If you’ve come across this guide, chances are you are trying to find out just how to play this undeniably confusing game. From the moment you lay eyes on a craps table, the game can seem intimidating, but you’ll be relieved to know that this isn’t actually the case. Okay, so it may not be as simple as learning how to play tic tac toe, but we’re here to guide you through the process regardless! Without further ado, here is our ultimate guide on how to play craps.
What Is Craps?
If you are truly at beginner level, understanding the purpose of craps is a great place to start when it comes to learning how to play. Craps is a dice game involving wagers where players will bet on what they think the outcome of a roll, a series of rolls, or a pair of dice will be. What makes craps different from many other casino games, however, is that players wager together unless you opt to play Street Craps, which often involves wagering against other players. Bank Craps – also known as Casino Craps – involves one or more players betting against the casino as opposed to each other. With very little equipment involved, all we need to understand is just how the table works.
The Set Up
As mentioned before, craps involves very little equipment and as a result, alternative methods of play have been around for decades. Of course, street craps has been the game of choice for those not in casinos, and in more recent years, there have been more and more sites offering craps to players who prefer the online experience. However, the basic set up for Craps is fairly simple to understand.
When you walk up to a table, you’ll often see the table with a double layout. At one end will be the boxman. This is the man that handles and stores away any cash, and at the opposite end of the table will be the ‘stickman’ who, quite literally, operates the stick. This stick will be used to push the dice around, but the stickman will also control the entire tempo of the game by calling results, working the dice, and encouraging players to make decisions. Of course, there will be dealers who manage the bets, but anyone else at the table will be just like you – a player.
Types Of Bets
In order to play Craps with any hope of placing good wagers, you’ll need to understand the different bets that you can place when you play. This isn’t as simple as choosing a winning or losing outcome like it may be with checkers or chess, so make sure you read carefully!
- Pass Line – The Pass Line bets are some of the most important in the game. The shooter (a player, this will alter per ‘go’) will roll the come-out roll, but before this happens, players must place a pass line bet. There are three outcomes: 7 or 11 means that the bet wins and the game ends, a 2, 3 or 12 that means the bet loses and the game ends, or a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 which will establish a point and the game will continue.
- Don’t Pass – This is the opposite of a Pass Line bet, however there is a little more to it. 7 or 11 means that the bet loses and the game ends, 2 or 3 means the bet wins and the game ends, 12 means the bet is a push and the game ends with the bets being returned to the player, and the remaining numbers continue as before.
- Pass Line Odds – If you’ve played the Pass Line and a point number comes through, you can place odd bets up to three times the original bet. You’ll need the point number to be rolled again before a 7 to win.
- Come Bet – This is similar to a Pass Line bet but can only be made after any point number has been established.
- Don’t Come– This is the opposite of a Come Bet.
- Come Odds – When a Come Bet is placed on a point number, players can place further bets behind the Come Bet. This will lose is a 7 is rolled, but will pay out well if the Come point number is rolled again.
- Roll 2 – You are betting on two 1’s being rolled. Odds are 30/1.
- Roll 3 – The total of the dice needs to be 3. The odds are 15/1.
- Roll 11 – You need a total of 11. Odds are 15/1.
- Roll 12 – You need two sixes. Pay-out odds are 30/1.
- Roll Craps – Craps isn’t often bet on. If you choose a 2, 3 or 12 and it comes out, then you win 7/1.
- Roll 7 – You need a total of 7. Odds are 4/1.
- The Field – This is a popular bet. You need a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. If you win this, you are payed even money, and if you get a 2 or 12, you’ll get 2/1 odds.
- The Horn – This is four different bets made together. You play a bet on 2, 3, 11 and 12.
These bets could take multiple rolls before a winner or loser is determined.
- Hard Way Bets – You choose either 4, 6, 8 or 10, and hope that it is rolled the ‘hard way’. In other words, you need a double roll. 6 or 8 pay out at 10/1, and 4 or 10 pay out at 8/1. If a 7 is rolled, all hard way bets are lost.
- Big 6 & Big 8 – These are the easiest bets in the games. You’re betting that a 6 or 8 will be rolled before a 7, and if you win, you get even money.
- Place & Buy – Place and buy bets are similar, but have different pay outs. In both cases, you’ll place a bet on any of the point numbers being rolled before a 7, but will only become live once any point number has been established.
- Lay & Place Lose – This is the opposite of a Place and Buy bet, as you’ll want the 7 to come up before the point number.
Craps lingo is one of the most entertaining parts of the game, and learning it to start with can make the gameplay much easier from the get-go. We’ve compiled a quick list of some of the most common lingo to get you started, or you can find a full list here!
- Craps – 2, 3 or 12
- Yo or Yo-leven – 11
- C And E Craps – 11
- Snake Eyes – Two 1s
- Boxcars – Two 6s
- Little Joe or Little Joe From Kokomo – 4, usually rolled as a 1 and 3.
- Jimmy Hicks – 6
- Skate and Donate – 8
- Skinny Dugan – a losing 7
- Centre Field– 9
- Puppy Paws – Two 5s. This is more often called ‘hard 10’ or ’10 the hard way’.
- Natural Winner – 7 or 11 on the come-out roll.
Hopefully you have more of an insight into how Craps is played, and feel ready and raring to go whether at a bricks and mortar casino, or online. While learning how to play the game can seem like a confusing process, with research, practice, and plenty of support from your fellow players, you’ll be well on your way to winning those much-deserved jackpots!