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Craps is one of the most exciting games in the casino, but it can also be one of the most intimidating. The number of bets players can choose from seems endless at first, and the way money moves around the table might seem impossible to understand. Luckily, underneath all the chaos is actually a very understandable game – not to mention one that offers some very good odds to players. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about craps.
While craps has dozens of different bets and can look extremely complicated to a new player, the basics of craps boil down to only a couple of different bet types. In fact, the best odds in the game come from making just one simple bet (either the pass or don’t pass bet) and then taking the odds bet behind it. If you can understand just those two bets, you can safely ignore the rest and still get plenty of enjoyment out of craps.
Like other Internet gambling games, online craps is legal in Australia. All Australians can safely and legally play craps and other games at online casinos. However, since Australian law doesn’t allow for Internet casinos to be operated within Australia, the only options for us residents is to play through internationally owned and operated sites.
The come out roll is the first roll made at the craps table by the shooter. If the come out roll is a 7 or 11, pass line bets win immediately. If the come out roll is a 2, 3 or 12, pass line bets immediately lose.
If any number other than a 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 is rolled on the come out roll, the resulting number becomes the point. That number remains the point until the shooter either rolls a 7 or rolls the point number again.
The pass line bet is the most basic bet in craps, and the one bet that defines the structure of the game. To make a pass line bet, players must place a bet on the pass line before the come out roll. If that roll results in a 7 or 11, all pass line bets win even money. If the come out roll is a 2, 3 or 12, the pass line bet loses.
On all other results, the pass line bet remains active. The player will now win the pass line bet if the shooter can roll the point a second time before they roll a seven. If this occurs, the bet still wins at even money odds; if a seven is rolled first, the pass line bet loses.
A don’t pass bet is essentially the opposite of a pass line bet. This bet wins on a come out roll of 2 or 3, while it loses on a roll of 7 or 11 (a 12 is considered a push for this bet). If a point is rolled instead, the player now wins if a seven if rolled before the point is rolled a second time.
The don’t pass bet is often considered betting the “wrong way,” as most players tend to stick to the pass line bet. This means that don’t pass bettors will normally be winning when the rest of the table loses, and vice versa.
If a player has an active pass line bet and a point is rolled, players have the option of “taking the odds” behind their pass line bet. This bet pays off if the point is rolled before a seven. However, the odds on this bet are better than on the pass line bet: taking the odds pays 2-1 on a point of 4 or 10, 3-2 on a point of 5 or 9, and 6-5 on a point of 6 or 8. These odds are exactly fair, meaning that there is no house edge on this bet. Typically, players may only bet somewhere between 3x and 5x their pass line bet on the odds bet.
There is a similar bet that can be made behind active don’t pass bets. These bets, known as “laying the odds,” offer the same zero house edge as taking the odds, and pay out if a seven is rolled before the point.
The house edge in craps varies depending on the types of bets you want to make. The lowest house edge comes on the don’t pass bet, which carries an advantage of 1.36% for the casino. The pass line bet is similar, having a house edge of 1.41%. The difference between these two figures is almost undetectable, so even many knowledgeable players choose to make pass line bets in order to stay on friendly terms with the rest of the table. In online craps, where this isn’t a factor, the don’t pass bet is simply slightly better for players.
It is also worth reiterating the odds bets have no house edge, giving neither the player nor the casino any advantage over the long run. However, since the player must first make a pass or don’t pass bet in order to take advantage of the odds, the house always retains a small edge.
A come bet is the same bet as a pass line bet. However, it is made at any time other than before a come out roll. This allows the player to make a bet that is mathematically the same as a pass line bet at any time, and also includes the ability to take odds if a point is rolled. Similarly, there is also a don’t come bet that’s the same as the don’t pass bet, only made on rolls other than the come out roll.
A place bet is similar to an odds bet, but may be made at any time on any point number of your choosing. However, the place bets do not pay out as well as the odds bets, meaning that there is a house edge on each of these bets. The house edge is lowest on place bets on 6 or 8 (which pay 7-6 odds) and highest on points of 4 or 10 (which pay 9-5).
Hard way bets are wagers that an even number will be rolled with the same number on each die before that number is rolled any other way or a seven is rolled. For instance, to win a hard way bet on six, the shooter must roll 3-3 before rolling 2-4, 1-5, or any seven.
At most online casinos, Hard 6 and Hard 8 pay out at 9-1, while Hard 4 and Hard 10 pay out at 7-1. Interestingly, most casinos in Australia actually pay out slightly better (9.5-1 and 7.5-1 respectively).
The field bet is a bet on a single roll. If the roll results in a 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11, the bet wins at even money odds. If the roll results in a 2, the bet pays 2-1. If the roll results in a 12, the bet pays 3-1. All other numbers lose. Overall, this bet has a house edge of about 2.78%.