Master the Craps Rules

Fully grasping the rules of craps means you can confidently approach the table, place your bets and enjoy the dice game, whether playing at an online casino or in person. 

The Objective

The aim of the game in craps is to wager on the outcomes when a pair of dice are rolled. The shooter that’s rolling the dice ‘wins’ if they land a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll (the first throw). 

It’s a loss if they throw a 2, 3, or 12, known as craps. Any other number rolled becomes the point, which is the new target number. 

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The Craps Table

The game is all about the craps table. There’s space for the dice to be rolled and also several specially designated areas for placing your chips to make specific bets. The casino personnel runs the table, making sure that the game flows smoothly.

The Dice

There are two six-sided craps dice. The shooter rolls, and the two numbers shown on the dice are the outcome that determines wins or losses.

The Puck

The puck is a round disk displayed on the table. The black side reads ‘off’, indicating the next roll is a come-out. When the white side that reads ‘on’ faces up, a pass sequence has already begun.  

The Stick

The stick moves the dice around the table and passes them to the shooter at the start of the round.

The Shooter

The shooter is the person rolling the dice in a land-based casino environment. Often players around the table take turns when a round ends. However, some shooters stay on for several rounds.

The Boxperson

The Boxperson is one of the casino personnel. They are responsible for exchanging chips, overseeing the game, and supervising the dealers. 

The Stickperson

The stickperson is in charge of the dice; they use the stick to collect them and move them to the shooter. They call out the outcome of a roll.

The Dealers

A dealer has three jobs. They can place a bet for a player, collect losing bets, and pay out winnings on successful bets.

10 Best Craps Bets

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Basic Craps Rules

A major part of playing is knowing the best craps bets. We’ve outlined the top 10 options, what they mean, and when you can place them.

1. Pass Line

A pass-line wager can be made on a come-out roll. You win if 7 or 11 is rolled and lose if the result is 2, 3, or 12. If another number is rolled, it becomes the point, and it needs to be rolled again before a 7 to get a win.

2. Don’t Pass

This wager is also for the come-out roll but is the opposite of the pass-line bet. You win if 2, 3, or 12 is rolled and lose on 7 or 11. If a point is established, you win if it isn’t rolled again before a 7.

3. Come Bet

After the first roll, you can place a come bet if the shooter has a point. Like pass line wagers, 7 or 11 leads to a win, and 2, 3, or 12 equals a loss. If any of the other numbers are rolled, that becomes the come point, and you get a win if it’s repeated before a 7 is rolled.

4. Don’t Come Bet

The opposite of a come bet and similar to a don’t pass bet, it’s made once the shooter has a point. Your bet wins when 2 or 3 is rolled, a 12 is a tie, and a 7 or 11 is a loss. When any other number is rolled, it becomes the come point, and if a 7 is rolled before it’s repeated, you win.

5. Field Bets

The field bet is a one-roll wager. It covers several numbers with different payouts. You win on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. If 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled, it’s a loss.

6. Place Bets

Once a shooter has a point, you can make a place bet on any of the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. It pays out at different rates depending on the number if it’s rolled before 7. You can pull a place bet before the next roll.

7. Hardways

This bet covers multiple rolls. You win if the shooter rolls a pair but lose if the dice lands on 7 or if the number is formed the easy way instead of the hard. A ‘hard 6’ is 3 and 3; an ‘easy 6’ is 5 and 1 or 4 and 2.

8. One Roll Bets

Most of the bets above stay on the table for multiple rolls until concluded. However, there are several bets that only depend on the outcome of a single roll.

Any Seven

You’re betting that the next roll will be 7. You’ll find it with the other one roll or proposition bets in the middle of the table.

Any Craps

This bet covers the three crap numbers: 2, 3, or 12.

2 or 12 Bets

A wager that predicts that the next roll is a 2 or a 12.

3 or 11 Bets

This wager predicts that a 3 or an 11 will be rolled next.

Horn Bets

A horn bet combines the above two bets, meaning you’re predicting that 2, 3, 11, or 12 will be rolled.

Big 6, Big 8

In craps, 7 is the most frequently rolled number. The next two are 6 and 8. Place your chips on the big 6 or big 8 spaces to predict that the next roll will be 6 or 8.

9. Free Odds/Laying the Odds Bets

A free odds bet is possible after you make a pass or come bet. Once a point is established, you can back your original pass or come bet with free odds, meaning it pays out at the true odds of the bet. If you placed a don’t pass or don’t come bet, you can lay the odds.

10. Buy Bets

You can get true odds for the place bets by turning them into buy bets. It means you pay the casino a commission for the improved house edge.

Craps Odds and Payouts

The craps odds can be understood by knowing that two six-sided dice are used, meaning there are 36 possible combinations, with six ways to make 7, five ways to make 6 and 8, four for 5 and 9, and three for 4 and 10. 

These are the true odds, but the casino adds a house edge, which means there are different craps payouts for each result and bet type.

BetPaysTrue OddsHouse Edge
Pass Line1 to 1251 to 2441.41%
Don’t Pass1 to 1976 to 9491.36%
Come1 to 1251 to 2441.41%
Don’t Come1 to 1976 to 9491.36%
Place 6 or 87 to 66 to 51.52%
Place 5 or 97 to 53 to 24%
Place 4 or 109 to 52 to 16.67%
Any 74 to 15 to 116.67%
Any craps7 to 18 to 111.11%
2 or 1230 to 135 to 113.89%
3 or 1115 to 117 to 111.11%
Big 6 or 81 to 16 to 59%
Field bet (3, 4, 9, 10, or 11)1 to 15 to 45.56%
Field bet (2 or 12)3 to 15 to 42.78%
Hardaways 6 or 89 to 110 to 19.09%
Hardaways 4 or 107 to 18 to 11.11%

Craps House Edge

The craps house edge varies quite a lot between the different bets. It means it’s worth paying attention to the percentages to aim for bets that deliver the best value over time.

How To Play Craps – Breakdown of a Round

Now you know all about the bets and craps rules, it’s time to get a better idea of how to play craps. We’ll talk you through what a round looks like so you know exactly what to expect. 

  1. Comeout roll

The round begins with the shooter’s first roll or comeout roll. All bets need to be in before the roll. During this roll, the shooter might establish a point, and the puck is switched to on.

  1. The game is on 

While the puck is set to on, players can place all kinds of in-game bets, with multiple roll bets continuing for the different rolls. The shooter keeps going until a 7 is rolled, known as ‘sevening out’. 

  1. Prepare for the next round

The puck is switched to off, and players can remove their bets from the table or continue. The next shooter will begin the process again.

Place Your Bets!

There’s a long list of craps bets, which include multiple numbers, single numbers, multiple rolls, and single rolls. Not all of them can be placed during every stage of the game, so it’s essential to grasp the craps rules

The house edge is one of the most important considerations for choosing your bet. Understanding the odds and payout to make the most of the game is essential. Go to your favorite online craps casino and start playing! Before you play, make sure to study your craps strategy.

Frequently asked questions

The essential rule of craps for a shooter is that a 7 or 11 is a win and 2, 3 or 12 is craps or a loss. Any other number becomes the point to aim for on subsequent rolls.
Our number one tip is to understand the odds, rules, bet types and payouts. You can also check out our craps strategy guide for more detailed advice.
The pass and come bets are two of the most popular, as they can lead to free odds. You might also like the don’t pass and don’t come bets, since they have the lowest house edge.
With our guide, you can quickly grasp how craps is played. We recommend finding free-play games to put your new knowledge to the test. Craps is a game of chance, so wins aren’t guaranteed, but once you know what you’re doing, it becomes easier to plan your bankroll management for the gameplay.
Casino Expert
Raguia is the Content Writer for the UAE market. She has been a writer since the early 2000s, specializing first in journalism, then social media and now content writing. She likes to follow casino trends and stay up to date with the ins and outs of the gaming industry. She plans her next trip if she isn't trying, testing and reviewing casinos. She speaks five languages, has visited 37 countries, and will keep travelling while playing online.

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