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The Basics of Craps

One of the more intimidating casino games is craps. With so many bets to choose from and direct involvement in the game by throwing the dice, it can be very overwhelming to step up to the table. But it doesn't need to be!

Casino craps is played against the casino, on a felt layout inside a large table. Up to 12 (and sometimes 16) people can play at once. Each player bets a minimum amount determined by the table, and two dice are rolled by one player called the "shooter". (A game consists of a series of rolls, not just one.)

The shooter must place one of two bets: "pass" or "don't pass". A roll of 2, 3, or 12 is called "craps", and the first roll by the shooter is called the "come-out roll". If the come-out roll is 7 or 11, the game is over, and bets on the "Pass line" win 1:1. Bets on the "Don't Pass line" lose.

If the come-out roll is craps, the game is over, and bets on the "Pass line" lose. Bets on the "Don't Pass line" win, unless the "Don't Pass" line says "Bar" and the roll is the indicated value, in which case the bet pushes.

Otherwise, the come-out roll becomes the "point", and a large white marker is placed on the number representing the point (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10).

For each roll in a game subsequent to the come-out roll, if the roll is the point, the game is over, and bets on the "Pass line" win 1:1. Bets on the "Don't Pass line" lose. If the roll is 7, the game is over, and bets on the "Pass line" lose. Bets on the "Don't Pass line" win 1:1. The turn of the "shooter" is over if either of these occurs.

Otherwise, the game continues and the shooter rolls again. During a game, bets on the Pass line cannot be removed, although they can be increased. Conversely, bets on the Don't Pass line may be decreased or removed, but not increased.

If the game was over on the come-out roll, or because the point was rolled again, the shooter may continue to be the shooter for another game, or pass the dice on to the player just clockwise, who becomes the new shooter. Otherwise, the shooter must pass the dice on to the player just clockwise, who becomes the new shooter.

And that, in a nutshell, is the game of craps. There's several other bets, of course, but these are the basics and should be enough to get you warmed up. Once you're in the game, you'll learn the more complex bets from the other players and soon, you'll be a pro. Go get 'em!








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