Craps Rules and Strategy: 101 Guide for Rookies

Craps rules are the fundamental part of the game of craps. Craps is a top-rated casino game that has a huge following among both offline and online gamblers. Playing and winning at craps requires knowing craps rules like the back of your hand and applying a good craps strategy. How do you find a strategy that fits your playstyle and bankroll? In this guide for beginners, we’ll cover craps game rules, betting systems, and other nuances of the game.

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Choosing the best craps strategy

Like many casino games, craps has a bunch of betting strategies. Learning the craps rules and using an effective betting strategy is a key to success. A winning craps strategy makes a huge difference when it comes to reducing the house edge and increasing the player’s winning chances.

Craps strategy

When choosing the best craps strategy, you basically have to choose a bet or combination of bets that you're going to stick to. Let’s go over the main betting options that beginners can easily benefit from.

Pass Line bet

As a craps rookie, you don’t want to go into too complicated betting options. If it’s your first time playing online craps, it’s best to start with simple wagers, and Pass Line bet is one of them. You need to place this bet before the Shooter’s first roll, aka come-out roll. If the Shooter rolls out a 7 or 11, congratulations! You get paid 1 to 1. If, however, a 2, 3 or 12 comes up, you lose your wager. If the Shooter rolls out any other total, the Point is established. The Shooter throws the dice again, and if they manage to roll out the same total before a 7 appears, your Pass Line bet wins. The payout is the same, 1 to 1.

It’s pretty easy, right? There is nothing to be scared of! Don’t Pass Line bet is the opposite of Pass Line bet, and you can place instead of a Pass bet if you feel like it. In this case, you’ll have to bet against the Shooter.

Come bet

Come bet is identical to Pass Line bet. The fundamental difference is that it can only be placed after a Point has been established. After you’ve placed your Come bet, the first roll will determine the so-called Come point. If it’s a 7 or 11, your bet wins and you get paid even money (1 to 1). If the Shooter craps out (i.e. rolls a 2, 3 or 12), you lose. If the Shooter rolls any other total, round 2 begins. If the Shooter rolls the Come point before a 7, you get a payout. If a seven-out pops up first, it’s a loss.

Don’t Come bet is the reversed Come bet. If, after the Come point has been determined, the Shooter rolls out a 2 or 3, you win. If it’s a 7 or 11, you get paid. Wait, what about 12? If a 12 pops up, it’s a tie (Push). If any other total is rolled, the game continues. You must keep your fingers crossed for a 7 appearing before the Come point is repeated.

Place bets

Making a Place bet is yet another worthy betting strategy that pays better than even-money bets. Here you’re betting on the outcome of the Come-Out roll. You can bet on numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. If any of these numbers appears before a 7, you win. Otherwise, you lose. Different points are paid differently. For example, if you wagered on a 4 or 10 and your Place bet won, you get paid 9 to 5. By betting in 5 or 9, you can count on a 7 to 5 payout. Finally, if a 6 or 8 is rolled out before a 7, you earn a 7 to 6 payout.

Odds

Placing Odds bets is an essential part of many winning craps strategies. When making even-money bets (Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, Don’t Come), you can add odds to them. In other words, you can combine any even-money bet with an Odds bet. Since laying odds reduces the house edge, online casinos tend to regulate the amount of money that you're allowed to bet on craps odds. When placing an Odds wager, you’re betting on the Point number in a come-out roll. For example, if you’re betting on number 4 or 10, you can wager up to 3 times the amount of your even-money bet. When betting on 5 or 8, the limit is x4. For numbers 6 or 8, the limit is x5.

Field bets

Field bet is a one-roll bet, meaning that it’s only valid for the next roll. This bet wins if the Shooter rolls out a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. Winners get paid 1 to 1. If it’s a 5, 6, 7 or 8, you lose. Most of the time, betting on a 2 or 12 pays double. However, this makes the house edge jump to a whopping 5.56%. In some craps variations, 12 pays 3 to 1.

Craps rules

Winning tips for craps fans

Allow us to give you a few useful tips on how to keep your bankroll from melting too fast.

  • Be sure to avoid placing Proposition bets. Here are some of the examples of Proposition bets. If you bet on Any Craps, you get paid 8 to 1 if a 2,3 or 12 comes up. By wagering on 11, you can count on a 16 to 1 payoff if the Shooter rolls out an 11. Don’t fall for these juicy payouts though! It’s nothing but a trap because these one-roll wagers come with an enormous house edge that can reach a whopping 17%. You risk depleting your bankroll in an instant before you get a chance to enjoy the game!
  • Steer clear of the Big Six and Big Eight wagers. When placing these bets, you expect that a 6 or 8 is rolled out before a seven-out comes up. The payout is quite underwhelming, 1 to 1. Why do we consider this wager totally useless? Because you can play it smart and make a Place bet on 6 and 8. If you win, you’ll get paid 7 to 6!
  • If you’re a rookie, stick with flat even-money bets (Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, Don’t Come) - at least until you gain enough practice to explore a more sophisticated craps strategy. Although these low-risk wagers come with a modest 1 to 1 payout, they have a reasonable house edge (1.41%).
  • The easiest way to increase your craps odds is by pairing flat bets with Odds. This is a great move to minimize the house edge. How much you manage to cut down the casino advantage depends on how much money you’re wagering on Craps Odds. For example, by laying Single Odds on Come or Pass bet, you can reduce the casino advantage to 0.8%. This is a great result if you ask us!

FAQ on craps rules

Where can I play high-quality craps games?

- If you’re looking for an excellent gambling experience, it’s crucial that you choose a top-rated online casino with a decent selection of craps variations. Before registering with the casino, make sure it holds a trustworthy license and partners with the leading casino software providers. Also, a good gambling site must support a big variety of deposit and withdrawal options. After all, if you’re a fan of real-money play, you must be able to release your craps winnings with no stress!

Are craps rules tricky?

- Not at all! Craps is a fun game of chance that gives you a great opportunity to relax and rely on your intuition. If you’re overwhelmed by vibrant, action-packed slots but still want to explore luck-based games, craps is your perfect choice. While craps rules and craps strategies may appear intimidating, you’ll soon realize that it’s just an illusion. You can master craps in 30 minutes! As for the variety of betting options, you don’t need to memorize them all at once. Give it time. Stick with low-risk flat bets until you gain confidence with the gameplay. Once you’re ready, you can switch to more sophisticated betting strategies.

Does craps pay well?

- Like any casino game, only high-risk craps bets come with generous payouts. Take, for example, Proposition bets where payouts can reach 10:1, 16:1 or even 30:1! The flip side of this generosity is a huge house edge which means that your winnings craps odds are super slim. Our advice is to stick with more player-friendly wagers, e.g. Come, Don’t Come, Pass, Don’t Pass, Place bets, etc. Although they pay less (1 to 1, 7 to 6, 9 to 5, etc.), you’re much more likely to win and actually get the money!