Craps Online Casino Overview - Just Roll Long and Prosper

Craps Example

Craps a game in which players bet on dice outcomes. Players take turns throwing a pair of dice across a large, wall-bounded table whose felt surface contains areas to place chips in order to bet on a rather large variety of possible outcomes. Upon noting the outcome of throw, dealers either pay winning bets or collect losers.

While its deepest secret past is not fully understood, Craps appears to have origins as far back as the Crusades, eventually morphing into an early English game called Hazard. It subsequently migrated to France, undergoing additional changes in the able care of French gamblers. The version that would ultimately become recognized in modern America arrived in New Orleans courtesy of a politician and gambler named Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, whose ancestors were rich landowners in Louisiana. The game was originally called crapaud, which is French for "toad", apparently because early players were seen crouching to play it.

While Craps initially seems complicated due to the variety bets and its own special lingo, the rules themselves are fundamentally rather simple. Basically, you're betting for - and sometimes against - dice outcomes. Once you fully grasp that concept and get the colorful lingo under your belt, it's like riding a bike.

Another important fact is that while people are fond of saying that Craps gives you the lowest house edge in the casino, that's only true of a few of the bets. Beyond that, a few more are reasonably good. But the majority of the bets on the table vastly favor of the house. Not that they're obliged tell you that, or which bets they are, of course.

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Most Craps dice outcomes have interesting names. Some are universal, some regional, and some rooted in history. Don't be surprised to hear fellow players calling out for "Big Ben" when they need a 10 or "Little Joe" for a 4. Likewise, the stickman will emphasize a numeric roll value with its associated nickname like "five no field", "centerfield nine", and so on.

When the dealer holding the stick first passes the dice a player, it's their turn to shoot and they're temporarily referred to as "the shooter". Their turn lasts so long as dice outcomes don't constitute "sevening out", or don't voluntarily relinquish the dice.

Although there are many bets available before the shooter begins, the most common (which also just so happen to be the best bets on the table) are the "pass line" and "don't pass line" bets. Pass line betters are betting the shooter will "establish the point" (a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and then "make the point" by rolling it again before rolling a 7. Don't pass line betters are betting that regardless what point the shooter establishes, they'll roll a 7 (and thus "seven out") before repeating the point number. Both bets pay even money.

The shooter might roll the dice several times before establishing the point. Other outcomes during the "come out" are as follows:

Outcome Name Pass Line Bet Don't Pass Line Bet
2, 3, 12 craps loses 1:1 wins 1:1 (12 ties)
7, 11 "Front Line Winner" or "Natural" wins 1:1 loses 1:1

And, of course, there's a plethora of other bets to wager, including "any craps", "yo" (aka eleven), and even seven itself, although craps players are generally superstitious about saying the word 'seven' around the table. They usually refer to it as "big red" or simply "red". But, again, most bets other than the pass line and the don't pass line have a huge house edge, so you should avoid them if you're hoping to win.

Let's say the shooter establishes a point. The dealers on either end of the table slide a puck initially labeled "OFF" to the point number on their side of the table, and turn it over to reveal the word "ON". The puck reminds everyone what the point is. The shooter continues to roll, with pass line bettors hoping for a point number repeat, and don't pass line bettors hoping for a seven.

However, before the shooter continues, you should be placing the absolute best bet on the table. It's so good that it's not even marked or labeled on the table! But it's silently available to bettors of either line. It's called an "odds" bet, thusly named because - unlike the vast majority of bets the house eagerly sets before you - it pays true odds when it wins. Yes indeed, the house takes absolutely no cut from the odds bet!

Laying down an odds bet is also called "taking the odds". If you bet the pass line, you place the odds bet behind your pass line bet. If you bet the don't pass line, you place it to the side of your bet. Now, if the point is made, the pass line bettor wins even money on their pass line bet, and true odds on their odds bet. The same holds for the don't pass line bettor if the shooter doesn't make the point.

That's the basics. Be sure to follow our complete guide to Craps for all the details and terminology, and enjoy throwing those bones!

Craps Resources