What is the Casino Game of Craps?

No game can generate excitement and draw a crowd like the craps tables in a casino. If excitement, noise, crowds and gambling in a social environment is your thing, then craps should be your game. From Nathan Detroit and his floating crap game in the musical “Guys and Dolls” to the high roller tables at the world’s finest casinos, nothing can raise the mood to a fever pitch like a good crap game.

Craps is a dice game that has origins dating as far back as the crusades and to an English game called “Hazard.” Hazard was brought to New Orleans in the early 1900’s by Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, where it slowly evolved into the game that is now known as craps. Called “Crapaud” (which means toad in creole), it was eventually shortened into “Craps.”

Craps is a game that involves placing bets on the out come of the roll of two dice or a series of rolls of two dice. Modern Craps is a busy, fast paced game with a great variety of possible bets. To play craps well and have a reasonable chance to win, players must become familiar with the various bets allowed in craps and how the different bets are marked out for placement on the printed felt that covers the craps table. Craps also has several rules of play and rules of etiquette that must be observed when playing craps in a casino. There is a lot more involved in craps than the simple roll of the dice.

The game is run by a crew of 4 in most casinos. There is a “Boxman” who protects the chips, supervises the dealers and exchanges stacks of small denomination chips for larger denomination chips in order to control the chips that are in play on the table. There are 2 “Dealers”, one on either side of the boxman, who are responsible for paying winning bets and collecting losing bets. Finally, there is a “Stickman”, who stands across the table from the boxman. His job includes taking the “Center Table” bets (Hard Way, Craps, Horn etc.), announcing the results of the rolls, collecting the dice after the rolls with his long wooden stick (hence, the name “Stickman”) and directing the dealers in the payment of winning center table bets. An experienced craps crew works like a well-oiled machine, directing the game with precision and ease while calling out bets and rolls in their own personal version of the unique language of the craps game.

Each round of the craps game commences with the “Come Out” roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 on the first roll, they win and if the shooter rolls a 2,3 or 12, this is called “Craps” and the shooter loses. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled the shooter establishes what is known in craps as the “Point. If a point is established, the round continues until the shooter craps out or hits the point again.