No doubt the most fast-paced and exciting game in the casino, craps tables are always packed full with a cheering crowd hoping for a big payday with a streak of good luck. Though new players might think craps is difficult to learn, it’s actually a rather user-friendly game once you understand its basic mechanics and bet options. It’s a game that everyone can enjoy and work together to beat the house!
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Craps is essentially a dice game that you play on a special table marked with different bet options. The betting sequence consists of two main phases:
The come out roll: the game begins with a player, called the shooter, makes a bet on the “pass line” or “don’t pass line”. After he/she places the bet, the shooter proceeds to the come out roll by throwing two dice on the table.
Pass line bets win if the sum of both dice is 7 or 11, called a natural. On the other hand, if the come out roll ends up being 2, 3, or 12, called craps, then pass line bets loses while anyone betting on the don’t pass line will win on 2 or 3 and ties on 12. A new come out roll will commence if the roll ends up being either a natural or craps. If the shooter rolls any other number: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, he/she establishes a “point” number and brings the game to the next phase.
The point round: for pass line bets, the objective now is to roll the same point number again before a 7 appears. If the shooter rolls a 7 before the point number, then the don’t pass line bets win. At the point round, the only numbers that have an effect are the number 7, point number, and any specific number with a bet on it. When a shooter rolls a 7, the round will end and he/she will pass the dice on to the next shooter.
In an online casino: playing craps online is almost identical to the real thing but the dice and table are now virtual, the dealer is a computer program, and a random number generator determines the outcome of each roll. The main difference is, of course, you’ll be playing in the comfort of your home without a rowdy crowd surrounding you. However, the main steps are still the same:
Although the vast array of craps bet options could seem intimidating, the beauty of the game lies in this versatility where you can wager your money in so many different ways.
Furthermore, craps has perhaps the broadest spread of house edge in any casino games with the lowest at a mere 1.41% to as high as over 10% depending on the bets you make. To truly grasp how to make the best use of your bankroll, take a look at our comprehensive guide to understanding the odds and house edges of craps.
Apart from the pass and don’t pass line bets during the come out roll and point round phases, there are additional bets you can place during the point round.
Come and don’t come: these bets are almost identical to the pass and don’t pass line bets. The difference is that these bets only come into play after the shooter establishes a point number. If the first roll after placing a bet ends up being a 7 or 11, players who put their money on come bets win. Similarly, if the roll is either 2 or 3, then don’t come bets win while a 12 is a tie. When the shooter rolls any other number, it becomes the come or don’t come point where come bets win if this point number is rolled before a 7 and don’t come bets win if a 7 shows up before the point number appears.
Odds: the odds bets are to complement either your pass or don’t pass line bets. These bets have no house edge so many casinos limit the maximum amount you can wager. The payout odds change according to the point number.
Place win: during the point round, you can choose to wager on the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 and you win if the shooter rolls your chosen number before a 7. Again, the payout ratio varies according to the number you bet on.
Place lose: this is the exact opposite of a place win bet where you also choose a number of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 but you win if a 7 appears before the chosen number.
Buy: similar to the place win bet, you choose a number and win a buy bet when that number is rolled before a 7. The payouts here are higher but you’ll have to pay a 5% commission either when you place the bet or if you win, depending on the casino’s terms. The payouts vary with different chosen numbers.
Lay: the opposite of a buy bet, when you place a lay bet, you’re counting on the shooter rolling a 7 before a specific number.
Big 6 and big 8: you win a big 6 bet or a big 8 bet when the shooter throws a 6 or 8 before a 7 respectively.
Field: when you make a field bet, you win if the roll after you wagered your bet is a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 and lose if the roll is 5, 6, 7, or 8.
Single roll bets: also known as proposition bets, these bets are resolved on the next roll. The payout odds are higher but so is the house edge. Therefore, only wager on these bets if you’re willing to risk more for a bigger reward:
Now that you know which types of bets are available, it’s time to look at how to make the best wagers in different situations. Head over to our detailed strategy guide for craps to become a true expert in this fun game!
Craps come in different variations and it pays to understand how they work as the rules can be quite distinctive:
Regular craps: For playing online, most casinos only offer the vanilla form of craps, called regular craps, and you can play them on your own or live with other people.
Crapless/ bastard craps: at the come out phase, a shooter establishes a point if he/she rolls a 2, 3, or 12 while an 11 does not give you a win on pass line bets. This means that you’re exchanging a pass line win of rolling an 11 to not crap out on a roll of 2, 3, or 12.
Simplified craps: this is a straightforward dice game where you’ll win when you get a roll of 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, or 12 and lose if the roll is any number from 5 to 9.
Die rich craps: instead of two dice, you play with just one and a roll of 1 is crap while a 6 will result in a win. Rolling any number in between establishes a point. You get three throws to roll the point number and the round is over either after you complete all rolls or when you throw a 1.
Craps is engaging and fun both when playing with others or on your own. The extensive choices of bets allow you choose your playstyle, whether you like to go slow and steady with lower house edge bets or aim for the big rewards with riskier odds. Try this entertaining game now in a safe environment at one of our trusted craps casinos.
Last updated July 27, 2017