About Playing Craps and the Craps Table

Playing Craps

One's very first time at a craps table can be quite an intimidating experience for many people. That blue-green surface with all those curves, lines and numbers looks so confusing. On top of that are loud, cheering players bumping shoulder to shoulder all around. It doesn't look all that inviting, does it?

Don't be fooled though. Craps isn't as hard to play as you think. To join right in on the fun, make a bet on the pass line. When you do, you will be friends with everyone as you are rooting for whoever is tossing the dice. The odds for this wager is pretty good; the house has only a 1.41% edge over you.

The Craps Table

Craps tables are seldom empty; it is a very popular game. Try to find one that isn't full as it is hard for a beginner to concentrate when there are others shouting all around or even trying to coach you.

Next, check the craps table's wagering limits. Playing at a craps table beyond your financial capacity is a humiliating experience that all want to forget. A $5 table is fine. Once you are sure you can afford the table, you must buy in.

To buy in is to exchange your money (temporarily) for playing chips. Lay your money on the craps table and tell the dealer, "Change." Make sure you don't hand the money over directly to them as this is strictly forbidden. The dealer will give the money to another casino employee known as a box man. The box man will count the money and take it for safekeeping. You will then be given a set of play money chips equivalent to the money you bought in with. Place these chips in a channel on the craps table. You can always buy more chips later.

Craps Table Betting

The craps table is crammed with all kinds of bets. The most important for you is the pass line and don't pass line areas as these have the best odds. Ignore the rest. If you are wondering why 6 and 9 are spelled out, it is because their figures can confuse players when seen from an opposite angle.

For some craps wagers, you can place bets on the craps table yourself. This is true for the pass line and don't pass line wagers, the come line wagers, field wagers, and the big bets known as big 6 and big 8 bets.

Since you are only going to make pass line stakes, you don't need to know more. But if you want to try numbered bets or propositions, you have to push your chips and then call aloud your wager. The dealer or another casino staff called a stick man will take your chips and place them accordingly.

Craps Table Characters

Several people play different roles at the craps table. Among the players:

Shooter - is the one who throws the dice. Right Bettor - is someone who wagers on the shooter to win the hand. Wrong Bettor - is a player who bets against the shooter.

Dealer - is the most active of the casino characters. They collect losing bets and pay winning bets. They also change chips to higher denomination if the player wishes. (Say "color up" if you want it.)

Box Man - is the one in charge of the money. All disputes are settled by the money, of course.

Stick Man - the voice you hear announcing the result of a dice toss is the stick man.

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