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Overview of Craps for the New Casino Player

Updated on January 17, 2010

Craps is the kind of game that everyone wants to play when they go to the casino but not everyone is sure that they understand how. The game itself isn’t particularly complex but it takes a little bit of learning to get adjusted to the rules of play. Once you’ve learned, you can easily join in at a craps table in any casino and have a lot of fun. If you play the dice right, you might even be able to win some good money at this game! And even if you don’t, you will probably find that your casino experience is enhanced by taking a chance on playing this game.

History of Craps

Before you get into playing craps, you might want to know a little bit of the history behind the game. The original version of craps was a game called Hazard. It was played back in The Middle Ages. As you can see, this is a game that’s been around for awhile! It gained popularity in the United States after it was introduced to the betting community in New Orleans. Today craps is played in all of the major casinos and is a favorite of people who visit gambling hot spots like Las Vegas. People love this game because it’s designed to be social. Sure, you can approach a table alone and join the group that is there but this tends to be the kind of game that groups of friends will try out together. It’s more fun that way!

Basics of Craps

To understand the game, you need to basically know that it involves betting on the roll of the dice. There are different wagers and combinations of bets that can be made. However, the bottom line is that you’re going to make a bet on what’s going to happen when you roll the dice and then you’re going to roll and see if your bet was correct. You will take turns with the other players rolling the dice; a new round begins each time that someone new starts rolling.

Understanding Craps Betting

Of course, to get good at craps, you need to know about how the betting works. And to do that, you need to understand the rounds. Let’s say that you’ve just started and it’s your turn to begin a round. You will roll both dice and add up the total showing on the face of the dice. If that total is 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12 then the round is over and you start a new one. If you rolled something other than that total, it is considered a “point” number. If you rolled a “point” number, then you need to keep rolling until either that number comes up again or you roll a seven. That’s when the round ends.

Now that you understand the points, you can start betting. There are a plethora of different bets in craps so a seasoned player may do some complicated things to try to earn money on this game. However, there are some basic simple bets that a new player can make. These are the things that you will want to learn if you just want to have a fun time starting to play craps. These simple bets include:

  • Bet on total. Just like it sounds, you’re betting on what the total number will be before the round ends. This is probably the simplest type of bet that you can make in craps. If you’re playing craps for the first time then you should stick to this kind of bet until you get more adjusted to the game.
  • Bet on total before seven. In this bet, you guess what the total number rolled will be before a seven turns up. The difference here, obviously, is that if you bet the right number but the round ends on “point”, you don’t win. This makes this type of bet slightly more difficult than just betting on the total but it is a good next bet to try out once you’ve learned how to bet on total.
  • Bet on how the round will end. You can make a simple bet on whether the round will end on a seven or on a point. This doesn’t win a lot of money but it’s a 50/50 bet. If you’re not much of a gambler then you could skip the first two types of bets and go straight to this one.
  • Pass/Don’t Pass bet. When it’s your turn to roll, you need to bet on how the first roll is going to come out. If you make a pass line bet, you’re guessing that you’ll roll 7 or 11. If you make a Don’t Pass bet, you’re guessing that you’ll get 2,3 or 12. This one is only available to you when it’s your turn to roll but it’s an important bet to learn about since it’s a required bet during that time.

As you get more into the game, you will see that there are numerous other bets that you can make, wagering on single rolls and multiple rolls in different ways and with different amounts. The best strategy is to start with simple pass/don’t pass bets and then to add new bets as you move forward. Craps is definitely a game that requires immersion in the world to learn the language if you’re going to get really good at the game. However, since it’s a favorite of most casinos, craps is a game worth bothering to learn. And even if you don’t get intimately involved with the rules and language of the game, you can have a great time socializing at the craps table over a few bad bets. You might even just get lucky!


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  • Fazzer Sports profile image

    Fazzer Sports 6 years ago from Las Vegas

    Excellent Craps info!

  • Mystique1957 profile image

    Mystique1957 7 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

    This is interesting! I admit I have never been much of a gambler. I guess the most I`ve done is betting at home(with friends but for real cash). I have won and lost my fair share, but so far I didn`t know about this Craps game, except for a few tv series situations. Well, I learned something new today. I will try it when I have the chance to visit a Casino!

    Thank You for sharing,Kathryn.

    Thumbs up!

    Kind regards,