How to Play Craps: A Step-by-Step Guide from the Very Beginning to Your First Exciting Game

how to play in Craps

Craps has withstood the test of time, maintaining its appeal due to its dynamic gameplay and the sense of camaraderie it fosters among its players. 

The article is designed as a valuable resource for beginners eager to grasp the craps game and experienced players seeking to refine their strategies and deepen their appreciation for the game’s rich history and cultural significance.

Table of Contents

Grasping the Fundamentals of Craps

Craps is a riveting dice game where players stake their bets on the outcome of either a single roll or a series of rolls involving a pair of dice. 

The primary goal revolves around accurately predicting the result and placing bets in alignment with this prediction. Despite being a game of chance, a sound understanding of the probabilities and betting strategies can substantially improve your odds of winning.

Key Gaming Equipment

There are two components: dice and table.

At the heart of the game of craps is the roll of a pair of six-sided dice. Each die boasts six faces, numbered from one to six. The sum of the numbers on opposite faces always amounts to seven, ensuring a balanced probability. The dice used in craps are transparent, crafted from a plastic material known as cellulose acetate, which guarantees no tampering or bias in the outcomes. The dice are the pivotal component of the game, dictating the winners and losers of each round.

The craps table is a unique table designed with a specific layout for placing various types of bets. The table is partitioned into three sections: the center and two ends, which are mirror images of each other. The ends accommodate areas for Pass and Don’t Pass line bets, Come and Don’t Come bets, Odds bet, Place bets, and Field bets. The center section is communal and contains Proposition bets. Grasping the layout is vital for the game’s progression and betting strategy.

The Players' Role

The Game includes some types of players. 

The shooter is the player tasked with rolling the dice. Each player around the table gets a chance to roll the dice and assume the role of the shooter. The shooter’s primary duty is to roll the dice against the far end of the table to ensure fair play. 

The outcome of the shooter’s roll dictates the result of most bets on the table.

Other players at the craps table place their bets based on the shooter’s roll. They can wager on the Pass line, Don’t Pass line, Come, Don’t Come, among other bets. 

Their role is to forecast the outcome of the shooter’s roll and place their bets accordingly. Their betting decisions and strategies can significantly shape the overall dynamic of the game.

Read Also: What is a Craps Game?

Basic Terminology and Jargon in Craps

Mastering the jargon is paramount to becoming proficient at craps. Some of the fundamental terms include:

ShooterThe player who rolls the dice.
Come-Out RollThe first roll of the dice in a betting round.
PointThe number established in the Come-Out roll.
Pass Line BetA bet predicting that the shooter will roll a 7 or 11 on the Come-Out roll, or will make the point before rolling a 7.
Don’t Pass Line BetA bet against the shooter, wagering that they will roll a 2, 3, or 12 on the Come-Out roll, or fail to make the point.
CrapsA term for when the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 on the Come-Out roll.
NaturalWhen the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the Come-Out roll.
Snake EyesA colloquial term for when the dice displays two ones.

Understanding these terms and the roles of the players, in conjunction with the game’s objective and essential equipment, lays the groundwork for a comprehensive understanding of craps.

The Rules and Regulations of Craps

This section will guide you through the key aspects of the game, including the Come-Out Roll, establishing the point, betting options, understanding the odds, and various winning and losing scenarios.

The Come-Out Roll

The Come-Out Roll, the inaugural roll in a round of craps, sets the tone for the rest of the game. 

The shooter, the player who rolls the dice, initiates this roll, which can result in three possible outcomes: a natural, craps, or a point. A natural, achieved by rolling a 7 or 11, leads to an immediate win for Pass Line bets. 

Conversely, craps, achieved by rolling a 2, 3, or 12, results in an immediate loss for Pass Line bets. Any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) establishes the point, paving the way for the next stage of the game.

Establishing the Point

When the Come-Out Roll lands on a point number, this number becomes the shooter’s target for the subsequent rolls. 

The shooter continues to roll the dice until they either roll the point number again, thus winning for Pass Line bets, or roll a 7, resulting in a loss for Pass Line bets. 

This stage is critical as it dictates the direction of bets and the potential for wins or losses.

Read Also: When Was Craps Invented?

How to Play a Craps

Betting in Craps

There are several types of bets in craps, each with its own set of rules and outcomes. Let’s explore the most common ones.

Pass Line Bet

The Pass Line Bet is the most basic bet in craps. It’s a wager that the shooter will successfully hit their point. If the Come-Out Roll is a 7 or 11, the bet wins instantly. If the Come-Out Roll is a 2, 3, or 12, the bet loses. 

If a point is established, the bet wins if the point is rolled again before a 7.

Don't Pass Line Bet

The Don’t Pass Line Bet is the inverse of the Pass Line Bet. It’s a bet against the shooter. If the Come-Out Roll is a 2 or 3, the bet wins. If it’s a 7 or 11, the bet loses. 

A roll of 12 results in a push (a tie). If a point is established, the bet wins if a 7 is rolled before the point.

Come Bet

A Come Bet can be placed after a point has been established. It operates similarly to the Pass Line Bet but applies to subsequent rolls. If the next roll is a 7 or 11, the Come Bet wins. If it’s a 2, 3, or 12, the bet loses. 

Any other number establishes a new point for the Come Bet.

Don't Come Bet

The Don’t Come Bet is the antithesis of the Come Bet. It wins if the next roll after it’s placed is a 2 or 3, loses if it’s a 7 or 11, and a roll of 12 results in a push. 

Any other number establishes a new point for the Don’t Come Bet, and it wins if a 7 is rolled before this new point.

Grasping the Odds in Craps

The odds in craps refer to the probability of rolling a specific number compared to the likelihood of rolling a 7. Given that there are more combinations to roll a 7 than any other number, it’s the most likely outcome. 

A solid understanding of the odds can assist players in making informed betting decisions.

Winning and Losing Scenarios in Craps

Victory in craps is primarily contingent on the outcomes of the shooter’s rolls. For Pass Line and Come Bets, winning scenarios involve the shooter rolling the correct numbers at the right times. For Don’t Pass and Don’t Come Bets, winning scenarios involve the shooter failing to hit their point before rolling a 7. 

However, craps is a game of chance, and while understanding the rules and odds can enhance your strategy, there are no guarantees in the outcome.

Read Also: How Did Craps Get Its Name?

Advanced Craps Strategies

Let’s talk about advanced craps strategies, but don’t forget that your results always depend not only on your strategy.

Grasping the House Edge

In all casino games, the house edge signifies the mathematical advantage the casino holds over the players. In craps, this edge fluctuates based on the type of bet made. 

For instance, a Pass Line bet has a house edge of 1.41%, implying that for every $100 staked, the casino anticipates winning $1.41 over an extended period. 

Comprehending the house edge is vital as it aids players in making informed choices regarding which bets to place and which to steer clear of. The lower the house edge, the more favorable the odds for the player.

The Significance of Betting Strategies in Craps

Although craps is a game of chance, utilizing a robust betting strategy can notably enhance your winning odds. A betting strategy directs your decision-making process, enabling you to manage your bankroll effectively, reduce losses, and amplify potential winnings. 

It's crucial to remember that no strategy assures a win, but it can enrich your overall gaming experience by incorporating an element of skill and strategy.

Renowned Betting Systems in Craps

Martingale System

The Martingale System is a widely used betting strategy in various casino games, including craps. Its principle is straightforward: you double your bet after every loss. The concept is that when you ultimately win, you’ll recoup all your preceding losses and make a profit equivalent to your initial stake. 

However, this system necessitates a substantial bankroll and the bravery to persist in doubling your bet following a losing streak.

Paroli System

The Paroli System is the antithesis of the Martingale System. Rather than doubling your bet after a loss, you double it after a win. The goal is to capitalize on winning streaks and mitigate losses during losing streaks. This system is less risky than the Martingale as it doesn’t necessitate a large bankroll.

Iron Cross System

The Iron Cross System involves placing several bets to cover the majority of potential outcomes, thereby augmenting your winning odds on each roll. However, this system is more intricate and necessitates a solid understanding of the game’s rules and betting options. 

While it can result in frequent minor wins, the house edge is higher on the bets involved, which can culminate in substantial losses over time.

Read Also: Craps Rules: Beginners Guide

how to play in craps

Differences Between Online and Physical Play

The digital revolution has significantly transformed the gaming landscape, including the traditional game of craps. Although the foundational rules and objectives remain unaltered, the experience of playing craps online is markedly different from its physical counterpart.

In a conventional brick-and-mortar casino, the atmosphere is charged with tangible tension, enthusiastic cheers from the crowd, and the rhythmic clatter of dice on the table. The physical interaction with the dice, the table, and fellow players creates a unique ambiance that online gaming struggles to emulate.

Conversely, online craps offers unmatched convenience and accessibility. You can indulge in the game from the comfort of your home, at any given time, without the hassle of traveling to a casino. This platform is particularly beneficial for beginners who might find the fast-paced environment of a casino daunting. Online platforms also provide helpful tutorials and practice games, enabling new players to understand the game without risking real money.

Tips and Strategies for Online Craps Play

Playing craps online requires a combination of luck, strategy, and discipline. Here are some tips to enhance your online craps play:

  1. Understand the Rules: Before you dive in, familiarize yourself with the rules of the game. Online platforms often provide comprehensive guides and tutorials.
  2. Practice: Utilize the free play or demo versions to practice and refine your strategies without risking real money.
  3. Manage Your Bankroll: Set a budget for your gaming session and adhere to it. Avoid chasing losses and remember to take breaks.
  4. Use Betting Strategies: Although craps is predominantly a game of chance, betting strategies like the Martingale, Paroli, or Iron Cross systems can help manage your bets and potentially improve your odds.
  5. Stay Disciplined: Resist the temptation to make high-risk bets, even if you’re on a winning streak. Stick to your strategies and play responsibly.

While online craps diverges from the traditional physical game, it provides a convenient and accessible platform for both novices and seasoned players. By selecting a reliable online casino and employing effective strategies, you can enjoy a rewarding and enjoyable craps experience from the comfort of your home.

Read Also: 7 Best Craps Strategies In 2024

Recap of the Key Points Discussed

We’ve scrutinized the rules and regulations of craps, emphasizing the significance of the come-out roll and the process of setting the point. We’ve also navigated through the myriad betting options and their odds. 

Our exploration took us through winning and losing scenarios and introduced advanced strategies to refine your gameplay. This includes understanding the house edge, the role of betting strategies, and the application of popular betting systems like the Martingale, Paroli, and Iron Cross.

Furthermore, we’ve emphasized the crucial role of bankroll management and the etiquette required when engaging in a game of craps. We’ve drawn attention to the differences between online and physical play and offered guidance for selecting a trustworthy online casino.

The objective of craps is to correctly predict the outcome of the roll of two dice. Players can place bets on different combinations or outcomes, such as the total value of the dice or specific numbers.

After the come-out roll in craps, the game progresses with the shooter either establishing a point or rolling a 7. Players can place additional bets on various outcomes, and the shooter continues rolling until a winning or losing outcome is determined.

Odds bets in craps are additional bets made after a point has been established. They pay true odds and can be placed behind pass line, don’t pass line, come, or don’t come bets, providing players with an opportunity to increase their potential winnings.

If a 7 is rolled before the point in craps, it’s called “sevening out.” The round ends and the shooter loses. The dice then pass to the next player, and a new round begins.


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