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Craps: How to Play

Probably the oldest and most basic casino game, craps is a development of dice games that were originally played in the crusades.

A low technology, high emotion choice, craps is a dice game that is played in casinos worldwide and has never waned in popularity.

Still played in many places as a street game, there are many variations – generally the main differences are whether the game is played with or without a back stop; casino craps generally has a back stop and is played on a felted table surface.

This table – or layout – is generally a double board with a space in the centre for the stickman – he distributes the dice to the players and keeps the excitement and pace up.

A shooter – or player – will roll the dice and each player will place a bet on the ‘pass’ or ‘don’t pass’ lines; the play moves through players around the board in a clockwise direction. Having been offered a choice from five dice, the player – or shooter – chooses two and will throw those dice for play.

The round begins when the first shooter throws the dice to establish the ‘come out’. If this first roll results in a total of 2, 3 or 12 it’s known as ‘crapping out’ and players who have bet the pass line lose. The pass line wins if the shooter rolls a ‘natural’ – or a score of 7 or 11 – so your odds are good to win if you bet on the pass line.

The roll also determines the ‘point’. This point – a score of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 – must be rolled again for the shooter to score a win – ‘making your point’. If players have bet on the pass line then they win if the point is rolled once more prior to a seven.

If a 7 is rolled by the player before the shooter scores their point, then that shooter loses and the dice move on to the next player clockwise around the table. If a seven is rolled prior to the point once again, then those who have bet on ‘don’t pass’ will win.

Though the game appears simple on the surface the complex and flexible scoring system makes it a very popular choice in casinos.

Of the huge number of options for placing a bet on craps there are only a few that a beginner needs to know; betting on pass or don’t pass are the most common, and the most likely to pay out!

The other bet a player ought to consider is ‘come’ or ‘don’t come’ – this is very similar to ‘pass’ and ‘don’t pass’ – but is bet on the come out number; once the come out roll has determined a number place your bet on ‘come’. If the roll scores a 7 or 11 then the bet is won, if the number is a 2,3 or 12 then it loses.

If any other number is rolled this becomes your ‘pass’ – and the dealer will push your chips into the box with that number; if that number is rolled again before a 7 you win!

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