How to play Craps for beginners

How to Play Craps

/ 10 min

Anyone can roll dice, but not everyone knows how to play Craps like an expert.

This guide will make that happen for you!

Knowing the rules will help you protect your budget, and the rules you find here apply to all types of Craps!

Craps rules and basics

Craps rules and basics

When playing, know that your goal is simple: to bet on a roll of dice.

However, shooting dice isn’t the easiest task to master.

What are the basic rules of Craps?

  • Players at the Craps table place their bets on the outcome of the throw of two dice;
  • The Shooter is the player throwing the dice;
  • The players at the table win if their predictions on the dice numbers turn out to be true;
  • You must throw the dice hard enough to hit the opposite end of the Craps table.

What is Craps?

The Craps game comes down to betting on what numbers you expect to see the dice land on.

Your skill stems from your ability to hedge your bets – or take risks – and beat the bank.

Where can you play Craps?

The prevalence of the Craps table puts it at the heart of any casino, but the game is also played in more casual environments and top online casinos in UK.

A main distinction

Street Craps rules involve betting against each other to guess the outcome of the dice, but in the real world or (online) casinos, you bet against the bank.

Craps players speak a distinct language

Experienced Craps players speak a combination of slang and official terminology that is easy to pick up the more time you spend learning how to play Craps.

How to play Craps at casino tables

How to play craps at casino tables

  1. Players take turns as the Shooter;
  2. Players can bet on various outcomes by placing chips on the relevant areas painted on the table;
  3. Players must place all bets before the Shooter rolls the dice;
  4. The Shooter has to bet on the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass Line, within the minimum and maximum bet limits;
  5. The first roll of the dice takes place, which is known as the “come out roll”;
  6. The Pass Line players win their bet if the dice show a 7 or 11;
  7. If the dice land on a combination of 2, 3, or 12, the Don’t Pass players win, and the round ends;
  8. If the first roll results in any other numbers, a “point” is established, and the game continues;
  9. Once the point is set, the Craps players can wager on various aspects of the game using the bets listed below.

A few extra steps:

  • If you’re ready to join in, you will know that you are free to place a bet when the stick person flips their on/off plaque to “on”.
  • Before you join in and learn how to play Craps dice, it is vital that you understand how your predictions will influence the house edge.
  • House edges vary depending on the bet you’re placing, so check the table below to see the highest risk and rewards available when placing a bet.

Craps bets explained

Here are the main Craps rules for bets you can make no matter where you play: in top UK live casinos, at land-based establishments, or casually among friends:

Pass Line

Pass-Line

The Pass Line bet is the bet you first make at the Craps table, but you can continue with it as the game progresses.

You win if the dice land on a 7 or 11, which means the dice have “passed”.

Don’t Pass Line

Don’t Pass Line

The other end of this Pass line bet is the Don’t Pass line bet.

You win if the dice come up with 2, 3, or 12.

Come Bet

Come Bet

The Craps rules match a Pass bet here.

If the dice land on a seven or eleven, you win.

Don’t Come Bet

Don’t Come Bet

Again, the Craps rules are the same as a Don’t Pass line bet.

If the dice land on the number two, three, or twelve, you win.

Field Bets

Field Bets

The field bets see the player win if the dice land on a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11. Plus, there is double the payout on 2 and 12.

You will lose if the dice land on 5, 6, 7, or 8.

Free Odds Bets/Laying the Odds

Free Odds Bets Laying the Odds

Players bet that the Shooter will land a seven before the point number is thrown.

So, if your point is 4, you’re betting the dice will land on seven before 4.

Place Bets

Place Bets

Place bets have the player bet on a number that must be rolled before the dice land on a seven.

Buy Bets

Buy-Bets

Similar to Place Bets, the Shooter has to land a certain point number before rolling a 7.

If you win, the casino pays out at true odds. However, it takes 5% of the winnings as commission.

Big 6 and Big 8

Big 6 and Big 8

The Big Six and Big Eight bets are simply that the Shooter rolls a 6 or 8 before a 7.

Hardaway Bets

Hardaway Bets

A Hardaway Bet means that a number has to be rolled “the hard way”, i.e., with double numbers.

So, a Hardaway eight means two fours, Hardaway six means two threes, etc.

2 or 12 bets

2 or 12 bets

2 or 12 bets are the hardest to land but are self-explanatory.

If the player bets on the 2 or 12, the roll must result in no other number.

3 or 11 bets

3 or 11 bets

The same concept as the 2 or 12 bets: the 3 or 11 bet sees you bet that the following roll will be a 3 or 11.

Any 7 bets

Any 7 bets

Seven is the number with the most combinations on the dice, so an Any 7 bet sees you bet that the next outcome will be a seven in any combination.

Any Craps bets

Any Craps bets

2, 3, or 12 are considered Craps numbers, so an Any Craps bet means you expect the dice to land on either of those three options.

What is a horn bet in Craps, and why you shouldn’t choose it

What is a horn bet in craps and why you shouldn’t choose it

The horn bet means you are wagering the next roll will be 2, 3, 11, or 12.

These are at the board’s edge, so they have fewer possible combinations on the dice.

However, a bigger risk means a bigger reward, which is why it has 31:1 odds.

Caution

When figuring out how to play Craps for beginners, we don’t recommend trying this type of bet.

What is the pass line in Craps alternatively called?

There are plenty of alternative names for the pass line, but the most common is a seven-eleven.

How to play Craps and win

How to play craps and win

There’s a reason the Craps table is always busy: if you can master the dice, there’s a chance for a positive outcome.

But how to play Craps and win if you’re a beginner?

Choose your casino and tables carefully

Many new UK casino sites provide Craps as a table game or a Live Casino game.

While playing just against the house is quite straightforward, you may need to choose your live table carefully.

A few things to consider

There is typically a maximum of 8 players at a physical casino table and everyone gets the chance to be the Shooter.

You may have to wait to start betting for either a player to leave the table or the betting to start on that round.

The pace of play depends on the players and the stick person

You might want to stand back and observe the table for a few minutes before deciding if the pace is right for you.

Know the Craps rules and bet according to odds

Craps may be built on a simple premise but, if you want to learn how to play Craps and win, you have to do more than take a spot at the Craps table and put your chips on the Pass Line.

Recommendation

Make sure you know what you’re betting for and whether the odds are in your favour before approaching the table.

You can look further into Craps odds with our guide, or be better prepared by looking at our table:

Odds for Craps bets

Bet Odds House edge Payout Single/Multi-roll
Pass line 1:1 1.41% $1 Multi
Don’t pass line 1:1 1.36% $1 Multi
Come bet 1:1 1.41% $1 Multi
Don’t come bet 1:1 1.36% $1 Multi
Field bets 2:1 for 2 and 12, 1:1 for other numbers 5.5% $2 or $1 Single
Free odds, Laying the odds bets 1:2 on 4 or 10, 2:3 on 5 or 9, 5:6 on 6 or 8 0% $0.5, $1.5, or $0.83 Multi
Place bets 9:5 for 4 or 10, 7:5 for 7 or 9, 7:6 for 6 or 8 1.52% on 6 or 8, 4% on 5 or 9, 6.67% on 4 or 10 $1.8, $1.4, or $1.16 Multi
Buy bets 2:1 on 4 or 10; 6:5 on 6 or 8; 3:2 on 5 or 9 4.76% or less due to commission $2, $1.2, or $1.5 Multi
Big six, Big eight bets 1:1 9% $1 Multi
Hardaway bets 9:1 on 6 or 8; 7:1 on 4 or 10 9.09% on 6 or 8; 11.11% on 4 or 10 $9, or $7 Multi
2 or 12 bets 30:1 13.89% $30 Single
3 or 11 bets 15:1 11.11% $15 Single
Any 7 bet 4:1 16.67% $4 Single
Any Craps bets 7:1 11.11% $7 Single

What is the best bet in Craps?

The best bet is the Any 7 bet. Since 7 has the most combinations, you’re more likely to land on a 7, even when learning how to play Craps for beginners.

Is pass line a good bet?

The pass line is a pretty strong bet, since you have even chances to win, and it has the lowest house edge.

Play responsibly and know when to stop

When learning how to shoot Craps, remember only to bet what you can afford and know when to step away from the table.

Focus on strong bankroll management

Set yourself a limit and stick to it at the table!

With a solid budget plan, you can remain in control of your gambling habits and avoid the consequences of developing a disorder!

Have we touched on all essential points?

If you’re a beginner and are eager to know more, drop us a question! We want to clarify the game to the max, so that you play safely. If you know more and would like to share some insights, your feedback is vital to our main goals! Help us give our UK readers the most informed content!

F.A.Q

Is Craps easy to learn?

Yes. Once you’ve learned how to play Craps dice, you’ll be ready to hit the tables. You should know how to strategize, use the odds to your advantage, and play the margins.

What is the best roll in Craps?

The best roll to bet on is any 7, because six possible combinations increase your chances of success.

What is the best bet in Craps?

The most lucrative roll is either the 2 or the 12 bet.

How do you play Craps?

To play Craps, you place bets on the outcome of a dice roll from a shooter.

What is the best strategy for Craps?

The best strategy involves knowing your odds, combinations, and house edges for the biggest payout.
Madalina Olteanu
Author Madalina Olteanu Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha
Anca Iamandi
Author Anca Iamandi Senior Author & Editor at CasinoAlpha

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