter, and betting only when a desirable count is reached. The system is often used by gamblers as it is thought to create an advantage for the player, but it does not class as cheating or dishonest play. Instead, players are essentially looking for ‘lucky’ players and making their bets based on that luck.
In craps, one player acts as the shooter and rolls the dice, while the other players bet on the outcome of those dice. The shooter takes a single turn to begin – the come out roll – and aims to hit one of the point numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. Seven or eleven in the first roll is a win for the shooter and a loss for bets against them, while 2, 3 and 12 rolls count for losses. Once a point number is rolled, the shooter enters the second round. They make repeated rolls in the hope of reaching their point number again, while avoiding the seven which ends the turn. Meanwhile, players bet on each roll of the dice and on its outcome.
To find a player who is likely to stay on the dice and hit their point number frequently, players might employ the ‘5 count’ method. Players start their count at one when the player establishes a point, and counts out the next four turns – presuming a seven is not rolled. On the fifth roll following the start of the count, players must watch closely to see what is rolled. If the shooter hits a point number on the 5 count, they are now ‘hot’ – and seen as a good option for betting high on due to the hot streak.