The basics

Craps is a dice game and is one of the most exhilarating games you can play in a casino. It is not uncommon at all to hear bellowing and shouting at a craps table. It is played on a unique table and two dice are used. The dice are made following precise standards and are regularly inspected for any damage. The dice are replaced with new ones after around eight hours of use; most casinos have applied rules in the way a player handles them.



To start, the Shooter (one of the players) must bet the table minimum or more, on either the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass Line (also called ‘win’ or ‘right’ bets). The shooter is given multiple dice (usually five) by the Stickman, and must select two to roll with. The remaining dice are put back in the Stickman’s Bowl and are not used.

The shooter must grip the dice with one hand only when tossing and the dice are required to hit the walls on the opposite end of the table. Should one or both dice happen to fall off the table, they must be examined (usually by the stickman) prior to putting them back into play.

The craps table can accommodate up to about 20 players, each of which get a round of throws or at ‘shooting’ the dice. If you don’t wish to throw the dice, you can bet on the thrower. Numerous types of bets can be made on the table action. The casino staff on the craps table consists of a Stickman, Boxman and two Dealers.

The game is played in rounds, with the right to roll the dice by each player rotating around the table clockwise at the end of each round. A player may elect not to roll but may continue to bet.

Every round has two separate phases – Come Out and Point.

To begin a round, the shooter makes one or more Come Out rolls. A Come Out roll of 2, 3 or 12 (known as Craps, the shooter is said to ‘crap out’) finishes the round with players losing their Pass Line bets. A Come Out roll of 7 or 11 (a Natural) causes a win for Pass Line bets. The shooter carries on making Come Out rolls until he rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the number becomes the Point. The dealer then moves an On button to the point number, which indicates the second phase of the round. If the shooter then rolls the point number, the consequence is a win for bets on the Pass Line. If the shooter rolls a seven (a Seven-out), the pass line loses and the round finishes.

The initial roll of the dice in a betting round is known as the Come Out roll – a new game in Craps commences with the Come Out roll. A Come Out roll may only be made when the previous shooter fails to make a winning roll, i.e. fails to make the Point or makes a Seven-out (rolls a seven).

A new game then commences with a new shooter. Should the current shooter make his Point, the dice are then returned to him and he then starts the new Come Out roll. This is a continuation of that shooter’s roll, though technically, the Come Out roll signifies that a new game about to begin.

If the shooter does not make his/her Point, the dice are then presented to the next player for a new Come Out roll and the game continues in the same way. The new shooter is the player to the left of the former shooter.

The dice are bowled across the craps table layout which is divided into three areas – two side areas split by a centre one. Both side areas are mirror images of each other and contain the following:

–       Pass and Don’t Pass line bets

–       Come and Don’t Come bets

–       Odds bet

–       Place bets and Field bets

The centre area is shared by both side areas and contains the Proposition bets.

Pass bets triumph if the come out roll is 7 or 11, however pass bets lose if the come out roll is 2, 3, or 12.

Don’t bets lose if the come out roll is 7 or 11, and win if the come out roll is 2 or 3. They tie if the come out roll is 12.

If a player is joining a game and wanting to play craps without being the shooter they must check to see if the dealer’s ‘On’ button is on any of the point numbers. If the point number is off the table it signifies that the table is in the Come Out round. However should the dealer’s button be on a point number then the table is in the Point round. In the point round casinos allow a Pass Line bet to be placed. All single or multi roll ‘Proposition bets’ may be placed in either of the two rounds.

Between dice rolls there is a point for the dealers to provide payouts as well as collect the losing bets, after this point players can place new bets. The stickman oversees the action at the table and chooses when to give the shooter the dice, after which no more betting is permitted.



The following are the various bets you are able to make at craps:

Pass Line Bet – Players win if the first roll is a natural (7, 11) they lose if it is craps (2, 3, 12). Should a point be rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) it is repeated before a 7 is thrown in order to win. If 7 is rolled before the point you lose.

The central bet in craps is the Pass Line Bet; this is a bet for the shooter to win their point number. A Pass Line Bet is won instantly if the Come Out roll is a 7 or 11. If the Come Out roll is 2, 3 or 12, the bet is lost (also known as ‘crapping out’).

Should the roll be any other value, it creates a Point; should that point be rolled again before a seven, the bet is won. With a point founded, if a seven is rolled before the point is re-rolled, the bet loses (‘seven out’). A Pass Line bet pays even money.


Odds on Pass Line Bet – After a point has been rolled players are able to make this extra bet by taking odds. There are numerous payouts for each point:

–       A point of 4 or 10 will pay you 2:1

–       5 or 9 pays 3:2

–       6 or 8 pays 6:5

Players win if the point is rolled again prior to a 7 being rolled.

Come Bet – This bet has the same rules as the Pass Line Bet. The difference involves the fact that players are only permitted to make this bet after the point on the pass line has been decided. On a Come Out roll the Come Bet is positioned on the pass line as they are a duplicate bet. Once players have placed their bets the first dice roll will assign the come point. Players win if it is a natural (7, 11) and lose if it is craps (2, 3, 12). All other rolls win if the come point is repeated before a 7 is rolled. If a 7 is rolled first players lose the bet.

A Come Bet takes place in two rounds and is comparable to a Pass Line Bet. The primary difference is that a player who is making a Come Bet will bet on the initial point number that ‘comes’ from the shooter’s next roll, irrespective of the table’s round.

If a 7 or 11 is bowled on the first round, it wins. If a 2, 3 or 12 is bowled, it loses. However should the roll be a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 then the Come Bet will be repositioned by the base dealer onto a Box signifying the number which the shooter threw. This number then becomes the Come Bet point and the player is permitted to add odds to the bet. The dealer will then put the odds on top of the Come Bet, but slightly off centre in order to distinguish between the initial bet and the odds. The second round wins should the shooter roll the Come Bet prior to rolling a seven. Should a seven come first the bet loses.

Odds on Come Bet – Just the same as the Odds on Pass Line Bet but you take odds on the Come Bet not the Pass Line Bet.

Don’t Pass Line Bet – This bet is essentially a reversed Pass Line bet. If the first roll of a dice is a natural (7, 11) players lose but if it is a 2 or a 3 players win. A dice roll of 12 indicates the player has a tie or push with the casino.

Should the roll be a point (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) a 7 must be rolled before that point is rerolled in order to make the player a winner. Should the point be rolled again prior to a 7 the player loses.

Don’t Come Bet – This is essentially a reversed Come Bet. Once the come point has been decided players win if it is a 2 or 3 and lose for 7 or 11. 12 is a tie and all other dice rolls allow players to win, should a 7 appear before them on the following throws.

Place Bets – This bet works only after the point has been decided. Players can bet on a dice roll of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. Players win if the number they placed a bet on is rolled prior to a 7. Otherwise players lose their bet. The Place Bets payouts vary depending on the number you bet on:

–       4 or 10 will pay 9:5

–       5 or 9 will pay 7:5

–       6 or 8 will pay 7:6

Players are permitted to cancel this bet anytime they wish to.

Field Bets – These bets are for one dice roll. Should a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12 be rolled, the player wins. A 5, 6, 7 and 8 results in a loss. Field Bets have a number of different payouts:

–       A 2 will pay 2:1

–       A 12 will pay 3:1

–       Other winning dice rolls will pay 1:1

Big Six, Big Eight Bets – These bets can be placed any roll of the dice. These bets provide players with a win if a 6 or 8 comes out prior to a 7. Big Six and Big Eight are even bets and are paid at 1:1.

Proposition Bets – These bets can be placed at any time and, excluding the hardways, they are all one roll bets:

  • Any Craps: Players win if a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled. The payout is 8:1
  • Any Seven: Players win if a 7 is rolled. The payout is 5:1
  • Eleven: Players wins if a 11 is rolled. The payout is 16:1
  • Ace Duece: Players win if a 3 is rolled. The payout is  16:1
  • Aces or Boxcars: Players win if a 2 or 12 is thrown. The payout is 30:1
  • Horn Bet: This bet acts as a bet on 2, 3, 11 and 12 all at once. Players wins if one of these numbers is rolled. The payout is established according to the number rolled. The other three bets are lost.
  • Hardways: A bet on a hardway number wins if it’s rolled hard (sum of pairs: 1-1, 3-3, 4-4…) before it’s rolled easy and a 7 is thrown.


House advantage
2 – 17%