Craps Rules

For someone new to craps the rules might seem a bit complicated. And to be honest, the first time you see the chaotic craps-table layout or the hectic surroundings it looks impossible to understand.But if you take it slowly, you’ll see that it’s not that hard at all.

When you have learned the craps rules, and familiarized yourself with this fast and exciting dice game you will understand why it's so popular.

Official Rules of Craps

In craps, the players around the table in turn act as “the shooter” – the one rolling the dice.

There are two phases of the rolling: The “come-out roll,” which is the first throw, and the “point,” which are the following rolls for the shooter.

Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line

The easiest way to explain the come-out roll and point it’s to use the most common bet made in craps: The pass-line bet.

In order to make a simple pass-line bet, you simply lay your chips on the area marked Pass Line.

  1. The shooter now makes the come-out roll and three things can happen:

  2. The shooter rolls 7 or 11, which is called “natural,” and the pass-line bet wins.

  3. The shooter rolls 2, 3 or 12, which is called “craps,” and the pass-line bet loses.

  4. The shooter rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, which then becomes “the point,” and the chips are moved to the box representing the point. Now the rolling continues until the shooter either hits 7 or the established point. If the point comes up, the pass-line bet wins, but if the 7 comes up the bet loses.

There is also a “don't pass line bet,” and it is as anyone would assume the exact opposite of the pass line.

It wins if the come-out roll is “craps” and loses on a “natural” (the only discrepancy is that a 12 represents a tie/push).

When a point is established, the don’t-pass line bettor obviously hopes for a 7 instead of the point.

These two bets represent the rules of craps. In fact you could start playing only knowing them. But if you’d like to know all the other betting possibilities, we will go through them as well.  

Other Bets in Craps

Come Bet

A come bet works as a pass-line bet but is individual to a player and is made in the middle of a round when the shooter already has established a point.

If you make a come bet you can view the shooter’s next roll as your come-out roll. You win on 7 and 11; lose on 2, 3 and 12; and all other numbers become your point.

Don't Come Bet
A don’t-come bet works as a don't-pass line bets but, just like the come bet, this is made after the come-out roll.

Odds bet
These bets can be placed together with pass line bets, don't pass line bets, come bets, and don't come bets.

With pass-line bets and come bets, the odds bet is that the shooter's point will hit before a 7.

With don't-pass line bets and don't-come bets the bet is that a 7 will hit before the shooter's point. The payout on these bets depends on what number the shooter's point is.

However, Odds bets always give true odds, and are the most advantageous in Craps.

Single Roll Bets

The following bets are made on one roll. You can forget about come-out rolls and points altogether. Everything is about the shooter’s next throw.

Most of these bets are found in the right area of the craps layout:

Snake Eyes (2)

A bet that the shooter rolls 2

Ace Deuce (3)

A bet that the shooter rolls 3

Yo Eleven

A bet that the shooter rolls 11

Boxcars (12)

A bet that the shooter rolls 12

Hi-Lo (12 or 2)

A bet that the shooter rolls 12 or 2. The bet is placed on the line dividing the two numbers.

Any Craps

A bet that the shooter rolls 2, 3 or 12

Any Seven

A bet that the shooter rolls 7

Field Bet

A bet that the shooter rolls your chosen number in the field-bet section


Multi-Roll Bets

These bets might need several rolls, but they’re not dependent on the come-out roll or points.

Big 6 and Big 8

Big 6 and big 8 win if the shooter rolls a 6 or 8 before a 7.

Hard and Easy Way

Hard way is a bet that the shooter rolls 4, 6, 8 or 10 the “hard way” before the “easy way.” The hard way means that the dice show the same value. 2+2 is a hard 4 while 3+1 is an easy 4. Easy way is simply the opposite bet.

Place Win and Place Lose
Place win is a bet that a specific number chosen by a player (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) will hit before a 7. Place Lose is a bet a 7 will hit before a specified number chosen by the player.

Buy and Lay Bets
Buy bets work as a place-win Bet but have a different payout structure. The house pays out the true odds but deducts a 5% service charge. Lay Bets are the opposite. They work as place lose but have the same 5% fee.

Craps Rules Summary

These were the most common bets in craps online. Live casinos may offer other types of wagers such as whirl and off-the-hoop, but if you’re going to play online, you’ll do perfectly fine with these bets.

However, we haven’t said anything about the odds of these different bet yet – something that really matters.

Craps is a game with some of the best AND some of the worst odds in the casino all depending on where you choose to place your chips.

So before you hit the tables, we strongly recommend that you study craps strategy. Then you’ll be ready to enjoy one of the most classic casino games around.