Rules of Play

Rules and how to play Craps:


Casino Craps (or Bank Craps), a game of craps, is one of the most exciting casino games. It is very common to hear screams and shouts at the craps table. It is played on a custom-made table and two dice are used. Dice are made to very strict standards and are routinely checked for damage. Of course, the dice are replaced with new ones after about eight hours of use, and casinos have implemented rules in how players handle them.

To begin with, the Shooter (one of the players) must bet at least the minimum table on the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line (sometimes called ‘win’ or ‘true’ bets and ‘don’t win’ or ‘wrong bets). The shooter is presented with multiple dice (usually five) by the Stickman, and must select two to roll. The rest of the dice are returned to the Stickman’s Bowl and are not used.

The shooter must handle the dice with one hand only when rolling and the dice must hit the wall at the opposite end of the table. If one or both of the dice are knocked off the table, they must be checked (usually by the stickman) before playing them again.

The craps table can accommodate up to about 20 players, each of whom gets one roll of the dice toss or ‘shoot’. If you don’t want to roll the dice you can bet on the pitcher. Several types of bets can be made at the action table. The casino crew consists of a Stickman, Boxman, and two Dealers.

The game is played over multiple rounds, with the right to roll the dice by each player moving clockwise around the dice table at the end of each round. A player can choose not to roll but can continue betting.

Each round has two phases: Exits and Points. To start a round, the shooter makes one or more Exits. Dispense Rolls 2, 3 or 12 (called Craps, the shooter is said to ‘crap out’) ends the round with the player losing their Pass Line bet. Dispense Roll 7 or 11 (Natural) yields a win for Pass Line bets. The shooter continues to make the Exporter roll until he rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, which adds up to Points. The dealer then moves the On button to the point number which marks the second phase of the round. If the shooter rolls the point number, the result is a win for the bet on the Pass Line. If the shooter scores a seven (aSeven-out), the pass line loses and the round ends.

The first roll of the dice in the betting round is the Issue roll – new play in Craps starts with the Release roll. A Shoot Throw may only be made if the previous shooter fails to produce a winning throw, that is, fails to make a Point or a Seven (throws seven).

A new game is then started with a new shooter. If the current shooter makes his Points, the die is returned to him and he then starts a new Dispatch. This is a continuation of the shooter’s throw, although technically, the Dispense throw identifies a new play that is about to start.

When the shooter fails to reach his Point, the dice are then offered to the next player for a new Exit roll and play continues in the same manner. The new shooter is the person directly to the left of the previous shooter – so the game moves clockwise around the craps table.

The dice are rolled across the dice table layout. The layout is divided into three areas – two side areas separated by one middle section. Each side area is a reflection of the others and contains the following: Pass and Disqualify line bets, Come and Don’t Come bets, Odds bets, Place bets and Field bets. The middle area is divided by both side areas and contains Proposition bets.

Pass bets win when the throw-out is 7 or 11, while pass bets lose when the throw-out is 2, 3, or 12. Don’t bet to lose when the throw is 7 or 11, and don’t bet to win when the throw is 2 or 3. bet on a tie when the throw is 12 (2 in some casinos; the ‘Bar’ roll on the layout shows which roll is treated as a tie).

A player who joins the game and wants to play craps without being a shooter should approach the craps table and first check to see if the dealer’s ‘On’ button is on any of the point numbers. If the point number is Off then the table is in the Dispense round. If the dealer button is ‘On’, the table is on the Point round where most casinos will allow Pass Line bets to be placed. All single or multi-roll ‘proposition bets’ can be placed on either of the two rounds.

Between the rolls of the dice, there is a period for the dealer to make a payout and collect the losing bet, after which the player can place a new bet. The stickman monitors the action at the table and decides when to give the dice to the shooter, after which no more bets are allowed.

Below is a list of the various bets you can make with dice.

Pass Line Bet – You win if the first roll is natural (7, 11) and lose on the roll of the dice (2, 3, 12). If a point is issued (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), the point must be repeated before the 7 is rolled to win. If 7 is rolled before your points lose.

The basic bet on craps is the Pass Line Bet, which is a bet for the shooter to win their point number. The Pass Line bet is won immediately if the Dispute roll is a 7 or 11. If the Dispute roll is 2, 3 or 12, the bet loses (known as ‘out’). If the reels have other values, it assigns Points; if the point is rolled again before seven, the bet wins. If, with points fixed, seven are rolled before the points are rolled back, the bet loses (‘seven is out’). Pass Line wins pay even money.

Odds on Pass Line Bet – Once the points have been rolled you can make this additional bet by taking the odds. There are different rewards for each point. 4 or 10 points will earn you 2: 1; 5 or 9 pays 3: 2; 6 or 8 pays 6: 5. You only win if the points are rolled again before the 7.

Come Bet – Has the same rules as the Pass Line Bet. The difference lies in the fact that you can make this bet only after the points on the pass line are determined. On the Come Out roll, the Come Bet is placed on the pass line because they are identical bets. After you place your bet, the first roll of the dice will determine the point in which it comes. You win if it’s natural (7, 11) and lose if you lose (2, 3, 12). The other rolls will make you the winner if the come points are repeated before the 7 is rolled. If the 7 rolls first, you lose.

The Come Bet is played over two rounds and is played much like the Pass Line Bet. The main difference is that the player making the Come Bet will bet on the first number of points ‘derived’ from the shooter’s subsequent roll, regardless of the table spin. If a 7 or 11 is rolled in the first round, he wins. If 2, 3 or 12 are rolled, he loses. If the reverse roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 then the Come Bet will be moved by the base dealer to the Box representing the number that the shooter rolled. This number becomes Come Bet points and players are allowed to add the odds to the bet. The dealer will place the odds above the Come Bet, but slightly off-center to differentiate between the real bet and the odds. The second half wins if the shooter rolls the Come Bet before the seven. If the seventh comes before the number (Let’s Bet), the bet loses. On the Spend roll for the pass line, the Come Bet is in play, but traditionally the odds don’t work unless the player indicates otherwise to the dealer.

Because of the Come Bet, if the shooter makes the point, the player may find himself in a situation where they have a Come Bet (possibly at odds) and the next roll is a Come Out roll. In this situation, the odds bets on the come out bets are considered void for the Take Out roll. That means that if the shooter gets a 7 on the Dispense roll, any player with the Come Bet who is active waiting for the ‘point to come’ loses their original bet but their chance money will be returned to them. If the ‘come point’ is rolled, the odds don’t win but the Come Bet wins and the odds are returned. Players can tell the dealer they want their odds to work, so that if the shooter rolls out a number that matches the ‘points come’, the odds bet wins along with the Come Bets,

Come Odds Bet – Exactly the same as the Pass-Line Odds Bet unless you take the odds on the Come Bet, not the Pass Line Bet.

The Do Not Pass Line Bet – This is a reverse Pass-Line bet. If the first roll of the dice is natural (7, 11) you lose and if the result is 2 or 3 you win. The roll of the dice 12 means you have a tie or push with the casino. If the roll is points (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), the 7 must come before the point is repeated to make you the winner. If the points are rolled again before 7 you lose.

Don’t Come Bet – Reversed Come Bet. After the coming point is set, you win if it is 2 or 3 and lose for 7 or 11. 12 is a tie and any roll of the dice will win you only if the 7 appears to them on the next roll.

Place Bets – These bets are valid only after the points have been determined. You can bet on the roll 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. You win if the number you bet on is rolled before 7. Otherwise, you lose. The Place Bet Prize differs depending on the number you bet. 4 or 10 will pay 9: 5; 5 or 9 pays 7: 5, and 6 or 8 pays 7: 6. You can cancel this bet any time you want.

Field Bet – This bet is for the roll of the dice only. If you roll 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, you win. A 5, 6, 7 and 8 make you lose. Field bets have different payouts as follows: 2 pays double (2: 1) while 12 pays 3: 1. The other winning roll pays even (1: 1).

Big Six, Big Eight Bet – Place on any roll of the dice, this bet wins if a 6 or 8 is drawn before a 7 is issued. Top Six and Top Eight are even bets and pay 1: 1.

Proposition Bets – These bets can be made at any time and, except for the hard lane, are all one-roll bets:

  • Every Craps: Wins if 2, 3 or 12 are thrown. Rewards 8: 1
  • Any Seven: Wins if 7 is rolled. Rewards 5: 1
  • Eleven: Wins if an 11 is thrown. Rewards 16: 1
  • Ace Duece: Wins if number 3 is rolled. Rewards 16: 1
  • Aces or Boxcars: Win if 2 or 12 are thrown. Rewards of 30: 1
  • Horn Bet: Acts as a bet on 2, 3, 11 and 12 at the same time. Win if one of these numbers is rolled. Rewards are determined according to the amount rolled up. The other three bets lose.
  • Hardways: Bets on hard street numbers win if thrown hard (number of pairs: 1-1, 3-3, 4-4…) before being rolled easily and a 7 is thrown. Rewards: Difficult 4 and 10, 8: 1; Hard 6 and 8, 10: 1

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