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How to Play Craps: The Basics


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Find the green bathtub looking table with people standing around it hooting, carrying on and chucking dice. Once you have located it, you may place your bet on the present “shooter”, or wait for your turn to throw the dice!

Here are the basics of how to play craps. The dice travel around the table clockwise and players, in turn, throw them to the opposite end of the table where they must bounce at least once and then bounce off the wall. You are permitted to pass the dice on to the next player when it is your turn, but if you want to take a turn as the shooter, you must place a bet.

The first roll of a new shooter is known as the “come out” roll. If the total of the dice is 7 or 11, this is a “natural” and an automatic win for the player. The same shooter then gets to roll again. If the roll is either 2, 3 or 12, this is known as “craps” and it’s an automatic loss. All other numbers are known as “point” numbers.

If one of these point numbers is rolled, the object of the game is to roll that number again before rolling a 7. If the point number does show up before the 7, a “pass” has been completed and the shooter wins and takes another turn. Anyone with a bet on the pass line also wins, but anyone on the don’t pass line loses. If the 7 shows up before the point number, however, the shooter loses and so do any bets on the pass line. Bets on the don’t pass line, in this case, win. The dice are then passed to the next player, unless, of course, the people at the table allow the shooter to go again due to having lost on the come out roll or having “sevened out” on the first roll after the come out roll.

One of the first things you need to know when learning how to play craps is that the pass line bet is definitely the most popular bet at the craps table, with a house edge of 1.414 per cent. Even though the don’t pass line bet has a slightly lower house edge (1.402 per cent) it is, in fact, quite unpopular due to the superstition that it is bad luck to bet against the shooter. It’s up to you whether or not you want to risk becoming unpopular at the table for that little bit of an edge.

The best time to begin betting at a particular table is on the come out roll, which you can tell is in progress by the small plastic disc (the puck) that will either be flipped to the white ON site or the black OFF side. If the dealer has already made the come out roll, the puck will be turned to the ON side and will be in the box at the top of the layout that corresponds to what the point number is. If the puck is on the OFF side in the don’t come area, this means that the next roll will be the come out roll.

So, now that you know the basics of how to play craps, let’s keep moving along to learn about the different craps bets.



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