How to Play Craps
There are two types of craps. One of them is called ‘street craps’, in which players wager money against other players. The other version is ‘casino craps’, in which players play against the bank.
Casino craps is played by one or more players against the casino. It is set on a large rectangular craps table. In brick-and-mortar casinos, sitting at a craps table is against the etiquette of the table, as it is an interactive and lively game; rather, players stand around it.
Craps is a dice game that is played with two dice. They are cast by a person, called the “shooter”. Before the dice are rolled, players can bet on a variety of different outcomes by placing bets on the betting area on the table.
Before the shooter rolls, players must have a bet on the “Pass” line and/or the “Don’t Pass” line. Sometimes, these are called the ‘Win’ and ‘Don’t Win’ bets. The initial Pass and Don’t Pass bets are won or lost depending on the result of the rolled dice.
A round of craps has two phases, known as the “Come Out” and “Point” phase. The Come Out phase refers to the initial cast by the shooter. As for the Point phase, it refers to a point that is set aside and can potentially win on the corresponding rolls.
Once the shooter casts the dice (at the same time) the result is determined by the outcome of the roll. If the Come Out roll is a 2, 3 or 12, it is known as craps. Players that bet on the Pass line lose if the sum of the dice is one of those. However, players that bet on the Don’t Pass line will win if a 2 or 3 is rolled (the bet is pushed if a 12 is rolled).
Even if the shooter has lost their bet, they must continue rolling. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, the Pass bet wins and the Don’t Pass bet loses. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is cast on the Come Out roll, a point is set.
If the point number is set, the second phase of the round begins. This is known as the Point phase and continues on the initial bet. If the shooter rolls the same point number (regardless of how it is formed), before a seven is rolled, the Pass bet wins and the Don’t Pass bet loses. However, if a seven is rolled before the point number is, the Pass bet loses and the Don’t Pass bet wins.
Once a point is set, any multi-roll bet is unaffected by the 2, 3, 11 or 12 numbers that previously affected the round. The only way to determine the outcome of the round is whether the point number is rolled again or whether a seven is rolled beforehand.
If no point is set from a Come Out roll, the round ends with either the Pass or Don’t Pass bets winning. Thus, there are many rounds that do not even have a point phase of play.
It is possible to bet on Pass or Don’t Pass as long as a point has not been established. Once a point has been set, players can bet on the ‘Come’ or ‘Don’t Come’ lines. Essentially, the Come bet is the same as the Pass bet (it wins if the point number is rolled before a seven) whilst the Don’t Come bet is the same as the Don’t Pass bet (it wins if a seven is cast before the point number is rolled). The difference is that the Pass and Don’t Pass refer to before a point is set and the Come and Don’t Come refer to after the point is set.
Types of Bets in Craps
Now that we have established the general gameplay of craps, it is important to learn the different types of bets that can be placed, their odds of winning and how they pay out. Craps has a variety of different bets in addition to the basic gameplay ones.
- Pass Bet– it wins on the come out roll if a 7 or 11 is rolled and loses if a 2, 3 or 12 is cast. If a point is set, it wins if the number is repeated before a 7 is rolled. It has a house edge of 1.41% and pays 1:1.
- Don’t Pass Bet– it wins on the come out roll is a 2, 3 is rolled (push on a 12) and loses if a 7 or 11 is cast. If a point is set, it wins if a 7 is rolled before the point number. It has a house edge of 1.36% and pays 1:1.
- Come Bet– it is the same as a Pass bet but can only be played once a point has been set. It wins if the point number is rolled before a 7 is rolled. It pays 1:1.
- Don’t Come Bet– it is the same as a Don’t Pass bet but is played after a point has been set. It wins if a 7 is rolled before the point number is rerolled. It pays 1:1.
- Place Bets– it is a bet that is placed after a point is made. It wins if a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled before a 7, in which case, the bet loses. It pays 9:5 for a 4 and 10, 7:5 for a 5 and 9 and 7:6 for a 6 and 8.
- Field Bet– it is a bet that allows players to wager on a range of numbers. If a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 is rolled, you win. Otherwise, if any other number is rolled, the field bet loses. It pays 1:1 for a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11, and the payout for a 2 and 12 may vary depending on the casino (commonly 2:1 or 3:1). It loses if a 5, 6, 7, or 8 is cast.
These are the basic bets in craps, however, there are plenty of other bets that can pay more rewardingly, as seen below:
- Any 7– it is a one roll bet that pays 4:1 if a 7 is cast on the roll.
- Any 11– it is a one roll bet that pays 15:1 if an 11 is cast on the roll.
- Hard Way– it is a bet that wins if a hard 4, 6, 8 or 10 is cast. A Hard Way bet means the number must be formed from a pair (2-2 for 4, 3-3 for 6, 4-4 for 8 and 5-5 for 10). It loses if one of the numbers is formed in any easy way (for instance 1-3) or if a 7 is rolled before. It pays 7:1 for a hard four and hard ten and 9:1 for a hard six and hard eight.
- Any Craps– it is a one roll bet that wins if a 2, 3 or 12 is cast on the next roll. It pays 8:1.
- Hop Bets– it is a one roll bet that decides the specific dice combination of a roll. If it is the hard way (a matched pair), it pays 30:1 or 33:1 depending on the casino, and if it is an easy way (unmatched pair), it pays 15:1 or 16:1 depending on the casino.
- Big 6 or 8 – if you bet on the big 6 or big 8, the bet wins even money if the number selected is rolled before a 7.
- Aces or 12– it is a one-roll bet that pays 30:1 if an Ace (2) is rolled or a twelve is cast.
- Ace-Deuce or 11– it is a one-roll bet that pays 15:1 if a three (1-2) is rolled or an eleven is cast.
- 7– it is a one roll bet that pays 4:1 if a seven is rolled.
Roll Your Way to Success
If you have never played craps before, the rules of the game may be rather tricky to grasp at first. However, they are certainly not impossible to learn and the game is incredibly fun to play once you have understood the basics.
For new players, we would recommend sticking to Pass, Don’t Pass, Come and Don’t Come bets to begin with. These are the four main bets in the game and all have a low house edge and pay even money. If you are playing at a land-based casino, you may want to stick to Pass and Come bets only, as this is betting with the shooter and not against them. Here at Queenplay, there’s no need to make any friends around the table, thus, you can bet on the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets freely, especially as they have a slightly lower house edge.