The game of Craps requires no more equipment than a pair of six-sided dice. However, the version played in modern casinos, which is officially known as “Bank Craps,” involves a bit more elaborate set up. There will be a Craps table with a special betting layout and padded walls, where from one to 14 players can stand.
As many as four “dealers” may manage the game, one of whom will be the “stickman,” who ferries the dice around the table using a long wooden stick with a curved end. A bowl containing five dice will be present, as will plastic “lammers” or “pucks” used to indicate which areas of the table are in play (“On/Off”).
The Role of the Shooter
The player who throws the dice at the Craps table is known as the “shooter.” Players take turns in this role, according to specific rules of play. It is possible to defer the responsibility and pass the opportunity along to the next person clockwise, but most Craps players find that “rolling the bones” is one of the most exciting parts of the game.
The stickman uses the “whip” to push five dice to the new shooter. With one hand, never two, the shooter will select any two of the dice to use. The stickman will then scoop back the other three, taking them out of play.
Next, wagers are made by all of the players on the betting areas of the table. The On/Off lammer will indicate “Off” for those areas of the table that are not in play, notably the six “box numbers” (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) and Come/Don’t Come. Most wagering will be on the Pass/Don’t Pass area, betting for the shooter to win (“right betting”) or lose (“Wrong betting”), with some stakes placed on “C&E,” which is Craps (2, 3, or 12) and 11.
Once all of bets are down, a dealer will call, “Shooter coming out, no more bets.” The shooter will then toss the dice to the end of the table farthest away. Both of the dice must strike the far wall and bounce off in order for the roll to count. If a die fails to reach the end of the table or bounces off out of play, the dealer calls “no dice” and a re-throw is required. Similarly, should a die land “cocked” atop some chips, a re-throw may be necessary if the dealer cannot tell which face is up.
Making the Point
When the come out roll is “clean,” the dealer will announce the result. Winners will be paid and losing bets will be raked in. If the roll establishes a Point, the lammer is flipped to the On position above the corresponding box number on the table. This opens the betting on all of the sections of the table previously out of play. Pass and Don’t Pass bets remain in place, but betting here is not allowed after a Point has been established. Instead, Taking Odds on the apron behind the original bets is possible, and the Come and Don’t Come areas are available for wagering.
Next, the two dice are returned to the shooter, more wagering takes place, and the shooter continues a series of rolls with betting intervals in between until the Point is made or a 7 is rolled, whichever occurs first. At that time, all bets will be paid, cleared, or frozen in place, the lammer will revert to OFF, and a new come out rolls will follow.
The shooter continues to hold the dice and roll, even if crap numbers (2, 3, or 12) show on the come out, which is a loser for Pass Line bets. Throwing craps or “yo-leven” (11) after the Point has been established has no affect on the series of rolls. The only time the shooter loses the dice is upon throwing a seven before rolling the established point. In that case, the dealer will call “seven out” (not “crap out”), and the next player clockwise will be offered the dice.