The game that once dominated American casinos is now disappearing. The main reason for this is that you just don’t walk up to a craps table and begin to play. Today’s players have not grown up with craps, they didn’t learn to play craps in back alley’s or in military barracks like their parents generation. Trying to learn to play craps can be difficult and that means fewer and fewer players to play.
To make learning craps easier let’s start by looking at the craps table layout. At first glance it is all very confusing. There has to be dozens of bets available to players. Any smart player is going to want to select a bet that has a good chance at winning, so we will ignore a majority of the available bets and concentrate on those that give you the best chance at winning. But first let’s look at how to get started playing craps.
Don’t play at an empty table, now the odds do not change depending on the number of players at the table but the atmosphere does. Also you will initially want to stay away from a table that is packed with players that are hootin’ up a storm. Unfortunately craps players are a superstitious lot and they don’t want a novice who might slow the rolls of “hot” dice.
You will want to pick a calm game with a few players and plenty of room to spread out. Make sure to tell the dealer that you are new and just getting started. Most dealers who aren’t too busy will take the time to walk the novice through the game, explain the different bets and the procedures. These dealers understand that their livelihood as craps personnel depends on developing the new players so they are usually more than happy to help out new players to learn to play craps.
At a craps table you will find a number of casino employees working the table. First you will usually find two dealers: who stand behind the table and accept bets and either pay off winners or take down losers. On the opposite side of the table in the middle, is the stickman. The stickman is responsible for the dice and the speed of the game. The stickman gets his name from the “stick” he uses to move the dice around the table. Lastly sitting between the dealers and across the table from the stickman is the boxman. The boxman is the table supervisor, approving all buy-ins and large payoffs.
On the first role of the dice the stickman will present the shooter with five or six dice of which the shooter select two. The shooter will then throw the dice to opposite end of the table hitting the table wall. This role of the dice is called the “come out roll”.
The shooter is trying to establish a number (four, five, six, eight, nine or ten). If the shooter makes one of these numbers the dealer will take the “puck” that says “off” flip it over so that it says “on” and place it on the number that was rolled. After establishing the number the shooter will attempt to roll that number again without rolling a seven in the mean time. That is the entire objective of craps.
For the most part a player will place a bet on the “pass line”. When the shooter rolls the established number again before hitting a seven, they have made on “pass”. Placing a bet on the pass line, also know as the “front line”, you’re betting on the “do’s” or you’re betting “right”. Betting on the “do’s” or “right” means you are betting with the shooter, hoping that they get a pair of hot dice and roll all night. You can bet against the shooter, which is where you place a bet on the “don’t pass” line. Placing this bet you are counting on the shooter not rolling the established number before a seven appears. Betting in this manner is considered, betting on the “don’ts” or “wrong” betting.
Should the shooter roll a seven or eleven on the come-out roll, he wins. The “right” bettors win, the “wrong” bettors loose and the shooter continues to roll. If the shooter rolls a seven after establishing the number then lose their bet and the dice. This is called “sevening out”. As you can see it is quiet easy to learn to play craps and it is very exciting.