Craps is a high-energy game played with dice. A player bets money on the outcome of either one roll of the dice, or on several rolls with two dice.
Originally, the game of Craps was born from a game called Hazard, invented by Bernard de Mandeville in New Orleans in 1813. Its popularity skyrocketed in America, although it did take some time for Craps to reach American casinos. In the last 20 years or so, the popularity of this unique game has decreased, but Craps can still be found in nearly every casino.
Most players looking to win a large amount of money in a short period of time choose the game of Craps, because in this game, players have the opportunity to significantly reduce the house’s advantage and/or get the best shot at winning.
Craps is a game which attracts many players simply because of the environment in which it is played. Because a group of players can win on a single bet placed by only one player, the atmosphere around a Craps table can become very charged and celebratory; almost party-like. The element of teamwork is another reason why players flock to this game.
Although exciting and fun to play, Craps can seem overwhelming to first-time players. However, once one becomes familiar with the game it is quite simple to follow. There are essentially two types of Craps games: Bank Craps and Street Craps.
This is the Craps version most commonly found in casinos. In Bank Craps, the house covers all player bets, effectively pitting them against the house. The ‘banker’ sets all stakes, then the player or ‘shooter’ calls a number from 5 to 9 just before throwing two dice. If the dice match what the player called, the player wins the stake.
Street craps is played exactly like bank craps. However, there is no banker. Therefore, players are forced to bet against each other. If another player does not want to take your bet, you always have the option of either making a different bet or changing the odds.
The Best Strategies for Craps
First and foremost, players should be aware that Craps relies almost solely on hot and cold ‘streaks’. A player has to know how to survive the cold streaks and be able to identify a hot streak. When a hot streak appears, betting a larger amount can win a player a lot of money. Needless to say, in Craps, a player is always on the lookout for a hot streak.
- Unlike many other casino games, with Craps it is possible to determine when hot streaks will occur. Keeping notes when you play and tracking your performance can help you determine hot streaks the next time you visit a Craps table.
- Because Craps relies so heavily on streaks, it is unwise to ‘chase’ your bets, because this strategy will more than likely result in more and higher losses. Simply realizing that a win is a win, even thought it may be small can help you keep your perspective.
- Stay away from “any craps”, “elevens” and “hardaway” bets. These three bet types are always stacked against the player, otherwise known as “sucker” bets.
Craps Table Etiquette
Around a craps table, it’s considered bad luck if a player says the word ‘seven’. Instead, the phrase ‘big red’ is often used in its place. It’s also considered bad luck if a shooter decides to leave the table after winning, or wishes to change their dice mid-roll.
A general Craps rule is that all elbows be kept away from the table when a player rolls the dice, so as to eliminate interference with dice travel. Food or drink on the table’s rail is also usually frowned upon, as is placing late bets and/or betting when the dice are not at the center of the table.
If you’re interested in playing craps but are feeling unsure about the rules, online craps can be played for free. This will give you a better understanding of the game and more confidence when you actually visit the Craps table. The internet is another great resource for Craps history, tips, strategies and terminology.