All about Craps: This is part one in our two-part series, where we unravel the mystery behind the world’s best table game.
Craps is something that, outside of America, isn’t actually all that well known. Just like Jif peanut butter and paying for healthcare- most of the rest of the world continues on their lives never knowing any better. Craps is an extremely popular table game both in live casinos and online casinos, not just because of the thrill and social comradery that the game brings- but because of the incredible odds the game offers.
Knowing the basic crap rules, which bets to make (and which definitely not to make), and gaining a basic understanding of a standard table layout, gives you complete and unfettered access to one of the best, and most uproarious, ways to win in the casino online.
Much of the basics have to do with live versions of casinos- but don’t stray too far online players, because these are the fundamentals that any crap player needs to know.
If you find yourself in a live casino, it’s important to wait for the puck to be “off” before attempting to buy chips. Once the puck is “off” and before the shooter takes their roll- now is the time to buy-in.
Shooters, or the person rolling the dice, take turns in a clockwise rotation around the table. In order to be able to roll, a player must place a bet on either the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass Line. Shooters will continue to roll the dice until they “crap out”, or roll a 7 following a Come Out roll.
1- Puck: Large disk controlled by the Dealer. One side is white, with the word “On”, the other side is black with the word “Off”
2- Dice: In a live casino (and some online versions) you will be able to pick a pair of dice out of five when it is your turn to roll
3- Stick Man: This is the man with a stick. Only present at live casinos as his job is to navigate the dice to the proper shooter without touching them. He also announces the dice rolls.
4- Boxman: This person only handles the chips. Exchanging cash for chips, or “coloring up”. They also supervise the dealers.
5- Dealers: These are the persons that organize, place, remove, and pay the bets on the table.
6- Rack: The small wooden troughs designed to hold your chips and mark your place
7-Shelf: Again, only found in live casinos, this is where you place your drinks, personal items, and ashtrays where applicable.
This is the first roll that is made after the puck has been turned “off”. The Come Out roll results in a win, loss, or “point”. Depending on where you place your bets (Pass or Don’t Pass) a 7 or 11 could result in a win, where a 2, 3, or 12 could result in a loss. The “point” is the first place number to be rolled on the Come Out roll. Whether a player wins or loses, they continue rolling until a point has been decided.
The “Crap” numbers are 2, 3, and 12. Depending on whether play has established a point, or it’s a Come Out roll, or where your bets are placed- these numbers can signal a gut-wrenching defeat, big win- or perhaps most often- absolutely nothing at all.
Place numbers are the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10. These are the numbers that can also be used as a “Point” number should they be achieved on a Come Out roll. A point number is the object number for the shooter to roll, where a place number can be bet on by “buying” it, or winning it during a Come/Don’t Come bet.
When a place number is rolled during a Come Out roll, it becomes the “point”- as in the whole point of the game. This number is marked “On” by the dealer’s puck.
This term refers to the ways that certain numbers can be created by matching pairs of dice. Such as the 4, 6, 8, and 10. “Hard ways” refers to pairs, because these rolls are much more difficult to come by. For example, rolling two 4’s would result in a “hard 8”. Soft is any other combination of dice rolls that could add up to an even number. Like a two and a six would result in a “soft 8”.
If you’re asking yourself about the 2 and 12… with these bad boys, there are only the hard ways, so they get fun, special names like “snake eyes” and “Aces” to signify a two, or “Box cars” and “Midnight” to talk about a 12.
“Pressing” a bet is just the crap way of letting the last winning bet ride while adding your winnings to the original bet. For instance, if you’ve bought the 9, and the shooter then rolls a 9, you would press that bet by leaving both the initial bet and the winnings on the 9.
“Take me down” is how you signal to the dealer that you would like to remove a certain bet that you have already placed before it is won or lost.
Mathematically speaking, playing the “dark side”- or betting with the house, gives a player the best odds of winning possible. It can also result in some pretty incredible payouts. Playing the dark side is essentially betting on the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bars. This style of play is perfect for online players and showcases some brilliant crap strategy. But if you plan on employing this at a well-populated live table, you’re bound to ruffle the feathers of your fellow players.
In some casinos, both online and live, there are a few bets that exist only on certain tables, and some side bets that appear everywhere. Most of these types of bets are considered “sucker bets”, or bets with incredibly small chances of winning, and hosting astronomically high house advantages. So, we’re going to save you the headache (and the money) and only mention them in passing.
3-All, All Small, All Tall
Want to learn about the table and all the standard bets you actually want to make? Well, now you know how to “talk the talk”, it’s time to “walk the walk”- over to the second part of our two-part series on the basic crap rules and craps strategy.