Australian Craps Guide - Field Day in the Game of High Action

Craps is a game of chance where one or more players typically bet against the house. Players make wagers based upon the outcome of a roll or a series of rolls utilizing a pair of dice. There is formal Craps, known as casino or table Craps. Many people are also familiar with the game of Craps known as street Craps. We will focus on formal Craps in two formats: live and online Craps play.

History of Craps

Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de MandevilleOriginally known as "Crapaud" and meaning toad in French, it referenced the way players appeared as they lurched over the play area on a floor or sidewalk/street. Craps was developed from an old English game known as Hazard. In addition, there is historical evidence that originally the game was a very complex game of chance dating back to the Crusades and altered over time by French gamblers.

The American version was brought to the continent by a French gambler named Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville by way of New Orleans. Bernard's game was exciting and very engaging on the River Boat circuit. However, there were some problems with Bernard's version of the game. Like in many games of chance, players found ways to take the casino and utilize fixed dice. A gentleman by the name of John H. Winn introduced the "don't pass betting option" that fixed the problem. This version still exists today.

Modern Day Craps

The Craps table is the centre of action for live casinos. The large bathtub shaped table cannot be missed. It is not unusual to see many patrons standing side by side, cheering each other on as a "natural" is hit, or the superstitious looks of fellow players when some dares to "buy-in" during a roll. The Craps table is an unavoidable hot bed - or hot bath as it were - of intrigue, passion, and energy.

The table is covered with felt tablecloth called the layout. It displays far more winning possibilities than your average table game. Aside from the layout, there is a place for the "stick", players, dealers, and boxman (gender inclusive). The side opposing the dealers and boxman is the glass, a mirrored lined strip so that all action is visible at all times.

On each end of the table is a wall. This is the optimum place whereby dice are banked off of in order to get the most action out of the rolled dice. In front of the dealers are stacks of chips for payouts and buy-in action. The boxman controls the house chips and monitors the chips in stacks of 20 each. The chips are typically in denominations of $1, $5, $25, $100, and $500.

The size of the table and specialty bets will vary from casino to casino. The average dimensions are about 4.3m long by 1.5m wide, and 71cm from the floor to the shooter's edge or "rail". The actually play table is about 61cm from the floor. There is also a ledge for players to use that is designed to hold their chips.

Craps Personnel

Boxman: the only seated member of the team. Their role includes managing the chips (the bank), supervising dealers, "colouring up" chips, and overseeing player "buy-in".

Dealers: There are two dealers on every Craps table, one to the left of the box and one to the right. The one to the right handles all aspects of the player's bets, payment of bets on their side of the table, and checking bets.

Stickman: (gender inclusive) stands directly across from the box. The "stick" accepts and pays bets from the centre of the table. The stick calls out the number after the dice stop moving. The dice are never touched by the stickman. The dice are delivered with a long stick to the shooter.

Floorman: This person is the manager of everything that goes on at the table. The floorman supervises more than one table at a time. It is the floorman who approves credit for a player and who studies the players for any undesirable conduct. Also known as the "pit boss".

Playing Craps: Rules and Bets

Craps is without a doubt a game with highs and lows, and that is exactly why it is so exciting. It is a game that requires a great deal of focus, especially if you are playing at a full table. A full table is one that constitutes each of the set areas to the right and left of the stick being utilized by a player. Casinos will set a minimum pass line bet as well as maximum betting amounts. The minimum will frequently change based upon the number of people playing, and often times what time of day you are playing.

Players will take turns at being the shooter. In order to fulfil your turn at being a shooter, you must place at least the minimum bet on either the "pass line" or the "don't pass" line.

Important: Despite the romantic tendency of television and the movies to show a shooter picking up the dice and then rubbing them together or blowing on them for good luck, this is not allowed. Shooters must pick up the dice with one hand and release the dice with the same hand that they picked the dice up with. Should you pick up the dice and then switch them to another hand, the dice will be called back, examined and in some cases the shooter will have to choose two new die. There are a variety of methods of shooting. Each person has their individual way of shooting the dice, and in many cases superstitions associated with shooting as well.

When a new shooter is given the dice, it is called a come-out. A shooter on the come-out wants to make a 7 ultimately. When a 7 is rolled on the come-out, every person who has money on the pass line will receive 1:1. A player (including shooter) who bets $10 will be paid $10 by the dealer. Also, on the come-out if an 11 is rolled, then again all players on the pass line will receive a payout of 1:1. Often times you will hear people and the stick-man yell, "Yo" or "Yo-eleven!" The goal of the shooter is to roll a 7, 11 (called a natural) or a number on the come-out.

Lingo

  • Craps - 2,3, or 12
  • Midnight - 12
  • Yo or Yo-leven - 11
  • "C and E" is a Craps/11 bet
  • Snake Eyes - Two 1's
  • Natural Winner - 7 or 11 on the come-out roll
  • Hardways - pairs of 2, 3, 4, 5's - Hard 4, Hard 6, Hard 8, and Hard 10, respectively
  • Nina - nine

Rolling a Craps number - or crapping out - is when a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled. When this occurs, the dealers collect all bets on the pass-line. There are ways of protecting or boosting one's initial bet and those are called side bets. We will come to that in a moment. So-called point numbers that can be marked are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10.

When a point number is rolled on the come out, a marker is placed on that number and the number is turned "on" by the dealer so that each player knows which number is the point number. Should the shooter roll the point number again, every person on the pass line will win 1:1, unless they play odds - then the amount of a payout will increase depending on which of the numbers is the point. The goal of the game is to hit the point number again before rolling a 7, also known as a "big red". Should the shoot roll the point before a 7, the process begins again.

If the shooter rolls any seven before repeating the point number (a "seven-out"), the pass line loses and the dice pass clockwise to the next new shooter for the next round. In all the above scenarios, whenever the pass line wins, the don't pass line loses, and vice versa, with one exception: on the come-out roll, a roll of 12 will cause pass line bets to lose, but don't pass bets are pushed, neither winning nor losing.

Six Easy Steps to Action

Find an open spot at the Craps table.
Etiquette tip: Wait until the come out is over with and a shooter is not shooting. Many Craps players do not like money being thrown down on the table during the come out or in the middle of a roll.
Place your money on the table and ask for "change only".
This signals that you are a new player and are ready for action. Etiquette Tip: Best time to put your money down is when the dice are in the middle and under the stickman's control.
Place your chips on the chip rack in front of you.
Etiquette tip: Do not let your hands dangle over the side of the chip tray. Not only is this very distracting, you will not like it if dice hit your hands, and neither will anyone at the table. Also, do not linger with your drink or tobacco products over the edge. Keep everything on the outside of the craps table space.
Put the chips you wish to wager on the table in the place marked "pass line" or "don't pass" on the come out.
This is also a good time to consider the "field" or other one time bets. Etiquette tip: Only make a bet when the dice are in the middle. Once the dice have been moved to the shooter, no more bets should be placed.
Yes! You are the shooter! Use only one hand to pick up the dice. Make sure you roll the dice inside the table. Your first roll is the come out roll.
Etiquette Tip: Make sure all of your bets are placed prior to the stickman passing you the dice. Don't be afraid, beginner's luck is on your side. Other players often frown upon passing the dice. Rolling the dice is a bit tricky; make sure you get them to the end, not too high, not too fast. Try to control the dice to the extent that they do not cross back past the middle.
On the come out, a 7 or 11 is a winner. 2, 3 or 12 are losing numbers (unless on a "crapless" table) and all other numbers are considered "point" numbers.
Etiquette Tip: Calling out "seven" is considered to be very bad at a table, even when you want a 7 at the come out. In place of "seven" say "red", or nothing at all. Just be ready to cheer when you roll a few on the come out.
 

Terminology

  • Any Seven (Big Red)
    A bet that the next roll will be any combination totalling 7. (3-4, 5-2, or 6-1)
  • Buy Bet
    An agreement between the player and the casino whereby the player gives the house 5% commission in return for getting paid correct odds for a place bet.
  • Cold Table
    A table that does not provide wins at a certain period, or where few shooters are making The Point.
  • Come out roll
    The first throw of the dice in a betting round that sets the point number for the Pass and Don't Pass Line bets.
  • Crap Out
    Throwing 2, 3, or 12 on the first roll. Many players will put down a "crap check" bet that pays 7:1 and protects the pass line bet.
  • Field Bet
    A bet that the next throw will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. Most casinos pay 1:1 for 3, 4, 9, and 10 and 11. 2 pays 2:1, and often times 12 pays 3:1.
  • Hardway Bet
    A bet that 4, 6, 8 or 10 will be thrown as doubles. 4 and 10 pay 7:1 while 6 and 8 pay 9:1
  • Feature Bets
    Some casinos will have a feature bet that pays 175:1. In order to claim this, all numbers must be covered before a 7 rolls.
  • Fire Bets
    Players wager money that the shooter will hit make 6 point numbers on the subsequent come out without "sevening out". This bet potentially pays 1000:1. Four points is 25:1, five points is 125:1, and all six points is 1000:1.
  • Seven Out
    When a 7 is rolled after a point has been established and before the point number has been hit. This ends the roll for the shooter and the dice are passed to the next in line.
  • The Point
    This is any number other than 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12, except when playing on a "crapless" table, in which case every number but 7 can be a point number.
 

Bets and Odds

Place Bets - This bet goes into effect after a point has been determined. Let's say the point is 8. You may want to place bets on the other numbers as standing bets. These bets can continue to earn you money as long as "red" does not show. It does not work on the come out unless you indicate to the dealer that you want them "working". You can bet on a dice roll of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. You win if the number you placed your bet on is rolled before a 7. It is important to remember that you can take down or increase any bets or odds at any time. The only item that you cannot take down once there is a point number are your pass line or don't pass bets.

Important tip

Important tip:

Much of the game of Craps is really based upon your gut. Follow your gut.

Place bet payoffs are different depending on the number you place. 4 or 10 will pay 9:5, 5 or 9 pay 7:5, and 6 or 8 pays 7:6. Remember, you can cancel this bet anytime you want to. Just tell the dealer "take down my bets" or "turn off my bet(s)".

Odds Bets can be added to your pass line or don't pass bets. Place pass line odds bets behind your pass line bet, and next to your don't pass line bets. Ask for a dealer's help if you're not completely confident in what to do. Odds bets are named as such because they pay true odds.

Come and Don't Come bets are like pass line and don't pass bets (respectively), but can be bet at any time other than during the come out roll. They work exactly like their respective pass line and don't pass bets, but simply start at a different point of time during a shoot. Odds bets can be added to Come and Don't Come bets, although they require dealer assistance.

Field Bets are for one dice roll only. If a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12 is rolled you win. Field bets have the following different payoffs: 2, or Aces is 2:1 while 12 pays either 2:1 or 3:1. Other winning dice rolls pays even (1:1). Note that these payouts can vary depending upon casino rules.

Proposition Bets can be made at any time and are good for one roll. Also known as centre bets as they are handled by the stickman. Hardway bets are the exception, as they will stay up until an "easy" version of the number shows or a 7, at which point all bets come down.

  • Any Craps: Wins if a 2, 3 or 12 is thrown. Payoff 7:1
  • Any Seven: Wins if a 7 is rolled. Payoff 7:1
  • Eleven: Wins if an 11 is thrown. Payoff 15:1
  • Ace-Deuce: Wins if a 3 is rolled. Payoff 15:1
  • Aces or Boxcars: When a 2 (aces) or 12 (midnight) is rolled: Payoff 30:1
  • Horn Bet: Acts as bets on 2, 3, 11 and 12 all at once. Wins if one of these numbers is rolled. Payoff is determined according to the number rolled. The other three bets lose.
  • Hardways: The bet on a hardway number wins if it's thrown hard (sum of pairs: 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5) before it's rolled easy or a 7 is thrown. Payoffs: Hard 4 and 10, 7:1; Hard 6 and 8, 9:1

Hopping Bets are specific bets whereby people follow intuition or their gut and bet on specific combinations of numbers. The payout is 15:1 for most numbers, with the exception of Aces, 12 (midnight) or hard-way numbers, which pay 30:1. These numbers can also be bet during the come out, but are one-time only bets.

Top Tips: How to Win at Craps

When it comes to winning at Craps, there are many who say the best strategy is to follow the table. However, this is not advisable for new players. Because of the potential combination of dice, it is important to follow the odds. 6 and 8 have the greatest likelihood of all of the numbers of showing due to the combination possibilities. (7 has even more possible combinations, so be careful!) 6 = 5-1, 4-2 and a favourite, the hard-6 which is 3-3. Eight = 5-3, 6-2 or hard-8 which is 4-4.

When you are just learning it is important to go slow. First fall into your own pattern of play, then venture out now and then and experience some of the other centre bets, field bets, and place a few odds bets on your numbers. Truth is, there is nothing better than pressing up your bets on your favourite numbers and bringing in outstanding real money wins.

Remember, if you are not winning, there is no big hurry - take it slow and wait until it is your turn to shoot. Sometimes this is all you need to do to turn the table in your direction. If nothing seems to be turning the table, then don't limit yourself. You can always play from the other side. That means that you are going to bet the "don't pass" side, which means you believe the table is cold and there is a greater likelihood that seven is going to appear more often than the point number will.

What Beginners Need to Know About Craps

What has been shared thus far is a pretty good introduction into the world of Craps. One of the most important things for a beginner to know is table etiquette. When it comes to Craps, etiquette is expected and failure to recognize the way of the table will make a novice stand out.

When you buy in for chips while a Craps game is currently being dealt, NEVER put your money down while the player has the dice. The best time to bet is when the dice are in the middle of the table.
Everyone wants to win at Craps, and players are highly protective of their bets. The belief is anything that causes a disruption at the table will result in sevening out. Even stopping to order a drink, paying for a drink, or any other disruptions. You will discover many people at live games turning their bets off if a significant other walks up to a table and begins talking.
If you are playing the pass line at the end of the Craps table, try to ensure that you are not using a large stack of chips. Also consider where the best place to put your chips. Rolling dice will not only possibly disrupt your chips, but it can change the flow of the game negatively.
When you make a bet that the dealers have to place for you, throw it in a manner where the chips will land near that section. Be respectful. The last thing you want is for your chips to land willy-nilly. You could run the risk of losing money that way.
Do not put your hands on the Craps table or make late bets.
You can yell out the bet you want to make if you are afraid it is not going to be heard. Don't be too shy. The experts will immediately jump in, and if the dealer doesn't know you want to bet, your bet could be overlooked. When placing the bet the dealer will either call the bet out as being acknowledged, or if it is too late for a bet they will say "no bet".
Do not take too long to shoot the dice. The best shoots have a certain rhythm and flow to them.
Do not pick up your chips from the Craps table until you know for sure you were paid correctly.
Don't worry if you are unsure. Most of the other players will spot it immediately and let you know if you were short-changed.
Don't ever say the word "seven", even if you are playing the don't pass line.
You can also make bets for the dealers or let them control their own tip bet.
Avoid smoking at the Craps table. It can serve as a distraction for other Craps players, even when smoking is allowed. Avoid ordering drinks or paying for them in the middle of a roll.
Limit how much alcohol you consume. Remember, sometimes rolls can go for over a half an hour, and if you leave the table with money on it to use the restroom your bets may be turned off.
Never eat, smoke, or drink over the Craps table. You will be warned, and if it continues you could be asked to leave the table. It will slow the table down, disrupt the flow, and possibly ruin the felt.
If you need to use the restroom but you don't want to lose your spot at the Craps table, you can ask one of the dealers to hold your spot and watch your chips. Typically, they will place a cover over your chips.

How is Live and Online Craps Different?

Live Craps is a very social game. There is a benefit to there being many people playing, as it keeps the action lively and it is very engaging. The rolling of the dice is left up to many different people, and that can be good or bad. It is very easy to get lulled into betting more than you should, so in many ways live Craps can be a little more costly. Of course, it can also equal some pretty nice wins too.

Online Craps play is reliant upon an RNG (Random Number Generator). The same technology that drives online slots is at work with online Craps play. The industry is not too far away from live dealers, but as for now it is mostly RNG-based. Then again, so is rolling the dice for the most part.

There are some benefits to online play. You can do it in the privacy of your own home. Because it is random, many of the traditional superstitions famous for Craps players can be left to the wayside. You can avoid feeling the pressure to play when you don't feel like it is a good time, when there are finally no disruptions from other Craps players, and when your total focus can be on the win.

Online play for free is a great way for novice players to begin to understand the payouts, etc. We caution you, though, because many of the online Craps games have a few different bets, or minimal bets as compared to the live casino. Also, you will only see the centre bet area and the half that you are playing on, so you will miss out on how others are betting for the most part. Either way, online Craps is a load of fun and sometimes you can really win big.

FAQs

  • Do I have to be the shooter if I don't want to be?

    The answer is yes and no. For online Craps the answer is no because you are always in play action. You are the shooter. In live Craps the answer is yes. However, you will want to take the time to roll the dice and see how you do. So much of it is chance, and in many ways beginner's luck is the best type of luck. Plus, there are those who believe that skipping a shooter can throw off the game. Then again, there are those who would rather some people not shoot. In the end, rolling the dice is about the only way of having control over your outcome. Maybe it is time for you to be the hero?

  • Are Online Craps Games Rigged?

    Absolutely not. The online game of Craps uses the same technology as online slots and is completely safe and secure. It is all about chance and it is determined as such by a Random Number Generator. We have shared some of our favourite online casinos that have great Craps games available 24/7! You can rest assured that your big win was done fair and square.

  • How do I increase my chance of winning with online Craps?

    First of all, always begin with how much you are really willing to risk. It is a game of chance, and it is a wise beginner who sets a reasonable amount before they begin. Start out slow and play the most frequently played numbers, like six and eight. After winning on those and practicing placing bigger odds and such, you can venture into more daring territory. Also, make sure you choose an online casino that is offering generous welcome bonuses. This will immediately increase your bankroll and odds of winning.

  • Will I improve my skills by playing online for free?

    It is for free, so why not? In the end it is a matter of what you are really comfortable with. Practice makes a person penny wise. The more you understand the lingo, rules, bets, and frequency of numbers, and experience some losses online, the sooner you will be ready to go for the real cash wins.

  • Where should I look for online play and the best live casino Craps?

    Look no further! Locating the best places to play live and online is what we do. Like you, we only want to play the best. So we have compiled some safe, secure, and user-friendly casinos for you. You have a lot to learn and even more winning to do. So enjoy what we believe are the best of the best.

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