Craps – The basics

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Craps – The Basics

Dice games aren’t nearly as popular as Blackjack or Baccarat nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that games like craps don’t have a lot of dedicated fans that are enjoying the game all the time, be it in one of the numerous land-based casinos or in less formal settings.

That’s why we’ve decided to write an article summing up all the basic info that you’ll ever need to be able to understand what’s going on at a craps table. We’re going to take a closer look not only at the basic rules, but also at the game’s history and playing online.

History of Craps

Dice games have a much longer history than card games, so it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that craps is one of the oldest games that are still being played nowadays. In fact, most sources claim that the game was invented in the 12th century during the Crusades. The exact origins are, of course, rather unknown and it’s quite likely that the game originated elsewhere, but this story from the Middle Ages seems to be widely accepted.

In any case, the game seems to have been incredibly popular in 17th century England. Craps were being played not only at the various castles, but also in basically every single tavern in the country. Soon, the game also arrived in the United States and we all know what had to happen there. Yes, that’s right – the Americans started to write a new chapter of the game’s history.

It is often said that the city of New Orleans was when the modern history of craps started, with a certain Bernard de Mandeville establishing its formal rules. Those rules had their flaws, however, and players could take advantage of them to skew the odds in their favour, so the rules set by Mandeville were soon discarded.

Who should be considered the father of modern craps in that case? Well, that title undoubtedly belongs to John H. Winn, a famous dicemaker. His inventions – which include the idea of being able to bet with the shooter or against him – soon spread across the entire world. In the 20th century, the game was a big hit not only in casinos, but also on the battlefields, with soldiers using craps as a way to pass time.

Craps Rules

Craps might look like a simple game at first glance, but don’t let that appearance fool you – the truth is that the game (especially when played in a casino setting) is much more complicated than games like roulette or blackjack. Most of this complexity comes from the fact that there’s an enormous amount of bets that you can take.

However, as one would expect, most players don’t really care about most of them. We’ve therefore decided to focus only on the two most popular ones in this short guide.

Before we take a look at the bets, however, let’s examine how the action actually proceeds. It’s the player who throws the dice, but, in order to be able to do that, he or she has to have a bet on either the Pass or the Don’t Pass option. Each of the betting rounds has two phases – firstly, the shooter makes the so-called come-out roll. If all the bets aren’t decided during it, he or she then has to make “point” rolls until all the Pass/Don’t Pass bets are resolved.

Rolling the dice has its own special rules, with most casinos requiring the shooter to roll with just a single hand (to prevent any tricks with changing the dice). In order for the roll to be considered eligible, the dice also always have to bounce off the far wall of the table (to prevent easy dice setting and manipulation).

But what do the popular Pass/Don’t Pass bets actually mean?

The Pass bet, which is the most essential bet in craps, is basically a bet on the shooter to win and pays even money.

If the come-out roll, the first roll of them all, ends up in a 7 or 11, all Pass bets win.

If it ends up in a 2, 3 or 12, all Pass bets lose.

If the roll ends up in any other value, it establishes what is called “the point”.

The dice are then rolled over and over again until any roll ends up with the same value as the point or in a 7.

If the point is rolled first, all Pass bets win. If a 7 is rolled first, all Pass bets lose.

You can only make a Pass/Don’t Pass bet before the start of the roll. Once “the point” has been established, you can continue to make bets on each roll, just not any pass/don’t pass bets.

The Don’t Pass bet is almost the opposite of the Pass bet – and it also pays even money. If the come-out roll ends up in a 7 or 11, all Don’t Pass bets lose. If it ends up in a 2 or 3, all Don’t Pass bets lose. Finally, if the come-out roll ends up in a 12, all Don’t Pass bets are voided (some casinos void 2s instead, however, and some allow you to choose which number will count as a win and which as a loss). If the Don’t Pass bets pass the come-out roll and a point is established, they become the exact opposite of the Pass bets. If the point is rolled first, all Don’t Pass bets lose. If a 7 is rolled first, all Don’t Pass bets win.

It should be noted that most casual punters bet strictly on the Pass bets when in a real casino setting, as that’s what the basic etiquette dictates, even though the house edge is slightly higher there. After all, betting on the Don’t Pass option is, in a sense, betting on the shooter to lose – and who would want to do that?

How to Play Craps

Playing Craps Online

Since craps isn’t the most popular casino game nowadays, it might be fairly hard to get a game going in a small casinos. All the big ones are offering the game, but visiting them might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem in the form of online casinos, as virtually all of them are offering craps games nowadays.

This naturally isn’t only about the comfort of you being able to enjoy the game on your personal computer or smartphone – the online option can also come in handy in case you just want to learn the ins and outs of the game before you hit the real casino tables. The gameplay is simple, the exact rules are always nearby, and you can play for free if you so desire.

If you decide to play for real money, you can take advantage of the best craps bonuses that can give your bankroll a very nice boost, so there really is a lot to be liked when it comes to online craps!