The craps table is one of the most noticeable facets of any casino because of the frenzy of activity, noise and excitement usually surrounding it. Though the craps table may seem intimidating at first glance, the rules of the game are actually quite simple once you take a few minutes to understand them. Craps is a table game where you place wagers on the outcome of one roll, or the sequence of rolls, of a single pair of dice. Unlike other games where a dealer does all the work, players at the craps table are each given an opportunity to be the “shooter” (the person who rolls the dice).
Craps has managed to become and remain one of the most popular game throughout casinos across the world for decades. Read on to learn more about the rules and how to play.
Before elaborating on the different types of bets that can be made while playing craps, it is important to first learn the basic rules and etiquette of the craps table. When you arrive at the table, the first order of business is converting your cash into casino chips. In order to do so, you simply place your preferred cash on the table and ask the dealer for “change only.” Dealers will never take money directly from your hand so it is important to remember to put cash on the table only when the shooter does not have the dice in hand.
Another craps rule to remember is that for making pass/don’t pass bets, odds bets, field bets, and come bets you are able to place the chips on the appropriate betting area yourself. For most other bets, however, you must place the amount you wish to wager on the table and ask the dealer to move your chips to the appropriate betting area.
When shooting the dice, always make sure to throw them to the opposite end of the table, avoiding the sides. Something else you want to avoid is throwing the dice into the air; no one at the table, especially those working the table, wants to see this happen. This is proper etiquette and should be followed at all times when playing at any casino.
When it is your turn to shoot, you will be greeted with up to 5 dice from the stickman to choose from. With one hand only, you are to select the two dice you wish to roll. It is important that you never use two hands when handling the dice. Though it is discouraged, a prospective shooter may choose to pass and let the next person in line assume the role. This is more of a superstitious precedent and in all reality will not change the outcome tremendously.
Finally, because the craps table is a lot longer than most other tables at the casino, you have to really fling the dice to ensure that they hit the back wall and bounce back off. If the dice roll off the table or do not roll far enough you will have to roll again and all bets will be void and re-placed on the next throw.
The craps table is intimidating to so many people because of the plethora of wagers that are presented on it. While there are a large amount of wagers possible, the most common type of bet is pass or don’t pass. This part is very simple to understand and we’ll go over it in further detail below.
Before the start of a round of craps, there will be a black/white button on the table which reads, “OFF”. This means that no point has been established and that players may still place bets. In order for a round to start, the shooter must place a bet on the pass line. A player wagering on the pass line is hoping that the first roll of the dice (the come-out roll) will add up to 7 or 11.
If the first roll is a 7 or 11, all those who bet on the pass line will win even money. For example, if you place a $10 bet on the pass line and the dice show a 5 and a 2, you will win an additional $10. If, on the other hand, the come-out roll adds up to 2, 3, or 12, all those who bet on the pass line will lose.
Another riskier bet that can be wagered before the come-out roll is on the don’t pass line. In contrast to a pass line bet, a don’t pass line bet will earn you even money if the come-out roll adds up to 2 or 3 (a sum of 12 is a “push”, meaning you neither win nor lose).
If the come-out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, a point has now been established. If any of these dice sums appear, your pass line bet will be retained and the button on the table will be placed on the newly established point number. This means you do not win or lose, and your bet stays out on the table. If, for example, the point is a 6, the shooter will roll the dice any number of times in an attempt to hit a sum of 6 without first hitting 7.
If the shooter hits any numbers besides 6 or 7 in this hypothetical example they will continue to roll free of consequence. If the shooter hits a 6, everyone who bet on the pass line will win even money and a new round of craps will begin. You are then able to keep your bet out there, or place additional bets. A roll of 7 means everyone on the pass line loses their bet and the dice will also be passed to the next player.
An odds bet can be placed once a point is established (assuming your bet still sits on the pass line). An odds bet pays out true odds depending on the point that is established. If the point is a 4 or 10, you will be paid 2:1, a point of 5 or 9 pays 3:2, and a point of 6 or 8 pays 6:5. In most casinos, you are able to place an odds bet up to double (and sometimes even greater than) your pass line bet. Odds bets are able to be increased, decreased, or removed at any time too.
Another wagering option once a point is established is come bet. A come bet can only be placed if you are also wagering on the pass line and works by treating the shooter’s next roll as your own come-out roll. The difference between the come-out roll on a come bet and the one played at the beginning of a round is that this bet affects only you. If you wager a come bet and the next roll of the dice does not add up to 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12, you have now established a come point. At this juncture, the rolls of the dice are treated in much the same way they would be for a normally established point. If the shooter rolls a 7 you lose your bets, but if he rolls your come point, you win both the come point and pass line bets.
A don’t come bet works in the exact opposite fashion of a come bet. In terms of a don’t come bet, if a 2 or 3 is rolled, the player wins, if a 7 or 11 is rolled the players loses, and a 12 is a push. If you establish a point in a don’t come bet, the player who placed the wager will be hoping that a 7 shows up before the established point. You are also able to place an odds wager on a come bet by simply articulating to the dealer that you would like “odds on come.”
Another more advanced type of bet is known as a “service bet.” These wagers are placed by players who are trying to guess the exact outcome of the next roll of the dice. Wagers of this type include snake eyes (wagering that the next roll will be a 2), ace-deuce (wagering that the next roll will add up to 3), hi-lo (wagering that the next roll of the dice will yield a 2 or 12), and many more.
A yo bet is only won if the next roll is an 11 while a boxcar (midnight, or cornrows) bet hopes that the next roll will add up to 12. A three-way bet wins if the next roll of the dice adds up to 2, 3, or 12. A C&E bet is a combined wager that hopes either craps (2, 3, or 12) or yo (11) will be the outcome of the next roll. In regards to a C&E wager, one of the two bets will always lose while the other bet stands the chance to win, but is not a guaranteed win.
An “Any 7” bet is a wager that the outcome of the shooter’s next roll will add up to 7. This wager is rarely placed due to the superstition that saying the word “seven” at a craps table is bad luck. The Horn is a type of bet that is actually 4 separate bets. With a Horn wager, you are betting that a 2, 3, 11, or 12 will show up on the next roll. The payouts for a winning Horn wager vary depending on the number the dice sum up to. For example, if you place a $5 chip on the table and say “Horn high boxcar”, you are wagering 4 $1 bets on 2, 3, 11, and 12, with the extra $1 being placed on a 12.
An Any 7 bet is a wager that the outcome of the shooter’s next roll will add up to 7. This wager is rarely placed due to the superstition that saying the word “seven” at a craps table is bad luck. The Horn is a type of bet that is actually 4 separate bets. With a Horn wager, you are betting that a 2, 3, 11, or 12 will show up on the next roll. The payouts for a winning Horn wager vary depending on the number the dice sum up to. For example, if you place a $5 chip on the table and say “Horn high boxcar”, you are wagering 4 $1 bets on 2, 3, 11, and 12, with the extra $1 being placed on a 12.
A field bet is made in hopes that the next roll of the dice will yield a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. The payout odds for a field bet are different depending on what the outcome of the roll of the dice is. Hitting a 2 or 12 on a field bet typically pays 2:1 or 3:1 while hitting a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11 pays 1:1. A field bet is a type of service bet, though unlike most other service bets players are allowed to place the wager without consulting a dealer first.
An On the Hop bet is a wager that the next roll of the dice will yield an exact dice combination. For example, if you bet 6 and 3 on the hop, you are placing a wager that one die will show a six while the other shows a three. On the Hop bets have true odds of 17:1 and 35:1; or, in other words, a house edge ranging from about 11% to 14%.
As you become more comfortable with the flow of craps, you will be able to entertain more complex, riskier bets. A hard-way bet is a proposition wager that the next roll of the dice will yield a hard-way number (4, 6, 8, 10). For this bet, you are hoping the dice will show 2 2’s (4), 2 3’s (6), 2 4’s (8), or 2 5’s (10). In order to win this bet you must land a hard-way number before a 7 or any other dice combination that adds up to 4, 6, 8, or 10. For example, if you make a hard-way bet on 8 and the next roll of the dice shows a 2 and a 6, you lose.
An easy-way bet hopes that the outcome of the next roll will be 4, 6, 8 or 10. Unlike a hard-way bet, however, a player is only able to win if one of the 4 sums of the dice is reached without showing 2 of the same numbers. For example, if you place an easy-way bet on 4, a 2 and 2 on each of the die would be a loss, but a 3 on one die and a 1 on another would be a win.
Big 6 and Big 8 bets are wagers placed hoping that the shooter will roll a 6 or an 8 before a 7. This type of bet pays out at 1:1.
A place and buy wager is a bet that one of the point numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) will show up before a 7. Players make this bet by placing the amount of money which they wish to wager in the come area and explaining how much they want to be on what numbers to the dealer. The payouts on a place wager are slightly worse than true odds while the payout on a buy wager are true odds less a 5% commission.
A lay bet is the opposite of a buy bet because the person making the wager is hoping a 7 will show up before the laid number. A lay bet pays out true odds in a reverse manner. For lay bets, a 4 or a 10 will bay 1:2, a 5 and 9 will pay 2:3, and 6 and 8 will pay 5:6. A lay bet will also see 5% commission being taken.
In summation, the game of craps is a lot easier to understand than most people originally think. It just takes time and willingness to learn the proper rules and etiquette. Players are able to wager bets that are as simple or complex as they like and there are many different ways to win (and lose), and different payouts to accompany them. So long as you take heed of the basic rules and etiquette of the craps table you will have minimal issues when playing. Craps is arguably the most exciting game in the casino for a reason, so don’t be afraid to play.