Craps is one of the one of the most iconic casino games in the world. It’s a game often seen or mentioned on Hollywood movies and TV shows set in the earlier half of the 20th century, and with that comes a certain amount of glamour and perhaps an air of mystery to the game.
It’s fair to say that these days the game takes a back seat somewhat, especially to the likes of roulette and blackjack. The romance of craps is still very much alive, however, and even though it’s not as popular as it was, it is still and likely always will be a permanent fixture in most online and even land-based casinos.
How to play craps
The name of the game is to roll the number that you have wagered on with two of the five dice on offer. Due to the huge range of bets that you can make in craps, this number can change for each bet. Take a look at our step-by-step guide below for more information.
Step 1 – Determine your table
The first thing you need to do is make sure you choose a table that you like the look of and will feel comfortable playing at.
This may seem pretty obvious but if you are new to the game then hitting up a table that includes a lot of people can be very intimidating, especially if you are playing live and are a beginner.
We’d recommend starting out quiet or even on your own if you can, to allow you to adjust to the pace and not get overwhelmed by other more experienced players.
Step 2 – Stake your bet
The most common bet is situated with the Pass line. You need to place your bets behind the line and then you will be asked to roll two dice.
If those dice land on 7 or 11 (cumulative) then you win.
If the dice land on 2, 3 or 12 then you lose.
Step 3 – The point
If any number other than those stated in step 2 appears then this number becomes the ‘point’.
At this time the game switches slightly in that the point number is now your winning roll and the 7 is your losing number.
The dealer will place a puck on the new winning number so that everyone knows.
Step 5 – True odds
Now you are able to place bets behind your original bet. This bet can be as large or as small as you like and does not have to match your original bet.
You will get paid £6 for every £5 that you stake.
It’s worth noting that this is, in fact, the best odds that you can get anywhere in the casino in terms of house edge. Another reason the game remains popular.
Step 6 – Number bets
The board now opens to you a little more and you can place number bets if you so wish.
These are bets where you can wager on a particular number from 4,5,6,8,9 and 10, with each number paying out at different odds.
Step 7 – The field
The next betting option is the field.
This is a one-roll bet where the player can bet on the dice to land on 3,4,9,10 or 11 with each number paying out at even money.
If it lands on 2 and 12 then this bet pays out double.
Step 8 – Game resets
If the dice lands on the Point number from step 2 then the field will win.
The game will technically reset again with a new player then rolling the dice to find a new point number.
Remember, at this point 7 and 11 will win, with 2, 3 and 12 losing.
Hints and tips
Go with flow or against
One of the most basic strategies in the game of craps comes from either going with the flow or against it. The strongest bet you can make is by betting the don’t pass and/or the don’t come roll whilst laying the maximum odds. Now, this will go against probably most of the strategies that the players are playing at the table, so bear this in mind, especially when busy.
Alternatively, if you decide that you don’t want to be a victim of hate when at your craps table, you can reverse this bet by betting the pass line and the come line at maximum odds. You will get slightly higher house edge for this bet as opposed to the original bet, but it’s pretty marginal and means you are likely to walk out of the casino on your own two feet should you win.
Learn the game before diving in
Starting out playing craps for the first time can be a daunting experience. It’s likely that most people at the table will have at least a basic knowledge of the game, so try and be as ‘game ready’ as possible before sticking your chips in and having to ask the dealers a boatload of questions.
There are plenty of videos out there that should help you get a feel of how a game might progress before actually investing your own chips.
Tip – Try to find an online casino that has a free/demo game of craps and start there before playing for real money.