Roll With It
Learn to play (and win big at) the game of craps with this easy how-to
Craps is a fast-paced table game with the potential for a huge payday — provided you strategically choose and size your bets. But for any novice, approaching the table can feel intimidating.
Want to play after learning the ropes? Head to Choctaw Casino & Resort–Durant. The AAA Four Diamond entertainment destination is just over the Oklahoma border, in Durant. With these insider tips, soon you’ll be running the table.
Craps involves players making wagers on the outcome of the roll of a pair of dice. At Choctaw, the flop of the cards establishes the roll. The odds of rolling a certain number on one die is 1-in-6. Same holds true for cards — ace through 6 — which mimic the roll of the dice. Multiply that by two die (or card stacks), and there are 36 different rolls that can turn up.
How to bet
To place a bet, put your chips on the table within reach, or toss your chips to the center of the table and call your bet to the dealer. Get familiar with bets terminology, particularly the pass line and don’t pass line, here.
Bets must meet Choctaw’s $5 minimum and not exceed the table maximum of $1,000. The typical buy-in at a $5 craps table is $200. That said, it’s possible to wager $1 on proposition bets (certain numbers to win). Prop bets can be made at any time during the game (except during the roll).
The craps table offers the only wager on Choctaw’s casino floor with no house advantage on odds or lay odds. Choctaw is also unique in that it offers hop bets, which is a proposition bet based on a single roll, made on a certain combination of the dice. Similarly, Choctaw allows put bets: a pass line bet after the initial roll.
While you’re learning, don’t hesitate to ask your dealer or the floor supervisor for clarification or assistance. Craps is a high-speed game, but the dealer will call out rolls and bets and guide you through the process.
Calculate your odds
Resist the temptation to spread your money thinly across the table. Certain bets increase your odds and payout. When wagering, keep the following tips in mind:
- Seven appears the most frequently in craps. Why? Because your odds stay steady at 1-in-6. (Whatever you roll on the first die, you have a 1-in-6 chance of getting the number needed on die two.) Naturally, lucky seven bets give the house the highest advantage.
- Risk-takers like to bet lower odds, like 2, known as “snake eyes.” It pays 30-to-1.
- Statistically, “inside” bets — boxes 5, 6, 8, and 9 — show up more often than the outside numbers.
- The best strategy is to play the pass line or don’t pass line and take the max odds or lay odds and play come bets with max odds.
- Consider betting "two ways": playing for the dealer too. It’s a fun way for all parties to have a stake in the game, and the dealer is more likely to cheer you on and offer helpful advice.
Choctaw’s biggest single payout is $3,000, and the greatest total won by players is $30,000. Plan a quick trip to Durant to take a shot at winning it big.