As the casino game with the best odds, it's no wonder craps is also one of the most complex games! But the good news is that craps can be as easy or as complicated as you want - it all depends on which bets you want to place and learning the process and terms of the game. So the next time you're at the craps tables in Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, remember a few of these points and you'll be set!
Becoming familiar with the table will help you immensely when it comes to learning all the different bets you can make. There are two betting areas on both sides of the tables for regular bets. More complicated bets ("proposition bets") are made in the "box" in the middle of the table. We'll be introducing only the regular bets in this article.
When you approach a craps table, you'll see up to 20 players all around the table and four casino personnel.
- Two are dealers in charge of chips and bets, one in charge of each betting area. They stand on the left and the right of the "boxman."
- One is called the "stickman" who is in charge of handing out and taking care of the dice with a long wooden stick, stands across from the "boxman."
- One is called the "boxman" who takes care of the casino's money, the bets made in the "box," and also acts as the game's "referee" to make sure the game is being played fairly.
There are strict rules when it comes to shooting the dice. In fact, the two red dice are changed after a certain period of usage (i.e. 8 hours) and are inspected by the stickman between rounds.
Each player has a turn at throwing the two lucky red dice for one round (being the "shooter"). When throwing, only one hand can be used and the two dice must hit the walls of the opposite side of the table for the throw to be counted. The role of shooter rotates clockwise around the table, but can be passed.
How to Play:
Basically, you want to be able to make the right bet, based on what you think the dice will roll.
For Beginners: Craps As Simple As Possible
Bets are placed first. You can either make a Pass Line Bet or a Don't Pass Line Bet. These are further explained below. (There are many other kinds of bets that you can place at different points in the game, and options for changing bets throughout the round, but those won't be discussed here.)
The game starts with the Come Out Round - and the shooter makes a Come Out Roll. The outcome of the rolls is what matters if you are playing. You can bet on the Pass Line (in favour of the shooter) or the Don't Pass Line (against the shooter).
- If you make a Pass Line Bet, then you are betting that the shooter will roll 7 or 11 (a "natural") and win immediately if this happens
- If you make a Don't Pass Line Bet, then you are betting that the shooter will roll 2, 3, or 12 ("craps"). If this happens, you will win immediately
If 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled, then this number becomes the Point (if a 5 is rolled, then 5 becomes the Point for the round) and you proceed into a Point Round. The shooter must keep rolling the dice until the Point comes up again before a 7 comes up.
- Pass Line Bets win if Point comes up before a 7, and lose if the opposite occurs.
- Don't Pass Line Bets win if the 7 comes up before Point, and lose if the opposite occurs.
For Intermediate Players
Additionally, once a Point has been established for the round, then more bets can be made. Think of these bets as mini come out round all over again, with another point being established. Here are two examples of them:
- Come Bets are almost exactly like a Pass Line Bet but can only occur after the Point has been established. Thus, if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you win immediately and if the shooter rolls 2, 3, or 12, you lose immediately.
- Don't Come Bets are almost exactly like a Don't Pass Line Bet but can only occur after the Point has been established. Thus, if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you lose immediately and if the shooter rolls 2, 3, or 12, you win immediately.
If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled, then the number rolled becomes the Come Point. The shooter must then roll for the Come Point, as well as the Point, before 7.
- Come Bets win if the Come Point comes up before a 7, and lose if the opposite occurs.
- Don't Come Bets win if the 7 comes up before the Come Point, and lose if the opposite occurs.
As you can see, there are many kinds of bets that can be made. Part of what makes the game of craps more complicated is keeping track of the bets you are making. No matter, anyone can still play craps - as long as you follow the fundamental beginner's 101 of the game. Have fun!
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Gizelle Lau is a freelance writer & photographer in Toronto, Canada with a passion for food and travel.
Located: Toronto Canada
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