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We’ve all heard about shooting craps, and most of us have probably seen references to it on TV and in the movies. Developed out of the much more complex game Hazard, it is thought that craps dates back to Middle Ages Europe, and was brought to the US in the 19th century from England.  So, other than being about dice, what do we know about craps, and what are the rules and regulations surrounding casino play?


Craps is thought to have gained widespread popularity across the US as a result of its popularity with African-American slaves.  Today, it’s thought to be popular amongst soldiers because it can be played in any environment with very little equipment, while also remaining a popular fixture at casinos across the world, where the game is highly monitored and regulated to prevent sleight of hand and false or controlled rolls.

Craps is played with two dice selected from a possible five, with bets placed by the shooter and others around the craps table on the outcome of the individual roll, or several rolls.  At its basic level, craps comes down to two outcomes – ‘Pass’ and ‘Don’t Pass’, or ‘Win’ and ‘Don’t Win’.  The shooter (in other words, the person rolling the dice) rotates round on a clockwise basis, and has the opportunity to bet first of all on the Pass or Don’t Pass outcome.  The first roll made by the shooter is to establish the ‘point’, a marker against which future rolls will be made and one that will determine when the dice changes hands.  If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12, Don’t Pass wins, whereas a 7 or 11 wins for Pass, with 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 establishing the ‘point’.  The shooter will then continue to roll, with bets made accordingly, until he scores either a 7 or the point previously set.

The betting in craps in a casino is fairly complicated at first sight, and may take a little further study to familiarize before heading off to place your bets.  Bets can be placed on single rolls of the dice or on multiple rolls, at the discretion of the gambler on a variety of different outcomes – from the precise roll to multiple bets covering different possibilities at a lower odds payout.  In street craps, these bets are required to be matched by other players in order for there to be a stake, whereas in the casino setting, the house would match and payout on any winnings so arising.

Craps is a particularly popular game the world over, and one that is a favourite amongst casino goers and high fliers.  While the rules may at first seem a little in-depth, it is important to remember that actually game play makes things far more transparent, and in practicality it’s quick to familiarize once the game kicks off.  Just remember if you’re heading to your local casino to keep the dice in one hand at all times and to avoid making any suspicious movements!

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Published on Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 8:55 am.

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