There is always at least one party going on in every casino. You’ll almost always find it at the craps table.
Want to join the party?
You can learn how to play craps and win. However, if you’ve ever wandered over to a craps table and had a good look at the wagers, you might have gotten cold feet.
But first impressions can be wrong. Craps is easier to learn than you think. With our tutorial and complete guide to craps betting, you’ll be winning at craps in just a few minutes.
The Craps Table
You’ll notice first that craps is played on a long table with high walls to catch the dice. The table features a large number of bets, some of which make sense and others which may look a bit bewildering.
The main game, the PASS and COME lines, encircles the table. Those wagers surround a mystifying variety of field bets with higher payouts.
Each craps table is staffed by up to three casino employees: the dealer, the boxman, and the stickman.
- The dealer exchanges player’s cash for chips, places bets on the table, and pays off winning wagers.
- The stickman moves the dice after each play.
- The boxman monitors the game, keeping an eye on both the players and the dealer.
How Do You Play Craps?
The players take turns shooting the dice.
The craps “shooter” throws the dice across the table. The dice must bounce off the far wall to qualify as a roll.
- The first roll of the dice is called the comeout roll and begins the game.
- If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the comeout roll, it’s a win. If the player rolls a 2, 3, or 12, it’s a loss. Any other roll becomes the point.
- If the comeout roll is a win or a loss, the game is over and the same shooter starts a new game with a new comeout roll. The dice do not pass to a new player.
- If the player rolls a point on the comeout roll, the game begins the pass
- During the pass sequence, the shooter rolls the dice any number of times until either
- hitting the point, which is a win, or
- hitting a 7 – craps or sevening out – which loses.
- If a win, the player gets to start a new game with a new comeout roll.
- If a loss, the stickman passes the dice to the next player.
- The game starts again with another comeout roll.
How Do You Bet in Craps?
Of course, you’re not there just to throw dice, you’re there to win some money.
If you’re new to the game, though, the betting table may seem confusing. Don’t worry, it’ll make sense.
First, craps wagers come in two types:
- Multi-roll craps bets wager on certain outcomes over the course of a single game. These are the PASS, COME, FIELD, and PLACE bets. Multi-roll bets stay on the table until they win or the game ends.
- Single roll craps bets are all higher-payout wagers on the outcome of a single throw during a game. They stay on the table only for one dice throw. You will find a complete explanation of the single roll bets in our complete guide to craps betting.
Unlike roulette or many other casino table games, you only put your chips down on the PASS, COME, or FIELD areas of the table.
For all other wagers, you count your chips, place them on the table, shout out your bet, and the dealer places your chips on the right spot.
For playing online craps, of course, you place the chips on all your wagers.
What Are the Multi-Roll Bets?
The multi-roll bets are often called the main game. Except for the field, they are even-money bets with a very low house edge.
A Pass bet wagers that the player will win on the comeout roll (throw a 7 or 11) or at any time in the pass sequence (throw the point).
A Come bet, made after the comeout roll, treats the current pass roll as a comeout roll. If it wins as a comeout roll (7 or 11), you win the wager. If it loses as a comeout roll (2, 3, 12), you lose the wager. Any other combination becomes your point. If the player rolls that point at any time during the rest of the pass, you win your wager.
- DON’T PASS
With a Don’t Pass bet you’re betting against the shooter. You win on the comeout roll if the shooter loses with a 2 or a 3, but you lose if the player wins with a 7 or 11. If the player loses with a 12, it’s a push. If the shooter rolls a point on the first roll, you win the Don’t Pass wager if the shooter throws a 7 before scoring the point during the pass.
- DON’T COME
This is almost, but not quite, the opposite of a Come wager. Like the Come wager, you’re betting on the current pass throw as if it were a comeout roll, but you’re betting against the shooter. You win on the first roll if the shooter throws a 2 or a 3, but you lose on a 7 or 11. A 12, again, is a push. If the shooter rolls a point on the first roll, you win the Don’t Come wager if the shooter throws a 7 before scoring the point during the pass.
- Taking or Laying Odds: Once the comeout roll is completed, you can increase your Pass or Come wagers by laying odds or increase your Don’t Pass or Don’t Come odds by taking odds. You win if the corresponding bet wins. The value of the point determines how much you can wager laying or taking odds. Because laying or taking odds are even money with no house advantage, you should always max out on odds if you’re betting any of the pass or come wagers.
At any point in the game, you can wager that the shooter will throw a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 by betting on the field. If the shooter rolls a 7 before rolling your number, you lose. If the shooter rolls a 2 or 12, the bet pays off 2:1. If the shooter rolls any other number, the bet pays off 1:1.
At any point in a sequence, including the comeout roll, you can wager that the shooter will specifically throw a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. If the shooter rolls a 7 before rolling your number, you lose. Payouts and the house edge vary. You can also “buy,” rather than place, by paying a commission for a better payout. If you’re gambling in England or Australia, you can also bet against a number (Don’t Place).
How Should You Bet in Craps?
If you want to win more money than you lose, the fundamental rule for making bets at craps is this:
Never bet based on the payout, but on the lowest house edge.
Following this rule, you should only bet on the Pass, Come, Don’t Pass, and Don’t Come lines while maxing out on odds. If you do so, you will always be playing with a payout percentage over 99%.
There is no better deal in the casino.
With a smidgen of luck, you’re now ready to play craps and win!