How To Play Craps

The game Craps goes way back to 1125 AD when it was invented by Sir William of Tyre, during the Crusades. Sir William and his troops stumbled upon a castle called ‘Hazarth’ and whilst they lay siege within the castle they accidentally invented a dice game which they named after the castle.

It’s a popular dice game that can be played at NEW USA Online casinos and at land based casinos, and revolves around players betting against the casino on the throw of two dice. It’s fast, fun and can be very rewarding.


Aim of the Craps game

The object of the game is to correctly predict the winning outcome on the roll of two dice. You can also bet on the shooter (the person launching the dice) to get a specific total from a single throw, before reaching a total of seven. In this game the players and the shooter can place bets on the table. It’s a fast paced game and another that is down to strategy and luck.

This game is played in rounds and the the players have the right to roll the dice each – but a player can refuse to roll the dice and continue to bet. Every round has two parts; ‘Come Out’ and ‘Point’. The shooter starts the round by making one or more ‘Come Out’ roll.

A new game begins with a new shooter. If the current shooter makes his ‘Point’ then he retains the dice and begins the ‘Come Out’ roll. The dice is offered to the next player (to the left of the previous shooter) when the current shooter fails to make his or her ‘Point’.

Bets and terms used

When it comes to placing your bets, you’ll find that you can place just one bet in a single spot of the table. You need to familiarise yourself with the various terms used in this game;

  • Pass line bet – a bet that the dice will win or pass
  • Don’t pass bet – bet against the dice hoping the shooter will ‘seven out’ before hitting a point number
  • Odds bet – there’s no house edge with Craps and it features a double-up feature. After making a Pass Line bet a player can make additional side bets that the ‘Point’ will be rolled out before the number 7. Odds pay 2:1 on points of 4 and 10, 3 to 2 and on ‘Points’ of 5 and 9, 6 to 5 and 6 to 8. To place an odd bet, you simply place your bet behind the pass line.
  • Field bet – this bet is a single roll bet that wins if the numbers on the dice total anything other than 5 to 9. These bets pay even money apart from a total of 2 because this pays 2:1 and a total of 12 rolled pays either 2:1 or 3:1 – depending entirely on the casino you are playing at.
  • Come out roll – first roll of the dice which determines the point for Pass and Don’t Pass Line Bets. If it is a 7 or 11 then Pass bets win. If it is a 2,3 or 12 then Pass bets lose. On rolls of 4,5,6,8,9 and 10, the total thrown becomes the ‘Point’. The shooter rolls the dice until he rolls ‘Point’ again or rolls a seven. If the ‘Point’ is rolled first, Pass bets win but if a seven is rolled first (also known as a ‘Seven Out’), Pass bets lose.
  • Don’t come bet – this is exactly the same as the ‘Don’t Pass Bet’ but it can be made on whatever roll you like apart from the ‘Come Out Roll’.
  • Place bets – this is where the player bets on the placed number will roll before a number 7 rolls. You can bet this at any time.

Single roll bets can be made too and include:

  • 2 (snake eyes or Aces) – you win if the shooter rolls a 2
  • 3 (ace-deuce) – you win if the shooter rolls a 3
  • Yo – you win if the shooter rolls 11
  • 12 (boxcars, midnight or cornrows) – you win if the shooter rolls a 12
  • 2 or 12 (hi-lo) – you win if the shooter rolls a 2 or a 12
  • Any Craps (Three-Way) – you win if the shooter rolls a 2,3 or 12
  • C&E – is a combined bet when a player bets half of the bet on ‘craps (2,3,12) and the other half on ‘Yo’ (11).
  • Any Seven (Big Red) – you win in the shooter rolls a 7.
  • Horn – a bet that involves betting on 1 unite each for 2,3 11 and 12 at the same time.
  • Whirl or World – a five unit bet which is a combination of a horn and any-seven bet.
  • On the hop, Hop or Hopping – a single roll bet on the outcome being a seven.

There’s many ways to bet on this game, so it is always best to read the terms and conditions associated with the game.

The table

When it comes to the Craps table, you will see lots of different betting sections. The dice are rolled across the table and the table is divided into three sections; two side areas and a centre point. The side areas are mirrored images of the other and contain the following sections: ‘Pass’ and ‘Don’t Pass Line’ bets, ‘Come’ and ‘Don’t Come’ bets ‘Odds’ bet, ‘Place’ bet and ‘Field’ bets. The centre section contains the ‘Proposition’ bets.


Whether you play Craps online or at a casino, you will come across some terms (lingo) that may not be familiar to you, some of these terms are:

  • Bones – another name for the dice
  • Boxman – this is the table supervisor
  • Boys – term for the dealers
  • Cold dice – this is a term used when nobody is making their ‘Point’
  • Colour in – term used when you cash out your smaller value chips for larger valued chips when leaving the craps table
  • At risk – a term to describe a players bet is active
  • Apron – the outer perimeter of the table
  • Cocked dice – this is when the dice is leaning up against the wall, chips or money
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