Walk through any major casino resort, and the center of attention will usually be the craps table.
The classic dice game is played with more enthusiasm and excitement than any other game on the floor because it’s one of the only casino gambles to bring the entire table together.
Most gamblers playing craps end up going for the same bet, which means the whole table wins or loses together.
This communal spirit of cooperative gambling is unique to craps and forms the basis for the game’s greatest appeal — camaraderie. When the shooter is on their game and point numbers are being punched out left and right, everybody ringing the craps table enjoys the experience together.
It’s no wonder craps remains one of the most frequented table games among tourists and gambling experts alike. Additionally, the game’s base structure actually forms one of the most reasonable gambles in the casino.
By exercising discipline and sound strategy, players can stretch a basic $100 buy-in over hours of play while enjoying the potential for huge profits to boot.
Indeed, craps is a casino staple for many reasons. But craps still has plenty of facts waiting to be discovered by curious players.
Don’t take my word for it, though. Read on to learn about four amazing craps facts that nobody tells you about.
1 – Craps Offers Some of the Best – and Worst – Bets in Any Table Game
If you ask around with a diverse group of gamblers, you’ll probably hear two prevailing opinions on the merits of craps:
“Only tourists and suckers roll dice. Craps is a money pit defined by longshot bets and losses that pile up in a hurry.”
“I love craps because it’s such a sensible game. I only need three basic bets, and my average house edge falls under 1%… It’s a beautiful thing.”
The biggest secret about craps is that both of these players are technically correct. This game is all about perspective.
Check out the table below to see how many of the most common craps bets stack up, both in terms of payout and casino house edge.
Payouts and House Edge Rates for Common Craps Bets
Odds -4, 10
2 to 1
Odds -5, 9
3 to 2
Odds -6, 8
6 to 5
Don’t Pass/Don’t Come
1 to 1
1 to 1
Place 6, 8
7 to 6
Field (3:1 on 12)
1 to 1
Place 5, 9
7 to 5
Place (2:1 on 12)
1 to 1
Place 4, 10
9 to 5
Big 6, 8
1 to 1
Hard 6, 8
9 to 1
7 to 1
Hard 4, 10
7 to 1
Hi-Lo (2 or 12)
15 to 1
3; Yo-leven (11); Easy Hops
15 to 1
2; 12; Hard Hops
30 to 1
4 to 1
As you can see, craps bets fall into two distinct camps, which I’ve highlighted using an underline above.
In the first camp, you’ll find the game’s two even-money base bets — the Pass Line (1.41% house edge) and the Don’t Pass Line (1.36%). You also have the Odds bet, a follow-up wager that can only be placed after you take one of the base bets and a point number is established by the shooter.
The Odds is so named because it pays off at true odds — or the exact odds that match each number’s probability of landing.
Whenever true odds are paid, the house holds a null house edge of 0.00%, putting the Odds bets in craps among the very best any casino player can face.
Players looking to have a little fun on the post-point rolls can also opt for a Place bet on 6 and/or 8 for 1.52% house edge. And even the Field (3 to 1 payout on 12) bet is decent at 2.78%, while the Place on 5 and/or 9 is reasonable at 4.00%.
On the other hand, all of the more well-known craps wagers — the Hard 8s, Yo-levens, and other exotics — are terrible in terms of the odds. You might have a chance to win 15 to 1 on your money backing the Hi-Lo (2 or 12) bet, but the 11.11% house edge makes it worse than most penny slot machines.
Knowing the best bets in craps is an essential skill, and that’s a task made much easier when you learn the secrets found in the table above.
2 – There’s an Easy Way to Score More Than the Maximum Odds
Because the Odds bet offers the house no edge at all, casinos tend to cap these wagers with a limit of 5x your original bet.
A few casinos in Vegas — the Cromwell and Casino Royale — still use the old 100x odds, but the standard today is a 5x limit.
But in a certain scenario known as “breakage,” you can bet more than those 5x odds on the 6 or 8.
Here’s how it works.
With a $5 Pass Line bet and $25 on the Odds for a point number of 5 or 9, the casino has to pay you 3 to 2 true odds when the point is hit again. However, in this case, 3 to 2 odds on a $25 wager comes to a $37.50 payout.
Craps tables don’t bother with quarters or half-dollars, though, so the house would be forced to round up or down. Neither option is attractive. The house never likes paying more than it needs to, while paying less violates gaming regulations, so many casinos use the breakage rule, allowing players to bet $30 on the Odds to create an even $45 payout.
3 – An Atlantic City Gambler Set the World Record for Longest Roll
Patricia Demauro prefers to play the slots, but in May of 2009, the New Jersey native took $100 to a craps table in Atlantic City’s Borgata casino.
What happened next made gambling history.
Demauro started her roll at 8:13 p.m. local time and set a point number of 8. Over the next 4 hours and 18 minutes, Demauro could do no wrong, hitting 25 point numbers in all before she finally sevened out.
Her continuous craps session lasted for 154 consecutive rolls without a seven out, smashing the old Guinness Book of Records mark of 3 hours and 6 minutes set by Stanley Fujitake in 1989.
4 – Fujitake and His Fellow Golden Arms Meet Every Year to Test Their Rolling Skills
After establishing the first documented craps world record with 118 consecutive rolls, Fujitake was minted as Las Vegas royalty.
The California casino in Downtown Las Vegas parlayed the feat into a running promotion by crowning Fujitake as a “Golden Arm.” That honor was reserved for any player who rolled for one hour straight without sevening out, and eventually, the club grew to include a few dozen so-called “dice controllers” who still meet up every year at the California.
Whether players like Fujitake, Richard Favela, and their fellow Golden Arms can successfully use dice control is a matter of debate.
Craps is such a complex and layered gambling game that it’s no surprise to see it holds many facts that most players don’t know about. From the mathematical underpinnings that offer players a double-edged sword to world-record rolls that beat 1 in a trillion odds to a close-knit club of craps legends convening every year in Sin City, this casino classic definitely deserves the title.
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