Playing Craps Tips and Strategy
The shooter is selected from all of the players in either of two ways. He is the first in line at the table when it opens for business, or he has advanced in the queue or lineup formed by those players wishing to throw the dice. He simply has to wait his turn.
Depending on his experience at the Craps table, the shooter will eventually adopt a Craps system or strategy he believes will affect the overall outcome of a throw of the dice. Many players study the game and practice various styles, including the best ways to pick up the dice, to set their numbers, to grip them in hand, to take up a stance and to roll them so they bounce just right. The serious shooter concentrates on his throwing technique and on the speed, arc and accuracy of the dice themselves. All of these actions become second nature to the shooter who is determined to improve his chances of a favorable outcome.
Some Craps players assume a relaxed personable manner, some appear earnest or animated, while still others seem almost mechanical. It is not difficult, however, to pick out the player who is following one or another of the more common betting systems. These include Sure Fire, Three Point Molly, Can’t Lose, Anything But Seven, Right Betting, Wrong Betting, 68 Play and many more. Many confirmed Craps experts swear by these playing systems. The newer Craps player, naturally, will want to pick up one of the many books on the subject.
Although capitalizing on the many betting options can involve a certain degree of mastery, Craps in its simplest form is a game where players bet either of two ways. They may bet that the shooter will make his Point, or not make his Point.
Whenever a player bets that the shooter will make his Point, he is said to be betting right, i.e., he is with the shooter. Whenever a player bets that the shooter will not make his Point, he is said to be betting wrong, i.e., he is, against the shooter. The other players also may bet among themselves as to whether the shooter will win or lose in the next series of throws, or whether certain numbers or combinations will appear.
The shooter, or any player who wishes to bet that the shooter will win, places a bet on the line, i.e., in the area marked Pass, Line, or Win, depending on the layout. Anyone betting against the shooter places his bet in the area marked Don’t Pass. Anyone wishing to bet on a special option, such as that Craps, i.e., two, three, or twelve, will or will not be thrown, places his bet on the appropriate area of the layout. Such bets are called proposition bets.
It is important to keep in mind that the house maintains a mathematical advantage on most bets of about 1.4 percent, and even higher on certain layouts and other kinds of bets.
The Come Out Roll
Once all betting has ceased, the shooter begins each new game in Craps with his Come Out roll. If the shooter throws a seven or eleven (a natural) on his first roll he wins; if he throws a two, three, or twelve (craps) on the first roll, he loses.
The Point and the Puck
If the shooter’s first roll is either of a four, five, six, eight, nine, or ten, that number becomes his Point. At that time, the dealer will place a disk, called a Puck on the Shooter’s Point number that is marked on the table layout. The Puck is a disk, much like a hockey puck, that is white on one side and black on the other. It is used by the dealers to clearly identify the shooter’s Point.
Once a shooter establishes his Point, the dealer will move the Puck to the Point number on the layout, and turn it white side up. White side up over a Point indicates the game is in progress and that the box number is the Point. Black side up means a new Come Out roll is about to take place.
The Puck stays on the Point until the shooter either, makes it or sevens out. If the player fails to make his Point, the dealer will slide the Puck into the Don’t Come bar 12 area and turn it black side up. Few experienced players ever take note of the Puck as it is used only in tracking the game.
Making the Point
Once he has made his Point, the player will continue to shoot the dice until he rolls the same number again, i.e., makes his Point and wins, or throws a seven (seven out), or craps out (rolls a two, three, or twelve), in which case he will lose both the dice and his bet. Side bets may be laid with, or against the shooter, either before he has a Point, i.e., when he is coming out, or after he has made his Point and decides to continue betting and rolling.
After each roll of the dice, bets are settled. If the shooter has won, he may keep the dice and put up his next bet. If he declines to shoot again, he must pass the dice to the player on his immediate left, who becomes the new shooter. The new shooter places his bet, tosses the dice in his Come Out roll, and the game continues in the same manner.
If any new shooter makes his Point, the dice are returned to him, and he will then have another Come Out roll. Although the new Come Out roll is the continuation of the shooter’s turn at throwing; it also signifies the beginning of a fresh game.
Let’s review briefly. Before the shooter rolls the dice on his Come Out roll, there are a variety of bets that can be made. The Pass Line and Don’t Pass bets are the most common. To bet with the shooter, a player must place his chips in the area on the layout marked Pass Line. Betting the Don’t Pass Line is the exact opposite of betting the Pass Line. To make this bet against the shooter, the player must place his chips in the area on the layout marked Don’t Pass.
If the shooter rolls a seven or eleven on his Come Out roll, he wins his bet, the Pass Line bet wins, and the Don’t Pass bet loses. If he rolls two, three, or twelve, i.e., Craps the Pass Line bet loses, and the Don’t Pass bet wins. This is also referred to as, rolling Craps.
If the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, he is said to have established his Point. In order for the shooter to win, he must roll his established Point before he rolls a seven.
Once the shooter establishes a Point, the players can then place additional bets behind their Pass Line bets. This is called, taking odds. In most casinos, players can bet up to three times the amount of their Pass Line bets. This is called taking full odds. Some casinos offer up to 100 times the odds. This simply means that players may bet up to 100 times the amount of a Pass Line bet once the Point has been established.
Players may also bet with the shooter even while the game is in progress. This is done by placing a Pass Line bet without odds. To do so a player simply places his chips halfway over either of the two lines framing the Pass Line area. Any Pass Line bet with odds (full odds, or taking odds) may only be made on the Come Out roll.
Hints On Gamesmanship
The following suggested practices will assist a player to enhance his game. Any newer Craps player who is sincere about winning at the Craps table, should go to his nearest library, or book store and pick up a copy of anything referring to Craps strategies and/or systems. The player should always select a casino and a Craps table where he is clearly offered the best odds and playing conditions. Yes, the player should select a table where the dealers look friendly. Prior to taking the dice in hand, the player should always consider the specific house rules, which apply to his game, particularly if they include or exclude certain bets. The player should determine the minimum and maximum permissible bets at the table. The player should surrender the dice, when necessary, especially if they have gone cold on him. In sum, whether the player is a highly experienced gambler, a fun-loving, go-for-broke risk-taker, or someone who simply enjoys high adrenaline entertainment, he should not forget that the main purpose behind all games is to have fun. It should not be a form of self-inflicted boredom or drudgery. Craps happens to be fun to play, moreover, it moves at a fairly brisk pace between the throws of the dice and the payoffs, unlike many of the other casino games. The player who seeks to win at Craps, and to have a fun experience at the same time, will always make sure to pick the kind of casino where he is totally comfortable with his atmosphere and surroundings, and secure in the knowledge that the house odds and rules offer him a chance to do just that.
The Online and Non-Line Differences
There are many differences between playing the game of Craps online, or in a live, continental style casino. The most obvious differences, of course, are the relative absence of major distractions and people in the online setting, and the player option to act as either the shooter or an ordinary player. The main practical differences between them, however, have to do with buying chips, making a bet and cashing-in at the end of play.
Buying Chips-Online Casino
When playing Craps online, the player will not really buy or play chips in the physical sense. He will simply make a cash deposit using a valid credit card. Once he has arranged a deposit balance online, he can draw against his balance to make wagers with virtual chips.
Buying Chips-Live Casino
When playing Craps in a live casino, however, the player can buy chips from a cashier, or right at the Craps table. If he wishes to purchase chips from the dealer in order to wager, he simply has to wait for a pause in the play, place his cash in front of his position on the table felt, and loudly exclaim, “Change please”. An appropriate buy-in amount is anywhere from 10 to 20 times his average bet. If he is a $5.00 bettor, this means his buy-in, typically, should be $50.00-$100.00.
The dealer will exchange the entire amount the player has set on the table for house chips of equal value. He will push the chips across the table to the player, then drop the cash into a slot in the tabletop. The player should then stack his chips in the rails, i.e., the grooved area of the Craps table that is provided to keep chips, which are not in play.
The player must keep in mind that the dealer may not make change. He likely will convert the total amount of the player’s cash to chips. It is the player’s responsibility to verify that he knows the value of each of his chips, and that he has been given the correct amount for his cash.
Chip colors are fairly standardized in the casino industry. Red chips are $5.00, green chips $25.00, and black chips $100.00. Occasionally, one will also see $1.00 value chips (white) or $1.00 tokens (silver) on the table as well. Some casinos also use a $2.50 chip that is usually pink in color. Chip colors above the $100.00 denomination vary widely, with purple a common choice for $500.00 chips.
Making a Bet-Online Casino
There are minor variations from online casino to online casino for making a bet. Generally, they are all well explained and easy to follow. On the online Craps table layout there will be a clearly marked section directly in front of the player’s position. He will find various betting lines, boxes or circles where he may place his wager.
Once he decides how much he wishes to wager, he must first click on the chip (the amount) he wishes to wager, e.g., a $5.00 chip. Next, he must click on his betting line, or box, or circle where he wishes to place his bet. For example, if he decides to make a $10.00 bet on his hand, he would first click on the $5.00 chip, then click twice on the betting area provided. If he changes his mind, he can usually draw down, or reverse his bet, by right clicking on the chips he has wagered.
One of the distinct advantages of playing Craps online is that most online casinos will offer the player the option to either, play for fun, where one risks only play money, or to play for real, where he will risk real money. When playing for fun, the player will be given an imaginary cash balance, e.g., $5,000.00 is the usual and he can play until he feels comfortable enough to play for real money, or leave. This enables him to get comfortable with the software, and with the house rules applicable to that casino. Bear in mind that maximum and minimum bets vary from casino to casino.
Making a Bet-Live Casino
Once a player has taken his place at the live Craps table he will note that the felt layout has the bets clearly marked. Like the online version of the game, there will be several betting sections available in front of him, i.e., lines, boxes or circles. Most betting locations will be located within comfortable arm’s reach from where he is standing. Once he decides how much he wishes to wager, he may take one or more chips from his stack on the rail, and place it (them) inside the betting box or circle. Again, the player must bear in mind that maximum and minimum bets vary from casino to casino.
Cashing In-Online Casino
At some point the player may wish to cash in some, or all of his credit balance, i.e., his virtual chips. To cash in online, he merely has to click the button that says either, Cashier or Banker. Then, he would click withdrawal, and enter the amount to withdraw. His credit card will usually be credited the full amount of his deposit, although, any winnings are likely to be paid out via wire transfer, or bank draft.
Service charges may apply if the player selects wire transfer. Charges for bank drafts are uncommon. Some online casinos will forward a bank draft via overnight courier, but at the player’s cost. Otherwise, they will be sent out by mail and normally take two days to two weeks delivery, depending on location and service levels.
Cashing In-Live Casino
When the player has finished playing, he may wish to have the dealer cash him out, or he may want to take his chips to the cashier to exchange them for cash.
If the player has groups of smaller denomination chips in front of him, he may want to color-up his chips. This simply means exchanging groups of smaller denomination chips for larger valued chips. Craps tables frequently move very fast and the player may be better advised to take these to the cashier for cash or to another table for more play.
Playing the Game Responsibly
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Responsible Gaming Guidelines
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