How To Play Craps

Craps is a casino game that revolves around the rolling of two dice. If you have ever seen a craps game in progress then you know just how exciting this game can be. Craps pits a whole table of players against the casino, so when one person wins big, then all of the other players typically also win.

For a first time player, craps can seem complicated. The table layout offers many options and everyone at the table is expected to know what to do. The game of craps has many different types of bets, but you only need to learn one to start playing. This articles covers just enough for you to get started and is by no means a complete guide to the game.

The Table

The craps table serves two very important functions. First of all, the dice are rolled right on the table to ensure a fair roll. Also, and more importantly, the table is tool for betting. The majority of a craps table is the "layout". This consists of a labeled sections printed right on the table.

When you watch a craps game, you will probably notice that each player puts their own chips down on the layout. These chips represent each players bet and the location on the layout determines the type of bet being played. Once all bets are in then the player known as the shooter rolls the dice. The result of this dice roll determines which bets win, and which bets lose.

The Pass Line

The simplest and most common type of craps bet is the Pass Line Bet. This is the kind of betting that keeps you in line with most of the other players and against the casino. The casino maintains a 1.41% house edge over the pass line bet which is much better than the huge house edges we see in other popular games such as those offered on slot machines.

To make a pass line bet, wait until one shooter is finished with the dice and they are passed, to the left, for a new shooter. Before this shooter makes his first roll (the come out roll) put your wager on the pass line. From here, there are three things that can happen:

  • If the come out roll is a seven or an eleven then you win.
  • If the come out roll is a 2, 3, or 12, then you lose.
  • If any other number is rolled, then that is the "point".

If you win, you will be paid out with 1:1 odds. This means your winnings will be equal to your wager. If you lose, then the house will take the chips you placed on the pass line. If a "point" is rolled, then the shooter gets the dice back and the round continues.

After shooting a point, the rules change for the rest of the round. From here on out, the shooter's goal is to re-roll the point. If he succeeds then you win the pass line bet, but if a seven is rolled before the point then you lose your bet and the round comes to an end.

An Example

You stroll up to a craps table and you are ready to play. You wait until the shooter "sevens out" and then you put a $50 bet on the pass line. The new shooter rolls a four, which means that the number four has become the point.

The next roll is a nine, so nothing happens. Then a 12 is rolled and again, nothing changes. Finally, the shooter rolls another four and you, along with most of the other players, have just won your pass line bets. Since you made a $50 bet, you'll get your $50 back plus an additional $50 in winnings.

Moving Forward

As stated earlier, this is just a basic introduction to craps. Now that you know the general pace of the game, and how to use the passline bet, you could play right now. If you'd like to learn more about the game, however, there is a lot more to learn. Here are some other craps articles that will help you learn more about playing craps.