When a new player is ready to throw the dice, the stickman will empty his box of dice and push them across the layout with his stick. After this player, known as the shooter, selects two dice of his choice, the stickman will retrieve the remaining dice and return them to his box. In a new game, the player closest to the boxman’s left side will receive the dice first, and the rotation of the dice will go clockwise from player to player around the craps table.
The shooter has no advantage over the other players except perhaps the psychological edge that he may get from throwing the dice himself. He is required to make either a pass or don’t pass bet as the shooter, and can also make any other bets allowed. You can make a wide variety of bets, and these bets should be placed before the shooter throws the dice. You can bet with the dice or against them at your preference, but in either case, the casino will book all wagers.
Play is ready to begin. The shooter is supposed to throw the dice so that they bounce off the far wall of the table. If the throw does not reach the far wall, the shooter will be requested to toss harder on his next throw. If he persists in underthrowing the dice, the boxman may disallow him from throwing further. This policy protects against cheaters who can manipulate unobstructed throws of the dice.
The first throw is called the come-out roll—it is the most significant roll in craps. The come-out roll marks the first roll of a shoot, and can either become an automatic winner or loser for players betting with the dice, called right bettors, or those betting against the dice, called wrong bettors—or it can establish a point with which the shooter hopes to repeat before a 7 is thrown.
The come-out roll works as follows. The throw of a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll is an automatic winner for the pass line bettors, players betting that the dice will win, or pass. The throw of a craps—a 2, 3 or 12—is an automatic loser. For the don’t pass bettors, those betting against the dice, the come-out roll works almost exactly opposite to the pass line bet. A come-out roll of a 7 or an 11 is an automatic loser, a 2 or a 3 an automatic winner, while the 12 (in some casinos a 2 instead) is a standoff.
If the come-out roll is an automatic decision—a 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12—the affected players will have their bets paid or collected, and the following roll will be a new come-out roll. Any other number thrown—a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10—becomes the point, and the dealers will indicate this by flipping their respective marker bucks to the white side marked “on,” and will move the disk into the rectangular numbered boxes corresponding to the point number thrown.
The shoot will continue until either the point is repeated, which is a winner for the pass line bettors and a loser for the don’t pass bettors, or until a seven is thrown, known as sevening-out, which is a loser on the pass line and a winner on the don’t pass. In either case, the shoot will have been completed, and the following roll will be a new come-out roll, the start of a new shoot.
Once a point is established, only the 7 and the point are consequential rolls for the pass and don’t pass bettors, also called line bettors. All other rolls are neutral throws for these bets.
Many other bets are available to players (we will discuss them later), some that can be made only after a point is established, and others that can be made at any time during a shoot. Therefore, while the line bettors may not be affected by a particular throw, the dealers may be paying off or collecting chips on other affected wagers while the shoot is in progress.
A shooter can continue throwing the dice until he sevens-out, whereupon, after all the bets are settled on the layout, the stickman will present the collection of dice to the next player in a clockwise rotation. Even though the shooter may crap-out (the throw of a 2, 3 or 12) on his come-out roll, a losing roll for the pass line bettors, the shooter does not have to yield the dice. It is only when he throws a 7 before his point repeats (sevens-out) that he must relinquish the dice.
|THE COME-OUT ROLL IN A NUTSHELL|
|1. A new shooter takes the dice.|
2. The shooter throws a 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 on the come-out roll, an automatic winner or loser for the line bettors.
|3. After a point is established, the shooter either repeats that point or sevens-out|
Betting right or wrong are casino terms used to designate whether a player is betting with the dice, betting right, or betting against the dice, betting wrong. The words right and wrong are in no way indicative of a correct or incorrect way of playing. Both ways of betting are equally valid.
About the Writer
Avery Cardoza has written twenty-one books on beating the casino and is the world’s largest publisher of gaming and gambling titles (www.cardozabooks.com). Cardoza is also the owner of the legendary Gambler’s Book Club (www.gamblersbookclub.com), home to the world’s largest selection of gaming books. His novel, Lost in Las Vegas, is a critically acclaimed dark comedy about two hapless vacationers who find themselves hunted by the mob, FBI, six killers, and the Rat in a world where nothing is as it seems—and then things go downhill for them. “A fantastic read… The Vegas underbelly as if presented by the Coen brothers.”—Kevin Pollak.