Craps is one of the most entertaining games in the casino. Along with Sic Bo, craps is one of the few dice games played in the casino. People are drawn to the craps tables because of the game’s unique wagering and decision system, and because it is one of the better-known casino games on any floor. Shooting dice allows bettors to share the same bet with other gamblers at the table, thus providing camaraderie and shared excitement.

This article features a basic guide to craps. It provides a glossary with an introduction to the bets, as well as tips and strategy for dice shooters. This page also discusses where to play online craps and which casino sites have the best mobile craps downloads. We also provide an FAQ section that answers hundreds of questions about craps and casino games in general.

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How to Play Craps

Craps is, like many other games, easy to learn. You can learn the rules of craps in just a few minutes, but understanding all the different wagers will take some reading, a few rounds of play, some game experience in a casino.

Live craps games can be confusing. The most intimidating part of the game is the “bottom”, the betting surface on the game table where bets are placed and the dice are rolled. A craps table offers so many betting options that the table almost looks like a page from a dictionary.

Craps Bets Explained

You might feel intimidated watching other players place exotic-looking craps bets. Keep in mind the exotic-looking bets usually are sucker bets in craps.

Here’s a brief description of the many craps bets. Below our craps glossary, we provide an introduction to mobile craps and live dealer craps, as well as a history of shooting dice through the centuries. Eventually, we’ll post charts of the best bets and worst bets in craps.

Pass Bets

The pass bet is the basic bet at the craps table. Almost every craps shooter will bet on the pass line. It’s also the second-best bet in terms of a house edge.

Pass line bets are even money bets that pay off if a player rolls either a total of 7 or 11 on the come-out roll. Pass line bets always lose on come-out rolls of 2,3, or 12, known as “craps.”

If the 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12 isn’t rolled on the come-out roll, then the number rolled established a “point”. The object becomes to roll that number a second time before rolling 7.

Don’t Pass Bets

The Don’t Pass Bet is the opposite of pass bets. If a pass bet is a wager that the shooter will win, a don’t pass bet is a bet against the shooter.

All don’t pass line bets win if the shooter throws a craps of 2 or 3, but not a craps of 12 on the come-out roll. These bets also win if the shooter rolls a 7 before repeating the point number.

When does a don’t pass bets lose? If the come-out roll is a total of 7 or 11, or if the shooter repeats his point number before rolling another 7.

The payout percentage for the don’t pass bet (1.35%) is slightly better than the payout percentage for the pass bet (1.41%), but most craps players prefer to root for the player throwing the dice, so they’re willing to give up a few tenths of a percent in the sake of good sportsmanship and gamesmanship.

Come Bets

Here’s another of the better bets in a craps game. Come bets are identical to the pass line bets, except that a come bet can be laid down on each toss of the dice after the point is determined. You place a come bet by stacking chips in the section of the craps bottom that’s labeled “Come.”

Don’t Come Bet

Similar to come bets, don’t come bets can be wagered on each toss of the dice after the establishment of the point. When you place a don’t come bet, the next toss of the dice is the new come-out roll for your bet. That means if the craps shooter rolls a 2 or 3, you are a winner.

Place Bets

Of all the bets in craps, place bets offer some of the best odds. A place bet is a wager on a specific number being rolled before the next roll of 7. There are further categories of place bets that you’ll learn over time, but for now, it is enough to know that place bets are best made on any of the “point” numbers: 4,5,6,8,9, and 10.

Bettors can make place bets at any point in a round of craps. The house edge on place bets range from 1.52% to 6.67%, so pay close attention to which place bets you make. Hint: Make Place 6 or Place 8 bets.

Yo Bet

The Yo Bet is a wager on the 11. In a loud casino setting, the numbers 7 and 11 often sound the same, so dealers call out “Yo” instead of 11. This is a sucker bet with an 11.11% house edge.

3 Bet

A wager on the 3 coming up on the come-out roll. Again, this is a bad bet with an 11.11% house edge.

2 Bet

A wager on the 2 as the result on the come-out roll. There is a 13.89% house edge is one of the worst at the craps table.

12 Bet

A bet that the number 12 appears on the come-out roll. It’s also got a 13.89% house edge.

Hi-Lo Bet

A wager that either the 2 or the 12 appears on the come-out roll. It has an awful 11.11% house edge.

Craps Bet

A bet that the 2, 3, or 12 (i.e. “craps”) happens on the come-out roll. It’s a sucker bet with an 11.11% casino advantage.

Any 7 Bet

A wager that the come-out roll produces a 7. This is the worst bet in craps, with a house edge of 16.67%.

The Combined Bet

Also known as the C&E because it combines the craps bet (2,3,12) with the eleven (11). This is the same as the horn bet and has a similar 12.5% house edge.

The Horn Bet

A wager that one of the four highest/lowest numbers appear: 2, 3, 11, or 12. Its house edge is 12.5%.

Field Bet

A wager that the next roll comes up the 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. The house edge is a more reasonable 5.56%, though there are better bets in craps.

The Whirl Bet

Also called the “world bet”, it wagers that the 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12 appears on the next roll. It has a house edge of 13.33% – one of the worst in the game.

Big 6 / Big 8 Bets

This is a wager the shooter rolls any 6 or any 8 before the 7 is rolled The house edge on Big 6 and Big 8 bets are 9.09%, so you can find better propositions.

Buys Bet

Buy bets let you wager on whether a specific number appears before the 7. It is the opposite of the lay bets. The house edge on the buy bets is 4.76%.

If the casino only takes the commission on a win, then the house edge lowers to 1.67% on a Buy 4/Buy 10 bet, 1.96% on a Buy 5/Buy 9 Bet, and 2.22% on a Buy 6/Buy 8 Bet.

Lay Bet

Lay bets let you wager on the 7 appearing before a specific number. The casino charges a commission because 7s are likelier to appear than any other single number. The house edge on the lay bets range from 2.44% to 4.00%, so several of these are respectable. Hint: Make the Lay 4 or Lay 10 bet, if you choose to make this wager.

If the casino only takes a commission on winning bets, then the house edge is 1.67% on a Lay 4/Lay 10 bet, 2.00% on a Lay 5/Lay 9 bet, and 2.27% on a Lay 6/Lay 8 bet.

Hard Way Bets

Hard way bets are named after how hard it is to win by placing them. In craps, a hard number is a number that’s rolled in two smaller identical totals. A “hard 8” is when both dice show 4, for example. Hard way bets are wagers that a specific hard number will come up.

The potential profits are high but so are the risks. The house edge on hard way bets range from 9.09% to 11.11%, so they aren’t good.

Horn Bets

A horn bet is not really a single bet, but four bets stacked together, combining 2, 3, 11, and 12. All horn bet amounts must be divisible by four, and they only pay off on one win at a time.

The horn bet’s house edge is a whopping 12.50%.

Mobile Craps

Online players now can play craps on the go with their Android phone, iPhone, iPad, or tablet computers. Most online casinos now have a downloadable mobile craps app available for both Android and iOS devices. Some mobile casinos even allow bettors to play in the web browser without requiring you to download a craps app.

Live Dealer Craps Online

Here in 2020, players can enjoy live dealer craps online. The game works much as it does in a land-based casino, except the dealer rolls the dice instead of the shooter. The dice roll happens in real-time in a real-life gaming studio. The live dealer casino streams the results to your computer or smartphone in the same way Netflix or Hulu works.

Not as many online casinos feature live dealer craps as live blackjack, roulette, or baccarat. Because it takes four dealers to support the game, fewer live craps tables exist online. Keep reading and we’ll point the way to be the best live dealer craps casinos.

The History of Craps

The first reference to “craps” comes from French descriptions of the game as “crapaud,” which is French for “toad.” That name referred to the way gamblers huddled around the game like toads on their haunches. Casino historians speculate “crapaud” began as early as the 1st Crusade, where crusaders might have learned dice games from people then living in the Holy Land.

Modern craps derive directly from a British game called Hazard, which itself derived from games played by French gamblers of the 18th century. Craps appeared in New Orleans in the late 18th century or early 19th century. Craps basically remained the same as the version played by French traders in North America with minor tweaks to the rules to make the game fairer.

Over the past two centuries, local casino owners added new craps bets, though the basic bets still dominate game play. Monte Carlo’s casinos incorporated the American version of craps into their table games layout in the late 19th century.

Street versions of craps, usually just called dice or street dice, simplify the complex betting rules for craps and concentrate on the dice rolling aspect of the game. Street craps is illegal in many jurisdictions worldwide.