How to Play Craps
One of the most popular casino games in the world, Craps is a simple game of dice and wagers. This how to play craps guide, instructs how players must make a bet on the dice outcome, or on the other players outcome being wrong. The bets can be made on more than one outcome, and each player can bet against the other players however many times they want.
Craps can be played in a walk-in casino or it can be played as craps online. It is also considered to be a neighborhood game, and many people like to unofficially play with their friends in places not gambling associated.
In Craps, when someone says “Shooting the dice”, what it usually means is that they want to make a wager against the number another player has chosen. The difference between the casino craps and street craps is the equipment used for the game. A casino is usually equipped with top state of the art tables and Croupiers available to supervise the game and move all the bets around. Street craps can be played using a pair of dice and a circle of people.
History of the Craps Game
Based on an English game that goes back to the Crusades, Craps have been constantly developing and growing in popularity throughout the years. The French adopted the game from the English which lead to the game being popular among the French. After growing in France too, the game was finally adopted in America when a wealthy politician of the state of Louisiana, Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, brought the game with him and taught it to players.
There were a lot of different rules for playing craps at the time, and many rules had to be changed in order for all the exploits that players discovered that gave them an unpredictable edge over the casinos which ended up in the casinos suffering loses in the craps department. The casinos almost stopped allowing players to play craps before changing the rules so much that the game is finally cheat proof. John H. Winn was the man responsible for fixing the final exploit players could take in Craps by adding a “Don't pass” button.
Craps was not always called craps, even after the rules were changed around and the modern craps was created. It went under the name ‘Crapaud', which is a french word for ‘toad', since people had to literally stand leaning on their knees looking like toads when they first started playing the game in the streets. The only thing that both street craps and casino craps agree on is throwing the dice on a back stop. The player can choose not to use a back stop.
The biggest breakthrough in craps history was back in World War 2, when the soldiers had nothing to pass days of waiting but street style craps. The army craps grew so much that they eventually gave the way the army plays its own name and rules, “Army Blanket Roll”.
Craps is a lot of fun to play no matter where you are. The difference between craps that is played online and the casino craps is that you can actually sit and play with craps that is online. Its the same rules as the normal craps, but it is just a way for the players to be able to play from home or anywhere with internet without having to actually visit the casino. Going to a casino can be fun for a group of friends trying to have a good time, but if you are just going to play, playing from home could be much easier. Often players are hesitant to sign up to play craps, but it is actually safer to play from home than it is to play from a casino, especially for the elderly and the disabled.
Signing up for craps is simple and doesn't take long at all. All a player has to do is create a profile with their basic information for security reasons, and provide proof of self in order for all the money transactions to be completely legitimate. After the sign up process, depositing money into the player's account is secure and takes only a couple of minutes.
The rules of craps is the same as casino craps, but betting on other players isn't the same. In craps, you can bet on however many numbers you want, but if you want to bet against players, it has to be in a turn where you don't bet on a number yourself. Everything else is the same, and it is actually easier to play online where you can monitor the full table without having to look too far. The betting process is a lot more organized than in a real life craps casino table, with no players throwing chips all over the table that blocks the view of most of the bet numbers allowed due to the way a craps table is drawn out. In craps, the player only gets to see his own chips and the table looks clean.
The Craps Table
In craps, the gambling process is always done against the house. There is an oval table with numbers and sequences that allow players to bet on whatever number they think the dice will land on. Since there is 12 possible outcomes, the craps table is usually large sized with a couple of seats around. Only handicapped people are allowed to sit down because there is just way too many players that play the game at once, and there usually is a handful of croupiers that ensure the betting process stays organized.
The craps table is designed in a way to look like a giant bathtub. It stands at 14′ long and 5′ wide, making it large enough for plenty of players to be able to bet at the same time. Each table comes with a table cloth that has pre-sawn numerals and betting areas. On the banker's side sits stacks of thousands that can be distributed to betting players. The stack grows throughout the night as more and more players bet on numbers and win or lose. Around 8 players do the betting at the same time each turn, which is a whole lot of chips in one table which requires a couple of croupiers to work the table. There can also be outsiders betting on players losing but that doesn't always happen and it is called “proposition bets”.
A craps table requires four attendants to work the table: The Boxman, The Bank, a Stickman, and two basic dealers who handle the bets and the chips. Although craps doesn't come with real life croupiers, the game will still act as if the attendants are there doing their jobs. The boxman's job is the only Croupier that is allowed to sit out of the four and is in charge of supervising the banker. The banker handles giving out payouts and allowing players to buy chips and play, and the banker also supervises the two basic attendants. The two attendants put the chips on the right spots and make sure all the bets are either collected by the banker or the player. The two attendants stand directly ahead of each other in the table to also get a good view of the table in areas where the banker and the boxman can't see that well. The stickman handles the dice and announces on what numbers it landed which lets the banker and the players know if they won or lost. The stickman pulls the dice and hands it back to the betting player.
There is a smaller version of craps called “Mini Craps” which allows players to play with much less people around them. There is also a lot less attendants working the table since its much smaller. The chips are only used to pay out players if they win. If a player wants to make a wager, they have to put down cash.
How To Play Craps and Craps Strategy
The betting process differs from one casino to the next. Each table contains a buy in limit that is higher than the next. There are tables with all amounts from $5 to a couple of thousand. The playing turns goes for players first come first serve, which means each player has to go in order for the player after them to have their turn. The player is called the “Shooter”, and the shooter gets to throw a pair of dice. Although one person throws the dice, various players have the ability to make bets on different results. The stickman is the one in charge of placing the players bets on the selected bets.
Before starting the game, the shooter must first select a pair of dice out of the 5 dice that are given to them by the stickman. The shooter must select only two dice and the rest are handed back to the stickman. Besides the original bet that the player will make on an outcome, each shooter must bet on whether their bet will “Pass” the line or “Don't” pass the line. There are different names to this process and each casino can choose which one to use in their table. This side betting process that requires the player to bet on the final result of their turn.
- PASS/DON'T PASS
- WIN/DON'T WIN
After the player selects their dice and make the side bet, their turn splits into two parts: “Come Out” and “Point”. The first part starts with the player shooting for the “Come Out” which requires them to throw the dice and see what they end up getting. If the dice comes out as 2,3, or 12, it's considered Craps, and everyone who chose Don't Pass, Don't Win, or Wrong lose. If the dice comes out as 7 and 11 then everyone who bet Pass, Win, or Right win. There are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 remaining numbers that can show up from the roll of the dice. If any of these numbers come up, then that is what the second part of the turn will be about, the “Point” will be set. The “Point” is set at any of the numbers that don't affect passing and don't passing. In order for the player to win after the point is set since no one won yet, they must either roll a 7, 11, or roll the point number again. If they roll anything else. they lose.
When the player wins, they move to the second part of the round, where the player gets to roll again and try to get the 7, 11, or their point number again. If they end up rolling the second time and winning again, they get to go again and continue to roll and try to hit the 3 numbers that will allow them to win. Only after the player misses the 7, 11, or their point number does the dice move along to the next shooter in line. In all situations, all the players that bet on the don't pass will lose right away if the dice doesn't hit the right numbers. If the dice does hit the Pass then all the players who bet on the numbers that are considered pass win. The shooter does win or lose depends on which option they side bet on but they get to go for another round of fun. The only time where the don't pass bets don't lose is if a 12 shows up which means a tie and the players will get to wait until the second roll of dice to decide on whether the number they chose will show up or not.
How To Join a Craps Game
The potential player that wants to play craps without being a shooter should come to the game table first so they can check to see if the dealer has their “On” button active on any of the point numbers. In the case that the button is turned “Off”, this means that the table is in the come-out round where the point has not yet been established. In the case that the dealer's button is turned “On”, the game table is in the point round that most casinos will let a player place a pass line bet. Some of the casinos will place a bet straddling the outer border of the pass line which will indicate that it should be paid the same offs as a different place bet. This will be instead of just placing even money. Sometimes, the other casinos will take the bet on the pass line. This is a negative thing for the player because rolling a seven is most common and will probably occur before the point.
In both situations, all of the individual or numerous roll proposition bets can be put in either of the game rounds. In the middle of dice rolls, there is a time where dealers release the payouts and collects any losing bets. After this is completed, players may place new bets. The stickman is the person that monitors the activity of the game table. They also decide when they should give the shooter the dice. After this, no more betting can be allowed.
It is a must that the shooter rolls with one hand and that their dice bounce off the far wall of the game table. The purpose of this is to keep the game of craps fair. In the case that the die leaves the game table, the shooter must take another die from the three that are remaining. There are many different types of rolls with the following names:
- Snake Eyes
- Ace Deuce
- Easy Four
- Five or Fever Five
- Easy Six
- Natural or Seven Out
- Hard Fout
- Easy Eight
- Hard Six
- Nine (Nina)
- Easy Ten
- Hard Ten
- Yo (Yo-leven)
- Boxcars or Midnight
The stickman makes many local variants of the calls for rolls during a game of craps. These will usually have a reminder to the dealers of what bets to collect or pay. The rolls 4, 6, 8. and 10 are named “easy” or “hard”. This depends on whether or not they were rolled as a “double” or other combinations. This is due to the significance in the center table bets. These are “hard ways” because there is only one way to roll these. For this reason it is more probable to roll the number in combinations which is “easy” instead of a double which is “hard”.
The name of a 2 roll is “snake eyes” because the two dots on the die look like a small pair of snake eyes. During the game of craps, it is more likely for the 2 to be called “two craps two” during the come-out roll for two reasons, either the pass line bet will be lost on a come-out crap roll or a bet on any craps would win the game. The phrase to describe Aces can also be referred to as “Double the field”. That only applies when a comeout roll is up to act as a reminder that the pays on each one of the bets on the table is worth double the amount, and that the payout should be accordingly per player bet. One more term could be used to remind the dealers to double the bets and that is “Loose Deuce”.
The name of a 3 is called, Three Craps Three when the roll is on come out. It also gets referred to as Three, Ace Deuce, Come Away Single when the roll isn't on come out. This usually means that the player has lost. When a 3 is rolled, it can also in times be referred to as Ace Caught a Deuce. The least thing that 3 gets called is Acey Deucey. Most of these names are used in different casinos but on the official games, the most common used one is Three Craps Three.
The name of a four is called “Little Joe from Kokomo”, and it can also be called “Little Joe on the front row”. When a dealer wants to call it in short, “Little Joe” is used. Getting a 4 is considered a very hard thing to do. Possibilities of a 4 happening are very minuscule. When a 2 and a 2 show up and it's a four, some female dealers like to call it “Ballerina” because it sounds like tutu.
The name of a 5 is called “No field five” because five can't be counted as a winning bet when it doesn't pay in any bet and it is always considered out of field. Some casinos call the five a “Fever” and other casinos like to call it “Little Pheobe”.
The name of a 6 is called “Jimmie Hicks”. It can also be referred to as “Jimmie Hicks from the sticks” in some occasions. A six is one of the easy numbers to be won, which is why it is most commonly referred to as “666 Winner 6” which is then responded to by saying “Came easy” or “Came Hard”.
The name of a 7 is called a “Six Ace” or “Up pops the Devil” if a 6 and an ace were rolled. Some of the older folks that have been playing craps for decades may refer to the 7 as “Big Red” because of how the tables are set up to look. If it was in the come out time, the 7 is called “Seven front line winner” which is usually responded to by “Take the don'ts” or “Pay the line”. All those names are only used on the 7 before the point is set, after the point is set however, the 7 should be referred to as “7 out” or “7 Out 7”.
The name of an 8 is called an “Easy Eight”. It can also be called an “Eighter from Decatur” in some casinos. The least common name used is “Square Pair” and “Mom and Dad”. If an eight is earned in a really hard scenario then it can be called “Ozzie and Harriet”.
The name of a 9 is called a “Centerfield Nine” when you are in a casino playing craps. The number 9 is located in the center of the table which makes the name make perfect sense. In casinos in Atlantic city, when the dice rolled is a 4 and a 5, they call it a “Railroad Nine”. In other places they like to call the 4 and the 5 a “Jesse James” due to the fact that the famous outlaw was actually killed finally by a .45 caliber hand gun. The number 9 rolled in a dice can also be called “Nina from Pasadena”, “Niner from Carolina”, or even “Nina at the Marina”. After Michael Jordan stopped being number 23, he became number 45 which is why they started calling the 9 from craps “Old Mike” only when it's a 4 and a 5 though.
The name of a number 10 is called a “Hard Ten” or sometimes they also call it “Woman's Best Friend”. However, there are certain places and casinos that like to refer to the number 10 being rolled in a dice is called “Puppy Paws” or sometimes even “A Pair of Sunflowers”. The least name used is “Big John”, but not many casinos like to use that name. In the slang places in Pittsburgh, the name for a 10 rolled is Moose Head”.
The name of a number 11 is called a “Yo” and in some cases a “Yo-leven”. There are also older phrases that the old timers of the game used to say which is “Six Five, no Jive”. An eleven is a win which makes people also call it “good field and come”.
The name of a number 12 is called “Boxcars” because the two sixes next to each other can look like two race cars before they take off. There is also the name “Midnight” that is used often for 12 because of the midnight time when the day ends. 12 is paid up to triple the amount of the bet in certain casinos which makes it important for the dealer to scream “Triple”, “12 Craps 12”, and sometimes “Come Away Triple”.
The game of Craps is very fun to learn and it offers people many different ways to enjoy playing it. Each player can bet on more than one thing, and the funnest part is that no only the shooter gets to make bets and enjoy the game one at a time. It can be enjoyed a a group activity and multiple people can bet on the same numbers and work out strategies on trying to determine what numbers are the most often to be rolled.