Craps Rules – Learn How to Play Craps

Online Craps RulesThe most popular and probably the only dice game in casinos nowadays is craps. When this game was played on the streets, the activity was known as ‘shooting dice’ and the game was called ‘street craps’. In street craps players played against each other, and not against a gambling establishment like a casino. It required very little for the game to be played, and was mainly played in informal setting. The casino version of the game that you probably know, at least from movies, is called just ‘craps’.

If you are a beginner, we can’t deny that craps might seem intimidating at first. It’s not that it isn’t easy to play once you get into it, but until you learn the basic rules you will think it is a complicated game with hundred different types of bets, while players shout from all around the table. Fortunately enough for those that don’t want the clamor, there is online craps, so they can learn the game at peace with the help of their computer, Smartphone, tablet etc.

When you are through with this guide, you will think quite the contrary of craps and how it isn’t that complicated. Once you learn the first and most basic bets, the entire game will immediately reveal itself as you get to know the other bets. During your craps playing time you will add more bets to your use, and after just 10 to 15 minutes of practice in free play mode at any online casino, you will master the game enough to get you going.

Craps Rules

The following are the rules that apply to playing craps:

  • Casinos decide which bets will be offered as well as the payouts for them.
  • The players throw the dice in turns, and the one throwing them is called the ‘shooter’.
  • Bets are placed on the appropriately marked sections of the table where the particular bet is displayed.
  • Before throwing the dice the shooter needs to make a ‘Pass’ or ‘Don’t Pass’ line bet. At some craps tables these bets may be called ‘Right’ and ‘Wrong’ or ‘Win’ and ‘Don’t Win’ bets.
  • A craps game is played in rounds.
  • For a round to start, the shooter needs to make a ‘come out’ roll. If the roll is two, three or twelve, bets placed on Pass line are lost. If the roll is seven or eleven, they win.
  • If the shooter’s come out roll is four, five, six, eight, nine or ten, then a ‘point’ is established to pass. In order for the bets on Pass Line to succeed, the point must be rolled before a seven, and the round will finish. If the point number is established before a seven, the bets lose and the dice is given to the next shooter. Whenever the Pass line bets win the Don’t Pass line bets lose and the other way around.
  • If twelve is rolled on the come out roll, the Don’t Pass Line bets are pushed, while the Pass Line bets lose.

The Basics of Craps

Objective of the Game

When played in land-based casinos, craps can be a game where people can socialize because it attracts much attention and usually many people stand by the table to watch the action. When playing online this is not the case obviously, but the same objective stands, to guess the outcome of the dice.

As mentioned earlier, the player whose turn has come to shoot the dice is called the ‘shooter’. The viewers that stand around the board in land-based craps games are the players and bet on the outcome of the roll. When the dice are rolled, the outcome can be a total number between two and twelve. One round can consist of just one roll or a series of rolls. The object of the game is to bet on or against the shooter.

Come Out Roll

The come out roll is the first roll of the shooter. When a seven or eleven is the outcome, all the Pass Line bets receive a payout. If the outcome of the dice is two three or eleven, then these bets lose. If another number is rolled apart from these, then the point is established.

When the point has been established, the second phase of the game begins. In this phase Pass Line bets succeed when the point number is rolled. If seven is rolled, then they are lost and the round ends. Each new game in craps begins with the come out roll.

Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line Bet

If the players want the Pass line bets to succeed, he mustn’t roll two, three or twelve, but eleven or seven. The opposite of these are Don’t Pass Line bets, which succeed if the shooter rolls two, three or twelve. If the point is established the shooter must repeat the point number before rolling a seven. If a seven is rolled, the shooter loses. These bets are the fundamental bets in craps and can be your starting point in learning craps and all the other options.

The best starting bet is the Pass Line bet on the come out roll. It offers a house edge of around 1.40%, while the majority of other bets have much higher edge. They are recommended as best for beginners. Stick to this bet if you want to minimize your chances of losing.

Come Bet and Don’t Come Bet

This bet is similar to the Pass Line bet in the aspect of mathematics, and can be placed after the come out roll, while the Pass Line bet is made before the come out roll. This bet too is won if the shooter rolls 7 or 11, and here too you can win if the shooter rolls the point number before a 7.

Naturally, the Don’t Come bet is the opposite of the Come bet and similar to the Don’ Pass Line bet. With this bet you suggest that the shooter will not repeat the point number before he rolls a 7.

Place and Place to Lose Bets

Place bets are those made on the numbers of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. If some of these numbers has been rolled before the shooter rolls a 7, your Place bet is won. To make this bet you need the Don’t Pass Line bet. The best odds with this bet are if you make on 6 or 8, while the second best option is to make it on 5 or 9.

The opposite of the Place bet is the Place to Lose bet. This bet is won with a 7, but if the number that you are betting against is rolled, then your Place to Lose bet is lost. Here too the best Place to Lose bets are if made on 6 or 8.

Other Bets

Other important bets that you can make in craps are: Buy, Lay, Big 6 and Big 8, Field Bet, Any 7, Any Craps, Twelve Craps or Two Sixes, Twelve Craps or Aces, Eleven or Six Five, Three Craps or Ace Deuce, Two Craps or Aces, Horn Bet etc.

A Simple Strategy to Use

If you decide that craps is your game and that you want to advance with your craps skills, make sure to first carefully learn the basic and most common bets, and then try to learn all the other options. You can take some simple tips with you and always guide yourself according to them. For example, the best wagers that you can make are Pass Line or Come bets and bets on 6 or 8. Pass Line and Come bets have the lowest house edge in craps. But never bet on Big 6 or Big 8, because they have bad payouts.

Also, you should only play craps games where you can Take Odds for Pass Line and Come bets, and remember to never place Proposition bets. After you have learned how to play craps properly, you should see to it that you have found a strategy that suits your style of play the best. Design a system how to manage your money, however, don’t hope for a system like the Martingale, because with it you will need quite a large bankroll.


Craps is one of the most exciting and loudest games at land-based casinos. They even feature rules of how craps players should hold the dice when they wish to roll as well as other similar rules of conduct. This game provides the true essence of the casino world and pure entertainment. Today, online casinos feature even live craps games where a live dealer is broadcasted from a studio with a craps table in front of him and multiple players can log on to the table and play.

Useful Craps Glossary

Any Craps: this bet is when players predict that the outcome of the dice will be a total of 2, 3 or 12.

Back Line: another term that denotes Don’t Pass.

Big 6: a bet suggesting that a 6 will be rolled before a 7.

Big 8: similar to Big 6, when a player bets that 8 will be rolled before 7.

Front Line: another term that denotes Pass Line.

Visit our Craps Glossary Guide for a more comprehensive list of terms and phrases.



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