All you need to know about Craps

Many people seem to think that Craps is a difficult game to learn, but in reality, its rather easy once you have read through and understand the rules. The rules are pretty straight-forward and include things such as: When you are the Shooter, you must handle the dice with only one hand. You have to make sure that the dice hit the walls at the other end or your roll doesn’t count. Another thing that you should know is that the Craps Table can usually fit up to 20 players at a time, and each of those players are offered the chance to be Shooter. This is one of the things that makes craps such a rowdy game since at any time there can be up to 19 people betting on 1 shooter’s rolls making for an exciting atmosphere.

How To Play Craps

To play craps, you start by purchasing chips which can be done by placing your cash on the table, a man in the middle of the table will exchange your cash for chips under the supervision of the boxman. Once you have received your chips you are allowed to being wagering right away but this is where you are going to want to know what is going on at the craps table before you start placing bets. Basically craps is a game where players bet on the outcome of two dice with different number combinations and bets available to players. There are specific numbers known as points at the top of the table, and when a shooter rolls these the point is “on” and will remain on until the player re-rolls that number or rolls a 7 “craps”, whichever comes first and then the round restarts with a new shooter.

So let’s say you walk up to a craps table that is just starting out, the shooter will be chosen and then it will rotate from left to right through all the players at the table, however you can decline to be the shooter if you wish. Once everyone has made their bets, the shooter will do what is known as the “come out roll” (a roll when no point is on) to establish a point for that particular round. Once the point has been established, the shooter will continue rolling until they hit a 7 or re-roll the point which was determined on the come out roll. If the shooter rolls a 7, the round is over and the next shooter begins the same process. If the shooter hits the point, the round restarts but the shooter remains the same until they hit 7.

Betting In Craps

Now that we know how a basic game of craps runs, it’s time to take a look at the betting that’s involved in the game as there are a ton of bets that can be made. It’s important to note that in craps players can be for or against the shooter so you can basically bet on any outcome that may occur at the table. Below we have summarize the bets in a craps game.

Pass Line – The pass line bet is a bet that can only be made when the point is off and the shooter is making the come out roll.  If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you will win even money on the bet and if they shoot 2, 3 or 12 you will lose the bet.  Numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 are all the point numbers and if one of these is rolled, the shooter will continue rolling until they hit the point or a 7.  If they hit the point you win even money, if it’s a 7 you lose.

Don’t Pass Line – The opposite of the pass line bet, with the don’t pass line you are betting against the shooter. If the come out roll is 2, 3 or 12 you win even money, if it’s a 7 or 11 you lose the bet. Once the point is established you are betting that the shooter will run a craps 7 before re-rolling the point, if this happens you win even money and if the point is rolled before another 7 comes out from the shooter than you will lose this wager.

Odds Bet – Both the pass line and do not pass line bets offer what’s known as an odds bet whereby the player can multiple their original wager by 1-100x (depending on the casino) as an additional side bet on the pass line or do not pass line. This bet pays even money and is a great bet to take especially when an easy point to roll comes up like 6 or 8. If you take the odds on the pass line, you are betting that point will be rolled before a 7. If you take the odds on the do not pass line you are betting on a 7 coming before the point is re-rolled.

Field Bet – One of the most prominent bets in craps which are displayed directly in the center of the table.  With the field bet, you are only betting on the next roll contrary to some other bets that stay until certain numbers occur. When you place a bet on the field you are betting that the next roll will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. All of these bets pay out even money accept if a 2 or a 12 is rolled by the shooter in which case you are paid 2:1.

Come Bet – The come bet may be placed after the point has been established and is placed in the middle of the table. On the next roll after you place a come bet if the result is a 7 or 11 you win and if it’s 2, 3 or 12 you lose. If the next roll is none of those numbers, whichever number comes up will become your new point and you will win as long as that point is rolled again during game play before another 7 is rolled. For example, say the point is presently 8 and the next roll brings a total of 6 and you played £50 on the come. Your £50 bet will now be moved to point 6 and to win another 6 must come before a 7.

Place Bet – A place bet is when the player bets directly on one of the points on the board being any of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 and you are betting that this is rolled before a 7.  Payouts vary since the odds for some numbers are different. Place bets on 6 and 8 pay 7:6, bets on 5 and 9 pay 7:5 and bets on 4 and 10 pay 9:5 if rolled before the shooter hits a 7.

Place Bet To Lose – The opposite of a place bet, you are betting that the shooter rolls a 7 before re-rolling the point. Once again the odds change because some numbers are more likely to come up than others. Place bet to lose on 6 and 8 pays 4:5, bets on 5 and 9 pays 5:8 and place bet to lose on 4 and 10 pays 5:11. The reason these payout under 1:1 is because it’s almost like being the house and these bets have a high likelihood of winning.

Buy Bet – A buy bet in craps is like the place bet however using a buy bet gives you better odds if you hit the number before rolling a 7. Keep in mind that buy bets have a commission of 5% since they offer increased payouts for winning wagers. On buy bets you will receive 23:21 for 6 and 8, 29:21 for 5 and 9 and 39:21 for 4 and 10 if rolled before a 7.

Big 6 & 8 – The big six and eight bet in craps is the same as betting on the numbers 6 and 8 through a place bet but strangely this bet pays only even money while a place bet on the same numbers pays the player 6:5. Basically this is a complete suckers bet and you should absolutely never place this wager when playing craps since the place bet is much better.

Hard Ways – Betting on the hard ways in craps means that you are betting on doubles on the roll of the dice. The possible combinations for hard ways are 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5 which when added are hard 4, hard 6, hard 8 and hard 10. The payouts for these bets are 9:1 for 6 and 8, 7:1 for 4 and 10 hard way bets, which are hard to win buy pay very well. If your feeling really lucky, you can take a shot at the dice coming 6-6 which pays out 30:1.

Craps Terms

If you are new to the game, some of the terms listed below will help you to understand what the players and table crew are talking about.

Boxcars – the number 12, two sixes.
Boxman – is the game supervisor.
Chips – The tokens that are used in place of money in bets.
Dealer – Handles the money as in paying off wins.
High Roller – A player with a large bankroll.
House – the casino.
Loaded Dice – Weighted Dice designed to cheat in craps.
Marker – a temporary loan of chips from the casino to the player.
Marker Puck – Round disk that marks the Point or that the Point is not set.
Natural – A term for a 7 or 11 rolled on the come out roll.
Pit Boss – This is the casino floor boss.
Shooter – the player rolling the dice.
Snake Eyes – Both dice showing a one.
Stickman – Calls the game and handles the Stick.

Craps Strategy

You will find several books and several experts out there, and all of them with different ideas on the best way to win at Craps. But when it comes right down to it, there isn’t really any strategy that will make you a winner each and every time, if there was, it wouldn’t be a game of chance. There are, however, safe bets that will usually win more than other bets on the table. The safest bets in Craps with the best odds are the Pass, Don’t Pass, Come and Don’t Come bets. These bets have the lowest house edge, therefore are more in favour of the player. Below is an example of the percentages that the best bets pay out:
Field Bets – 5.6%
Big 6 and Big 8 Bets – 9.1%
Horn Bet – 12.5%
Craps 2/12 – 13.9%
Any 7 – 16.7%

Online Craps

Online craps is at least as fun as playing it on a brick and mortar casino. Casinos are not always easy accessible for most people (far away etc..) while playing casino games online can be done from the comfort of your own home. “Comfort” you get from playing online together with other great perks such as depositing bonuses, makes online gaming a preferred method by most people. One of my favorite online casinos is Paddy Power. I would recommend you to visit Paddy Power, take advantage of the bonuses offered for new players and give online craps a chance!