If you’re looking to learn how to play craps then you’re in the right place. In this beginner’s guide to craps, we’ll cover everything from craps basics and the rules to strategy tips and more. Plus, we’ll highlight some of the best online casinos to visit to play craps from home. So, let’s jump in.
Basic Craps Rules
Before we start looking at how to play casino craps, it is essential to understand the rules. Knowing the basic craps rules and how they work makes it simple to see how the game works and which bets to put down. Below, we discuss the rules of craps in more detail.
Craps Rules 1: The Dice
When learning how to play craps, you will find that the game is played using two six-sided dice. You wager on the total combined numbers of the two dice that land facing upward. For example, if one die lands on three and the other on two, then the number for that roll is five.
In playing craps, the two dice must be rolled at the same time. It is against the craps rules to throw them separately.
Craps Rules 2: Having the Right Credits
When learning how to play craps at a casino, either at a land-based establishment or at a top online casino, you need to have credits that will enable you to put down a bet.
While you can purchase these in person at a retail casino at the table or use chips from previous play, you can do the same by depositing funds into your online casino account.
When you gamble online, you simply type in or select the value of the chips you want to put down. At an in-person casino, craps table rules dictate that a dealer may not take cash for a bet directly from a player’s hand. Instead, you must lay the cash on the table, which the dealer can then exchange for chips.
Craps Rules 3: The Craps Table Crew
A craps table has a few integral crew members that ensure the game plays out fairly, accurately, and correctly. When learning how to play craps at a casino, you’ll find four table crew: two dealers, a boxman, and a stickman.
The two dealers are each in charge of one end of the table, giving you chips when you buy in and placing your bets on the correct sections of the tables. Dealers are also responsible for paying out winners in chips.
The stickman is the crew member with the long, curved stick. Their job is to move the dice about the table, pushing them toward the player who is next to shoot. Stickmen also control proposition bets, which take place at the center of the craps table.
Lastly, the boxman keeps watch over the table, ensuring all players adhere to the craps table rules and that the dealers make swift and accurate payouts. Boxmen are also responsible for collecting the cash placed on the table by individual players once the dealers have given out the chips.
While these figures are all present at a land-based casino or at a live dealer casino table online, if you’re playing an online game of craps against a computer you will find all these elements are taken care of automatically.
Craps Rules 4: Putting Down Bets
If you’re learning how to play casino craps in person, you will typically need to communicate with the dealer to put down and place your bets. While you can place your own bets on the pass line and “Field” and “Come” areas, to wager a bet on any other portion of the table, you need to lay your chips on the table and tell the dealer which bet you want to make, who will then place the chips on the table for you.
However, when playing craps online, you’ll have a graphic representation of a craps table before you and no dealers to place your bets. To place a bet, select the value of your wager by choosing the chip value. Next, choose the bet you want to wager by clicking on the relevant area of the craps table. For instance, if you wanted to wager a pass line bet, you would click on the area labeled “Pass Line.”
Craps Rules 5: Understanding Betting Limits
Land-based casinos highlight the minimum and maximum bet values at a particular table by sign-posting them on the table. Typically, you will find several craps tables open with varying betting limits. For instance, one table may take a minimum bet of $10, while another sets this value at $100. This is to cater to all players, from beginners to the high rollers.
However, when learning how to play craps online, you will find that you can select from several minimum and maximum bets. For example, you may opt for a minimum bet of $1 and a maximum bet of $50. This allows you to set the limits according to your budget.
Craps Rules 6: The Role of the Shooter
Another aspect to consider when it comes to the rules of craps is the shooter. When visiting land-based casinos, players take turns acting as the shooter or the person who rolls the dice. Here, a player will remain the shooter and keep rolling the dice until they “seven-out,” then the next player has a turn to shoot.
However, at an online casino, the computer acts as the shooter throughout the game. Here, random number generator (RNG) software is used to ensure the results are random and fair, as they would be if a shooter threw the dice.
How It Works – A Beginner’s Guide to Craps
Craps begins with the shooter (a player) making the first roll of the dice, called the “Come-out” roll, by throwing the dice on the craps table. If you are learning how to play craps online, here you will click the “Roll” button.
Once the shooter (or the computer) has thrown the dice, the resulting numbers can lead to one of three outcomes: Natural, Craps/Crapping Out, or Point. Let’s explain what each of the outcomes means below:
- Natural: When it comes to basic craps rules, a “Natural” is when the roll results in a 7 or an 11. This is good for the shooter and means they can roll the dice again.
- Crapping Out: If the shooter rolls a 2, a 3, or a 12, it is considered as “Crapping Out” or rolling “Craps,” and the shooter loses their roll. However, they still get to roll again.
- Rolling the Point: If the shooter throws a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, it is called the “Point.” At a land-based casino, the dealer would mark this figure on the table, but on an online game, a small button labeled “On” appears on the number on the table to highlight the established Point.
If the shooter rolls the Point, they must then throw the dice again, with the aim of rolling the exact same number. However, the numbers on the dice need not be exactly the same. For example, if you roll and establish a Point of 5 by throwing a 2 and a 3 and then roll again, you can roll a 4 and a 1 to make up the 5. Players who throw the Point again win.
But, if the player throws the dice and rolls a 7, they “Seven-out” and lose, and the betting round comes to an end.
Since there are more ways to roll a 7 than any other number, the chances of this happening are much higher.
The Craps Table Explained
Now that we have an understanding of the basic rules of craps and how the game works, it is time to look at how to bet on craps. But before we can do this, it is essential to understand the craps table and the craps table rules.
The craps table has two sides to it, both with the same layout. There is no difference in gameplay here and this merely allows the dealers to accommodate large numbers of bettors at a land-based casino. However, when looking at an online craps table, you’ll only see a table with a single side displayed, as there is only one player (you).
Each section of the craps table indicates a unique wager. By placing your chips on a particular area of the table you signify the bet you are placing and the value of your bet, depending on the chips you put down.
There are several sections that make up a craps table, the Pass Line, the Don’t Pass Bar, the Big 6 and Big 8, The Field, the Come and Don’t Come, The Place, and the center of the table.
The center of the table usually displays specific dice patterns that bettors can wager on. Each of these sections allows bettors to wager different bets based on the outcome of the roll of the dice. These sections all have their own house edge and craps odds.
How to Play Craps
Whether you want to learn how to play craps for beginners online or at a land-based casino, the steps to playing are pretty much the same. Below, we offer you a craps tutorial that shows you how to play craps so you can get started enjoying the game.
1. Place a Bet
Begin your craps game with a “Pass Line” wager. In this case, you will wager either a “Pass Line” bet, where you predict the dice will land on a 7 or an 11, or a “Don’t Pass” bet, where you wager the dice will land on a 2, a 3, or a 12.
2. Roll the Dice
Once you have wagered your bets, it is time to throw the dice. The shooter (if you’re playing online, then the computer) will roll what is called the “Come Out,” or first roll in that betting round.
3. Review Your First Bets
If you wagered a “Pass Line” bet and the Come Out roll landed on a 7 or an 11, you win your bet. Similarly, if you bet a “Don’t Pass” wager and the shooter threw a 2, 3, or 12, you also win.
However, if the dice landed on any other number, your bet remains in play for the next rolls.
4. Establish The Point
When the shooter throws the Come Out roll and the dice lands on any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), this establishes the “Point.” The shooter will then continue rolling the dice until they hit the Point number again or they roll a 7, in which case they crap-out or seven-out.
5. Wager Additional Bets
When the Point is established, you can place a selection of bets (there are many, and we will go through them all further on in this craps guide). For example, you can wager that the next roll lands on the Point or on other numbers, or that the shooter will lose by rolling a 7.
6. Keep Shooting
Once you have placed your bets, the shooter will roll the dice, and you can check the outcome. This sequence of events, where you bet and they shoot, will continue until the shooter lands the Point or craps out by rolling a 7.
7. Finish Up the Betting Round
If the shooter throws the Point before they roll a 7, any Pass Line bets wagered will win. However, if the shooter throws a 7 before they roll the Point, any Pass Line bets placed will lose. But anyone who bet against the shooter by wagering a Don’t Pass bet will win.
Types of Craps Bets
Now that we know how to bet on craps, it is important to get a better understanding of the types of craps bets available, the payouts, and how they work. Below, we take a deep dive into the types of craps bets and where on the table they go.
The Pass Line & Don’t Pass Bar
When learning how to play craps for beginners, this section of the table is the most important, as it offers the most straightforward craps bet. The Pass Line is usually located at the lower or bottom section of the craps table.
In a Pass Line bet, you’re betting that the shooter will roll a 7 or an 11. If the shooter does roll one of these numbers, you wins your bet. However, if they roll a 2, 3, or 12, you lose your bet. Any other number rolled sees the bet stay in place.
In contrast, the Don’t Pass Bar sits just above the Pass Line on the table. Here, you wager in direct opposition to a Pass Line bet and bet against the shooter. Here, you wager that the shooter will throw a 2, 3, or 12 as the come out roll. If the shooter rolls any of these numbers, you win your wager, but you will lose if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11.
These two bets have an exceptionally low house edge of 1.41%, making them popular with new and seasoned bettors. These bets remain in play until the shooter craps out or rolls the point.
Come & Don’t Come Bets
After the shooter throws the come-out roll and establishes the Point, players can wager additional bets like the “Come” and “Don’t Come” wagers. These sections of the table are found above the “Field” section on the table.
You can wager a “Come” bet if you think you (or the shooter) will roll a 7 or an 11 on the very next throw. In contrast, a “Don’t Come” bet is the opposite and is when you bet that the next throw will result in a 2, 3, or 12.
If the shooter then rolls any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), this becomes your personal Point, and this, along with the original Point, means that you have double the chance of winning.
Another thing to remember when learning how to play craps online is that Pass and Come bets cannot be turned off or removed. You will need to wait for this wager to play itself out but can still make additional bets on these sections or withhold or increase these wagers at any stage.
Additionally, if the shooter lands a 12 on a Don’t Pass or Don’t Come bet, the wager results in a Push. Nothing happens in this case, and you neither win nor lose the bet.
Big Six & Big Eight
One of the most popular bets on the craps table is the Big Six and Big Eight, located near the bottom corners of the table. This relatively straightforward bet is when you predict the shooter will roll a 6 or an 8 before they land a 7.
Note that this wager comes with a high 9.1% house edge and only pays even money, so you can either win big or lose big here.
Bettors learning how to play craps will find the “Field” section in the middle of the craps table, just below the “Come” section.
When placing a bet here, you bet whether the shooter will land a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11 on one roll of the dice. Additionally, in some cases, you can double or triple your stake by wagering the dice will roll a 2 or a 12 and then land that roll.
While players often perceive the Field bet to be a good one, it is essential to keep in mind that statistically there is more chance the shooter will roll a 7, 5, 6, or an 8.
Whether you are learning how to play craps at home online or in a casino, you will find the “Place” section of the table up near the top where the Boxman stands.
A Place bet is one of the quickest or most fast-paced bets in the game. Here, you wager a “Place to Win” bet on the shooter, throwing a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 before they roll a 7.
You can make a Place bet at any stage in the game once the shooter has established the Point. However, you can also bet against the shooter by putting down a “Place to Lose” bet, if you predict the shooter will land a 7 before landing any of the Place numbers.
Typically, Place bets have a house edge that ranges from 1.52% to 6.67% depending on the numbers you choose.
A Proposition bet is a single roll wager made on any throw of the dice. You place these bets on the center section of the table, and the bets revolve around the shooter throwing a particular dice pattern, like those highlighted on the craps table. These bets have the highest house edge (10% to 16.7%) and the best odds of up to 30:1.
Below, you can find a table outlining the various ways to win using a Proposition bet on craps:
|Bet||Bettor Wins If|
|Any 7||The shooter rolls a 7|
|Any Craps||The shooter lands a 2, 3, or 12|
|Ace Deuce||The shooter rolls a 3|
|Aces||The shooter lands a 2|
|Boxcars||The shooter lands a 12|
|Horns||The shooter lands a 2, 3, 11, or 12|
The exception to a Proposition bet is called a Hardways bet. This is when you bet on a particular number and win if the shooter lands a 4, 6, 8, or 10. However, to win this bet, the shooter must land the number with the dice both displaying the same number.
For example, a Hard Four is when both dice land on a 2. But to win a Hardway bet, the shooter must roll that combination before rolling a 7.
Additionally, if you put money on a Hard Eight and the shooter lands an 8 but by having the dice display a 6 and a 2, then you lose your bet.
How to Bet On Craps
One of the best places for new bettors to learn how to play craps is online. Here, you have the opportunity to practice your gameplay and strategies by using the free-play option many of the best online gambling sites provide.
However, before you can place any craps bets online, you’ll need to sign up with a top online casino, claim a welcome bonus, and deposit funds into your betting account. Below, we take you through the steps, using recommended casino BetMGM to demonstrate, so you know what to expect.
1. Head to BetMGM
Begin the process by launching the BetMGM website. You can do this by searching for the casino’s website in your internet browser or you can take a shortcut and follow one of the links provided in this craps guide.
2. Register a Profile
Once the casino’s home page has opened, click on the gold “Register” button to launch the registration page. On the page that opens, complete your details to create a new account. Alternatively, you can sign up with BetMGM using your PayPal or Yahoo Sports accounts.
3. Verify Your New Account
Players who choose to create an entirely new account will need to verify it, using a code or link sent to your mobile or email. Once this is done, use your new credentials to sign into your BetMGM account.
4. Deposit Funds
Before you can start playing, you’ll need to fund your online casino account. So, launch the cashier page on the BetMGM home page. Then, pick your preferred payment method and input the value you wish to deposit. Then, follow the prompts to finalize your payment.
5. Place a Bet on Craps
At last, you can begin placing your bets on craps. So, click on BetMGM’s casino tab. Once the casino has launched, select the “Table Games” option or search for “Craps”. Then, select, the craps game you want to play. Input your bet value, place your bets by clicking on the various areas of the craps table, and then hit “Place Bet” or “Roll.”
Types of Craps Games to Play
When learning how to play craps you will find that there are several variations of the game available online. Below, we take a look at five of the most popular craps variations and what they entail.
Bank or Classic Craps
Online casinos refer to this variation as Bank or Classic craps. It is the most popular and most commonly offered version of the game. Additionally, this version is the standard option provided by land-based casinos. In this instance, you stake your bets on the craps table before the shooter throws the dice.
Some online casinos may also refer to this version as Ruse or Bastard craps. In this version of the game, you don’t lose your stake if the shooter lands a 2, 3, or 12 on a Pass Line bet.
This version of craps is played on the same craps table as a game of classic craps. However, the overall game is simplified, and the shooter only rolls the dice once. Here, if the shooter lands a 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, or 12, it’s a win. In contrast, rolling any other numbers (5, 6, 7, 8, or 9) is a loss.
Low Limit Craps
Here, the game follows the same format as classic craps. However, the game caters to smaller budgets by allowing bettors to avoid high-stakes wagers by putting down the lowest possible wager. While this version is rarely featured at land-based casinos, it can be found more readily online.
High Limit Craps
A variation for high rollers. Since most bets here have a minimum value of $1 and a maximum bet value that exceeds $1,000, it is a game where the stakes are high – and so is the risk.
Our Top Craps Guide Tips & Strategy
Whether you’re an experienced player or a total newbie, having a few tips can always be helpful to improve your craps strategy. While they won’t turn you into a pro player overnight, these suggestions and hints can help you get on the way to improving your craps games.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have been through our guide on how to play craps, we recommend practicing as much as possible before putting down any real money bets. The best way to do this is to visit an online casino or one of the best sweepstakes casinos where the games are offered in a free-play version. Here, you can practice and get a feel for the game and learn your way around the craps table without risking your money.
These games in demo mode (or free at a sweeps casino) are also ideal for testing out craps strategies and trying the different variations to see how they work.
2. Know When to Leave
One of the top tips to keep in mind when learning how to bet on craps is to know when to leave the table. While the game can be exciting and exhilarating, it can also lead to high-risk losses. Because craps is a game of chance rather than a game of skill like poker, players can experience long winning and losing streaks.
For this reason, it is always best to set yourself a spending limit or timeframe. If you are on a losing streak or even if you’re winning and this time comes to an end, leave the table. Doing this will allow you to walk away before you make a significant loss or lose your winnings.
3. Pick the Betting Limits that Suit Your Budget
While some online casinos allow players to preselect the maximum and minimum betting limits, others come with pre-determined values. We always suggest visiting a table (or an online game) that offers minimum and maximum betting limits that suit your budget.
For example, if you only have a budget of $50 and you visit a table where the minimum betting value is $10, you only have five bets to place, and if you lose all of them, then you will have enjoyed a very short game of craps.
However, if you visit a table with a minimum bet value of 50c, then you have a lot more room to move, and you can enjoy the game for much longer.
4. Learn the Rules
Before you begin playing, make sure you are well-versed in the rules of craps and how the game works. Doing this will make it easy to see how the game is progressing and what bets will work best when.
Additionally, it will help you keep track of what is going on so you can place more lucrative wagers.
5. Check the Online Casino’s Craps RTP
The return to player (RTP) indicates the percentage you’re likely to win back on a $100 wager, on average, over a long period of time.
For instance, most online casinos have an RTP of 98.64% on craps games, so here, a player will win back at least $98.64. However, some online casinos offer a lower RTP which won’t give you as much of a chance to win back.
So, always check out the game’s RTP and compare it with other online casinos to find the best one.
How to Play Craps at Home – The Best Craps Casinos
Now that we have covered how to play craps, it is time to look at the best online casinos to visit to practice and play craps. Always play at a licensed and regulated casino, like our recommended operators below, to ensure a safe, secure online gaming experience. A fully regulated casino ensures fair play, fair odds, and consistent payouts.