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Understanding the Craps Table
The craps table is by far the most complicated thing to look at of all the table games in the casino. There are bets spread all over the place, no explanation at all as to what you're betting will happen when you put your money there, extra pieces like that puck thing with words on it, miniature bets in the middle of the table that you can't even see but have to know the name of ahead of time to bet, or should I say, the nickname.
Like nicknames of bets, there are a lot of little things craps players don't want you to know unless you're already another craps player. Don't let that intimidate you, knowing different names for bets doesn't help you win more money, and as much as girls might like to see you act cool at the craps table, they'll like you making money more.
Let's have a proper look at the craps table:
The first thing you'll notice is that you only need a little more than half the table to play. One end of the table is simply a mirror image of the other, except for right in the middle of course, which is shared for both ends. The reason for this split is simply so that the casinos can have players gathered around each end of the craps table, enabling more people to play.
At each end of the table you'll find the PASS line and it's counterpart, the Don't PASS line. There is also a spot for COME bets and the Field. You'll also notice large squares for each of the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. These are all the numbers that could be the point.
In the center of the table are the proposition bets. Here you'll find very specific bets like the hardways, C and E (Craps and 11), any seven, and more. These are all 'next roll' bets, meaning they are resolved on the very next roll of the dice, not when the point is made or the session ends.
One of the most confusing aspects of the craps table, and the whole game of craps for that matter, is the appearance of these 'don't' bets. The don't PASS bet is the opposite of the PASS line bet, and wins when the other loses. There is also the 'don't come' bet. You can bet on the numbers on the table to win or to lose. In fact, you can counter almost any bet you make with a bet that will win when it loses. How can the casino offer this without offering an exploitable game? Easy, the payoffs are slightly altered in each case so that, even if you win you don't get paid quite as much as you should have if the bet were fair. It's kind of like the casino offering a coin toss that cost five dollars to bet on. If you lose, the casino takes the five bucks, but if you win, the casino only pays you $4.50. That's quite obviously not fair, but the same thing happens at every table in the casino. The only bet that is offered which is fair is the 'free odds' bet, which you'll notice, is never mentioned anywhere on the craps table layout.