Craps Rules – Simple Guide on How to Play Craps

Craps is a highly popular casino table game, although originally only offered at brick-and-mortar casinos, avid gamers can now enjoy the game online. But if you don’t know how to play craps, this guide is for you.

Here, we cover the basic rules of the game, show you how to place bets on craps online and take you through the various bets available. We also look at the odds and several top tips for winning this game.

Craps Rules – The Basics

Before we can consider learning how to play the game, it is imperative to understand the rules of craps. Knowing what these rules are and how they govern the game will make it easier to play craps and understand when to put down the different bets. Below, we cover the top craps rules:

Rule One: The Dice are Integral to the Game

Craps utilizes two dice, each of which is six-sided and bears the numbers one through six. In craps, bettors put money on the total combined numbers that the dice land when thrown. The numbers landed are those that face upwards when the dice come to a stop. For instance, if one die lands a two, and the other lands a four, then the number for that roll is a six. However, one of the most important rules of craps when it comes to dice is that they must always be thrown together. Throwing the dice individually is against the rules.

Rule Two: Having the Correct Funds

Before players can wager a bet on craps, they must have the right credits. Each craps table comes with a minimum bet and a maximum bet value. For instance, a table may have a minimum bet of $100. If a player here only has $50 in credits, they will not be able to wager a bet at the table. Luckily, online casinos offer several craps games with varying bet values.

Rule Three: Know What The Table Crew Does

When visiting a brick-and-mortar casino and sometimes while playing live dealer craps, players will notice several craps crew at the table. Each of these croupiers has unique jobs to do to ensure the game runs smoothly and fairly. Generally, there are four craps staff, the boxman, the stickman, and two dealers.

Since a craps table typically features two duplicated images on either side to accommodate more players, there are two dealers, one to manage each side of the table. The dealers are responsible for dealing out chips, placing players’ bets correctly on the table, and paying out winning chips.

The stickman is the individual with a long, curved stick. He uses this tool to move the dice about the table and directs them toward the shooter. Additionally, they manage all proposition bets, which are placed at the center of the table where the stickman stands.

Finally, the boxman manages the table overall, keeping watch that all players stick to the rules and that the dealers place the bets accurately and payout the correct sums. Boxmen also collect the cash put down by players when buying chips.

Generally, at an online casino, all of these tasks are combined and managed by the software of the game and are taken care of automatically.

Rule Four: Wagering Bets

Bettors visiting in-person establishments must communicate to the dealer about the bet they want to wager. While players at these casinos can wager their own “Pass line” and “Field” bets, the dealer will need to place any other wagers for them.

In contrast, online players will have a virtual display of the craps table, which usually only shows half a craps table. Here, the bettor will need to select their chip value and then the bet they want to wager by clicking on that particular area of the craps table. For example, if you want to wager a Big Six, you would click on that section of the table to make your bet.

Rule Five: Ascertaining Betting Limits

One of the most important rules of craps to learn is the minimum and maximum bet values. At a brick-and-mortar casino, these are typically indicated with a placard and are set. Generally, there will be several tables, all with varying limits.

However, online, a player can usually set the maximum and minimum bet limits themselves. The game will offer several options to the player, like a minimum of $1 and a maximum of $100 or a minimum of $0.50 and a maximum of $50. This way, a player can tune the limits in accordance with their budgets.

Rule Six: The Shooter

At a land-based casino, the players at the craps table each take turns as the shooter or the one throwing the dice. A player remains the shooter until they “crap-out” or “seven-out,” which is casino-speak for rolling a seven.

But at an online casino, the computer (or the dealer in the case of a live dealer game) acts as the shooter throughout the game. Here, the online casino uses RNG or Random Number Generators to determine the outcome of the roll, ensuring that each throw of the dice is random and not rigged.

BetRivers PA First Person Craps

How Does Craps Work? – Craps Explained

Many bettors find games like online poker in PA quick and easy to learn; most regard craps as tricky and avoid it altogether. However, learning how to bet on craps is fairly straightforward. Below, we take you through the ins and outs of the game and show you just how simple playing craps can be.

A craps game starts with the shooter (the person rolling the dice) making their first throw by rolling the dice along the craps table. To do this online, simply click the “Roll” button. Once the dice have been thrown and the numbers revealed, there are three outcomes possible – Natural, Crapping Out, or Point.

A Natural

In craps rules, a “Natural” refers to an instance where the shooter lands a seven or an 11. If the shooter rolls either of these figures, they can roll the dice again.

Crapping Out or Rolling “Craps”

If the shooter’s first throw lands on a two, a three, or a 12, they have rolled “Craps” or have “Crapped Out.” This means the shooter has lost their roll. But they still get to throw the dice again.

Rolling the Point

When the shooter lands any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), it is referred to as the “Point.” This number is then marked on the craps table. When playing an online game of craps, a button with the word “On” will appear on the number established as the Point.

If the shooter rolls the Point on their first throw, then they must continue to roll the dice. The aim is for them to roll the same number as the point before they land a seven. However, players need not roll the same number configuration to make up the Point number. For example, they may have established a point of six with a five and a one, but they could roll a double three to hit the Point again. Players who throw the Point again win.

However, if the shooter lands a seven before they roll the Point again, they will have lost their round and “Sevened-out.” This clears the betting round, and the game starts again, this time with a new shooter. Because statistically, there are more ways to roll a seven than any other number, the odds of rolling a seven before hitting the Point again are much higher.

How to Play Craps – Understanding the Table

Another essential aspect that helps in understanding craps is knowing how the table works. So, let’s have a look.

A craps table at a brick-and-mortar casino will have two sides to it. On either side is a mirror image of the same layout. The purpose of this is to allow more bettors to put down their wagers. However, an online craps table typically shows only one-half of the table, as there is only one player playing against the computer.

The table is marked out into several unique sections that each indicate a different bet. Placing chips of a certain value on a section of the table shows both your wager and its value.

The sections comprising the craps table include the Pass Line, the Don’t Pass Bar, the Come and Don’t Come, the Field, the Big Six and Big Eight, the Place, and the Center. At the center, players will find several depictions of dice combinations, and it is here that proposition bets are placed. Each of these sections comes with its own odds and house edge.

BetRivers PA Craps Table

How To Play Craps for Beginners – A Step-By-Step Guide

Playing craps is relatively straightforward, and the game plays out similarly whether you visit a craps table in person or play online. Below, we show you how to bet on craps when playing at one of the best PA online casinos:

Step One: Wager Your Bet

Start your game of craps with a “Pass Line” bet. Here, you put your money on the shooter rolling a seven or an 11 as their come-out throw. Alternatively, you can bet against the shooter and wager a “Don’t Pass” bet. Players win this wager if the shooter’s first throw reveals a two, a three, or a 12.

Step Two: Throw the Dice

When your bets are in place on the craps table (you do this by clicking the areas you want to bet on), you can go ahead and roll the dice. The computer will then roll the dice for the first time, known as the “Come-Out” roll.

Step Three: Check Your First Bets

If your first bet was a “Pass Line” and the come-out roll landed a seven or an 11, you win your bet. Alternatively, if the first roll results in a two, three, or 12 and you bet a “Don’t Pass,” you win. But if the shooter lands any other number, your wager stays in play for the next roll.

Step Four: Establishing The Point

If the “Come Out” roll lands on numbers including 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, this sets the “Point.” The player must then continue to roll the dice until they land the Point again. However, if they roll a seven before they roll the Point, they will have sevened out.

Step Five: Place Your Other Bets

Once the shooter has set the Point, the table is open for players to wager a variety of bets. For example, you could wager that the next roll lands on a Big Six or on the Point. The shooter will then keep rolling the dice until you win your bet; they roll the Point again or until they seven out.

Step Six: Complete the Betting Round

When a shooter lands the Point before rolling a seven, all Pass Line wagers win. However, if the shooter sevens out before rolling the point again, all Pass Line bets lose. When the shooter eventually sevens out, the round or game comes to an end, and the betting round is reset from the beginning.

How to Bet On Craps – Various Craps Bets Explained

Now that we have craps explained, it is time to take a look at the range of wagers craps players can put down on the table. Below, we introduce you to the various craps bets available, how they work, and where on the table you place them.

The Pass Line & Don’t Pass Bar

Beginners learning how to bet on craps will find these the most straightforward bets available. Players will find the Pass Line near the bottom of the craps table, while the Don’t Pass Bar usually rests just above it.

A Pass Line bet sees bettors putting money on the prediction that the shooter will land a seven or an 11. If the shooter throws one of these numbers, the bettor wins their Pass Line bet. But if the shooter earns a two, three, or 12, bettors lose their Pass Line wager. Any other number rolled sees the wager sit in place.

Conversely, bets placed on the Don’t Pass Bar see the player betting against the shooter. In this case, the bet is that the shooter will land a two, three, or 12 with their first roll. But, if seven or 11 lands, the player loses their bet.

Both of these wagers have a low house edge of 1.41%. As a result, this bet is popular among experienced players. If a Pass Line or Don’t Pass bet is not won or lost on the come-out throw, they remain in place until the shooter rolls the Point or sevens out.

BetRivers PA Craps Pass Lin and Don't Pass Line

Come & Don’t Come Bets

Once the shooter has established the Point, players can begin putting down additional bets. One of these is the “Come” bet, or its converse wager, the “Don’t Come” bet. These areas of the craps table are found above the “Field” section of the table.

If players believe the shooter will throw a seven or an 11 on their next throw, they will place a “Come” bet. However, if they want to bet against the shooter, they will bet a “Don’t Come” wager, where they predict the next throw will result in a two, three, or 12.

But if the next roll yields a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 instead, this value becomes the player’s personal Point. As a result, if the shooter rolls either the player’s personal Point or the original Point, the player will win.

However, when playing craps, remember that there are two wagers that players cannot turn off or withdraw, the Pass and Come bets. Players must wait for these bets to play through, but in the meanwhile, they can wager additional bets.

If the shooter lands a 12, and a player has placed a Don’t Come or Don’t Pass bet, their wager is a Push. In other words, the player doesn’t win or lose their bet. However, play then continues.

BetRivers PA Craps Come and Don't Come

Big Six & Big Eight

Another popular and straightforward bet players can wager at craps is the  Big Six or Big Eight. In this case, players put chips down on this area (usually near the corner of the table) if they predict the shooter’s next rolls will land a six or an eight before a seven is rolled.

However, this wager has a high house edge of 9.1% and only pays out even money. As a result, this bet offers big wins or big losses.

Field Wagers

Players will find the “Field” section of the craps table in the middle, below the “Come” section. Bettors placing a wager on the “Field” predict that the shooter will throw a 3,4, 9, 10, or 11 on their very next roll only. A bettor can also double or triple their stakes if they wager a Field bet that the shooter will land a two or a 12, and one of those numbers then sticks.

In many instances, players view the Field bet as an excellent wager. But keep in mind that there are more ways to roll a seven than any other number, followed by a five, six, or eight, making the odds of rolling a two or a 12 unlikely.

BetRivers PA Craps Field Bet

Place Bets

On a craps table the “Place” section sits at the very top of the table. Place bets are some of the quickest bets to wager in a craps game. When wagering on Places, bettors put down a “Place to Win” wager that says the shooter will land a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 before they roll a seven. Bettors can put down this bet at any stage in the game, provided the shooter has established the Point.

Like with Pass Line and Come bets, players can also bet against the shooter by wagering a “Place to Lose” bet, which predicts the shooter will throw a seven before landing any of the Place figures. Depending on the Place numbers you bet on, these wagers have a house edge that sits between 1.52% and 6.67%.

BetRivers PA Craps Place Bet

Proposition Bets

These are single-roll bets that a player can put down on any roll of the dice. A Proposition is put down on the Center of the table, where different dice configurations are displayed. These prop bets allow bettors to wager on whether the shooter will land a specific dice combination. Since the chances of landing these wagers are extremely low, they have the best odds of 30:1 and the highest house edge between 10% and 16.7%.

The table that follows highlights the different ways to win when placing Prop bets in craps.

Bet Bettor Wins If
Any Seven The shooter rolls a seven
Any Craps The shooter lands a two, three, or 12
Ace Deuce The shooter rolls a three
Aces The shooter lands a two
Boxcars The shooter lands a 12
Horns The shooter lands a two, three, 11, or 12

BetRivers PA Craps Proposition Bets

Hardways Bets

Also located at the Center of the craps table is the Hardways bet. Here, a bettor puts money down on a specific number and winning their wager should the shooter land a 4, 6, 8, or 10. But for players to win their wager, the shooter must land this number by throwing a  double. For example, if the player puts down that the shooter will land a four, they must do so by throwing a double two. Additionally, the shooter must throw this number before rolling a seven. However, if the shooter rolls a four by throwing a one and a three, the player then also loses their wager.

BetRivers PA Craps Hardways Bets

Craps Odds Explained

The odds offered for craps bets, and their various payouts are relatively straightforward to follow. The house edge is what determines the payout odds dependent on the bet the player places. Since the house edge changes according to the various sections of the craps table, it is important to know what this is, as the payout odds of a craps bet can help you figure out whether the winnings on a specific wager bet are worth the risk.

Now that we have craps odds explained let’s take a look below at the table, which outlines the various craps bets, their odds, and the house edge for each.

Bet type Payout House Edge
Pass Line Odds 2 to 1 1.41%
Pass Line Odds (4 or 10) 2 to 1 4.76%
Pass Line Odds (5 or 9) 3 to 2 4.76%
Pass Line Odds (6 or 8) 5 to 6 4.76%
Don’t Pass Odds 2 to 1 1.36%
Don’t Pass Odds (4 or 10) 2 to 1 2.44%
Don’t Pass Odds (5 or 9) 3 to 2 3.23%
Don’t Pass Odds (6 or  8) 5 to 6 4%
Place Bets (4 or 10) 9 to 5 6.70%
Place Bets (5 or 9) 7 to 5 4%
Place Bets (6 or 8) 7 to 6 1.52%
Field Bets (3, 4, 9, 10 or 11) 1 to 1 5.50%
Field Bets (2 or 12) 2 to 1 5.50%
Hardways (6 or 8) 9 to 1 9.09%
Hardways (4 or 10) 7 to 1 11.10%
Any 7 4 to 1 16.90%
Any Craps 7 to 1 11.10%
2 Craps or 12 Craps 30 to 1 13.90%
3 Craps or 11 Craps 15 to 1 11.10%
Big 6 or 8 1 to 1 9.09%
Horn Bet (3 or 11) 3.75 to 1 N/A
Horn Bet (2 or 12) 7.5 to 1 N/A

How to Win at Craps – Top Tips

Since craps is a game of chance, there aren’t many hard and fast strategies that will help you win, like those developed for games of skill like PA online poker. However, there are several top tips that can help you improve your craps game and place more lucrative bets. Below, we offer you our top five tips that will help guide you on how to win at craps.

Tip One – Have a Firm Grasp of the Craps Rules

Since there are several rules to craps, we recommend getting to know what these are and practicing them. The best way to put these rules into practice once you have gone through them is to play the game in demo mode, a feature offered by some of the best new casinos in PA. Alternatively, top sweepstakes casinos also offer craps as a free-play option. This way, you can get a feel for the game before putting down real-money bets.

Tip Two – Get to Know the Table and the Bets Available

Players learning how to play craps should always learn and understand how the craps table operates and the various bets available to them. Bets placed in the center of the table have a higher house edge and less favorable odds, while those at the edges have greater odds and lower house edges. Knowing little snippets like this can help you put down more lucrative bets.

Tip Three – Begin Your Game with the Most Straightforward Wagers

A great way to get into the swing of things is by placing a more straightforward bet. The most basic bet to put down at a craps table is the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass bet, which focuses on whether the shooter will win their next roll or not. Generally, these wagers pay at 1:1 and have a low house edge of 1.41%.

Tip Four – Make Use of Casino Bonuses

Claiming the best casino bonuses makes it easy for players to access free credits and bonus funds that allow them to try out games like craps and get a feel for the game overall. One of the top promos to aim for is the No Deposit Bonuses offered by PA Casinos, which offer players complimentary credits without them having to deposit funds.

Tip Five – Manage Your Bankroll

Keeping an eye on your bankroll is essential. One of the best ways to do this is by using a craps table that provides minimum and maximum bet limits that work with your budget. If you only have a $50 bankroll, visiting a table with a $10 minimum bet leaves you with five chances to win. However, a table with a $1 minimum bet gives you 50 chances to win.

BetRivers PA Live Dealer Craps


The Best Online Casinos for Playing Craps

Players in Pennsylvania will find that the state provides several regulated online casinos that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board manages and oversees. These sites all deliver a high standard of online gaming, fair play, and quick, consistent payouts. Below, we offer you a list of the top PA online casinos to visit to learn how to play craps.

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Craps FAQs

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