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Winning At Craps

Dice can be traced to prehistoric times when primordial fortunetellers threw sacred arrows, bone, sticks and stones on the ground to predict the future for his tribe. A cubical die dating back to 600 B.C. was found in Egypt.

Dice went through a long evolution of shape, size, form and markings. They were made of wood, stones, bones, animal teeth and horns, nutshells and seeds. American Indians fashioned four-sided knucklebones for dice.

In Greek and Roman civilizations, dice were made of more expensive materials like ivory, precious stones and materials, and porcelain. The game of craps first began in Roman times, but was known as "dice." Emperors Augustin, Nero and Caligula were devoted players and even cheated at the game.

Craps derived from the English game called Hazard in the 18th Century. When it came to France in the 19th Century, it was called craps, from the word "crabs," which means pair of ones. In 1865, dice-maker John H. Winn published an improved version that led to the way the game is played today.

Craps is an easy game to learn. How to make a "pass line" bet will get you started. Don't be concerned with most of the other 40 bets, mainly the proposition and hard-way wagers because their odds are dreadful.

A simple pass line bet, with a low house edge, works like this: A bet is placed on the pass line before the shooter rolls. If the "come out" roll is a 7 or 11, you win. But if it comes up 2, 3 or 12, you lose.

If any other number is rolled, that becomes the point number. If the shooter rolls that number again before a 7, you win even money on your pass line bet. But if a 7 comes up first, you lose.

Once the point is set, an additional bet can be made behind the pass line wager. This "odds bet" is the only wager that does not have a house edge and is paid off with true odds. Most casinos offer double odds, which allows a wager twice the pass line bet.

The key to winning is two little words: playing smart. Other parts of the puzzle, as several experts point out, include a solid game plan, effective money management, discipline and confidence to carry out the plan and knowing how much you are ahead or behind.

Most important is discipline. You must set up goals and stick to them. Remember that winning a little is much better than losing any amount.

Next is to understand the bets. Players must know the rules and comprehend basic and not-so-basic bets. The way to upgrade your prowess is the "p" word: practice, practice, practice. And you can practice free at some Internet websites.

No matter your strategy, the key to developing winning online systems is percentages. Smart players limit the risks and look for the best odds. Optimal craps strategy is comprised of simple pass line and come bets. That's because the house edge is smaller than other bets like hard-way wagers.

The hard-way bet has some pretty horrible odds. For example, to roll a "hard eight," you must roll double 4's before the soft version (2 and 6, 3 and 5) come up or a 7.

The don't come bet must be made after the point is established.  If a 7 or 11 are rolled you lose, but if a 2 or 3 comes up you win. A 12 is a standoff. You win if a 7 is rolled before the come point is repeated, but you lose if the come point appears before a 7 does.

Even though you can win consistently, no matter your game plan it is mathematically impossible to have a betting edge over the casino. But you can avoid being a loser if you:

Aren't greedy and don't set unrealistic winning goals, forget any undisciplined urges and play to win -- not to lose. One way to lose consistently is to bet the same amount. It's all in the odds and those odds are against you winning.

There are several smart methods such as progression and regression -- increasing and decreasing wagers at a fixed rate. Also be careful how you let winnings ride. That's because the average roll of the dice is five times before a seven comes up.


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