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Understanding the craps tableOff all the table games in a casino, the craps table is probably the most complicated one to look at. There are bets here there and just about everywhere on the craps table, and no proper visual explanation about where and what can go. More details below.
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The craps table
The first thing you may notice is that you only need a little more than half the table to actually play. One end of the table is simply a mirror image of the other (except for the middle area which is shared by players at both ends of the table). The reason for this duplicate and split is simply so that the casinos can have players gathered around each end of the craps table, thus allowing more people to be able to play at any given time.
At each end of the table you'll see the PASS LINE and its 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'. Remember, you can see our Craps Guide page for full explanations of the popular craps terms/jargon.
In the center of the table are the proposition bets. Here you'll find very specific bets such as the hardway, C and E (Craps and 11), any seven, and several others. These are all described as 'next roll' bets (they are resolved on the very next roll of the dice, not when the point is made or the round ends).
One of the most confusing aspects of the craps table, and the whole game of craps for that matter, are the 'don't' bets. The don't PASS bet is the exact opposite of the PASS line bet. It 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 for a win with a bet for a loss.
So, how does the casino offer this without the game being easily exploitable? Easy, the payoffs are slightly altered in each case, so even if you win, you don't get paid quite as much as you should have if the bet were fair. The only bet that is offered which is fair is the 'free odds' bet, and this bet is never even mentioned anywhere on the craps table layout. If you're in an actual casino, some dealers will be nice and let you know about or remind you of the 'free odds' bet.
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