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How To Play Craps

Craps is unique in that a player can bet on almost any choice of things occurring, all based around a 'shooter' throwing two dice down the table. Craps lets you can bet on a variety of things, some you might expect, others you wouldn't. For instance you would assume that you can bet on the dice total being a certain number, and something like whether that number comes up before another one seems a logical enough bet. But there are stranger bets around, like whether a four is rolled as two twos, or as a three and a one. These added options contribute to the confusion so common in those just learning how to play craps.

When you learn how to play craps, one of the primary aspects to get your head around is the session state. Craps, at any given time, can be in one of two states. The 'point number' can either be set already, or not set yet. When the point hasn't been set yet, the session is OFF, or not started, and the roll of the dice is called a 'come-out roll'.

But what is the point number, and how do we know if it's set or not? There is an indicator called the 'puck' that is always visible on the table, that lets you know the current state of the game. It looks a bit like a hockey puck, round and flat, but with two different colored sides. One side of the puck has the word 'ON' written in big letters; the other side has the word 'OFF' in big letters.

When the point is set, you will see the ON side of the puck face-up and actually sitting on top of the number that the point is set to. There are numbers all over the felt, but the ones in big print lining the back are used for a few different bets, and as the point number indicator. When the point is not set, the puck will be off the table layout, with the 'OFF' side up.

You can step into the game at any time, though some bets are limited to certain circumstances within the game. A lot of the bets taking place at the table are based around the shooter and the 'PASS line'. The shooter must make a bet on the pass line, and all of the other players at the table can bet on whether or not they think the shooter will succeed. Those betting that the shooter will succeed are said to be playing 'with the dice', those betting the shooter will fail are said to be playing 'against the dice'.

Learning how to play craps is an ongoing experience, and lots of play is the only sure way to becoming a better player. To cheat the system a little and keep some extra money in your pocket, you may choose to play craps for free online.

To learn about the pass line and to take on the game, move on to our craps rules page.