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How to play Craps: Best Step-by-Step guide

Modern craps casino game was developed in the United States after it found its way there from Western Europe. However, the origins of craps go back to the ancient Romans who played the game on their shields using animal bones as dice.

Casino craps are played by one or more players betting against the casino or sometimes against the shooter. The game is played with 2 dice that are rolled with one hand and they have to bounce off the far wall of the table. The numbers on the dice that are facing up, are added up and according to the outcome, the players win, lose, or they have to wait for a new roll.

Bank craps (or Las Vegas craps), New York craps, Crapless craps, Simplified craps, and High Point craps are all variations of the original game with varying rules and payouts. You can also play craps online free or for real money.

Page contents

Craps table explained

In craps casinos, the game is played at a rectangular, green felt-covered table where up to 16 people can play comfortably. The available bets are labelled on the table and it is the same table where the dice will be rolled.

The two main areas where bets can be placed are the self-service bets area – where the players stand – and the dealer’s area – opposite to the players.

Craps table

The Self-service bets area

This is the area where players are allowed to place their bets which can be one of the following basic bets with the lowest house edge:

  • Blue Chip

    Pass

    The bet wins if the come-out roll is 7 or 11.

  • Blue Chip

    Don’t Pass

    If the come-out roll is 2 or 3, the bet wins.

  • Blue Chip

    Come

    If a 7 or 11 is rolled on the first round, it wins.

  • Blue Chip

    Don’t Come

    If a 2 or 3 is rolled in the first round, it wins.

  • Blue Chip

    Field

    If the shooter rolling a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12, the bet wins.

  • Blue chip

    BIG 6 & BIG 8

    A player can choose 6 or 8, before the shooter rolls a seven.

The Dealer’s area

This is the area where the dealer needs to place a bet for you if you want to bet on one of the following point boxes:

  • Red Chip

    4

    This bet pays 2 to 1, with the house edge of 4.76%.

  • Red Chip

    5

    Payout of number 5 is 3 to 2 and the house edge is 4.76%

  • Red Chip

    Six

    Number 6 payout is: 6 to 5 and the house edge is 4.76%

  • Red Chip

    8

    Bet on number 8 has the same house edge and payout as bet on number 6.

  • Red Chip

    Nine

    Payout of this bet is 3 to 2, with the house edge of 4.76%

  • Red chip

    10

    This bet type has a payout of 2 to 1 and a house edge of 4.76%

Craps Table Payout and house edge

The payout is in line with your chances of winning. If you want to calculate your winnings, you need to look at the payout table and convert the number you see there to a decimal form. E.g. 9:1 equals 1.8. To calculate your winnings, you multiply this number by your bet. If you bet $10, your payout will be $18.

Below you can see the complete table with payouts and house edge by bet type:

Craps table payouts
Craps Table Payout
Bet Type True Odds Payout Odds House edge %
Pass Line or Come Bet 251 to 244 1 to 1 1.41
Don't Pass or Don't Come Bet 976 to 949 1 to 1 1.36
Pass Line Odds / Come Bet Odds / Buy Bets – Have 5% Commission
Numbers 4 or 10 2 to 1 2 to 1 4.76
Numbers 5 or 9 3 to 2 3 to 2 4.76
Numbers 6 or 8 5 to 6 5 to 6 4.76
Don't Pass Odds / Don’t Come Odds / Lay Bets – Have 5% Commission
Numbers 4 or 10 1 to 2 1 to 2 2.44
Numbers 5 or 9 2 to 3 2 to 3 3.23
Numbers 6 or 8 5 to 6 5 to 6 4
Field Bets
3,4,9,10, or 11 1 to 1 5.5
2,12 2 to 1 5.5
Place Bets
Numbers 4 or 10 2 to 1 9 to 5 6.7
Numbers 5 or 9 3 to 2 7 to 5 4
Numbers 6 or 8 6 to 5 7 to 6 1.52
Hardways
6 or 8 10 to 1 9 to 1 9.09
4 or 10 8 to 1 7 to 1 11.1
One Roll Bets
Any 7 5 to 1 4 to 1 16.9
Any Craps 8 to 1 7 to 1 11.1
2 Craps or 12 Craps 35 to 1 30 to 1 13.9
3 Craps or 11 Craps 17 to 1 15 to 1 11.1
Horn Bet (3 or 11) 3.75 to 1
Horn Bet (2 or 12) 7.5 to 1
Big 6 or 8 1 to 1 9.09

Craps rules

Craps’ rules are not so difficult to master, whether you are playing in a land-based casino or you are playing online craps. Procedures and some rules can differ slightly but here are the basics.

Number of dice

Number of dice

Two six-sided dice are used and you are betting on the total of the number of the two sides that face up. For example, if one of them has a 2 and the other one a 6 on the up-facing side, the total is 8. You cannot bet on only one die.

Buying chips

Buying chips

At land-based casinos, you can bring your chips from a previous game or buy them at the table. In online casinos, you have to deposit to your account first and then you can draw on it for money to play craps online.

Betting

Betting

In land-based casinos, you can place the bet yourself in the areas marked “Come” and “Field” and for the point boxes, you must get the dealer to place the bet for you. In the online version, players select their chips and place the bet on what they want.

Betting limits

Betting limits

In online casinos, the minimum and maximum bet levels are set so you can choose whatever bet within those limits you are comfortable with. In land-based casinos, there is a placard displayed on the table where you can see the minimum and maximum bet figures.

The Shooter

The Shooter

In an online casino, the dice are virtual and when they are rolled, the numbers are randomly generated by the computer. In live casinos, players roll the dice and they take turns until each sequence ends with either a win or a loss.

3 Steps to start

1. Place your bets

1. Place your bets

The easiest bet to place is the “Pass” before the comeout roll starts. If you join the game at a later stage, you can bet a “Come” bet which is the same as a “Pass” except that now the next roll is your sequence starter.

2. Roll the dice

2. Roll the dice

When the player rolls the dice for the first time, it is called a comeout roll, and numbers 7 or 11 are naturals – they mean an instant win for the “Pass” betters. With 2, 3, or 12 they lose the game and if any other number comes up, it will be a point, and the object of the game changes. Now in to win, you must roll the point number before the next 7 is rolled.

3. Payout

3. Payout

Payout is done automatically in online casinos and you should be able to see your balance at a glance. In land-based casinos there is a boxman, a stickman, and two dealers to facilitate the payout and make sure that everything goes smoothly.

Best craps strategies for Beginners

Pass and Come

Pass and Come

Pass and Come bets have low house edges so they are understandably popular. Normally players who start with a pass bet follow it up with 2 or 3 come bets to get 3 or 4 numbers working at the same time. This can be an expensive strategy with more money at risk, however, the house edge is small.
 

Dont pass and dont come

Dont pass and dont come

Essentially these bets are the exact opposite of the popular pass and come bets. The upside is that these bets have an even lower house edge than pass and come but you are playing against the shooter so you cannot cheer with the rest of the people as the majority will be playing with him.

Placing 6 and 8

Placing 6 and 8

Placing your bet on the dice totalling 6 or 8 is popular since these totals are rolled the most frequently right after 7. The house edge is higher than with come and pass and don’t come and don’t pass and you don’t have to wait for the shooter to establish a point.

Hedge Bets

Hedge Bets

Hedge bets are to compensate for possible losses on your main bets. The problem with them is that a win is still not guaranteed and the house edge on hedge bets is high. You might lose both your main bet and hedge bet in one roll.

Put Bets

Put Bets

You place a put bet if you don’t want to wait for the shooter to establish a point. This way you can choose the most frequently rolled number and you can back your bet with free odds. However, this is an expensive option so many people are not comfortable with it.

Online vs Live Dealer

Online Craps

  • Online Craps dice 1

    When you play craps online, the game can be as fast as you would like it to be. There is no need to wait for the shooter.

  • Online Craps dice 2

    You can practice playing before you would venture into a land-based casino, which can be quite intimidating.

  • Online Craps dice 3

    You can extend your playtime as the minimum bets are lower than in physical casinos.

  • Online Craps dice 4

    The game can be played from the comfort of your own home so you don’t have to go out to play.

  • Online Craps dice 5

    Online bonuses can be amazing, giving you the chance to play free craps at times.

  • Online Craps dice 6

    Some casinos offer free online craps to get you in the mood.

Live dealer craps

  • Live dealer craps dice 1Live dealer casino games bring you a similar experience to being in a physical casino – from the comfort of your home.

  • Live dealer craps dice 2As the costs of running a live dealer casino are higher than just providing the virtual game, minimum odds can be higher here than in online craps.

  • Live dealer craps dice 3Playing in a live dealer casino can take a longer time, as you will have to wait for the host to roll the dice.

  • Live dealer craps dice 4You can choose your dealer from the selection the casino offers which makes the experience more personal.

  • Live dealer craps dice 5Usually, you can’t play craps for free with a live dealer.

  • Live dealer craps dice 6If you bet on don’t pass or don’t come, you get better odds without having to face the shooter.

Top rated Online Craps Casinos

Now you are ready to start your journey to craps world.  Below you will find the best Canadian online Casinos with different types of craps. You easily will find online or live dealer craps variation that suits you. Also don't forget about great casino bonuses, which can boost your bankroll and give you more chances to win.

FAQ

🎲 Is craps difficult to master?

You should be able to learn the basic rules in about half an hour. The game can be quick though so perhaps it is better to observe others playing it first.

🎲 Can I play free craps online?

Many online casinos offer a free version of the game or by playing for real money you can get bonuses that give you further free games.

🎲 Is Online Craps or Live Dealer Craps better?

Live dealer craps is closer to the real casino experience, but if you are not a high-roller, you better stick with the online version where you can even play craps free.

🎲 What bet gives me the best odds?

Betting on Don’t pass and Don’t come give the best odds.

🎲 Is the house edge low on craps compared to other casino games?

The house edge in craps can be as low as 1.36% which is higher than in Blackjack and Baccarat but lower than in Roulette.

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