Craps

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About Craps - Online Casino Gems

Craps is a popular table game that is played using a pair of dice. In fact, this casino game enjoys immense popularity in the United States because nearly every gambling film in Hollywood features a group of excited players joyously gathered around a craps table.

The game of craps centers around players’ bets on the outcome of a roll or a set of rolls of two dice. Unlike blackjack or baccarat where the dealer does most of the work, craps have a single designated player to throw the dice. This player is referred to as the crapshooter or just shooter.

To a rookie craps player, the table game may appear to be confusing and difficult. The game is governed by a slew of rules with many bets running at the same time, but don’t let this discourage you. Craps is one of the easiest and entertaining games to learn and play.

You can start playing craps knowing only a few bets but by learning the ins and outs of the game, you can expect to take gameplay to the next level.

If you’re eager to learn about craps rules, gameplay, bets, betting systems, winning strategies, and much more, then you’ve come to the right page. We’ve put together one of the most thorough guides to craps available. Be prepared to walk away as a next-level craps player.

A Brief History of Craps

The history of craps spans as far back as the Crusades during the 12th and13th centuries. Craps, as we know it today, was modeled after Hazard, a popular European dice game that made its way to the US in the early 1800s thanks to a young Louisiana landowner named Bernard Xavier Phillipe de Marigny de Mandeville. 

Unlike modern-day craps, the hazard shooter can choose the main number ranging from 5 through 9. De Marigny simplified the game by making the main number always 7.

Sadly, the upper-class didn’t hold de Marigny and his new game in high regard. This was why he introduced the game to the lower class in the area. Soon afterward, deckhands and other water workers adopted the new game upstream and on the Mississippi River. 

The game eventually caught up with the residents along the Mississippi River. In fact, it was so well received that hundreds of craps variants were born. Interestingly enough, the name “craps” was a funny mispronunciation of “crabs.”

One hundred years after craps was born, the game was being abused by casinos using dice that have been rigged. To remedy this, John H. Winn, a dice maker based in Philadelphia implemented a system that allowed players to wager on Pass and Don’t Pass bets. This system is still used in both in-person and online casinos.

How to Play Craps - The Fundamentals

To get your craps game started, you must first pick a shooter, which is a fancy name for the player who will roll the dice. Once the shooter has been named, the first roll of the new betting round is made. This is referred to as the come-out roll in the craps world.  

When the shooter makes a Pass Line bet first, a come-out roll occurs. If you’re playing at a live casino, take a pair of dice and throw them on the craps table. If you’re playing craps online, you can perform the same action by simply clicking on the “roll” button.

The outcome of each roll is determined by the total face-up value of the dice pair. For example, if dice #1 and dice #2 have face-up values of 2 and 7 respectively, then we say you threw a 9.

The outcome of each roll or what you threw is determined by the total face-up value of the dice pair. As an example, if the first and second die you threw has face-up values of 2 and 7 respectively, that means you threw a 9. 

There are 3 possible outcomes for every roll: natural, craps, and point. Read on for what each outcome means.

Natural - This is the best possible outcome you can get on each roll. It’s when you throw a 7 or an 11. If you land a natural, you automatically win and the shooter will roll the dice again.

Craps - This is a losing outcome that occurs when you roll a 2, 3, or a 12. It’s the opposite of a Natural roll but don’t fret. Even though you’ve lost, you will be given another chance to roll.

Point - This outcome occurs when you throw any other number other than a Natural or a Craps like 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. The next thing that’ll happen is that the dealer will mark the Point.

If you rolled a 9, for instance, the marker will be placed on the number nine on the table.

For both online craps and live craps, you will roll the dice again. The shooter will roll the dice once more.

The best possible outcome is to roll the same outcome again. In this case, if you roll a 9, you win a boatload of money!

Take note, unlike in the come-out roll, rolling a 7 is the worst outcome, which will subsequently end the betting round. This is referred to as sevening-out.

The come-out roll ends here; other outcomes will be covered in the betting options section.

How to Play Craps - The Available Betting Options

(a) Popular Bets

Although there are many types of betting options in craps, only a few of them will matter to you once you learn the finer points of the game. Here’s a rundown of the most popular craps bets you should know:

Pass Line bet: this is probably the easiest bet in craps to learn and wager on. When you wager on a pass line bet, you are betting that the outcome of the come-out roll (the first roll of a new betting round) will be either 11 or 7. If the crapshooter throws either number and you have made a Pass Line bet, you will see your money doubled.

If the come-out roll delivers a 12, 3, or 2, you will lose your Pass Line bet, but you’ll get to roll the dice again.

As we’ve mentioned before, if the come-out roll results in a 10, 9, 8, 6, 5, or 4, the Point is marked by the dealer. This is where the game gets interesting. 

The dice is rolled repeatedly until either a 7 is rolled or the Point number is rolled again. For example, if you threw an 8 in the come-out roll, you will win a Pass Line bet if an 8 comes before a 7, which means you’ve lost.

Don't Pass Line bet: This is the opposite of the Pass Line bet, which means that you’re wagering against the crapshooter. If the shooter rolls a 12, 3 or 2, you win a Don’t Pass Line bet. In craps speak, we say the shooter has crapped out. On the flip side, you will lose if the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11.

If a Point is marked (the shooter rolls a 4,5,6,8,9 or 10), then your aim when you make a Don’t Pass Line bet is to have the shooter hit a 7 before rolling the Point number.

Come Bet: This is pretty similar to a Pass Line bet, and you can make it any time after the point has been established. In other words, a Come Bet wins if the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11 after the come-out bet. Similarly, if the shooter rolls a 12, 3 or 2 after a come-out roll is rolled, the Come Bet also loses.

If the shooter rolls a 4,5,6, 8, 9 or 10 any time after a come-out roll, then you establish your own Point. If that number comes up before the shooter rolls a 7, then you win. The opposite is also true, and they both pay 2 to 1.                         

Don't Come Bets: This is the exact opposite of the Come bet. You can make a Don’t Come bet at any moment after the point number has been established. You will lose your don’t come bet if the shooter rolls a 7. If the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, you win. A tie occurs when the shooter rolls a 12.

If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled, the number becomes your point. The shooter must roll a 7 before the Point number for your Don’t Come bet to win.

Odds Bets: An odd bet is what’s called a side bet. It can only be made once you have already wagered a Come/Don’t Come bet or a Pass/Don’t Pass bet. In a live casino, you can make an odds bet by placing desired chips behind your initial bet.

In craps, you can lay odds if you’ve made a negative bet - i.e. Don’t Come or Don’t Pass bet. On the flip side, you can take odds if you’ve made a positive bet - i.e. Come or Pass bet.

When it comes to odds bet, you are wagering on whether a 7 or the Point number will appear first. For instance, if you wagered a Pass bet and you take odds, you will win only if the shooter rolls the point number before a 7.

Note, however, that odds bets can be limited to 2x or 3x the original amount of the bet. The nice thing is that you take or lay odds at any time, remove them at any point or reduce or increase the bet amount at any time.

Laying or taking odds pays 3 to 2 for number points 9 and 2, double for points 10 or 4, and 6 to 5 for points 8 or 6.

(b) Single-Roll Bets

Single-roll bets are designed to be wagered at any time during a betting round. All you have to do is look for the relevant dice combination on the craps table. However, these single-roll bets have low return to player payout percentages, giving the house a huge advantage. These are ideal for players who just want to have fun and get a kick from making low-value bets.

(c) Proposition Bets

Proposition bets are a series of single-roll bets placed together on a craps table. Similar to single-roll bets, they come with unfavorable house advantages, so craps experts don’t recommend placing proposition bets. They may help make your gambling experience more exciting, however, as you wait for your main bets to come up.

Any Craps: This is a 3-way single-roll bet that wins if the shooter rolls any craps (namely numbers 12, 3 or 2). The odds are 7:1.

Three: Also known as Ace Deuce, this pays 15 to 1 if the shooter rolls a 3.

Big Red: Also known as Any 7, this pays 4 to 1 if the shooter rolls a 7.

Snake Eyes: It’s a nickname for Aces or Two Craps. That means you will get paid a whopping 30 to 1 if the shooter rolls a 2.

Twelve Craps: It’s sometimes referred to as Midnight or Boxcars, and it pays 30 to 1 if the shooter hits a 12.

Eleven: Also referred to as Yo, it’s what it sounds like - you win when the shooter hits an 11, and it pays 15:1.

(d) Craps & Eleven (C&E)

When you look at the craps table, there’s a section with 16 boxes marked with the initials C & E besides the proposition bets. This adds 11 to any Craps bet, which means that you will win if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, 12 or 11. This bet pays 30:1.

Please note that you will lose 50% of your original bet because half of your wager is on Any Craps, and the other half is on Eleven. This brings the house edge to 11.11 percent.

(e) Horn Bet

Horn bets are placed right next to the proposition bets in the middle of the craps table. By placing your wager on the Horn bets, you are betting that 12, 11, 3 or 2 will come up in the next dice roll. Your wager is divided amongst the numbers.

For instance, if you bet a total of $240 on Horns bets, then $60 will be wagered on each number. If 12 or 2 is rolled, this pays 30 to 1, which means you will get $7,200. Numbers 11 and 3 pay half of that (15 to 1).

(f) Horn High Bets

When you make a horn bet, the wager amount is distributed equally among the four numbers. However, you can make one of them a Horn High number by doubling your bet on that said number.

For instance, if you make 12 your Horn High number, and place a $10 bet, $4 will be put on 12, and $2 each on 2, 3, and 11. If 12 is rolled you will get paid twice the payout amount minus the $2 on the 11 losing bets. As you might expect, you will have to show which number you desire to be your Horn High number. If one of the other 3 numbers is hit, and not your designated high number, you will get paid for the winning wager minus $8.

(g) World Bets

This is sometimes called the Whirl Bet. This is a combo that allows you to bet on Any Seven and Horn bets, bringing your total individual bets to 5. As such, your bet can be wagered in multiples of $5, which is quite like the Horn High bets.

If a 7 is rolled by the shooter, for instance, then Any Seven bet wins and the other 4 Horn bets lose. Any Seven bet pays at 4 to 1, while Horn bet pays as shown above.

(h) Hardways

When you wager on a hard number, you bet that it will be rolled as a double. A hard 6, for instance, is a double of 3. So if 6 is rolled as a double of 3, it’s said to have been rolled the hard way.

Hardways bets are very straightforward, and winning the bet depends on the hard double being hit before a 7. That means that you can wager on a hard 10, a hard 8, a hard 6, and a hard 4. The payout depends on the hard number you have wagered on. Hard numbers 8 or 6 pay better at 9 to 1, while hard numbers 10 or 4 pays 7 to 1.

(i) Field Bets

When you place a Field bet, you are betting that a 12, 11, 10, 9, 4, 3, or 2 will be rolled in the next dice throw. The betting section for Field bets sits sandwiched above the Don’t Pass Bar and Come Bar.

If the shooter rolls either a 12 or a 2, the payout is 2:1, while a roll of 11, 10, 9, 4, or 3 pays 1:1 (evens).

(j) Big 8 and Big 6

These are pretty obvious, and both bets pay 1:1 if you win. A big 8 bet will win if the shooter rolls any 8 before a 7. The same goes for big 6.

(k) Hop Bets

Hop bets are similar to proposition bets in that you can make them at any time during a betting round. What’s more exciting about hop bets is that you can select any dice combo you want, and bet on the outcome of the following dice throw. Bear in mind that not all casinos give this betting option, so you must check the marking on the craps table.

(l) Lay/Buy Bets

These are some of the most popular multi-roll craps bets. A buy bet is a wager on any of the following numbers: 10, 9, 8, 6, 5, or 4. You are betting that your number will be rolled before a 7 at any time of a betting round. If this happens, you will be paid your true odds, which means that the casino will pay you back at an equal chance of the number being rolled.

Note, however, that the casino will deduct 5% from your winning before payout. A lay bet works oppositely because you are betting against the shooter. In other words, you can wager on this bet at any moment of the game, and you’re betting that the shooter will roll a 7 before your number comes up. Similarly, the casino will pay a regular payout but deduct 5 percent of your payout.

(m) Place Win and Place Lose Bets

Place win and place lose bets work precisely like lay/buy bets. However, the casino will not pay you true odds. A Place Win bet means you can bet at any moment of the game that one of the following will come up before a 7 is rolled: 10, 9, 8, 6, 5, or 4. If your chosen number is rolled before a seven, your Place Win bet will win. A Place Lose bet works the other way around.

Strategies for Winning at Craps

Craps can be an awesome or awful table game to play, depending on how you go about playing it. Here are some tried and true tips that will help you boost your chances of winning at craps:

Strategy #1: Always opt for the Come Bet

With an RTP of 98.59%, the Come Bet has one of the lowest house advantages. That means your probability of beating the house is in theory, very high.

Strategy #2: Opt for the Pass Line Bet

Just like the Come Bet, a Pass Line bet has a house edge of 1.41%. This is a premier bet because you can technically lose $1.41 with a bankroll of $100.

Strategy #3: Don’t hesitate to place an Odds Bet

Did you know that Odds bets have a zero house edge? Nada, zip, nothing! Of course, there is a small catch. The good news is that you can add more to your wagering without worrying about increasing the house edge.

Strategy #4: Don’t get caught up in the gaming frenzy

Craps is a highly charged and adrenaline-packed game, especially when played at a live casino. Because it’s some sort of a riotous game, it is easy for your judgment to be clouded causing you to make the wrong calls. Stick to Any Sevens and bets above that, and don’t give a hoot about others.

Strategy #5: Always manage your bankroll

Don’t forget about the good old bankroll management strategy. Set a win-loss limit, and stick to it. If your losing streak persists, don’t try to recuperate your losses.