If you have ever been into a casino, no doubt you would of noticed that the noisiest and busiest place in the casino is the craps table. Craps is a great game that frequently has a communal atmosphere to it, which helps to the create the levels of intense excitement that the game is renowned for. However, for a newcomer to the game, it can be extremely confusing. Craps is a game that carries one of the largest amount of bet variations in the casino, meaning there is a lot of action for a player to place a stake on. In turn, when combined with the fast pace of the game, if you are not already in the know to what is happening, it would be near impossible to decipher. This guide will offer a simple explanation on how to play craps, covering all the basics and disclosing some simple tips that will make sure that you are making the correct bets.
Steps to Take before Betting
Before you can wager any bets, you need to exchange some cash for some chips. This can be done directly at the craps table, simply place some cash on the table and decide what denominations you would like your chips in, and a dealer will exchange them for you. As always, it best to have a pre-allocated budget, which is money that you can realistically afford to lose, so keep that in mind. Another thing to consider is the minimum wager amount of the table. Nearly all tables will have one, and this will dictate how much money you have to play with. Obviously, for beginners, it is advisable you stick to the low limit tables, until you feel comfortable enough to move onto the tables with higher stakes. Generally, your budget and the table limit will determine what value of chip is most suited to you.
This is the most common bet in roulette; nearly everyone playing at the table will be making this bet and this is where the communal spirit of craps comes from. Players will bet on the pass line when it is a new player’s turn to roll the dice, which is known as a ‘come-out roll’. If they roll a 7 or 11, you win. If they roll a 2, 3 or 12, you lose. The initial stage of this bet really is that simple. However, if any number is rolled that was not just mentioned, then that becomes the ‘point’ number. From now on the ‘shooter’ (the person rolling the dice) must roll the value of the point number before a 7 is rolled; if a 7 is rolled before the point number appears, then all pass line bets lose. The beauty of the pass line bet is that it is one of the best bets in a casino, with a house edge of only 1.41%.
In many ways, the come bet is the same as a pass line bet, the only difference is that a come bet can be made in the middle of a round i.e. after a point number has already been set. A come bet establishes a player’s own point number that they will win from. When a come bet has been placed, the next number the shooter rolls will become the point number. The dealer will move the chips into a section which indicates the point number you need to win and just like the pass line, the point number must appear before a 7 does.
This bet can only be made after you have wagered a pass/come bet. The free odds bet is the best bet on the whole table, that is because there is no house edge placed upon them, with all bets being paid at true odds. The free odds is an increase on your pass/come bet. Many tables will operate a maximum limit you are allowed to place as a free bet. It will be a multiple of the minimum pass line bet.
This bet is pretty straight forward, you are simply betting on a number that you think will come up before the next 7 does. This can be a useful bet for more experienced players, as different numbers have different odds of appearing and therefore have different payouts. If you know the odds, this can be a good a get bet to profit on.
The shooter will roll a 2, 4, 8 or 10 the ‘hard way’, that is with both die showing the same number For example, a hard way 8 would have the dice showing 4 and 4. This needs to happen before the next 7 is thrown, in order to win.
The shooter will roll a 2, 4, 8 or 10 the ‘easy way’, that is with the dice showing different numbers. For example, 8 the easy way is 5 and 3. As always, this needs to occur before a 7 is thrown.
These bets are some of the most unfavourable in the entire game, with the outcome being based on a single throw. Yet, saying that, they will return a lot of money should you win. The proposition bets are as follows:
- Any Seven – The next number will be a 7. Pays at 4-1
- Any Craps – The next number will be 2, 3 or 12. Pays at 7-1
- Craps 2 – The next number will be a 2. Pays at 30-1
- Craps 3 – The next number will be a 3. Pays at 15-1
- Craps 12 – The next number will be a 12. Pays at 30-1
- YO/11 – The next number will be an 11. This is called ‘YO’ as when the numbers are called out, 7 sounds much like 11. Referring to 11 as ‘YO’ helps to eliminate any confusion for the dealer. Pays 15-1
- Horn Bet – The next number will be 2, 3, 11, or 12. This bet is a bet on all 4 numbers, so is staked in increments of 4. If one of the numbers comes up, then you are paid as if it were a single bet, with the house keeping the money from the 3 losing bets. There are also variations of the horn bet, which are staked in increments of 5:
◦ Horn High – Double the amount it wagered on 12, with a single amount on the other horn bet numbers.
◦ Horn YO – Double the amount is wagered on 11, with a single amount on the other horn numbers
◦ Horn Low – Double the amount is wagered on 2, with a single amount on the other horn numbers.
There are also 2 other bets, the don’t come and the don’t pass. These operate in the same way as come and pass bets, but are the direct opposite. That means you would be betting on numbers which would cause other people to lose. Playing the don’t bets isn’t advisable – you may get some unpleasant looks from the rest of the players in the scenario of you winning and them losing. The don’t bets almost make you an opposition the interests of the rest of the table.
Now that you know the ins and outs of the bets that occur in craps, you must also know how to handle and roll the dice. Failure to follow these rules will slow the game down and make you unpopular at the table:
• You must roll the dice one handed
• The dice must bounce off the back wall of the table once they are rolled
• You must not remove your hands away from the table when you have the dice. If you do, the dealer may think you are cheating and will have to stop the game to examine the dice, to see if they have been replaced/tampered with.
Beginners can play craps from just knowing one bet, the pass line bet. It is so simple that you can’t really go wrong, plus the fact it is one of the fairest bets around. On top of that, free odds should also be bet where possible, as these are just an extension of the pass bet. It is also useful to note, that if a player has set limit to play each round, then it is better to place a small bet as a pass bet, with a larger proportion of money being placed on the free odds bet. This is because the free odds bet pays even fairer than the pass line bet, meaning you win more money.