The first time you walk into a casino and listen to the tables, check out the sounds that come from the craps pit; when the dice run hot, there are plenty of people shouting and cheering at the big wins the players earn themselves. While everyone is permitted their opinion, many players consider craps to be the most adrenaline-running and exciting games in the casino. It’s a fast-paced, loud game that, for this reason alone, tends to intimidate newcomers to the tables. Playing online can help you avoid the loud environment without losing any of the game’s excitement.
How to Play Craps
The loud noise can make craps seem intimidating, but the rules themselves aren’t very difficult to understand. As a matter of fact, there are only a few kinds of bets you’ll have to keep in mind to maximize your odds and play like a true professional.
The “pass line” bet is the most important bet of all. With this bet, you’ll have to place it before the “come out” roll. If you roll either a 7 or an 11, you’ll earn even more money for winning. If you get a 2, 3 or 12, though, you’ll “crap out” and lose the bet. Any other number you roll turns into the “box point” and gives you a chance to roll once more. If you roll the same number as the box point, you win the bet.
The house’s edge only measures out to about 1.41 percent for a pass line bet. A “don’t pass” bet offers an even tinier edge, but it’s better to stick to making this bet on an online table rather than in a casino.
After establishing the box point, you have the option to “take odds.” This is a new bet you can make that you will roll the box point before rolling a seven. This is an example of true odds, giving the house zero edge and making it the best bet you can make in a casino. Casinos tend to limit what you can wager at this stage due to the lack of edge. You may find something called 3-4-5x odds, meaning you can bet triple your pass line bet for 4 or 10, quadruple the bet on a 5 or 9, or quintuple the bet for 6 or 8.
Playing craps by consistently making a pass line wager and improving your odds, the house edge drops to a mere 0.374 percent. This bet must be made by putting the chips behind the bet on the pass line after your box point was determined.
Mastering this strategy gives you a chance to look at “come” bets. These are similar to pass line bets except you can make it at any time other than prior to the come out roll. To make this bet, put the chips on the “come line” before a roll. After a box point is established, give the chips to the dealer and state you have “odds on the x,” where “x” is the box point. The dealer moves the chips to the correct location.
Employing Craps Betting Strategy
Craps have better odds than other casino games, but intimidation has a habit of shying players away. The biggest reason for intimidation, perhaps, are the sheer number of betting options that you can make at the table. Pass line betting and taking the odds are the most common thanks to their low house edges, but there are others available.
Beginners should stick to pass line betting first and foremost. Taking odds is the next step because of its true odds. The reason the casino will offer this regardless of having no house edge is because to place this wager, you must have first made a standard pass line bet, which does feature the house advantage described above.
Think of the odds bet as a side pot; it’s a separate side bet that wagers whether or not you’ll hit the box point before hitting a seven. It’s more likely to roll the seven than the box point, so players get paid at true odds. To put it into an example, consider the box point to be a 6 or an 8; the odds will pay 6 to 5, but you’ll get 3 to 2 for a 5 or 9 and less for a 4 or 10.
As previously stated, you won’t be able to place limitless bets when taking odds. In fact, the exact amount will vary depending on the online casino you visit. However, it’s typical for a live Las Vegas casino to employ the 3-4-5x odds rules. Online casinos may only limit this to twice or triple the odds regardless of the point that is rolled. Because of this, it’s important to thoroughly compare the different online casinos you wish to try and see which has the best odds mathematically.
Final Craps Tips and Summary
Players at the table all take turns acting as the shooter, moving around the table in a clockwise fashion. It is allowed to pass on shooting, but you never know — that might have been the roll that hit the big bucks. On your turn, a “stick man” will push four, five or six dice to you. Pick two of the dice using only one hand and the stick man takes the remainder. The reason you use one hand is because less legitimate players know how to switch around the dice with two hands; being caught at the craps table with trick dice is a quick way to get yourself banned. Of course, you need to make a pass play bet before you can make a legal roll.
When you first reach the table, be sure to wait until the puck is labeled “OFF” and all dice are in the center of the table. Only then you should put money down. When making a bet with your chips, be sure the dice are still in the middle; the stick man puts them in the center once a throw as been made.
Once the dice are passed to the shooter, move any extra chips into your chip rail; anything left on the felt will be considered bet. Be sure your hands are also resting at least as high as the rail; the dealers must be able to see both hands.
The pass line, the don’t pass line, the field, the come box, the don’t come box and the big 6-8 are the only places on the table where you may directly put your bet chips down. Everything else needs to be placed by the dealer. Be sure to put your chips down where they can be reached while instructing the dealer which box you want them in.
When the stick man slides the dice to you, pick up a pair with a single hand and keep them in that hand up until the point when you throw them. When you do make the throw, keep it at a good height; if it’s too low, the dealer will think you’re trying to slide them, but throwing them over the dealer’s head doesn’t serve any good but to bounce them off the table. Make sure the dice hit the back wall and don’t hit any of the chips that have been bet.
When you’re ready to leave, don’t just pick up your chips and take off; be sure the puck is set to “off” and then request that the dealer cash you out of the table.
Lastly, if you’re brand new to craps and don’t know how to digest the various strategies available out there: The best thing to do as a beginner is to put down some chips on the pass line and wait as the rolls happen. You want a seven or an eleven at the start of the game or whichever number the puck moves to, marking the official craps box point.game or whichever number the puck moves to, marking the official craps box point.