An Introduction to Craps
Craps is different to many other table games in that you don’t compete against other players, but rather develop a real camaraderie with them, whether that be around the table in a brick-and-mortar casino, or in the chat rooms of online casinos.
It’s one of the most social games in a casino, and also one of the oldest, with some tracing it as far back as far as the 12th century.
It’s naturally changed significantly since then, and this ultimate craps playing resource aims to equip you everything you need to give you the best chance at the tables…
The History of Craps
Craps is considered to be an ancient game that began life around 1125 as a dice game named Hazard. It was largely popular with the English Crusaders and went on to evolve over the centuries to come, before being exported from London to the United States, where it settled in New Orleans.
During the 1800s, it began to develop into the craps we know today. It was initially known as “crapuad” before being shortened to the name we now know and love.
Controversy often followed craps in its earlier days, with casinos in the late 1800s and early 1900s sometimes using unfair dice. To combat this, dice maker John H. Winn changed the layout of the table to include a ‘Don’t Pass’ as well as ‘Pass’, which has been a part of the layout ever since. At that point, it encouraged casinos to use fair dice, something which all respectable casinos and online casinos now do as standard.
The 1960s really saw the spread of craps across the world, and since the online casino boom in the mid-2000s it has continued to grow in popularity and into the huge success it is today.
Getting to Know Craps
While craps always looks the most fun game to play, it can be a little difficult to understand if you’re completely new to it.
There are many different bets you can make when playing craps, and similarly to roulette, you can make them as simple or complex as you like. It can be a case of betting on one number to land on the roll of a dice, to a large variety of others, each containing different odds and increasing or decreasing the house edge.
It’s a game where player takes on the house, although you are always betting with or against the person in charge of throwing the dice, referred to as the shooter.
The Aim of Craps
When it comes to learning about the game of craps, the aim is simple. A player must correctly predict the total outcome of the roll of the two dice in play.
The combinations you can make vary significantly from betting on either winning or losing on a roll, to more extravagant wagers that can pay out more handsomely if they are correctly predicted. The different bets you can place can be found in the Bets section in this guide.
One of the things you’ll notice when playing craps for the first time is how cluttered the table is. It can be a little daunting, but it’s easy once you get the hang of it.
When broken down into sections, the table is relatively self-explanatory, with each area signifying a different type of bet.
All you need to do is place your chips on the bet you want before the shooter throws the dice. In online craps, you just need to click the section of the craps table where you want to place your bets and the game will begin.
In the offline version however, when it comes to pass/don’t pass bets and come/don’t come bets you place your own chips on the table, with any other bets, most notably those on the inside of the table, being placed directly in front of you, with the dealer then moving them wherever you request.
Delving into the table layout involves exploring the types of craps bets available to you. There are dozens you can bet on, and below you’ll find what the most common involve alongside how much the bet pays out and the house edge.
These are among the most simple bets to understand, with a pass bet being a bet on the shooter to win by rolling out a natural, which is a score of 7 or 11. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12 the pass bet is a losing one.
However, if you place a pass bet and the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 then that number then becomes the point, with the aim of the game then changing to the shooter having to roll that number again before landing a 7 in order to win. If a 7 is rolled before that point, your bet is a losing one.
A pass bet usually takes multiple rolls before deciding whether it is a winning or losing one and it’s paid out at even money with a house edge of 1.41%. This bet is placed by placing your chip on the Pass Line.
Come bets are similar to pass bets, with the bet working in exactly the same way except you don’t place the bet until there is already a point in play. Therefore, a shooter has already rolled a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 but in this case the next roll is seen as the sequence beginning.
If the shooter lands a 7 or 11 on the next roll, you win. If they land a 2, 3 or 12 your bet loses, while a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 will be the point for your bet and the shooter must land that before rolling a 7 in order to win.
To place this bet you are required to place your chips in the Come area of the craps table and it pays out even money with a house edge of 1.41%.
Don’t Pass & Don’t Come Bets
A don’t pass or don’t come bet are effectively the opposite of a pass and come bet.
If you’re making a don’t pass bet and the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 you win, but if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 you lose. If the shooter is to roll a 12, it’s a push.
If the shooter rolls another number and it becomes the point, you win if the shooter rolls a 7 before the point number.
The same applies to the don’t come bet, but it takes place after the shooter has rolled their first pair of dice.
The house edge is slightly lower than with pass and come bets at 1.36% and pays out at even money.
Place bets allow you to establish a point before the shooter rolls the first dice. A place bet is a bet on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 which then must be rolled by the shooter before a 7 is landed.
To place the bet online, simply click the number you wish to place your bet on to add chips, while offline the dealer will be required to place those chips for you.
The payouts for each number are different. Betting on a 6 or 8 carries the lowest house edge at 1.52% and is paid out at odds of 7/6. These are the numbers that most frequently land.
Betting on numbers 4 or 10 payout at odds of 9/5 with a house edge of 6.67%, with 5 or 9 paying out at 7/5 with a house edge of 4%.
Buy bets are almost the same as place bets. They’re placed in a different area of the table to place bets and pay out at true odds, lowering the house edge. Players will often buy the 4 or 10 in this instance, as it drops the house edge from 6.67% to 4.75% and pays out at odds of 2/1. When buying the 4 or 10 you pay a 5% commission to the casino if you win as the house edge is significantly reduced.
Buying the 5 or 9 will increase the payout to the true odds of 3/2, while buying the 6 or 8 will increase the payout to the true odds of 6/5.
Hardways bets are among the most exciting bets to place, but at the same time they’re a much bigger risk. A hardway bet is a bet on the shooter to land the same number on both dice. So, a hard 6 would be 3s on each die, a hard 4 being 2s on each di, and so on.
You must bet on the hard number, with the shooter then required to land that combination before rolling a 7 or your number any other way. So if you were to bet on a hard 4, if a shooter rolled a 3 and 1 before a pair of 2s, your bet would be a losing one.
The payouts and house edge differ for each hard bet, with a hardways 6 or 8 paying out 9/1 with a house edge of 9.09%, with a hard 4 or 10 paid out at 7/1 with an 11.1% house edge.
Field bets are determined with a single roll. You place a bet on the shooter to roll a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. The house edge of this is 5.56% with players paid out at even money if the shooter rolls a 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11, and paid out 2/1 if a two or 12 is landed.
2 or 12, 3 or 11
You can also bet on particular numbers to be rolled, with a bet on 2 or 12 carrying a house edge of 13.89%. A win on either a 2 or 12 will be paid out at 30/1 and it applies to the shooters next throw only. So, if you bet on 2, the next roll must be a 2 or your bet loses.
Bets on 3 or 11 work in exactly the same way but carry a lower house edge of 11.11%, with winnings paid out at 15/1.
Betting on 7
You can also bet on the shooter to land a 7 on the next roll, which can placed in the same section as a Hardways bets. This is a bet on any combination of roll to land a 7. So, a shooter could roll a 5 and 2, 4 and 3 or 6 and 1 and your bet would win. Any other roll would be a losing bet.
This is paid out at 4/1 and carries a house edge of 16.67%.
Betting on Craps
A bet on craps is a bet on the next roll being either a 2, 3 or 12. Again, this can be placed in the Hardways section of the table, and if you’re in a brick-and-mortar casino the dealer will place your chips for you.
It’s paid out at 7/1 and carries a house edge of 11.11%.
There are two types of hop bets and again they are played in the same section as above. The aim of a hop bet is to correctly predict the specific numbers of both dice. So, you may want to place a hop bet on a 4 and 2 to come in. You will only win if the shooter rolls those exact numbers.
Winning rolls are paid out at 30/1 on hard hop bets, which are when both numbers on the dice are the same, with easy hops, which are paid out at 15/1 being hop bets on two different numbers. The house edge for these are 13.89% and 11.11% respectively.
How to Play Craps
Once you understand the many different bets you can place in craps, it’s time to start playing. Playing the game is actually incredibly simple and below you’ll find our simple step-by-step process to help you out.
Step 1: Placing Your Bet
First things first, you are required to place your bet. What you bet on will then determine the next steps of the bet. All the bets mentioned above are available at this point.
Step 2: Determining Your Bet
If you have placed a one-roll bet, such as the field or hop bets, your wager will be instantly determined. However, with pass bets, come bets and other multi-roll bets, the wager continues until your outcome or a 7 is landed.
Step 3: Rotating of the Shooter
If the shooter makes their point, the player continues as the shooter. If the shooter loses, it then rotates to the next player. In both cases, once a shooter has concluded, the betting process starts again.
There are a number of different variations of craps around, but the concept of betting on the throw of the dice reamins the same.
Some of the most common variants include:
First Person Craps
First person craps is a brand new variant from Evolution Gaming, which places you as the shooter and the game itself is shot in first-person, as though you’re in the very heart of a Las Vegas casino.
In terms of rules and bets, they follow exactly the same as this guide and you can enjoy First Person Craps right here in the BetVictor casino.
Live Casino Craps
You’ll find live casino versions of a number of different table games, including roulette and blackjack. You can also enjoy our live craps game, again from Evolution Gaming. Live Casino Craps plays exactly the same as regular online craps, but it’s much more immersive and allows you to engage with the dealer and other players.
Set in a stunning studio, with a real-life dealer, it’s as close as you’re going to get to real-life craps without being in a casino.
Bank craps is the most common form of craps and it’s found in most brick-and-mortar and online casinos, with players betting against the house. All the information above is based on bank craps.
Crapless craps is a variant that is also relatively popular with players and was invented by Bob Stupak who wished to create a version in which you wouldn’t lose on a pass line bet if 2, 3 or 12 was rolled. So that’s exactly what he did.
It isn’t found as frequently in online casinos as the house edge is lower, so it isn’t as profitable.
High Points Craps
This variation of the craps game moves a little further away from the standard version, but is still simple to play. If the shooter lands a 2 or 3 on their first roll, the dice are returned to the shooter and they are thrown again.
If the shooter lands an 11 or 12, they win automatically, with any other number rolled declared as the point, with players then required to roll a total number higher than the point on their next throw.
Ace Deuce: This is a roll of three.
Bones: A term used as slang for dice.
Box Numbers: These are place numbers, so 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.
Cold Dice: This is a term used when the shooters are on a run of losing.
Come Out: This is the first roll of the shooter, or the roll of the dice when the point has yet to be determined.
Craps: The numbers 2, 3 and 12 being rolled.
Easy Way: This is when a play rolls an even number by any combination excluding doubles. This only applies to four numbers, this being 4, 6, 8 and 10.
Garden: This is another term for a field bet.
Hi-lo: This is a single roll bet on either the number 2 or 12.
Hi-lo-yo: This is a single roll bet on either 2, 11, or 12.
Horn: This is a bet divided across 2, 3, 11 and 12.
Hot Dice: This is when there’s been a run of shooters are winning.
Natural: This is a term given to rolling a 7 or 11.
Nina: This is a slang term for betting on the number 9.
Press: This is a term used often in craps when a player wishes to double their bet.
Seven Out: This is one of the most common terms in craps and is when a player rolls a 7 when the point is on.
Snake Eyes: This is a slang term for a roll of 2.
True Odds: This is the real odds for a bet when the house edge is 0%. You will receive true odds as a payout when placing buy bets.
Wrong Way Bettor: This is a bet against the shooter. It is often considered bad form to bet against the shooter, but many players do integrate this bet into their strategy.
Yo: A bet on the dice to roll an 11.