How to Approach a Craps Table without Fear

Shedding the Fear: Learn how to play Craps in 3 easy steps.

Learn How to Play Craps in 3 Easy StepsAre you one of those people who finds the Craps table entirely too intimidating to approach? Don’t worry, if that’s the case, you’re actually among the majority, especially when you consider most of today’s proficient craps players were once in the same boat.

I, myself, suffered from craps table anxiety. About 5 years ago, I took the advice of a very wise man. It’s the same advice I’m going to give you today. Because believe me, all it takes is a little knowledge and courage to become one of the exuberant participants you oft admire from afar.

How to Play Craps in 3 Easy Steps

I’m going to make the safe assumption that you know how to read. You’re reading this now, right? I’m also going to guess that you are familiar with the use of a website called Youtube. If I’m correct in both of these postulations, then congratulations—you can learn how to win craps the easy way.

Step 1: Read ‘Beat the Craps Out of the Casino

That’s right, I want you to get a book. I’m not going to sit and here and try to explain how to play Craps to you. Truth is, I’ve tried that before, but my teaching abilities are nowhere near that of legendary gambler Frank Scoblete, renowned author of Beat The Craps Out Of The Casino.

This is the book that taught me to play. It’s taught countless others, too, evident by the esteemed accolade of being the “#1 best-selling craps title of all time”. Frank knows the game inside and out, and he knows how to teach on a beginner level.

You can usually find Beat The Craps Out Of Casinos on Thriftbooks.com for $3-$4. If they’re out of stock, try Amazon, eBay, your local book store, even the library. Find it, get it, read it.

Step 2: Watch Michael Shackleford on Youtube

If you’re not familiar with the name Michael Shackleford, maybe you’ll know him by his online moniker, ‘The Wizard of Odds‘. No one knows game rules, odds, and etiquette better than the Wizard. Luckily for us, he’s made a series of Youtube videos to help spread his knowledge.

You’ll want to start with this one: Craps Part One – Approaching the Table

This video starts by removing the intimidating stigma around the game. It will teach you how to approach a table, when and how to buy chips, where to place them, how to bet them, and everything else newbies are too scared to ask in a live casino.

Step 3: Start Playing Craps

Now that you know how to play craps, it’s time to put all that knowledge to good use. Don’t get too eager, though. Craps is full of house bets, aka sucker bets. Start slow, only placing wagers with the lowest house edge.

I don’t recommend doing anything beyond the Pass Line, and a Place Bet on 6 or 8. Here’s why:

The Pass Line Bet is the base wager on a new shooters’ come out roll. If it’s a 7 or 11, you win. If it’s a 2, 3 or 12, you lose (“Crap Out”). But if it’s anything else, it establishes the roll as The Point. The bet then becomes a wager that The Point will roll again before a 7. If so, you win. If not, you lose (“Seven Out”).

A Place Bet on 6 or 8 is usually made after a Point is established. Place bets are said not to be “working” until after the come out roll. Once the Point is established, tell the dealer you want to bet on Place 6 and Place 8. These are two separate wagers, requiring two bets. Make your wagers in increments of $6 ($6, $12, $18, etc.) The 6 or 8 will pay out 7-to-6, and the dealer will round down to the nearest dollar on payouts. Fail to bet in 6s and you’re losing money.

Tip: Do not make the mistake of betting on Big 6 or Big 8. These are the exact same bets, but only pay even money, giving them a house edge of 9%. Stick to the Place 6 or 8, where the 7-to-6 pays deliver a much more affable 1.5% edge.

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