How to play Craps

Craps is probably second to only Blackjack in its simplicity and popularity of casino table games. Other than the simplicity of the game, one of the biggest draws is the social aspect of standing around the table with other gamblers shouting numbers as the Shooter rolls. Naturally, as online casinos grew in popularity, virtual versions began to emerge. Whether you are looking to play at a table with others or in a first-person version by yourself, you can toss the dice onto the table at many online casinos.

The Basics

Craps is a game in which the Shooter (the dice roller) throws 2 dice onto the table looking for a specific outcome. Bettors can wager on dozens of outcomes that, at first glance, can look complicated, but after a short time watching the game be played, a player can learn and be comfortable at the table. We will cover these bets and the rules so that you can confidently step up or login to a table and be ready for the dice to land.

The Come-Out Roll: The Come-Out Roll begins the round. The dice are thrown and the resulting number sets the game. Three possible out comes of the Come-Out Roll are the Natural, Craps or the Point.

Natural: A Natural is when the Come-Out roll results in a 7 or an 11.

Craps: Landing the dice on 2, 3 or 12 result in a Craps.

Point: If the dice land on something other than the aforementioned number the result becomes the “Point.”

Betting

Now that we understand the basic terminology for the dice, let’s discuss the ways to wager on the craps table. Here is what makes the game look complicated. A standard craps table has 11 types of bets than can be placed.

Pass Line and Don’t Pass: Pass bets are placed before the Come-Out roll and both pay 1:1.

  • The Pass Line bet wins on the Come-Out roll if it lands on a 7 or 11 and loses on a 2, 3 or 12. Any other value establishes the “Point,” and the Pass Line bet wins if the point is rolled again before a 7.
  • The Don’t Pass bet wins on the Come-Out roll if the result is a 2 or 3 and pushes on a 12. Once the “Point” is established, the Don’t Pass bet wins if a 7 lands before the point.

Come and Don’t Come: Come bets are very similar to Pass bets, but are placed after the Come-Out Roll and also pay 1:1.

  • The first roll after a Come bet is placed has the same rules as the Pass Line bet for the Come-Out Roll. Win on 7 and 11; Lose on 2, 3 and 12. Any other value being rolled becomes your Come bet Point number and you win if your Point lands before a 7.
  • The Don’t Come bet plays the same rules as the Don’t Pass. Win on 2 or 3; Lose on 7 or 11; Any other value determines the Point for the Don’t Come bet and you win if a 7 comes before the point.

Odds Bets: Players have the option to place side bets to complement their Pass and Come bets after a Point is established.

  • Pass Line Odds bets are called “taking the odds,” because there is no house edge. The payouts vary depending on the outcome of the dice. 4 or 10 pays 2:1; 5 or 9 pays 3:2; 6 or 8 pays 6:5.
  • Don’t Pass Line Odds are called “laying the odds,” and the payouts are reversed. 4 or 10 pays 1:2; 5 or 9 pays 2:3; 6 or 8 pays 5:6.

Place Wins: Place Win bets are made after a point is established and can be placed on 4,5,6,8,9, or 10. This bet is won if the chosen number lands before a 7. Like Odds bets the payouts vary depending on the outcome. 6 or 8 pays 7:6; 5 or 9 pays 7:5; 4 or 10 pays 9:5.

Place Lose: Place Lose bets are the opposite of the Place Win. Place Lose bets are on the same values and win if a 7 is rolled before the chosen number with varying payouts. 6 or 8 pays 4:5; 5 or 9 pays 5:8; 4 or 10 pays 5:11.

Buy and Lay: Buy and Lay bets play the same as Place bets but with higher payouts at the cost of a 5% commission paid to the casino. Buy bet payouts are: 6 or 8 pays 6:5; 5 or 9 pays 3:2; 4 or 10 pays 2:1. Lay bet payouts are: 6 or 8 pays 5:6; 5 or 9 pays 2:3; 4 or 10 pays 1:2.

Big 6 and Big 8: These bets both pay 1:1 and win if the chosen number lands before a 7.

Hardways: Hardways bets are won when the chosen number is achieved on a doubles roll (said to be the “Hard Way”) before a 7 is landed. Payouts are variable: 4 or 10 pays 7:1; 6 or 8 pays 9:1.

Field: Betting the Field is a single roll bet that wins on a 2,3,4,9,10,11 or 12 and loses on 5,6,7 or 8. The bet pays 1:1 unless the value is 2 or 12 in which case the payout is 2:1.

Propositions (Prop Bets): Prop bets are single roll side bets that are high risk high reward. There are 6 different Prop bets on the craps table and win if the condition is met.

  • Any 7 – the next roll is a 7 pays 4:1
  • Any craps – the next roll is 2, 3 or 12 pays 7:1
  • Aces – the next roll is 2 (snake eyes) pays 30:1
  • Any 11 – the next roll is 11 pays 15:1
  • Ace Duce – the next roll is 3 pays 15:1
  • Boxcar – the next roll is 12 pays 30:1

Hopefully after reading through this quick guide you can walk up to, or more likely log into, a craps table and feel like you are placing your bets with meaning and not just tossing chips onto the table with bated breath.

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