How To Play Craps

The fast-paced action of the casino dice game known as craps makes it one of the most exciting forms of gambling out there. It is also a game that generates a great deal of camaraderie between gamblers, which is why you will often hear players shouting encouragement to each other and see them pumping their fists in the air or clapping every time the shooter rolls a good number that keeps everyone's bets alive. If you want to get in on the fun on your next trip to the casino, you'll first have to familiarize yourself with the basic rules of the game.

  1. Before joining a particular table, take a few minutes to walk around the casino and observe the games. The last thing you want to do is jump in on a table that is running cold. You should also be sure to look for the small placard on each table that will tell you the minimum wager for that particular game. The most common minimum bets are $5, $10, $15, $25, and $100.
  2. Wait until a break in the action before trying to exchange your cash for casino chips. It's considered extremely poor etiquette (not to mention unlucky) to reach your hands into the playing area when the shooter has possession of the dice. Also, be sure to place your cash on the unmarked portion of the felt surface known as the apron. In some casinos, cash works the same as chips, which means that the dealers might consider your money to be a live wager if you place it in any of the betting areas.
  3. Once you get your chips, start out by making either a Pass or Don't Pass wager. If you bet on the Pass Line, that means you believe the shooter will win (i.e. make his or her point). If you bet on Don't Pass, that means you believe the house will win (i.e. that the shooter won't make his or her point). Be aware that some other players might try to give you a bit of a hard time if you decide to bet on Don't Pass. It's best just to ignore these types and continue wagering the way you want to.
  4. Each new game begins with the come-out roll. If the shooter throws a 7 or 11, it's called a "frontline winner," and everyone who bet the Pass Line will receive even money on their wagers, while those wagering on Don't Pass will lose their chips. A come-out roll of 2, 3, or 12 is known as "craps dice," which results in a loss for Pass Line bettors and a win for those with chips on Don't Pass. In both instances, the same shooter will retain control of the dice for another come-out roll.
  5. If the shooter throws a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 on the come-out roll, then that number becomes the established point. The shooter must subsequently roll the same number (in any combination on the dice) before rolling a 7 in order to win and get a chance to start a fresh game with another come-out roll.
  6. Once a point is established, the players can start making any of the wagers that are printed on the table layout, including Place bets, Hardways, the Field, Come, and Don't Come. Players can also lay odds on their Pass, Don't Pass, Come, Don't Come, and Place bets.
  7. If the shooter rolls a 7 before hitting the point again, the game ends and the croupiers will take all the losing bets off the table. The dice will then go to a new shooter and the whole process will start over again.


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