While it often comes across as an intimidating game, craps is quite easy. The layout does include dozens of different bets, governed by somewhat tangled rules, but in the end it all comes down to the roll of the dice.
Acquiring a bit of experience in this magnificent game of chance will go a long way, yet you need to start from somewhere. At this point, as a beginner, all the skills you need are enthusiasm and the attention span that lasts long enough till the end of this article.
Let’s dive into the basics of craps.
Learn Craps Rules
This applies to pretty much any game you haven’t played before. Even though you may think you have a faint idea what the game is about, we advise you to do some reading before you join the table. Craps revolves around rolling a pair of dice and the numbers that come out will determine and settle the outcome of a round.
The thing with craps is that it can be really simple – bet on one number and either winning or losing on each roll. However, things may get complicated when certain bets that can go on for a number of rolls come into play (multi-roll wagers).
It is important to get to know the table layout; the table is divided into areas, each area signifying a different bet. Get to know the terms such as “pass line”, “field”, “craps”, “point”, “seven out” and “come”. Each player gets to roll the dice; in an online game this is performed by clicking on the button Roll.
The player who rolls is called a “shooter”. The bets are placed on the sum of the dice roll. All the numbers mentioned in game play refer to the total of both dice, never on the result of just one die. Depending on the stage of the game, the winning and losing numbers vary.
The Come-Out Roll
A craps betting round starts with a come-out roll. This is the first roll of the dice and/or the first one after the previous betting round has finished. On this first roll in a round, you are trying to get a 7 or 11, because on the come-out roll, 7 and 11 are the winning numbers. Depending on the outcome of the roll, you may need to roll again. For instance, if you have neither lost nor won.
The Outcomes of a Roll
There are three outcomes of a dice roll – natural, craps and point. A natural is a good result, as it means you have rolled a 7 or 11 and you have won. On the other hand, you lose if you roll craps – a 2 (1 on each of the dice, also known as “snake eyes”), 3 or 12.
The point is the number the player rolled if they didn’t win or lose on the come-out roll. The potential point number are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. Any of these numbers becomes a point and now the shooter keeps rolling until either he rolls the same number again.
This would bring him an even-money payoff. Note that if you roll as 7 in this case, you will lose as 7 becomes the losing number after a point has been established. This is called “seven out”. Rolling the same number doesn’t need to involve the same combination of dice – it just needs to be the same total.
The Betting Rules
Once you’ve learned how to evaluate the outcome of your roll, you ought to master the betting rules. As we’ve hinted earlier, the layout has various areas for different betting options. The ‘Pass Line’ or the ‘Don’t Pass Line’ are the two most common bets.
Pass means you are betting on the shooter to pass (win) by rolling out a natural or by winning the point before rolling a 7. Don’t Pass is the opposite, as you are betting for the shooter to not pass (lose) – to roll craps or seven out before reaching the point value. The house edge on the Pass bets is 1.41%, while Don’t Pass comes with a 1.36% house advantage.
The Come or Don’t Come bets can only be made after the point has been determined. The come bet wins if the shooter rolls a natural and loses if he rolls craps. Don’t come is the opposite. The house edge is also 1.41% on Come and 1.36% on Don’t Come.
Proposition Bets & Place/Field/Big 6/Big 8
Proposition bets are one-roll bets that you can place on any roll. These include Any Seven (wins if the shooter rolls a 7), Any Craps (wins if the shooter rolls 2, 3 or 12), Ace Deuce (wins if the shooter rolls a 3), Aces (wins if the shooter rolls a 2), Boxcars (wins if the shooter rolls a 12) and Horn (wins if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, 11, or 12).
More craps bets include (pay at 1:1 odds):
- Place bets – When the point has been established, you can bet on any number on the table. You win if your chosen number is rolled out before a 7, you lose if it isn’t.
- Field bets – This type of bet is a one-roll bet. You win if a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 is rolled. A 5, 6, 7, or 8 makes you lose.
- Big 6 and Big 8 bets – You bet that 6 or 8 will be rolled before 7.
Practice Craps Online
Online practice is fundamental for beginners. As soon as you feel you know enough about the different bets and outcomes of a roll, move to the next step – playing craps online in demo mode. The best online craps websites will offer you the chance to play and practice craps online for free for as long as you want. It’s not for nothing that people say “practice makes perfect”.
Real Money Play
A decent amount of online gambling experience should boost your confidence enough to create a real money casino account and start wagering. You can switch to proper casino play once you feel you’ve mastered all the bets and you’ve learned how to shoot craps with the help of the RNG software.
All the betting rules you had to remember should come naturally now, as you are facing real risks. Find a casino with decent payouts and worthwhile bonus offers to maximize your craps potential online.