Welcome, students of the Guru. By now you know me by the name of George, but please feel free to call me The Master, or The Wizard… just don’t call me a cab! I know you’re here to learn what you can about craps games, and that’s what I’ll teach you about on this page. You see, there are actually many different kinds, or at least many variations on the game you’re familiar with. Don’t worry; the Guru will show you the way and make this a quick lesson; then you’ll be ready to enjoy your craps experience more completely.
The game of craps has been around for a long time, as I told you about on my how to play Craps page. If you haven’t read that, please feel free to take a look at it (but make sure you come back!). Since craps is such an old game, it’s understandable that it’s branched off into different types of craps games, all having their roots in the casino version that is the most popular game in a casino. They all have dice and betting in common, but the places you might find them being played, and the amounts of money changing hands are all over the spectrum. I’m going to mention just a few of the most well-known types of craps games here on this page, and if you want to learn more, there’s always my craps resources page, where you’ll find a wealth of links to craps sites all over the world.
Craps has a few different variations, all related, but each with its own personality. The main types are as follows: Private Craps, Bank Craps, New York Craps, and Money (or Open) Craps. All of these craps games can be incredibly exciting in their own way, so I’ll just spend a bit of time describing each, without too much detail to bore you. You know you’ll never learn anything from the Guru if you’re asleep!
Private Craps is really the granddaddy of them all; it’s the most like the original. This is the friendly social version of the craps games that can be played anywhere there are two or more people with some time to kill, cash in their pockets and a pair of dice to toss. This version is sometimes known as Street Craps (for obvious reasons), and I’ll tell you more about it on my page about Street Craps.
Bank Craps is the version most people are familiar with. This one is the one found in casinos (or “carpet joints”) all over the world. You’ve got your big craps table with the betting areas laid out on it, your banker to take care of the wins (and losses), and chips or checks used instead of cash for betting. These craps games are the ones that are famous throughout the world for their classy image, and the huge sums of money won and lost. As well, with Bank Craps, the players are not permitted to bet against each other, they must bet against the bank.
New York Craps is a variation of Bank Craps that is found in illegal gambling houses in North America, and in legal casinos in the Bahamas, Eastern Europe, and Britain. This is another of the craps games that is played on the familiar style of table, and uses a bank for betting against. In this variation though, there is no place betting and the bank takes 5% or more of all money bet on the point numbers.
Out of all the craps games that you’re probably familiar with Money Craps (sometimes called Open Craps) is the most like the one from the old movies. You know; the ones with the “racket guys” and seasoned gamblers huddled around a makeshift table in a smoky back room. This game is only found in illegal, usually makeshift gambling houses (or “sawdust joints”). Here there is a “book” who acts as the banker, though players are allowed to bet against each other, but only on the point numbers. Otherwise, you bet against the book (who takes a slice of your wager as your charge for betting).
And there you have it; the Guru’s knowledge of the different craps games you may encounter out there. Believe me, your teacher George knows his stuff, and he’s seen an awful lot in his time. Soon you’ll have learned all the master can teach you, and you’ll be cut loose into the world of Craps, but you’ll have learned from the best there is. Don’t forget it!