How to Play Craps

How to Play Craps

Craps is probably the most exciting of all casino games, and is often associated with loud cheering and enthusiasm.

The game itself is relatively simple to learn, and a basic understanding of the betting options and rules is enough to get you started as a Craps beginner.

  • Craps rules
  • Available bets
  • Craps gameplay

Previously Required Knowledge

You haven't even started playing yet, so nothing we expected of you! Also, because craps is a game of chance, it isn't a skill that you will need to work on - rather, focus on having fun and making a winning bet!


Step One

The aim of the game and how it works:

In Craps, you are basically betting on the number combination that will be rolled on the dice. There are all kinds of combinations, and several kinds of bets - all that you need to know will be explained. The game itself involves a rotating system of dice throwers and betters, which works in the following way:

There are four people actively running the game, although in online Craps games there may be less. The craps table is divided by a center box of proposition bets, and is controlled by the box man, whose job it is to keep constant watch over the game. The 2 sides to the craps table will each have a dealer, who pay off the winners and rake in the loser's chips. The stickman, who stands on the player's side of the table, controls the tempo of the game, by calling out the results of each game and taking player bets. He is called stickman because he uses a special stick to pass the dice to the dice thrower, who in Craps is called the "shooter". The shooter stands directly opposite to the stickman, and he must roll the dice for all players participating in the game. In order to become a craps shooter, you must make a "pass line" or "don't pass line" bet (both of which will be explained later), and have the stickman pass you the dice. A shooter continues to roll until he rolls a seven.

Step Two

Understand the available bets & what's required:

Things to keep in mind with regard to the various betting schemes and requirements.

The basic bet in craps is the "Pass Line" bet:

  • The bet is placed on the area of the table layout marked "Pass Line".
  • The Pass Line bet is a "series" bet, meaning that the shooter may have to roll the dice multiple times before your bet wins or loses.
  • The first roll in a series is called the "come-out roll" and it is different from the rest of the rolls in the series - this is when you are actually playing "craps".

On the come-out-roll, in a one roll series a combination totaling 7 or 11 is an automatic pass line win and marks the end of a series. 2, 3, or 12, are automatic pass line losers, and also mark the end of a series. All other numbers rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) become a "shooter's point" number, and the series continues. Basically, the shooter must roll that number again before he/she rolls a seven. If this is achieved, you win even money for your pass line bet and the series ends. If a 7 is rolled first, pass line bets lose and the series ends (this is called a "seven out"). If any other number other than the point or a 7 is rolled, nothing happens and the shooter continues to roll.

The "don't pass" bet:

The don't pass bet works in an opposite way to the pass line bet, in that a 7 or 11 is a loss, and a 2 or 3 is a win, while 12 is a guaranteed win. Pass line bettors are called "right bettors", and don't pass bettors are called "wrong bettors". Yet once a point is established, the don't pas bet is the favor to win. Most players bet on the pass line, even though it has a higher house edge, because they like the camaraderie of rooting for the shooter to make the point.

The "come" and "don't come" bet:

These bets work in the same way as the pass and don't pass bets, only they are placed on rolls other than the come out round. Once a point is established on the come out round, you may make a come or don't come bet by placing chips in the designated area on the table. If the next number rolled is a 7 or 11, the come bet wins and the don't come bet loses. If a 2, 3 or a 12 is rolled, the come bet loses and the don't come bet wins (only for the don't come bet a 12 is neither a win or a lose - it is a "push"). If any other number is rolled it becomes your point for the come bet. If the point is rolled again all come bets win. Contrastingly, don't come bets lose and must roll a 7 first in order to win.

The "Place" or "Buy" bets:

Instead of waiting for a number to be established for Pass or Come bets, you may place the number by putting chips on the layout and telling the dealer what number you want. If that number comes up before the next 7, you win.

The "Odds" bet:

Once the point is established the bettor can make an additional bet behind the pass line bet, known as the "Odds Bet". When a shooter makes his point, you are paid even money for your pass line bet, but you are paid true odds for you odds bet.

Step Three

Choose your game:

Find an online Craps game that is to your liking and once you have downloaded it and entered the lobby, click "start" or "play" (make sure you have deposited money for real money wagering games). You will be taken to the craps table and required to place your bet. Do so by either clicking on the chips you wish to wager, or dragging them to the table. Once you have placed your bet, game play can begin. We advise sticking to the simplest and most popular bets in craps - the pass line and don't pass line bets.

Step Four

Let the game begin!

Depending on what the shooter rolls, your bet will ether win or lose. If you win you will receive your winnings as chips, and your amount of funds will be displayed somewhere next to them - usually on the bottom left corner of the screen. You can play as much as you can afford with real money wagering, and as much as you like with fun mode craps.

Step Five

Finish up appropriately

When playing with real money, make sure you leave the game only after cashing out your winnings and remaining funds. Do so by clicking on the "cash out" or "cashier" option. Then click "exit" or sign out as indicated by the software.


Craps is a game of chance, however there are established odds which can increase your chance of making a winning bet. For further information regarding the odds, house edges, and basic craps strategies, see our intermediate level class.


Note that rolling a 7 after a point is established is a loser, which is opposite of the 7 being a winner on a come-out roll.

See also

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