Even if you’ve never played a casino or online craps game, you’re probably familiar with terms like “snake eyes”, “box cars” and “crapped out”. But learning craps phrases is nothing when compared to trying to learn the rules of craps.
When you first look at the table’s betting fields, the variety of choices can be overwhelming. Is rolling a seven good or bad? What do all these numbers mean? How do you get so many complicated choices out of a simple roll of two dice?
The GamblingCity.com Guide to Craps Rules will teach you how to play craps and win. Here we explain which bets are great and which ones are just, well, crappy.
But before you begin learning craps game rules, it’s wise to take a look at the possible outcomes of a roll.
When a player rolls the two dice, each die has an equal chance of coming up on any of its six numbers between 1 and 6. Thus, the number of possible outcomes per roll (considering each die independently) is 36 (6 X 6). The resulting total of the two dice comes up to a number between two (1+1) and twelve (6+6).
However, each total does NOT have an equal chance of appearing.
For example, the total score of two only has one possibility of appearing: if both the first die (D1) and the second (D2) come up a one. Therefore, the probability of rolling a total of two (“snake eyes”) is 1:36, or 35 to 1.
The same odds measure the probability of rolling a total of twelve (“boxcars”), since only one possible outcome exists to give a player that total (D1=6 and D2=6). Odds are definitely worth knowing if you plan on keeping your bankroll in tact.
Game Opener — How to Play Craps
A round starts with players making bets on the “Pass Line” or the “Don’t Pass Line”. These bets are the only options that craps rules allow at the start of a round.
If a player makes a “Pass Line” bet, the player is betting that the “shooter” (the player rolling the dice) will roll a seven or eleven on their first roll, also called a “come out roll”. A winning “Pass Line” bet earns the bettor even money (a $5 bet wins another $5). If the shooter rolls a two, three or twelve, the “Pass Line” bet loses.
On the other side, a bettor playing “Don’t Pass” wins even money if the shooter gets a two or three. A roll of seven or eleven loses. If the total is a twelve, the bet is a “push” (tie).
If the “come-out roll” is any number other than those mentioned, that number becomes the “point” roll for that round. Once the shooter establishes the point, the game gets much more interesting and infinitely more complicated.
After the First Roll — How to Play Craps
If the “come out roll” results in any number that does not satisfy the conditions in the “Pass/Don’t Pass” rules, that number becomes the “point”. Those numbers (four, five, six, eight, nine, ten) are displayed on the top row of the table. The dealer will place a white button labeled “ON” over that number.
The object of the game now is for the shooter to roll that same number again. If he makes his point roll, he wins his point bet and can continue rolling. If he rolls a seven before he rolls his point number, he “craps out” and a new round starts with a new shooter.
End of the Shooting Round — How to Play Craps
The “Come/Don’t Come” bet is almost exactly the same as the “Pass/Don’t Pass” bet except that the “Come” happens after the shooter establishes the point. For the “Come” bettor, the next roll establishes a new “come out roll” for that bettor. The same rules as “Pass/Don’t Pass” apply. Here’s a sample description of a “come” bet:
Shooter A establishes a point of six.
Bettor B places a “come” bet.
Shooter A rolls a seven.
Shooter A fails to make his point and loses.
Bettor B makes his “come” number and wins.
Remember, a bettor doesn’t always have to bet the same way as the shooter. In some situations, the bettor may be making a smarter play by betting against the shooter.
Parting Words on How to Play Craps
- The Odds BetThe “odds” bet is not only the best bet on the table allowed by the rules of craps, but also the best bet of any table game in the online casino.The odds bet is the only bet wherein the “house edge” is zero; a winning player gets paid according to the true odds with no adjustment in favor of the house (see “Worst of the Worst”). Since this bet is not clearly marked on the table, many inexperienced players fail to take advantage of this play. Now, having read the GamblingCity.com game guide, you won’t miss this opportunity again.
- Worst of the WorstHere’s one of the simpler tips to remember when betting: if you don’t understand the bet, don’t play it.If you don’t know what a “horn” bet is; if you don’t know what the circles labeled “E” and “C” mean; and if you don’t know the difference between “buying” and “laying” a point, don’t bet them. Put simply, keep it simple.Another good rule to remember: the bigger the difference between the true odds and the craps payout odds, the bigger the house advantage. This is where a bit of applied mathematics comes in.For example, the odds of hitting “snake eyes” are 35 to 1 (1 in 36). The craps payout for “snake eyes” is 30 to 1. This calculates to a house advantage of 13.9% — worse than almost any slot machine, any roulette spin, or any online blackjack hand.
- Shoot to Win Craps is not only an exciting game; it can make you a winner if you understand its rules and stick to a simple, profitable strategy. Always remember to play responsibly, use only money you can afford to lose and have a good time!