Craps Tutorial, History, Strategy, Rules and Odds

What is Craps?

Craps is one of the very popular games at land-based casinos. Whenever you enter a casino, you will see a table that has tens of players surrounding it this is the Craps table. Craps is a game of luck that is played with two dice. To make it simple, it is a game where players place their stakes on the outcome of the dice when it is rolled. Players can place bets against other players which is called street craps, rolling dice or shooting dice and players can also place their wagers against the casino or the house which is called table craps or casino craps.

The History of Craps

Craps was inspired by an English game that was called Hazard. The history of the game can date back to the crusades. One thing is for sure, the game was affected greatly by the French gamblers. The modern day craps was brought to the United States through the state of New Orleans. It was brought to this state by Bernard Xavier Philippe. He was a notorious gambler and a politician. The Craps version of Bernard had a major flaw that allowed gamblers to exploit and fraud the casino through the usage of fixed dice or through exploiting the wagering system that players use to bet against the house.

The fix for this problem was brought by John H. Winn. He fixed it by introducing the new betting option that is called “do not pass”. This betting option is still used to this day in the Craps game that is offered in casinos across the world.

During the Second World War, the street craps version of the game was very popular among the soldiers who used to utilize their army blankets as the surface to shoot the dice on. Of course, there was no curb to prevent the dice from falling off. This is why they used blanket rolls in order to control the dice and prevent it from falling.
In the United States, among the African American community, street craps is referred to as shooting dice and it is usually played on the sidewalk or on the floor. Among this community, Craps is used to refer to the game that is played at casinos on the Craps table.

Bank or Casino Craps

Casino craps is the version of the game that is played at casinos. The wagers that players place are all against the casino. This game involves more than one player who plays against the dealer who represents the house. The payouts may differ slightly from one casino to another.

Players roll the dice in turns; the person who is shooting the dice is referred to as the shooter. There is a betting section that resembles the wagering area at the roulette tables. Players will see a piece of green cloth that has the numbers and the available bets printed on it. Players will start to place their chips on the numbers that represent the outcome of the rolled dice. Some bets require players to ask the dealer before placing them.

In order for the player to become the shooter and throw the dice, he has to place a wager on the Do not Pass Line bet or the Pass line wager. These bets are sometimes referred to as Win and Do not win or Right and Wrong. Each player will roll the dice in a clockwise direction. The shooter will roll the dice until his round is over or if he loses with a 7. The stickman, who is the dealer that represents the casino, will present the shooter with five dice and the shooter will have to pick two out of the five. The three remaining dice are then placed back in the bowl of the stickman.

Different Wagers at the Craps Table

1. Line Bets
Casinos require players who want to shoot the dice to make a Do not pass bet or a Pass Line Bet at least. Other casinos require all players at the table to make one of these bets before being able to place any other wagers at the Craps table.

The Pass Line Wager
This is one of the two fundamental wagers in a game of Craps. It is a bet for the dice thrower to win.
If the come out dice roll is equal seven (7) or eleven (11), the shooter wins. If the come out dice roll is equal two (2), three (3) or twelve (12), the shooter loses. If the shooter rolls other numbers than the ones mentioned above, this number is called the “Point”. If the shooter rolls the “point” before rolling a seven (7), then the bet wins. On the other hand, if a seven is rolled before the shooter rolls the “point”, then the bet loses. This bet pays players one to one.

The Do no Pass Line Bet
This bet is the exact opposite of the Pass Line Wager. If the come out dice roll is equal two (2) or three (3), the bet wins. If the dice roll is seven (7) or eleven (11), the bet is a losing one. If the come out dice roll is equal twelve, it is a tie.

If the come out roll is equal any other value, it is also called a point. If the shooter rolls a seven before the point, then the bet is a winning one. On the other hand, if the point is rolled before the shooter rolls a seven (7), then the bet is a losing one. This bet also pays players one to one.

2. Single Roll Bets
These bets are wagers on one single dice roll by the shooter, so there are no points or come out rolls; it is only a wager on one dice roll. These bets are also called Service Bets. These bets can only be placed by the dealer or the “stickman”. They are usually found in the middle of the craps table.

* Two: Players bet that the shooter will roll a two (2). It is also called Aces or Snake Eyes.
* Three: Players bet that the shooter is going to roll a three (3). It is also called Ace-Deuce.
* Yo: This bet wins if the shooter rolls an eleven (11).
* Twelve: This bet wins if the shooter rolls a twelve (12). It is also referred to as midnight, boxcars and cornrows.
* Two or Twelve: This bet wins if the shooter rolls a two (2) or a twelve (12). This is why the stickman places the wager on the line that is between 2 and 12. It is also called a Hi Lo bet.
* Three-Way: this bet wins if the shooter rolls two (2), three (3) or twelve (12). It is also called Any Craps.
* C and E: This is one of the combined bets at craps. In this bet, players place half of their wager on Craps and the other on Yo. One of these bets will have to lose and the other bet may win.
* Any Seven: this bet wins if the shooter gets a seven. This wager is also referred to as Big Red. This is because the seven (7) on the wagering area is always big and colored red. It is also used instead of Any Seven because according to the etiquette rules of Craps, players should not say the word seven while being at the table.
* The Horn: It is another combined bet where players wager one unit on two, three, eleven and twelve at the same time. So it is basically four bets in one bet.
* Whirl or World: It is a combined bet of five units. It combines The Horn and the Any-Seven bet.

3. Multi Roll Bets
These bets are usually never settled after the first roll. This is why they always require a number of rolls before the bet can be settled.

Hard Way
This bet is placed by players stating that the shooter will roll a four (4), six (6), eight (8) or ten (10) the hard way before rolling a seven (7) or the same number in the easy way. The hard way is when the shooter rolls two identical numbers on the two dice, also known as pairs or doubles. For example, a hard four is 2 + 2, a hard eight is 4 + 4 and a hard ten is 5 + 5 and so on.

Easy Way
This bet is the exact opposite of the Hard Way bet. It states that the shooter will roll a four (4), six (6), eight (8) or ten (10) the easy way before he gets a seven or the same numbers in the hard way. The easy way is when players get 3 + 1, which is an easy four or 5 + 3, which is an easy eight and so on.

Big Six and Big Eight
These bets pay even money and they win when the shooter rolls an eight or a six before rolling a seven. Experienced players do not use them because they pay even money (1:1) while they can earn more if they place a bet on a six or an eight. This is why most casinos do not even offer this kind of wager.

Craps Etiquette

Beside the Craps rules, the actual rules that players will have to follow, there are some unwritten rules or etiquette rules that players are expected to follow at the table. This is why new players should know these rules before hitting the Craps tables.

Some of these rules are related to the security of the casino, they include the following:

* Players should not handle the given dice with two hands; this includes shaking the dice in both hands before throwing them. Players should also keep their hands inside the surface of the table while they are holding the dice.
* Some casinos require players to throw the dice until they hit the opposite wall of the table. The rolls that do not hit the opposite wall of the table are referred to as Mellenberg Rolls. There are many casinos that would allow rolls that do not hit the opposite wall as long as they get past the middle of the table.
* Rolls that do not get past the middle of the table will be repeated again because of the controllable nature of short rolls.
* Players should not slide the dice; instead, they should toss and throw them on the table.
* If the dice hit the dealer or the player and gets back to the table, it counts only if the person did not interfere with the dice. Some casinos deem such rolls as no-rolls and repeat the process.
* Players can call bets before placing chips if they are waiting for the chips to arrive. Some casinos do not allow that. Casinos that do not allow that will state “No Call Bets” on the layout of the table.
* The casino has the right to ask the player to leave at any time without giving any reasons.Other rules are common
etiquette, they include:
* Placing the chips on the table rather than tossing or throwing them.
* When players are offered dice in order to shoot, they can pass the dice to other players.
* Players who want to tip the dealers can throw the tip on the table and say for the boys or for the dealers.
* Players should tip the dealers for the bets that they have placed such as the Service bets.

Card Based Craps Variations

These variations were invented by Indian reservations who wanted to get around the laws of the state of California because it banned games that depend on the result of a dice. So they incorporated playing cards in the process in order to get around the law. These cards replace the dice, so instead of rolling the dice, players would pick two cards.

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