We dare not do away with it, but if the layout suddenly disappeared, a dice game could still be carried on. But just imagine the dealers trying to remember all the bets some dozen or more players wish to make. The crew is very good, but they are not supermen. Examine the two outside sections. Note that they are symmetrical, so a player can stand anywhere and have access to identical areas. The center section is under the control of the stickman with his proposition bets.
I am always surprised by how many visitors to a casino play with real money without understanding the rules and conditions of the games. People who spend days comparison-shopping for everything they buy, from groceries to stocks and bonds, blithely toss their money on the table without the slightest idea of where the best and worst bets are. There are over thirty different bets on a craps layout, but fewer than half a dozen offers the odds that make craps the game with the best value in the casino, exceeded only by blackjack when played by very knowledgeable players. Let’s make a study of the different bets with the idea of getting the most for our money.
How do we start? Well, each player has designated spots on the table where his bets are to be placed, either by himself or by the dealer. Once you become familiar with the layout, it’s a simple matter to locate and keep track of your bets. The stickman now announces, “The dice are coming out,” and one of the players becomes the shooter. Players’ games online become eligible to shoot as the dice travel around the table in a clockwise direction, and when a new shooter takes the dice, all players make their bets. Because most gamblers bet on the pass line with the shooter, almost everyone at the table pulls for the shooter to “make his point” or throw his winning number before he throws a seven. In craps jargon, this is called “do” or “right” side betting. “Don’t”side betting, on the Don’t Pass Bar 12 line, is also referred to by many craps players as “wrong” side betting.
To shoot, you must make at least a minimum bet on the pass or don’t-pass line. Both are shown on the layout. So when the cubes are pushed in front of you, select two and place a wager on the pass line, called the front line by inveterate gamblers, and throw the dice toward the far end of the table. When they come to rest, the numbers appearing skyward are added together and the total is called out by the stickman. The results of the initial throw, called the come-out roll, affect your wagers as well as those of all the other players since some bets can be won or lost on the first roll.
If the spots on the dice add up to 7 or 11 on the first throw a natural shooter and bettors win; they don’t bettors lose. This is called a pass and the shooter makes a new bet and continues. Should the initial throw total be called a miss, the shooter and do bettors lose; don’t bettors win and the shooter does not relinquish the dice, but makes another bet and comes out with a new roll. When the total of the come-out roll is this number becomes the shooter’s point and the number must be repeated before throwing a 7. After a point is established, a roll of 7 is a loser rather than the winner it was on the starting role. All numbers, other than the point or 7, thrown in the meanwhile are waiting for numbers and do not alter the pass-line wager in any way. Waiting numbers can be used for other betting situations, which will be discussed later. When the shooter establishes a point, the dealer places a marker called a puck on the appropriate number near the top of the layout. Since there are more ways to make a seven than any other point, the casino now has the advantage and a pass-line bet can’t be removed, although a don’t-pass bet can. A don’t bettor would be foolish to cancel his bet, however, as the odds now favor him. Never make a pass-line bet after the come-out roll, since you have lost the opportunity of winning with a natural 7 or 11 on the opening roll. For a similar reason, the house will not permit a don’t-pass bet to be made after the initial roll. You can always tell when the shooter is coming out, as the puck will be resting on the Don’t Come to Line instead of a number.