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 Private Craps

This game is seen in countless American movies, played by soldiers, sailors and gangsters for high stakes. Gambling is, of course, what makes this game interesting.

Private Craps isn't played in a casino but anywhere players can find enough space to throw the dice.  In fact, casino Bank Craps and Private Craps are very similar.  Read on to learn the differences.

Traditionally there is a lot of talk in craps, with players often talking to the dice, willing them to give up a winning combination, as well as a lot of terminology which should be learnt if you are going to play seriously.


The first player, who throws the dice and who is known as the shooter, places the stakes he wishes to gamble into the centre of the playing area. The other players who wish to bet, cover all or part of the shooter's stake by placing their stakes into the centre as well. This is known as fading and the players who cover the shooter's stake are known as faders.

The shooter then throws the dice. This is known as the come out throw.

If he throws a total of 7 or 11 he immediately wins. This is known as a natural.

If he throws a total of 2, 3 or 12 he immediately loses. This is known as craps.

Any other total thrown is known as the player's point and he continues to throw the dice until he either throws his point again or he throws a 7. If he throws his point first he wins. This is known as making the point. If he throws a 7 first he loses. This is known as a seven out.

If the shooter wins then he takes all the stakes in the centre. If he loses then each of the players take their stake back with an equal amount of the shooter's. These bets are known as the centre bet.

If the shooter makes a winning throw, the dice are said to pass. With a losing throw for the shooter the dice are said to miss.

The shooter may keep the dice and place a new stake if he throws craps or if he wins. If he loses by throwing a 7, when trying for a point, the dice are passed to the next player who becomes the new shooter. If the shooter wishes he may give up the dice so long as he is not shooting for his point number.

Side Bets

Other bets, besides the centre bet, can be made between players and are called side bets. The shooter may take part in these bets as well as the centre bet.

Side bets are made between two players who agree odds on the outcome of the dice. One of the players is the wrong bettor and the other the right bettor. The wrong bettor lays odds that the dice will not achieve an agreed outcome. The right bettor takes odds that the dice will make an agreed outcome.

Flat bets are made on whether the shooter's come out throw will be a natural. These bets often occur when a player has covered (faded) the entire centre bet.

Point bets are made on whether a player who has thrown a point number will throw it again before a 7 (make the point).

Hardway bets, also known as gag bets, are made on whether the shooter will throw a number as the sum of a double. These bets can be on 4 (2 + 2), 6 ( 3 + 3), 8 (4 + 4), or 10 (5 + 5). Losing throws for this bet are a 7 or the number itself made as another combination before it is made as a double. For example 5 and 3, making 8, instead of double 4.

Off number bets are made on any number desired which must be thrown before the shooter throws a 7. This bet may be called off by players before it is decided by the dice.

Come bets are made after a player's come out throw when the shooter is trying to throw their point number. But the throw made after the bet is agreed is treated as the come out throw and the bet is decided in the same manner as the centre bet. So, if the shooter throws a 7 and sevens out, the come bet is determined as if he has thrown a natural. If the shooter doesn't decide the bet by throwing a natural or craps then the number thrown becomes the point number for the come bet and the come bet is determined by a throw of the come bet point or a 7. If the come bet is undecided at the end of the round then players may withdraw the bet or carry it over into the next round.

Proposition bets are any other bets made by players and can be made on any outcome desired. These bets are often on whether a specific number or numbers will be rolled within an agreed number of throws. i.e. two roll bet, three roll bet etc. Another type of proposition bet is made on whether a specific number or numbers will be rolled before other specified numbers or before a 7. The numbers specified may be thrown in any way, in a specified way, or as a group. i.e. odd numbers, even numbers, numbers under 7, etc.



Knowing the mathematical odds of the dice achieving a certain outcome is the essence of the game.  Read about Private Craps odds for more details.


General Rules

There are no official rules for Private Craps but the following conventions are common practice and can be used as a guide.

All players agree on who will be the first shooter and then the dice pass in a clockwise direction.

New players may join at any time and take a position anywhere in the order of play provided there are no objections.

Players may leave a game when they wish, no matter how much they have won or lost.

Any player may ask for the dice to be changed for another set at any time. The exchange is made on the next come out throw and is known as a box up.

Because money is involved the shooter is usually required to shake the dice in their hand and throw them so they rebound against a backboard. A box or wall is often used as a backboard.

If either die is tilted at an angle (cocked) the throw is void.

Should a die hit anything after it has rebounded off the backboard the throw is still valid.

Should a die roll outside an agreed playing area the throw is void.

Should one die fail to hit the backboard the throw is valid but the shooter receives a reprimand and if it happens again a player may be chosen by the others to finish the shooter's throw(s). He may also be excluded from shooting for the rest of the game.

Should both dice fail to hit the backboard, the throw is void.









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