How To Shoot Dice: Street Craps Explained

How To Shoot Dice: Street Craps Explained

Street Craps is a game played with two dice. It’s similar to Casino Craps, except Street Craps is usually played against a wall, or sometimes just rolled on the ground. Additionally, players compete against each other, unlike Casino Craps, where the Casino runs the game and is therefore responsible for paying the winning bets and collecting the losing bets.

Street Craps can be played anywhere, but it is illegal in all US States.

Main Difference Between Street Craps And Casino Craps

The main difference between Street Craps and Casino Craps is that in Casino Craps the casino banks the game. However, in Street Craps, the Shooter (the person rolling the dice) is usually the one banking the game. This means that he or she has to “fade” – or “cover” – all of the bets made for or against their roll. So, if you shoot the dice, you better have the bankroll to back it up!

That said, sometimes Street Craps is run by a Banker, and in these cases the Shooter only has to worry about their roll and the bets directly with or against them.

Ultimately, the way the game is played, banked, and organized can vary greatly from location to location, and from town to town, and in different parts and regions of the country.

Anyone can start a Street Craps game. It does not require a Banker or a House. Just you and your money, and enough of it – and your Moxy – to handle all the action.

Street Craps Rules

In Street Craps there is no table layout. All of the action takes place on the ground, and usually against a wall so the two dice have someplace to hit. This means that all players must already know what each bet is, how to make it, and how to bet it.

So, if you’re interested in playing Street Craps, first you should learn how to play Casino Craps.

Rolling For The Shooter

In Street Craps, the first rule is that ALL players each roll the dice first, before any action takes place. This is to determine who will be the first Shooter. The person scoring the highest total will then become the Shooter and start the game. The Come Out roll can then begin.

Come Out Roll in Street Craps

Just like in Casino Craps, before the Come Out roll, all the players make their bets. Those betting WITH the Shooter will bet the Pass Line and associated bets, depending on the fluctuating rules of that particular Street Craps game – which you need to find out as soon as you get there, and before you start playing.

Those who want to bet AGAINST the Shooter will also now make their Don’t Pass and Craps bets. The Shooter also makes his or her bets at the same time – usually on themselves, meaning the Pass Line and associated wagers – and then the other players can also “fade” those bets as well, which means that they also “cover” those bets either for or against, depending on which side they take: With, or Against the Shooter.

What Wins In Street Craps On And After The Come Out Roll

After the initial bets have been made, the Shooter then rolls the dice. Just like in Casino Craps, a 7 or 11 will win, and 2, 3 or 12 will lose for the Pass Line Players. For the Don’t Pass players this is the opposite, so for them the 7 and 11 will lose, and the 2 and 3 will win, and the 12 is a push. If anything else is rolled, then this becomes the Point.

For the Pass Line players to win, the Shooter now must roll that same point number again, before rolling Any-7. And for the Don’t Pass players to win, the Shooter needs to roll Any-7 before rolling the Point.

Remember that there is NO table layout in Street Craps. All of these bets are made on the ground. And this means you have to know what these bets are and what they pay so you don’t get cheated on the payouts!

Side Action In Street Craps

Since there basically aren’t any rules in Street Craps, players can make any number of side bets and Prop Bets for or against each other.

So, one player may want to bet that the Shooter will Crap Out on the next roll, and one or more other players can then “fade” the bet, meaning they will cover it with their own money. So, if the Shooter does crap out, then the player making that Prop Bet will scoop up all the money.

But if the Shooter does NOT crap out, then this player has to pay off all the “fades” to all the other side action. And so on, for whatever bets there are in the game, as well as whatever bets the players invent against each other in the heat of the moment.

The commonly-used expression “It’s a Crap-Shoot” has its origins in Street Craps precisely because pretty much anything goes at any time and for any amount. All that’s needed are the players to agree and make the bets. And it always helps if there’s a sucker or two in the game!

And by the way – if you’re playing in Street Craps, and you can’t recognize who the sucker is after one or two rolls, then the sucker is YOU!

Ways To Roll In Street Craps

If you’re the Shooter, the best way to avoid any perception of cheating is for you to use dice sets to make your rolls. So, for the Come Out Roll, you should always use the 3-V set, and then roll the dice that way.

Street Craps Strategy

To maximize your standing in Street Craps, if you are the Shooter, make sure you are also the biggest bettor. Don’t show weakness or uncertainty, because you don’t want to be branded as the “sucker” in the game.

More Tips And Hints For Street Craps

  1. Stay away from too many Prop Bets. Either bet or fade rolls and players based on the best odds and math of the game, and that means the Pass Line with as much odds as you can get, even if this means making an odds side bet with one or more other players. This will help maximize your overall yield.
  2. Make sure you have enough money with you. Don’t fall into the trap of borrowing from other players. That could get you into the kind of trouble you don’t want to be in.
  3. And finally, learn how to recognize loaded dice. Street Craps isn’t controlled by any government organization, like Casino Craps, and so there’s no one to ensure players don’t sneak loaded dice into the game. Loaded dice can have slightly shaved corners, so run your fingers over them to check, and toss them about a bit before you make your roll, to see if they are weighted to one side or the other.

Street Craps can be fun – but it’s really much better, and safer, to play Craps in a real money casino, whether in person or online!

Street Craps Origin

Men in the army playing craps

When gambling was made illegal in all US States by the turn of the 20th century, games like Craps went underground and became hugely popular, largely because the game was so easily transportable. Needing only two dice to play, the game could float from place to place with ease and stay ahead of any police pursuits. This gave rise to the moniker “Floating Crap Game,” which became synonymous with gamblers, hustlers, bootleggers, mobsters, and the movies.

At one point in the mid-20th century, the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas ran a promotion as “The Home of the Original Floating Crap Game,” by putting a floating Craps table in their pool! It made headlines worldwide, and was one of the most successful gaming promotions of the time. Sadly, the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas has recently closed, and will be demolished to make way for a baseball stadium.

Lead image credit: Netfalls Remy Musser/Shutterstock