Craps is a dice game in which the players make wagers on the outcome of the roll, or a series of rolls, of a pair of dice. Players may wager money against each other. (playing “casino craps”, also known as “table craps”, or often just “craps”).
In a casino, players make bets with chips on our specially made craps table with a “layout” – a table cloth made of felt that displays the various betting possibilities, which vary somewhat in bet presence, position, and payout among casinos. The tables have the shape of a bathtub,
With the table oriented with its long sides running left to right, along one long side is the casino’s bank – thousands of chips, stacked 20 high, standing on the layout. The left and right U-shaped sections of the table each have the same bet areas marked on the layout, with space for usually up to 8 players to stand and place their bets on each side.
An additional group of bets is in the middle of the layout, are referred to as proposition bets, and are used for bets by players from both sides. The top rim of the table has horizontal grooves for players to keep their chips (lying horizontally) while not in play.
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Information from Wikipedia
The shooter is required to make either a Pass Line bet or a Don’t Pass bet if he wants to shoot. Some casinos require all players to make a minimum Pass Line or Don’t Pass bet (if they want to make any other bet), whether they are currently shooting or not.
Pass line bet: The fundamental bet in craps is the pass line bet, which is a bet for the shooter to win.
- If the come-out roll is 7 or 11, the bet wins.
- If the come-out roll is 2, 3 or 12, the bet loses (known as “crapping out”).
- If the roll is any other value, it establishes a point.
- If, with a point established, that point is rolled again before a 7, the bet wins.
- If, with a point established, a 7 is rolled before the point is rolled again (“seven out”), the bet loses.
The pass line bet pays even money.
Because the odds are against making a point, a player may make or increase a pass line bet and any corresponding odds (up to the table limit) at any time after a point is established. Once made, however, the pass line bet can not be taken down or reduced.
Don’t pass bet: A don’t pass bet is a bet for the shooter to lose (“seven out, line away”) and is almost the opposite of the pass line bet.
- If the come-out roll is 2 or 3, the bet wins.
- If the come-out roll is 7 or 11, the bet loses.
- If the come-out roll is 12, the bet is a push (neither won nor lost). In some casinos, the bet pushes on 2 and wins on 12 instead. Others allow the player to choose to either push on 2 (“Bar Aces”) or push on 12 (“Bar Sixes”) depending on where it is placed on the layout. The push on 12 or 2 is mathematically necessary to maintain the house edge over the player.
- If the roll is any other value, it establishes a point.
- If, with a point established, a 7 is rolled before the point is rolled again (“seven out”), the bet wins.
- If, with a point established, that point is rolled again before a 7, the bet loses.
The don’t pass bet pays even money.
Because the odds are against making a point, a player may take down or reduce a don’t pass bet and any corresponding odds at any time. Once taken down or reduced, however, the don’t pass bet can not be restored or increased. Because the shooter must have a line bet the shooter generally cannot reduce a don’t pass bet below the table minimum, although casinos will allow the shooter to move the bet to the pass line in lieu of taking it down.
There are two different ways to calculate the odds and house edge of this bet. The table below gives the numbers considering that the game ends in a push when a 12 is rolled, rather than being undetermined. Betting on don’t pass is often called “playing the dark side,” and it is considered by some players to be in poor taste, or even taboo, because it goes directly against conventional play, winning when most of the players lose.
Pass odds: If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is thrown on the come-out roll (i.e., if a point is established), most casinos allow pass line players to take odds by placing up to some predetermined multiple of the pass line bet, behind the pass line. This additional bet wins if the point is rolled again before a 7 is rolled (the point is made) and pays at the true odds of 2-to-1 if 4 or 10 is the point, 3-to-2 if 5 or 9 is the point, or 6-to-5 if 6 or 8 is the point.
Individual casinos (and sometimes tables within a casino) vary greatly in the maximum odds they offer, from single or double odds (one or two times the pass line bet) up to 100x or even unlimited odds. A variation often seen is “3-4-5X Odds,” where the maximum allowed odds bet depends on the point: three times if the point is 4 or 10; four times on points of 5 or 9; or five times on points of 6 or 8. This rule simplifies the calculation of winnings: a maximum pass odds bet on a 3-4-5X table will always be paid at six times the pass line bet regardless of the point.
As odds bets are paid at true odds, in contrast with the pass line which is always even money, taking odds on a minimum pass line bet lessens the house advantage compared with betting the same total amount on the pass line only. A maximum odds bet on a minimum pass line bet often gives the lowest house edge available in any game in the casino. However, the odds bet cannot be made independently, so the house retains an edge on the pass line bet itself.
Don’t pass odds: If a player is playing don’t pass instead of pass, they may also lay odds by placing chips behind the don’t pass line. If a 7 comes before the point is rolled, the odds pay at true odds of 1-to-2 if 4 or 10 is the point, 2-to-3 if 5 or 9 is the point, or 5-to-6 if 6 or 8 is the point. Typically the maximum lay bet will be expressed such that a player may win an amount equal to the maximum odds multiple at the table: If a player lays maximum odds with a point of four on a table offering five-times odds, he would lay ten times the amount of his Don’t pass bet. At a 3-4-5x odds table, the maximum odds one can lay will always be 6x the amount of the don’t pass bet.
Come bet: A come bet can be visualized as starting an entirely new pass line bet, unique to that player. A player making a come bet will bet on the first point number that “comes” from the shooter’s next roll, regardless of the table’s round. If a 7 or 11 is rolled on the first round, it wins. If a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled, it loses. If instead the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the come bet will be moved by the base dealer onto a box representing the number the shooter threw. This number becomes the “come-bet point” and the player is allowed to take odds, just like a pass line bet. The dealer will place the odds on top of the come bet, but slightly off center in order to differentiate between the original bet and the odds. The second round wins if the shooter rolls the come bet point again before a seven. Winning come bets are paid the same as winning pass line bets: even money for the original bet and true odds for the odds bet. If, instead, the seven is rolled before the come-bet point, the come bet (and any odds bet) loses.
Come bets can only be made after a point has been established since, on the come-out roll, a come bet would be the same thing as a pass line bet.
Because of the come bet, if the shooter makes their point, a player can find themselves in the situation where they still have a come bet (possibly with odds on it) and the next roll is a come-out roll. In this situation, odds bets on the come wagers are usually presumed to be not working for the come-out roll. That means that if the shooter rolls a 7 on the come-out roll, any players with active come bets waiting for a come-bet point lose their initial wager but will have their odds bets returned to them. If the come-bet point is rolled on the come-out roll, the odds do not win but the come bet does and the odds bet is returned (along with the come bet and its payoff). The player can tell the dealer that they want their odds working, such that if the shooter rolls a number that matches the come point, the odds bet will win along with the come bet, and if a seven is rolled, both lose.
Many players will use a come bet as “insurance” against sevening out: if the shooter rolls a seven, the come bet pays 1:1, offsetting the loss of the pass line bet. The risk in this strategy is the situation where the shooter does not hit a seven for several rolls, leading to multiple come bets that will be lost if the shooter eventually sevens out.
Don’t come bet: In the same way that a come bet is similar to a pass line bet, a don’t come bet is similar to a don’t pass bet. A don’t come bet is played in two rounds. If a 2 or 3 is rolled in the first round, it wins. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, it loses. If a 12 is rolled, it is a push (subject to the same 2/12 switch described above for the don’t pass bet). If, instead, the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the don’t come bet will be moved by the base dealer onto a box representing the number the shooter threw. The second round wins if the shooter rolls a seven before the don’t come point.
Don’t come bets can only be made after the come-out roll when a point has already been established. The player may lay odds on a don’t come bet, just like a don’t pass bet; in this case, the dealer (not the player) places the odds bet on top of the bet in the box, because of limited space, slightly offset to signify that it is an odds bet and not part of the original don’t come bet.
Winning don’t come bets are paid the same as winning don’t pass bets: even money for the original bet and true odds for the odds lay.
Single roll bets
Single-roll (proposition) bets are resolved in one dice roll by the shooter. Most of these are called “Service Bets”, and they are located at the center of most craps tables. Only the stickman or a dealer can place a service bet. The bets include:
2 (snake eyes, or Aces): Wins if shooter rolls a 2.
3 (ace-deuce): Wins if the shooter rolls a 3.
Yo: Wins if the shooter rolls 11.
12 (boxcars, midnight, or cornrows): Wins if shooter rolls a 12.
2 or 12 (hi-lo): Wins if shooter rolls a 2 or 12. The stickman places this bet on the line dividing the 2 and 12 bets.
Any Craps (Three-Way): Wins if the shooter rolls 2, 3 or 12.
C & E: A combined bet, a player is betting half their bet on craps and the other half on yo (11). One of the two bets will always lose, the other may win.
Any seven: Wins if the shooter rolls a 7. This bet is also nicknamed Big Red, since the 7 on its betting space on the layout is usually large and red, and it is considered bad luck and a breach of etiquette to speak the word “seven” at the table.
The Horn: This is a bet that involves betting on 1 unit each for 2, 3, 11 and 12 at the same time for the next roll. The bet is actually four separate bets, and pays off depending on which number is actually rolled, minus three units for the other three losing bets. Many players, in order to eliminate the confusion of tossing four chips to the center of the table or having change made while bets are being placed, will make a five-unit Horn High bet, which is a four-way bet with the extra unit going to one specific number. For example, if you toss a $5 chip into the center and say “horn high yo,” you are placing four $1 bets on each of the horn numbers and the extra dollar will go on the yo (11).
Hard and Horny bet, which is a combination of the horn bet and all hardways.
Whirl or World: bet is a five-unit bet that is a combination of a horn and any-seven bet, with the idea that if a seven is rolled the bet is a push, because the money won on the seven is lost on the horn portions of the bet.
On the Hop This is a single roll bet on any particular combination of the two dice on the next roll. For example, if you bet on “5 and 1” on the hop, you are betting that the next roll will have a 5 on one die and a 1 on the other die. The bet pays 15:1 (just like a bet on 3 or 11) except for doubles (e.g., 3 and 3 on the hop) which pay 30:1 (just like a bet on 12, which is the same as 6 and 6 on the hop). The true odds are 17:1 and 35:1, resulting in a house edge of 11.11% and 13.89% respectively. When presented, hop bets are located at the center of the craps layout with the other proposition bets. If hop bets are not on the craps layout, they still may be bet on by players but they become the responsibility of the boxman to book the bet.
Field: This bet is a wager that one of the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 will appear on the next roll of the dice. This bet typically pays more (2:1 or 3:1) if 2 or 12 is rolled, and 1:1 if 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 is rolled. The Field bet is a “Self-Service” Bet. Unlike the other proposition bets which are handled by the dealers or stickman, the field bet is placed directly by the player. Players identify their Field bets by placing them in the Field area directly in front of them or as close to their position as possible. The initial bet and/or any payouts can “ride” through several rolls until they lose, and are assumed to be “riding” by dealers. It is thus the player’s responsibility to collect their bet and/or winnings immediately upon payout, before the next dice roll, if they do not wish to let it ride.
These are bets that may not be settled on the first roll and may need any number of subsequent rolls before an outcome is determined. Most multi-roll bets may fall into the situation where a point is made by the shooter before the outcome of the multi-roll bet is decided. These bets are often considered “not working” on the new come-out roll until the next point is established, unless the player calls the bet as “working.” Casino rules vary on this; some of these bets may not be callable, while others may be considered “working” during the come-out. Dealers will usually announce if bets are working unless otherwise called off. If a non-working point number placed, bought or laid becomes the new point as the result of a come-out, the bet is usually refunded, or can be moved to another number for free.
A bet that the shooter will throw a 4, 6, 8 or 10 the “hard way”, before he throws a seven or the corresponding “easy way”. A hard way occurs when both dice show identical values, also known as “doubles” or “pairs.” Pairs are called at the table as “hard 8” or “4 the hard way”.
Opposite of hard way is a bet that the shooter will throw a specific easy way (either 4, 6, 8 or 10), before he throws a seven. An easy way is a value that does not have two dice identical, so 3-1 is easy way 4. These are rarely available as bets except by placing on a point number (which pays off on easy or hard rolls of that number).
Big 6 and Big 8
A player can choose either the 6 or 8 being rolled before the shooter throws a seven. These wagers are usually avoided by experienced craps players since they pay even money (1:1) while a player can make place bets on the 6 or the 8, which pay more (7:6). Some casinos do not even offer the Big 6 & 8. The bets are located in the corners behind the pass line, and bets may be placed directly by players. The only real advantage offered by the Big 6 & 8 is that they can be bet for the table minimum, whereas a place bet minimum may sometimes be greater than the table minimum (e.g. $6 place bet on a $3 minimum game.) In addition place bets are usually not working, except by agreement, when the shooter is “coming out” i.e. shooting for a point, and Big 6 and 8 bets always work. Some modern layouts no longer show the Big 6/Big 8 bet.
Place and buy
Players can place or buy any point number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) by placing their wager in the come area and telling the dealer how much and on what number(s), “30 on the 6”, “5 on the 5” or “25 buy the 10”. Both place and buy bets are bets that the number bet on will be rolled before a 7 is rolled. These bets are considered working bets, and will continue to be paid out each time a shooter rolls the place or buy point number. By rules, place bets are NOT working on the come out roll but can be “turned on” by the player.
Place bet payouts are slightly worse than the true odds: 9-to-5 on points 4 or 10, 7-to-5 on points 5 or 9, and 7-to-6 on points 6 or 8. The place bets on the outside numbers (4,5,9,10) should be made in units of $5, (on a $5 minimum table), in order to receive the correct exact payout of $5 paying $7 or $5 paying $9. The place bets on the 6 & 8 should be made in units of $6, (on a $5 minimum table), in order to receive the correct exact payout of $6 paying $7.
Buy bets are paid at true odds, but a 5% commission is charged on the amount of the bet. Traditionally, the buy bet commission is paid no matter what, but in recent years a number of casinos have changed their policy to charge the commission only when the buy bet wins. Some casinos charge the commission as a one-time fee to buy the number; payouts are then always at true odds. Most casinos usually charge only $1 for a $25 green-chip bet (4% commission), or $2 for $50 (two green chips), reducing the house advantage a bit more. Where commission is charged only on wins, the commission is often deducted from the winning payoff—a winning $25 buy bet on the 10 would pay $49, for instance. The house edges stated in the table assume the commission is charged on all bets. They are reduced by at least a factor of two if commission is charged on winning bets only. Rarely casinos offer the place bet to lose. This bet is the opposite of the place bet and wins if a 7 is rolled before the specific point number. The place bet to lose typically carries a lower house edge than a place bet.
A lay bet is the opposite of a buy bet, where a player bets on a 7 to roll before the number that is laid. Just like the buy bet lay bets pay true odds, but because the lay bet is the opposite of the buy bet, the payout is reversed. Therefore players get 1 to 2 for the numbers 4 and 10, 2 to 3 for the numbers 5 and 9, and 5 to 6 for the numbers 6 and 8. A 5% commission (vigorish, vig, juice) is charged up front on the possible winning amount. For example: A $40 Lay Bet on the 4 would pay $20 on a win. The 5% vig would be $1 based on the $20 win. (NOT $2 based on the $40 bet as the way buy bet commissions are figured.) Like the buy bet the commission is adjusted to suit the betting unit such that fraction of a dollar payouts are not needed.
If a player is unsure of whether a bet is a single or multi-roll bet, it can be noted that all single-roll bets will be displayed on the playing surface in one color (usually red), while all multi-roll bets will be displayed in a different color (usually yellow).