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Craps for Beginners: Basic Rules to Learn How to Play

by Craig Edwards
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If you’re new to craps, this article will give you some basic rules to follow and help your enjoyment of what is a hugely fun game you can find at many of the top online casinos.

What Is the Game of Craps?

Craps is a table casino game where players bet on the roll of the dice. Players have the choice – to bet against each other or the bank

Craps Uses Two Dice

In a game of craps, the players will be asked to shake and roll two six-sided dice.

You will be expected to roll the dice together, as rolling them separately will result in a void throw. The combination of the two numbers will be the result of the throw.

E.g. one (1) and a four (4) means the player scored five (5).

How Does the Table Work in Craps?

The table for a game of craps is specifically designed with a section for the players to place their bets only. The player who rolls the dice is the designated “shooter” and anyone at the table can place a bet by placing the chips on the correct spot appropriate to the roll.

Craps Table Layout

Unlike other casino tables, the craps one has three house representatives keep charge: Boxman, Stickman and Base Dealer.

  • The Boxman oversees the chips, the game and supervises the dealers throughout.
  • The Stickman controls the dice and makes sure they are with the correct player for each throw.
  • The Base Dealers are usually placed one on each side of the table. They will pay out winning bets, collect losing bets, and they can place bets for the players.

Craps Basic Rules

A “come-out” roll of the dice begins a round in the game of craps. The shooter is required to place a bet before making this opening roll of the dice either on the “pass line” or “don’t pass line”.

Pass Line 

A bet at even money made on the first roll of the dice (the “come-out” roll). You win if you get a seven (7) or eleven (11), you lose if you get two (2), three (3) or twelve (12), known as “craps”.

The “point” is any other number that rolls and the point must roll again before a seven (7) to win.

Don’t Pass Line

Another even money bet, the opposite of the “Pass Line”. The “come-out” will lose with a seven (7) or eleven (11), with twelve (12) deemed a tie.

Once a point is established, the meaning is that you lose if point is thrown and win if you throw a seven (7).

Come Bets

Made after the first roll when the shooter has a point to make.

A win is achieved on 7 or 11 and a loss on 2,3 and 12. The other numbers become your “come point”, meaning it must be repeated before the 7 rolls.

Don’t Come Bets

The opposite of a “come-bet” – you win with a 2 or a 3, tie with a 12 and lose if the 7 or 11 fall.

Again, the other numbers become your “come point” meaning it must be repeated before the 7 rolls.

Odds for The Game of Craps

After the first roll a “point” will be made – or a “come-point” on a succeeding roll. You can take the odds and win if the “point” or “come-point” are achieved before the 7 is thrown.

Place Bets

Once the “shooter” makes a point, you may place a bet on 4,5,6,8,9 and 10. Should the “shooter” roll any of these before a 7.

Field Bets

A one roll bet at even money for 3,4,9, 10 and 11.

  • Win odds of 2/1 for 2
  • Win odds of 3/1 on 12
  • Loss on 5, 6, 7 and 8

Proposition Bets

The center of the craps table sees these bets available – this means betting on the very next roll.

  • Win odds 8/1 for 2, 3 or 12
  • Win odds 31/1 for Aces (2) or Twelve 12
  • Win odds 16/1 for Ace-deuce (3) or Eleven (11)
  • Win odds 5/1 for a seven (7)

Hardaways Bets

This is a bet on the shooter rolling a pair.

  • Win odds of 8/1 for Hard 4 or 10
  • Win odds of 10/1 for Hard 6 or an 8

E.g. an example of a Hard 8 is 4 and a 4, with any other combination of 8 being deemed a loser


Craps is one of the most complicated casino games, but once you’ve learned how to play, the enjoyment can be huge, just make sure you adhere to the basic rules, as understanding the layout of the craps table and the roles of key figures is crucial for placing bets effectively.

By grasping these fundamentals, you can enhance your enjoyment of craps and increase your chances of success in this lively casino classic.

author avatar
Craig Edwards
Craig Edwards, an online tipster in golf and snooker for over four years, boasts a track record of 7800 bets with a 28% return on investment. A snooker professional from 1988 to 1996, he was once a single-figure handicap golfer. Achieving the 282nd position in the WSOP MAIN EVENT in 2007, Craig possesses a unique insight into the psychological shifts of professional sportsmen, anticipating their mindset week by week.

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