Nothing is as electrifying as a crowd gathered around a “hot” Craps table. The cheering, the money … it causes a lot of commotion.
Want to get in on the action?
Let us show you how: Read this section and learn How to play, then check out our advanced strategy section and get free tips on how to beat the house and win at craps.
Craps is played with two dice. (They will give you several but only pick up two). The object of the game is to throw a 7 or 11 on the first roll. When a 7 or 11 is thrown, the pass line wins and the don’t pass bar loses. If a 2,3 or 12 is thrown the pass line loses and the don’t pass bar wins except on 12 which is a tie.
If any other number besides 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 is thrown on the first roll by a shooter, it becomes the point. The shooter has to throw that point again in any combination before throwing a 7. If the shooter thows the point first, the pass line wins. If the shooter throws a 7 before making the point, the don’t pass line wins.
NOTE: DON’T USE TWO HANDS – PICK UP THE DICE WITH ONE HAND
The only Player who must place a bet (PASS LINE or DON’T PASS BAR) prior to the first roll of the game is the Shooter (or the person who wants to roll the dice). If the shooter throws the dice and the total is 7 (1:6, 2:5, 3:4, 4:3, 5:2, 6:1) or 11 (6:5, 5:6) then the PASS LINE wins and all players who have bet on the PASS LINE win. If the shooter throws the dice and the total is 2 or 3 then the players who bet on the DON’T PASS BAR win (The 12 is a push) and the players who bet on the PASS LINE lose on a first roll of 2, 3 or 12. (1:1, 1:2, 2:1, 6:6).
THE FIRST ROLL IS THE “COMING OUT ROLL”
Rolling 7 or 11 is Called a “Natural”
Rolling 2, 3 or 12 in called “Craps”
ANY OTHER NUMBER BECOMES “THE POINT”
After the coming out roll, if a player has rolled 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 (called “the Point”). The dealer will mark the point with a white disc. The shooter will continue to throw the dice until either the shooter throws a number equal to The Point again or throws a 7 (1:6, 2:5, 3:4, 4:3, 5:2, 6:1) which is called SEVENING OUT.
A Shooter keeps shooting until they “seven out”, the dice then pass to the next player in a clockwise direction around the table.
The PASS LINE and DON’T PASS BAR both pay even money.
To become eligible to become a Shooter, place a bet on the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Bar. The dice are passed to Players in a clockwise direction so you might have to wait a while for your turn as the Shooter. You don’t need to be a shooter if you don’t want to. Only the shooter is required to make a bet.
Example – Your Come Out roll is a 9. Players who had placed a wager on the Pass Line will leave their wager and will win if you roll another 9 before you roll a 7. However, Players who initially placed a wager on the Don’t Pass bar will win if you roll a 7 before you roll a 9.
THE COME or DON’T COME BET
Any Players who didn’t place a wager prior to the Come Out roll, either by choice or because they showed up at the table afterwards, are no longer eligible to place a Pass Line or Don’t Pass bet. Instead, they may place a Come or Don’t Come bet.
If a Player places a Come bet, the rules of the initial Pass Line apply. If the next roll is a 7 or 11, the Player wins. If the next roll is a 2, 3 or 12, he loses. However, if a 4,5,6,8,9, or 10 is rolled, that will be the Point for that Player, which could be different than the point for the original Players. Once the Point is established for the new Player, he is betting that his Point will be rolled before a 7.
If a Player places a Don’t Come bet, the rules of the Don’t Pass bet apply with one exception. If the next roll is a 7 or 11, the Player loses. If the next roll is a 2 or 3, the Player wins. The exception is that if the Shooter rolls a 12, the bet on the Don’t Come is a tie. Any other roll becomes the Point for that Player who is betting that a 7 will be rolled before that Point.
Now that you know the basic bets of craps: Pass and Don’t Pass, Come and Don’t Come it is important that you understand the basics of ODDS. Pass Line and Come bets pay even money however, once a point is established you can take odds. The casino’s pay “true odds” on these bets:
4 and 10 pays 2:1 – There are 3 ways to make 4 or 10 (1:3, 2:2, 3:1) (4:6,5:5,6:4) and 6 ways to throw a 7 (1:6,2:5,3:4,4:3,5:2,6:1) so: 6/3 = 2 to 1 odds
5 and 9 pays 3 to 2 (Four ways to throw 5 or 9 vs. 6 ways to throw 7)
6 and 8 pays 6 to 5 (Five ways to throw 6 or 8 vs. 6 ways to throw 7)
If you are betting on the Don’t Pass or Don’t come, you can take odds in the same manner. On 4 or 10 you would “lay” 2 to win 1, on 5 or 9 you would lay 3 to win 2, and on 6 or 8 you would lay 6 to win 5.
MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT THE LIMITS ARE ON ODDS. Some casino’s offer 2x odd (Double your line bet) and others (see the gaming guide) offer 100x Odds.
The basic House edge in craps is about 3 % or 1/36 (When 12 is thrown on the come out roll). Since the house pays true odds, it is to your advantage to take full odds (where there is no house edge).
More Advanced bets
BIG 6 & BIG 8 – This bet is a convenience bet in the corner of the table. It pays even money instead of 6-5. Many players like this bet because you can bet the table minimum and you control the bet by simply picking up your chips.
The Field Bet – This is a one roll bet. It pays even money. You place your bet in the field area, if the shooter rolls 2,3,4,9,10,11 or 12 you win. (Most casinos pay 2 to 1 if a 2 or 12 is rolled). If the shooter throws 5,6,7 or 8 you lose.
Place Bets: You can place a bet on any of the numbers across the top of the layout. 4 and 10 pay 9 to 5, 5 and 9 pay 7 to 5 and 6 and 8 pay 7 to six. You win every time the number is rolled. You lose on seven. Place bets are not “on” the Come Out Roll.
LAY BETS: Identical to a place bet except that you are betting on a seven before the number is thrown. You would lay 7 to win 6 on the 6 and 8, 7 to win 5 on the 5 and 9, 9 to win 5 on the 4 and 10
As you can see: These bets do not pay “true odds” and the house advantage is much greater. 10% on the 4 and 10, 6.66% on the 5 and 9 and about 4% on the six and eights.
A Buy Bet: A buy bet can be placed on any number and it pays true odds. In exchange for the better odds, you will pay 5% of your bet (called the vig or vigorish). This is the house edge. You will often see players buy the 4 and 10. It would be a disadvantage to buy the 6 or 8.
HARD WAY BETS: You can bet on a number to come up as a pair (2:2, 3:3, 4:4, 5:5). These bets win when the shooter throws the pair of numbers you bet on (Hard 4 = 2:2). These bets lose when a 7 or any other combination of the number is thrown (Hard 4 loses on 1:3, 3:1 or any seven)
In general Hard Way bets are not good bets. The hard 4 and 10 pay 7 to 1. There is 1 winning combination (2:2) and 8 losing combinations (1:3,3:1,1:6,2:5,3:4,4:3,5:2,6:1) so the odds are about 12.5% in the house favor. The Hard 6 and 8 pay 9 to 1 with 10 losing combinations (1:5,2:4,4:2, 5:1 and 1:6, 2:5, 3:4, 4:3, 5:2, 6:1) with a house edge of about 10%
The Horn bet is one of the worst bets in the casino … It is also one of the most exciting.
The Horn bet consists of 2,3,11 and 12. You can bet on any one of them or any combination
Two or snake eyes or aces: Betting on 1:1 pays 30 to 1: Actual odds 36 to 1
Three or acey duecy: Betting on 1:2 or 2:1 pays 15 to 1. Actual odds 18 to 1
Eleven or YO!: Betting on 5:6 or 6:5 pays 15 to 1. Actual odds 18 to 1
Twelve or BOX CARS: Betting on 6:6 pays 30 to 1. Actual odds 36 to 1.
Hi-Lo = Betting on 2 and 12
Hi-Lo-Yo = Betting on 2, 12 and 11
Horn Bet = Betting on 2,3,11 and 12
Any Craps = Betting on 2,3 or 12
Horn High (2,3,11,12) = Betting on the Horn plus an additional bet on one number