Roll the Dice and Understand Craps with this Guide

Roll the dice with Joe's guide to how to play craps online

I bet you’re here to figure out how to play Craps. Good onya. It’s a thoroughly great game. But is it new? Not so much. As it turns out, humans have loved the idea of getting together and shootin’ the shizzle while tossing ‘round dice for centuries.

In fact, the history of Craps is pretty cool. So before I give you a “Craps for Dummies” tour of the game, let me explain where it comes from. Because Joe does give a crap. Now, take your mind out of the toilet. I need your attention, my friend.

The History of Craps

In place of a decent education system, let’s take a stroll to years gone by. Craps doesn’t require any fancy equipment. That’s probably why Roman Soldiers used to play a Craps-esque game with pigs’ knuckle bones, their shields serving as the table. Or so “they” say.

Fast forward to a sidewalk in 17th century France, and you’ll see the French playing “crapaud”, which means “toad”. Why a toad? Because that’s what they looked like while hunched over a sidewalk playing the game. Do what you gotta do, ya know?

Then after World War II the American soldiers brought the game to the States, mainly Vegas. In 1960 the internet became a thing, and casinos got clever, putting Craps online. Then by 2004, it was officially the standard for an online casino. Craps for all! What a journey.

Anyway. If you want to know how to play Craps, there’s no need to go back in time. We’ve got all the Craps you need, right here. A virtual sewerage of the stuff. Consider this your “Craps for Dummies,” tutorial, if you will. What ever happened to those books, anyway?

Alright, here we go with the ultimate online Craps guide. Pull up a loo. I mean, a pew. (Phew!)

How to Bet the Pass Line

The first step for any online Craps guide is learning how to bet on the Pass line. It’s the first bet you can make, and the most important in the game. The payout is even money at 1:1, so you can see why it’s important.

This “line” I speak of is where you place your chips. What you’re wagering on is whether or not the Shooter (the person throwing the dice) will roll a 7 or 11. The result of their roll is called the Come out roll. If it’s a 7 or 11, you win your bet. If the come out roll is a 2, 3, or 12 (the Craps numbers), you lose your bet.

So what happens if neither of those numbers are rolled? Online Craps guide, to the rescue! This calls for a superhero suit.

If the come out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, that’s called a Point. Once this point is established, the Shooter rolls again. Now you win your bet if the Shooter’s come out roll shows one of those numbers before rolling a 7.

And the game goes on.

How to Bet the Don’t Pass Line

Ok so another key point in how to play Craps is to understand the “Don’t” bets. The first one being “Don’t Pass”. It works like this:

If the Pass line bet is the fundamental bet in Craps, the Don’t pass bet is the evil twin. Remember that in a Pass line bet, you’re betting for the Shooter to win. With a Don’t Pass bet, you’re betting on the Shooter to lose. In fact, it’s often referred to as the “wrong bet” or the “dark side”. Dun dun dun.

With a Don’t Pass bet, you’re hoping for a 2 or a 3. If the Shooter rolls either of those, you win your bet. If, on the other hand, the Shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you lose your bet.

Don’t pass bets also payout 1:1. Ace!

Come and Don’t Come Bets

Next up for how to play Craps are Come and Don’t Come bets. They’re not too complicated. But since this is Craps for Dummies, I’ll spell it out nice and clear. And try to keep your mind out of the gutter.

Come Bet

Remember how the Pass bet is done over the line at the beginning of the game? A Come bet is a bit different. You can only make a Come bet after the Pass bet is finished and a Point is established. Then you place your chips in a box. The rest follows the same principles as a Pass bet, where you’re betting that the Shooter will win.

The chain of events from the start of the game up until the Come bet look like this:

  • Place a Pass/Don’t pass line bet on the line itself
  • A point is established from the Come out roll
  • Place a Come/Don’t come wager in the box
  • The very next roll is the Come out roll for your Come bet that will tell you if you’ve won. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you win. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, you lose your bet.

Don’t Come Bet

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After you place your wager in the box, you’re betting that a 2 or 3 will be rolled on the first Come out roll. If that happens, you win. If a 7 or 11 is rolled instead, you lose. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled, then a second round takes place. Your chips are moved to another box which is your new Don’t come point. You’ll win this second round if the Shooter rolls a 7 before that point.

Odds Bets

Odds bets are a type of side bet in Craps. They might be more advanced than your typical Craps for Dummies, but we’re not typical around here, are we? In fact, we’re a little odd.

There are two versions: buying the odds and laying the odds. You can make these bets only after a Point has been established. The reason they’re called “odds” bets is because the odds are exactly fair. There’s no house edge. Spiffy.

Buying the odds

After the point is established, you can bet up to 3x your Pass line bet on the odds. When you Buy the odds, you win if a Point is rolled before a 7. The payouts for this type of bet are higher because the chances of winning are less than 50%.

They payouts are like this:

Point number                         Payout
4, 10                                              2:1
5, 9                                                3:2
6, 8                                                7:6

Due to the zero house edge, you’re limited to how much you can bet on the odds. Most casinos offer 3-4-5X Odds. This represents the amount of odds you can bet on for each point number. It looks like this:

Point Number                         Amount you can bet on the odds
4, 10                                              3x
5, 9                                                4x
6, 8                                                5x

Laying the odds

With this bet, you want a 7 to come out before the Point. It’s the exact opposite of buying the odds.

These are the payouts:

Point number                          Odds
4, 10                                               1:2
5, 9                                                 2:3
6, 8                                                 5:6

Place Bets

The place numbers in Craps are 4,5,6,8,9, and 10. You can bet on any of these numbers to be rolled before a 7. It’s a bet that continues to pay throughout the game. As long as your number keeps rolling out before a 7, you keep winning. This goes on until the Shooter sevens out (rolls a 7 before establishing a point), at which point you lose all your Place bets.

Joes’ Craps for Dummies pro tip: Place 6 and Place 8 bets are the bees knees because their house edge is the lowest at 1.52%, with the payout being 7:6.

Other Bets in Craps at Casinos

Don’t run away to deposit and play now just yet. The fun ain’t over, baby. Just a few more bets to cover so you really know how to play Craps. Craps for Dummies, remember?

Buy Bets

Buy bets are like Place bets. You bet on the same numbers (4, 5, 6, 8 ,9, or 10) to be rolled before a 7. The difference, however, is that when you win you have to pay a 4% commission to the House. That’s because with Buy bets, you have true odds. What can I say? Dem da rules.

Lay Bets

In case you haven’t noticed by now, Craps is largely a game of opposites. Lay bets are the opposite of Buy bets, and they also require a 4% commission. So now you are betting that a 7 will be rolled before a 4, 5, 6, 8 ,9, or 10.

Hard Ways

For Hard Ways bets, you’re betting that a pair will be rolled before a 7. So if you make a Hard 4, you’re betting that a pair of 2s will be rolled before a 7.

A Hard 6 means a pair of 3s comes out before a 7. There are also Hard 6, 8, and 10. The payout for Hard 4 and 10 is 7:1. For a Hard 6 or 8 it’s 9:1.

Is that too Hard?

That’s how to play Craps in a nutshell. The game is super fun, but super involved with betting options. When in doubt, always refer back to this-here online Craps guide to refresh your memory. Otherwise, jump on the table and shoot to win, at Joe Fortune!