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Learning Craps - Rules and Advice

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How to play Craps:

About Craps - Advice and More...

If you've read our introduction to the game of craps, you're already familiar with how a session progresses, and how to place a pass line bet. This is an excellent start. All you need to learn now are the other bets and when you can place them. When and where you can place bets comprises not only a guide, but also a good summary of craps rules.

Let's have a look at the specific parts of the table where you place your bets. In a land-based casino the craps table is twice as long as it needs to be, with each end being a copy of the other in order to accommodate more people around the table. Online craps of course is slightly different, as you are only presented with one end of the board, simply because it's all you need.

The pass line is a long wide strip of felt that runs along the outer edge of the craps table. From here players can place chips for a pass line bet. Our pass line bet page also covers issues of playing with odds.

Just above the pass line is a thinner band of felt (broken at the corner by the big 6 / big 8 area). This is where you place your don't pass bets (essentially the opposite of a pass line bet) on the table.

The big 6 and big 8 bets reside in a small area above the corner of the pass line and in between the two sides of the don't pass bar. This bet, as you will read, is similar to a place bet with regards to craps rules, but with overall poorer results for the player.

Playing the field is a common and popular bet. To place this bet find the box with the word 'field' on it, along with a large set of numbers. Placing a field bet means you're betting that the next roll will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. Field bets, like many craps rules, apply to the 'next roll' of a bet only, while others will remain in effect for the duration of a session.

The come bet area takes up a sizable portion of the center of the craps table. The come bet is essentially the same as the pass line bet, but can be made after a come-out roll has already established a point.

The opposite of the come bet is the don't come bet, in the same way that the opposite of the pass line bet is the don't pass bet.

Another favorite of patrons, the place bet, is located along the inside edge of the table. Placing the 6 and 8 offers one of the best bets on the table.

Buy and Lay bets are placed in a similar manner to the place bet, but offer different odds. Learn more about the buy bet and the lay bet.

The hardway bets sit in the very middle of the craps table, making you think they have a set of complicated rules attached to them. They're not complicated, but they should be approached with caution and bet on sparingly.

In the center of the craps table are a number of alternate proposition bets including things like 'any seven', 'yo eleven', 'horn bet', and 'any craps'. All of these bets, while they are explained fully on their own page, are not generally considered particularly sound bets from a house edge perspective, so read about them to make up your own mind.

The Pass Line Bet:

Bet placed before Come Out Roll

Win: when the Come Out Roll is 7 or 11
Lose: when the Come Out Roll is 2, 3 or 12
Point: when the Come Out Roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. To win, you must roll the Point again before rolling 7; if 7 appears before rolling the Point, you lose.

A Pass Line Bet is placed in the "PASS LINE" bar. This bet is made before the Come Out Roll. This bet wins when the Come Out Roll is 7 or 11, and loses if 2, 3 or 12 is rolled. If 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled, that number becomes "the Point." To win a Pass Line Bet, you must roll the Point again before rolling 7. If you roll 7 before rolling the Point again, the Pass Line Bet loses. This bet pays even money (1 to 1). Once the Point has been established, unresolved Pass Line Bets may not be removed or reduced and can only be resolved by a roll of the Point or 7.

The Don't Pass Bet:

Bet placed before Come Out Roll

Win: when the Come Out Roll is 2 or 3
Lose: when the Come Out Roll is 7 or 11
Push/Tie: when the Come Out Roll is 12
Point: when the Come Out Roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. To win, you must roll a 7 before rolling the Point again; if the Point appears before rolling the 7, you lose.

A Don't Pass Bet is essentially the opposite of a Pass Line Bet, and is placed on the craps table in the "Don't Pass" bar before the Come Out Roll. When the Come Out Roll is 3 or 2, the Don't Pass Bet wins. When the Come Out Roll is 7 or 11, the Don't Pass Bet loses. When the Come Out Roll is 12, the bet is returned to the player in a push. When the Come Out Roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, that number becomes the Point. Once the Point has been established, Don't Pass Bets win when you roll 7 before rolling the Point again. If you roll the Point before rolling 7, the Don't Pass Bets lose. A winning Don't Pass Bet pays even money (1 to 1).

The Hardway Bet:

The Hardway bets are single roll wagers located in the 'center' area of the craps table. To roll a 'hard eight' means to roll an eight with double 4's; to roll a 'hard 6' means to roll a six with double 3's. Consequently the only hardway bets that exist are hard 4, 6, 8, and 10. When you make a hardway six bet for example, you win if hard six (two threes) comes up before a soft six (any other six), or a seven. Unresolved Hardway Bets may be removed; they are inactive during Come Out Rolls.

A hard 4 pays 7 to 1, a hard 6 pays 9 to 1, a hard 8 pays 9 to 1, and a hard 10 pays 7 to 1.

The Big 6 and Bit 8 Bets:

A Big 6 Bet is a bet that 6 will be rolled before 7; a Big 8 Bet is a bet that 8 will be rolled before 7. The bet is placed in either the "Big 6" or "Big 8" box located in the left corner of the craps table. This bet wins even money. Unresolved bets may be removed.

The Feild Bet:

This bet is the very same as placing either the 6 or 8, but the payoff ratio is slightly offset. It is a better wager to choose to place the 6 or 8 over the Big 6 / Big 8 bet.

The field bet area is located on the craps table just beyond the don't pass bar. A field bet can be played on any roll, and covers a number of dice totals. The field bet is well liked due primarily to its simplicity. It is a one-roll bet which states simply: if the shooter throws a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 (any of the numbers printed in the field area) then the field bet wins. If a 5, 6, 7, or 8 are thrown then the field bet loses. There is no trick to placing your chips on one of the numbers in the field, you can simply place them anywhere within the field area. There is also a double bonus associated with 2 and 12 for the field bet. If 2 or 12 are thrown you are paid 2 to 1 on your original bet.

The Come Bet:

You'll quickly notice the large area of the craps board labeled with 'COME' written in the middle of the playing area. If you know all there is to know about the Pass line bet, then you won't have any trouble getting your head around the simple 'COME' bet. The easiest way to understand the COME bet is to think of it as being exactly the same as the Pass line bet, but it can be made after the point is set. There is no such thing as a come bet on the come out roll, because it would be exactly the same as a Pass line bet.

For example, if a player were to make a come bet after the point had been set to 5, they would place the bet in the come section and wait for the next roll. If a 7 or 11 is hit the come bet wins; if a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled it's a loss. If any other number is rolled, it becomes the 'come point'. The come point is for the individual bet only, and is independent of the point for the shooter's round. If the 'come point' is rolled before a 7, it wins. Say a 9 is rolled to set the come point. At that time the come bet moves to the 9 on the table. If a 9 is rolled before a 7 the come bet wins; if a 7 is rolled before a 9 the come bet loses. Also remember that on come bets you also have the ability to place "odds" bets just like pass line bets after your 'come-point' is established.

The Don't Come Bet:

The Don't Come Bet is placed after the Come Out Roll.

Win: when the roll is 2 or 3
Lose: when the roll is 7 or 11
Push/Tie: when the roll is 12

Otherwise a Don't Come Point is set (when the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10). To win, a 7 must be rolled before the Don't Come Point; if the Don't Come Point appears, the bet is a loss.

The Don't Come Bet is the opposite of a Come Bet. The bet is placed after the Come Out Roll in the "Don't Come Bar" on the craps table. Don't Come Bets win when the next roll is 2 or 3, and lose when the roll is 7 or 11. When you roll 12, the bet is returned in a push. When the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 it becomes "the Don't Come Point" and the dealer moves the bet from the "Don't Come" bar to the right corner over the box corresponding to the Don't Come Point: "4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10." After the Don't Come Point is established, Don't Come Bets win even money when 7 is rolled and lose if the Come Point is rolled. Don't Come Bets will stay in place until the Don't Come Point or 7 is rolled.

The Place Bet:

Win: when the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 before 7

The Place Bet to Win is a bet that 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 will be rolled before 7. The bet is placed under the corresponding number in the narrow unlabeled bar located under the "4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10" box. Winning bets payout according to the following ratios: 7-to-6 on numbers 6 and 8, 7-to-5 on numbers 5 and 9, and 9-to-5 on numbers 4 and 10.

Place Bets to Win are inactive during Come Out Rolls. The markers are removed after the Come Out Roll, since all Place Bets will be active. Unresolved Place Bets may be removed.

Place Bet to Lose
Win: when the roll is 7 before 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10

The Place Bet to Lose is a bet that 7 will be rolled before 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. The bet is placed over the corresponding number in the narrow unlabeled bar located over the "4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10" box. Winning bets payout according to the following ratios: 4-to-5 on numbers 6 and 8, 5-to-8 on numbers 5 and 9, and 5-to-11 on numbers 4 and 10.

The Best Buy Bet:

The Buy Bet is a bet that 4, 6, 8, 9, or 10 will be rolled before 7. The bet is placed in the box corresponding to the number on the craps table: "4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10." The bet is covered with a "BUY" marker to distinguish it from a Come Bet. A vigorish (vig.) of 5% is charged when placing a Buy Bet and the winnings are paid at true odds: 6-to-5 on numbers 6 and 8, 3-to-2 on numbers 5 and 9, and 2-to-1 on numbers 4 and 10. If a Buy Bet is lost or removed, the 5% vig. is returned.

Buy Bets are inactive during Come Out Rolls, an "OFF" marker will cover your Buy Bet to indicate that is inactive. The markers are removed after the Come Out Roll, since all Buy Bets will be active. Unresolved Place Bets may be removed.

The Lay Bet:

Win: when the roll is 7 before 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 (bet covered with a "LAY" marker)

The Lay Bet is a bet that 7 will be rolled before 4, 6, 8, 9, or 10. A Lay Bet is essentially the reverse of a Buy Bet. The bet is placed above the corresponding number in the narrow unlabeled bar located above the "4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10" box. The bet is covered with a "LAY" marker to distinguish it from a Don't Come Bet. A vigorish (vig.) of 5% is charged when placing the Lay Bet and the winnings are paid at true odds: 5-to-6 on numbers 6 and 8, 2-to-3 on numbers 5 and 9, and 1-to-2 on numbers 4 and 10. Lay Bets are active even during the Come Out Roll. Unresolved Lay Bets may be removed.

The Hardway Bet:

The Hardway bets are single roll wagers located in the 'center' area of the craps table. To roll a 'hard eight' means to roll an eight with double 4's; to roll a 'hard 6' means to roll a six with double 3's. Consequently the only hardway bets that exist are hard 4, 6, 8, and 10. When you make a hardway six bet for example, you win if hard six (two threes) comes up before a soft six (any other six), or a seven. Unresolved Hardway Bets may be removed; they are inactive during Come Out Rolls.

A hard 4 pays 7 to 1, a hard 6 pays 9 to 1, a hard 8 pays 9 to 1, and a hard 10 pays 7 to 1.

The Proposition Bet:

Proposition bets are found in the middle of the table, and exist only on the 'next roll'.

These bets include:
"any seven" bet
"any eleven" or "yo eleven" bet
"any craps" bet
"horn bets" bet

Any 7 Bets
Win: when the roll is 7
The Any 7 Bet is a bet that the next roll of the dice will be 7. This bet is placed on any one roll of the dice in the "ANY SEVEN" area on the craps table. If 7 is rolled, you win 4 times your bet.

Any 11 Bets
Win: when the roll is 11
The 11 Bet is a bet that the next roll of the dice will be 11. This bet is placed on any one roll of the dice in the box on the craps table containing the two illustrated dice that add to 11 or on a circled 'E'. If 11 is rolled, you win 15 times your bet.

Any Craps Bets
Win: when the roll 2, 3, or 12
The Any Craps Bet is a bet that the next roll of the dice will be 2, 3, or 12. This bet is placed on any one roll of the dice in the "ANY CRAPS" area on the craps table or on a circled 'C'. If 2, 3, or 12 is rolled, you win 7 times your bet.

Horn Bets
Win: when the roll 2, 3, 11, or 12
The Horn Bet is a bet that the next roll of the dice will be 2, 3, 11, or 12. This bet is placed on any one roll of the dice in the "HORN" box on the craps table. A Winning Horn Bet pays 15-to-1 on numbers 3 and 11, and 30-to-1 on numbers 2 and 12. Placing a Horn Bet divides your wager by four. A quarter of the bet is placed on each number. When you win, the amount won is a quarter of your total bet times the given odds.

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