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Craps is a gambling game played with two dice, chiefly in North America. A throw of 7 or 11 is a winning throw, 2, 3, or 12 is a losing throw.

Rules of Craps

Craps is the loudest, fastest, and most exciting game in the casino. Craps strangely enough also boasts better odds than any other game excluding our card counters at the blackjack table.

Check out these topics:

  • How to Play Craps
  • How to Make Craps Bets
  • Who's at the Craps Table?

How to Play Craps

Playing craps is not as hard as you might think. Do not let the noise and excitement around the craps table intimidate you. And don't get overwhelmed by the layout of the confusing craps table layout.

The first time you ever get to a craps table, make a small bet on the pass line. The pass line is the strip that runs all around the craps table's layout.

Betting on the pass line is a bet that the first throw of the dice and is a bet on a come-out roll. A come-out roll is the shooter rolling a 7 or 11. On the come-out roll, 7 or 11 is automatically a winner. This will make your pass line bet a winner.

On the other hand, if the shooter rolls 2, 3, or 12, then he's rolled "craps", which is an automatic loss.

Any other number establishes a pass-line point. The shooter's goal at this point is to roll this number again before rolling a 7. If he does roll the pass-line point before rolling a 7, then you win again. But if he rolls a 7 before rolling the pass-line point, then you lose, and the hand ends. In this case, the dice move to another player, who becomes the new shooter.

One very important rule to know about craps. If the dice fly off the table, land on the railing, if they wind up in the dice bowl or on top of the chips in front of the 'boxman', the 'stickman' will call a "no roll". That throw of the dice no longer counts. No bets are exchanged, and new dice are given to the shooter to throw.

How to Make Craps Bets

You can place each of the following bets yourself:

  • Pass-line bets
  • Don't pass bets
  • Come-line bets
  • Field bets
  • Big-6 bets
  • Big-8 bets

You may place any of the above bets yourself, simply place the amount you want to wager on the labeled section of the craps table.

You may however not place your own bets on the numbered spots nor on the proposition bets. To place a bet in one of thee areas, pitch your chips on the table and call your bet. Either the 'stickman' or the dealer will put the bet in the appropriate place.

Who's Who at the Craps Table

'Right' and 'Wrong'. You'd think that was a question for philosophers interested in ethics, but at a craps table, those words have specific meanings. A player who bets on the shooter to win is called a 'right bettor'. No one's going to think you're immoral or amoral if you bet against the shooter, but if you do bet against the shooter, you're called a 'wrong bettor'. Most people like rooting for a winner though, so most players at a craps table lean towards being a right bettor.

Besides the players surrounding the table, there are also several employees, usually a team of five:

  • 2 dealers
  • a relief dealer
  • a stickman
  • the boxman

The 'boxman' supervises the craps table, if there are any disputes, the boxman adjudicates. He's also in charge of the cash at the table. There may be two 'boxmen' at the table, usually when there are many players or if there is a high-rollover at the table.

The 'dealers' are on either side of the boxman. They pay the winning bets, pick up the chips on losing bets, and they make changes when a player wants to change chips in for different denominations.

The 'stickman' is a very important role, he sets the tone and pace of the game. He announces every dice roll, and calls out the different bet options available on the table.

Like a roulette table, the employees around the craps table rotate, but in this case into different positions around the craps table. Thus their roles change accordingly when they rotate.

Craps Strategy

There is not much you can do at the craps table to change the houses edge. A solid craps betting strategy is the best thing you can do for yourself when playing craps. However, the only way to apply a good craps betting strategy is to understand the basics of playing craps.

These topics will help improve your craps experience:

Craps Betting Strategy

Good Craps Bets

The best bet in a craps game on the come out roll is the pass line bet. You will be betting on the shooter and the house edge on this bet is only 1.41%. Stick with this bet if you want to minimize your risk. The actual best bet on the come out roll is the "don't pass bet", this bet is against the shooter and the house edge is 1.36%. However, you will be betting against the shooter, the 'wrong bettor' and people may not like that too much.

After the come out roll, the next best bet is the odds bet. The come out roll determines the point and you can make an additional bet which is a multiple of your pass line bet. This is normally two times your pass line bet in most casinos. The odds bet pays out true odds. In other words, the house has a 0 edge on the odds bet. You should always take the odds bet.

Bad Craps Bets

Some of the bets available at the craps table offer terrible odds.

The house edge on the "Big 6" bet is 9.1%, a "Big 6" bet is a bet that a six will be rolled before a seven. The "Big 8" bet is as bad as the "Big 6", also offering a 9.1% house edge. Avoid these craps bets as they are bad craps bets.

You also want to stay away from betting on the "Hard 4" and "Hard 10" craps bets. They have a house edge of 11%+.

Proposition bets are the worse craps bets available. A proposition bet at the craps table is a bet that something in particular will happen on the very next roll. (Most bets ride until the round is over.) The proposition bets that a 2 or 12 will be rolled next offer the worst odds at the table. The house edge is 13.9% on these bets.

Craps Strategy Tips

To have a very enjoyable time while playing craps stick to these tips:

  1. Know what you are doing before you play (practice online until you know the game of craps well).
  2. Stick with the good bets
  3. Avoid the bad bets

Craps Payout Chart

Knowing the craps payout at the craps table can be an advantage and help you improve your chances of winning. Payouts may vary from casino to casino so make sure you check before you make your first wager. Below is a typical payout chart for craps bets.

2 or 1230 to 1
3 or 1115 to 1
Any Craps7 to 1
Hard 6-8M9 to 1
Hard 4-107 to 1
Seven4 to 1
Place 4-101.8 to 1
Place 5-91.4 to 1
Place 6-8, Big 6&8even odds
Place Lose 4-100.454 to 1
Place Lose 5-90.615 to 1
Place Lose 6-80.8 to 1
Buy 4-10to 1 - vig (5%)
Buy 5-93 to 2 - vig (5%)
Buy 6-86 to 5 - vig (5%)
Lay 4-100.5 to 1 - vig (5%)
Lay 5-90.666 to 1 -vig (5%)
Lay 6-80.833 to 1 -vig (5%)
Field 2 or 122 to 1

Craps Tips

Try keep these tips in mind when playing online craps.

  • Always remember that craps is a game of chance. There is little, if any, skill involved.
  • Make sure you set winning and losing limits when playing craps. Never play more than you can afford to lose.
  • The banker/house takes a 5% commission on winning bets placed on the 'Banker'. This tells us that the odds of the banker winning is higher than that of the player and thus making a banker bet a safer bet.
  • Tie bets generally payout 8-1 and they do so for a reason. they are scarce. Avoid tie bets as they will destroy your bank roll.
  • Systems don't work! Don't waste your time or money on craps systems.

Craps Glossary

A Natural
If the first two cards have a total score of 8 or 9 this is called a Natural.

Craps is the name of the game. Craps is an Italian word meaning Zero. Zero is the worst hand you can get in craps.

Banker Bet
A bet placed on the Banker's hand beating the Players hand.

Banko is only another name for the Bank. By announcing 'Banko' during a private craps game a player can challenge the Bankers entire bankroll by announcing 'Banko'.

Refers to all the money you bring to the table.

Best Craps Bet
This is a bet on the Banker - chances of winning are 45.84%.

A variant of craps - means railroad.

The casino takes a 5% commission on winning bets on Banker.

A single round of craps.

A casino employee who is dealing the cards and handling bets - paying winners and so on.

Le Grande
A hand with the value 9 - the best possible craps hand. Grand is French meaning Big.

This is a term used about all the cards - normally 8 decks or cards. Adding up to 416 cards.

A hand with the value 8 - petite is French meaning small.

Player Bet
A bet placed on the Players hand to beat the dealers hand.

Punto Banko
Another name for craps.

A variant of craps - also called chemin-de-fer.

The shoe is where the cards are dealt from.

Slang for the Bank.

A Tie - the value of the dealer and players hands are the same.

Streak A winning streak or a losing streak.

Tie Bet
A bet on a tie among the Banker and the Player.

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