How to Play Craps


How to Play Craps

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Craps can bring lots of excitement and big payouts with a simple roll of the dice. Figuring out how to play craps is easy enough, but once you’ve got the rules of the game, one question remains: How do you win?

A winning craps strategy involves timing, betting, and odds. Learn how to play craps with the best chance for a payout—both in person and online at Golden Nugget Online Casino—and look like an expert the next time you roll the dice.

How Craps Works

Most craps tables, on a physical casino, have two side sections with a center section monitored by the boxman, who ensures that gameplay is fair and follows the rules. Each side section is monitored by a dealer or stickman, who pushes the dice to players and calls results. Online craps is the same, but without the monitoring!

Craps tables are long with high side walls that keep the dice from rolling off. Their labels indicate what bets you can make when you place your chips on them. If the shooter (the person rolling the dice) rolls the number you’re betting on—or against—you win.

Rules for Playing Craps

The shooter isn’t the only betting player in craps (unless you’re playing online). Everyone else around the table places their bets, called Line Bets, on various places on the table: Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, Don’t Come—all pay out 1:1.

The shooter’s first roll is called the come-out roll. They roll two dice, and the total number is the result of their roll.

  • Natural: 7 or 11
  • Craps: 2, 3, 12
  • Point: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10

Every possible roll is good—or bad—news to players, depending on where they’ve placed their bets. Pass bets are often called “betting right,” while don’t pass bets are called “betting wrong”—but it really just depends on where you put your money and what number comes up next.

Pass line bets

Bets on the pass line are wagering that the shooter will roll a natural on their come-out roll. If the dice roll a 7 or 11, pass bets win. If the dice rolls a 2, 3, or 12, pass bets lose.

If the dice rolls any other number (a point number: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), you may “push” your bet to the next roll or double it, betting that the shooter will roll that same number again before they seven out (roll a 7 and lose).

Enhance your Pass Line bet by placing an Odds bet. This way you can potentially win the Odds bet, when the point number rolls before a 7, at the same time win the Pass Line. It comes as no surprise the Odds bet is the best bet that can be made since there isn’t any house advantage.

Don’t pass bets

When players put a bet on don’t pass, they’re betting against the shooter. If the shooter craps out with a 2, 3, or 12, don’t pass bets win. If the dice rolls a 7 or 11, don’t pass bets lose.

After the point number is established, don’t pass bets win if the shooter does not roll the point number again, or if the shooter sevens out (remember: they’re betting against the dice).

Come line bets

Come bets work the same way as Pass bets—they’re just placed after the come-out roll when the point is established. These bets wager that the dice will roll the point number again instead of sevening out.

Don’t come

Just like Don’t Pass bets, Don’t Come bets predict that the shooter will not roll their point again. They’re placed after the come-out roll in the Don’t Come bar.

Field bets

Another one-roll bet is the Field bet. Players place their own bets in the Field box and win if the shooter rolls 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 before sevening out.

Rolls of 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 payout 1:1, while 2 and 12 pay out 2:1. But experts don’t recommend a field bet due to its high house edge.

Any seven

Players making this one-roll bet win when the dice rolls a seven in any combination.

Any craps

If you’ve placed a Pass Bet but want to hedge it, place a bet on Any Craps to wager that the dice will roll a 2, 3, or 12.

Multi-Roll Bets

If you’re ready for advanced craps, you may want to try some multi-rolls—bets that pay out after several rolls of the dice.

Place bets

Place bets on the table are labeled 4, 5, Six, 8, Nine, 10 (six and nine are written out to avoid confusion from people reading them upside down). When your chips are in these boxes, you’re betting that the next bet will total that number.

Unlike a field bet, players need the dealer to make their place bets, which have different payouts. 4 and 10 pay out 9:5, 6 and 8 pay out 7:6, and 5 and 9 pay out 7:5.

Buy bets

Buy bets work the same way as place bets, but the player bets at true odds of the game—and takes 5% commission of the winnings if their number comes up.

Lay bets

Also known as laying the odds, lay bets function similarly to buy bets, but they pay out in opposite ways: Lay bets wager that a number won’t come up before a 7.

Hardway bet

These bets pay out when the dice rolls a hardway combination, meaning that they’re a pair (a hard 4 made with two 2’s, or a hard 10 made two 5’s, for example).

Easyway bet

An easyway bet is the opposite of a hardway bet: The player bets that the dice will land in an easy combination (non-pairs, so a 1 and 3 to make a 4, for example).

Big six and big eight bets

These bets wager that the shooter will roll any six or any eight before sevening out.

2 or 12 bets

With a high payoff and low odds, a 2 or 12 bet ensures players a thrill when the dice rolls a 2 or 12 (the hardest combinations to roll).

Rules for Rolling the Dice in Craps

When you play online craps, you’re clicking to roll your dice. But when you play in-person craps, you need to follow a few rules to ensure that your dice rolls—and lands—successfully.

First, the dice must hit the back wall of the table. They’re allowed to touch the table on the way to the wall. If the dice doesn’t hit the wall, it’s a no-roll and you could lose your turn. Similarly, if you roll the dice too high, the boxman might call it a no-roll and have you pass the dice to the next player. Work on your rolling technique before you try craps in person.

How To Play Craps and Win

Rolling the dice and hoping for the right number is only part of the story when it comes to craps. There’s another layer of this famous casino game, and it all has to do with betting with (or against) the dice.

Expert advice states:

  • Stick to minimum bets with the smallest house edge (pass bets and don’t pass bets).
  • Make come and don’t come bets after the come-out roll, also with minimum bets.
  • Lay the odds after making your safer bets.
  • Don’t make field bets and other risky, low-odds bets.

Play Craps at Golden Nugget Online Casino

You don’t need a crowd around the table in order to have an exciting game of craps. At Golden Nugget Online Casino, slick gameplay and casino sound effects make you feel all of the action, with at-home convenience. If you’re curious about craps, play a free game in demo mode before you’re ready to bet real money.

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