How to Play Craps: The Complete Craps Rules Guide
For someone new to the game craps 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 utterly impossible to understand and may put you off ever attempting to play. But if you take it very slowly, and learn what we are about to teach you, you’ll see that learning how to play craps is not that hard at all.
In craps, the players around the table act in turn as “the shooter” – the one rolling the dice. The game is played around a large table in the casino, which is replicated online. 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. With the end of any of these two phases of a round of craps, the dice get passed along to the shooter on the right and a new round begins.
1) Placing Original Bets: Before the dice are even rolled all players have to place their bets on the pass or don’t pass lines, and can also lay or take odds on these original bets as well. Reach more about the odds bet further down in the article.
2) Come Out Roll: The first roll of the dice in a round is called the come out roll. This roll determines how the game will proceed. If the shooter rolls a 2,3,7,11 or 12 then the round will finish and players will lose or win bets.
3) Establishing the Point: The game proceeds after the come out roll if any other number is rolled by the shooter on the come out roll, which would be a 4,5,6,8,9 or 10. If one of these numbers is rolled then that number becomes the point, and a black puck will be placed on top of that number at the craps table, and will be indicated on the screen in online craps.
4) Playing the Point: You don’t have to place any additional bets on the table to play the point, the pass and don’t pass bets remain active. If the point is rolled pass bets are won, and the shooter is able to play a new come out roll and everyone can place new bets. If a 7 is rolled then the shooter 7-outs and the dice are passed to the next shooter.
5) Placing Side Bets: After the come out roll, you are free to start placing whichever side bet you wish from the multitude of bets available in this game. After all, it’s the endless opportunities to play so many different bets that adds the edge to this game!.
The easiest way to explain the whole process of the come-out roll and point is to walk you through the game using the example of 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. A pass bet wins when the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, and loses with a 2,3 or 12. If a point number is established as described above, the pass line bet wins if the point number is rolled before a 7. Here is what it looks like in practice:
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.
5) 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.
Don’t Pass Bet
There is also a “don't pass line bet,” and it is as anyone would assume the exact opposite of the pass line. This bet wins if the come-out roll is “craps” (2,3,12) 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. The pass and don’t pass bets represent the basic 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.
The best way to learn how to play craps is to familiarize yourself with the numerous amount of bets available and when you are allowed to place the bet you want. The game becomes a lot more exciting for the player if equipped with the right information concerning all the bets. Bet knowledge is a game changer which can transform the player experience - you will really start to understand the thrill level the craps table is renowned for. Remember to always look up the odds and payouts of the bets. You can find this information in a detailed table on our craps strategy page.
A come bet works in the exact same way as a pass-line bet but is individual to a single player only instead of the whole table, and it is made in the middle of a round when the shooter has already established a point. From the moment you make a come bet you can view the shooter’s next roll as your own individual come-out roll. You win if the shooter rolls a 7 and 11; lose on 2, 3 and 12; and all other numbers become your individual point. Betting on the come bet pays even money.
Don't Come Bet
A don’t-come bet works in the same way as a don't-pass line bets but, just like the come bet, this is made at any time after the come-out roll. The don’t come bet wins if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 when the dice are rolled immediately after the don’t come bet is made. With a 2,3, or 12, the come bet loses. If any other number is rolled on that first roll after the player has placed a don’t come bet and the bettors don’t come bet individual point number is established. If that individual point number is rolled before a 7, the don’t come bet loses, if a 7 is rolled before the individual don’t come bet point number, the bet wins.
One of the best bets out of all casino games combined is the craps odds bet, the house having a very tiny 1.41% edge on the Pass Line bets, and only 1.36% edge on the don’t pass bets. These bets are more like side bets, and they are not marked on the craps casino table. The odds bet can be placed together with pass line bets, don't pass line bets, come bets, and don't come bets behind your original bet on the table on the outer side closer to you. All you need to do is place multiples of your bet as allowed by the casino next to your original bet. Odds bets are allowed to be placed after a point has been made after the come out roll, and can be made at any moment during a round as long as the original bet is still on.
The aim of the odds bet is the same as the original bet. You lay an odds bet on pass-line bets and come bets, the odds bet is that the shooter's point will hit before a 7. With odds bet on don't-pass line bets and don't-come bets the bet is called taking odds, and what you are betting on is that a 7 will hit before the shooter's point. If you win your original bet, you also win the odds bet placed on it.
Generally speaking, an online casino will allow you to lay or take odds to a maximum of three times your original pass/don’t pass/come/don’t come bet. This can obviously go changing according to the particular online casino you’re playing at – but this seems to be the case in the majority of online casinos. The payout on these bets depends on what number the shooter's point is. The average payout for the point numbers for laying odds are normally 2 to 1 for point numbers 4 or 10; 3 to 2 for point numbers 5 or 9; and 6 to 5 for point numbers 6 or 8. If you are taking odds, the payout changes slightly to 1 to 2 for point numbers 4 or 10; 2 to 3 for point numbers 5 or 9; and 5 to 6 for point number 6 or 8. However, Odds bets always give true odds, and are the most advantageous in Craps.
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/Aces (2)
A bet that the shooter rolls 2
Ace Deuce (3)
A bet that the shooter rolls 3
Yo Eleven (11)
A bet that the shooter rolls 11. Called 'yo' so nobody at the table gets confused with seven rhyming with eleven.
Boxcars/Midnight/Twelve Craps (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/Three Way
A bet that the shooter rolls 2, 3 or 12
Any Seven/Big Red
A bet that the shooter rolls 7
Craps and Eleven/C&E
A bet that the shooter either rolls an eleven, or any of the any craps numbers. This is marked on the craps casino table as C&E on the outside of the proposition bets. The important thing to remember about this one is that half your bet is on the eleven, the other half on any craps, so you will always lose half your bet as you can’t win both any craps and eleven at the same time.
A bet that the shooter rolls your chosen number (either 2,3,4,9,10,11, or 12) at the next roll of the dice. Bets are placed in the field-bet section on the craps casino table.
A more personalized bet as you can pick any particular dice combination that takes your fancy. Works the same way proposition bets do as they can be made whenever you like during an active round at the table, and the bet is only valid for the next roll of the dice. Only some online casinos have this bet, so check beforehand if you really have your heart set on making this particular bet.
These bets might need several rolls, but they’re not dependent on the come-out roll or point numbers active in the round.
Big 6 and Big 8
Big 6 and big 8 win if the shooter rolls a 6 or 8 before a 7 and pays even money. You can see this bet in the corners of the craps table. A word of advice though, for practically the same bet you just put your money on the Place bet and you get better payouts and lower house edge.
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” or a 7. The hard way means that the dice show the same value. The dice combination 2-2 is a hard 4 while 3-1 is an easy 4; 3-3 is a hard 6, while 4-2 is an easy 6, 4-4 is a hard 8, while 2-6 is an easy 8, and 5-5 is a hard 10, and for example 6-4 is an easy 10.
All other dice combinations resulting in the 10, 8, 6 or 2 are considered an ‘easy way’. For example there are four non-pair combinations for a 6: 1-5, 4-2, 5-1, and 2-4. The pair combinations are called a hard way as there is only one way to make a pair combination, whilst the others are called an easy way as there are more ways available to make the number.
How to Play the Hard/Easy Way Bet
Don’t be fooled by the fact that this bet is placed with the proposition bets on the table, it is not a proposition bet by any means, this bet continues to stand until there is an outcome to the bet, as many rolls of the dice as this may take. After you win or lose the bet, you can keep the bet rolling to the next round or remove the bet, which can be done at any time.
Once you make the bet on a particular number, you are betting on the hard way of that number appearing before one of the easy way combinations or a 7. Once you have placed the bet, one of the following four outcomes will happen:
1) You will lose the bet if a 7 appears.
2) You lose the bet when an easy way combination of your chosen number is rolled.
3) Your bet stands if a number other than your chosen number and a 7 appears.
4) Your bet wins if the ‘hard way’ of your number is rolled.
Hard and Easy Way Dice Combinations
Hard Way 4: 2-2; Easy Way 4: 1-3, 3-1
Hard Way 6: 3-3; Easy Way 6: 5-1, 1-5, 2-4, and 4-2
Hard Way 8: 4-4; Easy Way 8: 2-6, 6-2, 3-5, and 5-3
Hard Way 10: 5-5; Easy Way 10: 6-4; 4-6
Each of the different hard ways numbers has its own payout as some are easier to lose that others, so check out the payouts on the craps strategy page so you can make a better decision about which number you want to bet on.
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. Works in the same way as buy/lay bets (see below), with the only difference being that they don’t offer the player true odds.
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.
If you want to place a buy bet you select one of the following numbers 4,5,6,8,9 or 10 at any point in the game after the come out roll. If that particular number comes up before the 7 you win the bet. A lay bet is the opposite, you win if the 7 comes up before that chosen number.
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. 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. If you are completely new then try out the free online craps game on our site to practice your skills before playing in the online casino. Then you’ll be ready to enjoy one of the most classic casino games around.Once you have learned the craps rules, and familiarized yourself with this fast and exciting dice game you will understand why it's so popular.
Experience the Multitude of Bets Available and Play Online Craps
As they say, the only way to truly experience something is not to be told about it, but to just do it yourself. So take your pick from one of the best online casinos found on the web by looking at the online casinos found in our toplist – all reviewed by the experts on our team – and immerse yourself in the rich world of craps betting.