Craps Play for Beginners -- Part 1 . February 2001

Free Listings

Discount Travel


In the News


Craps Play for Beginners -- Part 1

by Gayle Mitchell

This game brings out the emotions more than any other. I like to walk around and take a long look, drink in the atmosphere - check out the other players - there is a freedom here to applaud, cheer and let loose.

Gamblers, especially the ladies are feeling less intimidated by this game. Check out the lay-out - lots of features and options, - looks complicated and confusing, however the game is indeed simple, and to the educated gambler - even simpler because he or she knows that,  in fact,  there are only three major bets to be considered when slashing that casino advantage way down to less than 1%.

As you check out the table, note the minimum bet and the odds posted. Do these numbers fit into your wager management plan? See how the dice are running. Is the money on come bets, place bets or pass-line bets?

To understand how to play craps, you have to start with the two dice in play. Each cube has six sides, with one to six dots each.  Let's run through the numbers:

2-3-12 are craps - losers.  7-11 - "natural" - winners.

Point Numbers are 4,5,6,8,9&10 - and,  these points, must be repeated before a 7 is rolled. When a player is handed the dice to throw, the first roll is called a "COME-OUT", and a 7 or 11 immediately wins.  Whereas the 2,3, or 12 immediately loses.  If the player throws any of the other numbers: 4,5,6,8,9,10. --the player continues to throw until either that same point number is  rolled again, in which case the player wins, or until a 7 is rolled, in which case the player loses.   Any other number has no significance to the pass-line wager. This explains why the 7 sometimes wins, and sometimes loses.  If it is thrown on the first roll, it wins.  But if it's thrown when the player tries to repeat his first-roll number, it loses, that is called a 7-out.

Then it's the next player's turn to shoot.  A shooter retains the dice as long as he or she continues to make passes or wins -- either immediately on the come-out with a 7 or by repeating the point number successfully.

The player keeps the dice even if he loses on the come-out roll with a 2, 3, or 12.

The player loses the dice only after a 7-out. This is the pass-line bet - the most popular bet at the table --and the first recommended wager.

The pass line extends around both ends of the table. Place your pass-line bet directly in front of you. 

It's ideal to arrive at a table when a shooter is coming out. You'll know this from the position of the puck, which says ON=white side, and OFF=black side. If the shooter made a point on the come-out roll, and is now trying to repeat that number, the dealer will place the puck with the white ON side toward the rear center of the box that corresponds to the number (4,5,6,8,9,10). If the shooter is trying for a 6, the puck will be in the 6 box with its ON side showing.  However, if you notice the puck with the black side OFF in the don't come area, that means the next roll is a come-out.

This is your signal to make that pass-line bet. And when the shooter wins, everyone on the pass-line wins. 

Next time, we will discuss odds bet and come bets so you can roll 'dem bones' with confidence.


Gayle Mitchell is author of  Casino Gambling Made Easier   books, booklets and strategy cards.