How to play Craps?

If you’re new to the game, craps may seem a bit complicated. There are many betting opportunities and depending on where you are in a round, different wagers can be made.

Let’s take it from the beginning and go through the game bet by bet and you’ll soon be ready to play this exciting casino classic.

Craps Rules - The Basics

In online craps, and in live games too for that matter,  players place wagers on the roll of the dice. Two six sided dice are used in the game.

The player who throws the dice is called “the shooter,” and if you play in a live casino, every player at the table can have the opportunity to roll.

The dice are passed counterclockwise after each new round.

When a new round of craps begins, the shooter selects two dice to roll. The shooter must make a line bet – either on the pass line or don't pass line (we’ll soon go through what that means.)

Other players at the table also make bets.

The shooter begins the round by rolling the dice off the opposite wall of the table. The shooter's first roll is known as the come-out roll.

The Come-Out Roll

As we said, the shooter has to make either a pass-line bet or a don’t pass-line bet before is first roll – the come out roll.

If the come-out roll is a 7 or 11, then the pass line bet wins and the don't pass bets lose. This scenario ends the round.

If the come-out roll is a 2, 3 or 12, also known as “craps,” the pass line loses and the don't pass line either wins (in some casinos 12 results in a tie and the bet is returned to the player.)

This also ends the round.

A Point Is Established

If the come-out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, then that specific number becomes the player's point.

The dealers at the table then place a puck on top of that specific number on the table.

The shooter continues to roll the dice until he or she rolls the point number 7.

If the point number is rolled, then pass line bettors win and don't pass bettors lose. If a 7 is rolled, pass line bets lose and don't pass bets win.

Types of Bets

Pass Line

Pass line bets are the easiest craps bets to make. When you wager on the pass line, you are betting that either a 7 or an 11 will be the result of the come-out roll. If a shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll, you double your money.

If the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 instead, then a point is established. When you bet the pass line, you want that point number to be rolled again, (before the shooter rolls a 7). If the shooter does hit the number before rolling a 7, your pass line bet is doubled.

If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12 (or craps) on the come-out roll, then you lose your pass line bet. If a point is established and a 7 is rolled before that point value, this also results in a lost pass line bet.

Don't Pass Line

Don't Pass bets are the opposite of pass line bets. When you make a don't pass bet you are basically betting against the shooter.

You want the shooter to crap out (roll a 2, 3 or 12) on the come-out roll.

If a point is established on the come-out roll, then your goal as a don't pass bettor is to have the shooter roll a 7 before hitting their established number.

Come Bets

A come bet is like a pass line bet. But you’re allowed to post come bets during a shooter’s round, or to be more specific, come bets have to be posted after a point has been established.

If a shooter rolls a 7 or 11 after a come bet is made, the come bet wins. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 after a come bet has been made, the come bet loses.

If the shooter rolls any other number, all come bets are moved to a smaller numbered box on the table. If that number is rolled before the shooter rolls a 7, then come bet wins. If the 7 is rolled before the number, the come bet loses.

Don't Come Bets

Don't come bets win, if a shooter rolls a 2 or a 3 after a point has been established (a 12 results in a tie).

If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled, then a seven must be rolled before that number is repeated again, in order for the don't come bet to win.

All of this might seem a bit complicated, but once you start playing, you'll get the hang of it. Try downloading free craps games online so that you can practice and familiarize yourself with the craps rules and betting procedures.

Single-Roll Bets

There are a number of single-roll bets available in craps which can be made whenever you want during a round and are posted in the area of the craps layout where you see images of dice combinations.

Examples of single-roll bets are “snake eyes” where the shooter must roll two for a win, “hi-lo” where the shooter either must roll two or twelve, and “any seven” where the shooter must roll seven for a win.

These are pretty straight forward and don’t need any further explanation.

What you should remember though is that these bets offers a quite hefty house edge and is not recommended by any craps experts.

Multi-Roll Bets

There are also a couple of other multi-roll wagers besides pass-line and come wagers.

One quite popular option is the buy and lay bets.

Buy/Lay Bets

When you do a buy bet you choose any of these numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. If that comes up before the shooter rolls 7, the casino will pay you true odds meaning that you’re payback is equal to the actual chance of winning.

However, for the casino to get an advantage, five percent of the player’s winnings is deducted before payout.

A lay bet works the other way around. Then you hope that the shooter rolls 7 before the point. The payout offers true odds but there’s a five percent fee on the winnings.

Place Win/Place Lose

These bets works exactly like buy and lay bets but don’t offer true odds. Bet on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 and if your chose number comes up before 7, place win bets win.

For place lose wagers it’s the other way around.

Craps Rules Summary

As we said in the beginning, there are many craps bets available and we didn’t even cover all of them in this article.

However, to start playing you only need to know one or two – our suggestions are pass line and don’t pass line bets. Since a shooter’s round in craps follows these two wagers, you will get an understanding of the game when you choose them.

If you then want to add some other bets to your arsenal, feel free to do so, but remember that chances are that you’ll give the casino a larger advantage in doing so.


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