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Craps Basics

Many say craps brings out emotions more than any other casino game. Gamblers, and especially lady gamblers seem to be intimidated by this game. Checking out the table layout could make you conclude that it is a complicated and confusing game due to the many betting options available.

However, the game is simple, and to the educated gambler - even simpler because he knows that in fact, there are only three major bets to be considered when slashing the casino advantage down to less than 1%.

How to Play Craps

The player, called the shooter, rolls two dice and the total of the two dice is added together.

The first roll is called the come-out roll. When rolling the come-out roll, the shooter is trying to establish a point by rolling one of the following numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. If one of those numbers comes up, then that number becomes the point.

If you wagered on the Pass Line, you are betting that the shooter will roll the point again before rolling a 7.

• Your Pass Line bet would win if the shooter rolled the following sequence: 4, 6, 8, 12, 5, 4. You would lose if the shooter rolled this sequence: 4, 6, 8, 12, 5, 7. The round ends when the shooter rolls either the point (by rolling a 4) or craps out (by rolling a 7).

If you wagered the Don't Pass Line, you are betting that the shooter will crap out by rolling a 7 before the point is rolled again.

• Your Don't Pass Line would win if the shooter rolled the following sequence: 4, 6, 8, 12, 5, 7. You would lose if the shooter rolled this sequence: 4, 6, 8, 12, 5, 4.

If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll, the Pass Line bet is paid off at even money and the Don't Pass bet is lost. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 then the Pass Line bet is lost. The Don't Pass bet wins if a 2 or 3 is rolled and is a push if a 12 is rolled.

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Craps History

It is believed that in medieval times men played a game similar to modern day craps. This game of craps goes back to the Holy Roman Empire when soldiers would entertain themselves by shaving down pig knuckles into cube shapes which they would then toss onto their inverted shields. From this came the term "to roll the bones".

Others believe craps originated in America from an old dice game called hazard. The rules of hazard were established by French mathematician Pierre Remond de Montmort in the early 1700s.

The origin of the word "craps" is not clear, but it may have come from "crab eyes" a term used in hazard, or possibly from the French "crapeaud", for toad.

In 1813, Bernard de Mandeville of New Orleans simplified the game of hazard into the game of craps. This revised game soon became popular in Mississippi river steamboats and later spread to casinos and gambling halls throughout the United States.

This original version of craps allowed only field and come bets, which made the game vulnerable to fixed dice.

John H. Winn, a dice-maker by trade, created a modified version of Craps where players could bet for, or against the roller. This eliminated the usefulness of fixed dice and created the very popular versions of craps that is played today.

By 1910, craps had become the most popular casino game in the world.