Craps is one of the world’s most celebrated casino games. Featured in movies like Casino, Indecent Proposal, Guys and Dolls, and Diamonds Are Forever, the game is a raucous riot of dice rolling action where one player’s hot streak means everyone gets paid.
To the uninitiated, however, craps can be bewildering. The pass line, establishing a point, the come bet, the odds bet, the hard way: what does it all mean? Once you get your head around the game’s basic structure and strategy, and play a few games at an online casino, you will discover why this game is such a draw at the casino.
By now, you know the game involves rolling a pair of dice. The game has several levels of complexity. This is a beginner’s guide to the very basics. The best way to get into the detail is to either play the game or check out one of the many videos online.
This article will simply try to explain the raw elements of this fascinating game in some digestible chunks.
Let’s get started: Craps consists of two phases: come out and point.
The Come Out Phase:
To get the game started, players must bet at least the house minimum on the pass line. The two dice are rolled and there are three possible outcomes:
1. You roll a 2, 3, or 12 and crap out – all pass line bets are lost. Start again.
2. You roll a 7 or 11 – a natural – and all pass line bets win even money
3. You roll any other number. This number becomes the point and starts the second phase of the game
The Point Phase:
OK… So, now you have rolled either a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. The croupier will now move a button marked ‘on’ to the relevant number on the table. This is the point. Let’s say you rolled a 10. 10 is now the point.
It’s very simple: To win your pass line bet, you must now roll a 10 before you roll a 7. If you roll a 7 before you roll a 10, you lose your bet. The game continues indefinitely until either a 10 or 7 is rolled.
After you have rolled a 10 (or whatever the point roll was), the game reverts back to the initial come out phase.
These are the raw, basic, starting rules of craps. Don’t relax: it gets complicated…
When you get to the point phase of the game, you can also make what is known as a come bet. This opens up the possibility of winning on other numbers.
Using the first example: we have already rolled a 10: this is the point. You now make an additional come bet. The dice are rolled and you hit a 5.
• You have NOT rolled a 10 – therefore the pass bet is still active
• You have NOT rolled a 7 – therefore the round of craps is still LIVE
• You DID roll a 5 – this is now a NEW POINT
What this means: is that you can win by rolling either a 10 or a 5. If you roll a 7, you still crap out.
You can make a new come bet with every roll. As long as you don’t roll a 7, you keep winning and adding numbers. Ultimately, you can cover 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. These bets will keep paying until you hit a seven.
If you roll a 10 – the point – you must make the come out bet again. However, the point bets all stand until you crap out with a 7.
These are the very basic rules of craps. There are also don’t pass bets, odds bets, and don’t come bets. These are more complicated but worth exploring. We’ll look at these another time!
Good luck at the table. Keep rollin’ the winners and don’t crap out…