If there is a casino game which is older than the card games, it is craps. This game dates back as far as the Crusades age, and by that, we mean the early 1100’s. You probably read about craps in all of the classic novels, it has been born on streets. French called it “crapaud”, which means “toad” because people crouched over on streets while playing craps. It became a casino game thanks to Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, a politician with a really long name. He was a Louisiana landowner and a famous gambler. He modernized the game, added some special rules and introduced the game to the US casinos. And people loved it – today, craps table is still one of the most crowded tables in casinos.
To put it simply, craps is a dice game. Players can wager on the outcome of a roll, of a pair of dice or a series of rolls. They can bet on the casino or another player; both are allowed. Although, some casinos allow betting only against themselves, betting against another player is considered as “street craps” and usually not acceptable in terms of craps etiquette, which we will mention below. The version where you bet against the casino is called “craps casino” or bank craps”.
Playing craps is easy enough – if you are playing the “street” version, all you need is a dice and a solid ground to roll. However, the casino version requires some “formalities”. The players and the croupiers (casino employees) gather around an oval table, which is referred as “craps table”. There are no seats around the table, everybody stands. The table has a layout which displays the betting possibilities of the game. (In some casinos, the paytable is also displayed on the table too.) The player who rolls the dice is called “shooter”. You don’t need to be a shooter to play craps, as we mentioned above, you can just bet against the shooter in most games.
Any player can join the game anytime, but he must look for the “on” button of the dealer. If this button is “on”, joining a game is allowed. If it is “off”, the players must wait for the next round to bet. Usually, four different casino employees work at the table, but only the “boxman” is seated. The boxman manages the chips, supervises the game in general. The rest of the employees collect and pay bets.
The shooter has a wide range of betting options. Each craps round has two phases. At phase one, the shooter must place a bet on the “Pass” or “Don’t Pass” line. If he rolls 2, 3 or 12, this is called “craps” and anyone betted the Pass line loses. 7 or 11 is called a natural and the Pass line wins. Lastly, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 or any other options on the table are called the “point” and establishes the number which the shooter must roll before getting a 7. At this stage, the “on” button is blinking and any player can join the game.
At phase two, all bets are closed and other players must wait for the next round to enter the game. The shooter must roll the point number (which is determined in phase one) before rolling a 7. Other players can also bet on the outcome of the dice – at this point, the shooter is betting against the casino and other players are betting against the shooter. As we mentioned above, they can bet on a specific outcome or a series of rolls. Some outcomes pas as high as 31 to 1, for example, 6 - 6.
Despite its street roots, craps may be a very formal game when played in casinos. There are lots of unwritten rules of craps etiquette and all of them are expected to be followed. To give some examples;
As with many other casino games, there are free online craps games too. These “digital” craps games can be played with real money or just for fun and practice. Play craps for free to understand the game and become the better player. There is no need for a download nor registration. Simply click and start playing directly within your browser. All rules are the same and playing online craps games can really help you out before trying your luck in online or land-based casinos.