A Beginner’s Guide To Craps

It is astounding how many casino gaming enthusiasts never feel the confidence to join a game of Craps simply because they do not understand the layout of the table and basic rules of the game. Even more amazing is how many people really want to give the game a go, but are too afraid to ask for guidance and help to get started.

Craps is in reality not at all a game too difficult to get the hang of. Learning the ropes is quick and simple, leaving many people almost shocked at how long it took them to finally take the plunge. Herewith then, a basic introduction to casino Craps.

The Layout

Craps is played on a rectangular table roughly 3.5 feet wide by 12 feet long. The sides of the table are typically raised and grooved along the top. This is to make it easier for players to store their casino chips.

The layout of the table is symmetrical – a duplicated mirror image of sorts – providing two identical betting areas on the furthest sides, and a common area in the centre. The common area is generally reserved or prop-bets. It should be noted that proposition bets usually carry a high advantage in favour of the house.

The Regulars

Two dealers are present at every Craps game – one positioned at each end of the table in an area known as “the Pit”. These areas are restricted and are only ever permitted to be occupied by dealers. The dealer’s responsibilities include converting cash to chips, converting chips to smaller chip-denominations, and to collect and pay out bets placed on one half of the table.

Present also are a stickman, whose responsibilities include returning the dice to the shooter after every roll, accepting and placing proposition bets, announcing prop-bet results, etc., and a boxman, who is the ultimate dispute-resolution authority at the table.

The Bets

Since Craps allows for the placing of many different types of bets, people tend to assume the game to be difficult to understand even in terms of the basic rules – let alone mastering it. But the reality is that the game is much easier to learn than what most people think or assume.

The premise is terrifically simple: every bet is placed on the outcome of the roll of a single pair of dice. Of the different types of bets, there are only a few that are crucially important. These are the pass line and don’t pass bets, the odds bets, and the come and don’t come bets:

  • The pass line and don’t pass line bets. These bets typically have to placed one or the other before the initial come-out roll. Both pay out at a ratio of 1:1 for a win. For a pass-line bet to constitute a win, the value of the come-out roll must either by 7 or 11. In the event of the value being equal to 2, 3, or 12, the bet will be considered a loss. A don’t pass line bet requires exactly the opposite result for winning and losing.

In the event that the result of the dice does not fall into any of the mentioned categories, a so-called “point” is established at that particular value. In this case the bet remains on the table either until the value of the point is repeated on the roll, or a 7 is rolled.

  • The come and don’t come bets. Similar to pass line and don’t pass line bets, come and don’t come bets are wagered after the point has been established. These also both pay out at an even ratio.
  • Odds bets. Made after the point has been established, odds bets are basically combinations of the four abovementioned bets.