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How to Play Craps in Las Vegas and Win!

Craps Basic Rules

Walk into almost any casino and the noisiest largest crowd is usually standing around the Craps Table. Craps or dice is the most popular and most often misunderstood game in the casino. This is because it can be played in a simple straight forward manner or made very complicated with all sorts of betting arrangements. If you learn the simple playing strategy presented here you will be playing pretty close to even money or sometimes better than even with the casino. These techniques also apply to internet casinos.


The best and often most profitable way to play craps is in a simple straight manner, avoiding the more exotic bets. Looking at the Craps Layout above you will see a section marked Pass and another Don't Pass. Betting on either one gives you close to a fifty-fifty chance of winning. It cuts the house advantage down to less than 1.5%.

I would like to explain the rules of the game as it is played online and in almost every casino. Keep in mind you do not have to be the shooter to bet. Let's say, the shooter or you bet pass. This is done by putting a chip on the pass line. If a seven or eleven comes up the shooter wins. If a 2, 3, or 12 comes up the shooter loses. ( A little trivia, rolling a two is called snake eyes because of the two little dots that are showing and a twelve is called boxcars, you have to use your imagination for this one.)

Craps - Basic Play and Making Your Point

Aside from the numbers we have accounted for, 2,3,12, 7 and 11, the shooter may roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. If he rolls any of these numbers they become his point. At this time the shooter wins if he can roll his point number before rolling a seven. This leads to some confusion and it shouldn't.

If you roll a seven or eleven on the first roll you win. If you roll a point number - 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 on the first roll, then you must roll that number again before a seven comes up.

Betting don't pass means the shooter must roll a 2, 3 or 12 (most casinos consider 12 a tie and there is no winner), or fail to make his point number by rolling a 7 first, in order for you to win.

These are the rules of the game. If you just play pass or don't pass, or one other type of bet that I will illustrate, you will be getting some of the best odds possible in any casino. You will have limited the house advantage to approx. 1.4%. These are excellent odds especially when you consider that in many other games such as roulette, the odds can be between 5% and 10%, or more favoring the house.  

Craps - Come / Don't Come Betting Proposition

Before describing some of the betting propositions on the craps layout, I would like to show you one other bet that also has the same odds as pass and don't pass. Near the pass or don't pass is a section called come or don't come.

This is how it is sometimes used. It may take a while for the shooter to either make his point or seven out. If you are anxious to get a bet down to try your luck you can put your bet on the come or don't come section without waiting for the shooter to finish his play.

This means the very next roll by the shooter is considered as the first roll of the dice as far as your bet is concerned. All the rules and odds that apply to pass or don't pass apply to your come or don't come bet.

Craps - Advanced Betting Proposition

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The layout of the crap table is not as complicated as it looks at first glance. Each end of the table is a mirror image of the other.

High-Odds Dice Bets

In the center are various bets that are best to stay away from.

They are bets that pay high odds if certain dice combinations come up. The problem is the odds are never high enough to compensate you for how unlikely the bets really are.



Big 6 and Big 8 Bets

A lot of the bets shown on the craps layout are sucker bets. Here is an example. On the layout there are Big 6 and Big 8 bets. If you bet and hit the Big 6 or 8 before a seven comes up, it pays even money - a dollar for a dollar bet. It actually should pay higher odds, because a 7 turning up is a more likely outcome. There are many other betting propositions on the layout that you should look at very suspiciously.

Keep in mind, all of these attractive looking bets all have a casino advantage greater than the 1.4% the house has in Pass, Don't Pass, Come or Don't Come bets. Often it is the person trying to show off for the crowd, by making fancy betting moves, using these attractive looking bets, who loses the most money.


Craps Table Etiquette

Just a word or two about dice table etiquette. When you walk up to the table always stack your chips in the rack in front of you. When it is your turn to shoot the dice, try to hold them loosely so at least one die is visible at all times. When you throw them, be sure and hit the back wall of the table so they bounce off into play. Yes, it is Okay to blow on them like in the movies.

If you do not want to be a shooter, just pass the dice to the person next to you. When a shooter is working on a point, wait until he picks up the dice before putting down a come or don't come bet. Tipping the stickman or playing a chip for him can sometimes save you money in the long run as he will tend to look out for your best interest. As an example, when a chip is accidentally left on the table he might remind you.

Related Guides: Blackjack/21 Guide | Roulette Guide | Slots Guide
| Practice Craps | Free Online Craps


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