Craps Rules

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Published: 05/05/2012

Craps is a very portable gambling activity. Play requires nothing more than a pair of six-sided dice. In modern casinos, however, the version of the game officially known as “Bank Craps” involves quite a bit of equipment, including a full-size Craps table that features padded walls and a special betting layout capable of accommodating up to 14 standing players.

The casino game is managed by up to four dealers or croupiers. Central among them is the “stickman,” who moves the dice around the table with a long wooden stick called the “whip,” which has a curved end. Most tables have a bowl containing five dice plus a pair of plastic “lammers” or black-and-white On/Off “pucks” that are used to show which areas of the table are available for betting.

Players take turns throwing two dice down the length of the Craps table, according to specific rules of play. The one who is currently throwing is referred to as the “shooter.” Players have the option to pass the dice to the next player clockwise, which gives newcomers an opportunity to watch others shoot, but the majority of Craps players chose to “roll the bones” when it comes their turn, as shooting is an exciting aspect of the game.

Using the whip, the stickman pushes five dice to each new shooter in turn. The shooter must then choose any two of the dice to put into play, carefully using only one hand to do so. The remaining three dice are then scooped up by the stickman and returned to the dice bowl out of play.

On the betting areas of the table, wagers are placed by all players, including the shooter. The On/Off puck will show “Off” for areas not in play, notably Come/Don’t Come and the six “box numbers” (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10). Most of the players’ betting will be on the Pass line, betting for the shooter to win (“right betting”). Some, however, may stake the Don’t Pass line, betting on the shooter to lose (“Wrong betting”). Other available bets are “C&E,” which refer to Craps (2, 3, or 12) and “Yo-leven” (11).

When one of the dealers shouts, “Shooter coming out, no more bets,” players must stop placing chips on the table and remove their hands from the shooting area. The shooter will then throw the two dice to the far end of the table in a single motion. Both dice have to hit the wall and bounce off in order for the shooter’s roll to count. If a die fails to reach the end of the table or bounces off the table out of play, a dealer will call out “no dice” and a re-throw follows. In the same way, if a die lands “cocked” atop some chips so that it is not clear which face is up, a re-throw may be required.

As long as the come out roll is “clean,” a dealer will call out the result. Losing bets will be raked in and winners will be paid. If the roll produces a total of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the “Point” is established and the puck will be turned over to the On position directly above the corresponding box number on the table surface. All sections of the table previously out of play become available for betting.

Meanwhile, the Pass and Don’t Pass bets stand, awaiting resolution. Increased betting on Pass/Don’t Pass bets is called “Taking Odds,” with additional bets made on the table’s apron directly behind the original bets. Come and Don’t Come bets are available for wagering, too, treating the next roll of the dice as if a new shooter was coming out.

As the dice are returned to the shooter, wagering continues. The same shooter will throw the dice, with betting intervals between throws, until either the Point is made or a 7 is thrown, whichever happens first. Then, all winning bets will be paid, chips will be cleared away or frozen in place, and the puck will be flipped back to the Off position for the sequence to begin again.

Each shooter’s turn, holding and rolling the dice, lasts until a seven is thrown before rolling an established point. Crap numbers (2, 3, or 12) are losers for Pass Line bets, but they do not terminate the shooter’s turn. Rolling craps or “yo-leven” after the Point has been established has no affect on the shooter’s pursuit of the point. Only when the dealer calls “seven out” does the next player clockwise get the opportunity to handle the dice.

Published on: 05/05/2012

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