Craps

Complete Guide to Craps Offline & Online

Craps is one of the most popular casino games due to the level of camaraderie between the players, as often, many players will bet in alignment with one another. However, there is much more to craps than betting with or against the shooter - there is a whole table full of betting options for you to try.

In this article, we'll explain the basics of how craps works, dive into the wide range of possible bets, and walk you through the process of playing craps online. Simply keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the game of craps.

What is craps?

Craps is a casino game played with two dice where players bet on the outcome of the rolls. The history of craps can be traced back to Ancient Rome, where soldiers are believed to have shaved pig knuckles into cubes that resembled dice. It's believed that this is the origin of the phrase "rolling the bones" (a term used to describe throwing dice in craps).

While it's up for debate how much the Roman dice game had to do with the invention of similar casino games, a more commonly accepted theory for the origin of craps is that it evolved from an English dice game called Hazard. This game was created by Sir William of Tyre and his men during the Crusades in the early 12th century. Similar to craps, it involved players taking turns to roll the dice and place bets on who would win.

In the 17th-18th century, Hazard made its way across the pond to France. It was at this time that the game became known as "Crabs," as this was the nickname for the worst possible roll. In the mid-18th century, the game made it across the Atlantic and spread across North America, becoming the game we know and love today.

While it's a popular game amongst its players, you'll find that not every casino hosts a craps table. This can be due to the space they take up on the casino floor, the relatively slow pace of the game, and the low house edge. Luckily, there are many online casino sites offering craps games.

Common craps terminology

One thing that can be confusing for new players is all the technical jargon that comes with playing craps. "Big eight," "boxman," and "natural" are just some of the terms that you'll commonly hear at a craps table. If you're not familiar with the game, you won't have a clue what anyone's talking about!

To help you out, we've collected some of the most commonly used terms in craps, along with their definitions. This way, if someone says something confusing, you can always reference this article to find out what they're on about!

  • Any Craps - A bet that the next roll will be either a 2, 3, or 12.
  • Any Seven - A bet that the next roll will be a 7.
  • Arm - A skilled dice roller.
  • Betting Right - Any bet on the pass line is one that is betting with the shooter, which is known as "Betting Right."
  • Betting Wrong - When a player makes a bet against the shooter.
  • Bones - Another word for dice.
  • Boxman - The person who supervises the craps game in a casino, often sitting between the two dealers.
  • Cold Dice/Table - An expression used when many players are experiencing bad luck.
  • Come Bet - A bet on the shooter rolling 7 or 11 that is made after the point has been established. If the shooter does not roll a 7 or 11, the number they roll becomes your point number, and the shooter must roll it again before they roll a 7 for you to win.
  • Come Out - The first roll in a round of craps.
  • Craps numbers - The numbers 2, 3, and 12.
  • Don't Come Bet - The opposite of the come bet - this bet wins if the first roll is a 2, 3, or 12, and loses if they roll a 7 or 11. If the shooter rolls another number, that becomes your point number, and the shooter must roll a 7 before the point number for you to win. A don't come bet can only be made after the point has been established.
  • Don't Pass Bet - The opposite of a pass line bet - this bet wins if the first roll is a 2, 3, or 12, or if a 7 is rolled before the point number. This bet can only be made at the start of the round.
  • Front Line - A bet that the shooter will win.
  • Mark The Point - When the dealer places a marker on the table to show the point number.
  • Natural - Rolling a 7 or 11 on the first roll.
  • Pass Line Bet - A bet that the shooter will roll a 7 or 11 in the come-out roll or will hit their point number. This bet can only be made at the start of the round.
  • Pass Line - An area of the craps table where pass-line bets are made.
  • Place Numbers - The numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.
  • Point - If the first roll lands on a place number, it becomes the point number.
  • Shooter - The player rolling the dice.
  • Snake Eyes - A slang term for a pair of ones.

How to play craps

While craps is a game that is made up of many bets, there is a particular concept the game follows. The aim of the game is to roll a number (called a point number) and then roll that number again before rolling a seven.

A player at the table is selected as a shooter, and they make the first roll, known as the "come out roll." Other players at the table make their bets before the first roll is made. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 in their first roll, anyone who bets on the Come Bet or the Pass Bet will lose. However, if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, anyone who bets on the Come Bet or Pass Bet will automatically win.

If another number is rolled, such as 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, that number becomes the point number. The dealer will mark that point number on the table, and this becomes the new target for the shooter. The only rolls that matter from this point forward are the point number and a 7. If a player rolls a 7, they have lost the round, but if they make their point number, they win – as do all the players who bet on the Come Bet or Pass Bet.

After the original shooter wins or loses, that round is considered over, and the dice are passed to a new shooter to begin a new round.

During each round, players can make a number of bets on the outcome of individual rolls or on the overall round.

The craps table

As we mentioned above, there are several bets that a player can make at the craps table that goes beyond betting with or against the shooter. Let's take a closer look at the most popular bets you'll find at the craps table.

Pass Line & Don't Pass Bet

These are two of the most common bets you'll see at the craps table. The Pass Line Bet is a bet that the player will either roll a 7 or 11 or hit their point number after surviving the come-out roll. However, if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 in the first roll or rolls a seven after their point number, this bet loses.

The Don't Pass Bet, on the other hand, is the opposite bet. You're betting on either the shooter to roll a 2, 3, or 12 on their come-out roll or to roll a 7 after making their point number.

These bets must be made before the start of the round and last for multiple rolls.

Come & Don't Come

Another popular pair of multi-roll bets on the craps table are the Come Bet and Don't Come Bet. This bet is very similar to the Pass Line Bet and Don't Pass Line Bet, but players have the option of making this wager after the come-out roll.

When making a Come Bet, the player will win if the next roll is a 7 or 11, and will lose if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12. If any other number is rolled, that number becomes the point number for the Come Bet. The player will win the Come Bet if that point number is rolled before the shooter rolls a 7.

The Don't Come Bet is the opposite of this; the player will lose if the next roll is a 7 or 11 and will win if the next roll is a 2 or a 3. However, if the first roll is a 12, the bet is considered a push. Any other number rolled becomes the point number, and the shooter must roll a 7 before that point number for the player to win.

The Field

If you want to make a bet on the outcome of a single roll, one of your best options is the Field Bet. When making a Field Bet, the players are betting on the outcome of the next roll being a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. If the roll equals one of these numbers, the player will win and will receive an even money payout. However, if the roll is a 5, 6, 7, or 8, the player will lose the bet. The Field Bet is a popular choice at the craps table, thanks to its relatively low house edge of 2.78%.

Big 6 & Big 8

Big 6 and Big 8 bets can only be made after the come-out roll and are bets that the shooter will roll a 6 or an 8before they roll a 7, depending on which one you choose. For example, if you make a Big 6 bet, you're betting that the shooter will roll a 6 before they roll a 7. If they do, you win the bet at even money (1/1). However, if the shooter rolls a 7 before they roll a 6, you lose the bet.

Many players confuse these bets with the regular 6 bets or 8 bets, which are place bets that can be made before the come out roll. These bets are much more attractive, as they pay at a rate of 7/6 or 6/5 rather than 1/1, and can be made at the start of the round. Big 6 and Big 8 bets have a higher house edge than the 6 or 8 bets, which makes them less attractive, but many players still choose them due to their simplicity.

Both the Big 6 & Big 8 bets and the regular 6 and 8 bets last for multiple rolls.

The Place

Another single-roll bet is called the "Place Bet." These bets allow the player to bet on a specific number, other than the point number, before the shooter rolls a seven. The payouts will vary depending on the number chosen. The payouts for each number are as follows.

  • If players bet on the numbers 4 or 10, they'll receive a payout of 9/5.
  • If players bet on the numbers 5 or 9, they'll receive a payout of 7/5.
  • If players bet on the numbers 6 or 8, they'll receive a payout of 7/6.

This bet can only be made after the come-out roll and will remain in play until the shooter rolls the chosen number or a 7.

Centre Section

The middle of the craps table, between the Come and Don't Come areas, is often referred to as the Centre Section. These bets are also called "prop bets" or "proposition bets," and they offer some of the highest returns on the craps table. However, they are also the hardest to hit, so exercise caution when placing these bets. Let's take a closer look at some of the common center section bets you'll find.

  • Any Craps - This is a single roll bet that the shooter will roll a 2, 3, or 12 on the next roll. This bet pays out at a rate of 7/1.
  • Any 7 - This is a single roll bet that the shooter will roll a 7. This bet pays out at a rate of 4/1.
  • Craps 12 - This is a single roll bet that the shooter will roll a 12. This bet pays out at 30/1, making it the joint highest-paying bet on the table.
  • Craps 3 - This is a single roll bet that the shooter will roll a 3. This bet pays out at 15/1.
  • Craps 2 - This is a single roll bet that the shooter will roll a 2. This bet pays out at 30/1, making it the joint highest-paying bet.
  • Horn Bet - This is a single roll combination bet that is placed on the numbers 2, 3, 11, and 12. The bet is divided equally between these four numbers, with the payouts varying depending on the number rolled. This bet pays out at 15/1 if the shooter rolls a 3 or 11 and 30/1 if the shooter rolls a 2 or 12.

How to play craps online

If you want to enjoy a game of craps for yourself, but don't have a casino offering the game near you, then you're in luck! Many casino sites offer online craps games that can be played anytime, anywhere. In fact, there are a number of online casinos offering you the chance to play craps online for free, meaning you can get up to speed with this popular game without risking any money. You can also check out our selection of free casino games here at Casino Guru.

Playing craps online is just the same as playing craps live, so you'll be able to use all the information you've learned from this article. Follow the steps below to get started at an online casino and play your first craps game.

  1. Find an online casino offering online craps games that you'd like to join.
  2. Click the "Sign Up" or "Register" button on the homepage.
  3. Enter your personal details, such as your name, date of birth, phone number, and email address.
  4. Create a username and password for your account.
  5. Accept the terms and conditions of the site and click the "Register" button.
  6. Go to the "Cashier" or "Bank" section.
  7. Choose the deposit option.
  8. Pick your deposit method, enter your details, and choose the amount you'd like to deposit. Double-check the details of your deposit and click the "Deposit" button.
  9. Find an online craps game that you'd like to play.
  10. Click on the game, start making your bets, and have fun!

It's as easy as that; after following these simple steps you'll have your very own casino account and be in your first game of online craps.

Summary

Whether you're playing online or in a casino, craps is one of the most fun and exciting casino games you can play. The action is fast-paced, and there are a number of bets you can make on each roll or each round, all with varying payouts.

Now that you've read this comprehensive guide to the game of craps, you should be familiar with how the game works, all the betting options on the table, and all the jargon the players and dealers will use. However, if you're new to the game, we recommend sticking with the simpler bets at first, such as the pass/don't pass bets.

Now there's nothing left for you to do but hit the tables and start having fun!

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