Hazard (game)

From Academic Kids

Hazard is a gambling game played with dice. It is the ancestor of craps.

Any number may play, but only one player — the caster — has the dice at any one time.

In each round, the caster specifies a number between 5 and 9 inclusive: this is the main. He then throws two dice.

  • If he rolls the main, he wins (throws in or nicks).
  • If he rolls a 2 or a 3, he loses (throws out).
  • If he rolls an 11 or 12, the result depends on the main:
    • with a main of 5 or 9, he throws out with both an 11 and a 12;
    • with a main of 6 or 8, he throws out with an 11 but nicks with a 12;
    • with a main of 7, he nicks with an 11 but throws out with a 12.
  • If he neither nicks nor throws out, the number thrown is called the chance. He throws the dice again:
    • if he rolls the chance, he wins;
    • if he rolls the main, he loses (unlike on the first throw);
    • if he rolls neither, he keeps throwing until he rolls one or the other, winning with the chance and losing with the main.

This is simpler to follow in a table:

Main Nicks Outs Chance
5 5 2, 3, 11, 12 Anything else
6 6, 12 2, 3, 11
7 7, 11 2, 3, 12
8 8, 12 2, 3, 11
9 9 2, 3, 11, 12

As long as he keeps winning, the caster may keep playing: but if he loses three times in succession, he must pass the dice to the player to his left, who becomes the new caster.

Betting

Bets are between the caster and the bank (the setter), which may be the remaining players acting as a group.

If the caster nicks on the first throw, he wins an amount equal to his stake.

If he throws a chance, the setter gives him odds:

Main Chance
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
5 4/3 - 4/5 2/3 4/5 1/1 4/3
6 5/3 5/4 - 5/6 1/1 5/4 5/3
7 2/1 3/2 6/5 - 6/5 3/2 2/1
8 5/3 5/4 1/1 5/6 - 5/4 5/3
9 4/3 1/1 4/5 2/3 4/5 - 4/3

For example, with a stake of £10, a main of 7 and a chance of 4, a caster stands to win £15 (3/2 × £10); with the same stake, a main of 5 and a chance of 6, he could win £8 (4/5 × £10).

Craps and Hazard

At its heart, craps is a version of Hazard where the main is always 7:

  • if the shooter (the caster) rolls a 7 or 11 on his first throw, he wins;
  • if he rolls a 2, 3, or 12, he loses;
  • if he rolls anything else, that is his point (his chance); he now keeps throwing until he wins by making (rolling) his point or loses by rolling a 7.

However, betting in craps is significantly more complicated: see its entry for details.

References

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