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Craps Guide

Craps for Beginners


What Exactly is Craps?

 Craps is one of the most fun casino games there is, but for the first timer this game of dice can appear daunting. But fear not, our craps for beginners guide will help you with that!

In simple terms, craps is a game of dice where you can bet that the shooter wins or loses. The shooter has to make a bet, but spectators can join in the fun whether the player manages to win or not.

The game is played with two dice, and the total is taken whenever the dice are rolled, which ranges between 2 to 12.

There is a wide range of bets that can be made, and it’s also the only casino game that has a bet where the house has a 0% edge.

Image Credit Lisa Brewster

How to Get Started?

On first impressions Craps might look extremely confusing with the multitude of bets the player can make, but the truth is Craps doesn’t need to be difficult. You will realize it after you read our Craps for Beginners guide.

When the puck marker is black, it means the game is open for anyone to play, but if it’s white, then you’ll need to wait.

Once you’ve bought some chips to play the game, you can get started with a basic pass line bet.

A pass line bet is a wager that the shooter will win the game. This is made before the shooter begins his or her roll, where the first role is known as the come out roll.

If the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11 in the come out role, then you win the pass line bet.

If a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled then you lose the bet.

If any other number is rolled, then that qualifies as a point and the player continues to get the winning value.

In the instance the point is rolled, then the game changes. The point value become the number the shooter needs to roll to win. If the point number is rolled before a 7 is hit, then the pass line bet wins, if a 7 is rolled first, then the bet is lost.

So for example, the shooter rolls a 6, this becomes the point, so the shooter needs to roll a 6 before a 7 to win the bet.

You can make a “does not pass” bet, which is the opposite bet.

Another good bet to make for the introductory player is the odds bet. This is made after the come out throw, and is an additional bet made behind the pass line bet. This is one of the few casino bets that has a zero house edge.

The odds bet is twice value of the pass line bet, so if a pass line bet is $5, then the odds bet is $10.

The odds bet is paid out as: If the point is 4 or 10, then it pays 2 to 1, if the point is 5 or 9, then it pays 3 to 2, and 6 or 8 is paid as 6 to 5.

There is another novice-friendly bet that you can make and that’s the come bet. This functions the same way as the pass line bet, but is made after the point is established.

Craps Strategy

 Many Craps players like to place a pass line or a come bet on each roll, which changes the variance a lot, but you’ll still have the same house edge. This betting strategy does mean you’ll get more action in the game.

One of the basic strategic moves in Craps is to bet on the pass line or come bet and then place the maximum possible bet on the odds.

For those looking to reduce the house edge as much as possible can even opt to bet on a “don’t pass” or “don’t come” and combine it with a “lay maximum odds bet”.

Roulette Tips and Tricks

  1. Put the smallest amount on the “don’t pass” or “don’t come bet” and then put the largest amount behind it on the odds.
  2. Place the 6 or 8 to win a bet. The casino only has an edge of 1.52% in this case. Bet $6 and you’ll get $7.
  3. Place 6 or 8 to lose. Place a $5 on the table and announce a 6 or 8 to lose. If the seven shows, you win $4 since the house edge is 1.82%.
  4. Lay against the 4 or 10, a similar bet as 6 or 8 to lose, but with better payout.
  5. Place 5 or 9 to lose.

Craps Rules

  1. The shooter rolls the dice, where the first throw is referred to as the “come out” roll.
  2. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 the first time, this counts as a win in the shooter’s favor.
  3. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12 then the shooter loses.
  4. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled, then this is a point.
  5. In the instance a player scores a “point”, then the value rolled becomes the point value. In order to win, the player must roll the point value before a 7 appears.
  6. If the shooter rolls the point value before a 7, then the shooter wins.
  7. In the case the shooter throws a 7 first, then the bet is lost.
  8. After the game is one or lost, then another come out roll is made.
  9. The game is tracked with a plastic puck, which is black on ones side and white on the other. The black side means the shooter is making the come out roll and the white means the shooter makes a point.
  10. Prior to the come out roll, the player must make a wager on the pass line or don’t pass line. Once the shooter has achieved a point, then players can also make an odds bet.
  11. Players can make a number of bets, these are given in the table below.
Pass line This is an even money bet made on the come out roll of the dice. You win if a 7 or an 11 is rolled, lose it it’s a 2, 3 or 12, and if a point is scored, then if the point is rolled before the 7.
Don’t Pass lineThis is the opposing bet to the pass line.
Come BetsThis is made after the come out roll has been made and the shooter achieved a point. You bet on the shooter rolling the point before the 7.
Don’t Come Bets This is the opposing bet to the Come Bet.
Field Bets This is a one roll bet where you win even money on 3, 4, 9, 10, 11. You win 2 to 1 if a 2 or 12 is thrown, and you lose on 5, 6, 7, 8.
Big 6 and Big 8 These are the bets for the case when the appropriate number (8 or 6) is rolled before the 7. This bet pays even money.
Any 7You win if a 7 is rolled on the first throw after you have placed your bet.
HardwaysA hardway bet is not a one roll but, but rather one where you bet that the shooter rolls a pair.
CrapsYou win if a 2, 3 or 12 are rolled on the first throw after you have placed your bet.
ElevenYou win if an 11 is rolled on the first throw after you have placed your bet.
Place Bets If a shooter makes a point, then you may make a place bet on a 4,5,6,7,8, and 10. If the shooter rolls any of these before a 7, then you win the following payoffs: even money on 6 or 8; 3 to 2 for a 5 or 9; 2 to 1 on a 4 or a 10.


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About the author

Barbara is a German-born Austrian with unresolved identity issues and a degree in Ecology and Nature Conservation. She doesn't have a degree in journalism or any related field, but such details can't keep her from being one of the best.

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