In a broad spectrum of casino games, Craps is probably the one you’ve only heard of but have never played it. It doesn’t come as a surprise, since playing casino games should be fun and easy, whereas only catching a glimpse of the Craps table makes your head spin.
We won’t deny that Craps can be quite confusing if you know nothing about how to play the game.
Nevertheless, if you invest a bit of your time to learn the basics, you will realize that it is, in fact, really simple yet fully amusing.
Also, do not think that being simple equals winning small. After you master the concept of the game, you will dive into various betting opportunities that pay off quite well.
In this guide, we pieced together everything you need to know before entering the Craps table. If you follow along, you will learn the following:
Therefore, let’s waste no time and jump right in.
Back to Basics
To begin with, you need to know what type of game you are playing. For Craps, you have the table and the dice. You also have a laminated marker that is black with “OFF” written on it if the game is about to start.
In case you are a total novice, it might be useful to take a look at the table, or even occasionally check while you are reading the instructions.
The first part of the table looks like this:
- Initially, there are five dice out of which you choose two to play with while the remaining three are taken away. The dice are carefully chosen, inspected and replaced when they serve their time of use.
Since we have the dice, logic would say that we need someone to throw them for the game to start, that person is called “the Shooter“.
- The shooter always has to bet a table minimum on one of the basic lines which are called “Pass Line” or “Don’t Pass Line“.
The game consists of rounds. When one person is throwing, it is their round, and if they lose, the next player is on the move.
Craps rounds are played clockwise around the table, meaning that, when you finish, the person on your left is the next one in line to play.
- You can also choose not to be the Shooter, yet place bets when others throw the dice.
Now that we have the dice, the Shooter and placed bets, the game can begin.
Before we open the topic of placing bets, there are a few more things to remember.
Let’s imagine that you are the “Shooter”. You’ve placed your bet, got the die and are ready to roll. When you throw the die, they must hit the walls to the opposite part of the table. The first time you do it, it is called a “Come-out” roll.
When the die stop rolling, they show the numbers according to which the game will unfold. Here we have three possible scenarios. In case the sum of the numbers is:
- 7 or 11, it is called a “Natural”, and it means an automatic win;
- 2, 3 or 12, it is called “Craps”, and it’s an automatic loss;
- 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, it becomes a “Point”.
The first two cases are pretty straightforward:
- The first, you win your money from the “Pass Line” (the explanation of the Pass Line will come in a minute) and play again
- The second, the house takes your money and the game belongs to the next player.
If the third option occurs, the situation is slightly different. Whichever of the mentioned numbers you get from the throw becomes a “Point”, and you need to get it again to win.
Remember the laminated marker from the beginning of the story?
If you throw a “Point”, the dealer will turn it over. The other side of it is white and marked as “ON”. The dealer will put it on your “Point” number thus signalizing to others what you are hoping to get.
You can throw as many times as needed to get your point number unless you get a seven. Then you lose and the game moves on.
Since this can be a bit confusing, let’s pause for a second and clarify the story around the number seven.
So, if you get a seven from a Come-out roll, you automatically win and play again. However, if you get a Point and afterward get a seven, it’s a loss for you.
Now that we clarified the initial moves, we can move on to the bets.
How Do We Place Bets?
This is the elementary bet in the game of Craps. Usually, the majority of players always go with this bet first.
You put the chips on the “Pass Line” on the table before the “Come-out” roll. You should get a 7 or 11 to win, or 2, 3 or 12 to lose. Get a Point, and then try to get it again to win. If you get a 7 before the Point, you lose.
The Pass bet pays 1/1, so you get even money for what you bet.
The Don’t Pass bet is opposite to the Pass bet.
- You lose with a Natural and win with Craps.
- When a Point comes out, then you hope for a 7 to win.
With this bet, there is something called Push, or a tie, if the roll is a 12. You don’t lose with this one, but you don’t win either.
Odds is like a backup bet and it is made after the Come-out roll.
When the Shooter throws a Point, you can put additional money and bet on him throwing the Point again. You place this bet by putting the chips right behind the Pass Line close to yourself.
Certainly, in this case, you win if the Shooter gets the Point again.
However, different numbers carry a different value.
- For Points 4 and 10, the payoff is 2/1
- For 5 and 9 it’s 3/2
- While for 6 and 8 you get 6/5 of your bet
- If a 7 comes up before the Point, you lose
One more thing you should know is that the Odds has zero house edge, therefore, your bet on the Odds is based on your Pass bet. This can differ from casino to casino, but the most common pattern is “3-4-5X Odds”.
In simple terms, this means that on 4 and 10 you can bet up to three times your Pass bet, four times on 5 and 9, and five times on 6 and 8.
Same rules as for the Pass Line bet apply here, with a difference that you place this bet after the Come-out roll when a Point is established.
Here, again, a Natural wins and Craps loses. If you get any other number, it becomes your Come Bet Point and will pay off only if you get it again.
This is when the dealer will move your bet to your Come Bet Point and you can add some odds to it as well. It works the same way as the Odds for Pass Line bet.
Exactly the same principle as the “Don’t Pass“ bet, only it’s related to the Come Bet.
In case you have a feeling that some other number will appear after a Point is thrown, you can place a bet on that number too and win if it rolls before a 7.
The rates are 9/5 for 4 or 10, 7/5 for 5 or 9, and 7/6 for 6 or 8.
Field bet can be placed at any time and it is considered a one-roll bet.
You win if the roll is 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12, while 5, 6, 7, and 8 take your money away.
With this bet, 2 pays 2/1 and 12 usually pays 3/1, and the rest of the numbers pay 1/1.
Big Six and Eight
This is an even bet which wins only if you get 6 or 8 before a 7.
Experts do not recommend this bet because it is the same as a Place bet on these numbers but pays less.
For Proposition Bets, there is another half of the table that looks like this:
To place Proposition bets, we need to shift our focus to the middle of the table and check out all the fields there.
These bets do not require a table minimum and can be placed for any roll. They do pay a lot, but some of them are hard to get. The options look like this:
|Bet:||Wins if the roll is:||Payoff:|
|Any Craps||2, 3 or 12||8/1|
|Aces of Boxcars||2 or 12||31/1|
|Horn Bet||2, 3, 11 or 12||Determined according to the rolled number|
This bet means that you get a sum of the same numbers, for example, you get a 6 with both dice showing a 3, or a 10 with both dice showing a 5, and so on.
The payoff is:
- 8/1 for Hard 4 and 10
- 10/1 for Hard 6 and 8
In this guide, we covered the basic rules of Craps, the elementary bets that everyone should understand, as well as Proposition bets that can help you win big.
Now you are equipped with knowledge wide enough to approach the Craps table, you can try your luck with some small wagers to get the feel of the game before moving on to online craps where game variations and winnings are turned up a notch.
Of course, there are more bets to try regarding this game, but make sure to first get some experience in the fundamental bets before you move to more complicated ones.
We would be delighted to find out that our guide helped you fall in love with this game and, on top of that, win some real money, so don’t be shy and let us know!