Rules and Strategy

Craps Rules - How to Play Craps (The Basics)

If you have never played Craps before, then it might seem a bit complicated and hectic to you - a lot of action happens at once as you can place a craps bet at any stage during the round. You can play this game if you only know a few of the bet types and craps rules, but you can make the game even more exciting by learning all the different bet types and how and when you should place them. By taking a closer look at how to play craps and the different bet types available, you will quickly learn how to play like a professional and will be able to take on the online casinos.

Craps Game Objective

The main aim of the game is quite simple - you have to bet on the outcome of two rolled dice. Craps is a game of complete luck as there is nothing that you can do to change the numbers that will appear on the dice, but you do have a number of different wagers that you can stick your money on. Most of these wagers are about trying to predict the combination that will appear on the dice when rolled. So, the main aim in a game of craps is to correctly guess the numbers that will appear. Once again, it is complete luck, but this does not stop craps from being a really fun game where you can get some big wins if you are lucky.

Online Casino Craps Table

Craps rules are the same whether you are playing online or at a land-based casino in somewhere like Las Vegas. However, you will find that things are much simpler when playing online. Why is this? Well, there is no shooter as you are the designated shooter every round you play. The dice will be rolled as soon as you push the relevant buttons, and you place your wagers by simply clicking on the appropriate places on the betting layout. Your chips will be placed automatically for you. Below is an example of what the average online craps table will look like.

What are The Basic Craps Rules?

When playing online craps, whether at a mobile casino or on your desktop, you need to place bets on the numbers that will show up on the dice. The game uses two six-faced dice and the player that rolls the dice is known as "The Shooter". If you play craps at a land-based or live casino, then every player at the table has to take a turn at rolling the dice. With each new round, the dice will be passed around the table in a counter-clockwise position. When a round of craps begins, the following happens:

  • The shooter picks up 2 dice to roll
  • The shooter has no choice but to place a Pass Line wager. This can be on the Don't Pass or Pass line (we will explain these shortly)
  • Everyone else at the table places their bets
  • The shooter gets the round rolling by throwing the dice (the dice should hit the opposite wall). This first roll is called the come-out roll

Come Out Roll

If on the come-out roll, the two dice have a combined value of 2, 3, or 12, then this is known as "crapping out" and the round ends. All players that have a Pass Line bet will lose, while those players that have Don't Pass bets will win. If the combined total of the come-out roll is 7 or 11, then the round will also be over. In this scenario though, those players with a Pass Line bet will win, while those players who had a Don't Pass bet will lose.

What if any other valued is rolled? Well, in this case, a point is established that is equivalent to the value that appeared on the dice, and the round carries on to the next stage. The shooter will continue to roll the dice and the other players will keep on betting on the value that will appear until a 7 or the point value has been rolled.

Once the point value or a 7 has appeared on the dice, the round is finished, and we have to start over again. If it was a 7 that ended the round, then the shooter will pass the dice counter-clockwise, but if the point value ends the round, then he should remain as the shooter. These are the basics of how to play craps. The complexities arise due to the different types of bets that can be wagered.

Crap Bets Types

Below you can see all of the different types of bets that you can place when you are playing a game of craps.

BetsDescription
PassA bet that on the first roll, the player will hit a 7 or 11 or will establish the point number.
Don’t PassA bet that on the first roll the player will ‘Crap Out’ i.e. hit a 2, 3 or 12. If the player rolls a 7 or 11 then the bet is lost. If the player establishes a point number then they will keep rolling again and only win if they hit a 7 before hitting the point number.
ComeA bet that is rolled on by a new or returning player. If the player rolls 7 or 11 they win, if they roll a 2 or 3 or 12 they lose. Rolling any other number works similar to the ‘point’ but is named the ‘come’ number and the player must roll this again before hitting a 7 to win.
Don’t ComeA bet that is similar to the ‘Don’t Pass’ bet but placed after the initial roll and in the same way is betting that they will hit a 2 or 3. If the player hits a 7 or 11 they lose. If the total is 12 then the bet is returned. If any other number then the player establishes the ‘come’ number and if they roll a 7 before hitting the ‘come’ number then they win.
OddsAn additional bet on one of the 4 previously mentioned bets, placed after the first roll.
FieldThis bet wins if the next roll of the dice produces a 2,3,4,9,10 or 12.
Big 6Big 6 wins if a 6 is rolled before a 7.
Big 8Big 8 wins if an 8 is rolled before a 7.
Place2 choices here, the player bets on hitting 4,5,6,8,9 or 10 before a 7 or vice versa
‘ 7 ‘The player wins if they hit a 7 on the next roll.
‘ 11 ‘The player wins if they hit an 11 on the next roll.
CrapsThe player wins if they hit a 2, 3 or 12 on the next roll.

We have an informative Craps Bets Guide were we delve deeper into these bets types.

What Are the Payouts in Craps?

Below you can find all of the payout odds for the different types of bets that you can make when playing craps. As you can see, some pay out quite handsomely, but your chances of winning such big bets are quite low. Whenever you win, the dealer will sort your winnings out for you.

Bet

  • Pass Line/Come Bets - 1:1
  • Don't Pass/Don't Come Bet - 1:1

Pass Line/Come Bet Odds (5% commission)

  • 4 or 10 - 2:1
  • 5 or 9 - 3:2
  • 6 or 8 - 6:5

Don't Pass/Don't Come Odds (5% commission)

  • 4 or 10 - 1:2
  • 5 or 9 - 2:3
  • 6 or 8 - 5:6

Field Bets

  • 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 - 1:1
  • 2 or 12 - 2:1

Place Bets

  • 4 or 10 - 9:5
  • 5 or 9 - 7:5
  • 6 or 8 - 7:6

Hardways

  • 6 or 8 - 9:1
  • 4 or 10 - 7:1

One Roll Bets

  • Any 7 - 4:1
  • Any craps - 7:1
  • 2 craps or 12 craps - 30:1
  • 3 craps or 11 - 15:1
  • Horn bet (3 or 11) - 3.75:1
  • Horn bet (2 or 12) - 7.5:1
  • Big 6 or 8 - 1:1

The payouts above are a summary from our Craps Odds Guide where we go into greater detail and is recommend to players who already has a grasp of the game.

Practice by Playing Free Craps

The best way to learn how to play craps is to play for free. Now that we have taught you about the different type of types of bets and craps rules, you should be ready to start playing at an online casino. However, you should not risk your own money until you are 100% sure that you know how to win when playing craps. Craps is a game that has a high house edge, so it is one that you definitely not play using your own cash until you are confident enough. Therefore we recommend playing one of our Free Craps Games.

Apply a Craps Strategy

Once you have learned all about this game thanks to our guide and have gotten a lot of practice in playing free craps, you might want to start thinking about applying a craps strategy. Now, craps is a game of luck and you cannot control what numbers appear on the dice, but you can decrease the high house edge somewhat by applying a craps strategy. What type of strategies are there for this game? Well, take a look at our Craps Strategy Page and all will be revealed.

Note: Craps games odds and payouts are legally covered by the "LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA" as can be found in the legal document in PDF form: leg.mt.gov/bills/2019/BillPdf/SB0025.pdf

Craps Rules FAQs

Below you can find four questions that are frequently asked about craps.

❓ What Are the Basic Rules of Craps?

People think that craps is a hard game, but once you get the hang of it, it really is not. The Basic Rule of this game is that you have to try and guess what numbers are going to appear on the two dice once they have been thrown. This really is all there is to it.

❓ What is the Best Bet in Craps?

The Pass Line Bet is a basic craps bet, but it is one that popular among many craps players. The reason for this because the house edge for this type of bet stands at just 1.41%, making it the bet with the lowest house edge in the game. In fact, you will not find a lower house edge in any other casino game that you play.

❓ What is the Best Craps Strategy?

There are many great strategies that you can use when playing craps, but we recommend the "Placing 6 and 8" Strategy. This is a popular one because players get to choose their own numbers, instead of having to wait for a point to be established. Other than the number 7, the numbers 6 and 8 are more frequently rolled than other numbers, which is why players like to have them in play. The house edge is 1.52%, which is lower than most other types of bets that you will find at a casino.

Tom Lasten, Editor-in-Chief @ Casino Bonuses Index

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