How To Play Craps: Craps Rules, Winning Strategies

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Craps is a popular dice game that started as a derivative of the English game Hazard, and it became popular in the United States during World War II. This game of luck is now a favourite in land-based and online casinos due to its fast pace and wide variety of betting options.

The rules and bet types for Craps can seem complicated at first, but it becomes quite straightforward once you understand the basics. If you’re new to craps, our guide will introduce you to the rules and offer expert tips on how to make the most of your bets when playing craps.

How to Play Pokie Craps: Rules Explained

Players play craps at a special casino table with two six-sided dice and bet on the total value rolled.

To begin, players must first purchase chips at the table using cash. They can then use these chips to place a bet with the dealer. Direct bets can be placed on the pass line, “Field,” and “Come” areas. Players lay their chips on the table for other bets and inform the dealer. 

The game starts with the shooter (The player who rolls the dice) making the initial “Come-Out” roll. This roll can result in one of three outcomes:

Rolling a 7 or 11. The shooter wins and gets to roll again.
Crap Out:
Rolling a 2, 3, or 12. The shooter loses but gets another chance to roll.
Rolling a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. This number becomes the "Point."

After a Point is established, the shooter’s goal is to roll the Point number again before rolling a 7. If a 7 is rolled before the Point, it is called “Seven-Out,” and the shooter loses, ending their turn. The next player then takes a turn as the shooter. They can either choose to roll or pass the dice to the next player.

how to play craps

Types of Bets in Craps

In Craps, players can make two basic types of bets: single-roll bets and multi-roll bets. Both types of bets can be further divided and each has its own rules and payouts. 

Here’s a quick overview:

Pass Line Bet: This bet is successful for the shooter if they roll a 7 or 11 during the come-out roll. If they roll a 2, 3, or 12, it’s a loss. If they roll any other number it becomes a “Point” which must be rolled again before a 7 for a win. This bet offers an even chance to win or lose and comes with a house edge of 1.41%.

Don’t Pass Bet: This bet is successful if the come-out roll is a 2 or 3. Rolling 12 results in a push (tie), whereas a 7 or 11 constitutes a loss. If a Point is established,  a win can only occur if a 7 is rolled before the Point number reappears. It shares a 1.41% house edge with the Pass Line Bet and also pays out 1:1.

Come Bet: This bet type is similar to a Pass Line bet, but it is placed after a Point has already been established. The rules for winning or losing are identical to the Pass Line Bet and have the same house edge and payout structure.

Don’t Come Bet: This bet type is similar to the Don’t Pass Bet but it is made after establishing the Point. The rules and payouts are identical to the Don’t Pass Bet, and it also has a 1.41% house edge and even money payout.

Field Bet: This is a one-roll bet that wins if the shooter rolls a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11. Rolling a 2 or 12 can also double or triple the payout. This bet is lost on any other roll, and the house advantage for this bet type varies from 2.78% to 5.56%

Place Bet: In this type of bet, players wager on landing a specific number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) before rolling a 7. These types of bets only become available after the Point is established, and payouts for this bet differ based on the chosen number. The house edge also varies between 1.52% for 6 or 8 and up to 6.67% for 4 or 10. “Place to Lose” bets are also an option, where players bet that a 7 will roll before their chosen number.

Proposition Bet: This involves betting on the outcome of the next roll being one of the following numbers:2, 3, 7, 11, or 12). This type of bet is risky because they come with high house edges from 10% to 16.7% and potential payouts up to 30:1.

Big Six & Big Eight: These bets win if a 6 or 8 is rolled before a 7, but they come with a high house edge of  9.1% house edge and pay even money.

Hardways Bets: This is a specific type of Proposition bet that is a prediction on whether a 4, 6, 8, or 10 will be rolled as doubles (e.g., two 2s for a 4) before a 7 appears. The bet is lost if the target number is rolled in any other combination. These bets carry a higher risk but offer higher rewards for those who succeed.

Strategies for Placing Bets

Understanding the statistics and probabilities involved in craps betting can help players to make smarter choices. 

Here are a few of our expert tips:

  1. 1
    Step 1
    Players should start their game by making a Pass Line Bet, which has a low house edge of 1.41%. 
  2. 2
    Step 2
    Once a Point is set, players should add a Come Bet, which also offers a low house edge of 1.41%
  3. 3
    Step 3
    Players should place Odds Bets behind their Pass Line or Come Bets to minimise risks. These bets do not have a house edge, meaning the casino has no mathematical advantage over a player’s bet.
  4. 4
    Step 4
    Place Bets on 6 and 8 for better odds, thanks to their lower house edge of around 1.52%.
  5. 5
    Centre Table Betting
    Be cautious with centre table bets like proposition bets; they have high house edges of over 10%, meaning they offer greater risks without proportional rewards.

Craps Etiquette and Conduct

Following table etiquette is just as important in Craps betting as understanding betting strategies. 

Handling the Dice:
Use only one hand to throw the dice, and for fairness, make sure they hit the opposite table wall.
Interacting with Players and Staff:
Remain respectful and polite to both players and casino staff. Keep celebrations moderate so that they do not interrupt the game.
Placing Bets:
Placing Bets: Bet clearly and promptly when dice are centred. This helps avoid game delays.
Tipping Dealers:
Tip dealers as a sign of appreciation.

Equipment and Setup To Play Craps

The layout and roles of Craps table staff can be confusing to new players. Here is a brief overview of what to expect:

Craps Table Personnel 

A craps game is managed by a team of casino personnel, each of which has a specific role in the smooth running of the game.

  • Box Person: Oversees the entire game by managing chip transactions and resolving any disputes between players and dealers. They make sure that all the rules are followed.
  • Dealers: Two dealers are positioned on either side of the Boxperson, and they are responsible for handling chips and placing and paying out bets. They cater to players on the 2nd base (right) and 3rd base (left) sides of the table.
  • Stickperson: They use a long stick to move the dice around the table and manage central proposition bets, and positioned opposite the Box person, 

The Craps Table 

A typical craps table is designed with two identical sides to host more players. The craps table is divided into different sections for each type of bet:

  • Pass Line: The main area for basic bets.
  • Don’t Pass Bar: The opposite of the Pass Line.
  • Big 6 and Big 8: Places where you can bet on rolling a 6 or 8 before a 7.
  • The Field: Covers several numbers, offering single-roll wins or losses.
  • Come and Don’t Come: Similar to Pass and Don’t Pass areas but used in subsequent rolls.
  • Place Bets: This allows you to wager on specific numbers before a 7.
  • Centre Section: Dedicated to bets on unique dice combinations.

Learning to Throw the Dice

Proper dice throwing is important as it directly impacts the game’s outcomes. However, players should keep in mind that no matter how well you throw the dice, the element of luck is still greatly at play during the game. 


  • When throwing dice, hold them so your preferred numbers are facing up.
  • Aim for little to no spin. 
  • Use a steady grip between your thumb and forefinger.
  • Aim for a gentle toss towards the far end of the table. 
  • The dice must hit the back wall to ensure random throw results.


  • For a throw to be considered legal, both dice must be thrown at the same time.
  • The dice must reach the end of the table opposite to where you’re standing and bounce off the back wall. 

If a die doesn’t hit the back wall or is slid instead of thrown, it’s not allowed. 

Craps Betting Tips For Beginners

Here are a few tips for new players to help you make the most of your bets during a Craps game:

Table Layout:
Learn where to place bets and understand the payouts for various outcomes.
Bankroll Management:
Set a spending limit and adhere to it. Recognise the right moment to step away from the table to prevent further losses.
Avoid Common Errors:
Stay aware of the puck and dice movements to not miss out on betting chances. Keep your hands away from the table during rolls to avoid disturbing the dice.
Opt for High-Odds Bets:
Prioritise bets with better-winning odds, such as Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come, and use odds bets to minimise the house advantage.

Practice: You can use online platforms that offer demo craps games to familiarise yourself with the game and practice different betting tactics without financial risk.

Differences Between Online and Live Craps

The basics of the game do not differ greatly for Live and online Craps. In online casinos, players deposit money and choose chip value to place bets on a digital table. The game uses a random number generator for dice rolls. 

Key Differences:

Pace of Play:
Online craps is faster with automated rolls and quick bet settlement.
Social Interaction:
Live craps offers a social experience with player interaction, unlike the solitary nature of online games.
Learning Opportunity:
Online platforms often have free tutorials, which allow beginners to learn at their own pace.
Game Control:
Online players can control the pace, re-bet, and roll the dice with a click, offering a different level of game management.

Advanced Betting Strategies in Craps

Now that we have covered the basics of all things related to Craps, let’s take a look at some advanced strategies that players can use for better payouts. Keep in mind that using these strategies requires a good grasp of craps mechanics and odds. 

  • Laying the Odds: This method involves betting extra money that a 7 will roll before the point number after placing a don’t pass or don’t come bet. There is no house edge on this odds bet.
  • Playing “Wrong” and Laying Odds: By betting against the shooter with ‘don’t pass’ and ‘don’t come’ bets and then laying odds, players can take advantage of the lower house edge to increase their chances of winning.
  • Place Bets Strategy: Target “place numbers” (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) to bet on their rolling before a 7, this strategy balances high payouts against their roll probabilities and manages your bankroll effectively.
  • 3/4/5 Rule in Craps: To simplify odds betting, some casinos allow players to bet multiples of their pass line bet on certain points, which helps manage bets more easily while taking advantage of lower house edges.
  • Dice Control: Some players attempt to control the outcome of the dice by throwing them in a specific way to reduce randomness, though the effectiveness of this method is debated.
  • Hedging Bets: To minimise losses, players may place counter bets, like betting on any craps (2, 3, or 12) while making a come bet, or betting equal amounts on both pass and don’t pass lines, followed by strategic odds bets.

Differences Between Cramps and Other Casino Games

Craps stands out from table games like blackjack and roulette in several ways:

Community vs. Individual Play:
Craps is known for its group engagement, with players collectively participating in rounds, unlike the more solo experiences of blackjack or roulette.
Strategy and Skill Levels:
Craps require strategic betting and money management, whereas blackjack also involves skill, particularly in card counting. Roulette primarily relies on luck, with strategies more about betting patterns.
House Edge Variability:
The potential for a low house edge in craps depends on the bets placed, contrasted with the skill-based opportunities in blackjack to lower the edge and the set edge in roulette determined by its European or American versions.