How to play craps – All you need to know
Many players enjoy a good game of blackjack, roulette, or baccarat, but fewer players will make the move to playing craps. That’s because craps rules are a little more complex than these other games. In fact, many players don’t even know how to play craps, which means this game is often avoided. With so much happening on the table itself, it’s easy to see why new players, in particular, have a tendency to steer clear of this game. And it is a little more complex than many of the others. If you want to get in on the action, then keep reading.
Throughout this article, we will cover all that you need to know when it comes to playing craps. With a new live craps game coming to online casinos, it’s important that you know exactly what the game entails if you intend to get in on the action. And speaking of action, craps is one of the few casino games where the player is actually in charge! With multiple bet combinations available on just one roll of the dice, it’s imperative that you understand everything that is going on. We will cover the basics, the rules, and the main bets to place in this comprehensive guide.
How to play craps online
The first step to understanding craps is to look at the table itself to understand all that it entails. The craps layout can be overwhelming, but in fact, it’s really simple once you fully understand it. Each section on the table is a different bet option. So where you place your chips on the table will relate to the bet that you are wanting to place. Placing your chips on the pass line, for instance, means you have made a pass bet, which is a multi-roll option and something we will cover in more detail later on in this article.
This pass, or don’t pass, line bet is, in fact, the main bet in the game of craps. However, there are a vast number of combinations available. Your job is to simply place a bet that’s a prediction of how you think the dice will land once you have rolled them. While this game is more commonly played in person, there are a growing number of online options too, which means that some of the rules of the game will differ slightly – there’s no rolling the dice with one hand or the need to hit the opposite end of the table when you play online for example!
Playing craps for real money
When it comes to playing craps online, one of the most popular options is to play it on a virtual table setting. This means that all you will have to do is click a button and the dice will be rolled virtually for you. Admittedly, this does take some of the fun out of the game, as part of the fun of craps is the exciting atmosphere and usually, a lot of shouting that comes with it! However, virtual craps is a great way to get to grips with the game if you plan on spending real money on it.
If you intend to play with real money, there are many options to choose from. But the one that we’re all excited about is the live craps game. Live craps gives you the chance to experience the thrill, fast-pace, and real betting options from the comfort of home. As with other live games, this cannot be played in demo mode; you will have to play this with real money from the outset, buying chips at the table. But it can pay off well if you know what you are doing throughout your gaming. Real money craps is the perfect way to experience Las Vegas, but at much less cost!
How to play craps – the basics
Though there are many bets on offer, the game centers around the pass line bet. To start playing, you will need to place your chips on the pass line – some of the bets will mean that the dealer has to move your chips on the layout. The pass bet begins with a comeout roll and you, as the shooter, will need to roll the dice – usually two. You will win the bet if you have a 7 or 11 on the dice. However, you’ll lose if you have a 2, 3 or 12. The table can hold up to 20 players, who will take it in turns to play.
If you never get a new comeout number, then you do what’s called a ‘sevens out’ and the dice will be passed on to the next player, who will take their turn to shoot the dice. And it’s that easy! There are three main areas on the table, each with different bet options. You could spend your time playing craps simply betting on one number, winning, or losing on that number after each roll. Alternatively, you can choose to make more complex bets that will be harder to achieve, but ultimately paying out a lot more if you succeed in landing them on the dice.
Craps guide to getting started at the table
At this point, let’s take a dive into some of the more important rules you need to be aware of. There are two dice, with six sides. The total number on these dice is the numbers on the dice that land face up when you roll. You are not allowed to bet on the dice separately. You have to use the total number that lands. When playing online, you’ll also have to deposit money into your casino account and buy chips at the table rather than throwing your money down on the table to buy chips then and there, as you can at a land-based site.
Rules you need to know
When betting online, even in the live version of craps, you will always have a screen that provides the graphical layout of the craps table. On this screen, it is clear where the betting options are, so you can simply click and place your chips where you want. This screen will also clearly show your bets as well, once you have won, or lost, that round. It’s important to remember the betting limits though. These will be different on various games or tables, so make sure that you follow them and choose a table that meets your budgetary needs so that you don’t blow your bankroll.
As we mentioned earlier, there are rules about when the dice get passed on to the next shooter or player. If you do not get any of the numbers that result in a win or loss on your pass bet, the numbers then become the point. If you roll the point number once more before you roll a 7 the pass wins, but if the 7 lands first, the pass loses. This latter is called seven out and the dice are then passed to the next player. Players can have a long craps round if they don’t seven out though.
Learning about the different bets
The crux of understanding craps comes with knowing all of the different betting options that are available to you. Each of these different betting options has various odds and house edges in play, which can affect how likely it is that you will win. As we’ve discussed already, the pass bet is the most common option and the one players likely start with first. This bet is paid out in even money and has a house edge of 1.41%. Where players can get confused is when the come bet is in play, which operates with the same house edge as the pass bet.
In fact, this is the same bet as the pass, with the difference being that you will make this bet once there is already a point for other players. For this bet, when the next roll is the comeout bet, then you want to pass. If there’s a point already on the table, then you can place a come bet and the roll that comes after this will be the starting point for your come bet. For both of these bets, there’s a don’t pass and don’t come bet. These are simply the opposites of pass and come bets and have a house edge of 1.36%.
How to play craps: Multi-roll bets
The bets already listed are dubbed multi-roll bets, but there are a whole lot more of them as well. Free or lay odds bets have the lowest house edge of just 0%. To get these odds, you need to make a pass or come bet. Once the point is set, you can back on your pass/come bet with a second bet. Another option is a place bet. These are paid out with different odds, depending on which numbers you are betting on. The house edge will also vary too. For instance, betting on a 6 or 8 will give you odds of 7-6, with a house edge of 1.52%.
Betting on a 4 or 10 however, gives you 9-5 odds and a house edge of 6.67%, which means you need to carefully select which of the bets you want to make. Another option is a buy bet. Winning bets for this usually have 5% commission attached and a house edge of 4.76%. Hardways bets are the final option in multi-roll bets. These have a house edge of 9.09% when you bet on a 6 or 8 and a higher house edge of 11.11% on 4 or 10. A hardway bet means that both dice show the same number. A hard 6 is when both dice show three, for example.
Playing one-roll bets in craps
The other option in craps is to play one-roll bets. There are a number of options here too, with some more common than others. Usually, this type of bet will actually pay out an impressive 30-1. The Field bet has a house edge that varies between 5.56% and 2.78%. To win this bet, the next roll on the dice has to be the numbers from 2 to 4 or 9 to 12. This bet pays in even money, with the bet being awarded depending on the score you get on the dice. If you land a 2, then the bet is paid out at 2 to 1, and so on.
Other single roll bets
Other quick bets include the 2 or 12 bet, where you will need to bet that the next number will be either a 2 or 12. This has a house edge of 13.89% and pays out at 30 to 1. Similarly, there’s the 3 or 11 bet, which offers a lower house edge of 11.11% and a 15 to 1 payout if you are lucky enough to win. Any 7 has one of the highest house edges at a whopping 16.67% and a payout of just 4 to 1. Other betting options include Any Craps and hop bets, both of which have similar payouts and house edges.
Odds in craps
As we have already outlined, there are a number of different odds in play when playing craps. The reason the pass and come bets are so popular is that, though they are even payouts, the odds of winning these bets is much higher. However, to make these even bets even more exciting and to reduce the house edge, these bets can also be played with an additional set of odds. For instance, the usual pass or come bet is 1 to 1 with a 1.41% house edge, but the same bet with 2x odds drops the house edge to 0.6%, with the bet varying depending on the point.
These odds can be increased right through up to a 100x odds bet, which will drop the edge right down to 0.02%. The same is true for any of the don’t pass/don’t come bets. The other major thing to bear in mind when placing your bets on craps is to consider whether there is any commission involved. All Buy bets have a 5% commission, though some of these bets will only have a commission on the winning bet, which means you will need to consider all of the options carefully before making your final decision when betting and managing your bankroll.
Final thoughts on how to play craps
Though there are a large number of bets and options available in craps, this should not be something to put you off. Instead, you should embrace these options, as they give you a lot more control over the game when compared to other table games. With the live version appearing in online casinos, you’ll also now have the option to enjoy the full ambiance of the game alongside other players, even when you play from home. Get in some practice on the virtual options, learn the different bets, and soon you will find that playing craps is second nature to you. Who knows – you might even start winning!