How to Play Craps – Craps Rules for Beginners

Getting to the bottom of how to play craps starts with an in-depth understanding of the game, including its rules, betting options, strategy, and more. Craps is one of the casino games with the lowest house edge that drops to 1.36%.

Our guide to the rules of craps will help you understand it and master it in a few simple steps with helpful tips and tricks.

How Does Craps Work: Basic Craps Rules

Craps rules are pretty simple — the shooter (player) rolls the first set of two dice on the table by clicking on the “Roll” button on the screen. The player places a wager on the sum of the two dice before rolling them. The numbers that appear on the screen can result in one of the three possible outcomes — Natural, Craps, or Point.

The first one occurs when the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, which is a positive outcome leading to another roll. On the other hand, rolling 2, 3, or 12 is considered Crapping Out, and the shooter losses; however, they still get to roll again.

Lastly, rolling a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is a Point where an “On” button appears to highlight a specific number on the table, called the Point. That’s where it gets tricky — the player must roll the dice again to roll the same number to win. The shooter can roll a 4 and 2 in the first round and two 3s in the second to win, but they don’t have to be the same specific numbers. Still, the player can “seven out” and lose if they throw a 7 (this is a lethal number since there are more combinations of sevens than any other).

The Role of the Dice in Craps

Dice represent the most essential factor in this game you can play at online casinos offering craps. To be more precise — two six-sided dice. You must throw both of the dice at the same time for your wager to be considered valid. The idea is to place a bet on the combined sum of both dice before you roll them. For example, if you roll a two and a three, the sum total is five.

Managing Your Chips

To get the answer to the question “how does craps work”, you must understand how chips are managed. Not only is bankroll key at any table game, but it’s also your save and grace when playing online to avoid getting carried away. All you need to do is choose a game whose betting limits fit your bankroll, select the value you want on the screen, and make the bet.

Need-to-Know: If you play in a land-based casino, you only need chips you get by depositing at the casino cash box. You get to place them on the table when making your bet.

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Table Crew: Dealers, Boxman, Shooter, and Stickman

Interestingly, unlike other table games, craps utilizes two dealers. Each is in charge of their side of the table, but they have the same job — get your chips, place them on the table, and pay out your winnings.

When learning how to play craps online, you’ll experience the same treatment but only with live dealer games and not regular table games.

The stickman uses their curved stick to move the dice around the table and bring them to the next player to roll them or the shooter. Although everyone around the table is known as the players, only the person next in line to roll the dice is called the shooter. The situation is different in land-based casinos, where the players do not take turns being the shooter but shoot until one sevens out.

Lastly, we have the boxman in charge of keeping the game running smoothly, handling disputes, and collecting cash if the players have not previously received chips. You probably won’t find a boxman when playing online, though.

Understanding Betting Limits and Placing Bets

There’s a difference between playing in an online and brick-and-mortar casino, the biggest one being in craps betting rules.

In a real casino, you must communicate with the dealer when placing bets, whether you set the chips on the pass line and “Field” and “Come” areas or not. The final move is the dealer’s as they place the chips for you. You’ll also note that craps tables have different limits, which are typically clearly posted on the table.

Online bet placing is entirely different – you must select your bet size from the minimum and maximum bet limits, ranging from a couple of cents to up to $100. Your next step is to choose where on the table to place the bet, and that’s it.

Getting To Know The Craps Table

How to Play CrapsHow to Play Craps

Learning how to play craps at a casino is a piece of cake, but let’s start with the basics – which is the craps table. The table itself is split into two sections depicting the same layout. This allows more players to join the table, so there’s no difference between the sides and the one you choose to stand at. However, an online craps table only has one side showcased.

You’ll notice multiple unique sections on the table, each presenting a wager you can place. You get to put your chips/wager on one of the sections, which ultimately means you’re placing a bet.

The sections are as follows:

  • Pass Line
  • Don’t Pass Bar
  • Big 6
  • Big 8
  • The Field
  • Come
  • Don’t Come
  • The Place
  • The Center

Each section has its own denotation, while the Center shows unique dice patterns. Each section has its own craps odds and house edge, allowing players to place different wagers.

How to Play Craps at a Casino

With basic craps rules under your belt, you can now choose to play craps at both land-based US casinos in states where it’s legal or online for real money or free. There are plenty of offshore casinos, all completely valid and legitimate for US players.

Step 1: Choose a Site to Play Craps

Now that you know how to play casino craps, the next step is to choose the online platform. Naturally, it should offer not only a game of craps but a variety of craps games. With more available choices, you’ll be free to choose between different types and find one that suits you best.

How to Play CrapsHow to Play Craps

Note that although many online casinos offer free craps games, these are just a stepping stone for practicing. Nevertheless, you should register a new account at a casino and even claim the welcome bonus offer. Such bonuses bring more opportunities for prolonged play and depositing opens the door to even more casino bonuses and real-money wins.

How to Play CrapsHow to Play Craps

Step 2: Find a Craps Game You Want to Play

Once you learn craps and all its rules, you should explore the different games. Whether you choose to go with your favorite provider, like Play’n GO or Evolution, or you go a different route and choose by style — High Point Craps or Simplified Craps, the options are endless. Make sure you try a few varieties before you start wagering for real money.

How to Play CrapsHow to Play Craps

Step 3: Place a Bet and Roll the Dice

Following the rules of craps, you should place a bet on either the “Pass Line” or the “Don’t Pass” line. The former bet means your bet’s on the shooter to win, while the latter bet is the opposite.

How to Play CrapsHow to Play Craps

Once all bets are placed, the shooter should roll the dice to start the round, otherwise known as the “Come Out” roll. If there’s a roll of 7 or 11, the Pass Line bets win; rolls of 2, 3, or 12 mean Don’t Pass bets win.

Step 4: Establish The Point

However, if your Come Out roll results in a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, this results in what is known as the “Point.” This is the shooter’s opportunity to continue to roll the dice, intending to roll the Point number again before rolling a 7.

If the roll successfully matches the Point number, the round can continue. But, if the shooter rolls a 7 before rolling the Point, we get a “crap-out” or “seven-out,” thus ending the shooter’s turn.

Step 5: Placing More Bets

Once you get the Point, players can wager additional bets according to craps rules — for example, hitting the Point again, betting on particular numbers to appear on the next roll, or even predicting that the shooter will lose by rolling a 7. Naturally, each bet comes with different odds and payouts, meaning players can strategize and mix up their wagers based on their expectations.

How to Play CrapsHow to Play Craps

Step 6: Ending the Game

To bring the game to an end, craps game rules require players to place bets and the shooter to roll the dice. This cycle continues until either the Point gets rolled again or they roll a 7, resulting in a “crap-out.”

How to Play CrapsHow to Play Craps

However, if the shooter hits the Point before a 7, the Pass Line bets win. On the other hand, if the shooter rolls a 7 before the Point, then the Don’t Pass bets win. The players then engage in a new reset game with a brand-new Come Out roll, and the sequence starts anew.

Types of Craps Bets

Since we now understand how does craps work, we should get into more detail about the types of craps bets available.

Pass & Don’t Pass Bets

The Pass Line is located at the lower section of the table, while the Don’t Pass Line is just above it. These two sections are crucial for beginners as they represent the simplest bets when still learning how to play craps at a casino.

When betting on the Pass Line, the shooter must roll a 7 or 11. If they do, your bets win. However, your bet loses if the shooter rolls 2, 3, or 1s. If the shooter rolls any other number, your bet remains in place.

Conversely, when betting on the Don’t Pass Line, you’re betting against the shooter. That means that if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, your bet loses. Yet, if they roll 2, 3, or 12, your bet wins.

Note: This bet comes with a house edge of 1.41%, meaning it’s more than suitable for beginners.

Come & Don’t Come Bets

After the Come Out roll, when the shooter establishes the Point, players can continue wagering, using bets like Come and Don’t Come – both located above the “Field” section on the table.

The Come bet requires the shooter to roll a 7 or 11, while the Don’t Come bet requires 2, 3, or 12. If the shooter rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, the roll becomes your personal Point, meaning you have twice the chance of winning.

Note: Players need to wait out the Pass and Come bets, as it’s impossible for them to be removed, but they can still place bets in these sections, increase their wagers, or simply withhold. Similarly, if the shooter rolls a 12 on Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets, it ends in a “Push” – meaning it’s neither a win nor a loss.

Big Six & Big Eight Bets

As their names suggest, the Big Six and Big Eight are bets where the players place wagers directly on the shooter, rolling a six or an eight. These sections are located at the bottom corners of a craps table.

Note: This bet comes with a high house edge of 9.1%, meaning it can either result in a big win or a big loss.

Field Bets

Although most players believe that Field bets are the most simple to win, it’s quite the contrary. Making a Field bet means you’re betting that the shooter will roll 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11. However, basic craps rules tell us that there’s a higher chance of rolling a 7, 5, 6, or 8.

Note: A good tip is that you can double or triple your stake if you wager that the roll will land a 2 or 12.

Proposition Bets

Proposition bets are made on the table’s center section by placing a wager on a single roll of the dice. Here’s how that looks:

Bet Wins if the…
Any 7 Shooter rolls a 7
Any Craps Shooter lands a 2, 3, or 12
Ace Deuce Shooter rolls a 3
Aces Shooter lands a 2
Boxcars Shooter lands a 12
Horns Shooter lands a 2, 3, 11, or 12

Note: These bets come with a very high house edge of 10% up to 16.7%.

Hardways Bets

The only exception to a Proposition bet is the Hardways bet, i.e.,. when the shooter rolls the dice and lands two exact numbers with the total sum of 4, 8, 10, or 12. If that happens, you win the bet. Remember that the shooter must roll such a combination before rolling a 7.

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Different Types of Craps Games Online

Now that you know how craps works, you should also become familiar with the different craps game varieties before you start playing. Here’s what to expect in most online casinos:

  • Simplified Craps: As the name suggests, this is a simplified version of the classic craps game, where the shooter only rolls the dice once. If the shooter lands a 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, or 12, the players win. In case of a rolled 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, the players lose.
  • High Limit Craps: A classic game of craps but with high limits of up to $1,000 or even more; an excellent alternative for high-rollers.
  • Crapless Craps: If a shooter lands a 2, 3, or 12 on a Pass Line, you don’t lose in this craps version, often called Ruse or Bastard craps.
  • Low Limit Craps: This is a common online version of craps for beginners with low stakes. You can place the lowest possible wagers here.
  • Bank or Classic Craps: As the most common version of craps, Bank craps is often found in brick-and-mortar casinos with standard rules where you place a wager before the shooter rolls the dice.

Learn Craps: Beginner Tips & Strategy

Once you learn craps, you should also be aware of some common strategies that you can use to up your gaming style a bit. Here’s what you should pay attention to:

  • Practice, practice, practice — There’s a good reason why most of the best online casinos offer free craps games. It’s so you can play craps without investing any of your hard-earned money and focus on trying out different plays, strategies, and bet types.
  • Know the rules – The key rule is to learn how to play craps at a casino so you keep track of how the game progresses and don’t stray from your plan.
  • Stick within your budget – Make sure you set a budget for your gaming. It’s a sure way to practice responsible gambling, so pick a table with different minimum and maximum betting limits.
  • Don’t chase your losses – Although playing craps is very exciting, it’s still a game of chance, and you should also know when it’s time to leave the table. Follow your budget and intuition and avoid chasing your losses.

More Guides on ReadWrite

After mastering how to play craps, you can venture off into other table games commonly found in online casinos. Take a look at our guides to playing the following table games:

Top Online Casinos for Craps

With an abundance of online casinos, you can get your pick of craps games, ranging from Classic Craps to High Point Craps and Simplified Craps. These games come with different bet limits, making them suitable for players at various levels of experience.

However, if you ask us, we suggest going for Wild Casino as our top option for playing craps. Wild Casino offers a legitimate and secure online platform with a range of top casino games from providers like BetSoft, Rival, and DGS. So, take the plunge and grab up to $5,000 deposit match + 125 free spins welcome bonus and try your chances at Craps or Betsoft Craps!

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What is the house edge in craps?

What is the best bet in craps for beginners?

Can you win playing craps online?

Is craps a skill-based casino game?

Can I play craps on my mobile device?

Responsible Gambling

Note that gambling should predominantly be a fun and engaging activity and not a means of making a profit. Ensure you stay within your gambling means and pre-determined budget by adhering to responsible gambling policies.

If you feel as if you’re losing control over your gambling activities, seek help at one of the following organizations:


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