How to Play Craps Introduction Craps can be an intimidating game for the beginner. The table seems to have a hundred different bets. The players are barking foreign commands. The pace is too fast to even ask a question. If this is how you view the game, there’s good news. Almost every craps player makes one fundamental bet, the pass line bet. During your first time at the table, you can easily get by knowing just this bet. Then, as you gain experience, you can add bets to your repertoire. You’ll quickly begin to feel comfortable with the flow of the game, and before you know it, you’ll be a natural. The Pass Line If you understand just one bet in craps, it should be this one. The pass line bet is put on the pass line itself on a come out roll. You can tell if it is a come out roll if a black laminated marker on the table says “off.” If the come out roll is a 7 or 11, you win even money. If the come out roll is a 2, 3 or 12, then you lose. If any other total is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10), that total is called “the point.” The dealer will turn over the “off” marker to the white “on” side and place it on an area of the table with the point number to help the players remember what it is. The shooter will then roll the dice until he or she rolls either that same point again or a 7. If a 7 comes before the point, you lose. If the point is rolled first, you win even money. Don’t make a pass line bet after the come out roll. This is allowed but highly ill-advised because the value of a pass line bet is reduced after the come out roll. The house edge on the pass line is only 1.41%, which is pretty good compared to most other bets on the table and other games in the casino. Taking the Odds Have you ever wanted a bet with no house edge? Most U.S. casinos have only two such bets: the double-up feature on some video poker games and the odds in craps. In craps, however, you have to make a pass line bet first. After a point has been thrown, you may bet up to some multiple of your pass line bet – usually 3–5X – on the odds. To make an odds bet after a pass line bet, just put MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement the odds bet behind the pass line bet outside of the pass line area on the side closer to you. The odds are simply an additional wager that the point will be rolled before a 7. Because 7 is the most likely total roll, you win more than even money when you win. Specifically, if the point is a 6 or 8, the odds pay 6 to 5; if the point is a 5 or 9, the odds pay 3 to 2; and if the point is a 4 or 10, the odds pay 2 to 1. These are exactly statistically fair payouts. The table below shows the combined house edge on the pass line and taking the odds: “Full double odds” means the player can take 2.5X odds on a point of 6 or 8 and 2X on all other points. “3-4-5X odds” means the player can take 3X odds on the 4 and 10, 4X on the 5 and 9, and 5X on the 6 and 8. Assuming the player takes the maximum allowable odds, the payoff on any odds bet will conveniently always be 6X the pass or come bet. If the maximum odds would result in an uneven win, the dealers will usually let you bet even more to get to an even payoff. Don’t Pass The don’t pass bet is almost the opposite of the pass line bet. If the come out roll is a 2 or 3, then you win; if it’s a 7 or 11, you lose. A 12 is a push, except in Reno and Lake Tahoe, where a 2 is a push instead of the 12. Otherwise, the dice are rolled over and over until either the point or a 7 is rolled. If the 7 comes first, you win; if the point comes first, you lose. All wins pay even money. A person betting on the don’t pass is called a “wrong” bettor and is usually winning when everyone else is losing, and vice versa. If you make this bet, keep a low profile. The other players won’t want to see you celebrating while they’re losing. There is some disagreement about the house edge on the don’t pass. The following return table shows all the possible outcomes. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 1.36%. Some gambling books state the house edge is 1.40%. This is the expected loss per bet resolved; in other words, it ignores ties. Today, most gambling writers count ties and would go with 1.36% as the house edge. MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement Laying the Odds This is the opposite of taking odds: in other words, betting that a 7 will be rolled before the point. To make an odds bet, after a don’t pass bet, you have to give the bet to the dealer and tell him or her you want to lay odds on whatever the point is. Never hand the dealer a bet; rather, put it in front of him or her and say something like “laying odds on the 4.” The dealer will put it in the right place. If the point is a 4 or 10, laying the odds pays 1 to 2. If the point is a 5 or 9, laying the odds pays 2 to 3. If the point is a 6 or 8, laying the odds pays 5 to 6. The amount you may win by laying odds is the product of your don’t pass bet and the multiple of odds allowed by the table rules. If the table allows 5X odds, then you can win 5X your don’t pass bet by laying odds. Note that the multiple applies to how much you can win, not how much you can bet. For example, if you bet $2 on the don’t pass and the table allows full double odds, then you can bet $8 to win $4 on a point of 4 or 10, $6 to win $4 on a point of 5 or 9, and $6 to win $5 on a point of 6 or 8. The following table shows the combined house edge on both the don’t pass bet and laying the odds. Come If you ever become bored waiting for a point to be thrown and don’t want to waste your money on the riskier bets, you can consider the come bet. It is like the pass line bet, but may be made at any time. Like the pass line bet, you may also put money on the odds if a point is thrown on the first roll after the come bet is placed. There is a nuance to the come bet the player should know about. If a point is thrown and active come bets are still on the table waiting for a different point, then special rules apply for the following come out roll. The come out roll will still apply to active come bets, but it will not apply to their respective odds bets. If a 7 is rolled on a come out roll, odds bets on top of come bets will be returned. The player may ask to keep the odds turned on, but few do. Turning the come odds off on a come out roll increases the combined house edge from 0.326% to 0.377% in a 5X odds game, not counting returned odds bets as bets made. If you want to maximize your return on resolved bets, keep those come odds turned on. MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement A good strategy for the player who likes constant action is to have a new bet on either the pass line or come on every throw, and to always take the maximum allowable odds. Don’t Come The don’t come bet is like the don’t pass bet, but it is made on a non–come out roll. Place Bets In craps the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 are known as the “place numbers.” The player may bet on any of these numbers, and if it is rolled before a 7, the bet wins. Place bets are just like odds bets, except no pass line bet is required, and they pay worse odds. When a place bet wins, the dealer will return your winnings but leave the original bet on the table, establishing a new place bet. You may request that a place bet be “turned off” temporarily, or taken down, at any time. Place Bets to Lose Place bets to lose are the opposite of place bets. They win on a 7 and lose on the number. These bets can be found at the Star City casino in Sydney, Australia, and some Internet casinos. Buy Bets Buy bets are the same as the place bet, only with a different payoff. The player may “buy” any of the points (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10), which means to bet that the number will be rolled before a 7. When making a buy bet, you must pay a 5% commission and your bet will pay fair odds if it wins. Fair odds are 2 to 1 on the 4 and 10, 3 to 2 on the 5 and 9, and 6 to 5 on the 6 and 8. MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement A buy bet should be an increment of $20 so that the 5% commission can be an even dollar amount. If the bet is not divisible by $20, the commission will usually be rounded up to the nearest dollar. The following table shows the house edge on each buy bet. The payoff has been converted to a “for one” basis. Some casinos only charge the commission on buy bets on 4 and 10 if it wins. If this is the case, the house edge is lowered to 1.67% on the 4 and 10. Comparing place and buy bets, the place bets have a lower house edge on the 5, 6, 8 and 9. The buy bets are lower on the 4 and 10 regardless of whether the commission is charged on wins only or always. Tip: If the commission is rounded down, the player can cut down the house edge by betting just under $40 for a commission of $1. A buy bet of $39 on the 4 or 10 has a house edge of 2.5%. A buy bet of $38 on the 5 or 9 has a house edge of 2.56%. A buy bet of $35 on the 6 or 8 has a house edge of 2.78% (which is still not as good as the place bet). Big 6 and 8 The big 6 and 8 bets are exactly like the place bets on 6 and 8, respectively, except they pay only even money. The house edge on the big 6 and 8 is 9.09%, which is much higher than the 1.52% on 6 and 8 place bets. In Atlantic City these bets are illegal. In Las Vegas, that area of the felt is sometimes used for other riskier bets instead. Hard Ways There are four different hard way bets. For example, a hard 4 bet is betting that a pair of 2s will be rolled before a 7 or before any other way to roll a total of 4. This is called the “hard way” because it is harder to roll two 2s than a one and a three. Likewise, you can bet on a hard 6, 8 or 10, each of which is a bet that the hard way of rolling the given number will occur before a 7 or any “easy” way. The following table shows the house edge on hard way bets. Most casinos follow the stingier payoffs of 7 and 9 to 1. The liberal payoffs of 7.5 and 9.5 to 1 can be found in England and Australia. MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement Lay Bets The opposite of the buy bet, the lay bet may be placed on the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. The bet itself is that a 7 will be rolled before the number you choose. Because the 7 is the most likely number to be rolled, you will wager more than you can win. The player must pay a 5% commission on the possible winnings, and the fair odds are paid on the bet itself. The following table shows the house edge for each lay bet after converting the odds to a “for one” basis. If you should be at a casino that offers place bets to lose, those are preferable to lay bets on all numbers except the 4 and 10. Hint: If the commission is rounded down, the player can cut down the house edge by betting so that the winnings will be just under $40. A lay bet of $78 on the 4 or 10 has a house edge of 1.27%. A lay bet of $57 on the 5 or 9 has a house edge of 1.72%. A lay bet of $42 on the 6 or 8 has a house edge of 2.33%. All of these are better than the place bets to lose. Put Bets A put bet is a combination of making a pass line or come bet after a point is established and betting on the odds. It is generally a bad idea to make a line bet after a point is established; however, by taking the odds, the combined house edge can be lower than a corresponding place or buy bet. The next table displays the combined house edge according to the point and the multiple of odds taken. MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement If the point is a 4 or 10, the house edge on the put bet with 6X odds is the same as a corresponding buy bet. If the point is a 5 or 9, the house edge on the put bet with 4X odds is the same as a corresponding place bet. If the point is a 6 or 8, the house edge on the put bet with 5X odds is the same as a corresponding place bet. In other words, you have to back up the put bets with 4–6X odds for the house edge to be equal to the best option between a corresponding place or buy bet. It should be noted that put bets are not allowed in some casinos. The Proposition Bets Proposition bets either win or lose on the next throw. In general, these have the highest house edge of all the crap bets, and many players avoid them. The following table shows the various available prop bets. Different wins are known to exist on the prop bets. In the U.S., usually the payoff odds are the lower ones. The casinos in the U.K. and Australia are known to have the more liberal rules. There are various ways of making combinations of prop bets. A common one is the “horn” bet, which is divided equally between the 2, 3, 11 and 12. Sometimes a player will make a “horn high” bet, which doubles the bet on one of those numbers. Another common bet is the “world,” which is five equal bets on the 2, 3, 7, 11 and 12. Tip: If you must bet on a 7, don’t make the any 7 bet, which has a house edge of 16.67%. Instead, divide your bet by 3, and put 1/3 each on the 1-6, 2-5 and 3-4 hop bets. Even at a payoff of 15 to 1, you will still lower the house edge to 11.11%. MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement Field Bet The field is a one-time bet that the next roll will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. All wins pay 1 to 1 except for the 2 and 12, which pay 2 to 1. The following table shows the possible outcomes. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 5.56%. Sometimes, especially in Nevada, the 12 will pay 3 to 1. In northern Nevada, sometimes the 2 will pay 3 to 1 instead. The following table shows the return table for this more liberal field bet. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 2.78%. Net Gain/Loss per Session The chart below shows the net gain or loss you can expect over 100 trials, or come out rolls. For purposes of creating the chart, the player would bet $1 on the pass line and take full double odds. MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement Here are some actual numbers that show the probability of falling into various intervals. The graph and table were created by simulating 1,000,000 sessions of 100 trials, or come out rolls, and tabulating the results of each session. Miscellaneous Advice • Most bets can be removed, added to or deducted from with the exception of the pass and come bets, and you can’t exceed the max bet on the odds. With the place number and proposition bets, the dealers will often pay winnings only and let the original bet ride, unless otherwise requested. • Players take turns throwing the dice. The same person will often throw until he or she “sevens out.” The player may pass the dice if he or she wants to. • Know the rules and what to do before you arrive at the table, especially a busy one. Try not to rely on the dealers for strategy. • Craps has a language of its own, but you can pick it up as you go. For example, “two-way yo” is crap slang for a bet on 11 in which half is for the player and half is for the dealers. • When you throw the dice, they are supposed to rebound off of the other side of the table. A throw that doesn’t make it that far may prompt the dealer to request that you roll again. Conversely, overthrowing the dice off the table can be awkward and slow or disrupt the game. Dealers prefer a high lob as opposed to a low roll down the table. Also be careful not to knock down stacks of chips. MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement • Don’t put drinks on the table. There is a little shelf under the chips for glasses and bottles. • Don’t sit or lean on anything. Craps players typically must stand. • Don’t follow the advice of other players, especially those betting anything in the middle of the table. • As in all games, you should tip the dealers, especially if they’re being helpful. When you tip, don’t make a risky bet for the dealers as most players do; rather, you could consider making a field bet. To place a bet for the dealers, say “for the dealers” when you make it. A big reason to not make line bets for dealers is that some players can be goaded into making an odds bet for them as well and wind up giving more than what was intended. Española, New Mexico The Casino That Gives You MORE 460-A N. Riverside Drive • Española, NM 87532 • www.bigrockcasino.com MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement

© Copyright 2018