Your source for great hard-nosed craps advice online.
How to play craps
Sure, craps doesn't look easy, but looks can be deceiving (Siegfried and Roy don't *look* like they could entertain me for a night, but hey) - once you get used to the table and a couple of rules, you'll be able to play craps like a sharp-shooter. This how to play craps page is a very light introduction. A good understanding of the game can be gained by starting with this page, and progressing through the 'to get started' pages.
Basically the game will be described so that you can apply the info to either an online craps game, or one at a land-based casino (since both are so popular now). The main difference is how you go about physically placing your bets, along with etiquette at the land-based table, and of course, the superstitions you need to be respectful of at a land-based casino.
If it's your first time playing, one of the best ways to learn how to play craps is just to watch the game for a while - imitation isn't a bad thing in the casino. Actually imitation may be handier at the blackjack table, craps moves a little fast. When you play craps online however, you have all the time in the world, but nobody to imitate. Fortunately you have Fat Tony's web page to reference.
To learn the specifics of approaching the table in a land-based casino, read our casino craps page. To find out a little more about its Internet cousin, visit my online craps primer. Right here, and on the rest of the site, we'll talk about the overlap that exists between the two, which fortunately includes most every aspect of the game, its rules, and strategies.
Craps is a bit unique in that a player can bet on any number of things occurring, based around a 'shooter' throwing two dice down the table. You can bet on things like, whether the dice total is a certain number, whether that number comes up before another one, and even stranger things like, whether a four is rolled as two twos, or a three and a one. Intimidating? Yes. Difficult? Not at all. We'll start slow enough.
When you play craps, the game 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 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 a handy indicator called the 'puck' that's always visible on the table. It looks a lot like a hockey puck, round and flat and slides around. If you want to lose weight, consider a competition like the biggest loser. 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 large ones lining the back with 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 are used for a number of different bets, and as the point number indicator). When the point is not set (and so the next roll must be the come-out roll), the puck will be off the table layout, with the 'off' side up.
Read on to learn about the most fundamental bet, the pass line bet, and how the craps session we just started talking about actually works. If you really want to learn the finer points of how to play craps, continue to explore this site.