Basic Craps Strategy Explained

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Craps is a fast-paced game of dice wherein the shooter (the player throwing the dice) rolls two dice and bets are placed on the possible outcome of the roll and whether or not the shooter is able to get the number he has chosen. The pass line one sees on the craps table is the area where the spectators’ bets are placed. There are other bets that can be made, but for beginners it is best to concentrate on the pass line until they have become more familiar with the game. The come-out roll or the very first throw of the shooter determines if the play has ended or if it will continue.

Bets can only be placed on the pass line during the come-out roll, but there are some casino houses that allow for betting on any point during the game. A come-out roll that comes up with a 7 or an 11 is a win for bets placed on the pass line, while a come-out roll that comes up with a 2, 3, or 12 is a loss for pass line bets. In these instances, the game automatically ends. All other numbers rolled would mean the series will continue and the shooter now would need to continue rolling until his chosen number comes up (which would of course make him and all the other pass line bettors winners), or until the roll comes up with a 7, at which point a 7 would now mean a loss for the shooter and all the other pass line bettors.

For a roll to be valid, the dice have to hit the wall at the other end and bounce back. It is possible for all pass line bettors to become shooters. The shooter is expected to handle the dice with only one hand for fear of cheating or switching. It is in this game where one may see a variety of pre-roll rituals by some shooters to supposedly invoke their “lady luck”. These are rituals like blowing on the dice or even whispering to the dice. Some plays, however, frown on these rituals not because of some disbelief for what they consider to sheer ludicrousness, but because of their impatience at how these rituals can slow down the game.

Strategies used in this game are calculated in such a way as to confer a higher winning percentage. By understanding the odds on the different bets, one can be assured of more chances of winning, although winning is never ever 100% guaranteed, not even close. One such strategy is laying odds. Laying odds is a bet made together with a Don’t Pass bet and these two bets usually yield higher payoffs. Don’t Pass bets are bets against the shooter’s bet, also called playing wrong. The Don’t Pass loses when the come-out roll is a 7 or 11 and wins with a 2, 3, or 12 roll. After the come-out roll, laying odds would mean a 7 would be rolled before the chosen number comes up.

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