# How to Play Craps

Introduction Craps can be an intimidating game for the beginner. The table seems to have a hundred different bets. The players are barking foreign commands. The pace is too fast to even ask a question. If this is how you view the game, there’s good news. Almost every craps player makes one fundamental bet, the pass line bet. During your first time at the table, you can easily get by knowing just this bet. Then, as you gain experience, you can add bets to your repertoire. You’ll quickly begin to feel comfortable with the flow of the game, and before you know it, you’ll be a natural. The Pass Line If you understand just one bet in craps, it should be this one. The pass line bet is put on the pass line itself on a come out roll. You can tell if it is a come out roll if a black laminated marker on the table says “off.” If the come out roll is a 7 or 11, you win even money. If the come out roll is a 2, 3 or 12, then you lose. If any other total is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10), that total is called “the point.” The dealer will turn over the “off” marker to the white “on” side and place it on an area of the table with the point number to help the players remember what it is. The shooter will then roll the dice until he or she rolls either that same point again or a 7. If a 7 comes before the point, you lose. If the point is rolled first, you win even money. Don’t make a pass line bet after the come out roll. This is allowed but highly ill-advised because the value of a pass line bet is reduced after the come out roll. The house edge on the pass line is only 1.41%, which is pretty good compared to most other bets on the table and other games in the casino. Taking the Odds Have you ever wanted a bet with no house edge? Most U.S. casinos have only two such bets: the double-up feature on some video poker games and the odds in craps. In craps, however, you have to make a pass line bet first. After a point has been thrown, you may bet up to some multiple of your pass line bet – usually 3–5X – on the odds. To make an odds bet after a pass line bet, just put

MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement

the dealers will usually let you bet even more to get to an even payoff. All wins pay even money. The following return table shows all the possible outcomes. if the point is a 5 or 9.5X odds on a point of 6 or 8 and 2X on all other points. the odds pay 6 to 5. and if the point is a 4 or 10. you win more than even money when you win. “3-4-5X odds” means the player can take 3X odds on the 4 and 10. if the point is a 6 or 8. Assuming the player takes the maximum allowable odds. These are exactly statistically fair payouts. 4X on the 5 and 9.
MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement
. Some gambling books state the house edge is 1. and 5X on the 6 and 8. The other players won’t want to see you celebrating while they’re losing.36% as the house edge. if the point comes first. A 12 is a push. then you win. most gambling writers count ties and would go with 1. The table below shows the combined house edge on the pass line and taking the odds: “Full double odds” means the player can take 2. you win. keep a low profile. if it’s a 7 or 11. If the come out roll is a 2 or 3.36%. the odds pay 3 to 2. except in Reno and Lake Tahoe.40%. the odds pay 2 to 1. and vice versa. Because 7 is the most likely total roll. If the 7 comes first. This is the expected loss per bet resolved. you lose. If the maximum odds would result in an uneven win. A person betting on the don’t pass is called a “wrong” bettor and is usually winning when everyone else is losing. it ignores ties. the payoff on any odds bet will conveniently always be 6X the pass or come bet.the odds bet behind the pass line bet outside of the pass line area on the side closer to you. Otherwise. the dice are rolled over and over until either the point or a 7 is rolled. There is some disagreement about the house edge on the don’t pass. If you make this bet. in other words. Specifically. Today. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 1. The odds are simply an additional wager that the point will be rolled before a 7. you lose. where a 2 is a push instead of the 12. Don’t Pass The don’t pass bet is almost the opposite of the pass line bet.

Like the pass line bet. Turning the come odds off on a come out roll increases the combined house edge from 0. then special rules apply for the following come out roll. If a 7 is rolled on a come out roll. For example. and $6 to win $5 on a point of 6 or 8. if you bet $2 on the don’t pass and the table allows full double odds. not how much you can bet.
MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement
. Come If you ever become bored waiting for a point to be thrown and don’t want to waste your money on the riskier bets. you can consider the come bet. you may also put money on the odds if a point is thrown on the first roll after the come bet is placed. If the point is a 4 or 10. If the point is a 6 or 8. laying the odds pays 2 to 3.Laying the Odds This is the opposite of taking odds: in other words. you have to give the bet to the dealer and tell him or her you want to lay odds on whatever the point is. betting that a 7 will be rolled before the point. Never hand the dealer a bet. after a don’t pass bet. There is a nuance to the come bet the player should know about. but it will not apply to their respective odds bets. not counting returned odds bets as bets made. The come out roll will still apply to active come bets. then you can bet $8 to win $4 on a point of 4 or 10. It is like the pass line bet. The player may ask to keep the odds turned on. then you can win 5X your don’t pass bet by laying odds.326% to 0.” The dealer will put it in the right place. laying the odds pays 1 to 2. keep those come odds turned on. but may be made at any time. but few do. To make an odds bet. Note that the multiple applies to how much you can win.377% in a 5X odds game. put it in front of him or her and say something like “laying odds on the 4. rather. The amount you may win by laying odds is the product of your don’t pass bet and the multiple of odds allowed by the table rules. The following table shows the combined house edge on both the don’t pass bet and laying the odds. If a point is thrown and active come bets are still on the table waiting for a different point. If the table allows 5X odds. If the point is a 5 or 9. laying the odds pays 5 to 6. odds bets on top of come bets will be returned. $6 to win $4 on a point of 5 or 9. If you want to maximize your return on resolved bets.

but it is made on a non–come out roll. These bets can be found at the Star City casino in Sydney. and if it is rolled before a 7. Place Bets to Lose Place bets to lose are the opposite of place bets. you must pay a 5% commission and your bet will pay fair odds if it wins. the bet wins. 9 and 10 are known as the “place numbers. Australia. 6.
Buy Bets Buy bets are the same as the place bet. or taken down. Place bets are just like odds bets. and to always take the maximum allowable odds. 5. The player may “buy” any of the points (4. except no pass line bet is required.
MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement
. Fair odds are 2 to 1 on the 4 and 10.” The player may bet on any of these numbers. at any time. They win on a 7 and lose on the number. When making a buy bet. and some Internet casinos. establishing a new place bet. 6. only with a different payoff. which means to bet that the number will be rolled before a 7. 5. 8.A good strategy for the player who likes constant action is to have a new bet on either the pass line or come on every throw. the dealer will return your winnings but leave the original bet on the table. 9 and 10). Place Bets In craps the 4. Don’t Come The don’t come bet is like the don’t pass bet. You may request that a place bet be “turned off” temporarily. and they pay worse odds.
When a place bet wins. and 6 to 5 on the 6 and 8. 3 to 2 on the 5 and 9. 8.

5%. If the bet is not divisible by $20.52% on 6 and 8 place bets.
Some casinos only charge the commission on buy bets on 4 and 10 if it wins.56%. Hard Ways There are four different hard way bets. Most casinos follow the stingier payoffs of 7 and 9 to 1. a hard 4 bet is betting that a pair of 2s will be rolled before a 7 or before any other way to roll a total of 4. that area of the felt is sometimes used for other riskier bets instead. 8 or 10.5 to 1 can be found in England and Australia. A buy bet of $35 on the 6 or 8 has a house edge of 2. respectively. the place bets have a lower house edge on the 5.67% on the 4 and 10.
MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement
. the house edge is lowered to 1.5 and 9. This is called the “hard way” because it is harder to roll two 2s than a one and a three. Tip: If the commission is rounded down. each of which is a bet that the hard way of rolling the given number will occur before a 7 or any “easy” way. Likewise. The following table shows the house edge on hard way bets. Big 6 and 8 The big 6 and 8 bets are exactly like the place bets on 6 and 8.78% (which is still not as good as the place bet). The liberal payoffs of 7. A buy bet of $39 on the 4 or 10 has a house edge of 2. the commission will usually be rounded up to the nearest dollar. 8 and 9.09%. If this is the case. In Atlantic City these bets are illegal. the player can cut down the house edge by betting just under $40 for a commission of $1. In Las Vegas. The buy bets are lower on the 4 and 10 regardless of whether the commission is charged on wins only or always. For example. which is much higher than the 1. The following table shows the house edge on each buy bet. 6. The payoff has been converted to a “for one” basis. you can bet on a hard 6.A buy bet should be an increment of $20 so that the 5% commission can be an even dollar amount. Comparing place and buy bets. except they pay only even money. The house edge on the big 6 and 8 is 9. A buy bet of $38 on the 5 or 9 has a house edge of 2.

9 or 10. by taking the odds. All of these are better than the place bets to lose. the player can cut down the house edge by betting so that the winnings will be just under $40. Hint: If the commission is rounded down.Lay Bets The opposite of the buy bet.
If you should be at a casino that offers place bets to lose. A lay bet of $42 on the 6 or 8 has a house edge of 2.72%.27%. It is generally a bad idea to make a line bet after a point is established. the combined house edge can be lower than a corresponding place or buy bet. Because the 7 is the most likely number to be rolled. you will wager more than you can win. 5. the lay bet may be placed on the 4.
MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement
. Put Bets A put bet is a combination of making a pass line or come bet after a point is established and betting on the odds. The following table shows the house edge for each lay bet after converting the odds to a “for one” basis. The next table displays the combined house edge according to the point and the multiple of odds taken. The player must pay a 5% commission on the possible winnings. 8. those are preferable to lay bets on all numbers except the 4 and 10. The bet itself is that a 7 will be rolled before the number you choose. A lay bet of $57 on the 5 or 9 has a house edge of 1. and the fair odds are paid on the bet itself. A lay bet of $78 on the 4 or 10 has a house edge of 1. however. 6.33%.

3. the house edge on the put bet with 4X odds is the same as a corresponding place bet.
There are various ways of making combinations of prop bets.67%.. 2-5 and 3-4 hop bets.11%. you have to back up the put bets with 4–6X odds for the house edge to be equal to the best option between a corresponding place or buy bet. which doubles the bet on one of those numbers. don’t make the any 7 bet. 7. 11 and 12. the house edge on the put bet with 6X odds is the same as a corresponding buy bet. Instead. If the point is a 5 or 9. 3. If the point is a 6 or 8. divide your bet by 3.
MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement
.If the point is a 4 or 10. 11 and 12. In other words. A common one is the “horn” bet. Tip: If you must bet on a 7. and put 1/3 each on the 1-6. The following table shows the various available prop bets. It should be noted that put bets are not allowed in some casinos.” which is five equal bets on the 2. The casinos in the U. Sometimes a player will make a “horn high” bet. Different wins are known to exist on the prop bets. The Proposition Bets Proposition bets either win or lose on the next throw. the house edge on the put bet with 5X odds is the same as a corresponding place bet. these have the highest house edge of all the crap bets. which has a house edge of 16. usually the payoff odds are the lower ones. and many players avoid them. you will still lower the house edge to 11. In the U.S. and Australia are known to have the more liberal rules. Even at a payoff of 15 to 1. which is divided equally between the 2.K. In general. Another common bet is the “world.

56%. the 12 will pay 3 to 1. 3. 9.Field Bet The field is a one-time bet that the next roll will be a 2.78%. the player would bet $1 on the pass line and take full double odds. The following table shows the return table for this more liberal field bet. Sometimes.
Net Gain/Loss per Session The chart below shows the net gain or loss you can expect over 100 trials. which pay 2 to 1. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 2. sometimes the 2 will pay 3 to 1 instead. 4.
MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement
. All wins pay 1 to 1 except for the 2 and 12. or come out rolls. The following table shows the possible outcomes. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 5. In northern Nevada. For purposes of creating the chart. especially in Nevada. 11 or 12. 10.

Miscellaneous Advice • Most bets can be removed. When you throw the dice.000 sessions of 100 trials. overthrowing the dice off the table can be awkward and slow or disrupt the game. Also be careful not to knock down stacks of chips. Conversely.
The graph and table were created by simulating 1. or come out rolls. With the place number and proposition bets. Players take turns throwing the dice. the dealers will often pay winnings only and let the original bet ride. A throw that doesn’t make it that far may prompt the dealer to request that you roll again. “two-way yo” is crap slang for a bet on 11 in which half is for the player and half is for the dealers. Try not to rely on the dealers for strategy.000. The same person will often throw until he or she “sevens out. For example.
• • • •
MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement
. Craps has a language of its own. especially a busy one. but you can pick it up as you go. and tabulating the results of each session. Dealers prefer a high lob as opposed to a low roll down the table. unless otherwise requested. Know the rules and what to do before you arrive at the table. they are supposed to rebound off of the other side of the table. and you can’t exceed the max bet on the odds.” The player may pass the dice if he or she wants to. added to or deducted from with the exception of the pass and come bets.Here are some actual numbers that show the probability of falling into various intervals.

There is a little shelf under the chips for glasses and bottles. don’t make a risky bet for the dealers as most players do. Don’t follow the advice of other players.• • • •
Don’t put drinks on the table. When you tip. you could consider making a field bet. Don’t sit or lean on anything. especially those betting anything in the middle of the table. rather. Craps players typically must stand. Riverside Drive • Española. A big reason to not make line bets for dealers is that some players can be goaded into making an odds bet for them as well and wind up giving more than what was intended. NM 87532 • www. NEw MExico
The casino That Gives You MORE
460-A N.bigrockcasino. As in all games.com
MORE entertainment • MORE dining • MORE choices • MORE winners • MORE excitement
. say “for the dealers” when you make it.
Española. To place a bet for the dealers. especially if they’re being helpful. you should tip the dealers.