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How to Play Craps

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From scenes of guys rolling dice against a wall in back alleys, dollar bills flying, to shouts of glee under the lights of the casino, Craps is a gambling game with a rich history and almost mythical status. At a live casino, people always seem to be gathered around a Craps table, yelling and cheering and having a great time. Whether at a live casino or on the Internet, Craps is a game that offers decent odds and a variety of bets to keep a gaming enthusiast interested.

A game centred around two six sided dice

Craps is a game centred around two six-sided dice with which a player “shooter” rolls a number between 2 and 12. On a shooter’s first roll, called the “come out” roll, the number generated determines how the play will continue. Before the shooter rolls, players lay bets down on a “Pass Line” (a player can also bet “Don’t Pass” bet against the shooter, but this is less common). If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, he has rolled “Craps” (or “crapped out”) and Pass bets are lost. If the shooter rolls 7 or 11, everyone betting on the Pass Line wins, and gets even money on their Pass Line bet. If the shooter rolls any other number, this number becomes the “Point.” The objective is then for the shooter to roll the Point again before rolling a 7. If he rolls a 7 first, the Pass Line bets are lost. If he rolls the Point, everyone who laid a bet on the Pass Line when the Point was established wins.

Making a point

When the Point is established, most casinos offer you the option of “taking odds” on your Pass Line bet by putting an additional wager behind your initial bet on the Pass Line. This bet is the best bet in the casino and should always be taken. When the shooter makes his Point, Pass Line bets are paid even money. Odds bets are paid off at the true odds of that number being rolled. For example, if you make a Point of 4, you are paid off on your odds bet at 2 to 1. Casinos offer Odds bets of twice, three times, or even ten times the amount of your additional wager. You should look for a casino that offers the largest amount of Odds bets you can make.

Missed the shooter?

If you missed the shooter’s come out roll, it’s okay. You can place a “Come” bet. What a Come bet means is that the shooter’s next roll becomes the Point for you and you alone (or whoever made the Come bet with you). If the shooter rolls a 7 when you make a Come bet, you win and everyone who bet Pass loses. If the shooter makes his Point before you make yours, your bet is still good until someone rolls a 7, in which case you would lose or until you make your point.

Side bets

There are a number of tempting “Side” bets you can make as well, all of which are clearly outlined on the table. They include “Field” Bets, meaning if any of a variety of numbers (listed on the felt) are rolled, you win; “Any Craps”, meaning if a 2, 3 or 12 comes on the next roll you win; and possibly the most popular, “Hard Way” bets. A Hard Way bet is a bet that a certain number will come on a double. That is, a “Hard Eight” is rolled when each die comes up 4, a “Hard Ten” when both dice read 5, etc. Since there is only one way to make these types of numbers, they come up less frequently, and therefore offer a big payout when they hit before a 7 comes or before that number comes any other way.

While the Side Bets are fun, they offer very poor odds in relation to the odds of them actually coming up. If you are looking to maximize your profit in Craps, stick to the Pass (Or Don’t Pass), Come, and Odds bets.


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