Whether you’re totally new to online Craps or a longtime player, your presence on this page proves you’re familiar with its potential for entertainment and excitement.
Few other casino games have captured the minds and hearts of gamblers the way that casino Craps has. It is by far the most popular dice game in the world and remains one of the most popular table games at any casino, either live or online.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive casino Craps game guide and the best place to play Craps online for free, you’re in the right location. Here at CasinoBonus.org we know everything that’s worth knowing about Craps bets and how to win at Craps…and we’re ready to share that knowledge with you.
If you’ve never had the chance to play Craps online, or maybe you just need a refresher, start here. On this one page you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to play Craps online and the best ways to win at Craps. You’ll be able to approach the game table with confidence once you’ve read our comprehensive rules of Craps section. If you are easily confused by the game’s fast pace, bookmark this page for easy reference.
How to Play Craps
When most people think of Craps play, they naturally wonder, “Just how hard could it be to learn Craps rules?” It’s just a simple game of dice, right? But, while the act of playing a Craps game (i.e. rolling the dice) is indeed simple, the rules of Craps are a little more complex. This is due to the game’s many betting options and their varying Craps odds and payouts, as well as the game’s elaborate code of conduct and etiquette.
Fortunately, playing Craps online makes it hard to display improper etiquette and even simplifies the playing and betting processes. What isn’t covered by automated playing features, we cover here in the Casino Bonus’ guide to Craps rules.
Both casino Craps and Craps online are centered on a table surrounded by players. The player at the head of the table (called “the shooter”) controls the dice. Before each round, players predict how the shooter will roll the dice by placing wagers on the table.
The table is divided into squares that represent each possible outcome. After each round, dealers clear the table, pay out winning bets, and collect new bets for the next round. In Craps online, the dealer functions may be performed by an animation, or they may be automated.
Types of Bets
When looking at the table, it is clear there are many possible bets. Some bets depend on the outcome of a single roll while others depend on multiple rolls. The rules of Craps play dictate that the shooter has only two betting options; the other players can bet as they please.
Pass & Don’t Pass Bets
- The shooter has the option of betting Pass or Don’t Pass. Other players can use these bets too.
- There are two ways that you can win either of these bets. The easiest way to win a Pass or Don’t Pass bet is on the “come out” roll (the first roll of the round). To win with a Pass bet, the shooter must roll a 7 or 11. To win with a Don’t Pass, the shooter must roll a 2 or 3.
- When a Pass bet wins, Don’t Pass bets lose. Alternately, when a Don’t Pass bet wins, Pass bets lose. The one difference is a roll of 12; this is an instant loss for Pass bets and a push for Don’t Pass bets.
- If a 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 is not rolled in the come out roll, then the total that is rolled (a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) establishes “the point.” For Pass bets to win now, the shooter must roll the point again before rolling a 7. The opposite is true for Don’t Pass bettors, who will win if a 7 is rolled before the point.
- If the shooter wins a round, he may continue shooting. If he loses a round, the dice are passed clockwise to the next player.
Come & Don’t Come Bets
- After Pass/Don’t Pass bets, the most common Craps game bets are Come/Don’t Come. Come and Don’t Come bets follow the same formula as Pass/Don’t Pass bets, except that they occur after the come out roll and establish their own unique point.
- The most complex bets are multi-roll bets. Most multi-roll bets predict that a shooter will throw a specific dice total before he throws a 7.
- It often takes more than a single Craps game to win or lose these bets. When an unrelated point is rolled the round ends before the bet is settled.
- If this happens, Craps rules dictate that the unsettled bets roll over to the next round. According to Craps rules, these bets are considered “not working” until a new point is established.
Playing the Free Odds Bet
Pass and Don’t Pass bettors have an advantage over Come/Don’t Come bettors because they have the option of “playing the odds.”
To “play the odds”, Pass and Don’t Pass bettors place an additional wager equal to or greater than their original bet behind either the Pass or Don’t Pass line. If the original bet wins, the odds bet also wins. In terms of Craps odds and payouts, Odds bets pay real odds as opposed to the even money offered on just a Pass/Don’t Pass bet. More on this subject is offered in our Craps odds and payouts section.
Regular players may place bets on any possible outcome of a single roll, or they may place bets on the outcome of multiple rolls throughout a round.
If just knowing how to play the game isn’t enough, then read our casino Craps strategy page for extra advice that will teach you not just how to play, but how to win at Craps. Learn the best Craps bets and when, where, and how to place them, as well as how to avoid the worst bets. This section offers advice to both basic and advanced level players, and will help you to stretch and maybe even grow your bankroll.
How to Win at Craps
Because every roll of the dice is different, it can be hard to pin down a winning Craps strategy. The simple fact of the matter is that this is a game of chance and there is no guaranteed way to beat it. The best Craps system is most likely focused more on losing less than it is on winning more. The only way for you to do either is to understand not only how to win Craps, but how to minimize your losses when you don’t.
Avoid Sucker Bets
First-time players often look at the table and immediately pick the betting option with the highest payouts. After all, they only have to hit those bets a few times every session to come out ahead. Unfortunately, this Craps strategy is seriously flawed. Craps odds are fixed per every new roll (i.e. they do not change according to the previous two or ten rolls). Players remain just as likely to win or lose a particular bet on their first roll as they do on their tenth.
There’s no denying that betting on the roll of two dice is a gamble, but choosing the high payout bet is an even riskier Craps system. It is, in effect, like throwing your money away. While we know that the high payouts are appealing, a good rule of thumb to remember is that the higher the payout, the less likely you are to win it.
When it comes to Craps odds, the smartest bets are those that offer the lowest payouts. Will playing these bets make you rich? Probably not, but they won’t leave you broke either. That’s why establishing a winning Craps strategy and adhering to a simple Craps system is all about patience and restraint.
Max the Free Odds Bet
The even money bets—Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come—are the safest bets you can choose. They offer approximately a 50% chance of winning and carry a very low house edge, hence their meager payout. That being said, there are better paying bets that have no house edge at all: odds bets. Of course to play the odds, you must also play a Pass/Don’t Pass bet.
Once you’ve made your Pass or Don’t Pass bet, you may place an additional odds bet of anywhere from 1 up to 100 times your original bet behind the Pass or Don’t Pass lines. If your Pass or Don’t Pass bet loses, then your odds bet does too. On the other hand, if your Pass/Don’t Pass bet wins, so too does your odds bet. It also pays real odds with no house edge, giving you an actual profit. These bets are your best hope of beating Craps.
More than a few shooters claim they can control their rolls, enabling them to hit a 7 when they need it and avoid a 7 when they don’t. The Craps strategy, they say, requires holding the dice in their hands with the desired numbers face up and then tossing them so they collide mid-air but do not change position.
As one might imagine, mastering this throw requires endless practice and is, in all likelihood, impossible. This Craps strategy also means that, where you are the “master shooter”, you can only bet when the dice are in your hands. A pit boss will probably figure you out eventually and put an end to your betting.
Know Your Limits
Let’s keep this one simple, shall we? Quit while you’re ahead and don’t drive yourself into the poorhouse. Set betting limits in advance of placing your first wager and stick to them.
Other sites may advise a Craps strategy that involves placing multiple bets in order that you increase your odds of winning every round. While it may sound like good advice, the truth is that you’ll likely lose significantly more than you win. This is because it’s typically your even money bets that hit.
Remember…restraint is key. The best Craps strategy is to pick one or two safe bets that appeal to you (preferably the Pass/Don’t Pass and odds combination mentioned above), and stick to them. If your shooter is hot, you just might get lucky and make some money; if he’s not, playing smart will stretch your bankroll when the dice are cold.
Free Online Craps Game
Not sure you’re ready to put your money on the pass line? Casinobonus.org has the answer. We’ve designed a free Craps game in flash format that allows players to test their skills without placing real money Craps bets. When you’re ready for pay-to-play mode, read our casino reviews and promo comparison charts, which will help you find special bonuses that help you build your bankroll and your earning potential. Your free Craps game is just a click away!
A big part of understanding the rules of Craps is understanding game odds. For many players, these odds are a complex concept. Casino Bonus makes learning the odds easy with our expert breakdown of all Craps bets. You’ll learn how and why to love playing the odds, and you’ll better understand the logic that has made some of the simplest bets the most popular ones. You’ll even learn which odds to avoid and why. Most importantly, you’ll see the results in your winnings.
Seasoned shooters know that understanding Craps odds is a key component in beating Craps. But knowing how to win at Craps is only the first step towards sitting atop a pile of cash. Implementing that knowledge is where the real money is.
Below are Craps odds charts and diagrams that outline Craps odds for various bet types. Learn them, live them and make sure to recall them when you’re caught up in the heat of the game and ready to place your life savings on the table.
Pass/Don’t Pass Bets
The elongated, curling portion on the edge of the table nearest to where the players stand is called the Pass Line. Before we get into actual Craps probabilities, let’s quickly define the most common types of Craps betting options.
“Pass Line” Bets
The most elementary wager in Craps is the Pass Line bet. Once you put down a Pass Line bet, your fate is with the dice.
You are now hoping that either a 7 or an 11 will come up on the first roll (also known as the “come out” roll). Whenever this occurs, you double your profit immediately.
If the first number to come up is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, it is named the “point.” Once a point is established, you hope that that total is rolled before a 7 is (when the shooter “sevens out”). If the shooter hits the point total before he rolls a 7, you double your winnings.
If the shooter hits a 2, 3 or 12 (called Craps) during the come out roll, you lose your bet. If, after a point is laid down, the shooter rolls a 7 before he hits the point number again, you also lose.
“Don’t Pass” Bets
When you place a Pass Line bet, you’re betting with dice. When you place a Don’t Pass bet, you’re betting against the dice. This is the reason that Pass Line bets are also known as “betting right,” while Don’t Pass bets are referred to as “betting wrong.”
Don’t Pass bets work opposite to Pass Line bets. Instead of going for a 7 or an 11 on the come out roll, you’re waiting for a 2, 3, or 12. The rolling of a 2, 3, or 12 will double your profit on a come out roll.
Once a point is set, instead of wanting the point number to be rolled again before the 7 comes up, you want to see that the point won’t come up again before the 7 does — if the 7 hits first, you win your bet.
There are lots of other bets you can place on the Craps table besides the basic Pass Line play, each with its own rules and payoffs.
Craps Probabilities & Payouts on Odds Bets
After the shooter establishes a point, the bettor can place chips for an “odds bet” behind those for his “Pass/Don’t Pass” bet. The below Craps odds chart explains how these bets pay out for certain points:
Pass/Come Odds Bets
|4 or 10
|2 to 1
|5 or 9
|3 to 2
|6 or 8
|6 to 5
Don’t Pass/Don’t Come Odds
|4 or 10
|1 to 2
|5 or 9
|2 to 3
|6 or 8
|5 to 6
With payouts like this and no house advantage, it’s easy to see why the odds bet is the favorite among players. Not only can you place odds bets that match your initial bet, many land and online casinos allow you to bet “multiples” on your odds bets. The below Craps chart explains how a player can take advantage of multiples:
|4 or 10
|3x initial bet
|5 or 9
|4x initial bet
|6 or 8
|5x initial bet
Craps Probabilities per Roll
The Craps chart below measures the odds of all possible dice totals appearing on a single roll. Notice that as you move towards the middle numbers, the Craps odds improve tremendously. This is because there are more possible means of beating Craps (i.e. two dice with six numbers on each).
|1 in 36
|2 in 36
|3 in 36
|4 in 36
|5 in 36
|6 in 36
|5 in 36
|4 in 36
|3 in 36
|2 in 36
|1 in 36
While all these charts may seem confusing at first, the information contained in them is important to keep in mind. Good luck and we’ll see you at the tables.
Some Craps advice falls outside the realm of strategy, but still makes good sense. Our Craps tips are sure to be valuable to both committed and casual players. In this section, we cover everything from managing your money to avoiding popular online gambling pitfalls like systems, books and “secrets.” We also explore odds in layman’s terms and give new players a helpful rundown on in-game etiquette. If you want to earn the respect and admiration of your fellow players while protecting both your reputation and your bankroll, then you’ll appreciate our practical tips page.
In addition to the more involved Craps strategies you can use to improve your game, there are a few simple Craps tips that will greatly improve your win/loss ratio as well. We’ve compiled a list of our five favorite Craps tips, all of which are suitable for players at every level and in any situation.
No matter how, where, when or why you enjoy playing Craps games, the below tips are certain to make a difference in your bottom line.
Tip #1-Know the Craps Payouts
Many new players are so eager to get into the game that they don’t even bother to learn its rules before betting. Apart from looking ridiculous while playing Craps, these novice bettors are likely losing a good chunk of change, too.
If you’re not content resting your fiscal future in fate’s fickle hand, learn Craps payouts odds. There’s a reason why Craps payouts are so high for some Craps bets; they’re almost impossible to win. While choosing safer Craps bets won’t mean winning more money, it will mean keeping more of it.
Tip #2-Stick to Your Strategy
Those planning to play long-term will need to weather the game’s odds by playing with, versus against, them. Read our page on Craps strategies to better understand which tactics to employ, and check out our odds page to see which Craps bets have the best chance of winning.
Tip #3-Build Your Bankroll with Casino Bonuses
Of all our tips on Craps, this is one that has the least to do with actual play. In fact, it takes little thought at all to build your bankroll…when you’re not at the table that is. There are some very easy ways to build your bankroll outside of in-game play.
The best way is via casino bonuses and promotions. If you’re looking for free money, you won’t have a hard time finding it at online casinos. All offer bonuses, though some are more generous than others. Play at the right sites and you can double your money the first day you play with sign-on bonuses. You can then optimize your deposits with reload bonuses and comp points accumulated over time.
Tip #4-Learn from Others
This is one of the few tips you can’t take directly from this page to a table. Sometimes the best tips on Craps are better experienced than read about.
Whether you play online or on land, the next time you’re at a full table take a look around. Chances are the regular players with the big stacks have a good grasp on the game and how to manipulate their odds. Watch these players, noting how they bet and how often their bets win. If they frequently come out ahead, they must be doing something right, and it probably has little to do with luck.
Tip #5-Play Free Games
This is perhaps the easiest of the tips to use. As you might have guessed, it doesn’t take any money to play free games, and while you won’t win money rolling the dice without money on the table, you won’t lose any either.
If you haven’t yet memorized and mastered Craps tips, free games are the best way to practice employing them. If you’re an old hat but want to break in a new strategy, try it on a free game first. The free games are nearly identical to cash games, minus the risk.
Ever wondered where the game of Craps got its name? Do you want to know how such a simple game became a worldwide phenomenon? A lot of sites promote false information about this time honored game. If you want the real scoop on Craps history, get it in the Casino Bonus game history guide.
Craps Began as “Hazard”
Modern Craps gambling starts in New Orleans, but Craps’ most direct predecessor – Hazard – dates back to the Middle Ages. It has been proved that dice games were among, if not the first games ever played. Recently, archaeologists discovered numbered bones dating back to 6000 BC. In other words, following Craps history means following a long and winding road; it’s no wonder game aficionados disagree on its path.
There are a few Craps secrets that can be irrefutably verified. As mentioned before, the game of Hazard is a direct precursor to the game that we know today, and its roots are firmly tied to the Middle Ages. Hazard was derived from a dice game called “Azzahr”, which was brought to Europe with the returning Crusaders and was anglicized in the 16th Century by European gamblers.
Like so many other games, Hazard traveled across the Atlantic with Europeans colonizing the new world and took hold in French Canada. It later moved south with the first French settlers of New Orleans. In America, this intriguing game changed form, both in terms of its rules and its name.
But of all the unsolved Craps secrets, the game’s name is one of the biggest points of contention.
What’s in a name?
There are two logical theories as to how the name “Craps” came about. The first theory asserts that it is simple a Creole-accented pronunciation of “crabs” which is another name for the game’s losing combination of two ones.
The second theory suggests that Craps is an abbreviated form of the French word “crapauds,” meaning “toads.” New Orleans dice players were often called crapauds because of the way they crouched while playing.
Whichever naming theory you support, there’s no arguing over how quickly Craps gambling caught on.
It first became popular among the poor because the only things needed to play were two dice. Thus, street games became a common sight in the south.
But it didn’t take long for other gamblers to embrace the game. While cards were the preferred distraction on the old riverboats, Craps games also quickly gained favor among Mississippi travelers. From there, it wasn’t long until land-based gambling halls and casinos adopted the game.
By the 20th Century, the dice game with the funny name was a staple at gambling establishments throughout the world. The casino version of the game introduced an elaborate table layout and betting structure and as many as four casino employees, among them a croupier and a stickman.
Craps history doesn’t end there, though. At the end of the 20th Century, the popular pastime took on a new form: internet Craps. This “play anywhere” model made the game accessible to everyone. It also stripped away the elaborate casino etiquette, making it easier for amateur and low stakes players to play Craps. These days dice fans can play real-time online games via their TVs or mobile phones.
Despite the widespread availability of the game, little has changed in the way of rules. Apart from the animations and automated playing features, internet Craps is very similar to the first casino Craps games played almost two hundred years ago.
It’s hard to believe that a game that involves little more than two dice has so thoroughly conquered the gambling world. One has to wonder how Craps history will change in the next century.
Within minutes of joining a Craps table, many beginners are overwhelmed by the game’s unique vocabulary. If you want to play with the proper lingo and discuss the game like a true expert, you’ve got to learn the language. Our comprehensive glossary includes every common term—plus a few uncommon ones—that you can expect to hear at a Craps table.
Why do I need a Craps Glossary?
Why is learning Craps terms so essential? It’s simple, really. As with many other casino games, Craps slang has its own unique combination of game-specific lingo and turns of phrase. Not knowing Craps terms can leave you out of the loop and lead you to make risky betting and in-game decisions you might not otherwise make. Armed with more knowledge, players make better decisions with regard to selecting their bet type, choosing a wager amount, identifying patterns, knowing what hit and knowing when to quit.
This is why Casino Bonus has put together the below Craps glossary. Our Craps glossary covers everything from table positions to special bet types. Check out the Craps definitions below to get a better handle on the game and improve your win to loss ratio.
Craps Definitions & Terminology
Ace deuce: A single roll bet on 3 with a payout of 15:1
Any craps: Also called a three-way, this is a single roll bet on 2, 3 or 12 with a payout of 7:1
Any seven: A bet on any single roll of seven; it pays 4:1
Bonus: A cash incentive available to players; you may earn bonuses by joining a casino, depositing to a casino, or playing at a casino long-term
Boxcars: A single roll bet on 12; pays 30:1
Boxman: Casino employee that supervises the Craps table; may not be present in online games
Bbuy: To bet that either a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 will be rolled before a 7; payouts varies by number
Cold dice: The name given to the dice when a shooter or series of shooters is not hitting the numbers, making it hard for other participants to win Craps
Come bet: Similar to a pass line bet but made after the come out roll
Come out roll: The first roll of every round
Craps: The name of the game, also a losing combination (2, 3 or 12) for pass and come bets
Don’t Come bet: Similar to the don’t pass line bet but made after the come out roll
Don’t Pass line bet: A bet made on 2, 3 and 12 in the come out roll or that a 7 will be rolled before the point after the come out roll
Easy way: A bet on a roll of either 4, 6, 8 or 10 (not made by doubles) rolled before a 7
Even money: Any bet that pays 1:1; players that win Craps with these bets only break even
Hard way: A bet on a roll of either 4, 6, 8 or 10 (comprised of two identical dice) rolled before a 7
House edge: The casino’s advantage over the player in any particular bet or in the entire game; most bets carry a steep house edge, making it hard to win Craps
Lay: The opposite of place and buy bets; a multi-roll wager that a 7 will be rolled before either a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10
Natural: A come out roll of 7 or 11
Odds: Statistical likelihood of getting any specific combination
Pass line bet: Bet made on 7 and 11 in the come out roll or that the point will be rolled before 7 after the come out roll; the most popular bet among players learning Craps
Payout: The money you receive for a winning bet
Place: To bet that either a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 will be rolled before a 7
Playing the field: A single roll bet on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 being rolled next; Craps payouts vary depending on which number hits
Playing the odds: The only bet without a house edge; players may place a “pass odds” or “don’t pass odds” wager on top of their pass/don’t pass bets
Point: The number other than 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 rolled during the come out roll
Shooter: The player rolling the dice
Snake eyes: A pair of ones
Stickman: Casino employee that takes some bets, announces the outcome of each roll, and distributes the dice
Working bet: Any active bet
Yo: A single roll bet on 11; pays 15:1
We hope the above Craps Glossary has proved helpful. Live it, love it, print it, pass it on. The knowledge contained in our Craps Glossary is meant to be shared. The more you know and the more your fellow players know the faster and the more exciting the game. Good luck at the tables.