Craps is a dice game, which is thought to have evolved from a much older game called Hazard. The origin of the name “Craps” is unclear, but one theory suggests that it comes from the French word “crapaud”, which means toad; a light hearted reference to the game’s French influences and the French taste for frog legs.

The Craps table is usually the nosiest and most chaotic area of the casino, but this just adds to the excitement of the popular dice game. Often seen as intimidating to the novice player, there is really no need to be afraid of joining in as there are plenty of simple, easy to understand bets that the newcomer can easily play, until they feel more comfortable with the other aspects of Craps.

Rules

Craps is played in rounds, with each round containing two distinct phases. At the start of a round, the shooter is presented with the dice and he or she rolls. If the number if a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, that number becomes the “point” and we move into the second phase. The shooter continues to roll the dice until rolling the point number (pass line bets win) or a 7 (don’t pass bets win). The round ends and the dice pass to the next shooter, in a clockwise fashion.

If the initial shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12 then the pass line bets lose and the round ends immediately. If the initial shooter rolls a 7 or 11 then pass line bets win but the round doesn’t end. The shooter continues to shoot the dice until rolling a 7.

To earn the right to roll the dice, he or she must make the minimum bet on “Pass” or “Don’t Pass”. Players may decline to shoot the dice if they wish, but may continue to bet.

House Edge

There are far more bets available to Craps players than the basic “Pass” or “Don’t Pass”, all providing the casino with a different house edge. The worst value bets are betting that a 2 or 12 will be thrown on the next roll. This bet pays around 30/1 but provides the casino with a whopping 13.89% edge. The next worst value bet is wagering that the next roll will be a 3, 11, 7 or “Any Craps”, all of which guarantee the casino an 11.11% edge.

Basic Strategy

The best strategy for playing Craps is to stick to the bets that offer the casino the lowest house edge, such as the “Pass” or “Don’t Pass” bets (1.41% and 1.40% respectively) and the Odds bets, which offer the casino no advantage at all (but in order to take Odds, you need to place a “Pass” or “Don’t Pass” wager first).

If you are a novice, the best thing to do is simply bet on the pass line, which guarantees the casino just 1.41% and in playing this particular wager, you will be able watch and learn about the rest of the goings on at the Craps table, such as the weird and wacky language of Craps. You will quickly pick up terms such like “Snake Eyes” (double one), “Yo” (eleven) and “Boxcars” (double six).

Make sure to avoid listening to advice of other players at the Craps table and to stick to your lowest edge bets. Many gamblers are superstitious, so avoid saying the word “seven” when playing Craps, unless it is a come out roll, as this is meant to bring bad luck.

The Best Craps Sites

These casino sites are great places to play craps: