The Rules of Craps
Craps can be one of the most intimidating casino games. The pace is quick, the multitude of bets seems almost infinite, not to mention that there are people all jockeying for position around a table with limited standing room only. If the table gets hot, forget trying to get a spot near anywhere near it!
Don’t despair, the game is not that difficult to learn. Each craps “game” begins with a “come-out” roll. This is the first roll of the dice of a new game. To designate the roll as a come-out roll, there is a circular disk on the craps table called the Button or Disk that will be placed off to the side (sometimes one side of the Button will say “Off” ). When a new game is starting (before the come-out roll) the bettor can make a Pass Line Bet or a Don’t Pass Bet.
Pass Line Bets win even money on the come-out roll when the shooter makes a 7 or 11 and lose when the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12. Don’t Pass Bets are just the opposite. Don’t Pass Bets win even money when the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 and lose when the shooter rolls a 7 or 11. When a 12 is rolled it is called a “push” and no money is either won nor lost from the Don’t Pass Line.
If a number other than 2,3,7,11, or 12 is rolled, that number becomes the Point. To designate the Point number, the Button is placed on top of this number on the table layout (Point numbers are 4,5,6,8,9,10) and turned so that the side that says “On” is visible. This is so that new players walking up to the table will know that a point has already been established and that they can not make a Pass or Don’t Pass bet at this time.
Bettor’s who have made Pass Line Bets are hoping that the shooter will roll the Point Number BEFORE rolling a 7. Don’t Pass Bettors are hoping just the opposite, that the shooter will roll a 7 BEFORE the Point Number. All winning Pass/Don’t Pass Bets are paid even-money. However, Pass Line Bettor’s often take odds that their bet will win. This is done by placing an equal or greater number of chips directly behind the Pass Line Bet.
Now anytime the shooter makes his Point, the Pass Line Bet is paid even money, but the Odds Bet is paid at the exact odds. For instance you bet 5 dollars on the Pass Line and the Point is 4. You then place a 5 dollar odds bet behind your Pass Line Bet and the shooter rolls the 4 BEFORE rolling a 7. You win even money (5 dollars) on your Pass Line bet and 2-to-1 on your odds bet (10 dollars) for a total of 15 dollars.
You were paid EXACT odds on your odds bet. To figure out what the exact odds are you take the number of dice combinations that can make a 7 (six combinations) and divide by the number of dice combinations that can make your 4 (three combinations); 6 divided by 3 is 2 so you get paid 2-to-1 on your odds bet. When you take odds on any of the point numbers, your odds bet is paid according to this method.
You may also “Place” a number. That is, you may bet on any of the Point numbers at sometime after the come-out roll. You lose the advantage of winning on the come-out 7 or 11, but in order to win your number only needs to be rolled once, as opposed to a Pass Line Bettor who needs the Point to be established and then rolled again in order to win. Unfortunately, the Place Bettor does not have the option to take odds to increase his possible payback (as the Pass Line Bettor does.)
There is another bet called the Come Bet that acts just like a Pass Line Bet, but can be made on any roll (except for the come-out roll). From the Come Bettor’s point of view his “Come-Point” is established on the roll AFTER he places his come bet. He then has the same options as a Pass Line Bettor as far as taking odds is concerned. Other common bets on the Craps table include Hard Way Bets and Single Roll Bets.
Advanced Strategy Considerations for Online Craps
First of all, there is nothing that can be done online to get the best of the online craps games. That does not mean than online craps is a waste of time, though. It is a great way to learn how to play this not-so-complicated game without being intimidated by the yelling and shoving that can occur during a casino craps session.
And if your online table does get hot, you won’t have to deal with anyone shoving you out of the way. Treat online craps as a good learning experience and try to play at online casinos that offer good player bonuses and/or free play so that you can maximize your time at the tables and learn all the intricacies of this exciting game.