How to Play Craps – Guide for New Craps Players


Players who gather around the craps table at a casino usually have two things in common: they are suited with a large bankroll and prepared for a thrilling experience.

Craps moves at an average speed of 60 bets per hour, making it one of the most action-packed games in a casino.

The propensity of craps players to maintain several bets at once also makes this a high-stakes game.

Table Operators

Many craps tables in casinos today have double layouts. A boxman near the center of the table supervises the game. On his opposite side is a stickman, and he pushes the playing dice into the shooter with a table stick. This person maintains the game’s tempo and announces the results of each dice roll. Two dealers stand at either end of the table to take bets, pay winners and collect losses.

Traditional Table Layout

Dice are rolled, or thrown, across the craps table. The table is divided into three areas: two side areas and a center. Each side is identical to the other and is labeled with the lines Pass, and Don’t Pass. The Pass line is for players who bet with the shooter. Conversely, the Don’t Pass line is for players who bet against the shooter.

On the table is an area called Field for a one-roll bet. Numbered boxes on the table are depicted as follows: 4, 5, Six, 8, Nine, and 10. These are for bets that indicate the chosen number will be rolled before the next 7. At either end of the table are additional boxes denoted as 6 and 8 for bets that either of these Big numbers will roll before a 7. The center area is for Proposition bets.

Table Action

Table betting begins with the come-out roll, which is the first dice roll of a new game. Only after the previous shooter failed to win does a come-out roll occur. If a player rolls anything except 2, 3 or 12, they get to roll the dice again. Rolling a 7 or 11 on the first roll is an automatic payout. Anything else establishes the player’s point. Then, the player rolls again and tries to match the point without rolling a 2, 3, 7 or 12. The game continues in this manner until the point is missed. Once the point is missed, the dice are handed to the next player for a new come-out roll. That shooter is designated as the player to the left of the previous shooter. The opportunity to shoot dice moves clockwise around the table.

Placing Bets

Craps involves several different types of wagers that can be placed. Pass bets are placed when you put one or more playing chips on the Pass line. Don’t Pass bets are signaled when one or more chips are placed on the Don’t Pass line. Both of these occur before the come-out roll.

After all bets are placed, the shooter throws the dice down the table. If the roll reveals 7 or 11, then the Pass bets will win and Don’t Pass bets will lose. If the come-out is a 2, 3, or 12, that’s considered crap. In this case, Pass bets lose. However, Don’t Pass bets win with 2 or 3, but neither bet wins nor loses with 12.

If any other number besides 2, 3, 7, or 12 is revealed on the come-out roll, that number becomes the point. If the point turns up again on a roll before the next 7, Pass bets win and Don’t Pass bets lose. The opposite is true if a 7 is revealed on a roll before the point number. Once the point is missed, a new shooter receives his or her turn to roll the dice.

A plastic disk with a black side marked Off and a white side marked On is used to designate come-out rolls and points. The disk will be placed black side up typically on a box labeled Don’t Come on the table to designate a come-out roll. The white side will face up, and the disk will be placed on a numbered box on the table to designate the current point of a game.

Additional Betting Options

A one-roll bet that one of seven numbers will be revealed is called a Field bet. This type of wager does not have to wait for the come-out roll. Rather, players can make a field bet before any roll simply by placing his or her desired chips in the field area of the table. Proposition and hard-way bets can be made in a similar manner and by telling the dealer what bet you want.

Proposition bets are one-roll wagers. For example, a player may bet on any craps, and he or she wins if the next roll is 2, 3, or 12. However, if that roll is any other number, the player loses that proposition bet.

The dice contain four hard-way numbers, and they are the 4, 6, 8, and 10. A hard-way bet is one that supposes both dice will reveal the same number to create a hard-way number. For example, a hard 4 is actually two 2s on the dice. This type of wager wins if the player’s selected hard number is revealed before a 7 or before that hard number turns up with a different combination.

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