Know the basics of playing and enjoying craps

Casinos attract all sorts of people from all walks of life with all sorts of reason for their patronage. Whether your interest is in games of skills, like blackjack or a game of chance, like craps, it is always good to know and understand a little more about your choice.

Its roots may have come from England way back the time of the Crusades, but the American version popular today may have come from landowners of French descent. In fact, its name originally the French word for toad, crapaud, since people in the early times played it crouched on a street or the floor.

Craps in a casino is played around a table with one or more players betting against the house. House employees at a craps table can be as few as two to as many as four, usually depending on the number of players, and stand on the opposite side of the players. The table features markings where the bets may be placed, and sides or walls against which the dice are thrown.

What the game basically entails is for each of the players to take turns in being shooter, or throwing a pair of dice. Winnings are obviously based on bets made vis-a-vis the results of the throw. It must be noted that the house will require the shooter to throw with one hand and to make sure that the pair of dice bounce against the far wall of the table. This is to avoid any dice switching or making a controlled throw, thus influencing the outcome and affecting the fairness of the game. This is supposed to be a game of chance, after all.

The game is played in rounds with two phases, the come-out and the point. The player must pick his bet for each round, whether Pass (also called Win or Right) or Don't Pass (alternately termed Don't Win or Wrong). The come-out part begins with a player picking the two dice and making the throw. A result of two, three or 12 is termed crapping out or craps, and all Pass bets lose. A seven or 11 is called a natural and means victory for the Pass bets. All the other results mean a point, leading to the similarly-termed second phase. At this part, another point must be hit before a seven for the Pass bets to win. When the Pass bet wins, it follows that the Don't Pass wagers lose, except when a 12 comes up, in which case Don't Pass wagers neither win or lose.

Bets may be made between rolls but not after the dice has been given to the shooter.

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