Craps Tutorial, History, Strategy, Rules and Odds
Strategic guide on how to play the casino game of craps
– Offers gamblers a great variety of wagers
– Super fast, Super Fun Casino Action
– Lots of Craps Terminology
Craps is a game in which players bet money on the outcome of one or more rolls of two dice. Players may bet either against each other or against a casino. The game evolved from the old English game hazard, which might date back as far as the crusades, and was later modified by French players, who named it crapaud, French for toad. Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville brought the game to New Orleans. In his version the players were able to cheat the casino by using fixed dice and betting for or against the thrower. John H. Winn fixed this problem and his version is used today. The game is reportedly especially popular among African Americans.
The Game Against a Bank or Casino
One or more players may play against a casino, which covers all bets and sets the odds and payoffs. Each play takes turns rolling two dice. The person rolling the dice is termed the “shooter.”
A player who aspires to being a shooter must bet at least the house minimum on one of two lines, the “pass line” or the “don’t pass line.” The shooter is given a choice of five dice by the stickman, and must choose two. The first thing the shooter does is to make a “come-out roll”, to try to make a point. If this roll is 2, 3, or 12, it is termed “craps”, or “crapping out,” and his or her turn ends with players losing their pass line bets. A come-out roll of 7 or 11 results in a win for pass line bets. This is termed a “natural”. The shooter then continues to roll until a point is created. If numbers 4-10 are rolled on the come-out, then the number rolled becomes the point, ending the come-out roll. The dealer will signal the point number to all the players at the table with a button. The shooter then continues to roll for either the point number or a seven. If he or she rolls the point number there is a win for the pass line. If he or she rolls a seven the pass line loses. If a seven is rolled, the round is ended with the dice being passed clockwise to the next player who wants to be a shooter.
Players who want to play without being shooters need to check the table first to find out if the dealer’s button is on to indicate any point numbers. If the point number is off, then the table is in the come-out round. If the button is on, then the game is in the point round, in which some casinos allow a bet to be placed, but some do not. Any bets may be placed in either round. Between rolls, the dealer makes payoffs and collects losing bets. The stickman observes the game and decides when to let the shooter have the dice, after which betting is finished. In casinos, players make bets with the house’s chips on a special table with felt cloth displaying betting optiosn. Most craps tables have two identical sides. Bets are made according the to the table layout.
Four casino workers make up a craps table. The boxman guards the chips, supervises the dealers, and handles exchanging small chip denominatiosn for larger denominations. Two base dealers stand one on either side of the boxman to collect and pay bets. The stickman stands directly across from the boxman and takes bets in the center of the table, announces the results of each roll, gathers the dice with a stick,and directs the dealers to pay winners from the bets at the center of the table. Each employee checks the other to be sure that winners are being paid correctly. When the table is not busy, sometimes only one base dealer will work at the table, making the table available for bettors on only half the table. Some casinos have no boxman and the boxman’s job is performed by the dealers and a walking supervisor.
Shooters are requred to roll with only one hand. The dice must bounce off a wall that surrounds the table. These rules are designed to keep shooters from controlling what numbers they roll. If a die falls off the table a player will usually be asked to select another one.
Various rolls have nicknames. A nine is called “centerfield nine” and a five is a “no field five”. Nines may also be referred to as “Lou Browns”. Four can referred to as “Little Joe from Kokomo”. In Atlantic City, a 4-5 is termed a “Railroad Nine.” Eleven is termed a “Yo” or “Yo’Leven,” because it can be erroneously called a seven. Rolls of 4, 6, 8, or 10 can be termed “hard” or “easy”, depending on how they were rolled. If they were rolled as doubles or in other combinations.
Types of Bets
In the standard layout for craps, the shooter must either make a pass line bet or a don’t pass bet. Some establishments requie players to make minimum pass or don’t pass bets regardless of whether they are shooting. Line bets are based upon the number of points.
Pass Line Bet
The basic bet in craps is the pass line bet, which is a bet for the shooter to win his or her point number. A pass line bet is won automatically if the come-out roll is a 7 or 11. If the come-out roll is 2,3, or 12, the bet is calle crapping out, or losing. If the roll shows another value, it establishes a point, and if that point comes up on another roll before a seven is rolled, the bet is won. If a seven is rolled before the point is rolled for the second time, it is a seven out, or loss. A pass line pays 1:1.
Don’t Pass Line Bet
A don’t pass line bet is a wager for the shooter not to make his or her point number, and is usually the opposite of the pass line bet, in that it loses if the come-out roll is 7 or 11 and wins if the come-out roll is a 2 or a 3. A 12 in some casinos will draw. A player cannot lose if 12 comes up. A draw, or tie, on 12 is performed to give the casino a house edge regardless of which way the players bet. If a point is established and rolled again, the don’t pass bet loses. If a 7 is rolled rather than the point, the don’t pass bet wins.
If 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled on the come-out, most casinos allow the pass line bettors to place from one to five times the pass line bet behind the pass line. This wager wins if the point is rolled again before a 7 is rolled and pays off at 2:1 if a 4 or 10 is the point, 3:2 if the point is a 6 or a 9, and 6:5 if the point is a 6 or 8. Some houses offer 3-4-5 x odds, in which the maximum allowed odds bet is dependant upon the point: 3x if the point is 4 or 10, 4x if the point is 5 or 9, and 5x on 6 or 8. A maximum pass odds bet on a 3-4-5x table will be paid at six times the line bet for any point.
Don’t Pass Odds
A player playing don’t pass may also place chips behind the don’t pas line. If a 7 is rolled instead of the point, the odds pay 1:2 if a 4 or 19 is the point, 2:3 if the 5 or 9 is the point, and 5:6 if 6 or 8 is the point.
A come bet consists of two rounds and is similar to a pass line bet. The most important difference is that a player making a come bet will wager on the first point number that is rolled, regardless of the table’s round. If 7 or 11 is rolled on the first round, it is an automatic win. If a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled, then it is a loss. If the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 19, then the come bet will be put into the box representing the number thrown by the shooter. The number becomes the come bet point and the player is permitted to add odds to the bet. The dealer laces the odds onto the come bet, but off center to show the diffeence between the original bet and the odds. The second round is a winner if the shooter rolls the come bet before rolling a seven. If the seven is rollde before the come-bet, the bet is a loser. On the come-out roll for the pass line the come bet is in play, but the odds do not work, unless the player arranges otherwise with the dealer. Come wagers cannot be made unil afer a point has been established. The come bet is placed upon the pass line. Because of the come bet, if a shooter makes his or her point, the player can have a come bet and the next roll may be a come-out roll. If this happens, odds bets on the come wagers are assumed to be not working for the come-out roll. If the shooter obtains a 7 on the come-out roll, players with active come bets waiting for a come point lose their initial bets but have their odds money reutrned to them. If the come point is rolled the odds do not win, but the come bet wins and the odds are refunded. The player can elect to tell the dealer that he or she wants his or her odds working, so that if the shooter rolls a number the same as the come point, the odds bet will win along with the come bet, and if a seven is rolled both wagers lose.
Don’t Come Bet
Don’t come bets are played in two rounds. If a 2 or 3 is obtained in the first round, it wins If a 7 or 11 is obtained, it loses. If a 12 is rolled, the player has the option of revoking his bet. If the roll obtains 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, then the don’t come bet is removed and placed into the box corresponding with the number thrown by the shooter. If the shooter rolls a seven before the don’t come point, the second round wins. Don’t come wagers cannot be made until after the come-out roll when a point has been established. Odds can also be placed onto don’t come bets on the bet in the box, offset to indicate that its is an odds bet as opposed to the original bet.
Single roll bets
Single roll bets or proposition bets use only one roll of the dice. These are often called service bets, and they are found in the middle of most craps tables. Single roll bets include: 2 (snake eyes, or aces) wins, 3 (ace-deuce) wins, 12 (boxcars, midnight, or cornrows) wins, 2 or 12 (hi-lo) wins, any craps (three way) wins if the shotter rolls 2, 3, or 12, C and E wins if half the bet is on craps and the other is on 11 (yo).
Any seven wins if the shooter rolls and obtains a 7, or big red.
The horn is a wager involving betting on one unit apiece for 2, 3, 11 or 12. This type of bet is actualy four separate bets with four chips. Some players will make five bets.
Whirl or World
This bet has five units and is a combination of a horn and an any seven bet. If a seven is rolled the bet is a tie, because the money won on the seven applies to the horn parts of the bet.
On the Hop
On the hop is a single rolld bet on a certain combination of two dice on a roll. One might bet on a 3 and a 2 on a hop, betting that one die would show a 3 while the other would show a 2. It pays off at 15:1 except for double, such as two 2’s on a hop, which would pay 30:1.
The field wager is a bet that one of the number 2, 3, 4, 9, 19, or 11 will be seen on the next roll. This wager usually pays 2:1 or 3:1 if 2 or 12 is rolled, and 1:1 if 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11 is srolled. The bet is handled directly by the player without the aid of the dealers or stickman. Players place their field bets in areas as close to themselves as possible to identify them. Players can either collect their bets or winnings immediately or let them ride.
Multi roll bets are those that are not necessarily settled on the first roll and may need any number of subsequent rolls before the end. Most multi-roll wagers have a point made by the shooter before the utcome is decided. These wagers are known as not working, in the come-out roll until the next point is determined, unless the player calls the bet as working. Casinos establish their own rules on this.
A hard way mans that both die show the same value. It is alwo known as doubles or pairs. A hard way bet is that the shooter will throw an even number the hard way before he or she throws a seven or the same number the easy way.
The easy way bet is that the shooter will toss a certain 4, 6, 8, or 10 with a different number on each die before he or she throws a 7.
Big 6 and Big
The 6 or the 8 can be chosen to be rolled before the shooter obtains a 7. Thes bets are unpopular since they pay only 1:1.
Place and Buy
A point number 4, 6, 8, 9, or 10 can be placed or bought by if the wager is plaed in the come area and the dealer is told how much and on what numbers. Some casinos charge commissions on buy bets.
A lay bet is the opposite of a buy bet, in which a player bets on a 7 to roll before the number that is laid . Players get 1:2 for 4 and 10, 2:3 for numbers 6 and 9, and 5:6 for 6 and 8.
In some casinos players are allowed to bet upon shooters who might get many points with different numbers. The fourth, fifth, and sixth points will payoff at increasing odds. The fourth pay pays at 25:1, the fifth pays at 249:1, and the sixth pays at 999:1, as long as the points are all different numbers.
The probability of attaining a given dice combination often determines the payoff. The casino always sets the payoff at slightly below the odds of attaining the combination in order to make a profit. The reason craps is built around 7 is that it is the most likely number to roll. The expected value of all wagers is negative, so that players can expect to lsoe money. Since die rolls are all independent, there is no long term winning strategy in the game. Increasing the size of wagers in line bets will reduce the casino’s advantage, but not eliminate it. During promotions some casinos may offer odds bets that reduce its edge to almost zero, but the player will have to make large bets to get such favorable odds. Payoffs are normally rounded down to the nearest dollar, which helps to increase the casino’s profit.
Some casinos have variations of the typical craps game. Some of them include:
1. Rolling 11 establishes a point instead of a natural win.
2. Rollng a 12 pays off at 3:1 in the field.
3. Rollng 11 pays 2:1 in the field.
4. Big 6/8 is not offered.
The best strategy for a player is to minimize losses by placing bets with the least casino advantage. The best bets are the pass/don’t line, come/don’t line, place 6, place 8, buy 4 and buy 10. The losses with the best bets will lose money between three and twelve times more slowly than other bets.
The amount of loss per hour can be calculated, based upon 102 rolls cast per hour for an almost full table:
1. $10.00 pass line bets, $4.28 per hour
2. $10.00 plce 6, 8 bets, $4.69 per hour
3. $10.00 place 5,9, $11.32 per hour
4. $10.00 place 4, 10, $12.14 per hour
5. Single hardways, $2.84 per hour
6. All hardways, $56.71 per hour
7. $1.00 craps only on come out, $3.35 per hour
8. $1.00 eleven only come out $3.34 per hour
Good common sense dictates playing only what you can afford to lose, setting limits on how much to lose, setting win goals for any session, and not assuming that any number is due to come up at any particular time.
Rules of etiquette are considered important as rules of the game, and must be followed for a player to be accepted:
1. Players may not handle the dice with both hands or move the dice off the table. If a player wants to switch hands, he or she needs to place the dice onto the table with one hand and pick them up off the table with the other.
2. The shooter must hit the farthest wall at the opposite end of the table when throwing dice.
3. A roll is not valid if it lands in the boxman’s bank, the stickman’s bowl, off the table, or in the rails aroundthe top of the table where chips are kept. The dice must land only on the table, the dealer’s working stacks, on the marker puck or with one die resting on top of the other.
4. If a die stops leaning against another object, the number that would be up if the object were removed is the one used to make the call.
5. Most casinos allow shooters to set the dice at a certain number before throwing them.
6. Dealers and players must not touch one another or hand chips directly to each other.
7. Some crap tables have no call bets, which means that players must not place bets before putting down chips.
8. It is considered more polite to put chips down rather than throwing them.
9. A player offered dice may pass them to another player, but someone must always be a shooter betting on eithe the pass or don’t pass line for the game to keep going.
10.The way to tip is to throw chips onto the table, saying, “For the dealers.” Some players like to tip dealers by placing bets for them.
11.After a come-out roll, saying the word “seven” is considered bad luck.
12.Changing dice in the middle of a roll is also considered bad luck.
13.Propositin bets, in the center of the table, are made by throwing chips onto the center of the table while calling out the bets. Care should be taken when throwing is necessary.
14.It is considered bad manners to make betw while the dice are no longer in the middle of the table. Excessing late betting can be disallowed if it slows the game.
15.Food, drinks, and cigarettes should not be held over the table or the chip rail.
16.After a successful come-out roll, it is considered bad luck for a shooter to leave the table.
17.Hands should be held off the table when the dice are moving, to avoid interference with their trip.
18.The player is responsible for tracking big 6 or big 8 bets, while the plaec bets and come line bets are tracked by the dealer Hardway and other proposition bets are kept track of by the stickman.
19.“Barber pole” is a derisive term for using chips of different denominations. Barber poles should be stacked with the highest denomination on the bottom.
One of the most well known systems is the Martingale System, which consists of the player’s beting a given amount, an doubling his wager every time he loses, which is most of the time. When he or she wins, the bettor starts over with the initial amount. The player either runs out of money after doubling it a number of times, or reaches the house’s maximum. The profit is only equal to the initial bet.
The gambler’s fallacy is the belief that past rolls influence future rolls of the dice. The rolls are actually random and independent events. To put it another way, dice have no memory.
Parity hedge system
There is not parity hedge system, since it would be a mathematical impossibility.
Dice setting or control
Attempting to set the dice before throwing them does not work because fair dice have no memory. The only way to set them with success would be to have dice full of honey or some other viscous substance, which is strictly illegal.
Indian reservations in California have adapted the game to insert cards into the roll process to get around state laws barring craps.
Cards mapping physical dice
Six cards are employed in an intermediate stage of the game. Dice are rolled but the values are mapped to values through a mapping determined by cards. The probabilities of the game remain the same.
Cards replacing dice
Cards representing dice may be dealt from a shuffling machine that replaces throwing dice. Two cards are dealt to represent each roll. The results are slightly skewed toward don’t come and don’t pass bets.
Rules of Play Against Other Players
Informal playing among people without a casino is called street or private craps. If money is bet rather than just chips, it may be illegal, depending upon the local laws. Betting is usually more simple, often with an agreement on a number as the point, and rolling the point again before rolling a seven. Complex proposition bets as used in the casinos are usually not offered in street craps. If a shooter makes a pass bet, the next bettor is expected to make a no pass bet before other bettors are allowed to bet with the shooter.
HOW TO PLAY ONLINE CRAPS
Playing the game:
Betting the Pass Line
(With the dice): When the player spins a 7 or 11 on the first throw (the come-out roll), it is a natural and you win. On the other hand, if 2, 3, or 12 spins, it is craps – and you lose. Any other value (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) becomes your point. You win if the point repeats before a 7 spins, and your bet is removed if a 7 shows before you make your point. Place these wagers in the area marked Pass Line on the layout.
Betting the Don’t Pass Line
(Against the dice): This is the reverse of betting the Pass Line. You lose on a natural 7 or 11, and win if a 2 or 3 spins. 12 is a push, and no one wins. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 spins it becomes the point, and you win if a 7 spins before the point is repeated. Your bet is removed if the point is made before a 7 spins. Place these wagers in the area marked Don’t Pass Line on the layout.
The simplest explanation of Come wagers is that you’re betting with the dice, exactly as on the Pass Line, except that Come wagers are made any time after the come-out roll. You win on naturals 7 or 11, and your bet is removed on craps 2, 3, or 12. Any other value becomes the come-point and you win if your come-point is made before a 7 is rolled. Place these wagers in the area marked Come on the layout.
Don’t Come Bets
The reverse of betting on the Come. You lose on a 7 or 11, and win on a 2 or 3. 12 is a push. Here you win if a 7 spins before your come-point is repeated, and lose if the come-point is made before a 7 is rolled. Place these wagers in the area marked Don’t Come on the layout.
These are all one-roll wagers that are decided on each roll of the dice. Any 7 pays 4 to 1. Any Craps (2, 3, or 12) pays 7 to 1. Either 2 or 12 pays 30 to 1. Either 3 or 11 pays 16 for 1. These wagers are placed for you by the Dealer.
There are four possible Hardway wagers: Hardway Four – two 2s, and Hardway Ten – two 5s, which pay 7 to 1, and Hardway Six – two 3s, and Hardway Eight – two 4s, which pay 9 to 1. If any other combination of the values or a 7 is rolled, your bet is removed. These wagers are placed for you by the Dealer.
Betting the Odds
You may take odds or lay odds in addition to your original bet (flat bet). The odds wins if your flat bet wins, and your bet is removed if your flat bet loses. The odds on a 4 and 10 are 2-to-1, on 5 and 9 are 3-to-2, and on a 6 and 8 the odds are 6-to-5. The dealers will be happy to further explain the odds bet to you.
You may take a Place Bet any time on any or all of the following values: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. If the value you have placed spins before a 7, you win and are paid 9-to-5 on the 4 and 10, 7-to-5 on the 5 and 9, and 7-to-6 on the 6 and 8. These wagers are placed by the Dealer.
Buy & Lay Bets
Pay true dice odds and may be made any time on any or all of the following values: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. A buy bet wins if the value spins before a 7 out. A lay bet wins when a 7 spins before the value. 5% is charged on a buy bet, and on the amount that could be won on a lay bet.
This is a one-roll bet that may be made on any roll. If 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11 spins, you win even money. If 2 or 12 spins, you win 2-to-1. If any other value spins, your bet is removed. This bet is placed in the area marked Field on the layout.Scroll To Top