How To Play Craps

Craps is the noisiest game in the house and the only spectator game in the casino worthy of the name. Next to Blackjack it's got some of the best player odds and only Roulette has more betting options.

Unfortunately Craps can be pretty intimidating for the newcomer. There are such a large number of betting options, special rules and exceptions you'll feel as if you'll never get to grips with it. But take it one step at a time and you'll soon get the hang of it.

Getting to grips with the basics

The person holding the dice is called the shooter. They throw a pair of dice in what's called the" Come Out" roll. The pair of dice can make a total ranging from 2 to 12. If 7 or 11 is rolled, it's called a natural, they win and the round is over before it starts. If 2 (snake eyes), 3 (cross eyes) or 12 (box cars) is rolled, that's Craps, they lose and again it's over before it starts. If any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) is rolled they establish what is termed the Point.

If the Point is established, you move into the middle part of the round and the shooter continues to throw the dice until either the Point is rolled again or a total of 7 is rolled, either will end the round.

If the Point is rolled, the shooter and his fellow bettors win and the round is over. If the shooter rolls 7, they lose, the round is over and the dice are passed to another player for the start of the next round. If neither the Point nor 7 is rolled, the round continues and the dice keep rolling.

There are a variety of bets that can be made on each throw, some are conditional and some are bets against a specific result. Some bets can stay on the table for the entire round, some bets span rounds and some are only viable for a single throw. All the variability makes craps interesting, fascinating and fun to play.

how to play craps

Bet Options

1. Pass Bet - Is the simplest bet you can make in Craps. It's placed on the Pass Line before the Come Out roll. A 7 or 11 on Come Out make it an immediate winner, paying evens. If a Point is established, the Pass Line bet will pay evens if the Point is repeated before a 7. You lose on the Come Out roll if the dice are Craps (2, 3, or 12). You lose on a subsequent throw if a 7 is rolled.

2. Don't Pass Bet - is basically the opposite of a Pass bet. The bet is placed in the Don't Pass bar prior to the Come Out roll. On Come Out, Don't Pass wins on 2 or 3, loses on 7 or 11 and is a push on 12. Any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) establishes the point. On subsequent rolls it wins if the shooter throws a 7 before the Point, and loses when the Point comes up before a 7. As with the Pass Bet winning bets pay evens.

3. Come Bet - is basically the same as a Pass bet except it is placed while the round is in progress. A Come Bet wins if the next roll is a natural (7 or 11) and loses if it's craps (2, 3 or 12). Any other total (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) becomes the Come Point. The Come bet wins if the Come Point is rolled before a 7, and loses if a 7 is rolled before the Come Point. Winning bet pays evens.

Once committed to a Come Point, the Come Bet may not be removed or modified, it stays in place until the Come Point or a 7 is rolled. Thus, a Come Bet will persist after the end of a round if the round is concluded by a roll of the Point (when the Point is a different number than the Come Point). If the round is concluded by a 7, all Come Bets lose.

During a round of Craps, you can make as many Come bets as you like. Note that when you place a Come bet and the next roll matches an existing Come Point, the pre-existing Come bet is resolved as a win, and the new Come bet is moved up to take its place in the Come Point box.

4. Don't Come Bet - is similar to the Don't Pass Bet, but as with the Come bet it is available once the Point has been established. A Don't Come bet wins when the next roll is a 2 or 3 and loses on 7 or 11 and push on 12. If a Come Point is established (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), the Don't Come bet is moved to the top box corresponding to the Come Point number. The Don't Come bet wins if a 7 is rolled before the Come Point, and loses if the Come Point is rolled. As with the Come bet, the Don't Come bet will stay in place until resolved (therefore they may also persist beyond the end of a round), but unlike Come Bets they may be removed or modified prior to being resolved. Winning bets pay evens.

5. Odds bet - is a backup bet on a Pass/Don't Pass/Come/Don't Come bet already on the table. They're conditional in that the Point (or Come Point) must be established (e.g. you can't place a Pass Odds or Don't Pass Odds bet during Come Out) and you must already have a pending Line bet in order to take up the Odds for that Line. The maximum Odds bet is 3x the existing Line bet. An Odds bet wins only if its corresponding Line bet wins and it loses if its Line bet loses. Correct Odds payouts are as follows:

Number 4 5 6 8 9 10
Odds 2/1 3/2 6/5 6/5 3/2 2/1

6. Field Bet - is a special one roll bet that wins if the total on the next roll is among the numbers shown in the Field box (2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12), and loses if the roll is a 5, 6, 7 or 8. It pays even money on 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11, and pays double on 2 and 12. Field Bets can be placed before any roll.

7. Big 6 and Big 8 Bets - A Big 6 is a bet that a 6 will be rolled before a 7. Similarly a Big 8 bets that an 8 will be rolled before a 7. Big bets pay even money if the shooter rolls their respective number before a 7 and lose if a 7 is rolled first. They are active during the Come Out roll as well as any other roll, and they may persist beyond the end of a round (i.e. when a round ends on a Point roll of 4, 5, 9 or 10). They may be placed, modified or removed at any time before any roll.

8. Place Bets - are when you are either betting for or against a specific point number to appear before a 7. They may persist beyond a round and are always active, even during the Come Out roll. They may be placed, modified or removed at any time before any roll. Place to Win

Place to Win is a bet that a chosen number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) will be rolled before a 7. In general bets are paid according to the following table:

Number 4 5 6 8 9 10
Odds 9/5 7/5 7/6 7/6 7/5 9/5

Place Against is a bet that a 7 will be rolled before the chosen number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), thus placing the bet against that number. In general bets are paid according to the following table:

Number 4 5 6 8 9 10
Odds 2/5 4/7 4/5 4/5 4/7 2/5

9. Hardways - is a bet that the Shooter will roll either 4, 6, 8 or 10 as a double (i.e. the hard way) before it is thrown in any other combination, or before a 7 is rolled. (For example roll 6 as a double 3 before a 7 is rolled or a 6 is rolled as 5+1 or 4+2). Hardway bets are always active, even during the Come Out roll. They may be placed, modified or removed at any time before any roll. Bets are paid according to the following table:

Number 2+2 3+3 4+4 5+5
Odds 8/1 10/1 10/1 8/1

10. One Roll Bets - are a group of high payout bets that are valid for one roll only. They may be placed before any roll.

  • Seven - is a bet the Shooter will roll a 7 on the next roll. Pays 5 for 1 (4/1)
  • Any Craps - is a bet the Shooter will roll a 2, 3 or 12 on the next roll. Pays 8 for 1 (7/1)
  • Craps Two - is a bet the Shooter will roll a 2 on the next roll. Pays 30/1
  • Craps Twelve - is a bet the Shooter will roll a 12 on the next roll. Pays 30/1
  • Craps Three - is a bet that the Shooter will roll a 3 on the next roll. Pays 15/1
  • Eleven - is a bet the Shooter will roll an 11 on the next roll. Pays 15/1