How to Play Craps
The casino game of craps is one of the most engaging, but complex games, on the casino floor. This intriguing game of chance is said to be so complex because of the many variations of bets that players can make. If you are like many other British gamblers who view this game as a bewildering mess of numbers that can’t be made sense of, this short guide on how to play craps will help take the guesswork out of this “high rollers” game, so you can join in on the excitement too.
To gain an overall picture of the game of craps, we must first understand the objective of the game, which is to correctly predict the outcome of the roll of two dices, also known as bones. Players who bet correctly, stand to win big.
At the start of the game, the shooter tosses the dice spanning the length of the table(table sizes vary depending on the casino). Casinos generally insist that the shooter throws with one hand and that the dice ricochet off the back wall of the table.
The shooter, as well as any other player, can bet on the outcome of the dice. Players can bet for the shooter to ‘lose’ or ‘win’ or place bets on individual numbers or combinations of numbers.
The odds for payouts vary depending on the casino, however, the odds are generally reflected by the odds against you.
Possible Dice Roll Outcomes
Each dice contains six sides with a variation of dots ranging from one to six, which when combined with another six-sided dice, can produce a variation of outcomes.
The possible outcomes of a roll of two dices are as follows:
• 12 (6+6)
• 11 (6+5, 5+6)
• 10 (5+5, 6+4, 4+6)
• 9 (6+3, 3+6, 5+4, 4+5)
• 8 (4+4, 5+3, 6+2, 3+5, 2+6)
• 7 (4+3, 3+4, 6+1, 1+6, 5+2, 2+5)
• 6 (4+2, 5+1, 2+4, 1+5, 3+3)
• 5 (4+1, 1+4, 3+2, 2+3)
• 4 (2+2, 3+1, 1+3)
• 3 (2+1, 1+3)
• 2 (1+1)
Placing Your Bets
As stated earlier, there are many possible bets that can be made in the game of craps, however, for the sake of simplicity, we’ll stick to the most commonly placed bets.
Bets Before a Point Is Established/Come-Out Roll
On the initial roll, everyone who wishes to place a bet must bet the table’s minimum number of chips on either the ‘Don’t Pass Bar’ or the ‘Pass Line’, the only two bets that can be made on a first roll.
‘Pass Line Bets’
During a ‘Pass Line Bet’, an even wager is made on the following winning conditions:
Natural (automatic win): 7,11
Craps (automatic lose): 2, 3, 12
Points: 4,5,6, 8, 9, 10
If you roll a 7 or 11 on your first roll, it is an automatic win, however, if you roll a point on the first roll, a point is established, which means if you roll a 7 before you roll the same point number again, you lose. For example, if you roll a 8, then 11, then 7, you lose, whereas, if you roll a 4, then 3, then 4, you win.
‘Don’t Pass Line Bets’
During a ‘Don’t Pass Line Bet’, the exact opposite is true, except 12 is considered a tie.
In other words, if you roll a 2 or 3 (craps), on your first roll, it is considered an automatic win. However, if you roll a 7 or 11, it is considered an automatic lose. If you roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or`10 on the first roll, a point is established. During a ‘Don’t Pass Line Bet’, you must land a 7 before the same point is rolled again, in order to win. For example, if you roll a 10, then 7, you win, whereas, if you roll a 5, then 8, then 5, you lose.
Bets After the Point Is Established/The Main Game
After the first round, the croupier will position the ‘On’ puck on the point number, which indicates that players can now make any combination of bets across the table. Some of the most common bets made during the main game include ‘Come Bets’, ‘Don’t Come Bets’, ‘Place Bets’ and ‘Big 6’ and ‘Big 8 Bets’. Once the shooter has lost or won, the dice are passed to a new player and the game begins again with a come-out roll.
A ‘Come Bet’ is similar to a ‘Pass Line Bet’ in that if you roll a 7 or 11 on the first roll, you win, however, if you roll a 12, 3, or 2 (craps), you lose. If you roll any other number, it is considered a come point. If this number is rolled again before a 7, you win.
‘Don’t Come Bets’
During a ‘Don’t Come Bet’, just as with the ‘Don’t Pass Line Bet’, if you land a 12 on your first roll, it is considered a tie. If you roll a 2 or 3 (craps) on the initial roll, you win. However, if you roll a 7 or 11 on your initial roll, you lose. All other numbers are considered a come point. If you roll a 7 before the come point, you win.
A ‘Place Bet’ is a bet against or for the established point (10, 9, 8, 6, 5, 4) being rolled before a 7. In other words, if you place a bet for the point number, it must be rolled before a 7 in order to win. If you are betting against the point number, a 7 must be rolled before the point number, in order to win.
‘Big 6’ and ‘Big 8 Bets’
If you make a ‘Big 6 Bet’, it means you are betting that a 6 will be rolled before a 7. Likewise, if you make a ‘Big 8 Bet’, it means you are betting that an 8 will be rolled before a 7.
If you make a ‘Field Bet’ it means you are betting that the next roll will be a 12, 11, 10, 9, 4, 3 or 2.
When you make a ‘Hard Bet’ you are betting that a specific ‘hard’ combination will be rolled before a 7 or the ‘easy’ combination will be rolled. For example, a ‘hard’ 4 is made by two 2’s, whereas an ‘easy’ 4 is made by a 3 and 1 or a 1 and 3.
‘One Roll Bets’
A ‘One Roll Bet’ is when you bet on the result of the next roll. For example, if you bet that the next roll will be craps and a 12, 3 or 2 is rolled, you win.
These are but a few of the exciting bets that can be placed at the craps table. For more advanced bets, consult a craps strategy guide.