Introduction to Craps at the Casino

As a gambler, you’ve probably heard the expression “the house always wins.” And it’s true; the deck is stacked in the casino’s favor (no pun intended). Consider the following:

  • Blackjack gives the house a 0.28% advantage
  • Caribbean Stud Poker Gives the house a 5.22% advantage
  • Roulette gives the house a 5.26% advantage
  • Three Card Poker gives the house a 7.28% advantage
  • Keno gives the house a 25%-29% advantage

It makes sense; the casino needs to win to stay open. Once game, however, gives the player even odds: craps.

You’ve probably seen crowds of people standing around a table screaming; these are the craps tables. Playing with this many people can be intimidating for a new player, and keeps many people from playing craps in the first place. There’s nothing to be nervous about, however; craps is easy.

When boiled down to its most basic definition, craps is a game in which a player bets on the outcome of dice rolls-sort of like roulette, but instead of a wheel, you use dice. Unlike roulette, where the dealer spins the wheel, in craps the players have direct control of the dice. The player rolling the dice is known as the shooter. At the beginning of their the dealer presents the shooter with five dice. The shooter chooses two and begins their turn.

The game is played in two rounds, the “come-out” and the “point.” The come-out round begins with the shooter placing a bet on either the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Bar (the shooter is the only one that must bet at this point, although other players may bet if they want). The shooter then establishes the point by rolling the dice until they get any number other than 2,3,7,11 or 12. If the shooter rolls any of these numbers before the point, they (and any other players that placed a bet) win or lose as follows:

  • On a roll of 7 or 11, players that bet on the Pass Line win and players betting on the Don’t Pass Bar lose.
  • On a roll of 2,3 or 12, players that bet on the Don’t Pass Bar win and players betting on the Don’t Pass bar lose.

Once the point is rolled, the real betting begins. This is where many people get confused, but don’t worry; it’s not that hard to figure out. During the second phase, you are either betting that the shooter will roll the point before a seven (a Pass Line bet) or a seven before the point (a Don’t Pass Bar). For example:

The Come Out roll is 8. If you bet the Pass Line, then you are hoping that the shooter rolls an 8 before a 7. If you bet on the Don’t Pass Bar, you want the shooter to roll a 7 before they roll an 8.

It’s that simple! Now that you know the rules, walk up to the craps table with confidence and prepare to win some money!


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