Craps Tutorial
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Description and Objective
Craps can be an
intimidating game for the beginner. The table seems to have about a
hundred different kinds of bets. Critical to the understanding of craps
is that it is a game of rounds. The first roll in a round is called the
come out roll. Sometimes the outcome of a round will be determined on
the come out roll. In particular a 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12 on the come out
roll immediately ends a round. If any other total is rolled (4, 5, 6,
8, 9, or 10) that number is called the point. The dealer will place a
white puck on an area of the table to designate what the point is, in
case you forget. If a point is rolled the dice will be rolled
continuously until the same point is rolled again or a 7.
Table Bet Descriptions
Table Min/Max
Look here to find the minimum and maximum total of the bets allowed.
Craps Bets
The Pass Line
The pass line is the most fundamental bet in craps, almost every player
at the table bets on it. The house edge on the pass line is only 1.41%,
which is not bad compared to most other bets on the table and other
games in the casino.
The pass line is an
even money bet. You start by placing your bet on the pass line area on
the table on a come out roll. If the come out roll is a 7 or 11 you
win, which is also called a “natural”. If the come out roll
is a 2, 3, or 12 (craps) you lose. If any point is rolled on the come
out roll if the point is rolled again before a 7 you win. If a 7 comes
before the point you lose. That is all there is to it. Once you
understand the pass line bet you are ready to play craps. You may want
to practice using fun money a few times before playing for real money.
Buying the Odds
Have you ever wanted a bet with no house edge? Craps offers just such a
bet, as long as you bet on the pass line first. Once a point has been
thrown you may bet up to some multiple between 2 and 10 times your pass
line bet on the 'odds.' The odds are simply an additional wager that
the point will be rolled before a 7. Because the probability of the
point being rolled first is less than 50% you win more than you bet if
it happens. Specifically if the point is a 6 or 8 the odds pay 6:5, if
the point is a 5 or 9 the odds pay 3:2, and if the point is a 4 or 10
the odds pay 2:1.
The multiple you may bet on the odds is usually twice the pass line bet for points of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.
Point

Odds

Bet

Win

Total Winnings

4 or 10

2:1

$10

$20

$30

5 or 9

3:2

$10

$15

$25

6 or 8

5:6

$10

$12

$22

The table below shows the house edge when you combine the pass line and odds:
Combined house edge on the pass line and buying odds

1X odds

0.848%

2X odds

0.606%

Full double odds

0.572%

3X odds

0.471%

Don’t Pass
The don't pass is almost the opposite of
the pass line bet. If the come out roll is a 2 or 3 then you win, a 7
or 11 you lose. A 12 is a push. Otherwise the dice are rolled over and
over until either the point or a 7 is rolled. If the 7 comes before the
point you win.
A person betting on
the don't pass is not the wager of choice by many players, since this
bet is betting against the shooter. This is also called a "wrong"
bettor and is usually winning when everyone else is losing, and vice
versa.
The house edge on the don't pass bet is 1.364%.
Laying the Odds
This is the opposite of buying odds, in other words betting that a 7 will be rolled before the point.
If the point is a 4 or 10 the don't odds pay 1:2.
If the point is a 5 or 9 the don't odds pay 2:3.
If the point is a 6 or 8 the don't odds pay 5:6.
Come
Have you ever become bored waiting for a
point to be thrown and didn't want to waste your money on the sucker
bets to guarantee a money flow on every throw? If so then try the come
bet. It is like the pass line bet but may be made at any time. Like the
pass line bet you might also put money on the odds if a point is thrown
on the first roll after the come bet is placed and has a house edge of
1.41%.
There is a nuance to
the come bet the player should know about. If a point is thrown and
there are still active come bets on the table waiting for a different
point then special rules apply for the following come out roll. The
come out roll will still apply to active come bets but it will not
apply to their respective odds bets. In the event a come bet is
resolved on a come out roll then the odds bet will be returned.
A good strategy for
the player who likes constant action is to have a new bet on either the
pass line or come on every throw, and to always take the maximum
allowable odds.
This bet is one of the
more exciting bets to make in Craps. A lot of players use this
bet to get more numbers working for them at the same time, six in all.
Don’t Come
What the don't pass is to the pass, the don't come is to the
come. If the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, you win. A 12
constitutes a tie. You lose on 7 or 11. Any other number is
the “come point”. You win if a seven is rolled before
the come point and lose if the come point is rolled before a 7 is
rolled.
The Place Number Bets
In craps the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 are
known as the "place numbers." For the player who must have money on
some or all of them immediately they may make certain bets to cover any
place number(s) they desire. These bets work just like the odds but pay
worse odds, with the exception of the "hard way" bets, which are
described below. Like odds bets on top of come or don't come bets,
place number bets are on during a come out roll. These bets can be
removed at any time.
There is a high price
for impatience in craps in the form of a higher house edge. To further
exploit the impatient or ignorant player there can be two or three
different bets on the exact same thing, and they will all pay different
odds. You might think players would only bet on the option with the
best odds but you would be quite wrong, it is routine to see players
throwing their money away on the higher house edge versions of the same
bet. For example the place bet on 6, the buy bet on 6, and the big 6
all are betting that a 6 will be rolled before a 7 but pay 7:6, 24:21,
and 1:1 respectively, for house edges of 1.52%, 4.76%, and 9.09%.
Specific descriptions of the various bets are below.
Big 6: A bet that a 6 will be rolled before a 7. Pays even money, house edge of 9.09%.
Big 8: same as the Big 6 only that an 8 will be rolled before a 7.
Buy Bets:
This is essentially the same as the place bet, only with a different
payoff. The player may "buy" any of the points (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10),
which means to bet that the number will be rolled before a 7. When
making a buy bet, you must pay a 4% commission and your bet will pay
fair odds if it wins. Fair odds are 2:1 on the 4 and 10, 3:2 on the 5
and 9, and 6:5 on the 6 and 8. Another way to look at it is that the
buy bet pays 48:25 on the 4 and 10, 36:25 on the 5 and 9, and 144:125
on the 6 and 8. The pay out on all bets will be rounded down to the
nearest quarter. The house edge on all buy bets is 4.76%.
Hard Ways:
There are four different hard way bets. For example a hard 4 bet is
betting that a pair of twos will be rolled before a 7 or any other way
to roll a total of 4. This is called "the hard way" because it is
harder to roll two twos than a one and a three. Likewise you can bet on
a hard 6, 8, or 10, each of which is a bet that the hard way of rolling
the given number will occur before a 7 or any "easy" way.
The casino pays 7:1 on a hard 4 or 10 with a house edge of 11.11%.
The casino pays 9:1 on a hard 6 or 8 with a house edge of 9.09%.
Lay Bets:
The lay bet is the opposite of the buy bet and the same as the place
bet to lose but with different paybacks. The lay bets may be placed on
the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. The bet itself is that a 7 will be rolled
before the number you choose. Because the 7 is the most likely number
to be rolled you will wager more than you can win. The player must pay
a 4% commission on the possible winnings and the fair odds are paid on
the bet itself. Fair odds are 1:2 on the 4 and 10, 2:3 on the 5 and 9,
and 5:6 on the 4 and 8. Another way to look at it is that lay bet pays
12:25 on the 4 and 10, 16:25 on the 5 and 9, and 12:15 on the 6 and 8.
The house edge on the 4 and 10 is 2.44%, on the 5 and 9 it is 3.23%,
and on the 6 and 8 it is 4.00%. Note that the house edge on the lay bet
is lower than the place bet to lose on the 4 and 10 only, if you want
to make a lay bet on the 5, 6, 8, or 9 you would be advised to make a
place to lose instead.
Place Bets:
This is very similar to laying odds. You may bet on a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or
10. If the number you bet on is rolled before a 7 then you win
according to payoff schedule below. Unlike laying odds you don't need
to have a pass line bet, you don't have to bet on the point, but there
is a house edge.
A place bet on 4 or 10 pays 9:5 with a house edge of 6.67%, you bet $10, win $18
A place bet on 5 or 9 pays 7:5 with a house edge of 4.00%, you bet $10, win 14
A place bet on 6 or 8 pays 7:6 with a house edge of only 1.52%, you bet $12, win $14
When a place bet wins,
you are paid your winnings and your original bet is returned. You may
take back an active place bet at any time.
The table below is a summary of the various place number bets for quick comparison
Bet

Description

Pays

House Edge

Big 6

6 before 7

1:1

9.09%

Big 8

8 before 7

1:1

9.09%

Buy (4)

4 before 7

48:25

4.76%

Buy (5)

5 before 7

36:25

4.76%

Buy (6)

6 before 7

144:125

4.76%

Buy (8)

8 before 7

144:125

4.76%

Buy (9)

9 before 7

36:25

4.76%

Buy (10)

10 before 7

48:25

4.76%

Hard 4

Hard 4 before 7 or easy 4

7:1

11.11%

Hard 6

Hard 6 before 7 or easy 6

9:1

9.09%

Hard 8

Hard 8 before 7 or easy 8

9:1

9.09%

Hard 10

Hard 10 before 7 or easy 10

7:1

11.11%

Lay (4)

7 before 4

12:25

2.44%

Lay (5)

7 before 5

16:25

3.23%

Lay (6)

7 before 6

12:15

4.00%

Lay (8)

7 before 8

12:15

4.00%

Lay (9)

7 before 9

16:25

3.23%

Lay (10)

7 before 10

12:25

2.44%

Place (4)

4 before 7

9:5

6.67%

Place (5)

5 before 7

7:5

4.00%

Place (6)

6 before 7

7:6

1.52%

Place to (8)

8 before 7

7:6

1.52%

Place to (9)

9 before 7

7:5

4.00%

Place to (10)

10 before 7

9:5

6.67%

Field Bet
A field bet is a oneroll bet. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, 4, 9,
10, 11 or 12, you win even money with the exception of 2 which pays 2:1
or 12, which pays either 2:1 or 3:1. Please see below for more
explanation on field bets under Proposition Bets.
The Proposition Bets
Proposition bets either win or lose on the
next throw. In general these have the highest house edge of all the
craps bets and for the player with any sense are to be avoided
completely. Specific descriptions of the various bets are below.
Craps 2: A bet that a 2 will be thrown on the next roll. Pays 30:1. House edge 13.89%.
Craps 3: A bet that a 3 will be thrown on the next roll. Pays 15:1. House edge 11.11%.
7: A bet that a 7 will be thrown on the next roll. Pays 4:1. House edge 16.67%.
11: A bet that an 11 will be thrown on the next roll. Pays 15:1. House edge 11.11%.
Craps 12: A bet that a 12 will be thrown on the next roll. Pays 30:1. House edge 13.89%.
Any Craps: A bet that the next roll will be a 2, 3, or 12. Pays 7:1. House edge 11.11%.
Field Bet:
This is a one time bet that the next roll will be a 2,3,4,9,10,11, or
12. The 3,4,9,10, and 11 pay even money. The 2 pays 2:1. The 12 usually
pays 3:1 but some tight casinos only pay 2:1. If the 12 pays 2:1 the
house edge is 5.56%, if the 12 pays 3:1 the house edge is 2.78%. On the
surface this seems like a great bet because 7 numbers win and only 4
lose. However the 4 that lose are much more likely to be rolled.
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