Craps Rules

Learning To Play The Game Of Craps

The one thing that sets craps apart from other table games is the fun and rowdy crowd that is generally surrounding the table. Craps is a very social game that provides massive levels of excitement and thrill. This is quite different to the silence that generally surrounds poker rooms or the pretentiousness that generally surrounds baccarat tables.

The craps table is generally covered with a green felt and each of the betting areas are marked with white borders and wording. The players around the table all take turns throwing the dice, i.e. being the shooter. A round of craps can be as long as a few rolls of the dice or as short as one roll of the dice.

The games objective and rules of player are relatively easy to understand and learn. Many players are intimidated by the seemingly complicated nature of the game to begin with but soon find out just how easy craps is after they spend just a few minutes going through the rules of play.

Players only really need to know about the basic bets on the craps table before they can feel confident enough to play with real money. The advanced betting options on the craps table can be picked up and tried out as you play the game..


Players have two main options when joining a game of craps, i.e. they can bet against or with the shooter. Due to the high level of camaraderie around the craps table, players tend to bet with and back the shooter and not the House.

  • You will win the bet if the shooter wins the bet. In order for the shooter to win, they need to roll a 7 or 11 on the very first roll of the dice.
  • You will lose if the shooter loses. In order for the shooter to lose, they need to roll a craps, i.e. a 2.3 or 12.
  • If the shooter rolls any other number then this number is considered to be “the point”. If the shooter then manages to roll the point number again before rolling a 7, you and the shooter will win. However, if they cannot hit the point number again before rolling a 7, you and the shooter will lose.

A Brief Explanation of the Gameplay

  1. The shooter selects 2 dice from a selection of 5.
  2. Players place their wagers, i.e. a Pass bet or a Don’t Pass bet.
  3. The shooter will throw the first roll which is known as the come out roll.
  4. If the come out roll is a natural (7 or 11) or craps (2, 3 or 12) then the round is over and the bets are paid out and collected accordingly. The shooter may then roll the dice again after players have once again placed their initial wagers if they rolled a natural. If the shooter rolled a craps then they have to pass the dice along to another player at the craps table.
  5. If the shooter does not manage to roll a natural or a craps, then the number that the dice has landed on becomes the point number.
  6. The players at the craps table may then go ahead and place additional wagers on the table if they like.
  7. The shooter will roll the dice until it lands on the point number or a 7.
  8. Again, the dealer will pay out and collect bets accordingly.
  9. If the shooter sevens out then the dice is passed along to another player. If a player does not wish to be shooter then they can opt out and pass the dice along to the next player at the craps table.

The Table

It is advisable that players familiarize themselves with the layout of the standard craps table before they begin to play at online or land based casinos.

Role Players

  • Stickman: This term is used to refer to the individual at the craps table that makes use of a long specialized stick to collect the dice once it has been thrown and return them to the shooter. The stickman will also announce the winning number when it has been rolled.
  • Boxman: This individual can be viewed as a type of overseer. This is because her monitors the dealer, chips and the stickman to make sure all is aboveboard.
  • Dealer: There are 2 dealers present at the craps table. They are responsible for paying winnings to players, collecting losing bets and making change for players who request it.
  • Shooter: This is the player that is rolling the dice at the craps table.
  • Players: All bettors around the craps table are referred to as the players

Placing your wager

Basic bets:

Pass Line Bet

This is considered by most craps players to be the most basic bet on the craps table. By placing your wager on the Pass Line Bet area of the craps table, you are betting against the House and with the shooter.

  • You will win if the shooter rolls a natural.
  • You will lose if the shooter rolls a craps.
  • If any other number results once the shooter has rolled, this number becomes the point number.
  • If the shooter manages to roll the point number without landing on a 7 first then you win.
  • If the shooter sevens out then you would lose.

Don’t Pass Line Bet

When a player places a Don’t Pass Line Bet, they are betting along with the House and against the shooter.

  • You will lose if the shooter manages to roll a natural
  • You will win if the shooter rolls a craps
  • If the shooter rolls any other number then this number becomes the point number and they will roll the dice again
  • You will lose if the shooter manages to hit the point number again without rolling a 7 first.
  • You will win if the shooter loses and sevens out.

Come bets and Don’t Come bets

  • If you place a Come bet then the shooter has to land on the point number before they hit a 7 in order for you to win.
  • If you place a Don’t Come bet then you will win if the shooter sevens out before hitting the point number.

More Advanced Betting Options

The Odds bet is the most important advanced bet that players should learn about. This is because this bet eliminates the House edge completely. All other advanced bets available on the craps table have a much higher House advantage which means that players stand very little chance of winning these bets at all. This is generally why most craps players only places Pass Line bets, Don’t Pass Line best, Come bets, Don’t Come bets and Odds bets when playing craps.

The Odds Bet

The odds bet is one of the many optional bets available on the craps table. It is also a supplemental bet which means that players can only place an odds bet once a point number has been rolled.

Most casinos will place a limit on the maximum value of the odds bets placed at the craps table. For example, the most casinos will only allow players to place an odds bet of 2 or 3 times the value of their initial bet. For example, if you placed a $20 Pass Line wager then you odds bet can either be $40 or a maximum of $60.

Other advanced betting options available:

  • Place bets

This is a supplemental bet that can be placed on any number from 4 up to 10 excluding 7. You would be wagering that the shooter will roll that number before they sevens out.

  • Buy Bet

This is exactly the same as a place bet but the payout is a lot more.

  • Lay Bet

This type of supplemental bet is the opposite of a place bet. You select a number and bet that the shooter will roll a 7 before they roll your number.

  • Field Bet

This bet has one of the highest House edges of all. It only lasts for one roll and basically predicts that the shooter will roll a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12

  • Big 6 Bet

The player will win this bet if the shooter rolls a 6 before they roll a 7. Big 6 bets can be placed and removed at any point in the game.

  • Proposition bets

A Horn bet and a Hardways bet are both considered to be proposition bets. Neither of these offer the player very good odds and even very experienced craps players tend to steer clear of these bets with their high House Edge.