Craps is one of the most popular, action-packed casino games out there, and among the few that are played with dice. Fun fact, it is also one of the oldest games in the world still played in modern casinos. By some accounts, it was Roman soldiers who invented the game, while other sources state that it originated from Arabic merchants in the 12th century. The game developed over centuries and finally reached France in the 17th century with the modern American form emerging in New Orleans in the 18th century. If you’ve even walked through a casino floor, you'd be hard pressed not to hear the cheers from a craps game in progress and yearn to know what all the excitement was about. So, time to learn the game and get involved in the action!
Craps players must first know about the personnel. Usually, there are three main types of personnel at a craps table. Let’s meet them. First up, is the box person. They’re in charge, responsible for supervising the game, chips, and handling disputes between dealers and players. To the box person's right is the 2nd base dealer, while the 3rd base dealer stands on the box person’s left. The stick person is the one who moves the dice around the table with a long hooked stick and the player throwing the dice is called the shooter. The very first move in a craps game is the ‘come-out roll’. The shooter begins by rolling a pair of dice with three possible outcomes.
Here are a few bets that players can make in craps:
The Pass Line Bet means that you are betting on the shooter to pass (or win) by rolling a natural (7 or 11) or by winning a point before they ‘seven out’. The bets made by the players are moved to the numbered positions on the craps table if the shooter is trying to score a point. If they do so, these wagers win. A craps number (2, 3, or 12) will lose in this bet.
In this bet, you bet on the shooter to not pass (or to lose). This means that the shooter gets a 2 or a 3 on the first roll, or they fail to roll a point before a 7 is rolled out again. Rolling a 12 in this bet is called a push. If a 12 is rolled out, then you neither win nor lose. Rolling a 7 or 11 in the first roll means you lose the bet.
The players have to predict what the next roll is going to be. The Come Bet wins if the total is 7 or 11. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, the Come Bet loses. If a point is rolled out, then it becomes a Come Bet point. This then goes on to work just like the Pass Line Bet. If the Come Bet point rolls out before a 7 does, your bet wins.
This is similar to the Don’t Pass Bet. If the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, it’s your lucky day. If it’s a natural roll (7 or 11), you lose. If a 12 is rolled out, it is a push, just like the Don’t Pass Bet. If a point is rolled out, you win only if a 7 is rolled out before the point. Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come Bets need to be played out fully; you cannot pull out of these wagers before the game ends.
This bet is active only for one dice roll. You win only if a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 is rolled. All these numbers are also written inside the field. If the shooter rolls a 5, 6, 7, or 8, you lose. This bet is suggested for beginners as it is easier than the others to understand.
In the Place Bet, it is the dealer who determines the point. The point numbers here include 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. Once the point is set, the players can place their wagers. If the point numbers come before a 7 is rolled out, you win. If not, you lose.
In this bet, the players call out the bet and then toss their chips onto the table. The stick person positions them into the betting area of your choice. These are riskier bets.
Craps is a game with quite a wide range of payout odds – from 30:1 to 1:1. The payout is determined by the true odds of a bet and the house edge. True odds mean the probability of winning a bet. This is different for each bet.
Pass Line/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come Bets have similar odds. These are considered low-odds bets where you have a 49.3% chance of winning. Place Bets have a 45.5% chance of winning while the odds are 44.4% for Field Bets.
The craps table is generally three and a half feet wide by twelve feet long. It is covered with green felt that has a diagram printed on it showing the different types of bets you can make. The centre has a space for One Roll Bets. The Pass Line, Come, Place, Field, and other bets have designated spaces at the end of the table. These are mirror images of each other. The dealers are on the side sections while the stick person is stationed at the centre. Players can play on either side of the identical table while the centre section is shared by all the players.
The most basic rule is that you roll a number with two dice, and then play the odds of getting the same sum again before a 7 is rolled.
Familiarize yourself with the basic rules and bets. As long as you are still a beginner, stick to the safer bets.
If you practice long enough, you can formulate a strategy for yourself and try to play the odds to your advantage. Choose an approach that suits you.
Many casino players find craps to be overly complicated. It might be a bit overwhelming for beginners however, if you become more familiar with the game, it can be one of the most fun and entertaining casino games!
The Don’t Pass/Don’t Come Bets are considered the best in craps due to their low house edge of just 1.36%.
The Pass Bet is the most basic and safest bet in craps.
Patience is the best way to win big at craps. Keep making small Pass Line Bets, take single odds, and then pounce when you get the chance. Start betting big only after you have a winner. You can also look for tables with winning streaks or hot shooters.
The number 7 is considered to be the magic number in craps. This is followed by 6 and 8, then 5 and 9, then 4 and 10, then 3 and 11, and finally 2 and 12.
This is a combination of two types of bets. The 'C' stands for Any Craps: Aces, Ace Deuce, and 12, while the 'E' is for Eleven or Yo. The C and E can be bet as a split (simultaneously) or individually (with different amounts on each).
This refers to the Any Craps Bet. If the shooter rolls 2, 3, or 12 rolls, you win and are paid 7 to 1. You lose with any other. If any other number is rolled, you lose. This is a one-roll bet.
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