How to Play Craps – A Psychological Viewpoint

Whether you know how to play craps or don’t know how to play craps, the same emotions are going to envelop you when you do play or learn to play. When you watch all the players around the craps table, and they are screaming and yelling, you probably want to be part of it. Why? Are they having fun and you are not? Are you missing all the potential money you could be winning by not being there? The craps table is like an evil cash magnet drawing you toward it and beckoning you to come join the happy crowd and win money. If you are new to the game or don’t understand what is going on, then the closer you get the more emotions come to the surface. How to play craps – you want to know but are too scared to try.

Really, do you need the knowledge to play? First of all if you approach the table with your money and no knowledge of the game, you might as well send the money to me instead of blindly giving it to the casino. With no knowledge on how to play craps, you are going to be taken away by the excitement, the quick pace, the distractions and the chips you had in front of you are now gone. The two main emotions will set in, fear and greed. It will make you do irrational things that you will regret later when you walk away from the table asking yourself – what just happened to me? I know what happened to you, but you don’t. That is why you need to get all the knowledge you can about the game, the table layout, the different bets and the payoff you get from them. “How to play craps” becomes a very important phrase.

How do emotions play a role? Ok, you might know something about the game and have some sort of strategy or method of how to play craps. Does that make it any easier? No, it doesn’t. The emotions now are going to get even stronger. There is fear of losing too much and greed not letting you stop when you need to. These emotions will play with you and will destroy your concentration and then all your method of play goes out the window, and the casino has the last laugh. Another emotion sets in – anger. Who are you angry at all of a sudden? Yourself for not concentrating while you are playing, the casino for taking your money, yourself again for drinking alcohol while playing which is a number one “do not ever do” rule. Since craps is a fast paced game, all of this happened in just a few minutes. How to play craps and win doesn’t look as easy as you may think. Not only are you fighting the odds of the casino, but most of all you are fighting your emotional self.

Overcome the casinos!! How do you overcome all these obstacles? In order to get the emotional part under control, you need to learn the game and get a handle of how you are going to play and know it inside and out. You need to have confidence in your play and not lose your concentration while at the table. I have been playing for over 30 years, and it is still rough sometimes to get all this together. The casino will always try to distract you and make it difficult to employ your method of play. A good system on how to play craps and lots of practice helps. As with anything, hard work pays off.

About Casino Gambling – Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Slots & Craps

Casinos… Think of Las Vegas or Monte Carlo, bright lights, ritz, glamour, people winning money, but mostly people losing money! You may be intrigued by the idea of going to a casino but don’t really know too much about them – please read on to learn more about the fun of a night out to a casino…

According to Princeton University’s ‘Wordnet’, a casino is ‘a public building for gambling and entertainment’. Don’t be overawed if you do go, relax and enjoy. You will most likely have the chance to play slot machines or one-armed bandits as they are commonly known and perhaps other games of chance and some skill. One major thing that you do need to be aware of, is the way that a casino will look to tilt the odds in its favour, which is more commonly known as the casino’s “edge”. However, some games such as poker are played with players versus players and in this case, the casino cannot get an advantage as it is not effectively playing. In these circumstances, the casino will take a “rake” on the bets that players make against each other.

If you have ever been to Las Vegas and gone to one of the casinos there, the first thing that you will notice is the fact that they more often or not have the slot machines (otherwise known as ‘one-armed-bandits’ or ‘fruit machines’) right as you go in. This is because they really don’t require too much understanding to play and it’s not uncommon to see people playing these machines for hours on end. The slot machine will typically involve a lever on the side (the one arm!) and three reels with patterns of symbols on, located in the centre of the machine. The reels revolve as you pull the lever and the idea is to generate rows of matching symbols to win, having paid your required stake via the slot usually on the front of the machine.

There may be times when you will play on a machine which will have extra options available for you to use, often giving the illusion that you will have more control over the reels and a better chance of winning. This may be the case over the short-term, but always remember that playing in casinos is fun, but the house always has the long-term advantage. To give you a quick example…if you were to play a game where you had to bet on what number would lie face up after the roll of a die, then you would expect to see the casino pay six times the amount bet for a win, but in fact the casino would pay five times to maintain its advantage.

This system is often found in famous casino gambling games like Poker, Craps, Roulette or Blackjack.

Blackjack has always been played in casinos because players will play their chips against the House dealer with the successful gambler being paid against pre-determined odds (ie by getting a true ‘Blackjack’ which in other words is a two card combination adding up to 21, the House will pay you 3:2, or 1-1/2 times your initial wager). If you play fair, the chances are that you may end up with a profit, but more often than not, the casino will win, unless you count the cards. Card counting is a black art as far as casinos are concerned and if you are caught, you will be blacklisted worldwide! Effectively, because the playing cards are only used once and then discarded, anyone with a good memory and a highly analytical mind can determine their own odds that a certain card will or will not appear again, tilting the odds in his favour.

Poker is one of the most played games in the world. Its popularity has grown massively over the past couple of years and many casinos would not offer a poker game due to the fact that they were limited to taking a rake (as discussed previously). You may be aware that poker is essentially a playing card game were players are dealt poker cards face down, and then take it in turns to place bets (represented by poker chips with a specific value) based on the strength of the cards that they hold, combined with other community cards placed face up in the middle of the poker table. The player with the strongest combination should win what’s known as the pot (the combined bets of all the players for that hand), however one of the reasons that poker is so popular is the element of ‘bluffing’ where a player may actually have a poor hand, but believes that he can make his opponents believe that he has the strongest combination by means of subtle psychology! This can be as subtle as staring one’s opponent into ‘folding’ his cards, or by moving his entire stack of poker chips into the middle of the table – what’s known as ‘going all in’.

Roulette is a classic casino game, whereby a croupier gently spins a perfectly balanced, wooden roulette wheel with either 37 or 38 recessed ‘pockets’ along the bottom edge of the roulette wheel. As the wheel begins to spin, the croupier will roll a small white ball the opposite way with the intention being for the ball to bounce of raised points on the wall and to finally come to rest in one of the numbered pockets. In European casinos, the wheel’s layout features pockets numbered 1 – 36 and alternate between red and black with the number one, coloured red and zero being coloured green. However in American casinos, you are more likely to see a second double-zero 00 pocket also coloured green.

Again the House pays out against set odds displayed on the cloth covering the roulette table. Typically this will offer 35:1 for single number bets where you bet on one number to win, 2:1 for any column of numbers, and evens for any red, any black, odds or evens.

Craps can be the most fun to play and certainly watch. It’s also the fastest game in the casino with often more than 60 bets per hour. Players will wager bets against the casino on the result of a roll of a die, or the series of rolls of two dice. The great thing about craps is that you don’t have to be rolling the dice to bet, you can bet on how lucky you (hope) the guy rolling is going to be, which is why it can be so entertaining. Essentially, the guy with the dice is called the ‘shooter’ and the basic bet in craps is called the ‘Pass Line’ bet, and by rolling a 7 or 11, the shooter will roll a pass line winner, and can play again. If he rolls 2, 3 or 12, these are known as craps and this is a pass line loss. Any other number becomes the shooter’s point and he continues. It really is a fascinating game with many more rules and options.

At the end of the day, a night out to a casino can be wonderfully entertaining, but casinos have learnt over hundreds of years how to make their games very, very addictive. They are quite happy to let you win a little here and there, but they know that in the long run, it’s you that’s going to be making them happy – do take care!

Learn Casino Craps – What Are the Pieces of a Craps Table?

If you’ve ever walked through a casino, you’ve probably seen a craps table, but have you ever wondered what a craps table actually is?  What does it comprise, what are its components?

The biggest and most obvious part of the table is the bed.  Casino craps tables are generally available in 8-foot, 10-foot, or 12-foot lengths.  Along the top edge of the bed is a continuous Padded Rail on which the players can lean.  Standing at a craps table for long periods of time can become tiresome for the player, so the padded rail allows the players to rest or change body positions to ease the stress.  After all, the casino doesn’t want players to walk away simply because their feet and knees hurt.  Obviously, the casino wants players at the table as long as possible.

Adjacent to the padded rail is the wooden Chip Rack, which is usually two-racks deep with dividers about every 12-to-16 inches.  The dividers separate the chip rack into individual sections for the players.

Along the outer perimeter is a little shelf called a Drink Rail.  As the name implies, this is where players place their drinks.  Drink glasses and bottles are not allowed on the Padded Rail because of the risk of spillage onto the layout.  Not only do spills make a big mess on the layout (which the casino has to pay to get cleaned), spills delay the game which digs into the casino’s profits.  Cigarette ashtrays are also placed on the Drink Rail.

Inside the bed is the Table Layout with all the numbers and boxes onto which the players’ chips are placed.  The felt can be any color depending on the casino’s specifications.  Common colors are green, blue, and sometimes red.  Special designs and patterns can be incorporated into the layout to match the casino’s theme.  The area on the outer edge of the layout is called the Apron.

Rubber material lines the inside wall of the bed and is called Rail Rubber.  Below the rail rubber on each inside end of the table is a 6-to-8-inch wide piece of Pyramid Rubber.  This is the part of the table with all the little pyramids or spikes that are specially designed to randomly deflect the dice.  Casinos have a rule that a player must “hit the back wall” when tossing the dice.  This rule ensures the dice hit the pyramid rubber, thereby, preventing anyone from controlling the outcome of a dice roll.  Regardless of what you hear, read, or see at a live craps table, no one (NO ONE!) can consistently control the outcome of a craps roll when the dice hit the pyramid rubber.  They just can’t.  (Please read my other articles about the silly notion of “dice control” or “dice setting.”)

On the inner side of the bed across from the dealers and boxman is a mirror about 8 inches wide that runs the length of the table.  The mirror allows the dealers and boxman to see the palm side of the player’s tossing hand.  The boxman can easily see if a player is cheating by “palming” the dice, trying to introduce a crooked pair into the game.

Cut into the table layout in front of the boxman is a Money Slot for the Money Drop Box.  The money slot is about 3/8-inch wide and about 3 inches long, which is just the right size for pushing bills down into the drop box.  The boxman uses a Paddle to push the money through the slot into the money box that’s attached to the underside of the bed.  (That’s where the term “boxman” came from.)

The stickman controls a small bowl that rests on the tabletop against the wall directly in front of the stickman.  This Dice Bowl (or Dice Boat) simply holds the extra dice that are not in play.  When a new game starts, the stickman dumps the unused dice onto the table and uses his stick (or whip) to push them all (usually 6 or 8) to the next shooter.  The shooter then selects two that she thinks are lucky, and then the stickman pulls the remaining dice back and puts them in bowl.  The bowl is usually made of clear acrylic or wood.

Also considered part of a craps table are the Puck and Buttons.  The ON/OFF puck (white for the ON side, black for the OFF side) is used simply to indicate whether a new game is in progress.  If a new game is about to start, the puck is turned to the OFF side.  If a game is in progress, the puck is turned on its ON side and placed in the appropriate number box on the layout to indicate the “point” for the current game.  Small buttons about the size of a quarter are used to indicate whether a player’s bets are off or on, or whether a certain type of bet is a “buy” or “lay.”  Each button has one word engraved in it, either OFF, ON, BUY, or LAY.  Buttons help the dealer, boxman, and the eye-in-the-sky keep track of players’ bets.

Now you know all the components of a craps table!  The more you know, the more confident you’ll be when you walk up to a table.  The more confident you are, the less likely the dealers will steer you down the wrong path by enticing you to make bets with high house advantages.

Craps, a Table Game That’s So Mis-Understood Is Easy to Learn and Play – Here’s How

Many players avoid the casino game of craps at first because the large oval shaped table with numerous betting options seems a bit intimidating to table game players. Craps is actually easy to learn and fun to play, and here’s how:

Start at a five dollar minimum table. You’ll usually find them during non-peak hours. I recommend a buy-in at least 20X the table minimum. A button on the table will read ON or OFF. When it is in the OFF position, place your money on the table and ask the dealer for $5 chips. You will see seasoned players making various wagers. The most popular is the PASS LINE bet. Place a chip(s) in that area in front of you. When you hear the dealer shout “COMMIN’ OUT” that’s when the excitement starts and the designated SHOOTER will toss two dice. Here are the wagering choices:

Pass Line

If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the first roll, you win even money. If a 2, 3, or 12 appear, you lose. Any other number, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 becomes your POINT. A dealer will mark the point number with the ON button indicating game in progress. In order for you to win, the shooter must roll the point number before he or she rolls a 7. If a 7 appears before the point, the house wins. No other numbers matter on this wager, no matter how long it takes. The game will end only if a point or 7 is rolled.

Odds Bet

This is a wager every pass line bettor should take advantage of because it pays off in TRUE ODDS and has no house edge. If a point number is rolled, you will have the opportunity to take odds on that bet by placing an additional wager behind your pass line bet. Most casinos allow a double odds bet. For example, let’s say 4 is the point. There are three ways to win with the 4: 3 and 1, 2 and 2, or 1 and 3. However there are six ways to lose with a 7: 4 and 3, 5 and 2, 6 and 1, 3 and 4, 2 and 5, 1 and 6.Thus, 6/3 is a two to one payout. Your $10 double odds wager will earn you $20 plus your pass line bet if you win.

Don’t Pass

A very small percentage of players use this option. It works the exact opposite of the pass line. Here you are betting that the shooter will lose the roll. A wager on the don’t pass line will win if the come out shooter rolls a 2 or 3, push (no win/no loss) with a 12, lose if a 7 or 11 is rolled. Odds bets are available however your chances of winning are greater than losing, so you have to lay the odds instead of taking them. If a point is rolled such as 4, you win if a 7 is rolled first. This time 3/6 is a one to two payout so you would have to put up $20 to win $10 plus the don’t pass wager.

Be forewarned that only about 2% of players play the don’t pass, AKA wrong bettor. You will not have many friends at the table when betting wrong.

Come Bets

Come bets work the same way as a pass line bet but can only be made after a point is established. A 7 or 11 wins, a 2, 3, or 12 loses. Any other number becomes your come point and must be rolled before a 7 for you to win. You can also take true odds on your come point after the dealer moves your chip(s) to the appropriate number box. This wager is independent of the pass line wager and your come point may be other than your pass line point. Thus, if the shooter makes his or her pass line point, the game ends but your come point wagers remain active. If a 7 is rolled during the next come out roll, you lose the come bet but your odds are returned to you.

Don’t Come Bets

This play works the same way as a don’t pass wager after a point is established. You may also lay true odds. You want the 7 to be rolled before the don’t come point. Here is the one big exception on a don’t come bet: should the shooter win his or her pass line wager, and the don’t come point is made on the next come out roll, You not only lose your wager but your odds bet as well.

Place Bets

A wager on one or more point numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10). The bet(s) win if the number repeats before a 7 is rolled and lose if a 7 appears first. Payoffs are: 6, 8- pays 7/6, 5, 9- pays 7/5, 4, and 10- pay 9/5.

Buy and Lay Bets

A buy bet is the same as a place bet except you pay a five percent commission to the house when you make the bet but you are paid in true odds if you win. Payoffs are: 6, 8 pays 6/5, 5, 9 pays 3/2, 4, and 10 pay 2/1. A lay bet is the exact opposite of the buy bet. You must bet more to win less because your chances of winning are greater than losing.

Good Luck!

Learn to Play Craps – Tips and Strategies – Bridge Or Heel the Don’t Pass Bet?

Be smart, play smart, and learn how to play craps the right way!

If the payoff for a Don’t Pass Odds bet equals the amount of the Flat bet, then the Odds bet is bridged. The part of your Odds bet that’s equal to the Flat bet is placed directly next to the Flat bet. Then, the rest of the Odds bet is placed on top “bridging” them. For example, suppose you make a $5 Don’t Pass bet and the shooter rolls a point of 8. Knowing the true odds for the 8 are 6:5 (i.e., six ways to make a 7, and five ways to make an 8), you then lay $6 in Odds with the hope of winning $5. In this example, if you win the $6 Odds bet, you win $5, which exactly equals the amount you win with your $5 Flat bet (i.e., your $5 flat bet is even money, which means you win $5). Therefore, since your Flat bet and Odds bet win the same amount (i.e., $5 each), you bridge your $6 Odds bet by placing a $5 chip directly next to your $5 Flat bet, and then placing the $1 chip so it bridges the two $5 chips.

If the payoff for a Don’t Pass Odds bet doesn’t equal the amount of the Flat bet, then the Odds bet is heeled. This means you place the bottom chip of your Odds bet chip stack directly next to your Flat bet. Then, place all remaining Odds bet chips on top of that single chip but offset and leaning on that bottom chip (i.e., your Odds bet chip stack is crooked because it’s leaning on the bottom chip).

Confused? That’s okay, don’t get nervous. The dealer is always willing to help if you forget. After a couple of times, it all makes sense. It won’t take long before you’re a pro. If you’re not sure what to do the first time you try it, simply tell the dealer, “I want to lay some Odds but I don’t know if it should be bridged or heeled.” The dealer asks, “How much do you want to lay?” Suppose you say, “Fifteen dollars to win ten.” The dealer asks you to drop your chips on the table (dealers aren’t allowed to take anything, especially chips, directly from a player), and then he properly heels or bridges them based on the amount of your Flat bet. You’ll quickly get the hang of it. Just don’t be afraid to ask the dealer questions. His job is not only to deal, but also to be friendly and help the players.

Now you know! Remember, learn how to play craps the right way.