Basic Rules and Tips for Craps

Craps is one of the best bets you can play at a casino, especially if you are a newbie. The rules of Crap are fairly simple. You only need to know what you absolutely need to know, the rest you can just ignore. Another great advantage of playing Craps over other casino games is the house edge. The house edge is only 1.41%. This means it’s 3 times better than roulette and several times better than slots. But to get the best bang for your money, you need to make sure that you only make the best bets.

You will find that Craps as a game tends to be livelier and engaging compared to other casino games. It’s also more engaging as the players themselves can roll the dices, rather than a dealer. This ultimately means you are making or breaking your own fate, which is another reason Craps is so popular among the gamblers.

Craps Table Layout
Fig. Craps Table

There are many bets involved in Craps, but the good news is, you only need to know a few. As already mentioned, Craps is a fairly easy game with easy-to-follow rules, so don’t worry about learning them all. The basic bets are enough to help you win in Craps.

How to Roll

Each player will roll their dices one after another. The player rolling the dice is the Shooter. If you want to be the Shooter, you need to place a bet on the Don’t Pass Bar or the Pass Line. Everyone will bet on the same roll of the dice, even if they are not the Shooter. The Shooter will keep on rolling until they get a seven at the wrong time. Another player will get the chance now. Generally, the position will be passed down in a clockwise direction.

Craps is played in rounds. The first roll of a round is the Come-Out Roll. Depending on the score, each round can last for many rolls, or even just one roll. Each Come-Our Roll is a point to start over.

The Basic Bet

The basic bet is the Pass Line bet. It pays even money, so if you bet $10, you can win $10. You can make the Pass Line bet on the Come-Out Roll. After placing the bet, you can either roll the dices yourself (If you’re a Shooter) or let the Shooter do it. The total of the dices will be scored to determine your win or loss.

If your total is 7 or 11, you win. If it’s 2, 3 or 12, you lose. If the total is any other number you can play the extra round. The number which unlocked the extra round for you is called the Point. A marker will be placed on that number to keep track of. Basically, an extra round means you get another chance to win.

Now it’s time for roll again. If the total comes out same as the Point, you win. But if you get a 7, you lose. Any other numbers are irrelevant and you need to roll again.

Note that in the first round, you win when you get a 7, whereas, in the extra round, you lose when you get a 7. This can be confusing to newbies, so keep track of the rounds. Rolling 7 on the first round is good, but on the extra round, it’s bad.

The Odds Bet

This is a very special type of bet played in the Craps game. The best part is that it has zero house edge. But you still need to make a Pass Line bet first to play the Odds bet. So there is no way to play Craps without any house edge at all.

You can play with the Odds bet only once a Point has been played. Place your Odds bet below the Pass Line bet. Not vertically under it, but rather due South of the Pass Line bet. The Odds Bet is in a tie with the Pass Line bet. Hence when you lose the Pass Line bet, you lose the Odds bet and vice versa.

The payout for the Odds vet depends on the difficulty of hitting the Point. For example, you can roll an 8 in six ways, but a 10 can be rolled in only four ways. So your payout will be bigger if you hit the Point for a 10.

So depending on the Point, the payout from the Odds bet will be as followed:

Point 4 or 10, the payout is 2:1 ($10 bet will payout $20)

Point 5 or 9, the payout is 3:2 ($10 bet will payout $15)

Point 6 or 8, the payout is 6:5 ($10 bet will payout $12)

How Much You Can Bet on Odds Bet

Since the Odds Bet has zero house edge, the Odds Bet should be as big as you can. But the casino has a limitation on how much you can bet on your Odds Bet. The limits vary from casino to casino though. But here are the most common limits used in most:

Single Odds

All casinos will offer at least this much limit for you to bet on. This means you can bet on the Odds Bet as much as you did on the Pass Line bet.

Double Odds

As the name suggests, the Odds bet can be double your Pass Line bet.

Full Double Odds

This works the same way as the Double Odds. But if the Point is 6 or 8, you can bet 2.5X your Pass Line bet.

3-4-5 Odds

This is the most common one used in most casinos. You can bet 3X if your Point is either a 4 or 10, 4X if it’s either a 5 or 9 and 5X if it’s either 6 or 8. No matter the Point, the payout will be 6X the Pass Line bet for a winning Pass Line and Odds bet.

Higher Odds

Some casinos also offer higher odds such as 5X, 10X odds. Some even offer as high as 100X odds, though they are not very common.

The Come Bet

This, along with the Odds Bet also has the low house edge. This is a little more difficult to understand compared to the other two, so if you find it confusing, you can just ignore it. But here’s how it works if you are still interested.

You can place a Come Bet only if a Point is made. Once a Point is there, you place the Come Bet by placing your bet in the area that says COME. Now the dices will be rolled. You win if there’s a 7 or 11, and lose if a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled. If any other numbers are rolled, you get a Come point. So now you will have two Points.

Useful Craps Superstitions

Now you know all about the basic bets you need to know to play and enjoy Craps. But here are some superstitions which are related to the Craps game. You can consider these as tips. If you don’t follow these around the seasoned Craps players, there is a good chance they will start blaming you once they start to lose.

Don’t utter the word ‘Seven’ After a Point

Crap players have the superstition that using the word Seven will make them lose by rolling out a 7. It’s commonly referred to as ‘It’ instead once a Point is made.

Be Careful When You Roll the Dice

And by that we mean that don’t hit anyone’s money with the dices you roll. Craps players believe this will summon a 7 and kill the Points which have been set so far.

If You’re a First Timer ‘Man’, Don’t Mention It

It’s believed that first-time male players are unlucky. They will blame you each time a 7 rolls out.

If You’re a First Timer ‘Woman’, Do Mention It

On the other hand, do mention it if you are a woman and playing the Craps for the first time. Newbie female players are considered extremely lucky around the table. It’s believed they will throw numbers for a long time. Players will likely start wagering good money on the table, and even give you chips to place bets with. Even if you have played before, you can certainly use this little piece of trick to using to your advantage, if you’re a woman.

Final Thoughts

The basic rules and tips are fairly easy to play Craps, which is what makes it an extremely popular casino game. If you want to start playing, you don’t have to waste a lot of time learning it. Just start playing and enjoy your time, and you’ll see you’re making improvements in no time.