to Play Craps
the noisiest game in the house and only spectator game in the casino that's
worthy of the name. Next to Blackjack it's got some of the best player odds in
the house and only Roulette has more betting options for the player. It's the
one and only Craps.
your average Poker game: stone faces, few words, cagey players and cut-throat
action. Craps, god bless it, is the complete opposite. Players yelling bets,
hangers-on pumped on the action, fellow bettors your companions with the chips
flying and the dice right behind them. It's not just a game, it's the King of
while it's true that a smart player can step in with $100 and with a little luck
walk away minutes later with $10,000, it's also true that there are more sucker
bets than you can shake a stick at. Few games show you the line between a smart
bet and a bad one, inked right on the felt for all to see. Strategy, opponents,
long odds and smart bets. Craps has it all.
Craps can be pretty intimidating for the newcomer. There are such a large number
of betting options, special rules and exceptions that you'll feel as if you'll
never get a handle on it. Personally, I avoided the Craps table for the longest
time simply because it was so noisy and confusing. But hang in there because the
smarter you play the easier it is. The trick is to take it one step at a time.
you are rolling the dice you are the "shooter". Your first toss in a
round of Craps is called the Come Out roll. If you roll a 7 or 11, you win and
the round is over before it started. If you roll a 2, 3, or 12 that's a Craps
and you lose: again, it's over before it started. Any other number becomes the
Point. The purpose of the Come Out roll is to set the Point, which can be any of
4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. The Dealer places a puck marked "On" above the
Point number printed on the table.
basic objective in Craps is for the shooter to win by tossing the Point again
before he tosses a 7. That 7 is called Out 7 to differentiate it from the 7 on
the Come Out roll. If the Point is tossed, the shooter and his fellow bettors
win and the round is over. If the shooter tosses Out 7, they lose and the round
is over. If the toss is neither the Point nor Out 7, the round continues and the
dice keep rolling.
where life at the Craps table can get complicated. There are an overwhelming
number of betting options and it'll make you dizzy trying to figure them all out
at once. Like I promised though, it's easy to play smart. Let's talk about those
smart bets first.
typical -- and simplest -- bet is called a Pass bet. It is placed on the Pass
Line before the Come Out roll. Assuming that the round goes past the Come Out
roll, you're betting on the chance that you'll roll the Point again before you
roll an Out 7. Pass bets win at even odds, 1:1. Since any Pass bets are
typically betting with the shooter, Pass bettors are said to be betting
"right", they're supporting the shooter in his attempt to win.
Win: win on the Come Out roll if the dice show 7 or 11. Win on any subsequent
roll if you roll the Point.
Lose: lose on the Come Out roll if the dice are Craps (2, 3, or 12). Lose on any
subsequent roll if it's an Out 7.
bet placed on the Don't Pass line is basically the opposite of a Pass bet.
Assuming that the round goes past the Come Out roll, you're betting that the
shooter will roll Out 7 before making the Point. In other words, you're betting
against the shooter, which is why it's called a "wrong" bet. Rest
assured though, there is nothing wrong with the odds on a Don't Pass bet.
Win: win on the Come Out roll if the dice show Craps (2, 3 or 12). Win on any
subsequent roll if it's an Out 7.
Lose: lose on the Come Out roll of 7 or 11. Lose on any subsequent roll if it's
and Don't Come bets are basically the same as Pass and Don't Pass except they
are placed while a round is in progress. They are designed for players who join
the game late. The same rules apply: win if the next roll is 7 or 11, lose if
it's Craps. Otherwise the roll becomes the Come Point.
Odds bet is a backup bet on a Pass/Don't Pass/Come/Don't Come bet already on the
table. They're usually limited to two or three times (2x or 3x) the original bet
and pay off at true odds: the payoff truly reflects the probability of the
dice's roll and there's no additional house edge involved. Unlike original
Pass/Don't Pass/Come/Don't Come bets, unresolved Odds bets can be removed from
the table during play.
Odds and Come Odds pay 2:1 on a roll of 4 or 10, 3:2 on 5's and 9's, and 6:5 on
6's and 8's.
Pass Odds and Don't Come Odds pay 1:2 on a roll of 4 or 10, 2:3 on 5's and 9's,
5:6 on 6's and 8's.
for the rest of the table, the Place Number bets and Proposition bets.
Unfortunately the odds against you here vary from mediocre to terrible which is
why savvy players ignore almost all of them. These bets are mostly designed for
players who either have money burning a hole in their pocket or feel they have
to bet on every little toss of the dice. The price of such impatience and
risk-taking is higher house edges, sometimes dramatically higher.
Place Number bet is where you are betting that a particular number will roll
before a 7 does, or vice versa. These include the Place, Buy, Lay and Lose bets,
the Big 6 and Big 8, and finally the Hard 4, Hard 6, Hard 8 and Hard 10.
Proposition bets are where you bet that the next roll will be a specific number.
These include the 2, 3, 7, 11, and 12 bets, the Any Craps bet, the Field, Hop
and Horn bets.
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