Craps is a dice game native to southern United States, but it can trace its roots back to a European game named Hazard. Hazard was quite complicated, and craps is believed to have been invented in order to offer a more straight forward dice game that was easier to learn quickly.
In New Orleans, craps is known as crapaud which is the French word for toad. Traditionally, crapaud was played in the street, not in casinos.
Learning how to play craps
Even though craps is easier to learn than hazard, it can still look a bit confusing at first glance. The craps table in a casino tend to be a lively place where players make all sorts of bets and cheer on when the dice are throw.
There are a long row of different bets to chose among at the craps table, but if you are novice we suggest you stick to the pass-line bet since this is the foundation for the other bets. Once you’ve figured out how pass line works, it will be much easier for you to understand the other bets.
A good way to learn craps is to go to one of the many online casinos that will let your play craps for free using play-money. That way, you can learn gradually without having to spend a lot of time memorizing the rules. Simply play, have fun and try out various bet without having to worry about your bankroll. Once you get the hang of it, you can starting placing real-money wagers.
The pass line bet
You can only place a pass line bet before the dice are thrown for the first time during a round of craps.
Place your chips in the area where you can see the text “Pass” on the craps table.
When all the players have placed their wagers, one of the players will be allowed to throw the dice. Many craps players are quite superstitious and will prefer to let a novice woman throw the dice, since they are considered good luck. Men playing craps for the first time are on the other hand considered bad luck.
The first throw of the dice is called come-out throw. The result of the come-out throw determines what happens next.
- If the sum of all dice are 2, 3 or 12 all bets on pass line are lost.
- If the sum of all dice are 7 or 11 all bets on pass line are paid 1:1. So, if you had wagered $100 on pass-line you get paid $100 and can leave the table with $200.
- If the sum of all dice are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 that sum is the point and the game continues. Your pass-line bet is still in play, all players who has already made a pass-line bet will also be allowed to make an odds bet. You can read more about odds bets farther down on this page.
What happens when a point has been established?
When a point has been established, the dice will be thrown again and again and again until either 7 or the point number appears.
- If the point number appears, you win on your pass-line bet. So if for instance the point is 5, you want 5 to appear since that means you get paid 1:1 on your pass-line bet.
- If 7 appears, you lose your pass-line bet.
Making an odds bet
As mentioned above, players who has already made a pass-line bet will be allowed to make an odds bet when a point has been established. How much you are allowed to bet depends on the size of your pass-line bet. In most casinos, you can bet up to three times your pass-line bet. So, if your pass-line bet was $100, you can place an odds bet of up to $300.
The odds bet is very similar to the pass-line bet, because you get paid if the point number appears (i.e. if the dice show the point number for the number seven). The big difference between pass-line bets and odds bets is the payout. While a pass-line bet only pays 1:1, an odds bet will pay depending on the point number.