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Written by: , Head of Content August 14, 2021 at 11:32PM
Last Updated: January 19, 2024 at 4:42PM ()
Read Time: 14 min.

How to Play Craps? Best Tips for Beginner Players

Investing a bit of effort in learning craps fundamentals will instantly pay dividends in the form of pure joy and excitement at the craps table. This thrilling game is great for beginners but the experience gets better as they learn how to play craps.

Online gambling can be practiced before joining an actual table, which is much more exciting because of the community spirit. However, the online version of the game is still exciting, even though it lacks that unique environment.

What Is Craps?

It’s the dice game that gathers huge crowds of gamblers. One of them rolls the dice, and they all win or lose together. The way it’s played online is a bit different, as players don’t get to physically throw dice. The software generates the result of the roll at random. To win, you need to guess which number comes up next.

The Basic Rules When Playing Craps

There are many rules, but beginners don’t need to know them all. Learning a few key ones is enough to gain confidence and join the table. The goal is to get the total of the dice values that you wager on. The game offers multiple betting opportunities some of them safer some riskier. A round can last one roll or dozens until a certain number comes up.

The first roll will result in one of three outcomes: losing, winning, or establishing a point. In the case of the latter outcome, the round continues to the second stage, and the new goal is to roll or not roll the number received after the first roll (point). Players will keep shooting until either seven or the point number comes up, and in the meantime, they are allowed to place multiple other bets.

These are all basic rules. Casinos also set rules on how much can be wagered on certain bets and you need to know them to place the right amount. But as an online gambler, you don’t have to remember that information as the game will stop you from making mistakes.

How Do You Play Craps

Usually, to join the table, you need to wait before an OFF button appears on the table. This indicates that one round is over and wagers are accepted for a new round. When playing in physical casinos, there are certain rules to follow such as where to keep your chips and how to behave at the table. But they aren’t applied to online gambling.

Open the Table. The first step is to find a casino offering craps and load a game. It can be an RNG type of game with software-generated results. Or it can be a live dealer game. At the time of writing, there’s only one live craps game, which is produced by Evolution. Unlike in physical venues, live casino craps have only one person in charge of a table. A dealer is a stick man at the same time, and the role of the shooter is performed by a unique mechanical arm.

Choose Your Stake. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll usually have chips displayed. Choose chip value and click on a certain part of the table to place a bet. Click multiple times if you want to bet more than the value of a single chip. There’s a bunch of bets allowed for the first roll, but the basic one is Pass. So, choose a chip value and click on the Pass on the table.

how to play craps

Bet on the Come-Out Roll. Come out roll is the very first roll of the round and will decide whether it will be a one-roll or multiple-roll round. Pass Line bet is an immediate winner if the dice gives 7 or 11 on this roll. If instead, it’s 2, 3, or 12 you lose. But any other total will lead to the third scenario.

The first total becomes the Point that should come up before 7 in the later rolls. The dice will be thrown an unlimited number of times until either point or 7 comes up and in the meantime, players are allowed to place Come wagers that are similar to Pass bet but are only available once the point is established.

  • Here’s an example. Suppose the first roll is 6. This number becomes the point and the round continues. Now you need 6 to win and 7 to lose. Any other number doesn’t matter. Suppose the second roll is 8, it means nothing happens and the dice must be thrown again. The third roll is 12 – nothing happens as we only care about our point and 7. If on the fourth roll you get 6, your Pass bet wins.

To spice things up after the point is established, players can place Come bet. That means another game within the current game. Just as with a Pass bet, the first roll after Come bet is placed will make you lose if 2, 3 or 11 comes up and win if 7 or 11 is rolled, or the game will proceed to the next stage where a player needs the same total to win and 7 makes them lose.

Take Note of the “Point”. After the Point is established, ON button will be placed on the corresponding number so that players don’t have to remember it. This becomes the most important number along with 7. Either one of them will end the round.

Place Your Bets. Players can add more excitement by placing new bets once the point is established. Or they simply can make Pass Line wager and enjoy extra rolls at no additional cost. Besides Pass, there are a lot of other bets that can be placed, the most common being Come and Odds. The latter is a supporting bet on the same outcome and players expect that the Point number will come up before 7. But unlike Pass Line bet, which pays 1 to 1, Odds payouts vary depending on the Point.

  • In cases where 6 or 8 are rolled, the payoff is 6:5
  • 5 or 9 – 3:2
  • 4 or 10 – 2:1

This is because the chances of rolling different numbers vary. Odds bets are the only craps bets with a 0% house edge. That’s why some experts recommend placing a minimum Pass Line bet and combining it with the max Odds bet to maximize return.

Types of Bets You Can Place

We’ve already discussed Pass, Come, and Odds bets, but there are more wager types. These three are the most common bets and those with the lowest house edge. Others are often called Sucker bets, because they aren’t lucrative for gamblers even though some of them offer nice payouts, such as 30:1.


After the point number is established, place bets are turned on and you can choose to bet any number at the top of the table, which are called Place bets. Just like Odds, Place bet payouts vary depending on the chances of hitting a win. This type of bet means that you think that the number you choose will come up before 7, and if it does, you’ll get paid.


In the middle of the table, there’s a Field bet. It can be placed at any stage of the round, before or after the point is established. As you can see on the table, it’s one big sector with seven numbers listed. When you place a Field bet, you wager on all of these numbers at the same time expecting one of them to come up in the next roll. Unlike other bets, there’s only one roll to decide if you win or lose.

  • Suppose you place a Field bet and the next roll gives a total of 10. In this case, you win because 10 is one of those seven Field numbers along with 2, 3, 4, 9, 11 and 12. If, in contrast, the next roll is 5, then you lose.


This is the basic bet. In physical casinos, players can’t be a shooter unless they make this bet. But in online gambling shooters aren’t there and you can start by placing other bets as well. If you bet on Pass, you expect to see 7 or 11 on the first roll. This will make you win instantly. If not, you at least want to roll 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. These numbers give you another chance of winning and additional betting opportunities. But when 2, 3 and 12 are rolled, you lose.

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If you keep forgetting what numbers are winners and losers, look at the top portion of the table. You’ll see there: 4, 5, six, 8, nine and 10. Whenever these numbers come up, the game gets to the second phase. The remaining 5 numbers end the round in the first phase. 7 and 11 are the natural winners if you wager on Pass Line while 2, 3 and 12 are the losers.

Don’t Pass

This is the opposite of the Pass bet. When Pass bet wins, Don’t Pass loses. Now 2, 3 and 12 are favorable outcomes while 7 and 11 are unfavorable. However, to give casinos a better house edge, the total of 12 is a push and not a winner. When the point is rolled, you want to see 7 before that point.


As explained earlier, this is similar to the Pass bet, with the only difference being that it can be placed after the point is established. Don’t Come is the opposite of Come.

What Is the Best Craps Strategy

There’s no best or worst system for learning how to play craps for beginners or beginner craps strategy or craps strategy for beginners. Players won’t be able to eliminate the house edge and turn the game in their favor. But they can choose strategies that seem entertaining or minimize the house edge, depending on what they want.

One of the recommended options to reduce the house edge is very simple and therefore good for beginners. It starts with a minimum Don’t Pass bet that gives casinos a 1.36% advantage. Once the point is established, players wager maximum on Odds, which is a 0% house edge bet. Max Odds bet is usually 6 times your Pass/Don’t Pass bet.

Craps Money Management Strategy

When learning how to play craps for beginners or trying a craps slot, managing your bankroll is an essential practice to master, as you’ll be risking your money. So, before you start considering the crap table layout and the numbers to wager on, determine your betting budget. Additionally, set a reasonable ‘win’ target, for instance, at least a 20% ‘win’ goal for your total session bankroll.

Strategy for the Pass Line in Craps

Pass/Don’t Pass bets are a basic craps strategy learned when understanding how to play craps for dummies. Once you have mastered them, you can now proceed to more aggressive strategies that keep the house edge low and maximize your payout. These include pass-line bets.

Here, players wager on the shooter landing a 7 or 11. Once the point is established, place one or two Come bets and double the odds bet on them. And according to craps rules, if the pass or come number wins, the bettor wins and can replace it with another number. Notably, you can place a single odds bet, but it’s better to double them as the casino advantage would be 0.6% as opposed to 0.8%.

Strategy for Avoiding Pass/Don’t Come in Craps

Similar to table games like blackjack and roulette, your experience level dictates the types of bets you can place. As a general rule, it’s best to avoid Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets, especially as you learn how to play craps for beginners. That’s because the odds of landing such bets are relatively lower than Pass/Come bets.

But once you learn to play craps and discover the shooter often lands on specific numbers, you can then use Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets to your advantage.

Differences Between Online and Offline Craps

Offline craps Online craps
Limited number of tables/games per room Diverse table layouts
Players must physically go play offline craps Players can enjoy these games from anywhere via an internet-enabled device
Involves a spectacular playing environment full of lights and an electrifying ambiance Players don’t actually roll the dice in an because gameplay is via a screen

Tips on How to Play Craps at a Casino

How do you play craps for beginners? It’s important to know the odds to understand which bets are more lucrative for a player. You don’t only need to pay attention to how certain totals are likely to come up, but also what is their payout. The higher the chance of a number landing the lower is the payoff. There are other useful tips.

  • Begin with Free Craps. Online craps gives the opportunity to practice before risking real funds, and this option is really useful. Not every casino offers this game, but you’ll certainly find a few gambling sites or casino-related sites with free craps games.
  • Don’t Bet Too Big. Just like with any casino game, you should always play responsibly. Craps can be addictive. So, just have fun and don’t bet too much money. Decide on how much you’ll spend in a single round and for a single session before you join the game. It’s possible to enjoy craps and spend a minimum amount of money if you only place Pass/Don’t Pass bets.
  • Bet on the Come-Roll. Come out roll is the first roll in the round. You’ll be allowed to place a variety of bets before the first roll, but the one with the lowest house edge is Don’t Pass. In the physical casinos, this bet isn’t recommended as usually gamblers choose to bet Pass. In this case, you win when others lose. But in online craps, that’s fine as no players are surrounding you.
  • Stick to a Strategy. Keep your bankroll under control and avoid sucker bets, which are anything except for Pass/Don’t Pass, Come/Don’t Come, and Odds. At least do not place them while you are still a beginner. Once you have experience and understand more about this game, you may find or come up with the strategy that actually can benefit from those higher house edge bets.
  • Ask for Help. Live dealer craps won’t usually help you with learning rules, probabilities and payouts. So, you should come to the table prepared or ask for help elsewhere. When playing the RNG version of the game, there won’t be anyone to ask questions, but the great thing is you can practice in free mode as long as you want and you can have tips in front of you.
  • As you master craps rules for dummies, try and avoid the Martingale system strategy, where you double your bet size every time you lose until you win.
  • Find an operator that offers the biggest odds bets in multiples. As you learn how to play craps at home, you’ll learn that some online casinos offer odds bet sizes based on a multiple of the original Pass/Don’t Pass bet. Some of them even have x15 in their odds bets, but the most common is x2.
  • Find some friends to play street craps with at home. Note that street craps only has Pass/Don’t Pass bets.

Important Craps Terminologies

  • Shooters: At an online crap table layout, you are the shooter in each round. That means you roll the dice during every round. If you shoot point, you’ll remain a shooter for the next round.
  • Right betting: Bets placed on the pass line are considered right bets, and the bettors are called right bettors.
  • Wrong betting: Placing bets on the Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bet types implies you’re betting against the shooter. Thus, it’s known as wrong betting.
  • Capped dice: As you learn to play craps, avoid playing with capped dice designed to land specific numbers.
  • Cold dice/cold table: That means that a craps table has no winners.
  • Hot table/hot dice: Contrary to cold dice/cold table, a hot table/hot dice is where a craps table has many winners.

Conclusion on How to Play Craps

Craps is a remarkably interesting game. Firstly, learn to play craps. You must learn the basic craps rules and understand the crap table layout from the inside out. That said, stick to the basic craps strategy with a low house edge, and you’ll have plenty of fun and potentially win massive amounts.

It’s a dice game. Players are to guess which numbers will come up next.
Players with no knowledge or experience should start with understanding basic wagers such as Pass/Don’t Pass and practice in the free test mode to gain some confidence.
Odds are the best as they are zero house edge bets. But they are only possible when Pass/Don’t Pass bets are placed, which are also good.
Avoid sucker bets if you want to win more in the long run and play responsibly. No betting system will give you a house edge over the casino.