How to Play Craps

Before playing craps, it’s important to become familiar with the setup of the playing table and all of the bets offered. Granted, the most strategic of craps players will keep to a select minimum of bets available, however, by knowing more about the bets that shouldn’t be made, and why they shouldn’t be made, one will have a deeper understanding of the game, not to mention the confidence needed to roll the dice in the first place.

In the immediate images below, you will see the general layout of the craps table as an ideal pass line wager with backed odds unfolds. Not sure what that means? Please read General Craps Information first. Further on this page is a more in-depth explanation with accompanying images of the various types of wagers that can be made at the craps table.

Game Setup and Playing Mode:

Below is a screen shot of the craps table at an online casino. The reason it’s cut in half is because a true craps table is composed of two asymmetrical sides. This is more a necessity in land-based casinos, so as to get as many players around the table as possible. Online, only half the table is necessary.

Getting started playing is self-explanatory. Simply click on the denomination chip you want to wager and the “Amount to Bet Per Click” section of the table will display the corresponding amount. Right click on the chip stack to remove any chips. When ready to wager, click on the corresponding area of the table. As you run the cursor over the table, the corresponding wager-able area will highlight. In the screenshot below, the cursor was hovering over the PASS LINE box (remember, the bet you should be making the most).

craps step 1

Below is a text-book example of the best that online craps has to offer. It shows a pass line bet backed by 5x odds. This bet has a House Edge of .326% – not bad at all. Immediately below, you will see a $5 chip bet on the Pass Line box, as well as the outcome of the come-out, thus establishing the point. In this case, it was Six (6). Note the dice in the top-right corner.

craps step 2

Since a point was established for the pass line wager, the option to back/take the odds is available. Notice there isn’t any mention or “offer” to do so on the board. Perhaps the casino doesn’t want players making a bet that will deliver one of the lowest House Edges in the online casino, you think? But since you’re a smart gambler (and reading this right now), you don’t need the casino to tell you that you can take the odds. You know that by clicking in the area just behind the PASS LINE box, you can make this wager on your own. In the below example, 5x odds are being taken on an initial $5 wager (hence the $25 chip). I simply left-clicked five times (the $5 chip was previously selected) to do so.

craps step 3

The results below show the outcome of the above wager. A six was rolled before a seven, and thus the pass line bet wins. Since 5x odds were taken, you will note the payout is much larger. Since the point number was a six, the odds payout is 6 to 5 (remember a point of 6 or 8 pays 6:5, point of 5 or 9 pays 3:2 and point of 4 or 10 pays 2:1). Do the math for yourself. The total wager was $30. Multiply 30 by 6:5 (or 1.2). But wait a second, that should be $36. Why only $35? That’s because this particular casino only pays 7 to 6 instead of 6 to 5. And yes, that raises the House Edge.

craps step 4

Game Objective and Rules:

The objective of Craps – for lack of a better word – varies, depending on the type of bets you make (see below). In essence then, it could be said the objective of Craps is to bet on the dice either winning or losing (with or against the dice roller, aka the “shooter”). This said, here are the available bets at an online craps table.

Betting with the Shooter

Pass Line – Can only be made on the come-out roll. The pass line bet wins if the come-out roll is a 7 or 11. It loses if the come-out is 2, 3 or 12. However, if any other number is rolled, that number will become the point. In order for the pass line to win at this stage, the point must be rolled a second time before the number 7 (the most frequently rolled number) is rolled. Taking/backing odds on the pass line wager helps return the lowest possible House Edge at the game.

Come – This is a way to speed up the rate of play and cover the board with more wagers without raising the House Edge. The come wager can be made at any time during play by clicking on the Come Box between dice rolls. The very next dice roll will then become the come-out roll for that wager (hence the name). The come bet will then play out just like a Pass Line bet (see above). In essence, this is a way to get more pass line bets on the board at once.

Don’t Come – If you’ve been reading from the top, wouldn’t you have guessed this to be the next bet? It is what the Come bet is to the Pass Line. In other words, if the Don’t Come doesn’t win on a first roll of 3 or die from a come-out of 7 or 11, it will play the board as a Don’t Pass Line bet: roll a 7 before the point is rolled a second time to win the wager.

Place Bet – One step behind the Come bet, the Place bet can only be made after the point number has been established. If the point has been established, the place bet can be made at any time. The place bet is like the Pass bet in that it will win if the point number is rolled before a 7. The place bet can be made on either on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, and is carried out by running the cursor over the space immediately under the number box. Note, there are two small horizontal spaces below and above each box number. The box will highlight when the cursor is over it, and you will see a message box designating the bet if you are unsure. The below example shows a place bet being made. The odds payout for 6 or 8 is 7:6, for numbers 5 and 9 it is 7:5 and for numbers 4 and 10 it’s 9:5. The House Edge per next roll for these is still relatively low (down to .46%)

craps step 5

Note, the Big 6/8 Box is a “place” to make place bets on the numbers 6 or 8 at any time. The odds payout for these is even money, thus raising the House Edge to over 9%. Yes, the Big 6/8 are sucker bets, and should never be made (at least before making a place bet on 6 or 8 box numbers).

A Place Bet to Lose can also be made. These are similar to Don’t Pass bets and are made by clicking in the highlighted area of the box: The odds payout for a 6 or 8 is 4:5, for 5 or 9 is 5:8 and for 4 or 10 is 5:11

craps step 6

Buy Bet – The same as the Place Bet, but with a commission taken off the final win amount (usually 4 or 5%). However, with a better odds payout, the edge is slightly better. A 6 or 8 pays 6:5, a 5 or 9 pays 3:2 and a 4 or 10 pays 1:2 odds. The below image shows a $5 Buy Bet being made on the number 6.

craps step 7

Lay Bet – What the Buy Bet is to the Place Bet, the Lay Bet is to the Place to Lose bet. A 5% commission is charged on winning bets (when a 7 is rolled before the point). Odds payout is 5:6 for a 6 or 8, 2:3 for a 5 or 9 and 1:2 for a 4 or 10. Below is a screen shot of a $5 Lay Bet covering number 6.

craps step 8

Proposition Bets – Bets whose fate is determined with a single dice roll. This is the area of the craps table marked with a Seven (4 to 1) and Any Craps (7 to 1), with eight boxes of dice combinations and various odds payouts ranging from 7:1 to 30:1. While the payout looks great, these bets return the highest House Edge at the craps table.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *