Craps is a game involving two dice. You bet on the result of the roll. In casino Craps you play versus the dealer although it is possible to play without one and wager versus other players. Craps is firmly established as one of the leading casino games and is a favourite with thrill seeking gamblers. It is also very popular with high rollers like Phil Ivey who can allegedly win or lose millions in just one session. I would advise starting a little lower!
History of craps
Craps was heavily influenced by the English game 'Hazard' which also involves two dice. It is thought you can trace hazard all the way back to the crusades which was nearly 1000 years ago. A pivotal point in the history of craps was when French nobleman Bernard de Marigny (1785-1868) introduced hazard to America. Bernard was a fun loving party man who liked nothing more then a trip to the casino. It was during a visit to England where he discovered the game Hazard and it was love at first site. When he returned to America he made sure to tell everyone about his new favourite game.
There where holes in Bernard's account of the game which people took advantage of to beat the casinos. Obviously casinos don't like losing so they introduced the 'don't pass' bet and craps as we now know it was formed.
Craps can be played anywhere as you only need two dice to get the game started. Because of this it was very popular with soldiers during world war 2 and it is not uncommon to see people 'shooting dice' on streets in America.
Craps in the casino usually involves multiple players playing versus the bank. Participating players take it in turns to throw the dice. You place wagers on the result of the throw by putting your chips on designated spaces on the board.
For anyone new to craps it is crucial to understand the pass-line wager. Pass-line wagers are made just before the 'come out roll'. The come out roll is when the person rolling the dice changes or the dealer is defeated in the last pass-line bet.
You make the pass-line wager and then the new shooter throws the come out roll. If a seven or eleven total occurs in the first throw you win right there. If a two, three or twelve is rolled you are defeated. If neither of these are rolled then the number rolled is now called the 'point'. You will need to roll this number again before a 7 to be victorious. When triumphant you will receive evens on your pass line bet. A seven total occurring before the 'point' means you lose. As you can see the game of craps revolves around this bet but there are also other wagers available.
Don't pass bet is the reverse of the pass bet. You are hoping that the shooter doesn't beat the house. The bet is slightly different as a twelve dictates a draw and all bets returned.
Odds bet. In the event of a four, five, six, eight, nine or ten being rolled on the come out roll obviously that number becomes the new point. It is possible to wager up to 5 times your pass line bet on the point being rolled before a seven. The payouts depend on the point number, you receive 2:1 odds on a four or ten. 3:2 odds on a five or nine. And 6:5 if the point is either six or eight. Amazingly in craps there is no house edge on the pass-line odds bet as the odds are equivalent to the actual chance of winning. This is very unusual in a casino game so I would take full advantage of this by implementing this bet into your strategy. It is important to note that you can only make the odds bet if you have already made a pass-line bet where unfortunately the odds are not so fair.
Come bet in craps is similar to creating a pass-line bet just for your self. The difference is that you can only make a come bet once the shooter has rolled the come in and there is a recognized point. You place your wager in the come bet box and the next roll that produces a point becomes the marker. At this point the standard pass line casino rules apply and your point needs to be rolled again to win.
Don't come bet also can only be made once the point is known. It is played over the course of two rounds. You need a two or three to be victorious in the first round. A seven or eleven unfortunately means you lose your wager. A twelve is a draw with your bets returned. If any other total is rolled then that becomes the target that must be rolled before a 7.
Although there are other bets you can make in craps I would start with these ones as they offer the best chance of winning. You can for example bet on the total of a single roll but the House edge is significantly more. So maybe leave those bets until you are more experienced and have put in many hours at the craps table. When I play craps I stick to the pass-line and come bets unless I get a special feeling a certain number is going to come in or I am up a lot and feel like taking a chance.
I really believe craps is one of the most fun casino games to play and its no coincidence that when in a casino you can often hear a big commotion coming from the craps table. Even playing in an online casino is exhilarating and gets the blood pumping. You must remember when making the safe bets the edge is actually very low for the casino. This means a lot of the time you will be leaving the casino victorious so its worth giving it a go.