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Craps

Craps is a social dice game involving dozens of types of wagers.

Goal

Blowing on dice is a great way to spread germs, not so much for changing the odds.

With so many types of wagers, knowing the odds provides a healthy perspective. A round begins when you place a bet on a roll of the dice. Each roll is random and independent from any previous roll.

Rules

The odds of the next roll are the same, no matter how hot or cold your game has been.

Each round consists of two phases: Come-Out and Point.

The Come-Out phase:

  • Place a bet on the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass Line, then roll the dice
  • Rolls of 7 or 11 mean Pass Bets win and Don’t Pass Bets lose (crap out)
  • Rolls of 2 or 3 are the opposite: Don’t Pass Bets win and Pass Bets lose
  • Rolls of 12 mean Pass Bets lose, but Don’t Pass Bets push (your bet stays on the table)
  • Rolls of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 establish the Point, and the round proceeds to the Point phase

The Point phase:

  • Place a Pass Line or a Don’t Pass bet, and if you choose, bet on one or more of the other numbers on the layout
  • If you roll the Point, all Pass Line bets are paid and Don’t Pass bets lose
  • If you roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, all bets placed on that number are paid
  • Bets can remain on the layout for multiple rolls or a Seven can come immediately
  • Between roles, you can: move, change, or take your bet down
  • You can continue to throw the dice until you roll a 7 Out, at which point all Pass Line Bets and their Odds lose, and every other bet on the layout will lose except for Come and Don’t Pass bets

Etiquette

You can be the life of the party without spending your life savings.

  • Always throw the dice with one hand, never two, and be sure to hit the back wall
  • Always keep the dice where the dealer can see them
  • Feel free to ask your dealer for help or instruction if you’d like to learn about the different bets
  • When buying in or asking for change, place your money on the table instead of giving it to the dealer

Odds

The safest bet is one that’s made with a budget in mind.

  • Always remain realistic about your chances of winning and losing
  • The following wagers have payout odds of 1 to 1: Pass Bet, Don’t Pass Bet, Come Bet, and Don’t Come Bet
  • Some other common bets:
    – Place Bet on 4 or 10 to win—9 to 5
    – Place Bet on 5 or 9 to win—7 to 5
    – Place Bet on 6 or 8 to win—7 to 6

Terminology

Know the game. Play on your terms.

Hard Way: When the dice show the same number (i.e., “Six the Hard Way” means that both dice display 3)

Layout: The specialized felt area on the table where bets can be placed

Proposition (Prop) Bet: A special bet in the center of the table, with odds as high as 30 to 1