Unlike the exclusive hushed atmosphere behind the velvet baccarat ropes, or the stone-faced silence in the smoke-filled poker rooms, craps is a decidedly social game. While the party atmosphere adds to the fun, it also adds confusion for the novice. We'll demystify the whole process, and soon you'll find craps fun and engaging.
Craps players take turns rolling a pair of dice at the craps table-usually a green felt table with white lettering. The shooter, the player rolling the dice, and the spectators bet on the outcome of a round of dice rolls. Each roll of the dice produces an outcome between 2 and 12 in one of 36 possible combinations. Sometimes a round consists of one roll; more likely, the round consists of a series of rolls.
The object of this popular game, called Bank craps, is simple, and the game play itself is straightforward, but the table layout and the various bets can appear confusing at first.
The advanced bets fall into the "nice to know" category. You'll learn many of them at the table through osmosis, and you'll get an overview of them here.
Object of the Game
The object of the game is to bet with or against the shooter, the player rolling the dice. Players usually bet with the player. Remember, craps is one big party! If you want the other players to welcome you, bet with the shooter:
If the shooter to rolls a 7 or 11 on the first roll, the come out roll, you win.
If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12 (known as craps) on the come out roll, you lose.
If the come out roll produces anything else-a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, the number becomes the point number. If the shooter rolls the point number before rolling a 7, you win. If he or she rolls a 7 before rolling the point number, you lose.
Game Play Overview
The stickman gives a new shooter five dice, and the shooter picks two.
Players place their initial bets: Pass or Don't Pass bets. The shooter customarily bets to win, and in some casinos, the shooter is required to bet against the house.
The shooter rolls the come out roll.
If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 (natural) or 2, 3 or 12 (craps), the dealers settle the bets, the players make their bets for a new round, and the current shooter prepares to roll another round. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, 3 12 (craps), the dice pass to the next player for the new round.
If the shooter rolls anything other than a natural or a craps, a point number is established and the dealer marks the number with a puck marked "On."
Players may place additional optional bets.
The shooter continues throwing the dice until rolling the point number or a 7.
The dealers settle the bets.
The dice pass to the next player only after the shooter loses (also known as "sevens out"). Any player can refuse the shooter position and pass the dice to the next player.
Even if you play craps online, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the environment and the flow before playing live in a casino. Play at the training tables or watch the action at the regular tables until you're comfortable with the flow of the game and the etiquette.
The Craps Table
Your craps table will look similar to the one below. Betting areas on craps tables are clearly identified on the layout.
|A||Pass Line Bets|
|B||Don't Pass Bets|
|D||Don't Come Bets|
|F||Big 6 and Big 8 Bets|
Cast of Characters
The Stickman - Uses a long, curved stick to collect the dice and scoot them to the shooter. Calls the winning number. When calling an 11, the stickman calls a "yo or yo-leven."
The Boxman - Stationed directly across from the stickman, the boxman supervises the dealers and guards the chips, and controls the center of the table.
The Dealers - Two dealers, one on each side of the boxman, collect losing wagers, pay the winning bets and make change for the players.
The Shooter - The player rolling the dice. In order to assume the role of shooter, you must also bet on the round.
Other Players - Betting spectators at the table.
To get started, you only need to know four basic bets: Pass/Don't Pass and Come/Don't Come. Pass/Don't. Pass/Don't Pass bets are placed before the come out roll. Come/Don't Come bets are placed after the point is established.
Pass (Line) Bet
The Pass bet is the simplest basic bet, and also the most popular bet. Pass bettors are often called "right bettors," because a Pass bet is a bet with the player and against the house:
If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you win.
If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12, you lose.
If the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, he or she continues rolling the dice until shooting the point number) or a 7, and your bet rides for the duration of the round.
If the shooter hits the point number before hitting a 7, you win.
If the shooter hits a 7 before hitting the point number, you lose.
Don't Pass Bet
The Don't Pass bet is the exact opposite of the Pass bet: you are playing against the shooter and with the house. Don't Pass bettors are often called "wrong bettors," because they are betting against the shooter and with the house:
If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you lose.
If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12, you win.
If the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, he or she continues rolling the dice until shooting the first number (the point number) or a 7 and your bet rides for the duration of the round.
If the shooter hits the point number before hitting a 7, you lose.
If the shooter hits a 7 before hitting the point number, you win.
Come/Don't Come Bets
Come Bet - To win, the shooter must roll the point number before rolling a 7.
Don't Come Bet - To win, the shooter must roll a 7 before rolling the point number.
Before exploring the various advanced bets, have a look at the probability of the dice returning each possible number:
Except for Odds bets, the house edge is substantially higher with advanced bets.
An odds bet is an optional, supplemental bet placed in addition to your basic bet. It reduces the house odds to true odds. You can place supplemental odds bets on any of the basic bets, but only after a point has been established:
Typically, an odds bet is limited to two or three times your original bet. For example, if you already have $10 on the Pass Line bet, you would add an additional $20 for a 2X odds bet or $20 for a 3X odds bet. Occasionally, online casinos run special promotions allowing much higher odds bets. You may remove your odds bet at any time before the round of play is resolved.To see how odds bets decrease the house advantage, look at the table below. It illustrates the point with the Pass Line bet:
Pass Line Bets with Odds
Pass Line Bet
With Single Odds (1x)
Even Money Plus Odds
With Double Odds (2x)
Even Money Plus Odds
With Triple Odds (3x)
Even Money Plus Odds
With Five-Times Odds(5x)
Even Money Plus Odds
With Ten-Times Odds(10x)
Even Money Plus Odds
Place bets are placed on a specific number after a point number has been established. You may place a bet on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. You are betting that the shooter will roll your number before rolling a 7.
The Buy bet is an enhanced Place bet. It's the very same bet, except that the payoff is a little higher. You are betting that the shooter will roll your selected number before rolling a 7.
The Lay bet is the opposite of a Buy bet. Placed after the point is established, you are betting that the shooter will throw a 7 before throwing your selected number.
The field bet is a one-roll bet that the next roll is a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12.
Big 6 Bet
The Big 6 bet pays even money if a 6 is rolled before a 7. The bet may be placed at any time and removed at any time.
Big 8 Bet
The Big 8 bet pays even money if an 8 is rolled before a 7. The bet may be placed at any time and removed at any time.
All Propositions bets are one-roll bets, except for the Hardways bets.
Any Craps - You win if a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled on the next roll.
Any Eleven - You win if an 11 is rolled on the next roll.
Any Seven - You win if a 7 is rolled on the next roll.
Any Three - You win if a 3 is rolled on the next roll.
Any Twelve - You win if a 12 is rolled on the next roll.
Ace Duece - You win if a 3 is rolled on the next roll.
Aces or Boxcars - You win if a 2 or 12 is rolled on the next roll.
Horn Bet - You bet four numbers with a Horn bet, with ¼ of your bet riding on each number. You win if any of the following numbers is rolled on the next roll: 2, 3, 11 or 12. Payoff is determined according to the number rolled. Only one of your bets can win, and the other three are lost.
Hardways - The Hardway bet pays if the shooter throws doubles (hard) for the selected number before throwing a 7 or throwing the easy number. For example, if you bet Hard 6, the shooter must roll 3+3 before rolling a 7 or 1+5. Hardways bets include: Hard 4, Hard 6, Hard 8, and Hard 10.
For more info, Study best craps strategy.