Learn how to play craps not just the basics

It seems like every time I read something online in regards to the casino dice game craps only the basics are covered. I’m always wanting to find one site that will cover more than the basics in easy to understand terms. Unfortunately in most cases finding this information is not possible. For most people understanding the basics of craps doesn’t take long. It’s all the other options that can get players confused. This situation isn’t helped when most sites only offer explanations that are based upon mathematics. However I think many people would argue that there is much more to craps than complex mathematics. For many first time players walking into a casino this game can be kind of intimidating. It doesn’t really help that there isn’t a place to go to obtain the information you want. In the past I’ve heard about tutorials casinos will hold to try and explain the games offered. Only one time have I ever seen this in practice. When I was in Lake Tahoe for Gnomedex 4.0 I saw a tutorial being held at Harvey’s for craps. Understandably you’re most likely only going to see this occur during slower parts of the day. A casino won’t be offering a craps 101 course when the table could be in use making money.

I would never claim to be a craps expert. The first time I ever gambled in a casino was in 2004 at the Lake Tahoe casino Bill’s ( which is owned by Harrah’s ). Corey Bridges gave me $25 to sit at the blackjack table with the other Zone Labs employees. Later we headed to the Horizon across the street. This is where I first played craps. That evening and morning I also played craps several times at Harrah’s and Harvey’s in Lake Tahoe. Since then I have played craps at several other casinos in the United States. These locations are Harrah’s St. Louis, MO and Joliet, IL, Argosy Casino Sioux City, IA, Hollywood Casino Tunica, MS and the Par-A-Dice East Peoria, IL. At some of the locations above I have played a bit of slots and video poker. At the Argosy Casino in Sioux City I did decent with slots but not very good at the craps table earlier this year. The reason I’ve included this little portion of history is to show that my opinions are based upon varying experiences that I have had at several casino properties. Of course just spending time playing now and then at a craps table doesn’t mean you have a full understanding of the game.

What I will try to do with this article is provide my viewpoint and observations about the game. I’ll try to explain or at least provide good links to information that should help you get a better understanding of more than just the basic concepts in the game of craps. While I’m far from a gambling professional I think my opinion is worth a read and may give first time players a little better insight into the game. The two most common topics you will find in regards to craps is the study of mathematics and control of the dice. Most everyone states that do to the math there is no such thing as a hot table or streak. I tend to disagree with this opinion. If you actually pay attention to the action at a craps table there is no way that you can state that hot runs don’t take place. There are people who can shoot dice and others who can’t. It is really that simple. Just like a card playing session you will see up and down flows during the game play. As with any game the real secret is to know when the right time is to get your money on the table to receive your maximum value. The players I have seen making the most money at the craps table are those that have decent betting strategy. Granted some of these players came to the table with a rather sizeable bank roll to start with. While others started out with what I would call every day real person money. The craps players I see making money aren’t always making their cash with the rolls that they throw at the table. Where they are making money is knowing when a table is going to give them the maximum value. They have a betting strategy in place.

I’m not saying that learning to throw the dice better isn’t a worthwhile cause. I personally believe that some people have a slight advantage at the craps table do to their skills with the dice. What I am saying is that no matter what the math says you have to be able to read the craps table. Study the people and watch the patterns. And even though it is frowned upon at the craps table. Don’t be afraid to bet the don’t pass. You can’t take the don’t pass route as a sure bet. However recently at the Par-A-Dice in East Peoria I saw a player make a very good amount of money making don’t pass bets. This was the first time I had ever seen anyone actually play the don’t pass from what I can remember. The majority of players don’t like being bet against and many feel this is bad table karma. But honestly I think I would have made a good amount of money taking this course of betting. My thought has always been that betting strategy shouldn’t be stagnant. You should always be willing to make adjustments with the flow of the table. My biggest mistake every time I’ve entered a casino is not listening to my gut and letting my head talk me out of taking worthwhile risk. You should never risk more than you can afford or are willing to loose. Then again you have to risk money to make money in a casino. I’ve yet to fully master the idea of “it’s only money”. At this point I have a decent ratio in regards to win and loss. Most trips to a casino have been break even events. When I started playing craps I would always take the conservative fairly safe route and just play the pass line. It is possible to nickel and dime your way into the win column taking this conservative approach. Just betting the table minimum on the pass line. The reverse could be stated in that regard as well. You can easily get nickeled and dimed right out of the money you brought to the table. Much of this depends on what type of action is taking place at the table. In my opinion you need to be able to adjust your betting according to what you are seeing take place. If you can make these type of adjustments at the right time you will walk away a winner the majority of the time.

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