Head to Las Vegas, and the place where gamblers seem to be having the most fun is at the craps table. Players cheer and clap as those dice bounce down the felt. And you want to get in on the action but don’t know where to start? Here is everything you need to know and more on how to play craps like a true degenerate gambler!
And what may seem like a confusing mix of numbers and wagering options is actually not as difficult as it may appear. You don’t have to be an accountant to find your way around all those wagers on the table.
For the savvy gambler, craps can also be a favorable game when considering the odds – much better than many others in the casino. Place those chips just right with a hot shooter, and you may hear plenty of “winner, winner, chicken dinner!”
For gamblers looking for some of the best bets in the house, the craps table can be your friend. Initially, the game may seem like mass confusion, with players shouting out bets and numbers as dealers drop chips and pay out winners rapidly.
So how does all this chaos actually work? For the most part, there are only a few bets that wise players should consider making. This can make the entire process much simpler – and hopefully profitable.
The most common wager is the Pass Line, meaning you’re betting with the shooter. If you’d like to bet against the shooter, you can also choose the Don’t Pass, although this is less popular. These are the best bets on the table, with odds of below 1.5%.
The action starts by placing a bet on the Pass Line. A shooter then takes the dice for the “come out roll.” This result determines what happens next:
2, 3, 12 – The shooter “craps out,” and players lose their Pass Line bets – bummer. The shooter then grabs the dice and launches another come-out roll after players have dropped their chips back on the Pass Line.
7 or 11 – These are automatic winners on the come-out roll and usually receive a hearty cheer. You’ll be paid even money on the Pass Line wager, and the shooter starts another come-out roll.
4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 – This is when the action heats up. When any of these are rolled, it becomes what is known as the “point number.” The croupier marks the number on the felt with a puck, noting that this is now the number the shooter is trying to get on subsequent rolls. Seven is now a killer number, and the shooter is trying to roll the point number without “sevening out.” If a player rolls a 7, all Pass Line wagers are lost, and the dice are passed to a new shooter.
If the shooter rolls the point number without hitting a 7, then you’ll receive an even-money payout, and another come-out roll commences from the same shooter.
Pass Line players also have another excellent betting option called “taking odds.” This allows players to drop a wager behind their Pass Line bet once a point number is established. The odds bet is one of the best bets in a casino because when the point number is hit, payouts are at the true odds of rolling that number (no house edge). Here’s a look at those payouts.
6 or 8 – 6 to 5
5 or 9 – 3 to 24 or 10 – 2 to 1
So suppose you have $5 on the Pass Line, and the shooter rolls a 4. You place $10 in odds behind that beginning bet. The shooter then eventually rolls that point number of 4.
Some cheers will go up, and you’ll earn even money on the Pass Line bet for $5 and then 2 to 1 on the odds bet for another $20 on that $10 bet. That’s a $25 score on your $15 wagered – bam!
Many casinos allow double, triple, or even more when it comes to the odds bets compared to the Pass Line wager. For that reason, many players bet the minimum on the Pass Line and load up on the odds. Hit those points and rake in the chips!
Many players like to have multiple numbers in play when a hot shooter has the dice. If the shooter avoids the dreaded 7, you have a chance to rake in multiple payouts in a short time.
Casinos offer other options that can make this happen, but a few stand out as better than others and include:
Come Bets – The Come Bar is located in the middle of each side of the table and basically functions as the Pass Line but in the middle of a roll. If a number is established, you can drop a wager on this area anytime. You’ll lose the wager if the next registration is 2, 3, or 12. A 7 or 11 and that bet wins even money (although a seven still is a loser for Pass Line bets).
If the roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, that chip is moved to that number at the top of the board. You can then place odds on that bet as on the Pass Line and will be paid accordingly if that number is then rolled before sevening out.
Place Bets – A player can bet on additional numbers – the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. A player instructs the dealer what number to place, and that chip is moved to that number. These can be good wagers, and many place bets on the 6 and 8 since those are the most likely numbers to be rolled other than the 7. These payouts are only slightly less than PassLine/Come Bet odds wagers and include:
6 or 8 – 7 to 6
5 or 9 – 7 to 5
4 or 10 – 9 to 5
Obviously, the more Come and Place Bets a player has on the table, the more risk they also take on. That dreaded seven can show up at any time, and there is a 1 in 6 chance of that happening (16.67%). But if that shooter can rack up some numbers before that happens, those extra wagers have an excellent chance at bagging you some bucks.
As noted earlier, there are numerous other options on the craps table. Many players will notice a big section called the Field with 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12. These single-roll wagers pay even money (although 2 and 12 often pay double) but feature numbers with longer odds to achieve.
If a player wants to play some of these numbers (such as 4, 9, 10), it would be wiser to place them or play the Pass Line or Come Bar. That way, you can earn better odds when they do appear.
Other bets are located in the center of the table. There are numerous one-time rolls for various numbers. These offer what appear to be nice odds, but using those chips on odds bets would be better. These wagers offer poor odds and will sap your bankroll quickly.
The hard-way bets are also available here, such as rolling a four by hitting the two on both dice or a six by hitting the three on both. These are also what is often called “sucker bets.” Another no-no? The Big Six and Big Eight. These are simply even-money bets, and you’d do better placing those bets for a better return on investment.
Now that you know how to play craps, you are probably ready to hit the mean streets of Vegas and hit the casinos head-on, but hold up. When joining the craps table, keep those chips on the Pass Line, Come Bar, and place Bets for your best chance at beating the house. They roll those bones and hope for the best. A win will make that chicken dinner taste even better!
Now that you know How To Play Craps, here are some other gambling articles you may enjoy: How To Play Blackjack