Craps is a dice game that involves the wagering of money based on the outcome of an individual roll or series of rolls involving two dice. Craps is a derivation of the Old English game hazard that is said to have dated back to the Middle Ages. The game involves the placing of independent wagers against a house (i.e. casino) by one or more individuals in which success will be based on a specific outcome which may take one or more rolls to achieve.
Craps is descended from another dice game called Hazard that dates back to the Middle Ages. English Hazard migrated to New Orleans in the 1800s where the French began playing it and called it Craps. The rules of craps are a simplified version of hazard.
Gameplay and Rules
Gameplay consists of a series of rolls that may end after one roll or continue indefinitely (although probability states that there will eventually be an end to the series). At least one player is necessary and may include many players although most modern casinos limit the number of players at twelve. Play consists of one player, called the shooter, rolling the dice. The shooter as well as any other player places wagers on the outcome of the shooter's roll. Each new round starts with a come out roll.
The come out roll is the first roll of the series. The series will end immediately if the first roll is a 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12. The numbers 2, 3, and 12 are called "crap" numbers and the numbers 7 and 11 are "winner" or "natural" numbers. Any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) are considered "point numbers" and will set the end goal for the remainder of the series. Once a point number is set, the goal of the shooter is to repeat that point number before rolling a 7, which is called a seven out. If the shooter repeats their point number, they are considered victorious, the series ends, and that shooter is allowed to continue by starting a new series. If they "seven out" by rolling a 7 before their point number, then play passes on to a new shooter.
Before and during a series, the players may place a number of wagers. There are two types of wagers: single roll wagers and series wagers. Single roll wagers can be made at any point during the game and consist of some wager where the next roll will dictate the success or failure of that roll. A series wager differs in that the next roll can dictate success or failure, however it may also have no impact on the wager.
Types of Bets
Pass Line A pass line bet may only be made before the come out roll. There are two ways to be successful. The first is an outcome of 7 or 11 on the come out roll. The second is for the the shooter to successfully complete a series of rolls by rolling the point number again after it is established. Failure occurs when a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled on the come out roll or if the shooter does not complete a series by rolling a 7 before rolling the established point. No other rolls effect the pass line bet. A pass line bet may not be removed from the table after the come out roll and must be decided by a success or failure of the series. The shooter is required to make either a pass line or don't pass line bet.
Don't Pass Line A don't pass bet may only be made before the come out roll. The don't pass line is the exact opposite of the pass line bet with one minor exception. There are two ways to be successful. The first is an outcome of 2 or 3 on the come out roll. A roll of 12 is considered a push (tie) and is referred to as "barring the don't." This is done in order for the house to maintain its edge in wagering. The second successful outcome is when the shooter commits a "seven out" before they reroll the established point. Failure occurs when a 7 or 11 is rolled on the come out roll or when the shooter completes a series by rerolling the established point. It is considered taboo to bet the don't pass line because you are betting against the shooter and, in most cases, the majority of other players at the table. A don't pass bet may be removed from the table at any time.
Come bets A come bet is similar in nature to a pass line bet but it is made after the come out roll. In order to accommodate players who join the game after the come out roll or players who wish to have wagers on more the one number, a come bet allows players to wager in a similar fashion to a pass line bet after the come out roll. When a player makes a wager on the come, they are successful if the next roll is a 7 or an 11 and they are unsuccessful if the next roll is a 2, 3, or 12. Any other number establishes an additional point for that player (in addition to the one that the shooter sets for the whole table). The table dealer will move the players wager from the come bet box into the box for the point that was rolled. The come bet in that point box until the shooter rolls that number (a successful wager) or rolls a seven (an unsuccessful wager)
Don't Come Bets A don't come bet is similar in nature to a don't pass bet but is made after the come out roll. In order to accommodate players who join the game after the come out roll or players who wish to have wagers on more the one number, a don't come bet allows players to wager in a similar fashion to a don't pass bet after the come out roll. When a player makes a wager on the don't come, they are successful if the next roll is a 2 or 3 and they are unsuccessful if the next roll is a 7 or 11. Any other number establishes an additional point for that player (in addition to the one that the shooter sets for the whole table). The table dealer will move the players wager from the don't come bet box into a small box above the point number that was rolled. The don't come bet stays in that small box until the shooter rolls a seven(a successful wager) or rolls that number(an unsuccessful wager)
Odds on Pass/Come bets and Don't Pass/Don't Come bets A player may place odds on pass line/come bet wagers in which they make an additional wager that the established point will roll before a seven out. If the shooter is successful, the player is paid "true odds" on the odds bet. This means that the player will be paid an amount equal to the probability that the roll will occur. For a 4 and 10, true odds pay 2 to 1. For a 5 and 9, true odds pay 3 to 2. For a 6 and 8, true odds pay 6 to 5.
Odds on the don't pass and don't come work the same as for the pass and come except that payouts are reversed. Odds for a 4 and 10 on the don't pass/don't come are 1 to 2. For a 5 and 9, odds pay 2 to 3. For a 6 and 8, odds pay 5 to 6.
Hard ways Hard ways bets are bets that the numbers 4, 6, 8, and 10 will be rolled as 2+2, 3+3, 4+4, or 5+5 before they are rolled in any other combination or a seven is rolled. For instance, a bet on the hard 8 is stating that 4+4 will be rolled before 3+5, 2+6, or any combination of 7. Hard 6 and 8 pay 9 to 1 while hard 4 and 10 pay 7 to 1.
Place Bets Players can buy or place certain individual numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) by placing their wager in the come area and telling the dealer, "place the 6" or "buy the 8". Both place and buy bets are bets that the number bet on will be rolled before a 7 is rolled. Place bets are paid at odds worse than the true odds, while buy bets are paid at true odds, but a 5% commission is charged. 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. 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 sometimes deducted from the winning payoff — a winning $25 buy bet on the 10 would pay $49, for instance.
Single Roll Bets
Field Bets A field bet is a bet in which the player is stating that one of the following numbers will be the outcome of the next roll: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12. The numbers 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11 pay 1 to 1 while 2 and 12 pay 2 to 1. This is the only single roll bet that the player may place themselves.
Hop Bets A Hop Bet is a bet in which a player is stating that a specific outcome will occur on each of the two dice. For instance, a hop bet may be "Hop the 4-5". This means that the player is stating that the next roll will be a 9 rolled as 4 plus 5. A player may also state that they would like to "Hop the eights" which means that they would like to split their money among all possible combinations of 8 (5+3, 4+4). "Hopping the hard ways" is stating that the player would like to split their money on 4+4, 3+3, 2+2, and 5+5 combinations for a single roll. Hop bets pay 15 to 1 or 30 to 1 depending on the two dice combination.
2/3/11/12 A player may play a one roll bet on the numbers 2 (deuce/low/snake eyes), 3, 11 (yo) or 12 (box cars/high). Sometimes players will make a bet for "hi-lo" in which they are asking that their money be evenly split between 2 and 12. Wagers on the 2 and 12 pay 30 to 1 and wagers on the 3 and 11 pay 15 to 1.
Horn Bets A horn bet is a bet where money wagered is equally divided between the 2, 3, 11, and 12 single roll bets. In Atlantic City, this bet must be made in increments of 4. A player may place a "horn high xx" (iobet in order to make a wager in increments of 5 by adding the extra dollar to one of the 4 horn outcomes. The payout depends on the outcome.
Any Seven An any seven bet is a wager in which the player is stating that the next roll of the dice will be a seven. Any seven rolls pay 4 to 1
World/Whirl This bet, referred to as both world bet and whirl bet, is a combination of a horn bet and an any seven bet. May players will place this bet on the come out roll in combination with a pass line bet as "insurance" This is because the world/whirl bet pays when a crap number come out and pushes when a seven comes out.
Any Craps An any craps bet is a wager in which the player is stating that a crap number (2, 3, or 12) will be the outcome of the next roll. Any Craps pays 7 to 1
C&E C&E is a bet where the player wants their money split evenly between the 11 and an any crap. This bet utilizes the same outcomes as a horn bet but pays differently because the money is distributed between the numbers in a different way.