Craps is a fast-paced and thrilling dice game that has been a staple in casinos for decades. If you’re new to craps, it may seem intimidating at first, with its unique table layout and complex betting options. However, with a basic understanding of the game and some essential tips, you can approach craps with confidence. In this beginner’s guide, we will walk you through the fundamentals of craps, explain the various bets, and provide strategies to help you navigate the table like a pro.
The basic rules of craps are simple. The shooter (the person with the dice) makes a “Come Out Roll”. If the total rolled on the dice is a 7 or 11, the shooter wins. If it’s a 2, 3, or 12, the shooter loses. Any other number becomes the Point. The shooter then continues to roll until either the Point or 7 is rolled. If the Point is rolled, the shooter wins the round. If a 7 is rolled, the shooter loses the round.
If the shooter gets a winning combination on the first roll (known as a Natural), all Pass Line Bets win. Players can place their bets in the area marked “Pass Line” before the Come Out Roll. If the shooter rolls a Natural, you will be paid out 6 to 5 odds. These are just a few of the basics of a game of craps. To truly master the game, it is important to know the types of bets and the probability of success for each bet.
Understanding the Basics of Craps
Craps is played with two dice and involves multiple players. The game revolves around the shooter, the player who rolls the dice. The objective is to predict the outcome of the dice roll and place bets accordingly. The craps table has various sections, including the Pass Line, Don’t Pass Line, and Come areas, among others. Familiarize yourself with the table layout and terminology to feel more comfortable at the craps table.
Craps are typically played in rounds. Each round begins with a come-out roll, where the shooter rolls the dice for the first time. The outcome of the come-out roll determines the initial conditions for betting. There are three possible outcomes:
- Natural: If the come-out roll results in a total of 7 or 11, it’s called a natural, and the Pass Line bets win. The round ends and a new round begins.
- Craps: If the come-out roll results in a total of 2, 3, or 12, it’s called craps, and the Pass Line bets lose. The round ends and a new round begins.
- Point: If the come-out roll results in a total of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, it establishes a point. The dealer places a marker, known as the puck, on the corresponding number on the table layout, indicating the point. The round continues, and the objective for the shooter is to roll the point number again before rolling a 7.
Understanding the basic flow of the game and the outcomes of the come-out roll sets the foundation for your craps knowledge.
The Pass Line Bet
One of the most common bets in craps is the Pass Line bet. This bet is placed before the come-out roll. To make a Pass Line bet, simply place your chips on the Pass Line area of the table. If the come-out roll results in a 7 or 11, the Pass Line bet wins, and you’ll be paid even money. If it’s a 2, 3, or 12, known as craps, the Pass Line bet loses.
When the come-out roll establishes a point, the objective of the pass-line bet is to roll the point number again before rolling a 7. This is called “making the point.” If the shooter successfully makes the point, the Pass Line bet wins. If a 7 is rolled before the point, the Pass Line bet loses, and the round ends.
The Pass Line bet is popular among players as it has a relatively low house edge and provides an opportunity to root for the shooter and other players at the table. Understanding the Pass Line bet is crucial for getting started in craps.
When placing a Pass Line bet, the shooter must roll either a 7 or an 11 to win. Rolling a 2, 3, or 12 will automatically result in a loss, while any other combination will trigger a “Point”. If this occurs, the shooter must roll the same number before a 7, and if they do, the Pass Line bet wins. If the shooter rolls a 7 before the “Point” is rolled again, it results in a loss. Knowing the basics of the Pass Line bet will help you understand the game better and increase your chances of success.
Don’t Pass Line Bet
The Don’t Pass Line bet is the opposite of the Pass Line bet. Instead of betting that the shooter will win, you’re betting that the shooter will lose. If the come-out roll results in a 2 or 3, the Don’t Pass Line bet wins. If it’s a 7 or 11, the bet loses. A roll of 12 is a tie, known as a “push,” and neither wins nor loses.
When a point is established, the objective of the Don’t Pass Line bet is for the shooter to roll a 7 before rolling the point number. If a 7 is rolled before the point, the Don’t Pass Line bet wins. If the shooter makes the point before rolling a 7, the bet loses.
While the Don’t Pass Line bet may seem less popular, it offers slightly better odds for the player. However, it’s important to be aware of the social dynamics at the craps table, as most players tend to bet on the Pass Line. If you decide to bet against the majority, be respectful and mindful of the atmosphere at the table.
It’s important to remember that no matter what bet you make, you are playing against the house. You should always be aware of the casino’s edge on the different bets and choose a bet that maximizes your odds. Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask questions or practice before playing with real money. Familiarizing yourself with the game and its rules can make a big difference in your success.
Come and Don’t Come Bets
The Come and Don’t Come bets are similar to the Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line bets, respectively, but they can be placed after the come-out roll. These bets function as individual pass-line bets, and the rules regarding the point and the subsequent rolls remain the same.
To make a Come bet, wait for a point to be established and then place your chips in the designated Come area of the table. If the next roll after you place a Come bet is a 7 or 11, the bet wins. If it’s a 2, 3, or 12, the bet loses. Any other number establishes a new point for your Come bet. From that point onward, your objective is to roll the Come point number before rolling a 7.
The Don’t Come bet is the opposite of the Come bet. You place this bet after a point has been established, just like the Come bet. If the next roll after you place a Don’t Come bet is a 2 or 3, the bet wins. If it’s a 7 or 11, the bet loses. A roll of 12 is a push. If a point is established for your Don’t Come bet, your objective is to roll a 7 before rolling the Don’t Come point number.
The Come and Don’t Come bets allow you to join the game at any time, even if you missed the come-out roll. They provide additional betting opportunities and can add excitement to your craps experience.
The Come bet is placed before the Point is established for the first time. It pays even money as long as the Point isn’t a losing number. The Don’t Come bet is placed on any roll, following the first Point roll. It pays even money on non-field numbers and wins if the Point is rolled again before rolling a 7. Both bets can be taken down at any time, and are usually placed after the shooter has established a Point. They both provide additional betting opportunities and can help add excitement to your craps experience.
Once a point is established, players have the option to make additional bets known as Odds bets. These bets have no house edge and are placed behind the Pass Line, Don’t Pass Line, Come, or Don’t Come bets. Placing an Odds bet is an excellent strategy to improve your overall odds in craps.
To make an Odds bet, place your chips directly behind the corresponding original bet. The size of the Odds bet can vary depending on the casino, but it’s typically limited to a multiple of your original bet. The Odds bet is paid at true odds, meaning there is no house edge. Winning an Odds bet pays out at a higher rate than the original bet.
The Pass Line and Come bets have “taking odds,” which means you’re betting that the shooter will make the point before rolling a 7. The Don’t Pass Line and Don’t Come bets have “laying odds,” which means you’re betting that the shooter will roll a 7 before making the point. The Odds bet is an excellent way to increase your potential winnings while reducing the overall house edge.
When making an Odds bet, you can bet what’s known as “full odds” or even “double odds.” Full odds refer to the maximum Odds bet allowed for a Pass Line or Come bet, while double odds double this maximum amount. As the Odds bet has no house edge, it can be a great way to increase your payouts.
Field Bets and Proposition Bets
The Field bet is a simple bet on the next roll. If the roll results in a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12, the Field bet wins. If any other number is rolled, the bet loses. The Field bet typically pays out even money, except for 2 or 12, which may have higher payouts depending on the casino rules.
While the Field bet offers a variety of winning outcomes, it’s important to note that it has a higher house edge compared to other bets in craps. The house edge for the Field bet can range from around 2.78% to 5.56%, depending on the specific payouts offered. Therefore, it’s advisable to use the Field bet sparingly and consider it as a fun and occasional wager rather than a primary betting strategy.
Proposition bets are one-roll bets that involve predicting specific outcomes on the next roll. These bets can be made on various combinations, such as the total of the dice, individual numbers, or specific combinations like “hard ways” (e.g., rolling a pair of 4s). Proposition bets typically have higher payouts, but they also come with a significant house edge.
While proposition bets can add excitement to your craps gameplay, it’s important to exercise caution when using them. Due to their high house edge, they are generally considered more suitable for experienced players who want to add some variety and risk to their betting strategy.
By learning the basics of the game, it is possible to make prop bets with a lowered risk. A good approach to this is to combine proposition bets with your more reliable bets, such as pass or don’t pass. This can help reduce the effect of the high house edge that comes with these types of bets. As with any gambling, it is important to set a limit on the amount of money you are willing to risk before starting. Being aware of the risks involved and the house edge can help you manage your money better and make for a fun and safe playing experience.
Strategies for Playing Craps
Managing your bankroll is essential in craps. Set a budget for your session and stick to it. Craps can be an exhilarating game, but it’s important not to get carried away by the fast pace and adrenaline. Remember that luck plays a significant role in the outcome of each roll, and no strategy can guarantee consistent wins.
One popular strategy among craps players is the 3-Point Molly. This strategy involves placing a Pass Line bet, taking full odds on the point number, and placing two Come bets. By having multiple bets in action, the 3-Point Molly strategy increases the chances of having winning bets on the table.
Another approach is to focus on the bets with the lowest house edge, such as the Pass Line and Come bets, and supplement them with Odds bets. By avoiding high house edge bets like the Field and Proposition bets, you can improve your overall odds of success in craps.
Keep in mind that while strategies can help enhance your chances of winning, they are not foolproof. Craps is still a game of chance, and each roll of the dice is independent of previous outcomes. Use strategies as guidelines and enjoy the game for its excitement and entertainment value.
The same goes for responsible gambling. Set a budget for yourself and make sure to stay within that limit. This way you won’t be putting yourself at risk of financial strain or addiction. Play ONLY if it is a source of entertainment and not if you’re looking to make money. Don’t chase losses, and never borrow funds to gamble with.
Etiquette and Tips for Craps
Craps is a social game, and it’s important to adhere to proper etiquette at the table. Here are a few tips to enhance your craps experience:
- Know the flow of the game: Observe a few rounds before jumping in to get a feel for the pace and rhythm of the game. This will help you understand when to place your bets and avoid any confusion.
- Handle the dice properly: When you’re the shooter, make sure to use only one hand to handle the dice. Avoid sliding the dice along the table or tossing them too high in the air, as it can disrupt the game and lead to undesirable results.
- Place bets quickly: Be mindful of other players and place your bets promptly when it’s your turn. Taking too long to decide or repeatedly changing your bets can slow down the game and cause frustration among fellow players.
- Respect the dealers and stick to the established betting patterns: Dealers play a crucial role in maintaining the flow of the game and ensuring fair play. Be courteous to the dealers and follow the established betting patterns to avoid confusion and delays.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions: If you’re unsure about any aspect of the game or need clarification on a particular bet, don’t hesitate to ask the dealers or fellow players. Craps players are generally friendly and willing to help newcomers understand the game.
By following proper etiquette and being respectful at the craps table, you’ll have a more enjoyable experience and create a positive atmosphere for everyone involved.
By understanding the basics of craps, familiarizing yourself with the different bets, implementing effective strategies, and respecting the etiquette of the game, you can approach the craps table with confidence. Remember to manage your bankroll wisely, choose bets with favorable odds, and enjoy the social aspect of the game. With practice and experience, you’ll soon be able to enjoy the excitement and potential rewards of playing craps like a seasoned player.
When playing craps, it’s important to remember that there is no foolproof way to guarantee that you will win. Craps is a game of chance and no one can predict the future outcomes of any roll of the dice. Be smart, and stay within your bankroll. Know that you will experience losses as well as wins – and, most importantly, remember that you are there to have fun.