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Craps

Pass Line Bets and Don't Pass Line Bets. Come Bets and Don't Come Bets. There are multiple bets to place, just as there are multiple rounds of dice throw. But when it comes to 7, you have just two ways to go. Win or lose. Find out more.
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Craps Guide

A throw of dice is all it takes to determine the winners and losers in this table game. Yet, few can resist the lure of a 7 or 11 in the first round. What if a 2, 3 or 12 shows up? Craps! Blame it on bad luck and continue betting in several different ways.

How to Play Craps

Place a bet before the hot dice is rolled. Click on the chips and choose the nature of bet by clicking again on that spot on the table. The table is marked with all the names of the bets. You can change the amount you want to bet, by clicking on the ‘amount to bet per click.’ Place multiple bets by clicking on the bets. You can clear most bets (except pass and come bets) from the table and start over. You can also modify the bets.

Craps is a dice game where players guess which number will be rolled. There are different ways to bet on a number. One can bet that the value of the numbers on the two dice would be 7. Or one can bet that before the 7, a 5 will be rolled. The roller is called the shooter.

Craps is played in rounds. This round can end automatically, depending on the bet placed. If that does not happen, the number that was rolled becomes the ‘Point’. The round following this comes to an end only if a point or a 7 is rolled. Each outcome carries its own meaning in terms of winning and losing and payouts, which is explained later. Unless you know the different kinds of bets and what they mean, you cannot play Craps.

Pass Line Bet

The Pass Line bet is the basic bet one wagers in a game of Craps. It is a series bet, where the shooter may have to roll the bet several times to determine the outcome. This also means the wager is a contract -one cannot withdraw after a round, unless the series is completed. The first roll in this series is called the come-out roll.

Example: The shooter throws the dice on a come-out roll and a 4 is rolled. This is a ‘point’ of 5. The dice is rolled again and an 8 is thrown up. There is a status quo on pass line bets. The shooter throws the dice again and rolls a 5. A ‘point’ is established. Pass line bets remain unaffected. The next dice roll yields a 3. It has come after the point, so nothing happens. Another roll throws up a 5 yet again. It is a win. If a 7 had been rolled as this stage, it would have been a ‘Seven Out’ with all pass line bets relinquished.

Pass Odds

Also called ‘taking the odds’, it is an additional bet one can make midway through a Pass Line bet, when a point has been established. The bet is that the Point will be rolled before a 7. The Pass Odds bet has to be a multiple of Pass Line bet and has the same payout as shown in Table 1.

Table 1

Number Payout
4 2:1
5 3:2
6 6:5
8 6:5
9 3:2
10 2:1

Don’t Pass Line Bet

This is a series bet and is the opposite of the Pass Line Bet. Considered equivalent to betting against the shooter, the wager is that 2 or 3 will be rolled on the come-out roll, or that a 7 will be rolled before the Point.

Don’t Pass Odds

Don’t Pass Odds, also called ‘laying the odds’ is an additional bet and is opposite to ‘taking the odds’. Placed midway through a Don’t Pass Bet, it is wager that a 7 will be rolled before the Point. This wager is a multiple of the Don’t Pass Bet, carries the same payout as the Don’t Pass Line Bet which is given below:

Table 2

Number Payout
4 1:2
5 2:3
6 5:6
8 5:6
9 2:3
10 1:2

Come Bet

Come bet is nothing but a pass line bet, placed after a point has been established. It is a contract bet. The next roll of the dice then becomes the come-our roll for your bet. In effect, this means multiple rounds of Craps are played simultaneously.

If a natural or craps is not rolled on the come-out roll and a Point is established, your chip is moved to the Come box for that number. For example, if the Point is 6, your chip is moved to the Come 6 box.

When the Point for the original round of Craps is rolled with Come bets still on the table:

Come Odds

A Come Odds or taking the odds is an additional bet that the Point will be rolled before a 7. You can only place this wager only after placing a Come bet and after a Point has been established. The Come Odds bet is a multiple of the Come bet and has the same payout as the Come bet as depicted in Table 3 below.

Table 3

Number Payout
4 2:1
5 3:2
6 6:5
8 6:5
9 3:2
10 2:1

Don’t Come Bet

A Don’t Come bet is akin to a Don’t Pass bet. However, a Don’t Come bet is placed after the Point has been established for another round of Craps. The next roll of the dice then becomes the come out roll of the bet. This allows multiple rounds of Craps to be played simultaneously.

If a Natural or Craps is not rolled on the come-out roll and a Point is established, your chip is moved to the Don’t Come box for that number. For example, if the Point is 8, your chip is moved to the Don’t Come box for the number 8.

Don’t Come Odds

This is an additional bet which you can wager after a point has been established in your Don’t Come bet round. The bet is that a 7 will be rolled before the Point is rolled again. Your Don’t Come Odds bet is a multiple of your Don’t Come bet.

Table 4

Number Payout
4 1:2
5 2:3
6 5:6
8 5:6
9 2:3
10 1:2

Place Bet

This is bet which allows you to bet that a particular Point number will be rolled before a 7. Point numbers include 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.

Big 6 Bet

This is a type of Place bet, wagered after a point is rolled. You bet that a 6 will be then be rolled before a 7. The Big 6 bet pays even money or 1:1.

Big 8 Bet

This is another type of Place bet. After a point is established, you bet that an 8 will be rolled before a 7. The Big 8 bet pays even money or 1:1.

Buy Bet

Your wager is that a particular Point number will be rolled before a 7 is rolled. Point numbers are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 -those numbers which can be points. A Buy bet is similar to a Place bet but carries a different payout scheme, detailed under Additional Rules. You should however remember that, 4% commission is deducted from your win and the commission is rounded off to a quarter of the lowest denomination in the game. Thus:

Place Lose Bet

You bet that a 7 will be rolled before one of the Point numbers is rolled. Point numbers include 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.

Lay Bet

Think of the lay bet as a place lose bet, with a 4% commission for fair odds. The odds with corresponding payouts are listed under Additional Rules. You bet that a 7 will be rolled before one of the Point numbers will be rolled. Point numbers include 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. If a 7 or the Point is rolled before the number you made a Lay bet on, you win according to a pre-determined payout list. In effect, it is the opposite of a buy bet.

If the number you made a Lay bet on is rolled before a 7 or the Point, you lose.

Field Bet

You bet that the next roll will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. Payout is determined by the number rolled. The numbers, 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11 pay even money, the 2 pays 2:1 and 12 pays either 2:1 or 3:1. Payouts are detailed under Additional Rules.

Hard Ways Bet

This is a contract wager that a pair of 2s, 3s, 4s or 5s will be rolled before a 7 or an easy way of arriving at the same sum of 4, 6, 8 or 10. As it is difficult to get two of the same number, these bets are called Hard Four, Hard Six, Hard Eight and Hard Ten respectively. The reasoning is that it is an easy way to get a four with a one and a three. This bet cannot be withdrawn once the round begins. The payouts for hard way bets are pre-determined and featured in the Additional Rules section.

Proposition Bets

All proposition bets win or lose on the next throw. There are several betting options:

Seven: You can bet the next throw will be a 7. It pays 4:1

Craps 2: You can bet that the next throw is a 2. Pays 30:1

Craps 3: You can bet that the next throw will be a 3. Pays 15:1

Yo 11: You can bet that the next throw will be 11. Pays 15:1

Craps 12: You can bet that the next throw is a 12. Pays 30:1

Any Craps: You can also bet that the next roll will be either 2, 3 or 12. Pays 7:1

Additional Rules

Reproduced below are the payout tables followed by the Silver Oak Casino site with respect to some bets that are popular in Craps. As mentioned earlier, a 4% commission is deducted from both Buy Bets and Lay bets. Commission is rounded off to a quarter of the lowest denomination in the game.

Payouts for Place Bets

Number Payout
4 9:5
5 7:5
6 7:6
8 7:6
9 7:5
10 9:5

Payouts for Place Lose Bets

Number Payout
4 9:5
5 7:5
6 7:6
8 7:6
9 7:5
10 9:5

Payouts for Buy Bets

Number Payout
4 2:1
5 3:2
6 6:5
8 6:5
9 3:2
10 2:1

Payouts for Lay Bets

Number Payout
4 1:2
5 2:3
6 5:6
8 5:6
9 2:3
10 1:2

Payouts for Field Bets

Number Payout
2 2:1
3 1:1
4 1:1
9 1:1
10 1:1
11 1:1
12 2:1/3:1

Payouts for Proposition Bets

Number Payout
7 4:1
Any Craps 7:1
2 30:1
3 15:1
12 30:1
11 15:1

Payouts for Hard Ways Bets

Number Payout
Hard 4 7:1
Hard 6 9:1
Hard 8 9:1
Hard 10 7:1

Strategy & Tips

In a game like craps which has multiple bets, it is better to stick to those which carry a low house edge.

With this criterion alone in mind, the proposition bet is not advisable as it is a single dice roll bet with very high house edge. For instance, the Any Craps bet commands more than 11% house advantage.

The 5% commission coupled with low odds is reason enough to steer clear of lay bets. If you have to place this wager, make sure you maximize your win by betting in set amounts of exact denominations. Do not give the casino a chance to round off earnings.

Though the buy bets carry a 5% commission, they carry high odds. The numbers 4 and 10 are a good choice for this bet, as they are the only numbers which produce high odds of 2:1. Casinos usually charge 5% commission on every $20 wagered (meaning a $5 bet and a $20 bet both have a $1 commission charge, just as a $22 bet and a $39 bet both have a $2 commission); so when you make a buy bet, always do so in multiples of $20 in order to maximize return.

The House Edge on field bets is quite low -5.5%. Yet, this is a risky bet as it involves a single dice roll. They help to bring variety in the wagering and can come in handy when you have a strong hunch that a shooter will roll a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12.

If you wish to make place bets, 6 and 8 may be better options as they return a house edge of 1.5%, compared to 5 and 9 which produce a 4% edge and 4 and 10 which carry a 7% edge. Also, the 4, 5, 9 and 10 bets should be wagered with multiples of $5, while the 6 and 8 should be wagered with multiples of $6. Any other amount will produce uneven amounts, which the casino will round down to make an even payoff amount.

All other basic bets like Pass, Don’t Pass, Come and Don’t Come are player-friendly and offer low house advantage, especially in conjunction with free odds wagers. These are the additional bets on existing pass, don’t pass and don’t come. All these wagers carry the ‘true odd’ or fair odd which brings down house advantage from 1.5% to .8%. As mentioned earlier, it is better to wager in specific denominations as casinos round off to the nearest quarter. This is not as important for a 4 or 10 as these numbers pay 2:1 odds. But numbers like 5 and 9 with payouts of 3:2, an even amount wager is beneficial. Only then will you actually get true odds.

Another method is to calculate house advantage per roll of dice, indicated as loss per hour, rather than per bet. Though the pace differs for each dice throw, on an average, it is calculated as 102 rolls per hour for a full table. Calculations are then made in terms of rate of loss per hour and for five-hour-a-day, four-day period gambling stint.

A Probability Chart to Help You

When the dice rolls, there are 36 possible outcomes. Here below is a probability chart of the possible combinations that would throw up a result of 2 to 12 with the odds against each combination.

Outcome Combinations of Dice Odds
2 1-1 35 to 1
3 1-2, 2-1 17 to 1
4 1-3, 2-2, 3-1 11 to 1
5 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1 8 to 1
6 1-5, 2-4, 3-3,4-2,5-1 31 to 5
7 1-6,2-5,3-4,4-3,5-2,6-1 5 to 1
8 2-6,3-5,4-4,5-3,6-2 31 to 5
9 3-6,4-5,5-4,6-3 8 to 1
10 4-6,5-5,6-4 11 to 1
11 5-6,6-5 17 to 1
12 6-6 35 to 1

It is evident from the above chart, that six out of every 36 results can give you a 7. The rare result is 2 and 12 as they are outcomes of a single combination.

Using this chart, one can judge the chances of rolling a 7 or 11 in the come-out roll. The plausible combinations are 6 and 2. This means 8 out of 36 combinations can give a 7 or 11. Similarly, losing a come-out roll is 4 out of 36 (combining chances of rolling 2, 3 and 12. In other words, the chances of winning in a come-out roll are double that of losing.

Another way to look at this chart is this. What are the chances of winning or losing the pass-line bet? Winning is 8 in 36, losing is 4 out of 36 -a total of 12. In percentage terms that is one-third or 33.33%. Once you learn to calculate the odds in this manner, you can devise your own odds-based strategy.

History of Craps

By most accounts, Craps can be traced to a game called Hazard which was played in the Middle Ages by European aristocracy. It arrived in America through the French Louisiana colony of Acadia.

Some believe the rules of the game were formulated as far back as in 1700s by Mont mort. There is evidence that one Bernard Mandeville of New Orleans simplified the game of Hazard in 1813 and gave the world Craps, based on the use of a fixed dice. John H Winn introduced the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ bets and changed the Craps table layout to introduce the ‘Don’t Pass’ bets as well. Thus betting for or against the roller came into existence.

It is most likely that the name of the game also originated from the English word ‘Crabs’ or from the French word Crapeaud (toad).

There is another theory that the game was played in the Holy Roman Empire. The story goes that the soldiers of the Roman Legions shaved pig’s knuckles into cubes and tossed them on to their inverted shields as a form of entertainment while in camp. In effect, they ‘rolled the bones’ for entertainment.

The Encyclopedia Britannica says the name came from the Arabic words ‘al zar’ or ‘azzah’ which actually means “the dice”. This would obviously imply the game is of Arabic origin.

Be that as it may, the fact remains that Craps has survived and evolved through the ages. Now it is a very popular game online.

Glossary

Aces: A bet on the dice roll giving an outcome of 2.

Advantage: The House Edge. It is the incremental benefit that the Casino enjoys over bets on the table.

Any Craps: A roll wherein the shooter will return any combination between 2, 3, and 12.

Any Seven: A roll that will produce a 7, and help a shooter win. This is usually the target number for all shooters, the other being 11.

Betting Right: Bets such as the Pass Line and Come Bets on the table, which predicts a win for both the bettor and the shooter.

Betting Wrong: A bet that expects the throw to go wrong -meaning, if the shooter loses his throw attempt, the bettor wins.

Big Red: Placing bets on a seven from the roll.

Boxcars: Betting that two 6s will come out of a roll.

Buffalo: Bets placed on Hardway and Any Seven on the craps table.

Buy Bet: A conservative manner of lessening the odds by giving the house a 5% commission for more accurate odds on the table.

C and E Bet: A bet that any roll will fall between the craps numbers 2, 3, 11 or 12.

Craps: Used to refer to the numbers 2, 3 and 12.

Crap Out: An initial roll that returns a 2, 3, or a 12.

Dices in the Middle: The dice are placed in the middle until wagers are made by players on the table.

Down Behind: A term to inform a Don’t Bettor that he lost in his bet.

Drop: The cash wagered on the table.

Easy Way: A safer route to follow for dice rolls that return a 4, 6, 8 or 10 being different from one another.

Frontline: Another terminology given for the Pass Line.

Hardway: A roll that will return a 4, 6, 8 or 10 before a 7 comes out.

Hi-Lo: A bet placed on either a 2 or a 12.

Hook: Player positions near the corners of the table.

Hop: A roll for a particular die combination on the table.

Hoping Hardway: The probability of returning a 2-2 combination from the die roll.

Horn Bet: A bet placed on combinations of 4 with a unit of 2, 3, 11 and 12.

Horn Numbers: Bets returning a 2, 3, 11 and 12.

Inside Bet: Bets placed on the 5, 6, 8 and 9 on the table.

Late Bet: Bets that are placed after the dice have been rolled; also known as No Bet.

Lay Bet: A Bet placed that a 4, 5,6,8,9, or 10 will be returned before a 7.

Line Bet: Bets placed on the Line or Don’t Pass Line.

Monster Roll: An instance where a table generates a lot of winnings for a particular period of time.

Natural: The rolling out of a 7 or an 11 on the come out roll.

Odds Bet: A bet placed on true odds where the house does not have any advantage.

Off: When a bet is not active on the next roll.

On: When a bet is active on the next roll.

One Roll Bet: A bet placed on the next roll of the die.

Outside numbers: Numbers 4, 5, 9, and 10.

Pass: A throw made off the point or a natural throw.

Pass Bet: Bet that the shooter will throw a point or a natural.

Payout: The return of the bets for winning rolls.

Point Numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 are point numbers.

Seven Out: A seven rolled out before making the point.

Shooter: The person throwing the dice.

Snake Eyes: This is the term used for rolling out a two or a pair of 1′s.

Take the Odds: A free-odds betting that is assumed to be the right one.

Yo: A slang term for an eleven.

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