Learn To Play Craps Tutorial

This article details the basics of playing the game of Craps.

To the player who is new to the casino, Craps can appear to be the most daunting game in the whole place. With it's huge play field and dozens of betting options, the new player often passes this game by, afraid that they will not be able to keep up with what is going on and possibly lose a bunch of money. But in reality Craps is one of the easier games in the casino to play and has some of the best odds of any other table game in the house.

Craps is a dice game. The person who is currently rolling the dice is known as the shooter. The first time the shooter rolls the dice one of three things will occur, depending on what the shooter rolled.

If the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11, then it is considered an automatic win. All bets that were made on the Pass Line are paid even money (if you bet $5, then you win $5). If someone had a bet on the Don't Pass line, they they automatically lose.

If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, then it is considered "Craps" and everyone who has bets on the pass line loses, and everyone who bet on the Don't Pass line wins even money.

Finally, if the shooter rolls any number other than those listed above, then that number is considered the shooter's "point" number. The shooter then gets to keep rolling the dice until they either roll their point number again, or they roll a 7. If the point number is 5, then the shooter needs to roll a 5 again in order to win. If they roll a 7 before rolling a 5 then they lose.

On the first roll of a new round, the numbers 2, 3, and 12 are Craps. After the shooter has established a point, then 7 becomes the Craps number.

Let's look at an example. Cindy steps up to the table and wants to play Craps. She puts $5 on the Pass line. For the purpose of this example, we will assume that Cindy is also the shooter for this round.

Cindy rolls the dice for the first time, and rolls and 11. She therefore wins $5 on her pass line bet. Since she won, Cindy gets to roll the dice again.

On Cindy's next roll, she rolls an 8. This number is now her point. One of the people working at the Craps table puts a marker on the number 8 so that everyone knows what the point number is.

Cindy rolls the dice again and rolls a 5. Since it is not an 8 (her point) or a 7 (Craps), then nothing happens. Since she did not make her point, and she did not roll a 7, she gets to roll again.

On her next roll, Cindy rolls an 8! Since 8 is the point number, she wins and anyone else who had bet on the Pass Line also wins. Cindy gets paid by one of the table workers, and she gets to roll again.

On her next roll Cindy rolls a 3. Since it was the first roll of a new round and 3 is a Craps number on the first round, Cindy loses. Anytime you roll Craps as the first number of a new round, you get to keep trying, so the dice are passed back to Cindy.

On the next roll, which is still the first roll of a new round, she rolls a 9 so that becomes her point. She rolls 4 more times after that, a 6, a 4, a 3, and an 8. Since none of those numbers are a 7 or her point, nothing happens. Cindy rolls one more time and this time she rolls a 7. Since she rolled a 7 before making her point, she loses and the dice are passed down to the person next to Cindy who becomes the new shooter.

As you can see, playing basic Craps is pretty easy. So why does it look so confusing? It's because of all the special bets that you can make at the table. You don't have to limit yourself to betting on whether or not the shooter will make their point, you can bet that certain numbers will come up before the player makes their point, you can bet on a range of numbers, or you can even bet that the very next roll of the dice will be a "hard eight" (which means that both dice show a 4).

The "Pass Line" bet offers the best odds, almost exactly 50-50 chance of winning. All of the other bets on the board are not as good, even if it looks like they pay a lot, and some of them are just plain ridiculous. Smart players who want to make their money last usually only bet on the Pass Line since it has the best odds. The other bets on the table can be tried every once in a while for fun but generally you should avoid them. Over the course of a night at the Craps table you will often see people come up with several hundred dollars worth of chips and then a short time later walk away empty handed. Almost always they threw their money away on the sucker bets in the middle of the table.

Craps is an easy game, even if it looks daunting, and there is no other game in the casino where you will find people cheering and clapping along with each other when the dice are hot. A smart player can have a good time at the craps table and not worry about losing a ton of money. Next time you are in the casino be sure to try it out, and if you have any questions do not be afraid to ask one of the people working the table for help.

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