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How to Play Craps
This has got to be the most exciting game in the casino. If you’ve been in a casino, you’ll know it’s true. You can always hear some serious cheering and hollering coming from the craps table. You see people shouting numbers, tossing chips, slapping each other on the back and giving high fives. So what’s all this excitement about?
The goal in craps is simple enough: to roll the same number twice, without rolling a 7. The game has two stages – the “come out roll”, before the “point number” is established, and the rolls that follow. The second stage lasts until the roller either rolls the same number he/she rolled on the first roll (come out roll), or until they roll a 7.
I’ll give you an example. A shooter (the person rolling the dice) takes the dice and makes their first roll. They roll a 4. The 4 now becomes the point number, and the shooter has to roll it again. On the next roll, let’s say the shooter rolls a 4 again. At this point, everyone on the “pass line” bet is paid. If they had rolled a 7, any bets on the “don’t pass line” would have won and the pass line bets would have lost.
The come out roll itself actually has a few ways to win or lose. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12 (a.k.a. “craps”) the table loses. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the come out roll, however, the table wins. All other numbers are point numbers.
Once the shooter makes their point, the whole thing starts again. This repeats until the shooter rolls a 7 and “sevens out”, after which the dice are passed to the next player. The exception is if the shooter sevens out immediately. And that, my friend, is how to play craps... though there are some other things you should know to improve your game.
Understanding the Craps Odds Bet
All pass line bets are paid even money. The real deal comes when you take the “odds” bet, however. This is the third best bet in the entire casino. If a player bets twice as much on the odds relative to their line bet, the combined house edge on the pass and come bet with the odds added is just .606 per cent. Combined with the don’t pass or don’t come, the overall house edge becomes 0.455 per cent. Some casinos allow five-times, 10-times or even unlimited odds. The more you bet on the odds, the better your odds are.
When you roll the dice, the outcome will be a number between 2 and 12. All in all, there are 36 possible combinations that you can roll to get these numbers, but some numbers, of course, have more combinations that can create them. As you will see in the chart below, the dreaded seven can be rolled the easiest, as statistically speaking, it will come up one out of every six rolls.
Craps Odds for Different Bets
Good Craps Bets
The pass line and don’t pass line bets have already been mentioned, but as the complicated looking table may imply, there are quite a few more bets available. Most of these bets are certainly not good ones, however, and are considered “house bets”.
The first bet you should be aware of besides the pass and don’t pass bets is the come bet. A bet on the come line is made only after the point has already been established. It basically entails betting on the next roll of the dice. If the shooter rolls craps, however, you’ll lose your bet. If the shooter rolls 7 or 11, you’ll be paid even money but lose your original pass line bet. If any other number is rolled, the dealer then moves your bet to the corresponding number at the top of the table layout and it becomes your “come point number”. Now you will win if the shooter rolls that number again before sevening out. You can also take odds on the come bet.
The don’t come bet is basically the opposite of the come bet. You’ll lose if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the first roll of the bet, and win if the shooter rolls craps. If they roll anything else, instead of wanting to get that number again, you want the seven to come up before this number that is originally rolled.
Bad Craps Bets
Basically, the craps table works like a marketing company. The worst bets are advertised the most vigorously (the come bet does get a fair share, however). The table layout doesn’t even contain any mention of the odds bets, because the casino simply doesn’t want new players to know about them. Well, you’ll notice that they certainly want players to notice the field bet, the Big 6 and Big 8 bets, the proposition bets, the hardways and the one roll bets. These bets, among others, are not a good idea to play. The following is a chart of craps bets along with the their payout and house edge percentage.
All Craps Bets
Here, see for yourself which are the best and worst bets!
Place, Buy and Lay Bets
Well, there you go, now you REALLY know how to play craps. If you want to test out your new knowledge, be sure to stop by our free craps game page and have a go at some free online craps!