Craps is a dice game in which players wager on the outcome of a dice roll, a series of dice rolls or a pair of dice roll. Being the fastest moving casino game, craps attracts a great deal of players both in land-based and online casinos. Craps is played against the house with two dice on a special table. The player throwing the dice is known as the shooter. Players take turns in throwing the dice but everyone can place a bet - there are a number of betting spaces on the table, but if you're new to the game, don't worry, you don't have to know all of them.


Craps Rules

Both online craps and the traditional game are played virtually the same way. The game is played in rounds, consisting of two phases – “come-out” and “point”. The craps shooter’s first roll of the dice is called the “come out roll”. Beforehand craps players, including the shooter, place a wager on either the “Pass” line or the “Don’t Pass” line. A come-out roll of 7 or 11 (a “natural”) results in a win for “pass” line bets and a loss for “don’t pass” line bets. A come-out roll of 2, 3, or 12 (called “craps”) is a win for “don’t pass” line bets and a loss for “pass” line bets. The shooter continues to make “come-out” rolls until he rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, which number becomes the “point” (or “box point”). That’s when the second phase of the round begins – the shooter rolls the dice until he rolls the point number or a seven. Either way the round ends, but If the shooter rolls a seven, the pass line bets lose, else they win and exactly on the contrary for “don’t pass” line bets.
Come bets are similar to pass line bets (but only made after a “point” is established), the main difference being that a player bets on the first number that “comes” after the shooter rolled a point number. If the next roll comes 7 or 11, the come bet wins, if it is a 2, 3 or 12, it loses. If another number comes, it becomes a come bet point and the player wins if this number is rolled again before a seven.

Additionally there are a number of proposition bets on single or multiple rolls:

Single roll bets

  • 2 (snake eyes, or Aces): Wins if shooter rolls a 2.
  • 3 (ace-deuce): Wins if the shooter rolls a 3.
  • Yo: Wins if the shooter rolls 11.
  • 12 (boxcars, midnight, or cornrows): Wins if shooter rolls a 12.
  • 2 or 12 (hi-lo): Wins if shooter rolls a 2 or 12. The stickman places this bet on the line dividing the 2 and 12 bets.
  • Any Craps (Three-Way): Wins if the shooter rolls 2, 3 or 12.
  • C & E: A combined bet, a player is betting half their bet on craps and the other half on yo (11). One of the two bets will always lose, the other may win.
  • Any seven: Wins if the shooter rolls a 7. This bet is also nicknamed Big Red, since the 7 on its betting space on the layout is usually large and red.
  • The Horn: A four-way bet on each of the numbers 2, 3, 11 and 12 for the next roll. The bet is actually four separate bets, thus if any of the numbers is actually rolled, the 3 losing bets are deducted from the pay out.
  • On the Hop: A single roll bet on any particular combination of the two dice on the next roll (i.e. 5 and 1, 2 and 3, etc.). This bet pays 15:1, except for doubles (3 and 3) which pay 30:1.
  • Field: This bet is a wager that one of the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 will appear on the next roll of the dice. If 2 or 12 is rolled the bet pays out at 2:1 or 3:1 and it pays 1:1 for the rest of the numbers.

Multiple rolls

  • Hard way: A bet that the shooter will throw a 4, 6, 8, or 10 the “hard way” before he throws a seven or the corresponding “easy way”. A hard way is when both dice show identical values, also known as “doubles” or “pairs” (i.e. 2-2, 3-3, etc.)
  • Easy way: Opposite of hard way – a bet that the shooter will throw 4, 6, 8 or 10 the “easy way” (without two identical dice, i.e. 3-1, 4-2, etc.) before he throws a seven.
  • Big 6 and Big 8: A bet that the shooter will roll either 6 or 8 before rolling a seven.
  • Place and Buy bets: A player may bet on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 at any time. This wagers may be place or buy bets. Basically, the player gambles on the probability that the “placed” number will be rolled before the shooter “sevens out” (or “craps out”). Place bets pay out at predefined odds, which are slightly less than the true odds for the number. If the place bet wins, the player receives his winnings and the bet stays until the player decides to take it down. You can buy a number instead of placing it and receive true odds. To do this you must pay a 5 % commission to the house.
  • Lay bet: The opposite of a buy bet – the player bets on a 7 to roll before the number that is laid. Just like the buy bet lay bets pay true odds with a 5% commission charged up front on the possible winning amount.


History of Craps

Craps’ origins are complex and may date to the Crusades but its most recent ancestor is the old English game hazard. The French took up playing hazard and it’s claimed they changed the name to craps, using the name given to a losing throw of 2 in the game of hazard, known as “crabs”. Another theory suggests the name craps is American in origin. Either way, the French or British brought the game to America, and it rapidly gained popularity, the rules of the game were simplified to become the modern craps rules. it was in the southern part of the US, where the game gained the greatest recognition among African Americans in the early 19th century. From the riverboats on the Mississippi river the game spread to the rest of the country until a dice maker by the name of John Winn developed the game so that players could bet with the shooter or against him. This development made the use of crooked dice (which was the practice at the time) pointless. John Winn is ever since known, as the father of modern craps and his modification of the game became the modern 20th century casino game of Bank Craps with layouts and tables. Today craps is the biggest gambling game in world’s history in terms of money wagered.

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