How to Play Craps

Learn how to play Craps fast and easy. We offer a step-by-step guide for beginners but also the game rules, odds, and payouts.

Beyond the basics, this page offers insight into Craps terminology, a guide to Craps strategy, and bets with the highest and lowest house edge.

Basics of Craps

These are the essential elements of the game. They include the table and its complete layout, including bet types, dice, stick, and puck.

  • craps table layout
    Table Layout

    The table is the playing field. This is where players throw their die, and place all wagers.

  • two dice
    Dice

    The die are the key element of Craps. Traditionally, players take turns throwing the die. They luck of the dice determines the fate of each game round.

  • craps stick
    Stick

    The Stick is used for moving around and collecting the dice thrown on the table. The Stick is irrelevant for online play.

  • craps puck
    Puck

    The Puck in Craps has two sides. Each of the sides indicates the current state of the game. One is black and the other white. Black means the Come out roll hasn’t been made yet, and white means the Come out roll has been made.

How to Play Craps Online?

We guide you in how a round of Craps is played out every step of the process.

1
the pass line bet
The Pass Line bet

The game starts with the Pass line bet. You must bet on Pass (dice will roll 7 or 11) or Don’t Pass (dice will roll 2, 3, or 12).

2
wagers are pooled
Wagers are pooled

The table’s base dealers will take your and other players’ bets to the table.

3
the come out roll
The Come-Out roll

The game round begins. The designated shooter rolls the dice to reveal what is known as the Come-Out roll.

4
the dice lands
The dice lands

If dice rolls 7 or 11, Pass bets win, or if a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled, Don’t Pass bets win. Any other number becomes the Point.

5
point bets become available
Point bets become available

When a Point number is set, you can bet on either one of the Point numbers or a 7. Whichever hits first declares the winner.

6
shooter keeps rolling
Shooter keeps rolling

The Shooter will continue to roll until a 7 or a Point number lands from the dice.

7
shooter switch or stay
Shooter switch or stay

When the Shooter lands a point, they keep the Shooter role. If the Shooter rolls a 7, the next player in line (clockwise) becomes the Shooter.

Complete Guide to Craps

This complete guide to Craps walks you through everything you need to know as a beginner. Learn rules, payouts, odds, etiquette, and more. Once you go through our guide, you’ll be ready to start playing immediately.

Objective

Craps is a casino dice game of chance. It’s played with two dice on a large and unique Craps table, hosting over a dozen betting options. Players must use chips to wager real money.

Your goal is to predict the dice roll outcome correctly.

In Craps, every player takes a turn in throwing the dice. Whoever throws the dice is known as the shooter.

Every round starts the same. Players must make bets on the first dice roll of the round. This first roll is known as the “Come Out roll.”

If the Come-Out roll amounts to a 7 or 11, this is known as a “Natural,” and the round ends. The same applies if the Come-Out roll lands on a 2, 3, or 12. This is called “Craps,” and it ends the round.

If the Come-Out roll amounts to a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10, the round continues with additional rolls. Whichever number was rolled becomes the “Point.”

A puck is placed on the point number to help players navigate the table, and the shooter rolls the dice once more. The rolls continue until the shooter rolls the Point number or a 7.

Table Layout

The table layout is a confusing part of learning how to play craps. But you must know the ins and outs of the Craps table, even as a complete beginner.

The table is split into multiple sections, each hosting different bet fields. Every bet you make will require knowledge of that section of the table. Rest assured, we’ll walk you through them all.

  • pass and don't pass line
    Pass & Don’t Pass lines

    This section contains all Pass Line bets. If you believe the shooter’s dice will amount to 7 or 11, place a bet on the Pass Line. If you think the dice will amount to 2, 3, or 12, place your chips on the Don’t Pass Bar.

  • come and don't come bars
    Come & Don’t Come Bar

    These boxes offer similar wagers to the Pass and Don’t Pass lines. Come & Don’t Come bets can only be placed after Pass line bets have been made. If you think the Shooter will throw a dice value of 7 or 11, the Come box should be your bet. If you feel the Shooter will throw a dice value of 2 or 3, place chips on the Don’t Come box.

  • center section
    Center Section

    The Center section is where all Proposition wagers go. A single dice roll resolves all proposition bets. These bets have a high house edge and high payout.

  • the field
    The Field

    In The Field section, you make a bet if the dice will roll on a 2 or 12 with extra payouts if right. The standard numbers to wager on are 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11. The outcome for this bet is based on a single dice roll rather than multiple.

  • big 6 and 8
    Big 6 and Big 8

    The Big 6 and Big 8 field represent one of the most used Craps bets. By placing your wagers in this box, you bet that the Shooter will roll a 6 or an 8 before a 7.

  • the place
    The Place

    The Place is like the Centre section. You can make a Place bet at any point, combined with other bets. You can wager on a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 dice roll outcome in this box before a 7 is rolled. You can do the opposite and wager on a so-called “Place To Lose” bet – by betting that a 7 will be rolled before any of the “Place” numbers.

Mastering the table layout will be crucial in understanding how to play craps for beginners. The table layouts can be different in some casinos, even online.

In land-based casinos, two Craps table layouts are sometimes combined to accommodate more players on the table. Moreover, some Craps variants limit specific bets or remove them altogether.

Who Runs The Craps Table?

When playing Craps, you’ll run into terms like the “Box person,” “Shooter,” and “Stickman.” These table operators are not essential to online Craps rules as they are offline, except for some Craps variants available at live dealer casinos.

We explain what these roles mean and their purpose.

the box person

The Box person

The Box person oversees the chips on the table. They monitor the base dealers to prevent mistakes and exchange chips for cash.

the stickman

The Stickman

The Stickman operates with a long wooden hook. He moves the dice around the table and announces each dice roll’s outcome.

the shooter

The Shooter

The Shooter is whoever is rolling the dice. Traditionally, players take turns rolling the dice in a clockwise manner. You have the option of passing Shooting duty.

The shooter is the only player role, whereas the casino always decides the Box Person, Stickman, and base dealers. Therefore, the Shooter role is the only one you should know for gameplay purposes.

The Stickman and Box person is irrelevant online. The Craps bets are governed by RNG (Random Number Generators). Live Craps games still use dice and emulate the real-world environment to a large extent.

Bet Types

In Craps, the Pass line and Come bar are your bread and butter. Every experienced player places wagers on these bets considering their low house edge. The difference between a beginner and an advanced player is the latter knows to combine multiple bets simultaneously to maximize odds.

  • pass and don't pass line bets in craps
    Pass & Don’t Pass Bets

    This is the bet made on the first roll of the dice, also known as “come-out roll”. With the Pass Line, you win if 7 or 11 roll, and lose on 2, 3, or 12 roll (known as “craps”). The Don’t Pass Line bet is the opposite. You win on a 2 or 3 (12 is a tie and lose on a 7 or 11 roll.

  • come and don't come bets in craps
    Come & Don’t Come Bets

    Available after a Point number is established. With Come bets, you win if you land a 7 or 11, and lose on a 2,3, or 12. A Don’t Come bet is the opposite, you’re betting on a 2 or 3 roll (12 is a tie) before a 7 or 11 roll.

  • field bets in craps
    The Field Bets

    A single roll bet. With the Field bet, you win if you throw a 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11. You receive a double payout on a 2, and triple if a 12 is rolled. You lose if on a 5, 6, 7, or 8 roll.

  • place bets in craps
    Odds Bet

    Once a point is made on the first roll on a succeeding roll, you may take the odds and win if the point or come points are made before a 7. “Don’t pass” or “don’t come” bets are in reverse: you must lay the odds to win.

  • place bets in craps
    Place Bets

    Odds bets are connected to general Craps terms: laying the odds and taking the odds. Placing an Odds bet on the Don’t Come bar means you are laying the odds. Placing an Odds bet on the Pass line means you are taking the odds.

  • buy bets in craps
    Buy Bets

    Similar to a place bet, a buy bet is made on the shooter landing a specific Point number before landing a 7. If you win the casino takes 5% of the winnings as commission, others will take before the buy bet wins. As a result, the house edge on this bet changes.

  • big 6 or 8 bet in craps
    Big 6 or 8

    Another bet that can be placed at any point in the game. With the Big Six or Big Eight bet you win if a 6 or 8 is thrown before a 7.

  • hardway bets in craps
    Hardway Bets

    This bet refers to the number that is rolled the hard way when both dice show the same number. For example, to land a ‘Hard 8’ both dice must land on 4. To win a hardway bet, the number must land before the shooter rolls a 7.

  • proposition bets in craps
    Proposition bets

    These bets are found in the center of the craps table and are one-roll bets. You are betting that on the next roll of the dice, any of these numbers will land: Any Craps (2, 3 or 12), Aces (2) or Twelve (12), Ace-Deuce (3) or Eleven (11) and Seven (7).

Craps Odds, House Edge and Payouts

Here’s an overview of the odds, house edge, and payouts. They will give you an idea of the best bets, but keep in mind that you can combine bets in Craps. As such, the raw data can be misleading.

Odds & House Edge

Here’s a full house odds and house edge chart for each bet type.

BetHouse EdgeProbability
Pass1.41%49.3%
Don’t Pass1.40%49.3%
Pass Line: 6 or 84.76%45.5%
Pass Line: 5 or 94.76%40%
Pass Line: 4 or 104.76%33.3%
Don’t Pass Line: 6 or 84.00%54.5%
Don’t Pass Line: 5 or 93.23%60%
Don’t Pass Line: 4 or 102.44%66.7%
Field Bet: 2, 125.50%44.4%
Field Bet: 3, 4, 9,10, or 115.50%44.4%
Place Bet: 6 or 81.52%45.%
Place Bet: 5 or 94.00%40%
Place Bet: 4 or 106.70%33.3%
Hardway: 6 or 89.09%9.1%
Hardway: 4 or 1011.1%11.1%
Any 716.9%16.7%
Any Craps11.1%11.1%
Craps – 2 or 1213.9%2.8%
Craps – 3 or 1111.1%5.6%

It’s easy to see why the Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come bets are universally accepted as the best. Their house edge is by far the lowest. Compared to similar table games, the house edge of these Craps bets is lower than any bet in Roulette and close to all Blackjack variants.

When it comes to Craps rules, finding an official rulebook is challenging. The game is complex, meaning the bets define the rules of Craps themselves.

Payouts

Look at these Craps payout charts to determine the rolls with the lowest and highest house edge and payout ratios for each bet type.

These bets shouldn’t be looked at individually. In Craps, many bets can be combined, and rounds often take several rolls to resolve. This changes the game dynamic and house edge as the game goes on.

BetPayout
Pass1:1
Don’t Pass1:1
Pass Line: 6 or 86:5
Pass Line: 5 or 93:2
Pass Line: 4 or 102:1
Don’t Pass Line: 6 or 85:6
Don’t Pass Line: 5 or 92:3
Don’t Pass Line: 4 or 101:2
Field Bet: 2, 121:1
Field Bet: 3, 4, 9,10, or 111:1
Place Bet: 6 or 87:6
Place Bet: 5 or 97:5
Place Bet: 4 or 109:5
Hardway: 6 or 89:1
Hardway: 4 or 107:1
Any 74:1
Any Craps7:1
Craps – 2 or 1230:1
Craps – 3 or 1115:1

For most bets, the payouts are not proportional to the house edge. For example, a wager on “Any 7” roll nets a 4:1 payout, yet the house edge is 11,1%. Things change when you combine bets to minimize the house edge and “protect” your main bets.

When you learn how to play craps as an intermediate or expert, you’ll find that many Craps strategies advise you to combine multiple bets simultaneously.

How to Play Craps and Win?

There is no universal strategy you can follow while learning how to play Craps. These principles will ensure you don’t lose your bankroll until you figure out the Craps rules and bets.

  1. Don’t Bet on Big 6 or 8 – These bets don’t offer good odds, objectively speaking. The payouts are decent, but the risk does not match said payouts. House edge on Big 6 or 8 is a massive 9%.
  2. Stay Clear of Proposition Bets – Proposition bets are in a similar bucket to the Big 6 or 8. We don’t recommend them for inexperienced players because of the high house edge. Proposition bets can be combined as part of a Craps strategy, but these strategies are not beginner-friendly.
  3. Stick to Safer Bets – Look at our Craps payout “cheat sheet” to find the best Craps odds. Stick to bets with a house edge of around 5% or lower.
  4. Check the game payouts – Not every Craps game is the same. The rules vary between game variants. Some will take away specific bets or limit them, and some add additional elements to the Craps table. Look for the game info to find details on RTP (Return to Player) percentage, payouts, and odds per bet.
  5. Take advantage of Craps bonuses – Claiming a casino bonus for Craps can be beneficial. US casinos welcome players with generous deposit bonuses, especially for first-time deposits. You can double or triple your bankroll and play Craps with a more relaxed budget. Bonuses must be wagered and come with different terms and conditions. Apart from no deposit bonuses, these bonuses are not free money.

Useful Terms

Look at basic Craps terminology you’ll meet when playing online or offline.

  1. Big Red: Second word for “Seven.” Many players deem it bad luck to vocalize the word Seven.
  2. Bones: Slang for dice.
  3. Box Numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.
  4. Come Out Roll: Initial roll of every Craps round. It determines the Point.
  5. Comp: Free stuff gifted to players.
  6. Crap Numbers: 2, 3, and 12.
  7. Front Line: Second name for a Pass line wager.
  8. George: Generous tipper.
  9. Hard Way: A bet whose outcome must consist of two even rolled die, i.e., 2+2, 3+3, 4+4.
  10. Hi-Lo: Single roll wager on 2 and 12.
  11. Hi-Lo Yo: Single roll wager on 2, 11, and 12.
  12. Hop bet: Betting on a specific combination of dice i.e. 2+5, 3+4.
  13. Natural: When the Come-Out rolls a 7 or 11. Naturals end the round.
  14. Odds Bet: Extra bet can be made with a Pass line bet.
  15. Outside Numbers: 4-10 and 5-9.
  16. Point: The Point number. Determined by the Come-Out roll.
  17. Proposition: These are bets available at the center of the table.
  18. Snake Eyes: Number 2, also known as Aces
  19. Shooter: The person throwing the dice.
  20. Toke: Another word for tip.
  21. Yo-Leven: Sometimes used instead of “eleven” to avoid confusion with “seven” on a crowded table.

The slang we outlined above is rarely met in online play but is common knowledge for land casino players. Craps has many more terms, most of which are extinct.

Etiquette

Craps etiquette used to mean more. Over time, many unwritten rules have been written off players’ minds. Still, Craps table etiquette does exist, and you should know it before sitting down at a table – especially a “live” one at a land casino.

  1. Tip your dealers – Some do it for good luck, karma, or a standard courtesy. It’s considered polite and somewhat expected to tip your dealers occasionally, especially after big wins.
  2. Wait to buy in – The dealer indicates when players can buy in. Don’t simply walk to the table and buy in whenever.
  3. Follow cash to chips exchange etiquette – Giving money “on hand” is a big no in casinos. The proper procedure is to wait between rolls and put your cash on the table. Between rolls, you can request an exchange of money for chips from the dealer.
  4. Shooter is an optional role – When it’s your turn to throw dice, you pass them to the player to your right. This is called “Passing Right.”
  5. Don’t cause hold-ups. – When it’s your turn to throw, do it rather quickly. Nobody wants interruptions of the game flow. Players frown upon extensive dice-throwing “rituals.”
  6. Familiarize yourself with Craps Terms – Going to a Craps table as a first-timer, you will hear a lot of “foreign” talk. Familiarize yourself with Hi-Lo, Yo-leven, Snake Eyes, and similar terms.
  7. Avoid Saying the Word Seven – This doesn’t apply everywhere, but it can get you odd looks. There are superstitions surrounding the vocalization of the number 7. As an alternative, try “Yo-Leven.”

Ready To Play Craps?

Craps can be challenging but learning how to play is easy if you do it step by step.

Make sure to master the odds and payouts, then stick to simple bets with a low house edge. The Pass line bet is your best friend. Once the Come-Out roll declares the point, proceed with “Come” and “Don’t Come” bets.

Once you develop some knowledge, try your hand with some money management strategies, though no strategy will reduce the house edge. Get started now, follow our step-by-step guide, and feel free to practice in demo mode.

FAQs

Craps is easy to learn, although it may look intimidating to beginners. The game has many bets and no clear rule set to follow. The best approach is to learn the basic bets (Pass/Come) and take it from there. Playing for free in demo mode is a great assistant to newcomers.

To play Craps at casino, you must create your free casino account and deposit real cash through the cashier. You can also play in demo mode, where you can’t win real money, but you can practice without limits.

Snake eyes in dice means rolling two 1’s. The odds of this happening are 1/36, or 2.777%.

The safest bet in Craps are Come, Don’t Come, Pass and Don’t Pass. These bets have a house edge between 1-2%, and they provide beginners and experts with the safest bet option out of all Craps bets.

The payouts on a Craps table depend on the table rules and the type of bet. Craps has over a dozen bets, all of which have different odds and payouts. The lowest house edge bets are Come, Don’t Come, Pass and Don’t Pass.

Placing a bet in online Craps is simple. For the best experience, you should be familiar with some basic bets, like the Pass and Come rolls. In any case, following a step-by-step guide will give you an entire overview of how a round of Craps is played out, from start to finish.

You can follow some playing tips that include “do’s” and “don’ts” which will instantly boost your odds of winning. For more advanced knowledge, you can resort to a Craps strategy, such as the 3-Point-Molly. For beginners, we recommend simple strategies that revolve around Pass and Come bets.