Craps is a casino dice game where two dice are thrown and players bet on various results and combinations of the throw and betting round (multiple throws). It is an incredibly popular casino game but can be difficult to understand at first.
A new craps betting round begins with the Come Out roll, the first roll of the dice. A Come Out roll can only be made when the previous betting round ends. A betting round is over when the previous Shooter makes a losing roll – either they fail to make the Point or they Seven Out. If, on the Come Out roll, the shooter makes their Point, they get to shoot again. However they will be shooting another Come Out roll, and beginning a new betting round.
The craps layout consists of areas with various betting options:
- Pass Line Bet - Wins if the first roll is a Natural (7 or 11) and loses if it is Craps (2, 3 or 12). If, on the Come Out roll, a Point is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), the Point must be repeated before a 7 is thrown in order to win. If a 7 is rolled before the shooter can make the Point, the Pass Line bets lose.
- Odds on Pass Line Bet - Once a Point is rolled, you can make this additional bet by taking odds. The bet wins if the Point is rolled again before the shooter rolls a 7. Each Point has a different payoff. 4 or 10 pays 2:1, 5 or 9 pays 3:2 and 6 or 8 pays 6:5.
- Come Bet - This bet can only be made after the Point on the Pass Line has been determined. After you place a Come Bet, the first dice roll will set the Come Point. Your Come Bet will win if a Natural is rolled and will lose if Craps is rolled. Other rolls will make you a winner if the Come Point is repeated before a 7 is rolled. If a 7 is rolled, Come Bets lose.
- Odds on Come Bet - Same as Odds on Pass Line Bet however you take odds on the Come Bet, not the Pass Line Bet.
- Don't Pass Line Bet - This is the reverse bet to the Pass Line Bet. Wins if the Come Out roll is a Natural and loses if a 2 or 3 is rolled (12 is a tie/push with the house). If a Point is rolled, the Shooter must roll a 7 before the Point is repeated for this bet to win. If the Point is rolled first, the bet loses.
- Don't Come Bet - This is the reverse to the Come Bet. After the Come Point has been established, you win if the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 and lose with 7 or 11 (12 is a push). You win with other dice rolls only if a 7 is rolled.
- Place Bet/s - Bet can be made after the Point has been determined. You can bet on the Point being made. You win if the shooter makes his Point prior to a 7 being rolled. If a 7 is rolled, you lose. Place Bet payoffs depend on the Point number you're betting on. 4 or 10 pays 9:5, 5 or 9 pays 7:5 and 6 or 8 pays 7:6. You can cancel your Place Bet/s at any stage.
- Field Bets - These bets hold for one dice roll only. Wins if the shooter rolls 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 and loses if 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled. Field Bet payoff are 1:1 (even money) except a 2, which pays 2:1 and a 12, which pays 3:1.
- Big Six, Big Eight Bets - Can be placed on any roll. Wins if 6 or 8 is rolled before a 7. Both bets pay 1:1.
- Proposition Bets - Can be place on any roll and are one-roll bets, with the exception of the Hardways:
- Any Craps - Wins if a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled and pays 8:1.
- Any Seven - Wins if a 7 is rolled and pays 5:1.
- Eleven - Wins if an 11 is rolled and pays 6:1.
- Ace Duece - Wins if a 3 is rolled and pays 16:1.
- Aces or Boxcars - Wins if a 2 or 12 is rolled and pays 30:1.
- Horn Bet - Acts as a bet on 2, 3, 11 and 12 all at once and wins if one of these numbers are rolled. Horn Bet pays 8:1 for 2, 3 and 12 and 16:1 for 11. If you win a Horn Bet, the other three bets are lost.
- Hardways - Wins if a Hard number is thrown (2+2 for 4, 3+3 for 6, 4+4 for 8 and 5+5 for 10) before a 7 is rolled or before an Easy Way combination of the Hard Way totals is hit.
As you can see, craps is a fairly complicated casino game to learn and master. The wide array of different craps betting options and rules associated with those betting options can be overwhelming at first glance. However, this is what makes the game so fascinating. Once you get to understand its nuances, it can be one of the most enjoyable online casino games to play. For explanations and meanings of all the craps terms used in this article, read below.
- Aces – Betting that the next roll will be a 2.
- Any Craps - A bet that the next roll will be a 2, 3 or 12.
- Any Seven - A bet that the next roll will be a 7. Also called a Big Red bet.
- Betting Round - A set of throws (rolls of the dice) that begins with a Come Out roll and ends when the Shooter makes their [*]Point or rolls a 7 (Seven Out).
- Boxcars - Betting on the 12. Two 6's rolled in a craps game are called Boxcars.
- Come Out roll - The first roll of a new game.
- Easy Way - A roll of 4, 6, 8 or 10 with each die being different from the other.
- Hard Way - A roll of 4, 6, 8 or 10 with each die being the same (pairs).
- Layout - The area where players can place various bets.
- Payoff - The return a player receives from a winning bet.
- Point - The Point is the number that is set by the Come Out roll. Only Place numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) can become the Point.
- Press a bet - To double a bet.
- Seven Out - When a 7 is rolled after the Point has been established and before the Point number is rolled.
- Shooter - The player rolling the dice.
- Throw - A single roll of the dice.
- Yo - The number 11. Can be called Yo-leven.
Craps has a number of strategies that can be applied in the game, the most famous of which is the Martingale System. This strategy can be basically applied to any casino game and is very popular among the brick and mortar casino gamblers as well as the online casino players. The main idea of the Martingale System is to double one's bet after every loss so that the next win would cover all of the previous losses. However, this strategy does not always tend to work, as a series of lost games or hands might lead to loosing the whole bankroll.
Therefore, in order to win at craps one needs to concentrate more on how they play and how they handle the game itself. In other words, maintaining discipline, managing your bankroll, selecting correct bets and handling your temper are the real main points for craps strategy. Knowing how much you can afford to loose is very important – setting boundaries does not necessarily mean that you will loose, it applies more to your discipline. You should also know what wagers you can take, and this usually depends on your bankroll. The bets should not be higher than 1/20th of the amount of cash in your disposition. For example, if your bankroll is $400-$500 you may place $10 bets on the craps table.
The wisest bets are those which pay even money or double your wager. Although they do not bring instant fortune, they are usually more beneficial in the long run. This craps strategy urges you to choose the betting options which provide the best odds. The more likely outcomes will keep your bets safer, as the chances of the positive outcome are much higher.
And the final craps strategy advice is to control yourself and to not get carried away. When playing craps online you may first want to practice at the free craps tables. Get familiar with the game, try all of the betting options and see how it goes. After playing for some time you can switch to real money games, starting with low wagers and gradually increasing them. This kind of step-by-step integration will help you gain better control of your game than by getting instantly involved in big money craps games.