The very basics of craps

Craps is likely the most intimidating game for new gamblers, and even to people who have played online but never in a real casino. There are so many possible bets to make, people are wedged tightly around the crowded table, the dealers speak in lingo specific to the game and the area gets LOUD. It all seems so confusing that most first-time visitors don't even attempt to play the dice.

That's a shame, because craps can be the funnest game in the entire casino. If you're lucky enough to take part in a hot roll of the dice, you're almost certain to come away with a great story to tell.

In truth, the game isn't that complicated. There are more than 30 possible bets a player could choose to make, but there are only a handful that are worth making. The great majority of available wagers carry a huge house advantage. We can ignore these sucker bets and make the game of craps a lot easier to understand. In fact, for our purposes we're going to keep thing even more simple and look at how to make the two most basic craps bets there are. Learn how these work and you'll be able to join the crowd at the dice table without feeling hopelessly lost.

The game in theory

The basics of craps are so very simple -- which is funny, considering how complicated the table looks. At the start of a turn a pair of dice are rolled to get a total, called the "point." The players then bet on whether or not the point will be repeated on susbsequent rolls before a 7 is rolled.

That's oversimplifying the game, and doesn't take into account certain numbers that cannot be made the point, but it should give you the gist. If you're interested in walking through craps bets and rolls step by step, get started with the lesson below:

1. Getting started: The come-out roll »
Mirage Las Vegas