One of the more complicated of table
games, craps can nevertheless be a lot of fun. The most basic
bet is the pass line. As an example, you can bet $5,
which you place on the pass line. Two dice are rolled by you,
or whomever the shooter is. On the first roll, or come
out roll, if a seven or eleven are rolled, you win
$5. (Pass line bets pay even money.) If a two, three or
twelve come up (known as craps), you lose. Any other
number (four, five, six, eight, nine or ten) becomes your
point. Now, in order to win, the dice must be rolled
until that point comes up again. All other numbers, except
your point and seven, have no effect on your pass line bet. If
a seven is rolled, the bet loses. (Keep in mind that on the come
out roll, a seven is a winner!)
There are other bets you can play
besides the pass line bet. Once a point is established, you
can take odds: With $5 bet on the pass line,
you can place another bet, up to $10, directly behind your
original bet. This is the best bet in the casino, in that the
house pays true odds and takes no percentage.
Thus four and ten pay two to one.
Five and nine pay three to two and six and eight pay six to
five. These odds are calculated by the number of combinations
on the two dice. There are six ways to make the losing seven
and three ways to make the winning ten, hence the odds are six
to three or, more simply two to one.
The original $5 bet still wins even
money if you make your point.
The don't pass is
exactly the reverse of the pass line. Here, on the come
out roll you lose with seven or eleven, win with
three and twelve, and stand-off or push with aces
(two). Some casinos push with twelve and pay aces.
Once the point is established, you win if a seven comes up.
So, in order to take odds (since you have the edge) you must
now lay the bet. In other words, when you
have $5 bet on the don't side, and want to take odds, you must
lay $10 to win $5. The original bet still wins even money if
the shooter sevens out (loses).
The field is a
simple bet that beginners like to play. It can be played on
any roll of the dice. You win on two, three, four, nine, ten,
eleven and twelve (two and twelve pay double, some casinos pay
triple for twelve.) You lose on five, six, seven and eight.
The come bet is the
same as a pass line bet, but is played after the point is
established. Place your bet on the come line.
As with the pass line, if seven or eleven come up, you win
immediately; two, three and twelve lose. Any other number
becomes the point for that bet. The dealer will pick up the
bet and place it inside that number (the point for that bet)
on the game layout. You can now take odds as you would with a
pass line bet by giving the dealer more money. As the don't
pass is the opposite to the pass line
so the don't come is the reverse of the come.
You can also bet the numbers
in front of the dealer individually, or in any combinations
you like. Most of the Strip casinos have a $5 minimum per
number. There are six numbers (four, five, six, eight, nine
and ten), but generally people don't bet the point
since they have it covered on the pass line. The odds on the
numbers are slightly shaved compared with the true odds on the
pass line (see above). The numbers four and
ten pay nine-to-five odds, five and nine pay seven-to-five
odds, and six and eight pay seven-to-six odds. On the numbers
six and eight, you are cheating yourself if you don't bet in
multiples of six. The casino will gladly accept your bet of $5
for each number, but if you put $6 each on the six and eight,
they'll pay you closer to true odds. All the bets on the
numbers stay up until a seven is rolled. You can call them off
or down at any time. You can also press
(increase) them or reduce them at any time.
In front of the stickman
is a separate layout consisting of the crap bets
and the hardways. These are also known as proposition
or prop bets. Two, three and twelve are known
as craps, a loser for a pass line bettor on the come
out roll. For this reason many people bet craps as insurance
on the come out. There are a wide variety of combinations, but
the most basic bet is any crap which pays seven-to-one
odds. You can also bet on eleven separately, or with the crap
bets. All four bets (two, three, eleven and twelve) is called
a horn bet and pays thirty-to-one odds for
the numbers two and twelve, fifteen-to-one odds for ace-deuce
(three) and eleven. The stickman will deduct the losing three
bets from your payout and leave the whole bet up. Crap bets
are one roll bets.
The hardways, as the
name suggests, are the hardest ways to make the four even
numbers (four, six, eight and ten). In other words, you are
betting either that the number four will come up as two twos,
or that six will come up as two threes, or eight as two fours,
or ten as two fives. The odds are seven-to-one for the four
and two, and nine-to-one for the six and eight. These bets are
not one roll bets. They lose if a combination for the number
you are betting other than the hardway comes up; i.e., if you
bet on the hard eight and an eight comes up the easy way (six
and two, or five and three), the hardway bet loses. Hardways
also lose on seven.
Craps is a confusing, loud, raucous
game for a beginner. Don't be intimidated by the complex
layout. Try to find a quiet game and a helpful dealer. Many
casinos have classes, usually in the late morning.
Do's and Don'ts
Always take at least some odds on
the pass line or the don't pass.
Always bet increments. Don't press
everything to the roof and watch the dealer sweep it all
away on a seven out. Equally, don't stand there with
minimum across the board when someone is rolling the dice
for forty five minutes without sevening out.
If you want to scream and high
five, do so, but don't scream in the dealer's ear when
he's trying to pay you, and don't high five right in his
Avoid using lots of slang
expressions you heard in movies like "snake
eyes" and "baby needs new shoes." You'll
just sound silly.
Don't try to impress the dealers,
its almost impossible.
Do feel free to tip. Dealers make
their money from tips and will respond accordingly. You
can either hand the money in directly or place a bet for
Keep your hands up and out of the
way when the dice are thrown. Dice players are more
superstitious than ancient Incas. Bets, payouts and cash
are going in and out constantly on a dice game, but
nothing infuriates players more than the dice hitting
someone's hands and rolling on to a seven. They never
remember the times it hits your hands and they win.
Be aware of where the dice are and
act accordingly. If the dice are out, i.e., the shooter
has them, and you want a bet; tell the dealer clearly. As
long as you have money in front of you, he will usually
book it and you can pay when the dice land.
Good Luck & Have