What You Should Know about Playing Craps for First-Timers

Craps table and a dealer image

📖 Published on: May 9th, 2024

✍️ Updated: May 10th, 2024

⏳ 11 mins read


When it comes to making the most out of your iGaming experience, exploring other games aside from roulette and blackjack might be the answer to diversifying your gameplay. Have you ever come across a certain casino table in a Las Vegas casino where the dealer holds a stick to set bets?


Well, that dice game is called Craps. It’s been around for hundreds of years and hails from China. In this blog, we’ll show you the basics you should cover as a beginner, what the rules are, and how the dynamics of the game can make or break your odds of winning.


How Does Craps Work?


The dynamic of Craps begins with a player known as the shooter who is designated to roll the dice first. The first roll is commonly known as the ‘Come-out’ roll. If you’re playing online, it’s the button with ‘roll’ on it.


Three results are possible based on the numbers that appear after the shooter (or the computer) throws the dice: Natural, Craps/Crapping Out, or Point. Here are some common outcomes when betting Craps:


  • Natural: A "Natural" in the context of basic craps rules is when the roll yields a 7 or an 11. The shooter benefits from this since it allows them to throw the dice once more.
  • Crapping Out: The shooter forfeits their roll if they roll a 2, 3, or 12. This is known as "Crapping Out" or "Craps." They still get to roll again, though.
  • Rolling the Point: The "Point" is what happens when the shooter throws a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. In a physical casino, the dealer would mark this amount on the table; however, in an online game, the established Point is highlighted by a small "On" button that displays on the table number.


The shooter must then throw the dice again, trying to roll the exact same number, if they roll the Point. The numbers on the dice don't have to match precisely, though. However, if the player rolls the dice and gets a 7, they lose and "Seven-out," ending the betting round.


The likelihood of this occurring is significantly higher because there are more ways to roll a 7 than any other number.


Understanding the Craps Table


Learning how to play craps like a pro makes a difference when you study the table and know it like the back of your hand. Each element and marker on the table represents something crucial to your gameplay’s success. Beginners will have a better time grasping the basic moves in real casinos than in online casinos, however, the game flow is quite straightforward. Here are the basics you should keep in mind.


Step 1: Placing a Bet

Like any table game in a casino, every game starts with a wager where players prepare their initial bets. In Craps, this is called a ‘Pass Line’ bet. So, what exactly qualifies as a Pass Line bet? Well, it’s simply if you think the dice will land on a 7 or an 11.


A ‘Don’t Pass’ bet is when you think the dice will land on 2, 3, or 12. If the dice land on any of these numbers, the shooter either wins or loses right off the bat, which makes the game incredibly fast-paced and exciting. Meanwhile, any other number rolled sets a 'point', and the game shifts into its next phase where the real strategy begins.


Step 2: Rolling the Dice

So, your bets have been placed and now you’re ready to throw the dice. This is the time where the shooter will roll the initial wager, otherwise known as the ‘Come Out’ bet. The atmosphere around the table often heats up as everyone anticipates the outcome of the Come Out roll. It's a moment that determines the next steps for all the players involved.


Step 3: Review Your Initial Bets

Let’s say you bet on a ‘Pass Line’ bet but the Come Out roll fell on a 7 or an 11. Of course, you win the initial wager. The same goes when you put your money on a “Don’t Pass” bet and the shooter throws a 2, 3, or 12; winner, winner, chicken dinner!


However, if the roll hits any other number, that number becomes the 'point,' and the game gets more interesting as you wait to see if that point will be rolled again before a 7. This stage can stretch the suspense and excitement, turning up the heat as players cheer for or against the shooter.

Step 4: Set Up the Point Right

The "Point" is established when the shooter throws the Come Out roll and the dice land on any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10). After then, the shooter will keep rolling the dice until they either hit the Point number once more or roll a seven, at which point they will either crap out or seven out.


Betting becomes more strategic in this phase, as additional wagering options open up, allowing players to place bets on specific outcomes or numbers. This not only adds layers to the gameplay but also gives participants more ways to engage and potentially win as the dice keep rolling.


Step 5: Add Some More Bets

Aside from the ‘Come Out’ bet, there are other types of wagers you might want to consider experimenting with while learning the basics of Craps. For instance, you could try the 'Place' bets, where you bet on specific numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) landing before a 7 is rolled.


Craps dealer image

There’s also the 'Field' bet, which is a one-roll wager on one of several numbers appearing on the next roll. Lastly, 'Proposition bets' can add a thrilling twist, allowing you to bet on exact numbers or combinations that might come up on the next roll, though these bets typically carry higher risks and rewards.


Step 6: Shoot Consistently

The shooter will roll the dice after you have put in your wagers, and you can then examine the result. You wager they shoot, and this cycle of events continues until the shooter lands the Point or craps out by rolling a seven. This rhythm creates a dynamic flow to the game that keeps everyone on their toes and fully engaged. As the dice roll, cheers and groans can be heard around the table, reflecting the high stakes and fast pace that make Craps a favorite for many casino-goers.

Step 7: Finish Up the Betting Round

Wrapping up a round in craps can be tricky yet engaging enough to keep you until the next round. Any wagers on the Pass Line will be successful if the shooter throws the Point before they roll a 7. All wagers on the Pass Line, however, will be lost if the shooter throws a 7 before they roll the Point. However, the winner is the person who placed a Don't Pass wager, which bets against the shooter.


What are the Different Bets You Can Make in Craps?


As we mentioned, step five, encouraging more bets during the first round of Craps, can either set you up for success or lead you in the wrong direction. There are several other wagers you can make when playing Craps, and we personally think it’s one of the reasons why people are keen on exploring this dice game more.


  • Pass Line: Again, this is the wager made on the pass line where the shooter’s roll is set to win. The easiest bets to place are on the pass line, where you are wagering on either the shooter's successful completion of a predetermined point or the dice's roll of a 7 or 11. Your wager is lost if a craps number is rolled.
  • Come: If a point number is established on the come-out roll, a come bet can be placed. This is a bet on whether any of the point numbers will be rolled. However, if a seven is rolled once a point has been established, the come bet will lose.

Craps table image


  • Place: Before a seven is rolled, these wagers are on the rolls of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. To start betting, all you need to do is select one or more place numbers. You will then be rewarded each time a number is rolled. Not even a pass-line wager is required.
  • Don’t: These wagers are the reverse of those placed on the pass-and-come lines. Recall that these are, in essence, wagers against the gunman. Making Don't Bets is the foundation of many players' whole craps strategy, despite the opinion of some that it is impolite. However, they are not binding wagers and can be withdrawn whenever desired.
  • Proposition: Proposition Bets are placed in the middle of the table, between the stickman and the boxman. These wagers can be made for any player's roll of the dice and are based on a particular roll. You can place "Hard Ways," or wagers, here on the rolling of the numbers 4, 6, 8, and 10.
  • Field: The Field sections display a set of numbers, including 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12. Be careful betting on the field. It might seem like you have a good shot since so many numbers come up but, statistically, numbers such as 5, 6, 7, and 8 are actually more likely to come up.
  • Big Six and Big Eight Bets: This section about corners is rather self-explanatory. Here is your chance to place a wager on the 6 or 8 to appear before the 7 is rolled. That is the only step involved! Compared to other place numbers, these have a higher likelihood of landing.


Master Craps like a Pro


Now that you’ve got the basics down, Craps can be an exhilarating addition to your gaming adventures. Dive into the dice action with confidence, explore different betting strategies, and remember, whether you're cheering with the crowd or groaning at a misroll, it’s all part of the thrill. Embrace the chaos and maybe, just maybe, you’ll roll your way to victory.


Learn more about the craps terms to kickstart your betting experience from our blogs at GambleSpot today.

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