Even if you enter blindfolded in a highly-crowded casino, you won’t have any problems locating a craps table, especially when the dices are red-hot. All you need to do is follow the cheers, shouts and screams and you’ll find yourself right next to one! Nothing denying the fact that the jackpot winners (at the slot machines) are usually the loudest people in a casino, but nothing beats the collective cheer and excitement of players at craps tables. While blackjack players can be seen sharply focused on their hands, showing extreme levels of concentration, craps players are usually uninhibited in nature and don’t mind letting it go when they lose or win collectively.
Conversely, a casino can’t be any duller when the dices are cold at the craps tables. Let’s imagine that you enter a casino at peak hour and see only 4/5 sober people at the big craps table for 24! The chances are high that the loser 7s have been turning up a little too frequently!
Craps is a type of dice game that involves players making bets on the particular outcomes of dice rolls, or a series of many dice rolls using a pair of dice. The players are free to place bets against each other (a type of play that is referred to as rolling dice, shooting dice or street craps) or play against the bank, in which case the game type is referred to as simply craps, table craps or casino craps. Since it doesn’t require any complicated equipment, players can even play street craps in less formal settings.
Craps is also amongst the fastest moving of all the casino table games. While a busy blackjack table can run anywhere close to 60 hands every hour, you can expect around 100 decisions per hour at a craps table. That combined with the common tendency of craps players to place simultaneous bets, it means that the game of craps (especially when played in an off-line or an online casino of the Bet365 kind and others) requires a seriously large bankroll compared to the other table games. What more, craps offers some of the wildest bets you can place in a casino, with a multitude of betting options.
The history of craps in brief
The game of craps was derived from a simplified form of the early English gambling game called Hazard. The origins of that game are pretty complex and can be dated back to the times of crusades or religious wars during the 11th and 15th centuries. That game was later influenced heavily by the French gamblers. Craps evolved into a modern era American version after it was brought to the United States, specifically in New Orleans by someone known as Bernard Xavier Phillippe de Marigny de Mandeville. This gentleman was an ardent gambler and a well-known politician belonging to a wealthy family of the colonial era Louisiana landowners.
However, the Bernard’s version of the Craps game had a particular flaw which could be exploited by the mischievous gamblers. Many such gamblers started exploiting the casinos by using fixed dices, and started taking undue advantage of the manner in which players could bet against or with the dice throwers. This particular flaw was later fixed by someone known as John H Winn. He introduced the betting option ‘don’t pass’ to this game in order to fix that fixed dice problem. It’s this new modified version of craps that’s increasingly played in informal settings as well as any off-line or online casino, such as Bet365, throughout the world.
This game used to be referred as crapaud earlier, which was the French term for toad, particularly in reference to the actual style of craps played by people who would crouch over a sidewalk or a floor to play the game. It became immensely famous in casinos and in the modern times owing to the kind of popularity it garnered as street craps. You can play street craps just by rolling a dice against a backstop like a stair-stoop or a curb. The dice can even be rolled without any backstop if the players prefer it that way.
The street style craps particularly gained huge popularity among the soldiers during the World War II era. The soldiers used to often play street crap using army blankets in the form of a shooting surface. As there wasn’t any sidewalk curb or backboard to hit the dices against, it resulted in certain presumed dice control methods, one of which is popularly referred to as the ‘army blanket roll.’
About bank craps
Casino craps or bank craps is a highly popular dice game you can find in almost every off-line and online casino, including the likes of Bet365. The game can be played by either just one single player or many players betting against an off-line or online casino. In an actual brick and mortar casino, you can see the casino employees and players sitting or standing around a large oval table normally referred to as the ‘craps table.’ However, sitting at a craps table is highly discouraged in all casinos unless a player is handicapped in some way.
The players normally make their bets at the craps table using their chips. The table is fitted with a tablecloth featuring a particular layout or print that displays various betting possibilities. This tablecloth is usually made of felt and the betting possibilities may vary depending on the payout, position and the bet presence in different casinos.
The craps tables are created in the shape of a bath tub and are 4.3 meter (14 feet) in length, 1.5 m (5 feet) in width and around 71 cm (28 inches) high from the floor (at their bottom, where the layout is). The distance from the rim or the top of the table to the layout at the bottom is 61 cm (24 inches).
As evident from the dimensions above, the craps tables have longer sides. Apart from that they’re oriented from left to right. One long side of the craps table houses the casino bank, holding thousands of chips that are stacked 20 high, positioned on the layout. The other or opposite long side of the table normally has an angled long mirror. The right and left U-shaped areas of the craps tables have the same betting areas that are marked on the layout as well. These U-shaped sections can accommodate up to 8 players each in standing position, or sitting occasionally on bar stools, placing their bets from both the sides. The table’s walls around the sections are normally covered with a rubber-based pattern in a pyramid -like shape. These patterns are used for randomly reflecting the dice throws from the opposite side.
Proposition bets, which are an added group of bets are placed at the middle of the layout and can be used for betting purposes by players standing/sitting on both sides of the table. The table’s top rim features horizontal grooves that can be used by players for keeping their chips horizontally when they’re not in play.
A craps table is normally run by around four casino employees detailed below:
– He/she is normally the only seated casino employee who can be seen right behind the casino’s bank and is responsible for managing the chips. He/she also supervises the dealers and is usually the person who colours-up the players (by exchanging the small chip denominations with the larger ones so as to preserve the table’s chips).
– Normally two in number, base dealers can be seen standing on either side of the box man, and are responsible for collection and payment of bets from/to different players playing from their corresponding halves of the craps table.
– This person can be seen standing directly across the position of the box man at the craps table. He/she is responsible for taking and paying (or instead directing the base dealers to do these tasks), the bets at the centre of the craps table. This person also announces the outcomes of every dice roll, normally with a distinct and unique patter. Thereafter, he/she uses a long wooden stake for moving the dice/s across the table layout.
Every casino employee also keeps an eye out for the mistakes committed by others owing to the sheer pace of the craps game and the occasional placement of a large number of bets. If one or more of such employees leave their place during the quiet times of the day or in case of smaller casinos, they ensure that they’re replaced by their peers or the player capacity is appropriately reduced at the table.
Many smaller brick and mortar casinos have introduced something known as mini craps tables that feature no lesser than two dealers. Furthermore, at such tables only a single major set of bets is placed, split by the bets placed at the centre, instead of them being placed at the centre area and the two identical sides of the table. The responsibilities of the casino employees at the table are adjusted accordingly with the stick man continuing to manage the bets placed at the centre, and the base dealer managing all of the bets apart from the chip and cash exchanges.
Street craps is quite different from the bank craps casino craps in the manner that there are no marked crap tables and the game is usually played without any backstop that the dices are forced to hit. Regardless of being known as street craps, this type of game can be often seen being played inside houses, mostly in a non-carpeted areas such as kitchen floors or garages. The bets are mostly in cash and rarely in chips, with money/bets being thrown on the ground by the involved players. You’ll never find any attendants in street craps games and hence the fairness of dice throws and the progress of game apart from the payout structures (for winning bets) are usually self-managed by the players involved.