The game of Craps can be a very confusing and complicated game to new players, but it is actually relatively simple to master once you get your head around how it plays, pays and operates.
The game takes place on a casino table and the action revolves around a pair of dice. If you are visiting a land based casino, you can spot the Craps table by the group of players huddled together shouting and whooping with excitement.
How To Play
When you play Craps in a local casino, or even a multiplayer game online, one thing will probably notice is the each player will have their own unique set of chips. This is purely to enable the casino employees to recognise whose bets are whose on the betting layout.
If you wish to purchase chips when playing in a land based casino then you simply hand over your money and the casino employee will issue you with a set of chips. You can choose the value of these chips yourself from the possible options at that particular table.
When the game is about to start you will need to place your chips on the parts of the betting layout that represent the bet you wish to make. However, some bets can only be placed at certain times – depending on whether it is a Come Out roll or a Point Roll.
A Come Out roll is a roll before a point is established – there will be some kind of marker to represent this in the casino window if you’re playing online. A point is established when the Come Out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. The Point Rolls continue until either a 7 or the point is rolled, after which the next Come Out roll sequence begins.
The following are some of the most common bets in Craps. Others exist, but these will satisfy most players.
- Pass Line (1 to 1) – The most common bet at the table and can only be played on a Come Out roll. With this bet, you win if a roll is 7 or 11, and the bet loses if the Come Out roll is 2, 3 or 12. If any other number is rolled, the point is established and the bet wins if the point is rolled before a 7 is rolled; if a 7 is rolled first, the bet loses. This bet is also known as a ‘Front Line’ bet.
- Don’t Pass Bets (1 to 1) – In this bet,- also only available for the Come Out roll – you win if a 2 or 3 is rolled and lose if the roll is a 7 or 11. If a 12 is rolled then the bet is a tie. All other numbers result in point being established, after which the bet wins if a 7 is rolled before the point number. If the point is rolled before a 7 then the bet loses.
- Come Bets (1 to 1) – This bet is only available after a point has been established. You win this bet if a 7 or 11 is rolled, and lose if it is a 2, 3 or 12. Any other number results in a Come Point being established, after which the Come Bet is moved into the box on the layout that represents that specific number. The bet then wins if the Come Point is rolled before a 7, and loses if a 7 is rolled first.
- Don’t Come Bets (1 to 1) – Again this is a bet that must be placed once a point has been established and wins if a 2 or 3 is rolled. The bet loses on a roll of 7 or 11, and rolling a 12 results in a tie. All other numbers result in a Come Point being established, after which the bet is moved to that numbers corresponding box. The bet then wins if a 7 is rolled before the Come Point, and loses if the Come Point shows up first.
- Place Bet To Win (Payout Varies) – This be can be placed at any time, but only becomes ‘active’ once a Point has been established. Options for Place bets include 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 and the bet wins if the Place number is rolled before a 7. Payouts vary as follows: betting on a 4 or a 10 pays out at 9/5, 5 or 9 pay out at 7/5 and 6 or 8 pay out at 7/6.
- Place Bet To Loose (Payout Varies) – The opposite of a place bet to win, this bet wins if a 7 is rolled before the place number. Again this bet is only active once the Point has been established. Payouts also vary: 4 or 10 pay out at 5/11, 5 or 9 pay out at 5/8 and 6 or 8 pay out at 4/5.
- Hardway Bets (Payout Varies) – This is another bet that can be placed at any time, but only becomes active once the point is established. Bets can be placed on 4, 6, 8 or 10 and win if the number is rolled the ‘hard way’ (using doubles eg: double 2’s for a hard way bet of 4) before a 7 or the ‘easy way’ (not using a double eg: 3 and 1 for 4) of the number is rolled. The payout varies as follows: hard 4 and hard 10 each pay 7/1 and hard 6 or hard 8 pay 9/1.
- Single Roll Bets (Payout varies) – These are simply straight up bets on a number, or group of numbers, to show up on the next roll. The payout varies depending on what number or series you’re betting on.
Craps Hints and Tips
There are a daunting number of betting options available when you play Craps, but some of them offer very poor value. Regardless of whether you are playing Craps online or at a local casino, we suggest avoiding the straight up next-number bets (called ‘proposition bets’) which come with a staggering house edge of 11.11%. Some of the best bets include placing the 6 or 8 to win (1.52%) or lose (1.82%).