Comprehensive Guide to Craps
Craps is one of the most social table games you'll find on a casino floor, usually surrounded by groups of loud and excited bettors. Now, US players have the chance to experience the excitement virtually! Online craps might lack the usual social atmosphere you're used to at the brick and mortar but makes up for it with great offers and payouts.
This page gives you everything you could possibly need to learn how to play craps. Though this dice game is simple, the game of craps can be confusing to play. We have everything you need from basic craps rules to expert strategies from professionals.
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, we can help you learn the ins and outs of the game while developing your craps strategy.
- Which US Casino has the Best Online Craps?
- What is Online Craps?
- Why Play Craps Online?
- How to Play Craps: The Basics
- Craps Strategy
- The Five Best Bets in Craps
- How to Win Online Craps
- Is Craps Legal in the U.S.?
- Free Online Craps
- Listen to our Podcasts
Which US Casino has the Best Online Craps?
If you want the best paybacks in craps out there, New Jersey has two great casinos!
Craps at Virgin and Tropicana Online Casinos
Virgin and Tropicana have the craps games with the best payouts! They offer
"Craps" by Gamesys. These payouts beat anything you'll encounter at a physical casino:
- 33-to-1 on 2’s and 12’s
- 16-to-1 payouts on 3’s and 11’s
- 6x max odds on all Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets
- 5x max odds on 6 & 8 Pass/Come bets
- 4x on 5 & 9 and 3x on 4 & 10
What is Online Craps?
Online craps put the thrill of the craps table in your back pocket (or on your computer)! The game is virtual and designed by a software provider to feel like a physical craps game. So from the sound of the dice to the sliding of the chips, you get the full craps experience.
Online craps games use a Random Number Generator (RNG) to be sure that the roll of the dice is random (and therefore fair). Legal online casinos are regulated by their state's authorities, which lets you bet in confidence.
Why Play Craps Online?
Online craps give you better payouts, which means:
- More money in your bankroll
- Coming out on top of the house
For us, that's already a plus. But most online casinos give you bonuses you'd never dream of getting from brick-and-mortar casinos. It goes without saying that starting out with a free $25 is going to give a boost to your bankroll.
But playing online also makes you play smarter. The simple reason is that you:
- Have more time to make your decision
- Can consult strategy charts
- Aren't trying to impress a table (no one else is watching!)
- Can see the history of rolls: this helps keep you honest on how you're doing
These factors all add up to you playing smarter online.
Of course, online casino games have further financial advantages over physical casinos. No wasting money on:
- Parking and/or tickets
- Overpriced drinks and food
Money not going to the house means money in your pocket! What's more, you still get great bonuses and rewards from playing craps online. This is how you beat the house over time.
How to Play Craps: the Basics
Craps can be quite a hectic game and seem very complicated until you’ve learned how the game works. Many things are happening simultaneously in craps while bets can be made at any time during a round. Although you can play craps knowing the basics, it is much more entertaining when you know:
- What betting possibilities are available to you
- How to place your bets
- When to place your bets
When playing craps online, bets are made on the outcome of the dice roll. According to craps rules, two six-sided dice are to be used in a game of craps. In a live casino, each player can have a chance at rolling the dice, however, when playing online craps, there is a “shooter” who rolls the dice. When the dice are passed, they go counter-clockwise.
In a round of craps, the shooter must select the dice they wish to roll and make a Pass Line Bet. This bet is made either on the ‘Pass’ or ‘Don’t Pass’ line. The other players also make bets. The shooter then proceeds to roll the dice off of the table’s wall.
Craps come-out roll
A round of craps starts with the come-out roll. This is the shooter’s first roll of the dice or the first roll after the previous round finished.
There are three possible outcomes that can happen once the dice are rolled.
- If the come-out roll is a 7 or 11, the Pass bet wins. This is referred to as a ‘Natural.’
- If the come-out roll is a 2, 3, or 12, this is known as ‘Craps,’ and the Don’t Pass line wins. In some particular online casinos, 12 would result in a tie.
- If the come-out roll is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, that respective number becomes that player’s point. A puck would be placed on that number on the table and the shooter continues to roll the dice.
The shooter rolls once again in hopes of hitting the same number. If you roll the same sum as you rolled before, you win. The shooter will continue to roll until they roll the same number again, or they roll a 7 instead. If they roll a 7 in this case, they lose.
Once you get the hang of playing craps, there are various other wagers that you can play around with. It is important to understand the odds of the bets you choose, in order to properly formulate your craps strategy.
- Pass line bets - When you bet on the pass line, you are betting that a 7 or 11 will come out of the come-out roll. If the shooter happens to roll a 7 or 11 on this, your money doubles. However, if the shooter instead rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, then the sum revealed is the point. When you bet on the Pass line, you want this number to be rolled again. If the shooter rolls this number again, your Pass line doubles, however, if the shooter rolls a 7, it ends up being a lost Pass line bet. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 - also known as ‘craps’ - you lose the Pass line bet.
- Don’t Pass line bets - Don’t Pass bets are the opposite of Pass line bets. Choosing to bet on the Don’t Pass line means you are betting against the shooter. On the come-out roll, you want the shooter to roll a 2,3, or 12 - in other words, to ‘crap out.’ If a point is established, then you want the shooter to roll a 7 before they roll their established point number again.
- Come bets - These are similar to Pass line bets however Come bets can be placed at any time after the point has been made. The Come bet wins if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 after the Come bet is made. The Come bet loses if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12 instead. Should the shooter happen to roll any other number, that number becomes your point. Just like the Pass line, if the shooter rolls your point number before they roll a 7, the Come bet wins. If the shooter rolls a 7 first, the Come bet loses. This bet pays out even money.
- Don’t Come bets - This works in the opposite way as the Come bet and similar to the Don’t Pass line bet. If the shooter rolls a 2 or a 3, you are in luck. 12 results in a tie. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, you are not in luck. Once the point is made, you can hope for a 7 before the shooter rolls the point again.
- Odds bets - This is a side bet and side bets can only be placed once you have made a Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, or Don’t Come bet. This bet is made by placing chips on the table directly behind your original bet. If you have made a Pass or Come bet, you ‘take odds.’ If you have made a Don’t Pass or Don’t Come bet, you ‘lay odds.’ You are taking odds or laying odds based on whether or not the point number will be rolled before the 7. Odds bets can be made and removed at any time. You can change the amount of the odds bet at any time throughout the game. For example, let’s say you have placed a Pass bet and you are taking odds. If the point number is rolled before a 7, you win. If your first bet wins, your odds bet will also win.
When learning how to play craps, it is important to learn these single-roll bets for some added excitement. These bets should only be used sparingly however as each of these offer a large house edge and are usually not recommended.
- Ace Deuce: This bet wins only if the shooter rolls a 3. It pays 15 to 1.
- Any Seven (Big Red): This bet wins if the shooter rolls a 7. It pays 4 to 1.
- Any Craps: This bet wins if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12. It pays 7 to 1 for each number.
- Aces or Two Craps: This bet wins if the shooter rolls a 2. It pays 30 to 1.
- Twelve Craps or Boxcars: This bet wins if the shooter rolls a 12. It pays 30 to 1.
- Horn: This bet wins if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, 11, or 12. Wagers are split evenly between numbers.
- For example, If you wager $16, then $4 will go on each number. 2 and 12 pay 30 to 1, while 3 and 11 pay 15 to 1.
- Eleven (Yo): This bet wins if the shooter rolls an 11. It pays 15 to 1.
- Craps and Eleven (C&E): You will see 16 circles with a C or E on the craps table. That is where you would mark this bet. This bet wins if an eleven is rolled or if one of the ‘Any Craps’ numbers are rolled. It pays 7 to 1 if the ‘Any Craps’ numbers are rolled. It pays 15 to 1 if the 11 is rolled.
- Horn High Bets: This allows you to double your bet on one of the Horn bet numbers. You must indicate which of the four numbers you wish to claim as your high number.
- For example, if you place a Horn High on the 12, $2 will be placed on the 12 and $1 will be placed on the 2, 3, and 11. If a 12 is rolled, you get paid double the payout, subtracting three dollars of the losing numbers. If one of the other Horn numbers is rolled instead of your high number, you will receive the single payout minus the $4.
- World or Whirl Bet: This bet is a combination of the Horn bet and the Any Seven bet. It is five bets made in multiples of $5. If the shooter rolls a 7, that bet wins and the other four lose. This bet 4 to 1 for the seven and the payouts for the other numbers are the same as the Horn bet.
A field bet is a bet that either a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 will be rolled next. There is a marked section on the craps table between the Come line and above the Don’t Pass line, where field bets are placed. The payout is 2 to 1 for a 2 or a 12. The 3, 4, 9, 10, and 11 will pay out even money.
These bets can be made any time throughout the game. Hop bets allow you to pick any dice combination while wagering on the outcome of the next roll being your personalized combination. Not all craps tables have this bet indicated on the table.
Multi-roll bets can also be played throughout a game of craps. These are slightly more complicated and if played correctly, can really bring you huge winnings.
Buy/Lay bets: This bet allows you to pick any of the following numbers to bet on at any time throughout the game: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. Should this number appear before the shooter rolls a 7, you will be paid ‘true odds.’ This means that your payback will be the same as the actual chance of winning. 5% of your winnings will go to the casino, however.
A Lay bet works in the opposite way, similar to the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets. When you make this bet, you are betting on the shooter to roll a 7 before the point that you choose. If you win this bet, you will be paid true odds, with 5% going to the casino.
Place Win/Place Lose bets: These bets are just the same as Buy and Lay bets, however, they do not offer true odds. Place win bets win when the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled before the 7. Place Lose bets win if the 7 is rolled first.
Big 6/Big 8 bets: This bet wins if the 6 or 8 is rolled before the 7. It pays even money. You can find this bet marked around the corners of the craps table.
Hardway bets: The ‘hard way’ outcome refers to both dice having the same number. This bet refers to the ‘hard way’ outcome of the dice resulting in the number of your choice before a 7 is rolled. Hardways can bet on the outcome of the dice resulting in a 4, 6, 8, or 10.
For example, you could bet on a 5-5 for Hardways 10, meaning the dice will both show 5’s, adding to the sum of your number 10.
Other dice combinations adding to 4, 6, 8, or 10 are considered an ‘easy way.’
For example, the combinations resulting in 6 are as follows:
- 1 and 5
- 4 and 2
- 5 and 1
- 2 and 4
When you make a Hardways bet there are many outcomes that could happen.
You lose the bet if:
- A 7 is rolled
- An ‘easy way’ of your number is rolled
You win the bet if the ‘hard way’ combination of your number is rolled before a 7 or an easy way combination of your number.
The bet stands until the next roll if a number apart from either a 7 or your number appears.
Easy Way bets: This bet is the exact opposite of the Hardway bet, in that you are betting on the shooter rolling an ‘easy way’ combination of your number (4, 6, 8, or 10) before a 7 is rolled or the ‘hard way’ combination of your number.
Michael "Wizard of Odds" Shackleford
Michael Shackleford, who is also known as the "Wizard of Odds" and the author of "Gambling 102," gives a quick rundown on the best strategies for playing four popular casino games: Blackjack, Craps, Mississippi Stud, and Sic Bo. Watch the video, below!
The Five Best Bets in Craps
Calling all Craps enthusiasts - Think you've figured out the best plays in craps? In this video, a syndicated gaming writer, John Grochowski, gives details on the five best bets that can be made in craps. Some of the topics covered include: buy bets, place bets, come and don't come bets, pass and don't pass bets; free odds bets; and more!
How to Play Craps and Win
While no casino game strategy will ever guarantee you 100% success, there are multiple ways you can improve your odds and make big bucks. One of the best strategies you can use for craps is to know the rules and bets you can make. Watch as casino gambling expert, Steve Bourie, explains how to play the game of craps and how to win in a three-part series.
Part I : Topics covered in the first part include: how the game is played, the pass and don't pass betting, and the free odds bet.
Part II - Topics covered in the second part include: come and don't come bets, place and buy bets, big 6 and big 8, field bets.
Part III - Topics covered in the third part include the hard way bets, plus the one roll proposition bets: 2, 3, 7, 11, 12, and any craps. Steve also explains how to win at the game of craps, plus he gives a suggested betting system that offers the casino a very low house advantage.
Is Online Craps Legal in the U.S.?
You can play craps online in any state where online casinos have been legalized. That is:
- New Jersey
- Michigan (legalized, but not yet available)
- West Virginia (legalized, but not yet available)
Is online craps rigged?
All legal, state-approved online casino games are regulated by the state authorities. If the gaming division finds foul play, they'd slap a very heavy fine on the casino.
The games themselves use a random number generator (RNG) to make sure the dice roll randomly. Of course, that doesn't mean you'd never see, for example, a streak of 7s. But that happens in real life as well.
Can you Play Online Craps for Free?
Yes! Get a welcome bonus of no deposit dollars and play for free! You can even win real money (withdrawn after meeting the wagering requirements).
You can also play in demo mode, but no winnings there.
Online craps allow you to place very small bets (as low as $.05). We notice that folks play more seriously if they have even a little cash on the table. You can get 20 rounds in for a dollar at $.05, plus earn winnings!
A number of online casinos in the United States offer free craps games for players to try out before depositing real money. Playing craps in demo mode allows you to take your time, get used to the software and casino, all without risking anything yourself.
Tropicana and Virgin casino are two of our top casinos for online craps. Not only is there the option to play for real money, but also in demo mode as well. You can practice online craps at either casino and then sign up to play for real money when you're ready to start gambling.
It's a great advantage to be able to practice online craps for free since the rules can be slightly complicated compared to other casino games. Sign up to Virgin and Tropicana online casino today to play craps for free and develop the perfect strategy to use in real money games! Free online craps is available 24/7 at both sites.
Online Craps Podcasts
Be sure to check out our index of articles and podcasts about the game of craps. We have strategies written by craps experts as well as podcasts to help you become a better player.
- Audio Podcast – Everything you ever wanted to know about craps with Frank Scoblete
- Audio Podcast – Playing craps with Larry Edell
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Craps with Frank Scoblete
Steve interviews craps expert and best-selling author Frank Scoblete. They discuss the basics of how to play craps; good bets to make; bad bets to avoid; using controlled dice shooting to gain a mathematical edge at the game; the 5-count betting system; and Frank's best advice for craps players.
To listen to this show - Click Here
Playing Craps with Larry Edell
Steve interviews Larry Edell, author of seven books on craps and webmaster of thecrapshooter.com. They discuss how to play craps, the game's good and bad bets, maximizing casino comps in craps, and using "controlled dice shooting" to overcome the casino's mathematical advantage.
To listen to this show - Click Here