How exciting is the game of craps! It is one of the more popular casino games in the US and is played in many of the states. There is a real social aspect that bonds players together when playing craps. Winning or losing, players often are cheering, shouting, and celebrating. The atmosphere can be electric, very similar to that of Sic Bo which is wildly popular in Asia.
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Craps, however, can often be intimidating to play when the rules are not known. On face value, craps can be extremely confusing and complicated. But this cannot be further than the truth. Craps is a relatively easy game to learn, and once you know the rules, craps also offers one of the best payout ratio for players if you know which bets to place. Conversely, if you aren’t aware of what type of crap bets are good vs bad, you could be betting on some of the worse odds that any casino game has to offer. So I highly recommend learning and using your knowledge of craps to extend your game time. Your knowledge can effectively reduce the house edge to only 1%!
Two Dice and a Table
The game of craps is quite simple. It revolves around two dice that are rolled along a table which has raised side walls. The player who throws the dice is called the “Shooter”. Any player can have the chance to be the Shooter if they wish. When the Shooter throws the dice, the dice must hit against the side walls of the table – this is to ensure a true roll of the dice and no manipulation by the Shooter.
With the roll of the dice, the outcome of the totals can range from 2 to 12. Simplistically put, the totals of 2 and 12 have the least chance of appearing whilst a total of 7 has the highest chance.
|Number||No. Combinations||Dice Combinations|
|4||3||3:1, 1:3, 2:2|
|5||4||4:1, 1:4, 3:2, 2:3|
|6||5||5:1, 1:5, 4:2, 2:4, 3:3|
|7||6||6:1, 1:6, 5:2, 2:5, 4:3, 3:4|
|8||5||6:2, 2:6, 5:3, 3:5, 4:4|
|9||4||6:3, 3:6, 5:4, 4:5|
|10||3||6:4, 4:6, 5:5|
Playing a round of craps first begins with the Come-Out Roll I.e. the very first roll. His objective with the first roll is to land a total of 7 or 11. If he succeeds in this, all players that have bet with the Shooter are winners and the payout is 1-1, even money.
If however the Shooter rolls a total of 2,3 or 12, everyone who has bet with the Shooter loses their bet. This is referred to as rolling “craps”.
If the Shooter rolls in between 3 and 11 I.e. 4,5,6,7,8,9,10 then this number is called “the Point” and a circular marker is placed on the table to indicate “the Point”. The Shooter must now roll a second time and keep rolling until an outcome has been determined.
Throwing the Point
The Shooter continues to roll the dice until he has landed on the Point or a 7. Landing on the Point before rolling a 7 makes everyone a winner. Landing on the 7 before landing on the Point makes everyone a loser.
There are a myriad of bets that be placed, and with the various types of bets each will offer a different pay out.
The Craps Table
The first thing to notice is that a craps table layout is symmetical – a mirror of each other between the left and right side.
The craps table requires the most casino staff than any other casino game, referred to as Bowman, Stickman and Dealers.
Boxman – this is the person responsible for safe guarding the casino chips used for craps. There are a vast number of chips different in color and in denomination. The Boxman is also responsible for monitoring other casino staff, and if the dice accidentally bounce off the table for ensuring that the dice are not tampered with to cheat the game.
Stickman – this person holds a stick for manoeuvring the dice around the table. He never physically touches the dice, but simply pushes the dice to the Shooter who then picks the dice up and throws them. He is also responsible for declaring the results of each roll, and repeatedly calls out the Point number so that players are aware.
Dealers – there are two dealers, one at each end of the table that is responsible for exchanging cash for chips, placing chips on bets, and paying out winnings.
So all up there are four casino staff required to man the craps table.
How to Best Play Craps
There are so many ways in placing a bet, that we will first explain the best bets to place.
When first arriving at the craps table, check what the table minimum is and whether they offer any opportunities for place an “Odds Bet”. The Odds Bet has zero house edge and is the best bets available in a casino.
Wait for the declaration that it is a “Come Out Roll” which indicates a new game is starting. Place a bet on the Pass Line which is immediately in front of you. The Pass Line bet is for the Come Out Roll, which means if the Shooter rolls a 7 or 11 you win 1 – 1 on your bet.
If the Shooter rolls a 2,3 or 12 you lose your bet, and a new game will start again with a Come-Out Roll. (Bear with me as I continue to go through the ideal playing strategy for Craps).
If the Shooter rolls between a 3 and 11, however, the number becomes the Point. At this point you can place your Odds Bets as your initial bet will be paid out 1 -1 if you or the Shooter rolls the point. For any Odds Bet placed you will be paid at the correct odds, offering you a genuine chance to beat the house.
Generally, the standard odds are:
- If the point is 4 or 10 – you can place up to 3 x initial bet on Odds Bet
- If the point is 5 or 9 – you can place up to 4 x initial bet on Odds Bet
- If the point is 6 to 8 – you can place up to 5 x initial bet on the Odds Bet
Always ask the dealer if you are unsure. In all cases, bet on the maximum Odds Bet that is allowed by the casino, since these bets will be paid back at the statistically correct odds.
If a 4 or 10 is the Point, the chances of landing on the Point again before a 7 is 2 – 1. This means, you will be paid out 2-1.
If a 5 or 9 is the Point, the chances of landing on the Point again before a 7 is 3 – 2. This means, you will be paid out 3-2.
If a 6 or 8 is the Point, the chances of landing on the Point again before a 7 is 6 – 5. This means, you will be paid out 6-5.
Now you wait and watch with excitement for the Shooter to trying to roll and land on the Point before he lands on a 7. The Shooter can try as many times he likes until the Point is achieved – winner! – of the 7 is achived – booo.. fail!.
If he fails you will lose you bets, and everyone else on the table as well. If he succeeds, you will be paid even money on your initial bet on the Pass Line and the statistical odds on your Odds Bet.
Please note: once you have placed the Come Out Roll bet on the Pass line, this bet cannot be changed after the first roll. Other bets, such as the Odds Bet, can be changed, and this is what makes Craps so much fun and crazy, because players can go wild changing their bets after each roll.
Always Maximize the Odds Bet
By far, these are the best odds that can be offered at craps, or even at any casino game. You are statistically being paid out at the same odds, which makes this zero house edge for the casino. You can’t get much better than this.
I have seen players that forego the opportunity to bet on Odds Bet but bet on other crap bets which have house edges of up to 15%! This is crazy, and simply giving your money away to the casino.
If you are serious about gambling then learn the odds. Keep disciplined to the odds and strategy.
You bet $60 on the Pass Line and the Shooter rolls a 6 which becomes the Point. You keep the initial bet as is and place no further bets on the Odds Bet.
The Shooter rolls again and lands in a 6 upon which everybody wins. You win even money and profit $60.
But if you played according to my strategy:
You bet $10 on the Pass Line and Shooter rolls a 6.
You then bet $50 on the 5x initial bet on the Odds Bet and Shooter rolls a 6 and everyone wins.
Guess what, you win $70! You get paid even money on the initial bet and you get paid out 6-5 on the Odds Bet. For the same outcome you win $10 more my way, than your way! Why wouldn’t you want to bet on a better pay out for the same outcome?
In summary, don’t disregard the Odds Bet. Use it to maximize your winnings.
Come Bets are similar to the Pass Line Bet but can only be placed after the Shooter has reached the Point.
Example: Come Bet to Odds Bet
You place a Come Bet of $10 after the Shooter has rolled a 6.
On the next roll, if the Shooter rolls a 7 or 11 you win your Come Bet at even money.
If Craps is rolled – 2, 3, 12- you lose the bet.
If a number from 4 to 10 is rolled your bet is transferred to the number box in front of the dealer. And now you have the option of place an Odds Bet. Same scenario as with the Pass Line Bet.
And of course, place your maximum bet on the Odds Bet.
Come Bets is another avenue of leading to Odds Bets.
Craps is an awesome game to play. Mostly found in the US, a bit harder to find outside. There are many different types of craps betting, but as mentioned the Odds Bets are the best bets for playing craps.