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Craps is definitely one of the most widely played games of chance today. It's fast, fun, extremely exciting and undoubtedly draws the big table crowds at the casinos. It's easy to learn to play craps; so come with us as we quickly go through the few steps that it takes to have you playing craps like an expert in no time.

The Craps Table
It's hard to miss the craps table at a casino. It's usually very large, about three times the size of a blackjack table, with high sides and a sunken playing area.

(Click here for a view of a standard craps table)

The layout allows bettors to be on both sides of the table and a standard craps table can easily accommodate 10 or 12 players (who'll all be standing around the table). Generally, players don't sit unless they are a "super high roller" or have a physical impairment of some sort.

Four casino employees known as the "crew" usually run the table. Two dealers stand on the inside of the table. Each is responsible for changing cash into chips and collecting and paying off bets on their half of the table. In between the dealers sits the 'Boxman'. He overseas all the actions, settles any disputes and supervises the other three employees. He also examines the dice that go off the table (make sure they weren't switched). The 'Stickman' stands directly across from the Boxman on the other side of the table and handles the dice with a long curved stick, pushing them to the player that's about to roll, or retrieving them after they've been rolled. The Stickman also calls the rolls (announces what numbers were rolled), attends to the bets in the center of the table and basically controls the tempo of the game.

The steps as you play craps
So lets play craps!! A "round" of craps play begins when the Stickman offers five or six dice to one of the players. The player selects two of them and becomes the "Shooter". This is the player that will generate all of the action for that round, the same action that all the other players will be betting on.

Before the dice is rolled, the Shooter is required to make a line bet (on either the pass line or the don't pass line - see diagram above). The other players will also be placing their bets on the layout at the same time. We'll be looking at Craps Betting in detail very soon.

Before that however, lets look at a few legalities and rules. In order for a roll to be considered legal, the Shooter must throw/fling/roll the dice so that they rebound on the opposite wall. The first roll in craps play by the shooter is known as the "Come Out Roll", and there are a few ways that players can win or lose on this roll. These rules will be discussed in more detail in our Craps Rules section.

If the round continues after the Come Out Roll, then the number (total of the two dice) that the Shooter rolled becomes the "Point". The Dealers then place a puck atop that Point number on the layout, with the "ON" side of the puck facing up. This reminds players where the Point is. Basically, every time the Shooter rolls and gets the Point, depending on the bets made, players will win or lose. To better understand how to play craps with regard to the Come Out Roll, we'll now look more closely at Craps Rules.

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