Craps is known by many to be the best game to play in a casino. For the serious gambler, this is where your best odds are. For the good time gambler, it can also be the most exciting. Craps is a game, where unlike others, it is found very appropriate to hoot and howler throughout the course of play. Unfortunately, most inexperienced gamblers will avoid Craps because of the intimidation factor. There are a lot of options on the table, but you do not have to understand the ins and outs to play. So, let’s begin with the basics.
The basic (and most popular) bet in Craps is the Pass Line bet. Before play begins most players will place a bet on the Pass Line. When all bets are laid, the rolling begins. On the first roll, referred to as the “come out” roll, a few things can happen. If a 7 or 11 is rolled all Pass Line bets win. If a 2, 3,or 12 is rolled all pass line bets lose. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled no one wins or loses-yet. That number will become the “point”. The objective of the roller now is to hit the “point” before a 7. Scenarios: On the “come out” the roller hits an 11-all bets on the pass line win. This is an even bet, so if you’d put $5 on the pass line, you will receive another $5. Dealer will put your winning chip on top of the chip you had initially played. You may leave the money there, doubling your bet, take it off and leave your original bet of $5, or take the $10 and walk. After all winnings are distributed, the roller goes again. Let’s say this time he rolls a 6. The pass line bets do not win or lose, and stay on the pass line. “Point” is 6 now, so we want a 6 to be rolled before a 7. If a 6 is hit before a 7, all pass line bets win, and a new comeout roll begins with the same shooter. This will continue until a 7 is rolled as craps. When he/she has “crapped out” the rolling responsibility moves clockwise. This is the very basics of Craps. Now, onto other bets and complications.
Let’s explain what all those other options are on the table. There are countless bets that can be made on the table, but you may want to stick with just the Pass Line bet until you get a better understanding of the game and all of it’s possibilities.
Don’t Pass Bet – This is the exact opposite of the Pass Line bet. It wins on the “come out” if a 2 or 3, loses on 7 or 11, and neither wins nor loses on 12. If a “point” is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) the bet is opposed to that number, so this player wants 7 to be rolled before point.
Come Bet – This bet is the same as the pass line bet, except it cannot be played until point is established. Placing a chip on the Come area is a wise bet. It will only lose on a 2, 3 or 12 which are the hardest numbers to hit. It wins on 7 and 11, and it moves on all other numbers, making that number a poit for you, the individual who placed the bet.
Field Bet – The field bet pays on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12, paying double on 2 or 12. It loses on 5, 6, 7 or 8. While this bet seems like a great one, strategically it is not because 5,6,7 and 8 have the best odds of being rolled.
Hardways – You can bet less then the table minimum on the hardways bets, they are hard 4, 6, 8 and 10. You are betting that these numbers will be hit the hard way before the easy way, or before shooter rolls 7. A hard 8 is two 4’s, an easy 8 is 6 and 2 or 5 and 3. You can bet on one or more of the hard numbers. Simply toss a chip or chips at the stickman and announce which hard numbers you’d like. For example, “Throw out a $5 chip and say all the hard ways, 2 on hard six.”
Place Bet – Place bets are putting your bet directly on a point. You can put a place bet on 4, 5, 6, 8, or 10. To place this bet put your chip directly on that number. This bet wins if the number you choose is hit before a 7.
Big 6 or 8 – Never put your money on this bet. Placing your money directly on the 6 or 8 will win you more money. Big 6/8 is what they call a “sucker bet”, so don’t be a sucker.
Odds – Most bets on the table pay even money. You can bet on the odds to make a better profit. Most experienced players bet on the odds. You will notice when you begin playing that once the point is established, many players will place another bet directly behind the pass line bet, this is the odds bet. Your betting on the same number as the pass line bet, but you get more money on the odds bet if you win. The bet pays what the odds for the point are of being hit. The odds are as follows: 4=2 to 1, 5=3 to 2,6=6 to 5, 8=6 to 5, 9=3 to 2, and 10=2 to 1.
Last but not least, have fun! Get to know the game on your own before you start getting into complicated bets. Once you get a better understanding of the game, you may feel more comfortable placing lots of different bets, but a suggestion to the beginner is to stick with the pass line bet at first. Watch what other players are doing, learn the etiquette of the game, and you will soon be enjoying the most exciting game in the casino.