Craps is often one of the most underappreciated games in casinos since it players believe that it requires almost all luck and very little skill. Whether you win or lose depends on the outcome of one or more throws of the dice, whether you are acting as the shooter or simply betting on the outcomes.
Why People Enjoy Craps
Craps is a very fast-paced an energetic game. In live casinos, you can see people gathered around the table, each rooting for the shooter, and hoping for the right combination of dice. Craps requires very little skill, and while this can be disheartening for the career gambler, streaks of good luck are an adrenaline rush for folks who play recreationally. It is also a great game for new and experienced gamblers alike because while the rules themselves are simple, some of the profitable bets are quite complex. In fact, you can even play in an informal setting known as “street craps”.
In live casino craps, the shooter is the individual who is rolling the dice. The shooter changes from round to round and you will place bets on what he or she rolls. You can choose from more than 40 different bets, but it is important to remember that many of them, while they have excellent payouts, come with horrible odds. If you are new to craps, the only bet you will need to remember for the moment is the Pass Line bet.
You will need to place a bet on the Pass Line prior to the shooter’s first roll, known as the Come Out roll. The bet sizes vary from casino to casino, so you may be able to spend anything from $1.00 to $10,000 in a single go. The Pass Line bet is actually very simple and it carries the best odds. The outcome of the Come Out roll will determine the next step in the round.
If the shooter throws a 7 or an 11 on the Come Out, then you automatically win. However, if the Come Out produces a 2, 3, or 12, you will automatically lose your bet. If any other number appears, this number becomes the “point”. Then, the shooter throws the dice again, and if he or she rolls a number that is equal to the point, you win your bet. If he or she rolls a 7 before the point number, you lose, and the round is over.
Don’t Pass, Come, and Don’t Come Bets
Once you have the hang of things, you can start to work your way up from the traditional Pass Line bet and into the more complex side of things. The Don’t Pass bet is one of the most common and straightforward, and it is almost the exact opposite of the Pass Line bet. On the Come Out roll, if the dice show a 7 or an 11, you lose. However, if the dice show a 2 or 3, you win. If a 12 shows, it is a tie, or a “push”, and you simply get your money back. Otherwise, the number shown becomes the point and you will win if the shooter rolls a 7 before rolling the point a second time.
Another simple bet for new craps players is the Come bet. You can place this bet after the Come Out roll, and the goal is to guess the result of the shooter’s second roll. If the shooter throws a 7 or 11 on the second throw, you win. However, if a point is established, you will only win if the shooter throws the point again prior to throwing a 7. The opposite of this, known as the Don’t Come bet, also comes after the Come Out roll. Here, if the shooter throws a 7 or 11 the second time around, you will lose. However, you will win even money if the dice show 2 or 3. Like the Don’t Pass bet, a 12 with the Don’t Come bet active results in a push, or a tie. If a point is established instead, you will win if the shooter rolls a 7 prior to rolling the point a second time.
Place, Lay, and Buy Bets
Once you have mastered Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, and Don’t Come bets, you can move on to a few wagers that are more advanced. The Place and Buy bets are a great place to start, but they require a firm understanding of odds. In short, the odds represent the likelihood of you winning that bet. For instance, in a coin toss, your goal is to guess whether the coin will land with heads or tails facing upward. Thus, the odds are 1:1 (one to one) that you will guess correctly because there are only two possible outcomes.
With this in mind, a Place bet is simply a bet that a specific number, will appear before a 7. The odds are different from one number to the next since some numbers are more likely to appear. For example, if you Place bet on 4, the true odds of losing are 2:1. However, if you Place bet on 8, the odds of losing are only 6:5. This is because there are more ways to create 8 with two dice than there are to create 4.
Things get a bit more complicated when it comes to Buy bets. When you place a Buy bet, you are required to pay a vig, which is short for vigorish, to the house in order to get true odds. While this might sound complicated, it means that you will pay 5% of whatever the win amount for your bet would be. Thus, if a particular bet would get you $100 if you won, you would pay a $5 vig since the standard in craps is 5%.
Finally, a Lay bet is the exact opposite of a buy bet. The odds of the shooter rolling certain numbers remain the same (2:1 against you for a 4 and 6:5 against you for an 8) but you are betting that the shooter will roll a 7 before he or she rolls the number of your choice. A 5% vig applies to all lay bets, as well.
Learning Craps with No Strings Attached
As you can see, craps can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it. The premise is easy enough to understand, but the bets can be quite complex. If you want to try your hand at placing some of these bets but you do not want to risk your hard-earned money during the learning process, the best way to do this is with free online craps.
There are literally hundreds of casinos on the internet offering up free access to a vast selection of their games. While you may need to create an account or download a suite of software – and sometimes even both – this will give you access to craps that you can enjoy at your leisure as time allows. You will not have to take time off work to travel to a casino and you will not have to spend a dime to play.
Another benefit involved with playing craps online is the ability to meet people who are craps enthusiasts. Many online casinos offer chatrooms to their players, and this means that you can gain some valuable knowledge from folks who have been playing for years. You can learn about betting strategies, complex bets, and even common “lingo” that people use around the table. There is no better introduction to the game of craps.
These days, online casinos utilize software that mimics a real casino environment very closely. You will be able to move virtual chips onto the table to place your different bets, and you always get to enjoy the role of the shooter. Simply place your chips on the squares that correspond to the bets you want to make and then click “Roll”. Hopefully, Lady Luck will smile upon you.
Although craps does not enjoy the same following as other casino classics such as poker or even roulette, it is one of the most exciting games available in any casino, whether online or off. The great thing about the internet is that it will allow you to play as little or as much as you like. Because it’s virtual money, it can be replenished by reloading the screen, and there is never any risk involved.