Are you one of those players who are casting wistfully looks at the Craps table, but staying away because the game simply looks too darn complicated? Spending a short period of time observing it from the side is unlikely to make it a lot clearer, in fact, it might make you even more confused trying to figure out who's winning, when and why. Reading through game description online can be just as daunting, which is why we've created a very simple overview which should help you get started.
Do give it a try, Craps is a hugely exciting game and would be a real shame to miss out on.
What is This Game About?
The goal in a game of Craps is to predict what will be the outcome of a roll dice. That's easy enough to understand, right? What makes it a bit complex is the numerous combinations and 'what ifs' involved in betting.
What you need to know, first of all, is that Craps is played in rounds. The very first toss of the dice is called Come-Out Roll. It's possible to win or lose at this point, but if you don't, the number which was rolled becomes the so-called Point. This can be either 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. From this moment on, game continues until the Point or a 7 is rolled.
Betting in Craps
As mentioned above, this is where things become a bit tricky. In Craps, there is a number of basic bets, but also several additional bets which you can make only under certain conditions. As a beginner, going through them all might be a bit overwhelming, so let's try to master the more common ones first.
Pass Line / Don’t Pass Bets
Making a Pass Line Bet, you're predicting that a 7 or 11 will be rolled on the Come-Out Roll, or that the Point will be rolled before a 7 later on. This means that if a 7 or 11 (a Natural) is rolled during the first toss, you'll win even money. You'll lose in case the outcome is a 2, 3 or 12 (Craps). If neither a Natural nor Craps is rolled in the Come-Out Roll, the number rolled becomes the Point and the game continues. Your Pass line bet will win if dice deliver the Point number before a 7.
Wait, did you get this? While you'll want to see a 7 in the Come-Out Roll, once the Point is established, this becomes a number to avoid. That’s why it's important to know where you are in the game. And you'll know because, once there is the Point, a marker will be turned from Off to On and placed on the corresponding number.
Instead of the Pass Line Bet, you can stake your money on Don't Pass Bet. In this case you're predicting that a 2 or 3 (Craps) will be rolled on the Come-Out roll, or that a 7 will be rolled before the Point later in the game.
Now, linked to the two bet types above, there are also the corresponding Odds Bets. They can only be placed after having bet on Pass Line / Don't Pass, and after the Point has been made. If your Pass Line Bet wins, the Pass Line Odds Bet will win as well, and vice-versa.
Are you with us so far? Then let's move on !
Come / Don’t Come Bets
A Come Bet is similar to a Pass Line bet. However, a Come bet is placed after the Point has been established for another round of Craps. Once you place this bet (in the area marked COME), the next roll of the dice becomes the Come-Out Roll for your new bet. It's as if you were starting a new game, basically allowing multiple rounds of Craps to be played simultaneously. You'll win the Come bet if a 7 or 11 is rolled, and lose if a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled. Any other number will established a Come Point, and your bet will be moved to that number to mark it. Now you'll have two points: the Point with the On marker which will win your Pass Line Bet, and the Come Point which will win your Come bet.
It could happen that you win the Pass Line Bet (and the corresponding Odds Bet if it was placed), and while a new round begins, your Come Bet remains active. It can also happen that you win on one and lose on the other.
The same principles apply to a Don't Come Bet in which case you're betting as you would with a Don't Pass bet.
You are welcome to stop reading at this point, as having grasped the above is more than enough to give the game a go. However, if you're interested to know what else is available, here are a few more bets one can make in a game of Craps.
You can bet that a particular Point number will be rolled before a 7, and this is called a Place Bet. Remember, Point numbers can be 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. The opposite, meaning you bet on a 7 rolled before one of the Point numbers, is a Place Lose Bet. Making a Big 6 Bet or a Big 8 Bet after the Point has been established, you're betting that a 6 (or an 8) will be rolled before a 7.
Having made a Field Bet, you're betting that next roll will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. With a Proposition Bet, you're predicting the next roll will deliver 7s, Any Craps (2, 3 or 12), Hard 4 (meaning 2 and 2), Hard 6, Hard 8, Hard 10, Craps 2, Craps 3, Craps 12, or 11.
If you’ve arrived this far and understood it all, congrats! All that remains to be done is launch the game and try out what you've learned. You can practice for free, and once ready to invest real cash, start with simpler bets and lower stakes. We're sure you'll quickly realise why this game always attracts masses of players in land-based casinos, and why they all seem to be having tons of fun.