Basic Craps Rules
Whether you’re playing craps online or in a physical casino, the rules will invariably be the same:
- Start with a bet. All craps games begin with a ‘pass line’ bet. Here, you bet that the dice will land on a 7 or 11 (‘pass the line’) or on a 2, 3, or 12 (‘don’t pass’).
- Roll the dice. The shooter will start the game with the first roll of the dice, known as the ‘comeout roll’.
- Check your first bets. If the dice lands on 7 or 11 on the comeout roll, pass line bets instantly win. Don’t pass bets win if the dice lands on a combined 2, 3, or 12. If the dice lands on any other number, your pass or don’t pass bets remain in play for subsequent rolls.
- Establish a point. Any other numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) the dice lands on from the comeout roll establishes that number as the ‘point’ on the craps table. Game play continues (as well as your pass or don’t pass bets) until the point number is rolled again or a 7 is rolled.
- Add to your bets. Once a point has been set, you can then bet on the dice landing the point, landing on different numbers, or losing completely by landing on 7.
- Continue to shoot. The shooter will keep rolling the dice (and you can keep betting) until they land a 7 or the point.
- End the round. If the point is rolled before a 7, all pass line bets will win. If a 7 is rolled before the point, all pass line bets will lose and all don’t pass bets will win instead.
Learn How to Play Craps Online
- Find a casino. Choose from our selection of great online casinos to play with. You can also play for free first if you want to get to grips with the rules, the bets and the payouts.
- Open an account. You will need to register with your chosen casino. We recommend sending over any required documents as soon as you can as this can result in faster payout times when you come to withdraw later on. Use any welcome or deposit bonuses if they’re available.
- Find a craps game. The casino will have plenty of craps games available to suit every player. Choose the one you like and start playing.
- Place your bet. Simply click onto the sections of the craps table to place your bets. Increase or decrease your wagers (usually found at the bottom of the screen) with each throw if you wish to.
- Throw the dice. Click the dice button to throw the dice onto the table.
- See if you’re a winner. The computer will announce what numbers the dice landed on and if you have won any money from your bets.
- Keep playing. A round of craps doesn’t end until a 7 or the point is thrown so keep throwing the dice and placing bets to continue the game.
- Claim any winnings. Once the round is finished, you can start a fresh round of betting, choose another craps game to play or withdraw any winnings you might have made.
Confused? Play for free to practice
Craps can be a confusing game to get your head around, especially when you consider the rules, the betting, the payouts and the terminology. We’ve found that the best way to get to grips with the game is to play for free online. Here, you can take your time to explore the game, take risks and try out any strategies without risking your bankroll.
Craps Table Layout
A regular craps table has two sides with the same pattern on the left and right. There’s no difference in gameplay between the two sides; it’s simply a way for dealers in physical casinos to manage a larger number of bettors when the game gets more popular.
The Pass Line & Don't Pass Bar
The pass line bet (or the ‘front line bet’ in some casino circles) is placed in the low corners of the craps table. This is a popular bet for newbies and seasoned craps players due to its low house edge of 1.41%.
If you think you can land a combined 7 or 11 on the dice, place your wagers in the pass line box. If you’re aiming for a 2, 3, or 12, these are ‘don’t pass bets’ and appear in the don’t pass bar box (just above the pass line).
Both of these bets are in play until the point or a 7 is rolled to end the round.
Big 6 & Big 8
The ‘big 6’ and ‘big 8’ on the craps table are one of the most popular bets players make and can be found near the pass line and the don’t pass bar in the bottom corners of the table. You can place wagers here if you think you will land a 6 or 8 before landing a 7. The house edge on this bet is 9.1% and only pays even money making this a potential losing bet in the long run.
The ‘field’ section is in the middle of the craps table. Here, you can bet whether you’ll land a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11 on a single roll of the dice. You can potentially double or even triple your money if you place a wager on the dice landing on 2 or 12.
How good is the field bet?
Many casino players think the field is a good bet, containing several numbers. Statistically speaking, however, it’s more likely 5, 6, 7, or 8 will land in craps. Check the craps strategy page to learn about odds and the best craps bets to make.
Come & Don't Come
Once the comeout roll and the point has been established, it can take a few throws to end the round. This is where the ‘come’ and ‘don’t come’ sections (found in the upper corners of the table) come into play and can add another level of excitement to players.
Place a bet on the come box if you think you’ll land a 7 or 11 on your next roll. Or if you think you’ll land a 2, 3, or 12 on your next roll, add your bet to the don’t come box. If any other number is thrown on the next turn (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), this becomes your personal point number as well as the original ‘point’, meaning you have double chances of winning.
On the craps table, ‘the place’ is located near the boxman and is one of the most fast-paced bets in a craps game. You can bet ‘place to win’ wagers on the shooter landing a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 before they land a 7.
These bets are added in the place and can be made at any time in the game. If you think the shooter will land a 7 before any of the above numbers, you’re making a ‘place to lose’ bet.
All players share the middle of the craps table – the center section. Here, you can add your proposition bets. These are single-roll bets made on the odds of the dice landing on a specific pattern, as shown on the table. Some of these have odds of up to 30:1 but come with the highest house edges of the entire game, ranging from 10 to 16.7%.
Most of the action on a craps table revolves around the bets. You don’t need to memorize every side bet to join a craps game, but knowing the most basic bets in craps will make it more enjoyable.
Beginner craps players can make simple bets on single numbers and win or lose with each roll. As you continue to play and develop your understanding of the game, it can be a good idea to explore the more advanced bets such as ‘laying the odds’ as these can be essential to any winning craps strategy.
Craps Betting Tips
For new players looking to play craps online, check out our following tips and pitfalls to avoid when playing craps online:
- Decide on your bankroll. When playing any casino game, decide how much of your bankroll you’re willing to commit across multiple sessions. Once you’re happy with your budget (winnings and losses included), we recommend not deviating from it.
- Find a craps game that matches your gameplay needs. Online casinos offer several varieties of craps games, such as Vegas craps or Bank craps. Always check you understand any rules or odds that may differ in these games before playing. The best online casinos usually feature a help page or pay table that lists this information.
- Check the betting limits. Most online casinos will let players adjust the betting limits in a craps game. These can be changed for low- or high-stakes, but ensure this is done before the game starts. Otherwise, you could lose money rapidly in an online craps game.
- Check the Return To Player (RTP) percentage. The standard RTP for craps games at most online casinos is 98.64%. If a casino site is offering a lower RTP for its online craps games, it may be worth looking at other online casinos to compare.
- Take advantage of welcome bonuses. Online casinos offer welcome bonuses to new players. While checking the wagering requirements is a must, you can use these bonuses to extend your gameplay. Learn which casino bonuses are the best to find, and then use casino reviews to find the best sites that offer these perks.
Play Free Craps Games Online
Playing free craps games is essential for any craps player who wants to improve, practice betting strategies, or test their knowledge without risking their funds.
In any online craps game or casino craps table, simple errors can result in costly mistakes, so we suggest practicing on free games until you’re confident playing craps for real money (when you are ready, we have a whole host of excellent real money casinos we can recommend).
Use our collection of free games with no download required, to improve your skills before moving on to real money craps.
Playing Craps at a Casino
When playing craps in a physical casino, the gameplay, rules, betting, and payouts are all the same. The main differences are the people; the casino staff and the other shooters. Let’s take a look at the three main people you will see working on the craps table:
This person oversees the chips and exchanges cash for players. They also supervise the dealers to ensure no bets are missed.
The Stickman moves the dice to the shooter and announces the outcome of each roll. They are usually the ones accompanied by a long hook.
Each craps table usually has two base dealers. They are usually the ones who collect bets, pay out winnings, and place bets on behalf of players.
When playing online craps, you are the shooter for every round. However, when you play craps in a brick-and-mortar casino, there will be other players around the table who will also be the shooter when their turn comes. The shooter turns go clockwise around the table and your turn ends once you roll a 7. If you roll point, you remain as the shooter in the next craps game.
Craps games are fast-paced, so the Boxman, Stickman and Base Dealers work quickly to collect bets and pay out winnings before the next roll of the dice. To help players keep track of the game, they also arrange the craps puck on the table. This puck is placed over specific bets, like the point and helps players know at a glance when and where they can place certain bets during the game.
Craps Rules For Casino Play
Craps is a fast-paced game and playing online can be very different from playing in a physical casino. We’ve come up with five top tips to help you look like a pro when you roll the dice at your nearest casino:
- Wait for a space at a craps table. Up to 20 players can join a game of craps, and there’s a chips shelf for each. The dealers use these shelves to keep track of bets, so wait until one becomes available to join a game.
- Follow shooter etiquette. Craps is all about throwing the dice, making fast bets and having fun. There’s no need to make any fancy throws like you see on film and TV as that can slow the game down. Also, make sure to only throw with one hand and keep the dice where the dealers can see them to avoid being accused of cheating.
- Know the line. A hypothetical line exists just past the come box, meaning that any bets you want to wager in the place needs to be done by the dealer. The same is true if you want to place bets in the middle section. Don’t reach across the craps table and try not to touch anything that isn’t directly related to your bet or chips.
- Make bets only when the dealers are taking them. In every round of craps, the dealers will announce when bets are being accepted. No one likes a player stalling the excitement of the craps table, so get yours in when the dealers go around the table.
- Be aware that you can win and lose bets when you’re not the shooter. Some players think their bets only count when they’re the ones rolling the dice. In craps, players are in the game if their chips are on the table.
How to Win at Craps
When playing any casino game, the object is, of course, to win! Like roulette and slots, craps is a chance game, so you can never guarantee a 100% winning streak. However, by understanding the bets available, the house edge to each and how best to maximize your plays, you can increase your chances of winning over longer periods.
Once you know the craps bets with the biggest payouts or best odds of landing on the dice, you can begin deploying betting strategies in each game.
For beginners learning how to play craps, the lingo used in the game can sometimes be confusing. Most of it revolves around the different bets players can make and once you know these by heart, the terminology is easier to understand.
Check out some common terms used in craps games in our craps glossary, so you don’t end up ‘crapping out’.