Craps is a popular casino game in both online and brick and mortar gambling establishments. Players at a Craps table place wagers on the outcome of the roll of a pair of dice. One of the major draws for casinos to offer Craps is the lack of equipment required to play the game. Craps is a classic dice game in which players bet on one or more rolls of the dice. Developed from the ancient English game of Hazard, Craps is now one of the most popular casino games and is considered to provide some of the best odds of turning a profit when played correctly. Typical casino Craps tables will have a crowd of people around them excitedly shouting and cheering as the dice are tossed.
Craps players place bets against each other or a bank as is done in the casino. The modern version of Craps was brought to New Orleans by Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, a wealthy gambler and politician. John H. Winn adjusted Bernard Xavier’s version of the game slightly to form the version of Craps played in the United States today.
The Game of Craps
Craps can be played by a minimum of one person when playing at a casino. Players take turns rolling and pass the dice clockwise around the table. The dice can be refused but somebody must be willing to roll for the game to continue. Two dice are used which means that any number between 2 and 12 can be rolled. These numbers all have varying odds of being rolled, so learning these odds can be greatly beneficial when wagering.
The individual rolling the dice is referred to as the shooter and the first roll of a new round is referred to as the come out round. When a new shooter is up they are presented with five dice from which they must choose two. During the come out roll the dealer will place a black marker on the table, which also has a white side. The dealer will flip the marker over to the white side and place it on the point number following the establishment of the point.
To join a Craps game, players should approach a table and look to see where the marker is. When the marker is on a number, a pass line or doesn’t pass line bet can usually be placed. A single or multi-roll bet is allowed during any round. Payouts and debts are made or collected between rolls of the dice. New wagers can be placed only after dealers have paid or collected on previous bets. Bets are no longer accepted after the stickman has given the shooter the dice. Most online Craps games only show half of the table because in the casino both halves of a Craps table are identical. Casino Craps tables have two identical halves to allow more people to play and to increase table size and betting space.
No more than four casino employees operate a Craps table. The table is supervised by the box man, who also monitors casino chips. Bets are collected and paid by two base dealers. The stickman accepts bets in the center of the table and announces results. Each employee also monitors the other employees to ensure players are paid out correctly.
Etiquette in Craps
There are several unwritten rules of Craps etiquette that players should understand before approaching a Craps table. Players should not handle the dice with both hands or take the dice away from the table. Players are expected to hit the opposite wall on the table with the dice when rolling but casinos sometimes allow rolls that surpass the center of the table.
If the dice hit a player or dealer and land back on the table it is considered a fair throw, unless the individual interfered with the dice. Following the come out roll, it is considered bad luck to say seven or to change dice before a roll is completed. It is considered poor etiquette to place bets while the dice are no longer in the center of the table. Food and drinks should be kept away from the Craps table.
Players must roll the dice with one hand and be sure the dice bounce off the far wall of the table. All players can bet on the shooter’s rolls. To begin, bets are placed on the Pass line or Don’t Pass line. These bets hold roughly the same odds and are considered opposites. If a bet is placed on the pass line, a 7 or 11 on the first roll is needed to win. This might seem unlikely, but the odds of rolling a 7 are greater than 16% and the odds of rolling an 11 are roughly 6%.
If the come out roll is a two, three or 12 the round is over and Pass line bets are lost. If the result is any other number other than a seven or eleven then this number becomes the new point and ends the come out roll. If a point is set, players can wager an amount equal to their original bet by putting it behind their pass line bet and outside the pass line.
If a seven is rolled before the point has been set, both bets lose. If the point is rolled prior to a seven, both bets win. If a bet is placed on the don’t pass line, a come out roll of a 2 or 3 is a win. Rolling a 7 or 11 loses and rolling a 12 is considered a draw. Any number other than a 2, 3, 7 or 11 establishes a point. If the point is then rolled the Don’t Pass line bet loses. Should a seven be the result after a point has been established, the Don’t Pass line bet wins.
Single roll or multiple roll bets are accepted in any round. Wagers placed on a single roll of the dice are referred to as service bets. For example, a bet placed on a 2 wins should a shooter roll a 2. There are many more betting opportunities than are listed above. After previous bets are handled by dealers, players may place new bets. Once the stickman has given the dice to the shooter no more bets are accepted.
Strategy Techniques for Craps
When playing at a Craps table the players are battling the house advantage. The level of risk inherent in the game can only be reduced. This is accomplished by strategically choosing bets that have the smallest house advantage. The pass line and don’t pass line bets are two of the best wagers for players to make in terms of house advantage.
Because of the large number of unwritten rules and complex wagers, Craps is considered a professional game for experienced gamblers. There is a rich history in the game and always the possibility of hitting a lucky streak and amassing a small fortune. There is no reason why the average individual cannot become a skilled Craps player.
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