Craps Basics

Craps tables are easy to find in casinos. When you hear the simultaneous cheers and groans amidst collective high fives, you’ve found the emotionally electrifying game of craps.

How Craps is Played

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I’ll suggest a buy-in for at least 20X the table minimum when playing.($100 for a $5 table) A button on the table will read ON or OFF. When it is in the OFF position, place your money on the table and ask the dealer for $5 chips. You will see players making various wagers. The most popular is the pass line bet. Place a chip(s) in that area in front of you. When you hear the dealer shout Comin’ Out that’s when the excitement starts and the designated shooter will toss two dice.

Pass Line

If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the first roll, you win even money. If a 2, 3, or 12 appear, you lose. Any other number, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 becomes your point. A dealer will mark the point number with the ON button indicating game in progress. In order for you to win, the shooter must roll the point number before he or she rolls a 7. If a 7 appears before the point, the house wins. No other numbers matter on this wager, no matter how long it takes. The house edge is 1.4%. players that bet the pass line with the shooter are known as right bettors.  

Odds Bet

This is a wager every pass line bettor should take advantage of because it pays off in true odds and has no house edge. If a point number is rolled, you will have the opportunity to take odds on that bet by placing an additional wager behind your pass line bet. Most casinos allow double odds. For example, let’s say 4 is the point. There are three ways to win: 3 and 1, 2 and 2, or 1 and 3. However there are six ways to lose with a 7: 4 and 3, 5 and 2, 6 and 1, 3 and 4, 2 and 5, 1 and 6.Thus, 6/3 is a two to one payout. Your $10 odds wager will earn you $20 plus your pass line bet if you win.

Don’t Pass

The craps don’t pass works the exact opposite of the pass line. Here you are betting that the shooter will lose the roll. A wager on the don’t pass line will win if the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, push (no win/no loss) with a 12, lose if a 7 or 11 is rolled. Odds bets are available however your chances of winning are greater than losing, so  you have to lay the odds instead of taking them. If a point is rolled such as 4, you win if a 7 is rolled first. This time 3/6 is a one to two payout so you would have to put up $20 to win $10. The house edge is 1.36%. Players that bet the don't pass line against the shooter are known as wrong bettors.

Come Bets

Craps come bets work the same way as a pass line bet but can only be made after a point is established. A 7 or 11 wins, a 2, 3, or 12 loses. Any other number becomes your come point and must be rolled before a 7 for you to win. You can also take true odds on your come point after the dealer moves your chip(s) to the appropriate number box. This wager is independent of the pass line wager and your come point may be different than your pass line point. Thus, if the shooter makes his or her pass line point, the game ends but your come point wagers remain active. If a 7 is rolled during the next come out roll, you lose the come bet but your odds are returned to you.

Don’t Come Bets

A craps don't come bet works the same way as a don’t pass wager after a point is established. You may also lay true odds. You want the 7 to be rolled before your don’t come point. Here is the one big exception on a don’t come bet: If your don’t come point is made on the next come out roll, You not only lose your wager but your odds bet as well.

Place Bets

A wager on one or more point numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10). The bet(s) win if the number repeats before a 7 is rolled and lose if a 7 appears first. Payoffs are: 6 and 8 - 7/6, 5 and 9-7/5, 4 and 10 - 9/5.

Buy and Lay Bets

A buy bet is the same as a place bet except you pay a five percent commission to the house when you make the bet but you are paid in true odds if you win. Payoffs are: 6 and 8 - 6/5, 5 and 9 - 3/2, 4 and 10 - 2/1. A lay bet is the exact opposite of the buy bet. You must bet more to win less because your chances of winning are greater than losing.

Other wagers called proposition bets should be avoided because they have a huge house edge.

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