Home » craps » how to play
Gary McLellan

Craps is a fast-paced dice game that’s a staple in many casinos and back alleys alike, known for its energy and the camaraderie that often forms among players.

At its core, the game involves betting on the outcome of the roll of two dice, but the multitude of betting options available makes it both exciting and somewhat intimidating for newcomers.

Craps Basics

Craps is played on a table with a unique layout, where players bet on the outcome of dice rolls.
image2 (4)

They say that once you’ve learned the basic rules and played a few rounds, the game’s complexity becomes part of the thrill and you can enjoy playing at your favorite Bitcoin casinos.

Players gather around a specially designed table where they can place their bets on the various sections marked out for different wagers. The roller, or “shooter,” is the person throwing the dice, and their first roll is known as the “come-out roll.”

This initial roll begins a round and can determine the direction for the ensuing bets. Whether you’re hoping to become the shooter or just place bets on the outcomes, understanding the flow of the game is crucial for any player.

In the game of craps, players will find betting options that range from simple to complex. The most common bets are the Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line bets. They hinge on the outcome of the come-out roll or the subsequent rolls when a point is established.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, as numerous other betting options allow for a deeper understanding and engagement with the game, whether one is shooting the dice or wagering on the rolls.

The Layout

The craps table is divided into three areas: two side sections managed by dealers and a center section manned by a stickman. Each side section has areas for pass and don’t pass bets, come and don’t come bets, odds bets, place bets, and field bets. It’s designed to accommodate a multitude of bets for multiple players at once.

Basic Rules

Each game begins with a come-out roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, pass line bets win. Rolling a 2, 3, or 12 is craps, and pass line bets lose. Any other number establishes the point.

Players can also place odds bets, which are additional wagers behind the pass line bet, offering true odds and no house edge.

The shooter keeps rolling until they hit the point number again or roll a 7, which ends the round. For more strategy and rules, they may consult comprehensive guides like the Basic Rules for Craps.

Placing Bets

In craps, players place their bets on the layout of the table, whether it’s online craps or live, predicting the outcome of the rolls. Each betting option offers different odds and payouts.

Pass and Don’t Pass Bets

  • Pass Line Bets: They are the most fundamental bets in craps. A player wins on a roll of 7 or 11 and loses on 2, 3, or 12, known as “craps”. If any other number is rolled, it becomes the “point”, and the shooter must roll that number again before a 7 for the Pass Line bets to win.
  • Don’t Pass Line Bets: This is the opposite of the Pass Line bet. Here, players are betting that the shooter will roll a 2, 3, or 12 on the come-out roll, or that they will roll a 7 before the point number is rolled again.

Come and Don’t Come Bets

  • Come Bets: Similar to Pass Line bets but are made after the come-out roll. If the next roll is a 7 or 11, the bet wins; if it is a 2, 3, or 12, it loses. Any other number becomes a point for the Come bet.
  • Don’t Come Bets: The reverse of Come Bets. A player wins if the next roll is 2 or 3, pushes (ties) on 12, and loses on 7 or 11. Any other number establishes a point that the shooter must hit before a 7 for the Don’t Come bet to win.

Odds Bets

An Odds Bet is a supplemental bet that can be made once a point is established on a Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, or Don’t Come bet. They are laid behind the original bet and pay true odds, meaning there is no house edge.

Field Bets

Field Bets are single-roll bets where players win if one of the following numbers is rolled: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. A roll of 5, 6, 7, or 8 means the player loses.

Proposition Bets

These are high-risk, high-reward bets that are settled on the next roll. They include:

  • Any Craps (2, 3, or 12): Pays 7:1
  • Any Seven: Pays 4:1
  • Eleven (also called “Yo”): Pays 15:1
  • Ace Deuce (3): Pays 15:1
  • Aces (2) or Boxcars (12): Pay 30:1

Note that these bets generally have a higher house edge compared to other bets in craps.

Gameplay Procedure

Craps is played in two main stages: the Come Out roll and the Point phase. Understanding the sequence of play and the roles of the shooter and other players is crucial to the game.

Shooting the Dice

The shooter starts the game by rolling two dice across the table so that they hit the opposite wall. This initial roll, known as the Come Out roll, determines how the rest of the game will unfold. To proceed, the dice must hit the back wall of the table.

Betting Rounds

Before the Come Out roll, players place their initial bets. The fundamental bets are:

  • Pass Line Bet: Players win on a Come Out roll of 7 or 11 and lose on 2, 3, or 12.
  • Don’t Pass Line Bet: Players win on a Come Out roll of 2 or 3, push (tie) on 12, and lose on 7 or 11.
Outcome Pass Line Betters Don’t Pass Line Betters
7 or 11 Win Lose
2, 3, or 12 Lose Win (lose on 7)
Any other number Establishes a Point Same

After the point is established, additional betting options become available.

Point Phase

If the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 on the Come Out roll, that number becomes the Point, and the game moves into the Point phase. The dealer marks the Point on the table. The shooter then continues to roll the dice.

  • The goal is to roll the Point number again before rolling a 7.
  • A roll of 7 ends the shooter’s turn and results in a loss for Pass Line bets.
  • Rolling the Point again results in a win for Pass Line bets and the start of a new round with the same shooter.

Players can continue to make bets on each roll. The shooter’s goal remains to hit the Point before rolling a seven to continue their streak.

Winning Strategies

In the game of craps, success often hinges on a player’s approach to money management and their understanding of bet patterns.

Money Management

Proper money management is crucial to enduring the ebbs and flows of the game. A player should set a budget and stick to it, avoiding the temptation to chase losses. An effective craps strategy is to establish a win limit and a loss limit.

This means setting a specific amount of winnings at which they will stop playing and a maximum amount they can afford to lose. Here’s a simple table for tracking:

Session Budget Win Limit Loss Limit
1 $300 $500 $200
2 $300 $500 $200
3 $300 $500 $200

Bet Patterns

Recognizing and adapting to betting patterns can impact the player’s success rate.

Focusing on low-house edge bets such as Pass Line, Don’t Pass, Come, and Don’t Come with Odds is advisable. These bets offer a better chance of winning in the long run.

For an increased payout potential, players might consider alternating between these and place bets on 6 or 8, as shown below:

  • Pass Line Bet: This is the most fundamental bet with a house edge of 1.41%.
  • Don’t Pass Bet: Opposite of the Pass Line, with a slightly lower house edge of 1.36%.
  • Come Bet: Similar to the Pass Line bet, made after the point is established.
  • Don’t Come Bet: Similar to the Don’t Pass bet, made after the point is set.
  • Odds Bet: No house edge; can be placed behind Pass Line or Don’t Pass after a point is established.

Players often combine these with a betting system, like the 3-Point Molly, ensuring they have three numbers working for them during the game for multiple chances to win on each roll. Remember, each throw of the dice is independent, so consistency in these betting strategies is key.

Craps Variants

While the basic game of craps is widely known, several variations offer unique rules and betting options. Players can explore different styles of play and potentially different odds.

Crapless Craps

In Crapless Craps, players cannot lose on the come-out roll if they bet on the pass line. They can roll a point number of 2, 3, 11, or 12, which effectively increases their chances to establish a point. However, this game typically comes with a higher house edge on pass-line bets.

Open Craps

Open Craps, also known as street craps, is less formal and played without a standard casino table. Players can bet against each other or a bank. The main draw is the freedom to set and cover bets, but players must be cautious of varying rules that are not standardized.

High Point Craps

In High Point Craps, the strategy shifts slightly due to the rule change that a roll of 11 or 12 immediately wins, and a roll of 2 or 3 is ignored until a different total is rolled. This variant emphasizes high numbers and alters the typical craps strategy accordingly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Craps is an exhilarating dice game that combines luck, strategy, and social interaction. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, understanding the fundamentals, mastering betting patterns, and managing your money effectively are key to enjoying and succeeding in this dynamic game. Craps offers a variety of betting options and game variants, each with its own set of rules and odds, providing endless entertainment and challenge. Remember, every roll of the dice brings a new opportunity, making Craps a timeless favorite in the world of casino games.

Gary McLellan

Gary McLellan has been involved in the gambling sector for years after studying Journalism in Glasgow. Starting out with running a poker blog over 10 years ago, he has since worked with many betting publications, focusing on crypto-related sites more recently due to their growing popularity. Gary brings his expertise on gambling to BitcoinCasinos.com since 2022 after successfully overseeing the launch of several sports betting sites including legalsportsbooks.com.