Craps is a casino dice game where two dice are thrown, and players bet on various results and combinations of the throw and betting round (multiple throws). It is an incredibly popular casino game but can be difficult to understand at first.
If you study the table closely you will see that both sides of the table are the same. One side is for players on one end of the table and vice-versa. The bets in the middle of the table are the Proposition Bets.
A new craps betting round begins with the Come Out roll, the first roll of the dice. A Come Out roll can only be made when the previous betting round ends.
A betting round is over when the previous Shooter makes a losing roll – either they fail to make the Point or they Seven Out. If, on the Come Out roll, the shooter makes their Point, they get to shoot again. However they will be shooting another Come Out roll, and beginning a new betting round.
The craps layout consists of areas with various betting options (be sure to place your bet in front of where you are standing at the table):
Pass Line Bet – Means that you are betting with the shooter and that the shooter is going to pass or “win.” Wins if the first roll is a Natural (7 or 11) and loses if it is Craps (2, 3 or 12).
If, on the Come Out roll, a Point is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), the dealer will mark the Point with the puck and flip it to read “On”. Now that the shooter’s point is marked the shooter must roll his/her point before a 7 is rolled in order to win.
Once the Point is rolled by the shooter the puck will moved to “Off” and the shooter will shoot all over again to get a brand new Point. If a 7 is rolled before the shooter can make the Point, the Pass Line bets lose and the dice go to the next shooter on the table.
Odds on Pass Line Bet - Once a Point is rolled, you can make this additional bet by taking odds. The bet is placed behind a players Pass Line Bet.
Most casinos allow you to have double odds, meaning whatever you have on the Pass Line you can have double the amount behind the Pass Line bet. Now other casinos offer more odds, so always be sure to check the options before you play.
The bet wins if the Point is rolled again before the shooter rolls a 7. Each Point has a different payoff. 4 or 10 pays 2:1, 5 or 9 pays 3:2 and 6 or 8 pays 6:5.
Come Bet - This bet can only be made after the Point on the Pass Line has been determined. After you place a Come Bet, the first dice roll will set the Come Point. Your Come Bet will win if a Natural (7 or 11) is rolled and will lose if Craps (2, 3, or 12) is rolled. Future rolls will make you a winner if the Come Point is made before a 7 is rolled. If a 7 is rolled before the Come point is made, Come Bets lose.
Odds on Come Bet - Same as Odds on Pass Line Bet however you take odds on the Come Bet, not the Pass Line Bet.
Don't Pass Line Bet - This is the reverse bet to the Pass Line Bet. Wins if the Come Out roll is a 7 or 11 and loses if a 2 or 3 is rolled (12 is a tie/push with the house). If a Point is rolled, the Shooter must roll a 7 before the Point is repeated for this bet to win. If the Point is rolled first, the bet loses.
Don't Come Bet - This is the reverse to the Come Bet. After the Come Point has been established, you win if the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 and lose with 7 or 11 (12 is a push). If a Point is made, then Don’t Come loses if the point is repeated and wins if a 7 kills the Point.
Odds on Don’t Pass and Don’t Come - Same as Odds on Pass Line Bet and Odds on Come Bets, but the odds payouts are backwards. For example, instead of being paid 2:1 when winning on a point of 4 or 10, you’re paid 1:2. That means that a $10 Odds bet wins $5.
Place Bets - Bet can be made after the Point has been determined. A player can bet on any number on the table. Place Bet payoffs depend on the Point number you're betting on. 4 or 10 pays 9:5, 5 or 9 pays 7:5 and 6 or 8 pays 7:6. You can cancel your Place Bet/s at any stage.
Field Bets - These bets hold for one dice roll only. Wins if the shooter rolls 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 and loses if 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled. Field Bet payoff are 1:1 (even money) except a 2, which pays 2:1 and a 12, which pays 3:1.
Big Six, Big Eight Bets - Can be placed on any roll. Wins if 6 or 8 is rolled before a 7. Both bets pay 1:1.
Proposition Bets - Can be placed on any roll and are one-roll bets, with the exception of the Hardways. Most casinos, even if the table minimum is $5, you make $1 bets on proposition bets except on a Horn bet where you would have to bet at least $4 ($1 on each number):
- Any Craps - Wins if a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled and pays 8:1.
- Any Seven - Wins if a 7 is rolled and pays 5:1.
- Eleven - Wins if an 11 is rolled and pays 6:1.
- Ace Duece - Wins if a 3 is rolled and pays 16:1.
- Aces or Boxcars - Wins if a 2 or 12 is rolled and pays 30:1.
- Horn Bet - Acts as a bet on 2, 3, 11 and 12 all at once and wins if one of these numbers are rolled. Horn Bet pays 8:1 for 2, 3 and 12 and 16:1 for 11. If you win a Horn Bet, the other three bets are lost.
- Hardways - Wins if a Hard number is thrown (2+2 for 4, 3+3 for 6, 4+4 for 8 and 5+5 for 10) before a 7 is rolled or before an Easy Way combination of the Hard Way totals is hit.
As you can see, craps is a fairly complicated casino game to learn and master.
The wide array of different craps betting options and rules associated with those betting options can be overwhelming at first glance. However, this is what makes the game so fascinating.
Once you get to understand its nuances, it can be one of the most enjoyable online casino games to play. For explanations and meanings of all the craps terms used in this article, read below.
Aces – Betting that the next roll will be a 2.
Any Craps - A bet that the next roll will be a 2, 3 or 12.
Any Seven - A bet that the next roll will be a 7. Also called a Big Red bet.
Betting Round - A set of throws (rolls of the dice) that begins with a Come Out roll and ends when the Shooter makes their
Point or rolls a 7 (Seven Out).
Boxcars - Betting on the 12. Two 6's rolled in a craps game are called Boxcars.
Come Out roll - The first roll of a new game.
Easy Way - A roll of 4, 6, 8 or 10 with each die being different from the other.
Hard Way - A roll of 4, 6, 8 or 10 with each die being the same (pairs).
Layout - The area where players can place various bets.
Payoff - The return a player receives from a winning bet.
Point - The Point is the number that is set by the Come Out roll. Only Place numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) can become the Point.
Press a bet - To double a bet.
Seven Out - When a 7 is rolled after the Point has been established and before the Point number is rolled.
Shooter - The player rolling the dice.
Throw - A single roll of the dice.
Yo - The number 11. Can be called Yo-leven.
Craps has a number of strategies that can be applied in the game, the most famous of which is the Martingale System. This strategy can be basically applied to any casino game and is very popular among the brick and mortar casino gamblers as well as the online casino players.
The main idea of the Martingale System is to double one's bet after every loss so that the next win would cover all of the previous losses. However, this strategy does not always tend to work, as a series of lost games or hands might lead to losing the whole bankroll.
Therefore, in order to win at craps one needs to concentrate more on how they play and how they handle the game itself. In other words, maintaining discipline, managing your bankroll, selecting correct bets and handling your temper are the real main points for craps strategy.
Knowing how much you can afford to lose is very important – setting boundaries does not necessarily mean that you will lose, it applies more to your discipline.
You should also know what wagers you can take, and this usually depends on your bankroll. The bets should not be higher than 1/20th of the amount of cash in your disposition. For example, if your bankroll is $400-$500 you may place $10 bets on the craps table.
The wisest bets are those which pay even money or double your wager. Although they do not bring instant fortune, they are usually more beneficial in the long run. This craps strategy urges you to choose the betting options which provide the best odds. The more likely outcomes will keep your bets safer, as the chances of the positive outcome are much higher.
And the final craps strategy advice is to control yourself and to not get carried away. When playing craps online you may first want to practice at the free craps tables. Get familiar with the game, try all of the betting options and see how it goes. After playing for some time you can switch to real money games, starting with low wagers and gradually increasing them. This kind of step-by-step integration will help you gain better control of your game than by getting instantly involved in big money craps games.
There is a lot of etiquette at the dice table. The most important thing to remember is at a dice table you always want to place your bets while the dice are at the center of the table. This also includes when you want to buy chips.
After you buy chips from the table you want to keep your chips in front of you on the chip rail. You don’t want to have your money on the table unless you are making a bet.
The stickman will make sure that everyone is ready before he gives the dice to the shooter. Once the stickman gives the dice to the shooter you don’t want to be getting your hands in the way because if the dice hits your hand at the craps table, you’re going to make a lot of enemies.
If a dealer has been real nice to you and you want give him a token of appreciation you can either give him a tip while you’re playing or you can make a bet for him.
Another popular bet is a two-way bet which is one-way for you and one-way for the dealer. For example if you want to do a two-way Hard Eight bet, you’ll place $2 on Hard Eight. One-dollar is for you and the other is for the dealer.