Mar 30, 2017

Craps rules

author Peter S.

Craps rules are mostly considered as one the hardest of all casino games. Check out our guide and learn them in only several minutes. Find out what craps bets are the best and play like professional from now on.

Craps are a classic game that represents the true essence of casino entertainment. When a player throws dice across the table surrounded by other bettors hoping for their number to be rolled, there is no doubt that craps are one of the most exciting casino games. Moreover, the house has a really small edge in this game.

Although Craps are among the most popular and most often played gambling games, craps rules can often seem quite complicated to new players and many people can't make heads or tails of them. Before you go and bet your hard-earned cash in the casino for the first time, try the game without any risk in a free online version using virtual currency. That way you can at least make sure that you really understand the rules. If you lose there, it doesn't affect your finances.

Knowing the craps rules definitely pays off. Some bets have the lowest house edge by far of all table games.

Craps rules

Craps is a game that can be simple or complicated – depending on how you want to bet. Craps is a table game played by several players. One of them (the one who throws the dice) is called the "Shooter". Very simply put: When playing craps, the shooter throws the dice and all other players bet on numbers that may or may not be rolled. Players place their bets before the shooter throws the dice.

The game starts with the Shooter (one of the table players) betting at least the minimum of the table on one of the bets:

  • Pass Line
  • Don't Pass Line

The player then receives from Stickman (casino employee) several dice (usually five) from which he/she chooses two to play with. The remaining dice are taken back by the casino worker and are not used in this game anymore.

The game is played in rounds and each player has the right to throw dice. But if you do not feel like it, you can deny and pass this honour to another player.

Each round has two phases:

  • Come Out
  • Point

Come Out Phase

At the start of the round, the Shooter shoot one or more Come Out rolls. If the number 2, 3 or 12 falls on this first throw (called Craps and the player continues no longer), the round ends and players lose their Pass Line bets. If the Shooter hits 7 or 11 (Natural), all Pass Line bets win.

If neither happens. The Shooter continues to throw another Come Out roll until one of the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 numbers are played.

Point Phase

After that, this number becomes Point. The dealer then visibly marks this number and continues phase two. When Point number reappears, all Pass Line bets win. If the Shooter throw Seven-out, the pass line bets lose and the round ends.

The new round then begins with the new Shooter. The new shooter is then the first player on the left hand of the previous thrower. The game then goes clockwise.

A player who approaches the table should always check first the phase at which the game is. If there is no number marked, the table is in the Come Out phase. If there is the token on the table, the point is already set and most casinos allow to make Pass Line bets. All  Proposition Bets can be bet in any phase of the round.

Between each bet is the part when the dealer pays wins and collects lost bets. Stickman oversees the entire game, the table and decides when the Shooter can play.

Craps Rules - All Craps Bets

As you can on the picture below, there are many types of bets in craps. But don't worry, we will discuss them all in a very easy way.

Craps Rules - Craps Table Layout

Come Out Bets

Pass Line

As mentioned above, these bets win if the sum of 7 or 11 is rolled in the come-out roll, and they lose out if the sum of 2, 3, or 12 is rolled in the come-out roll. If another sum is rolled, it will become the Point. The Pass Line bet wins if the following shooter's throws reach a Point number before reaching the sum of 7, and loses if the sum of 7 appears before the Point is reached.

Possible win: 1:1.

Don’t Pass Line

This is the opposite of the Pass Line bet. The Don’t Pass Line bet wins if the sum of 2 or 3 is rolled in the come-out roll and loses if come-out yields a sum of 7 or 11.  If the come-out roll reaches a total of 12, such bet is called "Push" and the player gets his money back. If a number other than 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 is rolled, it becomes the Point. Don’t Pass Line bets win if the shooter rolls a total of 7 before reaching the Point and lose if the opposite occurs. It is important to know that Don’t Pass Line bets can be reduced or even removed before the shooter’s the second throw.

Possible win: 1:1.

"Come" bets

Come bets are almost the same as the Pass Line bets. Consider them Pass Line bets that are repeated in the same game round. The players place the Come bets after establishing the Point in the come-out roll. Just like the Pass Line bets, Come bets win if the shooter rolls 7 or 11 and lose if the shooter rolls 2, 3 or 12. If the shooter rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, that number is established as the Point for Come ("Come Point"). Come bets win if the shooter rolls the Come Point again before rolling the sum of 7, and lose if the opposite occurs. Come bets cannot be reduced or removed.

Possible win: 1:1.

"Don’t Come" bets

It must be clear by now that Don’t Come bets are almost the same as Don’t Pass Line bets. These bets are also placed after the come-out roll. Once the Point is set, Don’t Come bets win if the shooter rolls 2 or 3, lose if he rolls 7 or 11, and Push if he rolls 12. If a sum of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled, it becomes the new Come Point. Don’t Come wins if the shooter rolls 7 before the Come Point, and loses if the opposite occurs. Don’t Come bets, just like Don’t Pass Line bets, can be reduced or even removed.

Possible win: 1:1.

Bets after the Point


Odds are a side bet in craps that you can only place if the Point is established. The win will be paid out if the Point is rolled before the sum of 7. Chances of Odds are completely equal, the house edge is therefore zero. To clarify, Odds have the following payouts:

  • 2 to 1 at point 4 and 10
  • 3 to 2 at point
  • 6 to 5 at point 6 and 8

If we want to place the Odds after a Pass Line bet, we place the chips of the Odds bet behind the Pass Line bet, outside the marked area for Pass Line closer to us.

Because Odds bets are absolutely free of house edge, you can always bet only as much as your original Pass bet. Most casinos allow players to bet for example "3-4-5x Odds". This means that the player can bet three times the bet if Point is 4 or 10, four times the bet if it’s 5 or 9 and five times if it’s 6 or 8.

But some casinos may offer more, like 5x, 10x, 20x, or 100x Odds for all points. So if you see a 10x Odds offer in a casino, that means you can place Odds in the amount of ten times the original bet.

Place Bets

In craps, the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 are known as Place numbers and the player can bet on any of these numbers. If this number is rolled before 7, the player wins. Place bets are something like Odds, but they can only be placed if you have placed a No Pass Line bet and their payouts are not so profitable. To be precise:

  • Place the bet on 6 and 8 pays 8 to 7
  • Place the bet on 5 and 9 pays 7 to 5
  • Place the bet on 4 and 10 pays 9 to 5

Field Bets

Craps rules allow to place bets only for one roll. These are called Field Bets and Proposition bets. In Field Bets you win when a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 strike. Field Bets are paid out in the following proportions:

  • 2 is paid 2: 1
  • 12 is 3: 1
  • All other numbers are paid as straight bets, ie with a payout ratio of 1: 1.

Big Six, Big Eight Bets

You can bet these bets at any time during the game and win if the number 6 or 8 hit before number 7. Both bets are paid at 1: 1.

Proposition Bets

Proposition bets can be placed at any time. Almost all of them (besides the Hardways bet) are only for one roll.

Any Craps

  • Wins when 2, 3, or 12 are rolled. The payout ratio is 8: 1.

Any Seven

  • Wins when thrown 7. The payout ratio is 5: 1.


  • Wins when thrown 11. The payout ratio is 16: 1.

Ace Duece

  • Wins when thrown 3. The Payout ratio is 16: 1.

Aces or Boxcars

  • Wins when thrown 2 or 12. The payout ratio is 30: 1.

Horn Bet

  • It works like a bet on numbers 2, 3, 11 and 12. Wins if one of these numbers falls. The payout is by the number that fits. The other three losers are losing.


The player wins if the sum of pairs 4 (2-2), 6 (3-3), 8 (4-4) and 10 (5-5),  is thrown before 7. The payout ratio is

  • hard 4 and 10 - 8: 1
  • hard 6 and 8 - 10: 1

Even the craps rules may seem to be really confusing, it should discourage you to try this game. You can always try craps for free online and practice craps rules without any risk or money loss. You also do not need to bet all the possible bets. Many advanced players only use the bets with the lowest house edge.

House Edge of the Craps Bets

Bet House edge
Pass/Come 1,41 %
Don´t Pass/Don´t Come 1,40 %
Field bet (2:1 on 12) 5,56 %
Field bet (3:1 on 12) 2,78 %
Any Craps 11,11 %
Big 6, 8 9,09 %
Hard 4, 10 11,11 %
Hard 6, 8 9,09 %
Place bet (on win) 6, 8 1,52 %
Place bet (on win) 5, 9 4 %
Place bet (on win) 4, 10 6,67 %
Place bet (on loss) 6, 8 1,82 %
Place bet (on loss) 5, 9 2,50 %
Place bet (on loss) 4, 10 3,03 %
Proposition bet on 2, 12 13,89 %
Proposition bet on 3, 11 11,11 %
Proposition bet on 7 16,67 %
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