Craps is one of the easiest and best casino games to learn. With a 1.41% house edge – the casino profit as a percentage of the average player’s original bet – However, it’s a bit harder to master and there are still plenty of rules you’ll need to keep to if you plan on giving it a go on your next trip to the casino. The beauty of craps is that you’re in charge of your own destiny, all you need to do is grab the dice, give them a lucky blow and the rest is down to lady luck (or your skilful hand, depending on how you look at it). Our guide will talk you through how to get started, as well as a few tips to help you get the crowd cheering when you win big.
So eyes down – let’s get started.
Craps tables are known as tubs, thanks to the high sides that stop the dice from flying across the casino and provide the ‘backboard’ which the dice bounce back off on certain rolls. The person who manages the game is called the ‘boxman’ and will handle any bets and clarify any rules, wins and rules.
When players are around the tub and ready to play, five dice are given to the first player, known as the shooter. The shooter then chooses two of these dice, to keep things random and cheat-free. The shooter is the only person to place bets before the dice is rolled, and other players around the table will bet on the outcome of their roll(s). There a few combinations in craps that a player can wager on, with each determining if that particular shooter will keep rolling. The first role is known as ‘come out’ roll, and you’ll know it’s a come out because there’s a marker on the layout that says ‘ON’.
The Pass Line bet
As the dice are rolled, players around the table can make bets on the outcome of each roll. The first thing you’ll need to know about is the pass line. This is right in front of you, and is the main game. You’re basically betting on the person rolling the dice rolling a 7 or 11 (we’ll get to what that means shortly) meaning they don’t get another go at rolling the dice, and you win your bet, at evens (£5 bet will get you £10 back). You can do the opposite by betting on ‘don’t pass’. If they roll a 2, 3, or 12 (‘craps’), then you lose. If they roll a 4,5,6,,8,9 or 10 , then these are point numbers. If these numbers are rolled, then the marker mentioned earlier that says ON is placed on that number, to show we are finished with the come out.
The game changes when it gets to this point, with the shooter rolling again and again until they hit 7, which is when their turn as the shooter is over. This is known as ‘sevening out‘, and can get confusing because you’ll want a 7 to come up on a come-out roll (so you win) but you don’t want to see a 7 when you’re into point numbers. What you want to happen is the number they originally rolled to come up again before they seven out. For example, if you bet on ‘pass’ and a 5 got rolled, you can wager as much as the table allows that a 5 will be rolled again before a 7 appears. You’ll lose your bet if 7 appears before 5 appears again. It doesn’t matter what appears at this point, the only numbers you’re interested in is 5, so you win, or 7, so you lose.
The Come bet
This is another element of craps that can be wagered on, and can sometimes be a little more confusing than the Pass Line bet. You don’t need to play a come bet, but it’ll increase your odds and payout if you make the right move. Essentially, you add your wager to the section marked COME once a point number has been rolled, then the wager will be moved if another point is rolled, creating a Come Point. Then you’re hoping that this number will be rolled again, as well as the first point number. You’ll lose the Come bet if another 2, 3, 7, or 12 appears (craps or 7).
The Field Bet
The Field Bet is another completely different element to craps. In this game, you’re basically betting on the player rolling a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12, with different odds on each number. As there’s every chance of a 5, 6, 7 or 8 being rolled (all of these have multiple combinations), you’re playing an outside bet, but the odds are good for 2s and 12s, which are also known as Snake Eyes (most famous) and Boxcars (not as famous). The field can be fun, but bear in mind you lose your bet if any of the middle numbers or a 7 appear.
The Odds bet
This bet is quite attractive as it has no house edge, but you’ll need to make a Pass Line bet to get there so you still stand a chance of losing your wager. Once a Point Number has been rolled, you can bet on the outcome of the roll being odd or even (except craps and 7). Because it’s harder to roll a 4 or 10, you’ll get better odds (usually evens) but for a 6 or 8 – which have multiple dice combinations – your odds will be lower at 6/5 or similar. This way of betting will help you to boost your losses on Pass Line bets (which are common) so make sure you’re aware of odds bets and house edge so you can use it in conjunction with your other bets. You’ll be playing roughly 30 Pass Line bets an hour, so this is something to factor in if you want to monitor your funds. If you’re looking for more info on any of the bets mentioned, as well as some more tips, then there is a fantastic guide provided by 888casino, it ensures that even those that are new to game thoroughly understand how to play craps.
There are a few bits of etiquette and, of course, superstitions around the craps table that newbies may not know about. When you roll, many casinos will require you to hit the weird, pyramid-covered back of the table, which ensures you aren’t forcing roles and maximises randomness. If you repeatedly roll short or roll erratically, you may be asked to change your role or even kicked out of the game. Also, don’t roll your dice into anyone else’s chips or laid bets. This supposedly causes 7s to appear.
Dice control demonstration
Dice control in casino craps is a theory that claims that some players can knowingly toss the dice in such a way to influence the outcome – elevating this supposed game of chance into a sport similar to bowling, darts or pool. A lot of casinos are aware of this, so it’s best to play to the rules so you don’t get caught out.
You’ll also avoid saying the word 7. 7 is the magic number in Craps; you need one to win a Pass Line bet, but you don’t want to see one if you’re in the Points Numbers. If you’re totally new to the game, you don’t want anyone else to know this. You’re more susceptible if you’re a craps virgin.
So now you know the basics of the game, it’s time to get started. Just remember to keep track of your bets and don’t forget to go crazy when your bet wins.