### Archive

Jan

11

2016

From beginners to grizzled old veterans, craps players are always thinking about the ins and outs of their game. A couple of questions arrived recently, one from newbie on a basic concept and one from a veteran who was wondering about the possibilities of a different way to play.

The newcomer asked, “I was wondering if you could slow down and explain something to me. You say there are six ways to make 7. I only count three, a 6 and a 1; a 5 and a 2; and a 4 and a 3. Nothing else adds up to 7. So what are the other three ways?”

The answer, as craps veterans know, is that you have to consider the faces of each die independently. Imagine you’re using one red die and one green. Then the ways to make 7 are red 6-green 1; red 5-green 2; red 4-green 3; green 6-red 1; green 5-red 2; and green 4-red 3.

On a real table, the two dice are the same color, but the same principal applies. There are two ways to make a 6 and 1, two ways to make 5-2 and two ways to make 4-3.

The veteran wondered what could be done if dice with more sides were used.

If you used 12-sided dice instead, what would that do to the game?” he asked. “And if you only used one die instead of two, could you have a game with about the same odds?”

If you used two 12-sided dice, there would be 144 possible combinations instead of 36. It wouldn’t be difficult to devise a game with reasonable odds, but it probably lose out in the marketplace with the current game so well entrenched.

You could devise a game using one 36-sided die that would have the same odds as craps. The faces just couldn’t be marked 1 through 36. You’d need six faces marked 7, five each marked 6 and 8, 4 each marked 5 and 9, three each marked 4 and 10, two each marked 3 and 11, and one each marked 2 and 12. You couldn’t have hardway and hops bets that require exact totals on two different dice, but the rest of the game could mimic traditional craps.