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A Complete Guide to Casino Craps Rules

A Complete Guide to Casino Craps Rules

In the heart of modern online casino gaming lies a game that melds strategy, chance, and charisma:Craps. This age-old dice game, rooted in ancient civilizations, has evolved to appeal to the refined tastes of today’s discerning gentlemen. Whether you’re seated in a plush leather armchair or lounging on your private balcony, understanding Craps rules can transport you to the bustling energy of a premium casino, right from the comfort of your own home.

Learning Craps Rules and Basic Terminology

To navigate the elegant dance of Craps, one must first acquaint oneself with its language. Here are some foundational terms:

  • Shooter: A title bestowed upon the player entrusted with rolling the dice. The game’s narrative revolves around the shooter’s performance.
  • Come Out Roll: The game’s grand opening. This first roll sets the tone for the subsequent moves.
  • Point: Born from the Come Out Roll, this number becomes the focal point. The objective is either to re-roll this number or dodge the ever-elusive 7.
  • Craps: Ironically, the namesake of the game refers to the initial roll numbers that lead to an instant loss for “Pass Line” bets. These are 2, 3, and 12.
  • Natural: Rolling a 7 or 11 during the Come Out Roll, leading to an instant win for “Pass Line” bets.


While these terms offer a glimpse, mastering the Craps rules demands an intimate understanding of this language.

Setting Up the Game

For those accustomed to a luxurious atmosphere, the game’s online ambiance aims to replicate the sophistication of an upscale casino. The digital Craps table design reflects its elegance. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Table Layout: Before diving in, familiarize yourself with the table. Key areas include the “Pass Line”, “Don’t Pass”, “Field”, and other betting zones. Each section correlates with various bet types and potential outcomes.
  2. Choosing a Table: Much like selecting a fine wine, it’s essential to pick a table that suits your taste. Different tables can have varying minimum and maximum bets.
  3. Buy-in: Just as one might exchange cash for chips at a casino’s cashier, the digital world requires a buy-in. Select the amount you’re comfortable with, always keeping responsible gaming in mind.
  4. Understanding the Role of Virtual Dealers: In the online realm, digital dealers manage the game. Familiarize yourself with the game prompts to follow the dealer’s cues, ensuring a smooth experience.


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The Gameplay: Phases and Bets

Craps, much like a fine-tuned symphony, operates in phases that guide the rhythm and tempo of the game. Let’s explore these phases and the bets that accompany them.

Phase 1: The Come Out Roll
Initiated by the shooter, this roll sets the stage for the game. It determines the point and can directly result in wins or losses based on the number rolled. During this phase, the primary bets are the “Pass Line” and “Don’t Pass Line” bets.

Phase 2: Establishing the Point
If the Come Out Roll isn’t a natural or Craps (2, 3, 7, 11, 12), the number rolled becomes the point. A marker is placed on that number, indicating the target for the shooter in the rounds that follow

Phase 3: Trying to Hit the Point or Roll a 7
Here, the shooter continues to roll until they either match the point number or roll a 7. Rolling the point results in a win for “Pass Line” bettors, while a 7 means a win for the “Don’t Pass Line” bettors.

Types of Bets and Their Odds

Navigating the vast array of bets in Craps can be likened to selecting a suit from a tailored collection – each with its unique appeal and risks. Based on multiple online casino reviews we’ve curated list for the discerning player:

Pass Line Bet
This is the most fundamental bet, placed before the Come Out Roll. A natural (7 or 11) wins, while Craps (2, 3, 12) loses. If a point is established, a subsequent roll of the point number wins, while a 7 results in a loss.

Don’t Pass Line Bet
The antithesis of the Pass Line Bet. Here, Craps (2, 3) wins, 12 results in a push (no win, no loss), and a natural loss. If a point is established, rolling a 7 before the point results in a win.

Come Bet
Placed after the point is established, this bet operates similarly to the Pass Line Bet but for subsequent rolls.

Don’t Come Bet
The counterpart to the Come Bet mirrors the Don’t Pass Line Bet but applies after the point is established.

Field Bets
A one-roll bet, where players bet on the outcome of the next roll. Wins are usually given for numbers like 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12, with 2 and 12 often paying double.

Place Bets
Players bet that a particular number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) will be rolled before a 7. The payouts vary based on the number chosen.

Behind every bet lies the probability that determines the house edge. For instance:

    • Pass Line Bet: House edge of 1.41%.
    • Don’t Pass Line Bet: House edge of 1.36%.
    • Come/Don’t Come Bets: Similar odds to Pass/Don’t Pass bets.
    • Field Bets: House edge can be up to 5.56%, depending on specific payouts.


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Tips and Strategies for Beginners

The world of Craps, with its detailed Craps rules, can seem overwhelming to newcomers. Yet, with the right guidance, even those new to the game can exude the confidence of a seasoned player. Here are some handpicked strategies and tips tailored for those stepping into this elite arena, keeping Craps rules in mind:

Start Simple
In line with Craps rules, stick to basic bets like the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line. Their lower house edge will be gentle on your bankroll, giving you a grasp of the game’s rhythm.

Understand the Odds
While Craps is undeniably a game of chance, being aware of the odds for each bet, as outlined in Craps rules, can offer you an edge. Know which bets favor the player and which ones lean towards the house.

Set a Budget
A mark of distinction is knowing your limits. Set a gambling budget beforehand and abide by it, ensuring your gameplay is both enjoyable and responsible.

Watch and Learn
Before diving into the intricate Craps rules, observe a few rounds of the game. This observation can provide insights into gameplay, betting strategies, and more.

Practice Online
Several online platforms align with Craps rules and offer free casino games. Use these to refine your skills risk-free, prepping yourself for genuine stakes.

Avoid Proposition Bets
They might appear alluring with their high payouts, but these one-roll bets, as specified in Craps rules, have a high house edge, making them a gamble for novices.

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Etiquette and Best Practices at the Craps Table

Every elite game carries with it a code – unspoken rules that, when adhered to, elevate the experience for everyone involved. Here’s how to ensure you’re not just playing the game, but also playing it right:

Handling the Dice
Always use one hand when throwing the dice and avoid taking them beyond the edge of the table. This not only maintains the game’s flow but also assures other players and the house of fair play.

Place, Don’t Toss, Your Bets
When making a bet, place your chips on the table and state your intention. Avoid tossing them, as it may disrupt the game and be considered impolite.

Respect the Shooter
When a player is preparing to roll, it’s customary to give them space and silence. Refrain from late betting, which can distract the shooter.

Know When to Bet
Betting should be done when the dice are in the middle of the table. Once the shooter has them, wait for the next appropriate moment.

Just as you’d tip a bartender or waiter, it’s courteous to tip the dealer, especially if you’ve had a good run or enjoyed the game.

Be Patient
As a beginner, it’s okay to have questions. Wait for a lull in the action and then seek clarification. Dealers and fellow players often appreciate and respect genuine curiosity.

Celebrate with Grace, Lose with Dignity
Whether the dice roll in your favor or against it, maintain a composed demeanor. Excessive celebration or outward frustration can dampen the experience for others.

Common Variations of Craps and Their Rules

Craps, in its journey through time and continents, has seen many variations. These adaptations offer a fresh spin to the classic, catering to diverse palates. Here’s an introduction to some of the more renowned versions:

Bank Craps
This is the version most commonly played in modern casinos. Players bet against the house, and it’s run on a special table layout.

Street Craps
Harking back to Craps’ roots, this version requires no table. Players bet against each other, and it’s often played informally on streets or sidewalks, hence the name.

Crapless Craps
A variation designed to appeal to those wary of the come-out loss on Craps. In this version, rolling 2, 3, or 12 on a come-out doesn’t result in a loss for Pass Line bets. However, the trade-off is often a higher house edge on other bets.

High Point Craps
In this variation, a roll of 2 or 3 is ignored and rolled again. A roll of 11 or 12 wins even money. Any other number becomes the point, and the goal is to roll a number higher than that point.

Die Rich Craps
Played with a single die. The shooter has three rolls to achieve the point. Rolling a 6 gives an automatic win while rolling a 1 results in an immediate loss.

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As you delve into the sophisticated world of Craps, understanding its unique lexicon is essential. Here’s a curated glossary to equip you with the terminologies of the game:

  • Any Seven: A bet predicting that the next roll will total seven.
  • Boxman: A casino employee who supervises the Craps table, is responsible for managing chips and ensuring fair play.
  • Come Bet: A bet placed after the point is established, working similarly to a Pass Line Bet.
  • Come-Out Roll: The initial roll in a round of Craps, determining the point.
  • Craps: Refers to a roll of 2, 3, or 12 on the Come-Out Roll. Also, the name of the game itself.
  • Don’t Come Bet: Opposite of the Come Bet, functioning similarly to a Don’t Pass Bet but after an established point.
  • Don’t Pass Bet: A bet predicting that the shooter will not make their point before rolling a seven.
  • Field Bet: A bet on the next number rolled, typically including 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12.
  • Hardway: A bet predicting that the shooter will roll a double before rolling a seven or the sum in any other combination.
  • Horn Bet: A single bet on 2, 3, 11, and 12.
  • Natural: A roll of 7 or 11 on the Come-Out Roll.
  • Pass Line Bet: A foundational bet predicting that the shooter will make their point before rolling a seven.
  • Point: The number set by the Come-Out Roll, which the shooter aims to roll again before rolling a seven.
  • Shooter: The player currently rolling the dice.
  • Stickman: A casino employee responsible for managing the dice and announcing the results of the roll.


From its origins on ancient streets to its modern, digital evolution, Craps has etched its place as a game of sophistication, strategy, and sheer excitement. Its varied nuances and rich history, combined with intricate Craps rules, make it more than just a game – it’s a ritual, a dance of numbers and odds, tailored for those who understand the allure of chance coupled with strategy. As you embrace its rhythms and delve into Craps rules, may the dice roll in your favor, and your Craps journey be as exhilarating as the tales of old.

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Craps Rules FAQs

What is the best strategy for beginners?

Beginners should stick to fundamental bets like the Pass Line or Don't Pass Line due to their simplicity and lower house edge.

Is craps purely a game of chance?

While craps is predominantly a game of chance, understanding the odds and applying strategic bets can influence potential outcomes.

Why is it called "craps"?

The name "craps" derives from the French word "crapaud," meaning toad, which is believed to reference the way players would crouch or squat to play dice games on the streets in earlier times.

Can I practice craps online for free?

Yes, many online platforms offer free craps games, allowing players to understand the game and develop strategies without financial risks.

Is there a guaranteed winning strategy for craps?

No strategy guarantees consistent wins. The game is inherently one of chance. However, understanding the game, managing your bankroll, and making informed bets can enhance your playing experience and odds.