The ultimate beginner's guide to craps
BY: John Harris
Of all the casino games, craps is often considered to be the Cinderella, never quite achieving the limelight of roulette, blackjack or poker. For example, think how many tense scenes you've seen in films involving these games - and then how many you've seen where craps has been played. This may be for a number of reasons. For example, while it's essentially a very simple game to play, the betting is undeniably complex with many variations. It's also played at a very fast pace - two factors that can make it quite hard to follow for the casual observer.
So while this is an introduction for beginners it is important that you do find yourself a comprehensive guide to fill you in on the more detailed aspects of the game.
So let's start with a quick guide to how to play.
There are two standard six-sided dice that the players take turns to throw. The player who is rolling the dice is called the shooter and the game is played in two rounds called come out and point.
The shooter starts a round by making a come out roll and if the dice's total is 2,3 or 12 it's called "crapping out". In this situation the round ends and players lose their pass line bets. If, on the other hand, it is a 7 or 11, players win their pass line bets. If it's any other number then this leads to the second, point, round. In this, if the shooter manages to roll a point number it's a win for players who have made pass line bets, except if it's a 7 in which case players lose.
In terms of the bets that you can make playing craps there are a wide range you can make and these include whether the shooter will win or lose. In these cases the winning bets pay even money. Alternatively, there are pass and don't pass odds bets that some casinos allow you to make on specific throws of the dice in the come-out roll which can pay as much as 2/1.
When you're first starting to play the game it is probably most sensible to limit yourself to simple, relatively low-risk bets until you begin to feel more confident about the rules and all the permutations of the wagers you're allowed to make.
Most people agree that it's best to follow the basic strategy of starting off with pass or don't pass bets before getting involved in the world of taking the odds.
Equally, you'll find a wealth of "do's and don'ts" advice out there as well as some very good advice about mistakes to avoid when playing craps. Again, many of these may not really make sense to you until you've got to grips with the game but one is well worth bearing in mind from the very first time you play. This is that patterns of numbers coming up can seem to exist, but they don't. So just because there has been a sequence of 5,6,7 and 8 being thrown, there's no logical reason that the next number will be a 9.
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