Breaking Down Craps
While a busy craps table can be an exciting place to be, if you’re new to the game, it can also be a little confusing. Get to know some of the basic components of the table before you play.
The craps table can be intimidating at first glance. The layout features all the possible betting options available to players. Rule of thumb is that the bets on the outsides of the table have better odds than those in the middle.
The game is played with two dice where players bet on the outcome of each roll. The only people permitted to touch the dice are the stickperson, who uses a curved stick to collect them and pass them to the person whose turn it is to the throw the dice after each roll, known as the shooter.
The puck is a round disk with the word “off” on one side and “on” on the opposite. Before the shooter’s point is established on the come-out roll, which is the first roll of the dice, the puck is “off” side up. Once the point is established, the dealer turns the puck over and places it above the point number on the table.
A long, curved stick used by the stick person to collect the dice after each roll and hand them to the shooter.
Because there are so many possible bets at the craps table, the game can be confusing for new players. Don’t fret, there’s a whole crew of people on hand to help you out.
Supervises the box, the area in the centre of the table where the centre bets are placed. He or she verifies payments, books call bets, which are bets made on credit from the casino, and controls the game.
This person’s role is to keep an eye on the dice at all times. He or she calls the outcomes of the rolls and uses a curved stick to retrieve the dice after rolls and pass the dice to the shooter. The stickperson also takes all centre bets.
The dealers stand on each side of the boxperson. Their role is to handle the money and the chips. The dealers exchange cash for chips, pay out winning bets and clear the table on losing bets. Dealers also mark the point and help players place bets on hard to reach places.
In craps, every player gets a turn to be the shooter as long as he or she has an active pass or don’t pass wager. The shooter rolls the dice for the entire table. The honour moves clockwise around the table. When you’re not the shooter, you’re betting on the results of the shooter’s roll.
How to Play craps in 5 easy steps
Start with a game plan. It’s easy to get swept away in all the excitement of craps. Make sure you set a budget and stick to it.
Select your table. Different tables have different betting limits and different casinos allow different betting amounts when placing odds. Find one that fits your comfort level.
Buy chips. Place your cash on the table and signal to a dealer that you would like to exchange your money.
Place your bets. If you’re not sure how to bet, ask any of the crew. They can answer your questions.
Have fun! Craps is fast-paced and exciting. It’s never boring, whether you’re betting on another player’s roll, or it’s your turn to be the shooter.
1. Start with a game plan
Set a budget
A busy craps table at the casino can be a fun and exciting place to be. But craps is still a form of gambling and over time, the house always wins. Set a budget and stick to it so you don’t lose more than you can afford.
Don’t bring credit cards
Make sure you don’t spend more than you intend to. Use cash only and leave your cards at home.
Set a win limit
Being up and then losing it all takes the fun out of the game. Decide in advance when it’s time to walk away, even if you’re on a winning streak, by setting a win limit.
4. Place your bets
Placing wagers in craps is done directly on the craps table. Players are only allowed to place chips on the bets right in front of them: the pass line, and don’t pass bets, plus the come, don’t come, field and Big 6/8. Any bet in the numbered squares requires assistance from the crew. Winning bets are paid out. Losing bets are collected.
Players can choose from more than 10 types of wagers with varying combinations but many of them lean heavily in favour of the house – more so than in many other casino games. If you’re just starting out, here’s a breakdown of some of the more popular bets in craps.
The bets with the lowest house edge are the pass line bets, come bets, place bets and odds bets.
Playing A Round
Placing Pass Line bets
Before the shooter rolls the dice, players place their bets on the outcome of the first roll. Players can choose to bet with the shooter by making a Pass line bet or against the shooter by making a Don’t Pass Line bet.
The come-out roll
The very first roll at the beginning of a game is called the come-out roll. Before this occurs, the puck is in the “off” position. Players who bet with the shooter, also known as Pass Line bets, win if the outcome is 7 or 11. On the contrary, they lose if the outcome is 2, 3 or 12. In this case, players who bet against the shooter (i.e. Don’t Pass Line bets) win.
Establishing the point
If the come-out roll is any other number than those mentioned above, (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10), then no one wins or loses. Instead, the number becomes the shooter’s point, which is marked by the puck which is placed over the point number in the “on” position, and the game continues.
The good times keep rolling
The shooter continues to roll until the outcome is 7 or he makes his point. If 7 appears before a point is established, players betting with the shooter lose; if the point appears first, the players betting with the shooter win. Upon either outcome, bets are paid out and collected. The shooter keeps rolling until they roll a 7, or “seven out” at which time, the dice move to the next player and the round begins again.