Craps Betting Guide

Craps Betting: How to play

Craps is a dice game commonly played in Casinos worldwide. The game is relatively simple and is one of the world’s most popular live Casino games as the game is fast moving, exciting, social and loud! Despite this the game often remains intimidating to people who are unaware of it’s rules as it appears to have a complicated table as there about 40 different bets a player can make. To begin to play Craps it is best to start with the basics.

Basic Craps Rules

Craps is played with two dice. This means that the outcome of a roll of the dice will be between 2 and 12. Players take turns to throw the dice that must hit the walls of the opposite end of the table. The person that throws the dice is called a “shooter”. As with other Casino games, play moves in a clockwise direction around the table. While initially the Craps table may appear confusing because of the number of bets available, the basic bets can be easily learned. Many players often choose to stick to the basic bets as the additional bet options have poor probability of a player win.

The pass line bet: the most basic bet in Craps

The pass line bet is the most basic bet in Craps which has a low house edge of 1.41%, making it one of the most attractive bets in a Casino. It is a “series bet” which means that the shooter could have to roll the dice a number of times before the outcome will be decided. If you win on this bet the payout is 1:1.

Making a pass line bet

To make a pass line bet a player first places their stake on the pass line area on the table before the new shooter rolls the dice (known as the come out roll, i.e. the first betting round). If the result of the shooter’s throw is a 2, 3, or a 12 then you lose, while if the result is a 7 or 11 (called a natural) then you win. If the result is any other number then this becomes the point number. In this instance the shooter must then roll the point number again before a 7 is rolled. If that happens, you win and will be paid at 1:1 for your pass line bet.

E.g. of a pass line bet and point number:

  • On the come out roll a new shooter rolls the dice for the first time and the dice total is 8. This becomes the point.
  • The shooter must now roll the point (8) before a seven is rolled for your bet to win.
  • If a seven is rolled before the point then you lose and the dice are passed to the next shooter at the table.

Odds on pass line bets

If a point is rolled players are allowed to make additional bets by betting on odds by placing their chips behind their original stake on the pass line bet. Each point will have a different payoff. As with the pass line bet, players only win if the point is rolled before the 7. If the result is a 7 then the player will lose both their pass line bet and their odds bet.

  • A point of 4 or 10 will be paid out at 2:1
  • A point of 5 or 9 pays at 3:2
  • A point of 6 or 8 pays at 6:5

Come bets

Come bets in Craps have the same rule set as pass line bets. The only difference is that come bets can only be made after the point on the pass line bet has been set. Once players place their bet the first dice roll will determine the come point. The same rules apply as with the pass line bet. Players win if the result is a natural (7,11) or if the come point is rolled before a 7. Players lose if the result is craps (2,3 or 12) or if a seven is rolled before the come point.

Odds on Come bets

As with odds on pass line bets, players can place bets on the odds of the come bet. The payouts are the same.

  • A point of 4 or 10 will be paid out at 2:1
  • A point of 5 or 9 pays at 3:2
  • A point of 6 or 8 pays at 6:5

Don’t pass line bets

This is the opposite of a pass line bet. If the first roll of the dice results in a 2 or a 3 then you win. If the result is a natural (7 or 11) then you lose. If a point is rolled then for you to win a 7 must be rolled before the point to make you the winner. A dice roll of 12 will result in a push.

Don’t come bets

Don’t come bets are the opposite of come bets. Once the come point has been established players win if the result is a 2 or 3 and lose if it is a natural (7 or 11). As with don’t pass line bets if the result is 12 this will result in a push.

Place betting

Place bets can be made once a point has been established. Players are able to bet on the outcome of the roll being 4,5,6,8,9 or 10. If the player’s selection is rolled before a 7, then the player wins. Player’s also have the option of cancelling this bet whenever they want to. Depending on which number is bet on the payouts for place bets are different:

  • 4 or 10: this pays at 9:5
  • 5 or 9: this pays at 7:5
  • 6 or 8: this pays at 7:6

Field bets

Field bets are for just one roll of the dice and have different payouts depending on the outcome. If a 2,3,4,9,10,11 or a 12 is rolled then the player wins. If a 5,6,7 or 8 is rolled then players lose.

Field payouts:

  • 2 has a payout of 2:1
  • 12 has a payout of 3:1
  • Other outcomes pay 1:1

Big six/ Big eight bets

A bet on big 6 or big 8 can be made on any roll of the dice. These bets win if a 6 or 8 is rolled before a 7. The payout is 1:1.

Proposition bets

Almost all proposition bets can be made at any time and are all one roll bets. The exception to the rule is hardways.

  • Craps: This wins if craps is thrown (2,3 or 12). The payout is 8:1.
  • 7: If a seven is rolled the player wins. The payout is 5:1.
  • Eleven: If an 11 is rolled the player wins. The payout is 16:1
  • Ace Deuce: This wins if a 3 is rolled at a payout of 16:1
  • Aces or Boxcars: This wins if a 2 or 12 is thrown at a payout of 30:1
  • Horn bets: This is a bet on 2,3,11 and 12 all at once. If one of these numbers is rolled then the payout is determined based on the number rolled.
  • Hardways: A hardway bet is a bet on both die coming up with the same number, i.e. doubles. The numbers to choose from are 4,6,8 or 10. The player loses if the roll outcome is a 7 or if the next combination of their chosen number is not a double. The payout is dependent on the player’s selection.
    • Hard 4: Pays out at 7:1
    • Hard 6: Pays out at 9:1
    • Hard 8: Pays out at 9:1
    • Hard 10: Pays out at 7:1

Genie says: Hardway bets offer poor odds to the player and are best avoided!

Craps Strategy

As Craps is a game of chance, there is no strategy that a player can employ to change the house edge. That doesn’t mean however that players can’t play in a certain manner to minimise risk as there are a number of “good” and “bad” bets.

On the come out roll, the best bet is the pass line bet as the edge on this is just 1.41%. While there are many other betting options to choose from the house edge is a lot greater. This is an excellent bet for beginners or players who want to minimise their risk.

After the come out roll, the best bet in a craps game is the odds bet. This means that the house has a 0 edge on bets so players should always take an odds bet. Since you can combine this with the low house edge on the come out roll, the disadvantage to the player decreases greatly.

Craps House Edge

Depending on the Craps bet that you want to make the house edge will vary. The Craps Betting Guide table below summarises the house edge on each bet type.

Bet

House Edge %

Pass Line or Come Bet

1.41

Don’t Pass or Come

1.4

Pass Line or Come Bet 2X odds

0.85

Don’t Pass or Come 2X odds

0.83

Place 6 and 8

1.52

Place 5 and 9

4

Place 4 and 10

6.67

Buy 6 or 8

4.76

Buy 5 or 9

4.76

Buy 4 or 10

4.76

Lay 6 or 8

4

Lay 5 or 9

3.23

Lay 4 or 10

2.44

Field Bet

5.56

Any Craps

11.11

Hardway 6 or 8

9.09

Hardway 4 or 10

11.1

2 or 12

13.9

Any 7

16.7

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