Have you ever walked into a casino and seen the tables surrounded by tables surrounded by tables and just not had a clue where to start? We have the roulette tables making a lot of noise with their spinning wheels, the loud cheers and support emanating from the craps tables, the near constant rolling of the wheels on the slot machine and then we have the studies silence of the poker tables.
It is a scene that many of us will have experienced first-hand, but it is also very typical of every casino scene in any movie. The truth here is that Hollywood is not making this up, it is just showcasing the delights and excitement which come with the allure of the casino.
Most people know a thing or two about roulette, you have probably played a couple of hands of poker and you will even have put a few coins into a slot machine and pulled the over-sized comic handle, but have you ever ventured to the craps table.
To the uninitiated, the table looks like a jumble of boxes and numbers. The betting is out of sync and almost random. The players are split into two teams, but this divide is not clear. The rules appear to be prohibitive and there doesn’t seem to be more than one person playing the game.
So why would anyone ever start playing the game?
The simple answer to that question is that the odds on the craps table are normally the best odds in the whole casino. The game is not heavily weighted towards the house and some bets are actually a completely even split. It is the on location in the whole of the casino where you stand an equal chance of winning and actually walking away with your money.
The whole ambiance of the game might seem weird to an outside eye, but once you understand what is going on, then it actually makes a lot of sense. One person is going to throw the dice, they are like the captain of the team. Everything they do can be bet on by their team mates. This means that everyone around the table can join the captain and play along. So, whilst there is only one person throwing the dice, there might be twenty people betting on the outcome of those dice.
The other team is lead by the croupier. They are the captain of the other team and they want the dice to land on a seven, almost every time. If a seven comes up, then the house, the croupier and everyone on their team wins. It is this element of craps that some people love, you can bet on the player to lose. You can bet with the house that the person throwing the dice will manage to throw seven and they lose all their bets.
This brings us onto the basic premise of the whole game of craps. One person will be offered five dice. From this selection they will select any two they like the look of. This is meant to try and cut down on their chance to cheat and to use loaded dice. The player will then throw the dice and the score of these two dice together will determine which bets win and which bets lose. It really is that simple.
The betting is actually the most complicated thing about craps and there are many advanced craps strategy which will show you how you can completely control a table and take the house to the cleaners. Just before you head to the casino with your whole month’s pay cheque in your hand, you might want to get to grips with the basics first.
The first rule to know about in craps is that the person throwing the dice, called the shooter, will always place the first bet. Until they have placed their chips down, no-one else should be betting. Once they have bet, it is open for the rest of the crowd to jump in and put their chips down.
So, before the first roll, you can bet on the Pass Line. If the first roll scores a total of seven or eleven, then any bets on the Pass Line will win even money, so you would get back you bet, plus the same again. On the other hand, you could also bet with the house on this one and you could bet on the Don’t Pass, this is a bet that the shooter will throw either a total of two, three or twelve. As the Don’t Pass odds are way higher, you will receive a much bigger return on your bet, this will vary according to the casino, but you can expect a ten-fold return on your initial bet.
That’s the very first and most basic bet you can make in craps. It will get you into the game and get you to start making bets on the table. It is also the gateway into the real game of craps. One that first roll has happened and if neither a two, three, seven, eleven nor twelve were rolled, then the second stage of the game happens.
Here you can bet on the outcome of a second roll, but beware because if at anytime now the shooter manages to throw a seven, the whole game starts again. You can bet on the throw adding up to set values, on the two dice being the same number and even on the shooter throwing the seven.
Craps is that table game you have seen at the casino, but might never have played. It is the one where all the players are making so much noise that you can’t really concentrate on your own game. It is also the one with the best odds and the one which you really should learn to play and learn to play it very quickly.
Craps is your chance to take the casino to the cleaners for once.