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A Comprehensive Guide to Playing Craps

3 Jun

I started gambling almost as soon as I came out of the womb. At the age of 5, I was betting using Crayola Crayons as currency (the 96 box obviously. Anyone who had less than a 96 box without a crayon sharpener I not only defriended but punched in the face. There were also 128 crayon boxes, but the rich kids who had them were treated with taunts of “Oh did you use Daddy’s money to buy those?). 4th grade brought the era of Pogs, a incoherent and mind-boggingly complicated game in which you would bet using your pogs and slammers. Pogs were actually the most similar of all childhood games to Craps, with its wild swings in chips won and lost. But we’ll get to that. From Pogs came Pokemon and Magic Cards but I’m not going to talk about those here (sorry, nerds). By the end of the 90’s, gambling in the mind of our generation was left to to high rollers and gambling addicts, sitting by the horse races throwing their money away. Then the poker fad swept the nation in the early 2000’s, and suddenly everyone was a compulsive gambler. From poker I moved into blackjack, and on my first Atlantic City trip I played every game except one: Craps. Craps has always been glorified in the movies, with images of well-dressed men surrounded by supermodels cheering as they roll and bathe in money showering from the ceilings. But approach a craps table and you are immediately blinded by an incomprehensible board of squares and numbers. My second trip to AC I was berated upon arrival that I didn’t know how to play craps and was given a crash course in the rules. Thirty minutes into my first game, I was hooked. Every other game you win or lose on your own, while craps brings the entire group together in either agony or defeat. On subsequent trips to Vegas and AC I haven’t even considered playing anything else, and I’m convinced there’s almost no better feeling than being part of heater in craps. Being part of a heater is one of the greatest feelings in life, equivalent to the first time you bang a perfect 10 or seeing the earth from the surface of the moon. So for anyone uninitiated or intimidated by the game of craps, after the jump I’ve put together a guide and some important phrases or words for you to learn.

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