Craps rules and explanation

Craps rules may seem a bit confusing. But don't let this stand in the way of playing this wonderful game. Craps is an exciting dice game that is not only popular as a street game, but as a casino game as well. And if you like casino games, you should definitely give this one a go! So, take the effort and read on. We will make sure you get the hang of Crap rules in no time!

How to play Craps

To fully understand Craps rules, we'll discuss all possible craps rolls. By exploring all possible throws and bets you will gradually learn to understand the rules of the game. Once you've mastered Craps rules, you're ready to move on to a Craps strategy and find tips for the winning tactics. Done reading? Give it a try and play online craps for free.

Craps rules

The first roll in craps is called the come-out roll. The first bet prior to this roll is called the pass line bet. Pass line bets win if the shooter immediately rolls a 7 or 11, and lose if the come out roll is a 2 (snake eyes), a 3 (cross eyes) or 12 (box cars).

If a shooter (the player who rolls the dice) rolls one of the remaining numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, that number will become the point. When the on button is shown, this means that the point is placed on this number. The shooter will keep on rolling the dices until he rolls the point number again - or a 7. If the shooter rolls the point number in the first throw after the coming out, the pass line wins. If the shooter rolls a 7 in the first throw, the pass line bet loses.

To end a round in craps, and clear all pass line bets, the shooter has to roll the point number, or a 7 after the coming out. It's possible for a game of craps to last all evening, if the shooter simply does not roll the right numbers. Pass line bets can’t win until the point has been thrown, and can’t lose until a 7 is thrown. Not eliminated pass line bets can’t be cleared, so players have to wait for a point or a 7 before they know whether they’ve won or lost this bet.

Craps betting possibilities

Take a look at this craps table below. The numbers correspond with different betting possibilities. Note: these are the betting options for this specific table, but they can vary per casino. Always check your online casino for Craps rules and betting regulations before you start playing. Nevertheless, this example gives a good insight into the general betting options that Craps offers.

Craps rules: the craps table and betting options
Pass line Bet (1)

A pass line bet is placed on the pass line field before the come-out roll (the first throw of a new Craps round). A bet on the pass line wins at 7 or 11 and loses at 2,3 or 12. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is thrown, this number becomes the point. To win a pass line bet, the shooter has to roll the point number again. If the shooter rolls a 7, the bet is lost. A winning pass line bet wins 1:1. In other words, it doubles the initial bet. As soon as the point is established, the pass line bets cannot be removed or reduced. They will only be cleared by rolling a 7 or the point number.

Don’t-Pass bet (2)

A don’t-pass bet is in fact the opposite of a pass line bet, and is placed before the first roll in the box on the craps table that says "don’t pass bar". If the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 in the come-out, a don’t pass line bet wins. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, the don’t pass line bet loses. If the come-out is 12, the bet is returned to the player. At a come-out of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 the rolled number becomes the point. As soon as the the point has been established, a don’t pass bet wins if the a 7 is rolled. If the point number is rolled first, the don’t pass bet loses. A winning don’t pass bet pays even money, which means your initial bet is doubled. Unlike a pass line bet, don’t pass bets are allowed to be removed or reduced.

Come bet (3)

A come bet is placed in the assigned box that says "come" on the craps table, after the point has been established. The rules for the come bets are similar to pass line bets. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 the come bet wins, at a 2,3 or 12 the come bet loses. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 is rolled, that number becomes the come number. The dealer will now relocate the bet to the come bar, to the specific come point number. If the shooter rolls the come number before he rolls a 7, the bet is doubled. The come bet will stand until the come number or a 7 has been rolled. Just like pass line bets, come bets cannot be removed or reduced; they have to be cleared by a 7 or the come number.

Don't Come bet (4)

Yes, you guessed right: Don't Come bets are the opposite of come bets. Don't come bets are placed after the come-out and are being placed in the box for don’t come bets. Don't come bets win if the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 and loses if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11. If the shooter rolls a 12, the player gets his bet returned. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 is rolled, that number becomes the come number. The dealer will move the bet to the box with the corresponding number for come bets, in the left corner of the upper bar. After the come number is decided, the don’t come bets win at a 7 and lose if the come number is thrown. The payout is even money. Don't come bets are allowed to be removed or reduced.

Odds bets

An odd bet is an insurance bet on the original pass line, don’t pass, come or don’t come bet. The highest odd bet is three times the original bet.

Pass Line Odds Bet (5)

After the point is established, you can place your pass line odds bet by left clicking on the outside of the pass line bar, under the original pass line bet. A winning pass line bet has a payout of 2:1, at a roll of 4 or 10, 3:2 at a roll of 5 or 9 and 6:5 if a 6 or 8 is rolled. Unlike the original pass line bet, an unprocessed pass line odds bet can be removed or reduced.

Don't Pass Line Odds Bets (6)

After the point is established, a don’t pass line odds bet can be placed. A winning bet has a payout of 1:2 if a 4 or 10 is rolled, 3:2 at a roll of 5 or 9 and 6:5 at a roll of 6 or 8. Unprocessed bets can be removed. However, if a don’t pass line odds bet is removed; the original bet will be removed too.

Come Odds Bets (7)

When the come point is established, a come odds bet can be placed. A winning bet pays out 1:2 at a roll of 4 or 10, 3:2 at 5 or 9 and 6:5 at 6 or 8. Unlike the original come bets, unprocessed bets are can be removed or reduced.

Don't Come Odds Bets (8)

As soon as the come point number is established, a don’t come odds bet can be place on your don’t come bet. A winning bet pays out 1:2 at a roll of 4 or 10, 3:2 at 5 or 9 and 6:5 at 6 or 8. Unprocessed bets can to be removed or reduced.

Field Bets (9)

A field bet is a bet on numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12. It is placed on the designated box that says ‘field’ on the craps table. If a 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 is rolled, the dealer pays back even money (1:1). At a 2 or 12 the payout is 2:1. If a 5-8 is rolled, you lose your bet.

Big 6 and Big 8 (10)

A big 6 or big 8 is a bet on the odds a 6 or 8 is rolled, before a 7 is thrown. This bet also has a special box on the craps table. A big 6 or big 8 roll pays out even money. Unprocessed bets can be removed.

Place bets (11) 

There are different types of place bets: a win-place bet is a bet that expects a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled, before a 7 is thrown. Winning bets pay out as follows; 7:6 at 6 or 8, 7:5 at 5 and 9, 9:5 at the numbers 4 and 10.

A lose-place bet (12) is a bet that expects a 7 is rolled before a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled. The payout is as follows; 4:5 at the numbers 6 and 8, 5:8 at 5 and 9, 5:11 at 4 and 10. All place bets are inactive during the come-out roll. Unprocessed bets can be removed.

Buy Bets (13)

A buy bet bets on the odds a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled before a 7 is thrown. The player has to pay a commission of 5% if he wins. This is also known as a vig. Buy bets are paid out according to the actual odds: 6:5 at 6 and 8, 3:2 at 5 and 9, and 2:1 at 4 and 10. Check the Craps rules of the casino to find out how to place this bet, this differs in some casinos.

Lay Bets (14)

A lay bet is the opposite of the buy bet. Those who bet on this, expect a 7 to be rolled, before a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 thrown. If you win, a commission of 5% has to be paid. Payout will be according to the actual odds: 5:6 at 6 and 8, 2:3 at 5 and 9, and 1:2 at the numbers 4 and 10. Lay bets remain active during the outcome bets and unprocessed bets can be removed. Check the Craps rules of the casino to find out how to place this bet, this differs in some casinos.

Any 7 Bet (15)

This bet assumes a 7 will be rolled next. Place your bet in the box containing the 7 at every roll. The payout is 4 times your bet.

Any 11 Bet (16)

As you can probably figure out, this bet expects the next roll to be an 11. The payout is 15 times your bet.

Any Craps Bet (17)

An any craps bet assumes the next roll is a 2,3 or 12 . Pace your bet in the box that says "any craps". The payout is 7 times your bet.

Horn Bet (18)

A horn bet bets on a 2,3,11 or 12. A winning horn bet pays out 15:1 at 3 and 11, and 30:1 at 2 and 12. So in a horn bet, you don’t play for every number at once.

Hard Way Bets (19)

A hard way bet gambles on the shooter rolling a 4, 6, 8, or 10, with the same number of eyes. There are certain separate boxes on the craps table for this bet. For example, if you roll an 8 with 2x 4, they will tell you you’ve rolled a hard 8. While 3+5 or 2+6 is called an easy 8. A winning hard way bet pays out 7:1 if a 4 and 10 is rolled, and 9:1 at 6 and 8. Unprocessed bets can be removed.

Next: Craps strategy

We probably bored you with a lot of numbers and a lot of bets. But hopefully, Craps rules are starting to make some sense. So, how to play Craps in a profitable way? Well, strategy is key. Read on!

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