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Craps Rules – How to Play Craps

If you’re new to craps, the game may seem a bit complicated and pretty hectic – there is a lot of action happening all at once as craps bets can be made at any point during a round. Although you can play craps knowing only a couple of bets, you can have more fun and change things up a bit when you know all the betting possibilities available to you and how and when to place them. By going through the craps rules and the game bet by bet you’ll soon know how to play craps like a pro and be ready to play this exciting online casino classic.

Craps Rules - The Basics of How to Play Craps

In online craps played at both desktop and Mobile Casinos, and in live games too for that matter, gamblers place wagers on the outcome of 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 counter clockwise after each new round.

When a new round of craps begins the following takes place:

  1. The shooter selects two dice to roll.
  2. The shooter must make a Pass Line bet – either on the Pass or Don't Pass line (we’ll soon go through what that means).  Other players at the table also make bets.
  3. 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 bet or a Don’t Pass bet before the first roll – the come-out roll. If the come-out roll is a 7 or 11, then the Pass 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.

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.

18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply
18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply

How to Play Craps - Popular Bets

Even though there are many bets to choose from, once you have to knowledge of how to play craps popular bets you can start playing practically immediately until you get the hang of the game.

How to play craps best 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 it can be made at any time after the point has been made. 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 that number becomes your own point number and if that number is rolled before the shooter rolls a 7, then the Come bet wins. If the 7 is rolled before the number, the Come bet loses.  This bet pays even money.

Don't Come Bets: This is the opposite of the Come bet. It’s also made at any time after the point has been made. 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 any other number is rolled that becomes your point number, then a seven must be rolled before that number is repeated again in order for the Don't Come bet to win.

Odds Bets: This is a side bet which can only be placed once you have already made a Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, or Don’t Come bet. You will not see this marked on the table, but you make it by placing chips directly behind your original bet. You ‘take odds’ when you have already made a Pass or Come Bet, and you ‘lay odds’ when you have made a Don’t Pass or Don’t Come bet.

Depending on what your original bet is, you are taking/laying odds on whether the point number or 7 will be rolled first. For example if you have placed a Pass bet and you take odds, you win the bet if the point number is rolled before the 7. If your original bet wins, your odds bet also wins. The odds bet can be made at any time, removed at any time, and you can increase or decrease the amount of the bet as well at any point during the game.

There is also a limit for bets to amount to 2-3 times the original bet. If you have made a $20 bet on the don’t come bet, you can lay odds up to $40 for 2 times the original bet, or $60 for 3 times the original bet, depending on the casino.

Odds pay 2 to 1 for points 4 and 10, 3 to 2 for points 2 and 9, and 6 to 5 for points 6 and 8.

How to Play Craps - Single-Roll Bets

Once you learn how to play craps single-roll bets they can be made whenever you want during a round and are placed in the area of the craps layout where you see images of dice combinations, as shown in the image below. You should always keep in mind that these bets offers a quite hefty house edge and they are not recommended by any craps experts. By learning how to play craps single-roll bets you can use them sparingly throughout a game for a bit of added thrill.

Proposition Bets

These bets are a group of single roll bets found together on the table. Proposition bets tends to have a very high house edge so you should only really play them once in a while when you want some action as you wait for your standing bets.

Three (Ace Deuce): Wins if the shooter rolls a 3 and pays 15 to 1.

Any 7 (Big Red): Wins if the shooter rolls a 7 and pays 4 to 1.

Any Craps (Three way): Wins if the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12 and pays 7 to 1 for each number.

Two Craps or Aces (Snake Eyes): Wins if the shooter rolls a 2 and pays 30 to 1.

Twelve Craps (Boxcars or Midnight): Wins if the shooter rolls a 12 and pays 30 to 1.

Eleven (Yo): Wins if shooter rolls an 11 and pays 15 to 1. This is called a yo instead of eleven to avoid confusion as eleven sounds a lot like seven.

Craps and Eleven (C&E): This bet is occasionally marked on the side of the proposition bets boxes on the table as C&E. There are 16 circles marked with a C or E to fit all the 16 players at the craps table. This bet adds the Eleven to the Any Craps bet so you win if an eleven is rolled, or if one of the any craps numbers are rolled. The payout is 7:1 if any craps numbers 12,3,or 2 are rolled, and 15:1 if the eleven is rolled. The house edge overall is 11.11%.  As 50% of your bet is on each the Any Craps and Eleven, you will lose half your original bet as one will always lose out.

Horn (2,3,11 or 12): The Horn bet wagers on either the 2,3,11 or 12 being rolled on the next roll of the dice. This bet is found in the middle of the table with the proposition bets.  Wagers are split between each number. For example if you wager $8, then $2 will go on each number. If one of the numbers is rolled then the 2 and 12 pay 30 to 1, and then 3 and 11 pay 15 to 1. Then difference between the Horn bet and the C&E bet is that all numbers have their own distinct payoffs, whilst the any craps numbers have a combined payout of 7:1.

Horn High Bets: You are able to double your bet on one of the Horn bet numbers by making one of the Horn numbers a Horn High number. When you place bets in $5 multiples it makes this bet easier to make so you can designate one unit for each number and an extra unit on one of them. For example if you place a Horn High on the 11, $2 will be placed on the 11, and $1 on each the 2,3 and 12. If the 11 is rolled you get paid twice the payout minus three dollars of your losing bets.  You have to indicate which number you want as the high number when you place the horn bet. If one of the other numbers is rolled and not your high number you will get paid the single payout minus the $4.

World or Whirl Bet: You will not find this bet on the craps table but many players like to place this bet. This is a combination of the Horn and Any Seven bet making it five individual bets, and it’s made in multiples of $5 like the Horn High bet to make it easier.  If the shooter rolls a 7 for example, then that bet wins and the other four lose. The payout for the 7 is 4:1 and the others are the same as the Horn bet.

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Field Bets

You bet that either a 2,3,4,9,10, 11or 12 is rolled with the next roll of the dice. They are placed in a large marked section on the table below the Come bar and above the Don’t Pass bar, as shown in the image below. The 3,4,9,10 and 11 pay even money, and for a 2 or a 12 the payout is 2 to 1.  

How to play craps field bet

Hop Bets

Hop bets can be made at any moment throughout the game in the same way proposition bets can. What’s fun about this bet is that you can pick any dice combination you like and you wager on the outcome of the next roll of the dice being a dice combination of your choice. Not all casinos offer this bet so check beforehand. Some craps table have it marked but most of them don’t.

How to Play Craps - Multi-Roll Bets

Apart from the common bets and single-roll bets, there are quite a few other ones available to you to play throughout the game. These include Buy and Lay bets, Place Win and Place Lose bets, Big 6 and Big 8 bets, and Hardways bets.

Buy/Lay Bets: When you place a Buy bet you choose any of these numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 to wager on at any moment of the game.  If that comes up before the shooter rolls 7, the casino will pay you true odds meaning that your 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. It’s similar to the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets as you play against the dice. You place this bet at any point and you wager that the shooter rolls a 7 before the point that you choose. 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. You bet on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 and if your chosen number comes up before 7, Place Win bets win.  For Place Lose wagers it’s the other way around.

Big 6/Big 8 Bet: You will find this bet marked in the corners of the table. You win the Big 6 or Big 8 when the 6 or 8 is rolled before the 7 and pays even money. Place bets have better pay offs for the same bet though!

Hardways: Players can bet that the ‘hard way’ outcome of the dice resulting in a 10,8,6, or 4 will be rolled before the ‘easy way’ or a 7. The ‘hard way’ outcome is when both dice have the same number, for example a 5-5 for Hardways 10, a 4-4 for Hardways 8, a 3-3 for Hardways 6, or a 2-2 for Hardways 4.  The Hardways bet is positioned in the proposition bets area on the table as shown below:

All other dice combinations resulting in the 10,8,6 or 2 are considered an ‘easy way’.  For example there are four non-pair combinations for a 6: 1-5, 4-2,5-1, and 2-4. The pair combinations are called a hard way as there is only one way to make a pair combination. There are more ways to achieve each number when different numbers on the dice are rolled, making all other non-pair combinations the ‘easy way’.  

When you make your bet and the dice are rolled the following can happen:

  1. A number apart from a 7 and the number you bet on appears and you don’t win or lose and the bet continues to stand until the next roll
  2. A 7 is rolled and you lose the bet.
  3. An ‘easy way’ of your number is rolled and you lose the bet.
  4. The ‘hard way’ pair combination of your number is rolled and you win the bet:

  a. A hard way 10 will win if a 5-5 is rolled before a 7 or easy way combinations 6-4,4-6.
  b. A hard way 8 will win if a 4-4 is rolled before a 7 or easy way combinations of 2-6, 6-2,3-5, and 5-3.
  c. A hard way 6 will win if a 3-3 is rolled before a 7 or easy way combinations of  5-1,1-5,2-4, and 4-2.
  d. A hard way 4 will win if a 2-2 is rolled before a 7 or easy way combinations of 1-3 and 3-1.

If you don’t want this bet to continue throughout the game after you have won or lost remember to remove the bet. Bets can be removed at any point in the game.

Use your Craps Bets Knowledge to Win at Online Craps

As we said in the beginning, there are many craps bets available and we didn’t even cover all of them in this article on the rules of craps. 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 if you do! Read up on Craps strategy to know which bets to place and when in order to maximise your winnings whilst playing at a desktop or Mobile Casino.