D Craps Craps, its rules and principles

What is Craps and how is it played?

Craps is much better known in the US than in France. However, it is available in world-class casinos such as Monaco, Deauville or Trouville, only to name a few. Playing Craps creates such an electrifying and stimulating atmosphere that its popularity has been unfaltering for a long time.

Understanding a Craps game

In Craps, a dice game, the players can stake on the outcome of one or more dice rolls. It is a game of chance played in several stages. Although several bets are allowed in the beginning of a game, others are possible only during the game. What you must remember is that a game starts by rolling two dice - come out roll - and ends as explained in the following. Please note this game has numerous rules and variants, like any other game of chance. However we will try to be as clear as possible for this game which remains, to beginners, a daunting and most exhilerating game.

One rule stipulates that the key is not to see what the different stakes are, but rather to know what the interesting stakes are.

There are four people around a Craps table: the boxman, two croupiers and the stickman (who offers 6 dice to the shooter, who will take 2, a green one and a red one).

Quelques petites choses savoir avant de jouer au Craps

The first dice roll or "come-out roll".

Once you roll the dice, you will be:

  • Winner: you get payed depending on your stake and on the risk taken
  • Loser: the croupier collects your stake
  • Null roll: you play again and nothing changes on the table
  • Suspended result: a new dice roll. Some stakes can be changed but not all
One player can bet on other players... without having to roll the dice. Before rolling the dice, you must stake on the desired fields. The dice roll can be interpreted in two ways: either you add up the point numbers (ex: 5 + 4 = 9), or particular figures are recorded (ex: 1 and 2, or 6 and 6, etc.) which is called 'a Craps'.

"Hard ways", which are doubles other than Craps, are then obtained (ex 5 and 5 or 3 and 3, etc)
The 7 can be obtained in several ways (ex 6 and 1 or 1 and 6 etc) on a single roll.
11: also obtained on a single roll.

Two stages to understand the game:

Craps stage 1

The shooter, who can himself be a player, bets on the "Pass Line". The other players have two options:
  • They can play like him and stake on the "Pass Line"
  • They can play against him and stake on "Don't Pass"
The "Pass Line" or "Front Line" is the favorite stake of the players overall. The bet is made before the first roll, it can be raised but cannot be withdrawn.

The shooter/player rolls the two dice "come out roll" - this roll will determine the next move in the game. Three possibilities are then available to him:
  • He rolls, after adding the two dice, a 2, a 3 or a 12: this is called "to make a Craps". In this case, the shooter/player loses and those who have played like him (ie who have staked on the "pass line" have lost too. The stakes of all these players are collected by the croupier. Those who had staked on "Don't pass" and who roll 2 or 3 win. Stakes are payed for equally among them, and the players get their stakes back. If they get 12, their roll is null. This first roll is then finished. The first player/shooter rolls the dice again. He will then stake on "Pass line" or "Don't pass".

  • He rolls 7 or 11: The player/shooter wins, as well as all those who had played like him and staked on the "Pass line". They are equally payed 1/1 their stake (ex: if they stake 4 chips, they get 4 chips back). Those who had staked on "Don't Pass" earn nothing. The stakes are collected again by the croupier. End of first roll. The same player then rolls the dice again and still stakes on "Pass line" or "Don't pass".

  • He rolls 4, 5, 6, 8 or 10: this outcome determines the second stage of the game. This is called "Point". To this end and to win, the shooter/player will have to roll the dice again - on the pass line - as many times as needed until they roll one of these numbers. This is called "to establish the point". If they roll 7, even before "establishing the point", the player loses.
Craps stage 2

This stage can start only if the shooter/player rolls a total of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 during the first stage, as explained earlier. This is called "establishing the point". Keep in mind that stakes cannot be changed. However the stake can be raised if the player has betted on the "pass line", or lowered or withdrawn if he has bet on "don't pass".

In this case, the player/shooter can roll the dice again. They are offered three possibilities:
  • They establish the point: they win. Those who have played like them on the "pass line" also win. They are equally payed and take back their stakes. Those who had played on "don't pass" lose. Stakes are then collected by the croupier. The roll is over and the player/shooter will roll the dice at the next roll.

  • They roll 7: they lose. Players who had bet on the "pass line" also lose. Stakes are collected by the croupier. Players who had staked on "don't pass" win. They are equally payed and get their stakes back. The roll is over. The player on the left of the shooter gets to roll the dice. The stickman takes those two dice and mixes them up with other dice. The new shooter then chooses two of them, a green one and a red one.

  • The player rolls another number. They then have to roll the dice again and establish a point to win. If they roll 7, they lose.
Here is an example to better understand

A player bets 20 dollars on the Pass line. They roll 11 at their first roll. They earn 20 dollars (and get their stake back). The game goes on with a new roll. They player leaves the 20 dollars on the Pass line, and rolls 9. The "point" is established. They roll again and get 6. The result is suspended. They roll the dice again. If they roll 9, they win 20 dollars.

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