Craps is a relatively simple game. It is played with two dice. Each die has six sides numbered 1 through 6. So, each cube has six equal possible outcomes when rolled. Casino dice are distinct, unlike dice used in other games such as Monopoly, Backgammon and other board games. Casino dice are larger with sharp pointed edges, also called precision dice or "perfect" dice. Casino dice are transparent to prevent tampering and from players weighing them (loaded dice). It is virtually impossible to weight the dice with a foreign material if you can see through the dice. Casino dice are also imprinted with the casino's logo or name and are coded with numbers so that a casino employee can verify their authenticity and prevent switching.
The individual rolling the dice is called the "shooter." If the shooter's first roll, called the "Come out roll" is a 7 or 11, the shooter wins. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12, the shooter loses. If a number other than 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12, is rolled, that number becomes the shooter's point. The shooter must then roll that specific number before a 7 to win. If the shooter rolls a 7 before his point, the shooter loses. Any other number is of no consequence. This is how craps has been played through history. This is also known as "street craps." Non-shooting players can bet with or against the shooter independently.
Casinos designed the craps layout to accomodate numerous betting strategies. Some of the bets available, such as "free odds" are not even shown on the layout. Therefore, it is imperative that you learn as much about the possible types of bets that can be made as well as how those bets are paid. A "Free" odds bet is made after the shooter establishes a point and only if the player has made a Pass Line bet. The "Free odds" bet is then placed "behind the line" closest to the player. Normally, casinos will allow you to take two time your bet as odds. Free odds or "behind the line" odds are paid 2 to 1 if the point is 4 or 10, 3 to 2 if the point is 5 or 9 and 6 to 5 if the point is 6 or 8.
In 1907 in New York City, a dice maker named John H. Winn introduced the first craps bank. With the craps bank, players, bet against the bank, or the house, instead of each other. Winn charged both the right bettors and the wrong bettors a quarter for a $ 5 bet and 50 cents for a $ 10 bet. The quarter charge subsequently developed into a 5% charge. Because the 5% charge bought in so much money so strong and dependably, gamblers took the word vigor and added a syllable of jargon and called it vigorish. Later, some players shortened the word to vig. Throughout the years refinements have been made to the payouts by the house so that the edge is always with the house. This edge for paying something other than true odds for the various bets is known as the vig.