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Post  PoWdA on Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:29 pm

How do you play?

I have been near craps table so many times and been so close to trying until I realize that I have no idea what to do. I mean, placing bets and such. Does anyone have a simple, not drawn out answer on the goal of craps and some very basic strategy?
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Post  grasshopp3r on Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:35 pm

Craps is a game that involves making 7, 11 or the same roll twice before you crap out on a subsequent 7 or on an initial roll of 2 or 12. The odds are against you, so don't play. If you do play, here are some tips to avoid losing quickly. You will still lose, but you will get to drink more in the process and perhaps get to watch people go crazy and jump up and down when a hot shooter hits the table.

1. Pass or Don't pass betting areas are either betting with or against the shooter. Bet the minimum on the Pass line so that you can cheer on the shooter. Only buzz kills bet the Don't Pass.
2. If your shooter hits a number 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, they get to keep rolling until the either hit the same number or crap out on a 7. You have an opportunity to place a true odds based bet behind your original bet. This bet on most tables is up to 3 to 5 times the original bet. You will need to know how they round the bets, so ask the stickman so that you don't bet a stupid amount, such as $6 to win $8 instead of $7 to win $10, or whatever the odds and payoffs are.
3. If you want to play the other bets, do so at your own risk. Receiving 30:1 odds for snake eyes is not +EV, but it is fun when it happens.

You can get away with betting every other shooter or whatnot and still keep drinking if you are running low on funds.

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Post  Wetdog on Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:04 pm

Some errors in grasshopp3r's post, but the idea is right.

Craps can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. Big help, eh? So let's keep it simple.
Start with a "Pass Line" bet. Put a table minimum bet in this area directly in front of you. The game starts with the shooter making an initial, or "come-out" roll. In this roll, three things can happen:
1) A 7 or 11 is rolled and the Pass Line bet wins. (Termed a pass)
2) A 2, 3, or 12 is rolled and the Pass Line bet loses.
3) A 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled and the Pass Line bet neither wins nor loses but a shooter's point is established and marked with the marker puck, a round hockey puck looking thing in front of the dealers.

This is where the second bet you should make comes in. This is the "Free Odds" bet and is the best bet on the board. Do you remember that I said to put the table minimum bet on the pass line? You do that because you only get paid even money if the bet wins. The "Free Odds" bet pays you the true odds of that point number being rolled before a 7 is rolled. The maximum you may put on odds varies from casino to casino. Some allow 10X the pass line bet, some allow 5X, some allow 3X, 4X or 5X depending on the point number. The true odds for each point are as follows:
Point is 4 or 10 - 2 to 1
Point is 5 or 9 - 3 to 2
Point is 6 or 8 - 6 to 5

So that part seems a little complicated, but it's not really. If the minimum bet is $5, you are allowed odds of up to $50 on a 10X table, $25 on a 5X table. Ask the dealer what their max odds are if you don't see it labeled on the side wall of the table. Oh, and if the point is 5 or 9, your odds bets have to be an even number, because it pays 3:2 and they can't break a dollar.

The shooter continues to roll until one of 2 things happens:
1) The point is rolled and the Pass Line bet wins, along with the Free Odds bets.
2) A 7 is rolled and the Pass Line bet loses. The dealers then clean up all bets placed on other numbers (I didn't get to that because we're trying to keep it simple for everyone who doesn't understand the game yet) and the pass line bets and odds. The dice are passed to the next shooter and it starts over again.

So let's say the point is 5 and you had $5 pass line and $20 odds. Shooter rolls a 5 before a 7 is rolled, you win $5 on the pass line and $30 on the odds. See, it's not really so hard, is it? That's the easy way to play the game. If you want to know all the ins and outs of it, go here


One final note. It's a -EV game. The house has an edge on every bet except the odds. There's no way around it.
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Post  PoWdA on Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:50 pm

Thanks for the explanation. Sounds like a lot to digest but I think I will get it if I try again (which might not happen).
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