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Craps Variations

Here are some variations on Craps, which you may come across in a casino or as a private game.

A number of Craps variations have been developed, said to make the game simpler.  You may come across them in some casinos who may give you the line that the odds are better than standard Bank Craps.  Don't believe it.  Gimmicks on casino games are always used to give the casino a better edge.

 

Crapless Craps

Also known as Bastard Craps.  This is a simplified version of Craps, which can be found in some casinos and which can also be played as a private game.

As in standard Craps the player throwing the dice is known as the shooter and the initial throw is known as the come out throw. In this version craps (2, 3 or 12) and the natural 11 on the come out throw are taken to be point numbers. So a throw of 7 on the come out throw wins, any other number becomes the point and the shooter wins if he throws it again before throwing a 7.

The shooter is actually at an even greater disadvantage by almost four times than in standard Craps, with a house edge of 5.38%.

You can also bet that 2, 3, 11 or 12 will be thrown before a 7 (place bets).  2 and 12 pay at odds of 11 to 2 with a house edge of 7.143%.  3 and 11 pay at odds of 11 to 4 with a house edge of 6.25%.

Free odds (the correct true odds) are given on 2, 3, 11 and 12 when you also bet that the shooter will throw a 7 on the come out roll or make his point (bet the pass line).  These odds are 6 to 1 on a 2 or 12, and 5 to 1 on a 3 or 11.   

 

Simplified Craps

In this game a player simply wins if he throws 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 or 12 and loses if he rolls 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9.  The players disadvantage in the number of winning combinations is repaid in the payoffs which are.

        Total         Payoff

  • 2              3 to 1
  • 3 or 4       1 to 1 (evens)
  • 10 or 11    2 to 1
  • 12            5 to 1

The player is still at a disadvantage with the overall house edge at 2.8%. Operators not satisfied with their edge sometimes change the odds on a total of 12 to a more modest 3 to 1. New York mob games were known to pay even money on totals of 10, and 4 to 1 on a total of 12.

 

High Point Craps

In this version of Craps an initial roll of 2 or 3 is ignored and the player must roll again until another total is made. A roll of 11 or 12 wins automatically.  Any other total becomes the point and the player rolls again and must throw a total higher than the point to win.  Pay-offs are even money.  The house edge on this game is 2.35%.

 

Die Rich Craps 

A fairly recent variation on Craps is the game of Die Rich Craps, played with only one die.  For details of how to play this version of the game, click on Die Rich Craps.

 

Open Craps, Fading Craps or Money Craps

This is a big money game played in the same way as Private Craps but with certain bets only made against the book. The book is the person taking the bets. The percentage of the money gambled that the book takes is known as vigorish. The term is derived from the vigour in which gamblers paid and the strong profit it brought in. Typically an illegal game it is bankrolled by someone and players gather at an agreed location for the game. The stakes played for can often exceed the house limits found in casinos and bets are made with cash.

The table layout in a gambling house only has a Lose Line, a Win Line and the box numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. A makeshift table outside a gambling house might just have the numbers painted on to it. Bets on the point can be made as side bets among the players. In fact players don't have to play the house or book at all and so can play without a house percentage but typically gamblers can't make all their bets when they want to without another player taking them. This is when a player gets frustrated and places their bets with the book. The book makes his money by charging a percentage of the right money wagered (usually 5%).

 

New York Craps

This version of the game is played on the East coast of the USA and was found in some casinos in the UK, Yugoslavia and the Bahamas. The overall House edge is greater than for Bank Craps.

The table and layout differ from a Bank Craps table. A New York Craps table is known as a double-end-dealer. The main difference is that it doesn't have a Come or Don't Come betting space and place bets are not allowed. Players must bet on the box numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10.

Two dealers work at either end of the table. The stickman stands at the middle of the table. Two boxmen sit opposite the stickman. A Lookout, or Ladderman, will sit on a stand raised above the table.

The main difference is that bets are paid out at the true odds but the House takes 5% of all the right bets made. This percentage, like Money Craps, is known as the vigorish.

 

Scarney Craps

This version of the game was the gambling expert John Scarne's development.  The Come and Don't Come bets are eliminated from play and the House doesn't make a percentage charge on right bets.  The game was designed to increase casinos profits who didn't have the large amount of play that the big Vegas casinos had.  It was found in casinos in the Bahamas and South America. 

 

Private or Street Craps

The private game is played without a casino, House or banker but among gambling individuals who make bets between themselves.

 

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