How to Play the Dice Game Called CRAPS
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How to Play the Dice Game Called CRAPS

How to play Craps which is a kind of dice game.

Dice are the most ancient gambling implements known to man, and the most universal, having been known in nearly all parts of the world since earliest times. Today they are used in some games of skill, such as Backgammon, but are used chiefly in gambling games. The principal dice games are craps, chuck-luck, poker dice, liar dice, and yacht.

In the United States the most popular dice game is CRAPS.


Any number from two up. The players in most games form a circle around some reasonably level area, called the center, into which the dice are cast. The players bet among themselves. In gambling houses, the players ar grouped around a large table resembling a billiard table, stenciled with a layout showing where bets should be placed and what odds are paid. All bets must be placed against the house.


Two matched dice. Each should be a cube, marked on its respective faces with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 dots, so that the dots on opposite faces always total 7. If the 2 side is vertical and facing you, with 4 on top, 1 should be at your right and 6 at your left.

The Play

1. The player who starts the game places in the center whatever he wishes to bet and announces its amount, as by saying, “I’ll shoot (so much).” Any other player or players may fade such portions of the bet as they wish, by placing that amount in the center with the shooter’s bet. Any part of the bet not faded is withdrawn by the shooter. No more than the amount offered may be faded.

2. The shooter shakes the dice in his hand and rolls them in the center.

3. The faces of the dice, when both stop rolling, determine the result of the roll. The shooter wins if his first roll is 7 or 11 (a natural); he loses if it is 2, 3, or 12 (craps); he has a point to make if it is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. When he gets a point, the result is not yet decided. He must pick up the dice and roll them again and again, as often as necessary; and he will win if his point appears again before a 7, but will lose if a 7 appears first. All intervening rolls are meaningless.

4. When the shooter loses (misses), those who faded him take such part of the center bets as belong to them (always exactly double the amount they bet, for all center bets at even money). When the shooter wins (passes), all the money in the center belongs to him and he may make another center bet if he wishes, increasing or decreasing his previous bet as he sees fit; but no one is ever forced to bet, and he may give up the dice if he prefers.

5. The shooter loses the dice when he gets a point and fails to make it. In this case, or when he voluntarily passes the dice, the player at his left becomes the next shooter.

6. There are many bets in a crap game in addition to the center bets. Players bet with the shooter or among themselves as to whether or not the point will be made. They also make bets on whether or not the shooter will “come” (“right”, meaning to win, or “wrong”, meaning to lose) beginning with his next roll, as though there had been no previous roll. For example, the shooter’s point is 6, and a player bets he is “right, coming out.” The next roll is 11. This has no effect on the center bets, which can be settled only by a 6 or a 7, but it wins the come bet, for it has the function of the first roll and as such is a natural.

7. Many other bets are placed on what numbers will or will not appear on the next roll or series of rolls, but most of these bets have no actual relationship to the game.

Craps Irregularities

A roll is void if either die rolls outside the center so that its face cannot clearly be seen; or if a die is cocked by resting against any obstruction in such a way that it is doubtful which face is upward.

Adapted from: Hoyle’s Rules Of Games, Edited by A.H. Morehead & Geoffrey Mott-Smith, © 1958, The New American Library Of World Literature, Inc., Signet Book

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