How to Play Craps – Part 1 of 2
Craps is probably one of the most exhilarating games to play. The excitement and adrenalin rush when the roll is going good is unbeatable. Craps is a dice game where you basically roll two dice to the other end of the pit you are playing at in hopes of rolling, or not rolling certain numbers. There are a few parts to the game including the come out roll, making the point and all the rolls in between.
For the purpose of this article, you will be the dice roller and you have just come to the craps table. There are three ‘dealers’ at each craps table including the ‘stick man’ on one side and two other dealers on each side of the ‘boxman’ (the person guarding the houses’ chip stacks). The stickman will push five dice to you and you must pick two of those with which to roll. You have your two dice to roll and before you roll them you will need to decide if you want to bet on your first roll, called the come out roll. Betting on this roll means you are betting that you will roll anywhere from a 4 to an 11 and putting money on the Pass Line. Rolling 2, 3 or 12 is a ‘craps’ and means you will lose the money you have put on the Pass Line. If your Come Out roll is a 7 or 11 you will win even money and start with another Come Out roll. When you roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 dealer will put a black place marker on that number and it is then called the point. The object of Craps is to roll that Point number again before you roll a 7.
After you roll one of the point numbers you will keep rolling until you either roll a 7 and your turn is done or you roll the Point number. Let’s say you roll a 9 on your come out roll. Now you keep rolling the dice in hopes of rolling another 9. There can be lots of betting going on between the rolls and most people, after rolling a point number will put odds behind their Pass Bet. Generally speaking your odds on your Pass Bet will be double your pass bet. You can choose to place bets on other numbers while you are trying to roll your Point. If you do that, you are also hoping that you will keep rolling any number but a 7. I like to play the ‘across’ bets which means I will place wagers on the 5 numbers that aren’t the Point. I have found that placing these bets is the best way to make money playing craps, unless of course your second roll is a 7, then all your money is lost.
As you continue to roll and are rolling numbers other than your Point number, any player with money on numbers could be winning or losing money. And then you roll and ‘make your point’ meaning you rolled the same number as you did on the come out point roll. At this point the game sort of ends. Anyone with money on the pass line will be paid and anyone with odds behind it will also be paid. Should you have put money on the ‘don’t come’ bet you would have lost since this is a bet that you will roll a 7 before you make your point.
Once all winning wagers have been paid, the roller will begin again, trying to make a point before hearing those awful words said by the dealer ‘7 out’.
You can play Craps online or live but I would suggest that if you are a beginning Craps player you should start by playing online without the added pressure of a live audience. The main reason for this is the interaction between the casino employees and the players can be overwhelming for any novice. Often times you will find a friendly dealer who is willing to help new players learn the ins and outs of the game however, they will only take you to a certain point.
Now this article is purely just the basics of rolling the dice and what happens while you are doing that. The other part of Craps is about the specialty bets other than Pass Line and number wagers. Read a more advanced article about Craps playing and wagering in our article ‘How to Play Craps – Advanced’.