Craps ranks as one of the most exhilarating and entertaining casino table games you’ll ever play.
Although technically defined as a game of chance because bettors can’t influence the outcome, craps can nonetheless be played strategically thanks to the diverse assortment of available bets.
But as beautifully constructed as craps is on a technical gameplay level, gamblers everywhere consider it a casino favorite based on one simple reason — it’s just so much fun.
As the shooter handles the dice and gets ready to send them tumbling, the assembled bettors wait in quiet anticipation. Everybody has different bets working, but if they’re betting on the Pass Line the way most people do, they all have one thing in common — they don’t want to see a 7 show up.
Any other number produces payouts for a few players, and everybody scores a juiced-up return on the Odds bet if the point number lands for a second time.
The dice get tossed skyward and reveal their result, sparking a round of applause and cheering around the table. Everyone’s in this thing together, winning and losing as one, creating a unique sense of camaraderie that can only be found at a crowded craps table.
Fun is definitely the name of the game for dice players, so check out the list below to learn six fun facts that can make playing the game of craps even more enjoyable going forward.
1 – Rolling a Pair of Six-Sided Dice Creates 36 Possible Combinations
Craps is played with a pair of six-sided dice, and those sides show the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
With two dice rolled and their individual totals combined, 11 final totals are possible — 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
At first glance, these figures lead many craps rookies to believe that each roll thus has 11 possible combinations that can appear.
But while there are indeed 11 possible outcomes in terms of the total, a pair of six-sided dice can use 36 possible combinations to get there.
|4||1-3, 2-2, 3-1|
|5||1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1|
|6||1-5, 2-4, 3-3, 4-2, 5-1|
|7||1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1|
|8||2-6, 3-5, 4-4, 5-3, 6-2|
|9||3-6, 4-5, 5-4, 6-3|
|10||4-6, 5-5, 6-4|
That’s because both dice represent separate entities, with Die A and Die B coming together to create final totals. When Die A shows 3 and Die B shows 4 for a 7, this is a different combination than Die A showing 4 and Die B showing 3.
2 – Seven Is the Most Likely Total; 2 and 12 Are the Most Unlikely
That neatly constructed pyramid directly above makes this fact clear as day, so we’ll keep this entry short and sweet.
On any given roll, the most likely total to show up is 7, with six unique combos creating a 16.67% chance of appearing.
To see where the other numbers stand up in terms of probability, check out the table below.
3 – Craps Players Call the 11 “Yo-Leven” or “Yo” for Short
Craps is perhaps the most verbal casino game of them all, what with a dozen players shouting out bet commands to the team of casino staff on hand supervising the game.
The dealer and stickman also need to use their voices to announce the point number and subsequent rolls, creating a steady din that defines a good craps game.
Because the rhyming words “seven” and “eleven” sound so similar, players who want to place a bet on the shooter rolling an 11 opt for the slang term “Yo-leven” instead.
You’ll also hear bettors shorten this to “Yo” when announcing their bets, as you can hear in the clip below when an unseen player asks for a “three dollar yo”.
4 – The Yo Bet Is One of the Worst in All of Craps
With a total of 36 possible dice combos in craps, only two (5-6 and 6-5) can combine to create an 11 total.
Those 36 to 2 odds can be expressed as 18 to 1 on the yo-leven landing, but craps only offers a 15 to 1 payout on the bold bet. That gulf between the true odds and payout odds ensures the yo-leven is among craps’ worst wagers with a house edge of 11.11%.
Even the widely scoffed at Hard 8 bet is better at 9.09%, and the only wagers worse than yo-leven are the “Horn” (2, 3, 11, or 12) at 12.50%, the 2 or 12 at 13.89%, and the Any 7 at 16.67%
5 – The Best Bet on the Board Is on the Odds
It’s not every day that casino gamblers can fire off a bet which faces no house edge whatsoever.
Card counters might get there on occasion, and a few rare video poker variants approach null house edge, but craps players get to enjoy the rare opportunity on almost every roll.
Well, technically speaking, of course.
After taking the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line, and once a point number is set, players can place an additional wager on the Odds. When “taking the Odds,” which requires an additional bet of up to 5x your original wager in most houses, a Pass Line bettor hopes to see the point number land a second time before the 7 shows up.
If they do, their Odds bet is paid out according to the true odds probability (2 to 1 for point numbers 4 and 10; 3 to 2 for points 5 and 9; and 6 to 5 for points 6 and 8).
These true odds payouts create a null house edge of 0.00%, making the Odds one of the best bets on any casino floor.
6 – The Longest Continuous Craps Roll Ever Recorded Took Over Four Hours
When hardcore craps players lay their head down to sleep, their dreams tend to go a little something like this.
Armed with a pair of dice that just don’t miss, they start rolling and never stop. Point numbers are nailed like clockwork, the dreaded 7 disappears, and with dozens of rolls going down on every other number, huge payouts are generated for any player backing Place bets and lucrative exotics.
The concept of an endless craps roll might seem like nothing more than a pipe dream, but not if you ask Patricia Demauro.
A native of Denville, New Jersey, and a slot player by preference, Demauro found herself growing bored with the machines at Borgata Casino in Atlantic City. With her pal playing craps nearby, Demauro decided to give dice a try for only the second time in her life.
Here’s how Demauro described her fateful “fish out of water” experience as a craps novice while speaking to Time magazine:
“There are all these terms I didn’t know.
People were yelling out ‘Yo.’
I said to John, ‘What’s a ‘Yo?’ I think that’s an 11.”
At 8:13 p.m. local time, Demauro cradled the dice and let them fly, setting a point number of 8 for the table.
She wouldn’t stop rolling until well after midnight.
Only after 4 hours and 18 minutes had passed, with 154 consecutive rolls without a 7 showing up in between, did Demauro’s dream finally end at 12:31 a.m.
The odds of a 154-roll run without sevening out have been calculated at 1 in 1.56 trillion – that’s right, trillion with a “T.”
Demauro’s run put her name in the Guinness Book of Records for longest continuous craps roll ever recorded. She shattered the old mark of 3 hours and 6 minutes set by Honolulu native Stanley Fujitake in May of 1989 at the California casino in Downtown Las Vegas.
The very essence of craps is wagering on the whims of fate. So unlike playing a game of blackjack, which is a more mechanically strategic table game, rolling dice always manages to remain fun.
You might hit a cold run here and there, but watching the red cubes crash and tumble to reveal their random results always inspires anticipation that other forms of action just can’t match.
And as one of the most fun ways to spend a session in the casino, it’s no surprise to discover so many fun facts about the game of craps.