How Do You Play Craps | Step-by-Step Guide?

Find out – How do you play craps with a step-by-step guide on the rules, betting strategies, and more. Plus, find out how you can start playing for free today!

How Do You Play Craps – A Beginner’s Guide

Are you looking to add a bit of excitement to your next game night? Craps might be the perfect game for you! This popular dice game can provide hours of entertainment and gives every player an exciting opportunity to win some big rewards. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore all the basics of – How do you play craps? – from making bets with chips to rolling the dice – as well as giving tips on how beginners can have the best experience possible when playing at home or in a casino. 

So grab your chips, roll up those sleeves, and brush up on your understanding – we’re about to dive in!

Introduction to Craps: A Thrilling Dice Game at the Casino

Introduction to Craps: A Thrilling Dice Game at the Casino

Craps is an exciting casino game that combines action and strategy, adding an extra thrill to your gambling experience. In this game, both money and the roll of the dice play a crucial role.

To get started with casino craps, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the personnel at the craps table and their respective roles. The key players at a craps table in a casino typically include dealers, a box person, and a stickperson.

The boxperson is the supreme authority at the craps table, overseeing the entire game. They are responsible for managing the chips and handling any disputes that may arise between the dealers and players.

The dealer positioned on the boxperson’s right side is known as the 2nd base dealer. If you are playing craps on this side of the table, you are considered to be on the 2nd base side. An easy way to remember this is by looking at the field: on 2nd base, number two is the farthest from the boxperson.

Likewise, the dealer positioned on the boxperson’s left side is called the 3rd base dealer. If you are playing craps on this site, you are considered to be on the 3rd base. Again, referencing the field, number twelve is the farthest from the boxperson, representing the 3rd base (1+2=3rd base).

The stickperson, using a long-hooked stick, is the dealer in charge of moving the dice. You can find the stick person at the center of the table, opposite the box person.

If a player is “straight out,” they are located in the middle section of the table, on either side.

Supervisors at the table use factors such as the color of the player’s clothing and their position to identify players for rating purposes.

How to Set Up a Game of Craps

To start a game of craps, you’ll need to gather some supplies – specifically, two standard six-sided dice and some chips. You can use any type of chips for the game as long as they are different colors, so players can easily differentiate between their bets.

Next, set up the playing area by placing the two dice in the designated spot on the table and having each player choose a color for their chips. The shooter will then roll both dice to determine which player goes first.

Basic Rules of Craps

Basic Rules of Craps

  1. Craps, a thrilling casino game, offers a multitude of betting options. However, the pass-line bet is the key focus of the game’s structure.
  2. To place a pass line bet, players simply need to position their chips on the designated area on the craps layout. Other bets may require assistance from the dealer to relocate your chips.
  3. The pass sequence starts with the come-out roll, where the shooter throws the dice.
  4. Pass bettors achieve victory if the roll results in a 7 or 11, but suffer defeat if the roll yields a 2, 3, or 12. Any other number becomes the point.
  5. If the shooter establishes a point number during the come-out roll, they continue rolling until they either match the point number, resulting in a rewarding even-money payout or roll a 7 and lose.
  6. If the shooter succeeds in making their point, the game continues with a new come out. However, if they fail, the dice are passed to a new shooter.

Craps can be simplistic, with players betting on one number and winning or losing with each roll. On the other hand, it can also be complex, involving strategic placement of bets, awaiting the roll of a specific target or “point” number, and hoping for subsequent identical rolls. This procedure can continue for multiple rolls.

Now, let’s delve into the intricacies of the craps layout and explore its available betting options.

Different sections of the craps layout represent distinct bets. Placing your chips on the pass line signifies a pass bet, which is a multi-roll wager. The box displaying images of dice showing a 6 and a 5 represents a one-roll bet on 11.

When playing online craps, you can make various bets by simply clicking on the corresponding area on the screen.

However, in live casino play, you can physically place your chips on the layout to bet on pass, don’t pass, come, don’t come, and the field. For other bets, you need to place your chips directly in front of you on the layout and inform the dealer about your desired wager.

For example, if you want to bet $5 on the place bet for 4, you would place $5 in chips in front of you and instruct the dealer, saying, “$5 place on 4.” The dealer would then relocate your chips to the designated box for 4.

Now, let’s explore the most common types of wagers, categorizing them into multi-roll and single-roll bets. It is common for craps players to have multiple bets active simultaneously, adding to the excitement of the game.

While not every possible wager is listed here, you can find information on house edges for bets like lay bets and horn bets in the comprehensive chart provided in the final chapter.

Embrace the thrill of craps as we guide you through its fundamental rules and equip you with effective betting strategies.

How Do You Play Craps?

How Do You Play Craps?


House edge: 1.41%

Many non-craps players find multi-roll bets confusing. But fear not! We are here to demystify the game for you. It only takes a few rolls to determine the outcome, and we’ll guide you through each step.

Contrary to popular belief, casinos don’t create complicated rules to scare away players. They want you to have fun and win! After all, if we don’t play, they can’t make money.

Let’s start with the pass-line sequence. It all begins with the “come-out roll.” You can easily spot the come-out roll by looking for a disc on the table.

If the disc is placed towards a corner of the layout and shows a black side with the word “off,” then the next roll is the come out. If the disc is in a numbered box and has a white side saying “on” face up, then the pass sequence is already in progress, and the next roll is not the come-out.

During the come out, there are certain outcomes. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, pass bets win. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, pass bets lose. If the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, that number becomes the point and the game shifts gears. Now, the shooter must roll that number again before rolling a 7.

Don’t worry about any other rolls – they don’t affect the pass bet. Even if the point is 6 and the next few rolls are 4, 8, 3, 11, 5, 12, for example, your pass bet stays in action. The outcome will only be decided when the shooter either rolls the point again or rolls a 7.


House edge: 1.41%

The Come bet is a powerful tool for experienced bettors. Similar to the Pass bet, it allows you to make a wager when there is already a point established for Pass bettors.

Here’s how it works: If the next roll is a come-out, you want to place a Pass bet. However, if there is already a point, you can opt for the Come bet. In this case, the following roll serves as the starting point for your Come bet sequence.

Let’s paint a scenario: The shooter rolls a 6 on the come-out, making it the point. Before the next roll, you place a Come bet. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, congratulations!

Your Come bet wins. On the contrary, if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, your Come Bet will lose. Any other number that comes up will become the point for your Come bet.

Keep in mind that the outcome of your Come bet may differ from your Pass line bet. For example, a 7 that wins on your Come bet could potentially lose on the Pass line. Similarly, a 2, 3, or 12 that loses on the Come bet will not affect your Pass bet.

Consider this scenario: The point is set as 6 in the game of craps, and you decide to follow with a Come bet. If the next roll is a 7, you win on the Come bet but lose on the Pass bet.

However, if it’s an 11, you win on the Come bet and your Pass bet remains active. Alternatively, if the roll results in a 2, 3, or 12, you lose on the Come bet, but your Pass bet stays in action.

“Don’t Pass” and “Don’t Come” 

House edge: 1.36% 

These bets are the opposite of the popular “Pass” and “Come” bets. With these bets, you’re essentially betting against the shooter.

For a “Don’t Pass” bet, you win if the next roll is a 2 or 3, but lose if it’s a 7 or 11. Surprisingly, a roll of 12 is a push, meaning you get your money back. Any other role becomes the point. If a 7 rolls before the point is repeated, you win; if the point comes first, you lose.

While most players prefer the excitement of the “Pass” side, there is a small group of “Don’t” players who enjoy the slightly lower house edge and the thrill of going against the crowd. They’re often referred to as “wrong bettors” or members of “the dark side.”

Free odds/ Lay odds

House edge: 0%

Winning bets at true odds, customized based on the point number. It’s not often that you find a casino game that offers an even playing field, but our odds give you just that.

Known as “free odds,” this bet isn’t free – you still have to put money on the line. The “free” part simply means that there are no commissions or hidden fees that make this bet unprofitable for you.

To take advantage of the free odds, you first need to place a pass or come bet. Once a point is established, you have the option to back your initial bet with a second wager.

Traditionally, the free odds bet was required to be equal to your pass or come bet, but nowadays most casinos allow you to bet multiples of your original bet.

The best part is that the free odds are paid out at true odds. If the point number is 6 or 8, a winning free odds bet will reward you with a 6-5 payout. For points of 5 or 9, the payout is 3-2, and for points of 4 or 10, the payout is 3-1.

These payoffs reflect the actual odds of rolling those numbers. With two six-sided dice, there are 36 possible combinations, with six of them totaling 7, five each for 6 and 8, four each for 5 and 9, and three each for 4 and 10.

Having six ways to roll a 7 and five ways to roll a 6 means that the true odds against rolling a 6 before a 7 are 6-5, the same as the payout for winners. Therefore, there is no house edge. This principle applies to all point numbers.

The payoffs match the odds against winning the bet, eliminating any house edge on the odds themselves, although the house retains its edge on the pass or come bet that you must make before placing the odds.

If a casino offers single odds, your odds bet must be equal to your pass or come bet. If the casino offers multiple odds, your odds bet can be any multiple of the original up to the maximum limit. For example, with 10x odds, your odds bet can range from 1x to 10x your original bet.

Many casinos now offer 3x, 4x, and 5x odds, which means you can make an odds bet of three times your original wager if the point is 4 or 10, four times if the point is 5 or 9, or five times if the point is 6 or 8.

This makes calculating payoffs simple – with maximum odds, the total payoffs are the same for any point. If you bet $5 on a pass, then a $15 odds bet on 4 or 10 pays 2-1, or $30; a $20 odds bet on 5 or 9 pays 3-2, or $30; and a $25 odds bet on 6 or 8 pays 6-5, or $30.

If you prefer don’t pass or don’t come bets, you can lay the odds instead. For example, if the point is 6, the don’t bettor has six ways to win – the six possible ways to roll a 7 – and only five ways to lose – the five possible ways to roll a 6.

When you lay the odds, you win $5 for every $6 you bet on 6 or 8, $2 for every $3 you bet if the point is 5 or 9, and $1 for every $2 you bet when the point is 4 or 10.

The payoffs reflect the true odds, similar to when a pass/come bettor takes free odds. There is no house edge on the lay odds, although the house does have an overall edge because you must bet don’t pass or don’t come first.

Place Bets

House edge: 1.52% for 6 or 8, 4% for 5 or 9, and 6.67% for 4 or 10

Winning bets are paid generously at 7-6 odds for 6 or 8, 7-5 for 5 or 9, and 9-5 for 4 or 10.

No need to wait for the shooter to establish a point on the come-out – with place bets, you can choose your number right away.

Place your bet on the shooter rolling your number before rolling a 7. Forget about other numbers – only your chosen number matters.

Remember, the payout is more than even money but less than true odds. While the true odds for making a 6 or 8 are 6-5, the payout is 7-6, giving the house a 1.52% edge.

A crucial tip: when placing a bet on 6 or 8, make sure it’s in multiples of $6 to receive the 7-6 payoff. Betting $5 will only result in an even money payout.

Although other place numbers have higher house edges, many players prefer to bet on the frequently rolled 6 and 8.

Buy Bets

House edge: 4.76% (or less) 

While winning bets are paid at true odds, there is a 5% commission that must be paid to the house.

For example, if you purchase the 4 for $20, you’ll also need to pay a $1 commission. But if you win, you’ll be paid at the appealing 2-1 true odds. This approach decreases the house edge from 6.67% to 4.67% on numbers 4 or 10, although it may increase the house edge on other numbers.

However, we offer an even better deal at some of our casinos – the commission is only charged if you win. This opportunity lowers the house edge to just 2% when buying 5 or 9, and an enticing 1.67% on numbers 4 or 10. This makes buying a more favorable option compared to placing bets.

Keep in mind, the house edge on buying 6 and 8 under these conditions is 2.27%, so you’ll still be better off with the 1.52% for a place bet.

Hardways Bets

House edge: 9.09% on 6 or 8, and 11.11% on 4 or 10.

Win big with our enticing payoffs of 9-1 on 6 or 8, and 7-1 on 4 or 10.

Immerse yourself in the game as a number rolled the hard way means that both dice show the same number. Picture a hard 4 as a 2 on each die, a hard 6 as a 3 on each die, and so on.

To be victorious in a hard-way bet, your chosen number must come up the hard way before the shooter rolls either the dreaded 7 or your number any other way.

Remember, if you bet hard 8 and the roll is 2-6 or 3-5, you lose. Only 4-4 is the golden ticket to victory!

How to Play One-Roll Bets: Increase Your Chances of Winning

Learn about the various odds, house edges, and strategies for success.

The Field

House edge: 5.56% or 2.78%

Place your bet on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12, and watch the payouts roll in. 

2 or 12

House edge: 13.89%

Bet on 2 or 12 and increase your chances of hitting the jackpot. This high-risk bet offers a generous payoff of 30-1. 

3 or 11

House edge: 11.11%

Take a chance on 3 or 11 and experience the thrill of victory. This bet provides a chance to win big with a payout of 15-1. 

Any 7

House edge: 16.67%

This straightforward bet offers a payout of 4-1. 

Any Craps

House edge: 11.11%

With a payout of 7-1, this bet offers a thrilling opportunity to win big.

Hop Bets

House edges: 13.89% or 11.11%, 

These bets offer a payout of 30-1 or 15-1, depending on the type of hop bet. Take control of the game and bet on each die landing on a specific number. 

Master the art of one-roll bets and uncover the best strategies for success. With lucrative payoffs and exciting possibilities, it’s time to take your game to the next level. Place your bets, roll the dice, and let the winnings come pouring in. The stakes are high, but the rewards are even higher!

Essential Rules and Tips

Craps is an exhilarating game that can be enjoyed both online and in live casinos. While the core of the game remains the same, it’s important to understand that there are some differences in rules and procedures. Here are three key points that every player should be aware of before diving into the action.

Rule 1: Master the Dice

In Craps, two six-sided dice are used to determine your fate. Your objective is to bet on the total number that appears when both dice are rolled. For example, if one die lands on 2 and the other on 4, your roll would yield a total of 6.

Alternatively, if both dice show a 1, your roll would equal 2. It’s important to note that you cannot bet on each die individually; all Craps bets are based on the combined total of both dice.

Rule 2: Know Your Options for Buying Credits

When playing online, you typically start by making a deposit or using existing funds in your account. On the other hand, live casinos offer different options. Most players buy chips directly at the table, either with cash or by cashing a credit marker if they have a credit account.

However, some players come prepared with chips from previous gameplay. To buy chips at a live casino, you simply need to place your cash on the layout and inform the dealer of your intention.

It’s important to remember that dealers cannot take cash directly from your hand; they will exchange your cash for chips after it has been placed on the table.

Rule 3: Familiarize Yourself with the Table Personnel

Online, everything is automated, but in live casinos, there’s a team of skilled individuals overseeing the game. The typical crew consists of four professionals: the boxman, the stickman, and two dealers.

The boxman is responsible for ensuring that players adhere to the rules and that dealers make accurate payoffs. When you buy chips at the table, the boxman oversees the transaction and securely stores your cash in a drop box.

The stickman, equipped with a long hooked stick, handles the dice and manages proposition bets at the center of the table. Lastly, the dealers are responsible for distributing chips, managing wagers, and providing payouts.

Rule 4: Betting

When playing at online casinos, you’ll see a visual representation of the craps layout on your screen. Simply click on the chip images to select your desired bet amount, then click on the corresponding area on the screen to place your chips.

For example, to make a “Pass Line” bet, click on the pass line area. If you want to bet on 11, click on the box that shows 11 with images of dice.

At live casinos, you can place your chips on the pass line and in areas marked “Come” and “Field.” However, for most bets, the dealer will handle placing your chips.

Just slide your chips onto the layout and inform the dealer of your desired bet, such as “$6 each on 6 and 8.” The dealer will then move your chips to the appropriate box, ensuring both the bet and its owner are correctly identified based on your position at the table.

Rule 5: Betting Limits

When playing online, you’ll typically be given the option to choose from various minimum and maximum bet ranges.

For instance, you may be presented with choices like minimum bet $1, maximum $100; minimum $5, maximum $500; or minimum $10, maximum $1,000.

Select the range that suits your comfort level. In live casinos, there will be a sign on the table that specifies the minimum and maximum bets allowed. If the sign indicates a minimum wager of $10 and you only want to bet $5, consider finding a different table that better suits your bankroll.

Rule 6: The Shooter

Online casinos use a random number generator to determine the outcomes of virtual dice rolls. In live casinos, players take turns being the shooter. To understand how this works, let’s go back to the pass line.

As you may recall from Chapter 2, the pass line starts with a come-out roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, pass bets win. On the other hand, if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, pass bets lose.

Any other number becomes the point. If the shooter rolls the point number again before rolling a 7, pass bets win. However, if a 7 is rolled first, pass bets lose.

When the shooter rolls a losing 7 after establishing a point, it’s referred to as “sevening out.” At this point, the dice are passed to a new shooter.

It’s important to note that not all losing rolls result in a new shooter. If the come-out roll produces a 2, 3, or 12 and passes bets lose, the shooter has not sevened out and continues shooting.

Likewise, not all 7s are considered a seven out. If the shooter makes a point, the sequence starts anew with a new come-out, and on that come-out, a 7 or 11 will once again be winners.

As long as the shooter keeps making points and avoids sevening out, they continue shooting. The longest streak on record is held by Patricia Demauro, who rolled the dice 154 times without sevening out in 2009 at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

This impressive streak lasted four hours and 18 minutes before the dice were passed to the next shooter.

By understanding and following these essential rules, you’ll be ready to navigate the world of Craps with confidence and maximize your chances of winning. Don’t miss out on the electrifying excitement of this timeless casino game.


Craps might seem intimidating at first, but with a basic understanding of the rules and some practice, it can be an exciting game for players of all levels. Remember to always play responsibly and have fun while trying out different betting strategies.

So why not gather your friends or head to a casino and give craps a try? You never know – you might just become the next record-breaking shooter! So keep rolling those dice and may luck be on your side. Good luck! 

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