How to play Craps?

HISTORY

There are several theories on the history of Craps. One theory is that in ancient times rolling of bones was done to divine the will of the gods, and that evolved to various dice games (including Craps).

Another take has the game evolving from an early Arab game passed through England, France and North America.Even before the Middle Ages, the Arabs played a game using little numbered cubes, called azzahr (meaning “the die”). The game showed up across the Mediterranean in France, where it was renamed hasard, then jumped to England some time before the 1500s AD where it was given the English spelling of the same word; hazard. The roll of lowest value in that game was called crabs. The French adopted that term from the English, but the French spelling was crabes. In the early 1700s, the game crossed the Atlantic to the French colony of Acadia (Canada).

In 1755, the French lost Acadia to the English who promptly renamed it Nova Scotia and banished the French-speaking Acadians, who migrated a great distance and finally relocated to Louisiana, where they were called (as they still are) Cajuns. There they developed a language called Louisiana French. They still played the good old dice game, but dropped the title of hasard and called the game simply crebs or creps, which was their modified spelling of the French crabes.

By 1843, the Cajun word came into American English as craps. People were apparently careful for a while not to omit the final ‘s’ for fear of confusion with a slang term having a totally different meaning, but that’s another story.

However all historians seem to agree on one point, Craps was brought over to North America from Europe in the early 1700’s. The game was first played on riverboats in the United States and then moved west with the frontier as the country grew.

In general there are two types of Craps games played today: “Street Craps” and “Bank Craps”. Street Craps is the variety you would find being played in informal settings. The betting is simplified, and someone must cover the bet in order for the game to progress. Bank Craps on the other hand is the form played in land based and online casinos. The betting is more complicated and the house covers the bets (banks the game) so the players are in effect playing against the house.

The craps environment in a land based casino is built upon having a little party around the table. With craps, unlike most if not all other casino games, you get to play along with the other players at the table. When one person wins, everyone making that bet also wins. So you get some camaraderie and some feeling of being on a team, or being at a party. For a lot of people this is the essence of craps, but for others the essence is to make money. For those folks, online craps may be your best bet. Online craps games have a little way to go yet before they can simulate the craziness of a land based casino, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

RULES

Craps is the noisiest game in the house and next to Blackjack it’s got some of the best player odds and like Roulette has quite a lot betting options.

Unfortunately Craps can be pretty complicated for a newcomer. There are such a large number of betting options, special rules and exceptions. Here I’ll try to give my best to explain the rules in the clearest way.

The game is played with a set of two perfectly balanced dices that should be tossed from one of the short ends of the table to the other (make sure that both hit the opposite side wall of the table). Payoffs are made based on the number combination displayed when the dice come to rest. The inside walls of the table are covered with a serrated egg-carton like foam, designed to make the dice bounce around to assure randomness. Each throw of the dice is called a “roll”.

THE GOAL OF THE GAME

The objective of Craps is to predict the outcome of a roll of the dices. The player bets on whether the dice roll will result in a win or loss. Apart from the player all other participants can place bets.

PLAYING THE GAME

A round of game begins when the person holding the dices(called The Shooter) throw them in what is termed the “Come Out”roll(the first roll). The dices can make a total ranging from 2 to 12. Before throwing them the shooter must first place a bet on either the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line. All other players can place bets anywhere in the layout. Depending on the outcome of the Come-Out Roll a Craps game proceeds as follows:

  • If 7 or 11 is rolled(called “a natural”): Pass Line bets win. Don’t Pass Line bets lose. The round is over.
  • If 2,3 or 12 is rolled(called “Craps”): Pass Line bets lose. Don’t Pass Line bets win(2,3) or tie(12). The round is over.
  • If any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) is rolled it is established what is termed The Point. The round continues.The Shooter keeps rolling the dices until either “The Point” is rolled again or a total of 7 is rolled, either will end the round. For example, if the shooter’s “Come Out” roll is an 8 that will become “The Point”, the shooter continues to roll until an 8 or 7 is rolled. If “The Point” is rolled, the shooter and his fellow bettors win and the round is over. If the shooter rolls 7, they lose, the round is over and the dice are passed to the left player for the start of a new(“come out”) round.

In case you are the next shooter and you don’t want to roll the dices you always have the option to give them right to the next player without rolling yourself.

In order to understand the true nature of Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line bets(and in fact all other bets) take a look of which numbers are most likely to happen when “The Shooter” rolls the dice.

Number: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
True Odds: 35 to 1 17 to 1 11 to 1 8 to 1 6.2 to 1 5 to 1 6.2 to 1 8 to 1 11 to 1 17 to 1 35 to 1

So for Pass Line bet(that relies on “Come Out” roll) we need 7 or 11. As 7 is the number that is rolled most frequently this bet feels “natural”. The “Craps” numbers(2,3,12-tie) lose, but these numbers are not rolled very often. And if some of “The Point” numbers(4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) is rolled the player still has a chance to win(“The Point” number must come up).

BETTING

There are variety of bets that can be made on each throw, some are conditional and some are bets against a specific result. Some bets can stay on the table for the entire round, some bets span rounds and some are only viable for a single throw. Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line bets are made on the shooter’s “Come Out” roll. All other bets are placed after the come out, once “The Point” has been established, and work independent of the Pass Line and Don’t Pass bets.

BET TYPE BET DESCRIPTION PAYOFF SEE
Pass Line Bet Also called the” Front Line”. This is the most popular bet at the Craps table. Available for the “Come Out” roll. Once Point is established, original bet may not be removed or altered. Wins if “Come Out” roll is 7 or 11. Loses if “Come Out” roll is 2, 3 or 12. Point is established if “Come Out” is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10. Following the “Come Out” roll player wins if “The Point” is rolled prior to rolling a 7. Player loses if a 7 is rolled prior to rolling “The Point”. Bet is removed after a win or a loss. 1 to 1 1
Don’t Pass Line Bet The opposite of a Pass Line bet. Also called the” Black Line”. Available for the “Come Out” roll. Wins if “Come Out” roll is 2 or 3. Loses if “Come Out” roll is 7, 11. Ties if “Come Out” roll is 12. “The Point” is established if “Come Out” roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10. Following the “Come Out” roll player wins if a 7 is rolled prior to rolling “The Point”. Loses if “The Point” is rolled prior to rolling a 7. Bet is removed after a win or aloss. 1 to 1 2
Come Bet Basically the same as a Pass Line bet except it is placed while the round is in progress. Made any time after the initial “Come Out” roll when a shooter has a point to make, you win on the first roll of the come bet with a natural (7, 11) and lose on craps (2, 3, 12). Any other number that comes up is a “Come Point”. You win on a come bet if this number is rolled again before a 7. The dealer moves the bet from the Come area to the corresponding box for that particular number. During a round of Craps, you can make as many Come bets as you like. 1 to 1 3
Don’t Come Bet Opposite of the come bet, except the 12 is a tie. Made any time after the initial “Come Out” roll when a shooter has a point to make, you lose on the first roll of the don’t come bet with a natural (7, 11) and win on craps (2, 3). Any other number that comes up is a come point. You lose on a don’t come bet if this number is rolled again before a 7. 1 to 1 4
Odds Bet You can accompany your Pass Line, Come, Don’t Pass, or Don’t Come bet with an additional bet called an “odds bet”. Once a point has been established, the odds bet is popular because it pays “true odds” on your bet. True odds are based on comparing the chance of your number being rolled before the 7, and are paid out accordingly. To illustrate, look at the above True Odds table, you can see that the 7’s chance of coming up is twice that of the 4. When you place an odds bet on the four, it will pay 2 to 1, the true odds.

An odds bet on the “pass line” and the “come” is called “taking odds”. The payouts on taking odds are:

Points: – True Odds
4 and 10: 2 – 1
5 and 9: 3 – 2
6 and 8: 6 – 5

An odds bet on the “don’t pass” and the “don’t come” is called “laying odds”. The payouts on laying odds are:

Points: – True Odds
4 and 10: 1 – 2
5 and 9: 2 – 3
6 and 8: 5 – 6

5
Place Bet to Win The player must place his/her bet on the table and tell the dealer that he/she wants to place the bet on a particular number to win. He/She may place the bet at any time however it becomes active once “The Point” has been established. Player bets on number(s) 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and a player may have more than one place bet.This becomes the “Place Number”. Wins if shooter rolls the “Place Number” prior to rolling a 7. Payoff depends on the “Place Number” selected. Loses if shooter rolls a 7 prior to rolling the “Place Number”. Bet remains on the table following a win however the player may remove it from the table at any time.Bet is removed from the table following a loss. 9 to 5 (on 4 or 10)

7 to 5 (on 5 or 9)

7 to 6 (on 6 or 8)

6
Place Bet to Lose The player must place his/her bet on the table and tell the dealer that he/she wants to place the bet on a particular number to lose. He/she may place the bet at any time however it becomes active once “The Point” has been established. Player bets on number(s) 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and a player may have more than one place bet. This becomes the “Place Number”. Wins if shooter rolls a 7 prior to rolling the “Place Number”. Payoff depends on the “Place Number” selected. Loses if shooter rolls the “Place Number” prior to rolling a 7. Bet remains on the table following a win however the player may remove it from the table at any time. Bet is removed from the table following a loss. 5 to 11 (on 4 or 10)

5 to 8 (on 5 or 9)

4 to 5 (on 6 or 8)

6
Field Bet Special roll bet that wins if the total on the next roll is among the numbers shown in the Field box (2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12), and loses if the roll is a 5, 6, 7 or 8. It pays even money on 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11, and pays double on 2 and 12. Field Bets can be placed before any roll. 1 to 1 (on 3, 4, 9, 10, 11)

2 to 1 (on 2, 12)

7
Big 6 and Big 8 Bets A Big 6 is a bet that a 6 will be rolled before a 7. Similarly a Big 8 bets that an 8 will be rolled before a 7. Big bets pay even money if the shooter rolls their respective number before a 7 and lose if a 7 is rolled first. They are active during the Come Out roll as well as any other roll, and they may persist beyond the end of a round (i.e. when a round ends on a Point roll of 4, 5, 9 or 10). They may be placed, modified or removed at any time before any roll. 1 to 1 8
Hardway Bet This bet can be placed at any time however it becomes active once “The Point” has been established. Player bets on number(s) 4, 6, 8, 10. Wins if shooter rolls the selected number ‘the hard way’. Roll a 4 via a pair of 2’s, roll a 6 via a pair of 3’s, roll an 8 via a pair of 4’s, roll a 10 via a pair of 5’s. Payoff depends on the number selected. Loses if the shooter rolls a 7 or rolls the number the easy way. For example, roll a 4 via a 3 and 1. Bet remains on the table following a win however the player may remove it from the table at any time. Bet is removed from the table following a loss. 7 to 1 (on 4 or 10)

9 to 1 (on 6 or 8)

9
The Horn Bet Player bets on number(s) 2, 3, 11, 12. Wins if shooter rolls the selected number. Loses if the shooter does not roll the selected number. Payoff depends on the number selected. 30 to 1 (on 2 or 12)

15 to 1 (on 3 or 11)

10
Any 7 Player bets on the outcome of the next roll. Wins if the shooter rolls a 7. Loses if the shooter rolls any other number. Bet remains on the table following a win however the player may remove it from the table at any time. Bet is removed from the table following a loss. 4 to 1 11
Any Craps Player bets on the outcome of the next roll. Wins if the shooter rolls 2, 3 or 12. Loses if the shooter rolls any other number. Bet remains on the table following a win however the player may remove it from the table at anytime. Bet is removed from the table following a loss. 7 to 1 12
Eleven or
Craps (E-C)
Player bets on the outcome of the next roll. Wins if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, 11 or 12. Loses if the shooter rolls any other number. Payoff depends on the number rolled. Bet remains on the table following a win however the player may remove it from the table at any time. Bet is removed from the table following a loss. 7 to 2 (on 2,3 or 12)

15 to 2 (on 11)

13

Last 5 bets(Hardway, The Horn, Any 7, Any Craps, E-C) are known as Proposition bets.

STRATEGY

Here are five popular and easy to remember strategies, keep in mind however, that Craps is definitely a game of chance.

STRATEGY #1: Classic Regression

Goal: To make a profit on one hit.

In this strategy, you wait until the shooter has made his/her point before placing your bets. After the Point is made you will place two units or $12.00 on both the 6 and 8. After one hit, you will ask the Dealer to come down one unit on both the 6 & 8.

Results:
You now have a $2.00 profit and can no longer get hurt by the Seven. In addition, you now have $12.00 working for you. After another hit, bring down all bets and wait for the roller to make his/her point or 7 out, then start the process over.

On two hits your net profit is: $21.00. Now depending on how confident you are, you can come down after the first hit profiting $14.00 or keep betting on the 6 & 8. If you prefer to keep your bets riding make sure that both the 6 & 8 are covered.

Behind the Strategy:
There are ten combined ways to make a 6 and 8 and six combined ways for a seven

STRATEGY #2: “Three Point Molly”

Goal: To have three numbers working for you at all times.

In this strategy you will make a Pass Line bet and two “Come bets”.
Make a Pass Line bet.
Backup your Pass Line bet with single or double odds.
Make a Come Line bet.
Backup each Come Bets with single or double odds (two Come bets maximum).
When one of your Come Bets wins, place another Come Bets.
Continue this process until the shooter makes his/her Point or Seven-Out.
Behind the Theory:
Each times you make a Come Bet you are protecting your Pass Line bets and taking advantage of a hot roller.

STRATEGY #3: “Anything But Seven”

Goal: To win on any number thrown except a Seven.
Don’t place any bets on the Don’t Pass or Pass Line, but wait until a point has been established.
Place two units on 5, 6, & 8.
Place one unit on the Field.
Results:
This method is a little riskier than the previous strategies, since your total monetary risk is: $39.00. Therefore, it is suggested that you remove all bets after three rolls. Should the shooter hold the dice for at least three rolls, you will stand to win anything from $15.00-$27.00(more if the numbers 2 or 12 are rolled).

Behind the Strategy:
The average roller rolls the dice 4 to 6 times before rolling a 7.

STRATEGY #4: “68 Play”

This strategy is based on always playing the 6 & 8 regardless of “The Point”. Here are the steps:
Don’t make a Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line bet rather wait until a “POINT” is made.
Wait till the shooter rolls the dice one more time.
“PLACE” $18.00 on both the 6 & 8 for a total investment of $36.00
Once a 6 or 8 is made ask the dealer for $22.00 inside
On the next hit, ask the dealer to take down the 5 and 9
Play out the roll for three additional rolls and then bring down the 6 & 8
The Breakdown:
After First Hit you will receive: $21.00
Takedown to 22 inside $14.00
Your total exposure after the first hit is $1.00. But now you have $22.00 working for you.
The second hit will produce $7.00 plus the return of $10.00 from the take down of 5 and 9
With total two hits you have a $16.00 profit and still have $12.00 working. At this “POINT”, you can continue to have the 6 & 8 working or take down your $12.00.
Advice:
If the shooter has not made a 6 or 8 and/or his “POINT” by the fourth roll, bring down all bets and wait for the next shooter. If you feel uncomfortable laying $36.00 you can start with $24.00. If you feel good about the shooter you may want to keep the 5 and 9 up for more than one roll.

STRATEGY #5: Regressive/Pressing Methods

One of the biggest mistake I have witness from player is “Pressing” (letting your winnings ride) their bets too soon. It is my firm belief that “Pressing” should only occur after the initial investment has been recuperated.
Wait for the shooter to make his/her “Point”
“PLACE” $18.00 on both the 6 & 8
After the first hit, ask for $22.00 inside
After the second hit, remove the 5 & 9
After the third hit, put back the 5 & 9
After the fourth hit press the 6 & 8 to $12.00 each
After the fifth hit; go to Step #2.
The Breakdown:
After First Hit you will receive $21.00 and $14.00 from the takedown to 22 inside. Funds at risk are $1.00.
After Second Hit you will receive $7.00 and $10.00 from removing the 5 & 9
Total Profits after two hits: $16.00 – Money Working: $12.00

BOOKS

Winning Casino Craps

by Edwin Silberstang, Publication Date: 10/12/1980, 141 pages

In this book, you will learn how to walk away from the table with a profit. The winning techniques are based on Dr. Tamburin’s 25 years of experience playing and winning at casino craps. His proven techniques have been taught to thousands of individuals in his schools and seminars and most recently in his Craps – Rolling To Win instructional video. Wherever you play craps, you’ll find everything you need to know to play and win at craps.

Get the Edge at Craps: How to Control the Dice! (Scoblete Get-the-Edge Guide)

by Sharpshooter, Frank Scoblete, Publication Date: 09/01/2002, 225 pages

This is the book craps players have been waiting for! For the first time ever, the casino’s worst nightmare, the amazing player known as “Sharpshooter,” reveals his secrets for getting the edge at craps — how to control the dice when you shoot in order to reduce the appearance of certain numbers (the 7!) and increase the appearance of other numbers.

If you learn Sharpshooter’s methods of dice control or “rhythmic rolling,” craps becomes not only a beatable game but a money maker for the player!

Here’s what this amazing book will teach you:

  • How to Set the Dice: You will learn how to arrange the dice before you shoot to maximize the numbers you want and/or minimize the 7.
  • How to Grip the Dice: You will learn how to minimize “release drag” and “finger friction.”
  • How to Deliver the Dice: You will learn how to utilize the “3-Cs” of delivering the dice and learn how to take advantage of a 45 degree launch angle to minimize bounce.

Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win

by Frank Scoblete, Publication Date: 09/01/1991, 152 pages

This book is for novices and experienced players as well. Scoblete introduces you to the Captains five-count method of playing craps. He explains how to play the game of craps making only the bets with the lowest house edge. He will tell you which bets you should avoid at all times and why. Learn how to maximize your time at the tales while risking less money when waiting for that hot roll.

Forever Craps!

by Frank Scoblete, Publication Date: 09/15/2000, 140 pages

In Forever Craps, Frank Scoblete shows you how to use the 5-Count and the Golden Ruler for selecting the best shooters to risk money on. He thoroughly explains the theory and his technique of Rhythmic Rolling to make the dice obey your will. He analyzes how to utilize the best bets for your style of play and for your style of shooting. Finally, Frank shows you how to use the casino’s own comping systems to get more money for less risk! It all adds up to this: Advantage to the Player!