Craps is a dice game where you place wagers on the outcome of a pair of dice being rolled once or multiple times.
Craps really is that easy of a game to play. But you wouldn’t know it by looking at a craps table. Many players are intimidated by the game because there are so many different wagers that you can make. Craps newbies just don’t know where to start first. So they pass on learning the game altogether.
With that in mind, I’m going to try to help you cut through the fog. I have written the rules for craps below and have stuck to only the bare essentials. Below that, I have gone over the most common bets that you can place on craps. Once we’re done, you should be able to take this information to your favorite online casino and feel comfortable opening up a game of craps.
The first phase of a game of craps will be the come out roll. In a live game, the come out roll is generally after the dice has exchanged hands — when a new “shooter” has been appointed.
Prior to rolling the dice (online), you’ll need to place a wager. You can wager on several different things, but for simplicities sake, we’re going to focus only on the pass line and don’t pass bets.
The pass line bet is a wager on the outcome of the come out roll being a 7 or 11. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, you win even money. If a 2 or 3 is rolled, you lose. A 12 results in a push (tie). This will depend on the casino you’re playing at though.
The don’t pass bet is the opposite. You’re wagering on the outcome being a 2 or 3. If you roll a 2 or 3, you win and if it’s a 7 or 11, you lose.
All other numbers (4,5,6,8,9 or 10) rolled will then become the “point.” Once a point has been established, the shooter will continue rolling the dice until one of two things happen:
- The point is rolled. Pass line bets will win while don’t pass bets will lose.
- A 7 is rolled. Don’t pass bets will win while pass line bets will lose.
This often confuses players because a 7 is a win before a point is established, but then it’s a loss afterward.
Once the player rolls the point or a 7, the round is done. In a live game, a new shooter would then be appointed.
That’s is all there is to a basic game of craps. You can take this information above, sit down at a craps table online and be able to follow the action. However, once you get this down, you might want to start upping your game. So below, I’ve gone over the other bets that you can make in addition to the pass line and don’t pass bets.
Come Bet: The come bet is a wager made after the come out roll. If a point is made after you make a come bet, that bet will then be applied to that point. For example, say you place a come bet and a 6 is rolled. Your (come) bet will then be placed on 6. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, it’ll win automatically and will lose on a 2, 3 or 12.
Don’t Come Bet: This is the opposite of the come bet. If a point is established after placing a don’t come bet, your wager is placed on that point. If a 7 is rolled before the point is, you win. If a 2 or 3 is rolled (instead of a point), the don’t come bet will win. It will lose to a 7 or 11.
Proposition Bet: Proposition bets are single roll wagers. You’re betting that the next roll will consist of one (or as many as you’d like) of the following: craps, seven, an eleven, ace deuce (3), aces or boxcars (2 or 12) or a horn bet (2, 3, 11 or 12). Prop bets have the highest house edge in craps. You should avoid these bets unless you like throwing away money.
Hard Ways: A Hard Way is when you roll a 4, 6, 8 or 10 by rolling doubles (a pair). These are also prop bets. But instead of losing automatically when you miss on the next roll, you lose when a 7 or non-pair is rolled. For example, if you wager on a pair of 5s being rolled, you’ll lose to a 7 or a non-pair 10 combination like 6-4.
Place Bets: A wager made on a specific point being rolled before a 7. Place bets are “working bets” which means that they continue to pay off whenever that point is rolled until a 7 is rolled. Place bets are not working on the come out roll.
Place Bets to Lose: The opposite of a place bet. A wager made that a 7 will be rolled before a point.
Buy Bets: Buy bets are also working bets like place bets. However, the difference is that buy bets pay true odds. For that luxury, you will need to pay a commission. This is around 5%.
Lay Bets: A lay bet is the opposite of a buy bet. This is a wager made on a specific number not being rolled before a 7 is. Lay bets also pay true odds and have a 5% commission. Payouts are also reversed. In other words, instead of getting 2-1, you’ll be getting 1-2. So for every $20 wager you make, you stand to win $10.
Big 6 and 8: A place bet on 6 or 8 being rolled before a 7. These pay even money.
Field Bet: A bet made on the next roll being a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. Any other number rolled and you lose. Field bets can be made at any time.
Taking the Odds: This is an additional wager on the outcome of the point being rolled before a 7. The house has almost no edge on this bet — only .848% at a 1x wager (of the pass line bet). The more you wager, the further this is reduced. So you should wager as much as possible on this bet. From what I’ve seen, 2x your pass line bet is normal. Some casinos will allow you to wager as much as 100x though.
Laying the Odds: You’re betting that a 7 will be rolled before the point. This is the opposite of taking the odds.
Play Craps Online
Craps is another one of those games that makes much more sense after playing a round or two. What I would suggest doing is taking this guide and using it as a reference while playing craps online. You might even consider playing for play money until you’re more comfortable. Once everything starts to come together for you, you can then graduate to real money games.