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How To Play Craps

You’ll know a craps table when you see it. It is the biggest table in the casino table games section. When the dice are hot, it is the loudest table in the casino and when the dice are cold it is the loneliest place in the casino. Thought the table looks like it would take a masters degree to play, developing a basic understand of craps is not difficult and can be done in a short amount of time. Here is a brief guide to help you learn how to start that process.

Craps Game

Craps is nothing more than a dice game. One player, the shooter, rolls the dice and everyone else bets on the outcome of the roll. No one is in competition with each other and everyone roots for the shooter, this is why a craps table with a hot shooter can be so rowdy. The game starts with each player placing a bet and you can do so up till the player shoots and the dealers yell “No more bets!” The shooter rolls the dice; this is called a “come out” roll. After which three things can happen depending on the roll.

Craps Rules

On a:

  • 2, 3 or 12 – Craps (Pass line bets lose – Don’t Pass bets win)
  • 7 or 11 – “Natural” (Pass line bets win – Don’t Pass bets lose)
  • Any other number – Establishes a point
To become a shooter, a player must place the minimum bet at either the "pass line," or the "no pass line". The dice are rotated around the table for those that want to become the shooter.

When the point is established, the shooter keeps rolling until he rolls the point number again or rolls a seven. There are approximately 40 types of craps bets that can be made during a roll. This is why there are 4 casino dealers watching a craps table. They are the "boxman" (watches the chips), the "stickman" (watches the dice), and 2 other dealers (keeping track of players bets).

The easiest way to get into a game of craps is to wait until the come out roll and place a bet on the pass line. This means you are wagering that the shooter will:

1) Roll a 7 or 11 on the first roll or
2) Roll the established point before he rolls another 7.

You will also want to "take odds" on the come bet. The odds amount varies from casino to casino and usually is up to 5 to 10 times the amount of your bet. To take odds (which can lower the casino edge to <1%), place the amount of chips needed behind your pass line chips. Then sit back and get caught up in the excitement.

There are a lot of different types of craps bets based on different rolls. You can bet pass or no pass, single numbers, come and don’t come bets and proposition bets. With so many bets to explain in one craps game, we have written another article dedicated to just the different craps bets.

As you can see craps is a very simple game that just seems difficult to understand. However, if you are the kind of player that likes to take a chance or feeds off of the energy of the game, then this might be a great place to start. When you are ready to try, wait for come out roll to start and go for it. Just make sure you ask the dealer for the right time at which to enter the game.