How to Play Craps
Craps is a fast-moving table game with the most potential for quick, large wins, and losses as well. It is played by rolling two
dice. The dice roll fast, so you have to know the various types of bets so that you can place you wagers within seconds.
Fortunately, it is a game of luck and therefore, you don't need calculate or even think about the possible outcomes except for
distribution of your bets based on favorable odds. Also, eventhough there are several bet types that can be made, a beginner can
go by only passline bets. These are Pass or Don't Pass bets, which in addition to being the simplest bets, they also
happen to have the minimum house edge.
Craps Game Sequence
- A round of game begins by placing bets on the craps table.
The bets placed at this stage are called passline bets and they are Pass bets and Don't Pass bets. There is a Pass line directly in front of you on the Craps table
and also a Don't Pass line . Bets are made by placing a chip or chips on the respective lines.
- A shooter (one of the players, it may be you) rolls a pair of dice across the table so that they hit the wall at the opposite end.
This first roll is called the come-out roll. The numbers, as well as the consequeces, in the come-out roll are divided
into three groups:
If the round of the game ends here at the come-out roll, the next round begins with the same shooter.
- 7, 11 : The Pass bets win, and so does the shooter. The round of game ends.
- 2,3,12 : This is called craps and Don't Pass bets win. The round of game ends.
- 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 : No one wins, but the number rolled in this case will be called the Point Number or simply the Point, and
the round of the game continues.
- After the come-out roll, more bets are placed by the players around the table.
The types of bets that are placed at this point will be seen shortly.
- Then, more rolls by the shooter follow.
In these subsequent rolls, only two numbers matter for passline bets, they are 7 and the point number. So, if the point number is
6, for example, then the rolling will continue until a 7 or a 6 are rolled. If 6 is rolled the Pass bets win, and so does the shooter.
The round of the game ends and the same shooter starts the next round. If 7 is rolled, the Pass bets (including the shooter) lose,
and Don't Pass bets win. The round of the game ends and the shooter is said to have sevened-out, so, he/she passes the turn to the
next player to his/her left for a new round.
Pass-line bets are paid at even money. If you wager $10, you'll win $10.
That all to it. You can now sneak into a Craps table, watch for a while, and when a new round of game starts place your passline bet.
Craps Combination and Odds
There are eleven possible numbers in the game ranging from 2 to 12. And for each roll of the dice there are 36 possible outcomes
as shown in the table below. Seven is the most probable number to be rolled since six of the 36 outcomes result in sevens. On the other hand, 2 and 12
are the least probable and they each have 1/36 chance of coming out. In between we have the following pairs with
equal probabilities: 3 & 11, 4 & 10, 5 & 9, and 6 & 8.
|N||#DC||Prob.||odds||The Dice Combinations|
Where, N is the number under consideration, #DC represents the number of dice combinations resulting in the number N,
Prob is the probability that the number N is rolled, the odds are the true odds of winning with the number N.
Note that either the sum of the second column (#DC), or if you count the total combinations listed in the last column will give
you 36 - the total possible outcomes.
At this point you can observe that the come-out roll is very favorable to the Pass bets. There are a total of eight ways to roll either
a 7 or an 11 while there are only four to shoot craps (2,3,12). In other words, Pass bets have twice the chance of winning than Don't
Pass bets in the the come-out roll. However, the situation is reversed at subsequent rolls since 7 becomes a losing number for the Pass bets.
If the shooter doen't win or lose at the come-out roll, then the best Point Numbers for him/her will be 6 and 8, followed by 5 and 9.
The worst Point Numbers are 4 and 10. Of course, the numbers 2,3,11,12 cannot be Point Numbers.
More Bet Types
Craps Come / Don't Come Bets
These bets are like creating a round of game within an ongoing round. They are similar to Passline bets (Pass/Don't Pass),
except they are placed after the come-out. Once the Point is established on the come-out, you may place a Come bet by
placing a chip or chips in the area marked "Come". If the next number rolled is a 7 or 11, the Come bet wins; if it is 2, 3, or 12,
it loses; if it is any other number, that becomes the point for your Come bet. If this point for your Come bet is rolled
before the next 7, your Come bet wins. If the 7 comes up first, the Come bet loses. Don't Come bets work exactly like
Don't Pass bets but use the point for Come bet.
Craps Odds Bets
These bets work to the player's advantage since the casino pays at true odds, with no house edge. Once a point is
established, a player may back a Pass or Come wager with an odds bet by placing a chip or chips directly behind a Pass-line wager.
Unlike Pass/Don't Pass or Come/Don't Come bets which pay at even money, odds bets pay based on the chances (or odds) of a number
coming out as compared to a 7 coming out. For example, if the point number is 4, there are 3 possible dice combinations that result in a 4.
compared to 6 possible combinations for a 7. That means, Pass bets have twice the chance of losing than winning; or, we may say that the
chance of getting a 7 compared to the chance of getting a 4 is 2 to 1. And this is exactly what odds bets pay on the number 4. You'll
win $20 with a $10 wager. Good deal.
The payouts for the other numbers are: 6 to 5 for 6 or 8; 3 to 2 for 5 or 9; 2 to 1 for 4 or 10
Don't Pass/Don't Come bettors may also place odds bet, but since their bet is on the other side of the Pass/Come bets the
payouts are reversed. An odds bet of $10 on the Point Number 4, for example pays $5 if 7 comes before 4, since they have twice a
chance winning than losing.
Other bets in Craps
There are more bet types such as Place bets, Hard ways, Proposition bets, and so on which are played on a single number and/or
for a single roll. The house edges of these bets are relatively high that a good player should avoid them.