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Craps is a dice game that is commonly found as table games in most casinos, and as online craps games in casino websites. The game revolves around the dice roll in which the players place wagers against the house on the outcome of one or more dice rolls. A dice outcome is the sum of the two numbers (represented by dots) shown on top of each piece of die after being rolled. In most casinos, the craps table is one of the liveliest area.
Short History of Craps
Craps is a simplified game derived from the much complex Old English game called the "hazard". The game origins are complex and may be first played during the Crusades to be influenced by French gamblers later. The game was then brought to New Orleans by the scion of wealthy Louisiana landowners, a gambler and politician, Bernard Xavier Philippe. A man named John H. Winn introduced the "Don't Pass" betting option in order to fix some problems in Bernard's version of craps. This game had became the known version of craps today. Craps was first known to be a game named "'crapaud" (French word for "toad"), and was said to become popular when it was spread through the African-American community.
How To Play Craps In Casinos
In the casinos, the house covers all the bets made by the players, with odds set on the payouts for every bet. A player rolling the dice is called the "shooter", and casinos require the shooter to place a wager on the "Pass" or "Don't Pass" line. Before the shooter rolls the dice, other players place their chips on specific betting areas on the craps table to wager. Craps is played in rounds. Players take turn in being the shooter, usually in a clockwise direction around the craps table. A player may refuse in shooting the dice, but can still place a wager.
Since each bet made on craps can be determined by one or more dice rolls, the dealers will have some time to collect losing bets and pay winning bets between each roll.
The Pass Line
The Pass Line is the basic bet in both land-based and online craps. When the shooter and other players wager on the Pass line, they are betting for the shooter to win against the house. Thus, it is also called the "Win" or "Right" bet. Each round has two phases, namely the "come-out" and the "point". To start a round, the shooter rolls the dice and makes "come-out" rolls.
The come-out roll is the first dice outcome in craps. If the outcome is a 2, 3, or 12, it is called a "craps" and the shooter is said to "crap out". The Pass Line bets lose, but the round will still continue and additional wagers may be placed. If the come-out roll is a 7 or 11, it is called a "natural", which results a win to all Pass Line bets. If the come-out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the number becomes the "point". In order for the Pass Line bets to win, the shooter must roll that point number again before a 7 comes out. If 7 is rolled first, it is called a "seven-out". All the Pass Line bets lose and the round ends. The player to the left will then be the new shooter for the next round.
The payout for this bet is even money (1:1), and it has a very low house edge of 1.41%.
The Don't Pass Line
The Don't Pass Line is a betting line in both live and online craps games that is almost the complete opposite of the Pass Line. Players (including the shooter if he bet on this line) who wagers on this line will win if the shooter craps out, lose if the come-out roll is a natural, lose if the shooter obtains the point before a 7 is rolled, and wins if a seven-out occurs and ends the round. In some casinos, an outcome of 12 (one of the craps) results into a "tie".
The payout for this bet is also 1:1, but it has the lowest house edge of all bets in craps, with only 1.40%. However, since the shooter usually wagers on the Pass Line, most experienced players will disregard the 0.01% discrepancy and avoid this bet, because betting on the Don't Pass Line is considered as wagering against the shooter (hence it is also called the "Don't Win" or "Wrong" bet). This act is also called "playing the dark side," and is considered to be in poor taste, or even a taboo, by some players since it goes directly against conventional play. But in online craps games, the player plays alone and has the liberty of making a Don't Pass bet without peer pressure.
In both offline and online craps games, players can reinforce their Pass Line bets if a point number (4,5,6,8,9, or 10) is the come-out roll with an amount equivalent to 1 to 5 times of the original bet. This line bet is called the Pass Odds. This bet wins if the point is rolled again before a 7, and loses on a seven-out. These bets are paid out at true odds (or the actual probability of winning the bet, meaning with 0 house edge) and the ratio depends on the point established: 2-to-1 for either 4 or 10; 3-to-2 for 5 or 9; and 6-to-5 for 6 or 8.
Don't Pass Odds
The Don't Pass Odds is a bet in craps that is the exact opposite of the Pass Odds. But instead of the Pass Line, the Don't Pass Odds reinforces a bet made on the Don't Pass Line. The bet wins on a seven-out and loses if the point number is rolled before a 7. This bet is also paid at true odds with 0 house edge, and the ratio also depends on the point number: 1-to-2 for either 4 or 10; 2-to-3 for 5 or 9; 5-to-6 for 6 or 8.
Players can make a Come Bet in both brick-and-mortar and online craps games. It is a bet made after a point number is established, and it can be placed at anytime in the round before a seven-out is rolled. This bet is played similar to the Pass Line. Upon placing the bet, it will start with it's own come-out roll, which can either be a natural, craps, or a point number. It wins on a natural, loses on craps, wins if it's point number is rolled again before a 7, and loses on seven-out. It shares the same payout and house edge with the Pass Line. Odds can also be placed on Come bets, similar to the Pass Line.
Don't Come Bet
The Don't Come bet works as the opposite of the Come bet, in which the winning and losing situations of this bet is similar to the Don't Pass Line. It is also placed at anytime after a point has been established by the shooter and before a seven-out. It shares house edge and payout with the Don't Pass Line, and Odds can also be placed on this bet.
Online craps and live craps in casinos both offer a number of proposition bets, also called the side bets. These bets are independent of the Line bets, and are solely based on the outcomes of one or more dice rolls. They can be placed and be resolved at any time in each round.
Single Roll Bets - these are side bets in craps which are resolved by just a single dice roll. They are also called "Service Bets".
- 2 (also called 'snake eyes' or 'Aces') - wins if the shooter rolls a 2, pays out 30:1 (actual odds is 35:1), and has a house edge of 13.89%
- 3 (Ace-Deuce) - wins if the shooter rolls a 3, pays out 15:1 (actual odds is 17:1), and has a house edge of 11.11%
- Yo - wins if the shooter rolls an 11, with the payout, actual odds, and house edge similar to Ace-Deuce
- 12 (also called 'boxcars', 'cornrows', 'midnight') - wins if the shooter rolls a 12, with the payout, actual odds, and house edge similar to Snake Eyes (2)
- 2 or 12 (hi-lo) - wins if the shooter rolls either a 2 or 12, with the payout, actual odds, and house edge similar to Ace-Deuce and Yo. The bet is placed on the line dividing 2 and 12 on the craps table
- Any Craps (Three-Way) - wins if the shooter rolls any of the craps (2, 3, 12), pays out 7:1 (actual odds is 8:1), and has a house edge of 11.11%
- C & E - a combined bet for Any Craps and Yo (11), in which only one of the two may win, pays out 3:1 if Any Craps wins and 7:1 if Yo wins (actual odds is 5:1), has a house edge of 11.11%
- Any 7 (Big Red) - wins if the shooter rolls a 7, pays out 4:1 (actual odds is 5:1), and has the highest house edge among all bets, 16.67%
- The Horn - four equal separate bets at the same time for numbers 2, 3, 11, and 12, in which only one will win, pays out 27:4 on number 2 or 12 and 3:1 on number 3 or 11 (actual odds is 5:1), and has a house edge of 12.5%
- Whirl or World - The Horn combined with Big Red (any 7) bet, resulting in a five separate bets in which only one will win, pays out similar to The Horn on either 2, 3, 11, or 12 and a tie (or push) on 7 (actual odds is 5:1), and has a house edge of 13.33%
- On the Hop - a bet made on what would be the combination of the dice in the next roll, such as "5 and 1" on the hop (means one die shows a 5 while the other shows a 1), pays out 15:1 on different numbers (actual odds is 17:1) and 30:1 on doubles (like "2 and 2" on the hop; the actual odds is 35:1), and has a house edge of 11.11% (on unlike numbers) and 13.89% (on doubles)
- Field - wins 1:1 payout if the shooter rolls either 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11, 2:1 payout on 2 and 12 (sometimes 12 pays out 3:1 in some casinos), has actual odds of 5:4, and has a house edge of 5.56% (2.78% if 12 pays out 3:1)
Multi Roll Bets - these are propositional bets in craps and online craps games that are resolved by one or more dice rolls.
- Hard Way - wins if the shooter rolls a 4, 6, 8, or 10 the "hard way", or as doubles (such as the dice showing 2-2 for a bet on 4), before he rolls a 7 or a corresponding "easy way", pays out 7:1 on either hard way 4 or hard way 10 (actual odds is 8:1 and house edge is 11:11%) and 9:1 on either hard way 6 or hard way 8 (actual odds is 10:1 and house edge is 9.09%)
- Easy Way - wins if the shooter rolls a 4,6, 8, or 10 the "easy way" such as 3-1 for 4 before a 7 is rolled. This bet is rarely available in casinos.
- Big 6 and Big 8 - wins if the shooter rolls a 6 (for Big 6 bets) and 8 (for Big 8 bets) before a 7, both have a payout of 1:1 (actual odds for both is 6:5), and both have a house edge of 9.09%
- Place and Buy - placing and buying any point number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) wins if the particular point number where the players bet on is rolled before a 7. Place bets pays out 9:5 for 4 and 10 (actual odds is 2:1 and house edge is 6.67%), 7:5 for 5 and 9 (actual odds is 3:2 and house edge is 4%), and 7:6 for 6 and 8 (actual odds is 6:5 and house edge is 1.52%). Buy bets are paid similar to the corresponding actual odds for each point number, but the house charges the player with a commission equivalent to 5% of the original bet if it wins, and the house edge for all point numbers bought is 4.76%.
- Lay - a bet that is opposite of a Buy bet, in which it wins if 7 is rolled out before the particular point number where the player place a lay bet on. It pays out similar to the actual odds, 1:2 for 4 and 10 (house edge of 2.44%), 2:3 for 5 and 9 (house edge of 3.23%), and 5:6 for 6 and 8 (house edge of 4%), but a commission equivalent to 5% of the original bet is charged.
Player Bets - these are side bets (only in live craps) that mostly wagers not on the dice outcome but on the players.
The Fire Bet
One example of a Player Bet in land-based craps is the Fire Bet, in which a player may wager, for $1 up to $5, that the next shooter will roll from four to six point numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10) of different values after the come-out roll and before a seven-out. For each unique point number being rolled, the counter continues to increase, but if the next roll shows a point that has already been counted, the counter will not increase nor decrease. Only a seven-out will break the count, and the highest number of individual points successfully rolled before the seven-out will be paid out.
Fire Bet pays out 24:1 if four points are obtained, 249:1 if a fifth unique point is rolled, and 999:1 if all six of the point numbers are rolled before a seven-out. However, if a seven-out occurs and the shooter has only rolled three or less individual point number, the Fire Bet is lost.