One of the most action-packed casino games in the world is craps. You only
have to spend a few seconds inside of any casino, and you’ll hear the roars and
cheers of patrons at the craps table. If you’ve never played before, you may be
missing out on some of the most fast-paced fun you can have in the gambling
If craps is such a great game, why doesn’t everyone who gambles play the
game? The reason that we hear so often is that people don’t understand how the
game works. They assume that the game is too confusing to learn and opt for
something simpler. If you’re someone who falls into this boat, you’re in luck
Our experts have put together a complete craps game guide to walk you through
everything that you need to know to learn the game and start playing. As opposed
to trying to learn at the tables, you can work through this guide at your own
pace. The game itself is not that confusing when explained properly at a slower
pace. It may seem overly complicated, because any time you watch the tables,
everything seems to be happening so quickly.
We’re confident that, after reading this game guide, you’re going to be fully
equipped to walk into the casino or log onto your favorite online casino and
start playing craps confidently. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if you end up
knowing more than most other players at the table!
The Benefits of Playing Craps
We’ve touched on the fact that craps is a great game, but we’d like to
elaborate on that point. We want you to fully understand why the game is so
popular and why we think you’ll be extremely happy that you took a few minutes
to learn how to play. These are not all the benefits of the game of craps, but
these are certainly some of the biggest and most important for you to know.
The Game Is Exciting
Craps is crazy fun. There’s no better way to say this. The game is fast-paced
and packed full of excitement. The action is quick, and the potential to win a
lot of money is high. Not only is the game fun for the individual, but it’s a
game where the whole table can be on the same side and cheering for the same
thing. If you’ve ever played blackjack, you know how the whole table bands
together when everyone hasn’t busted to cheer for the dealer to bust.
Craps is like that, but all the time. Everyone at the table (minus a few
occasional black sheep) will be cheering for the same thing. When one person at
the table wins, everyone at the table is usually winning. This camaraderie can
really add to the excitement and fun factor of the game.
Only Game with No-House-Edge Bets
As you know, Vegas (or any casino) was not built on the backs of winners.
This is a common cliche phrase that reminds us that the house will always have
the edge when it comes to casino gambling games. This is the same with craps,
except there are a few bets that have no house edge. This means that if you make
these bets, the house does not have an edge or advantage over you in the long
This is huge! Nowhere else in the casino or in any other game are you going
to find a no-house-edge bet. The casino is going to always win in the long run,
but the more you can slow them down, the better your chances are of winning in
the short term and the longer your money and fun will last.
Multiple Ways to Play
When you play games like blackjack or roulette, you’re limited in the
different ways that you can play. With blackjack, you get your cards, and you
try and get to 21 without busting. When you play roulette, you have a few more
options with the ability to pick a color, number, or set of numbers, but you’re
still limited. When it comes to craps, though, you have a lot of different bet
options to choose from.
This means that the chance that you find a bet type that fits what you’re
looking for best is much higher. The flexibility and control that you have over
your money while playing craps are things that a lot of patrons love. It gives
them the feeling that they have much more of an impact on the outcome of their
sessions. While we won’t be advocating all of the different bet types from a
strategic standpoint, the options do exist for those that are looking for a
bigger and expanded rush.
Top Tips for Craps Beginners
It’s probably no secret that we love the game of craps. Since we love the
game, we want to do everything in our power to make sure that you have the
opportunity to love the game as well. In order for this to happen, there are
some things that you can do to enhance your betting experience as you embark on
learning a brand new game. We’ve outlined these beginner tips below to help you
have the absolute best craps betting experience possible. The game isn’t for
everyone, but by following these tips, you can rest assured that you gave it a
Learn the Game First
One of the biggest reasons that new players have a bad craps experience is
that they don’t take the time to understand how to play the game. If you don’t
know what is going on while you’re playing, then your fun is strictly dependent
on whether or not you win or lose. If you only have fun gambling when you win,
then you’re not going to be a fan of gambling for long.
You need to make sure that you take the time to understand how the game works
and what exactly needs to happen for you to win. The fact that you’re here
reading this guide, though, shows that you’re on the right track to take care of
Know What You’re Betting On
In addition to learning how the game of craps works, you need to understand
the different types of bets you are making. If you’re just making a bet because
your friend or the dealer told you to, but you have no idea what it means, how
can you expect to enjoy the process? This would be like betting on a sports game
and having no idea how each team wins. You wouldn’t know what to cheer for and
would only be happy at the end of the game if you’re told that your team won.
Take the time to learn what you are betting on. Does this mean that you need
to understand every bet on the craps table? Nope. In fact, you only need to
understand a few bets to have a good time playing craps. Most of the bets on the
table are “fluff” and don’t offer great odds to the player. You can go your
whole craps career without learning what these bets are or how to utilize them.
Craps is a fast-paced game. This is what makes it so exciting, but also what
can make it dangerous if you aren’t paying attention to how much money you have
on the tables. Don’t worry; craps is not some scary game where your money
magically disappears if you aren’t paying attention. It is a game, though, that
you do have the potential of getting caught up in if you aren’t staying
The secret to doing this is the same as it is with any other game. Only bring
the amount of money you are willing to lose to the table. If you get up a bunch
of money that you don’t want to lose, take some of it off the table and put it
in your pocket. If you happen to lose all of your money, leave the table and
reassess whether you want to play with any more money or not. The craps table is
always going to be there, and you’ll always be able to come back for more action
as long as you are being smart with your gambling bankroll.
You also must remember that the game of craps cannot be beaten. No matter
what anyone says, there is no magical betting system or dice throwing system
that give you an edge over the house. Does this mean that you can’t be a winner
in the short run? It does not. All it means is that over the long run, the
casino is going to have the advantage over the players as a whole, no matter how
you choose to play. There’s a reason they call it gambling, and you don’t see
any professional craps players. If anyone ever tells you they play craps
professionally or that they have a system to beat the house, they’re delusional
or lying to you.
Learn from the Dealers (But with Care!)
If you happen to be playing in a brick-and-mortar setting after studying this
guide, you’re most likely going to be nervous and worried that you’re going to
make a mistake. Here’s the good news: the dealers are there to help you out.
Yes, they work for the casino, but their main goal is to make sure that you have
a good time. If you have no idea what is going on, it’s going to be really hard
for you to have a good time.
Let the dealers know that you’re brand new, and they will do the best they
can to help you out. It’s probably also best to make your first time playing
when the table is slow. That way, the dealers can give you some additional help.
Do keep in mind, though, that even though the dealers are the experts on the
game, they may not be the experts when it comes to optimal strategy. They may
recommend bets to you that they like, but might not be the best for you when it
comes to math.
They aren’t doing this to try to get one over on you or to help the casino
win more. They’re most likely doing it because it’s a bet that is fun to them.
Just be aware that, though their heart might be in the right place, their
strategic advice might not always be the best.
For those of you that choose to learn to play at an online casino, you won’t
have the luxury of a dealer to walk you through things. But this doesn’t mean
it’s not a great learning environment. You’ll be able to have this guide open
right next to your table, and you’ll be able to go as slowly as you want. When
you play craps online, you’ll usually get your very own table from the casino so
you can go as slow as you choose when you’re playing. You can take 10 minutes
between rolls if you want or need to in order to fully understand everything
that is going on.
Comprehensive Craps Guide
All right! Let’s get down to the meat and potatoes of this guide. We want to
start by giving you a general overview of how the game works and what the flow
of action looks like, and then we will nail down the particulars of the
different bet types. Understanding the big picture of the game will set a great
framework for understanding the smaller bets and smaller pieces that come
together to create the entire experience.
So let’s get started! The general idea of craps is this: a player, known as
the shooter, will begin rolling the dice. This is called the “come out roll.”
During the come out roll, several things can happen, depending on what you are
betting on. For now, we will disregard those, but we will go over them shortly.
The goal of the come out roll is to roll something besides a 2, 3, 7, or 12. If
the shooter rolls any number but these four, they have set the point. The point
is the number that the shooter wants to hit again before crapping out. Crapping
out is when you roll a 7 before you roll the point.
Confused? That’s okay.
Here’s an Example
If the shooter tosses the dice and rolls an 8, the point is now an 8.The object of the game now is for the shooter
to roll another 8 before he or she rolls a 7.
The general idea of craps is as
simple as that. Let’s say that, on the come out roll, the shooter rolls a 2.
Certain bets (that we will go over) will be paid, but no point will have been
established. The shooter will continue to toss the dice until they establish a
point. Once they establish the point, they will continue rolling until they
either hit the point or roll a 7. If they hit the point or roll a 7, everything
starts over again with a new game and a new come out roll.
The more points that the shooter hits and the longer they roll without
crapping out, the more money the table is going to make on most bets. The reason
we say most is because you do have the option of betting with the house and
betting against the players at the table. It’s considered rude, but players are
free to do as they please.
Let’s give one more example, so you’re clear on the general idea of the game
of craps. The shooter rolls the dice and hits a 7. Some bets are paid out, but
there is no point established. The shooter rolls again and hits a 12. Some bets
are paid out, but there is no point established. The shooter rolls again and
rolls a 4. The point is now established as 4. The point of the game now is to
roll a 4 before rolling a 7. This will continue with bets being paid out until
the shooter hits the point by rolling a 4 (something really good) or craps out
by rolling a 7 (something bad). Once the point is hit or the shooter craps out,
everything resets, and a new come out roll is tossed and a new point is
In reality, that’s all there is to the game of craps. The complexity and
confusion come in with all of the different betting options on the table. Now
that you understand the general flow of the game, though, you’re in a much
better spot to understand everything else.
Understanding the Most Popular Bet Types
You now understand the general flow of the game; we just need to go back
through and fill in the details of the different bets and how you actually win
money at craps! Do you need to learn all of these bets? Nope! In fact, most
people couldn’t rattle off all the different bet types listed here and certainly
couldn’t tell you what each one pays out. You really only need to understand a
few of the basic bets and then anything else that you might feel like betting.
If you understand the pass line bets and odds bets, you’ll be ready to start
playing. If you understand the pass line bets, the odds bets, and the come bets,
then you’ll be ready to play using our optimal strategy that we’ll cover in the
strategy section below. Everything else you can learn if you want or completely
ignore and you’ll be just fine!
The Pass Line
The pass line bet is the first bet you make before the come out roll. Some
casinos will require that the shooter place one of these bets before rolling,
and in some casinos, they require that every player who wants to make any bets
place a pass line bet. During the come out roll, if a 7 or 11 is rolled, the
pass line bet is paid out at 1:1. Basically, if you bet $5, you will get $5 in
profit. If a 2, 3, or a 12 is rolled, you lose your pass line bet and need to
put out another one. Once a point is established, the pass line becomes a bet on
that point. This means that if the point is hit, you win your pass line bet. If
a 7 is rolled first, you lose your pass line bet.
A lot of people get confused here because they don’t understand winning and
losing when a 7 is rolled. If there is no point established yet, a pass line bet
wins with a 7. If a point is established, a pass line bet loses when a 7 is
The Don’t Pass Line
Remember those options to bet against the rest of the table that we were
talking about? Well, here’s the first one. A don’t pass wager operates almost
exactly opposite of a pass line bet. The bet is made at the exact same time as
the pass line bet. If a 2 or a 3 is rolled, you win automatically. If a 12 is
rolled, you push. If a 7 or an 11 is rolled, you lose.
Once a point is established, you win if a 7 is rolled before the point is
hit. As you can see, you’re either winning or pushing when those that bet the
pass line are losing, and you’re losing when those who bet the pass line are
winning. Here’s a piece of friendly advice if you’re looking to have an
enjoyable time at the casino: most people are betting the pass line, and if you
bet the don’t pass line, you will be glared at like the black sheep of the
table. People will not like you; we aren’t kidding.
The Odds Bet
Once the point is established, the casino gives you the option of betting
more money on the point in addition to your pass line bet. This is known as the
odds bet. Remember us talking about the bet in the casino that has no house
edge? This is that bet. The casino has no edge over you on this bet, meaning
that in the long run, they aren’t going to win like they do with every single
other bet in the casino.
You win your odds bet the exact same way that you win your pass line bet
after the point is established. If the point is hit, you win. If a 7 is rolled
first, you lose. So for example, let’s say the shooter rolls the come out roll
and rolls an 8. The point is now an 8. You can now make an odds bet on the 8
hitting before the 7. If the shooter hits the 8 before they roll a 7, you will
get paid! If the shooter hits a 7 before they hit the 8, you lose your odds bet.
Here are some particulars that you need to know. First, the odds bet is
placed behind your pass line bet on the felt. If you’ve ever watched a game of
craps, you’ve probably seen people put a stack of chips behind their pass line
bet. This is an odds bet.
As the casino has no edge on the odds bet, they do limit the amount that you
are allowed to bet. In different casinos, you are going to see different
amounts. In some casinos, you can only bet 3 times (3x) your pass line bet as an
odds bet. For example, if you bet $5 on the pass line, you can bet up to $15 on
your odds bet. You aren’t required to bet the full amount, but that is the
maximum that you can bet.
The most popular setup that we have seen is that they allow you to bet 3x
your pass line bet on the 4 and the 10, 4x your pass line bet on the 5 and the
9, and 5x your pass line bet on the 6 and the 8. Whatever it is, this will be
clearly posted for you on the table, or in the lobby if you’re playing online
As we mentioned, the odds bet has no house edge, meaning that they pay it out
at true odds. Basically, you will be paid exactly what you should be paid for
how likely the number is to be rolled. The 4 and the 10 will be paid at 2 to 1,
the 5 and the 9 will be paid at 3 to 2, and the 6 and the 8 will be paid at 6 to
5. Don’t worry about memorizing this at all. The dealers will handle the
calculations and make sure that you get paid out accordingly. It is wise to know
roughly what the odds are in case there is a glaring mistake that you see.
Dealers are good, but they’re not always perfect.
The Come Bet
Come bets can sometimes be a bit confusing, so strap on your paying-attention
pants, and you’ll be an expert in no time. A come bet is very similar to a pass
line bet, except that it’s made after the point has already been established. If
you look at the craps felt, you’ll see a big area in the middle that says Come.
This is where you place this bet.
These come bets operate as almost their own separate game of craps. They will
establish their own point, and prior to that will be paid out just like the pass
line bets are before the point is established. If a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled before
this come bet has a point established, you lose. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, you win
this bet. Hitting the 7 on your come bet is usually bittersweet, because you win
the small come bet, but you are going to lose your pass line and odds bet.
If any other number is rolled, that becomes the point for that come bet. The
dealer will take your come bet and slide it up onto that number so that you know
what you’re trying to hit to win that bet. Additionally, you are now allowed to
place an odds bet on that come bet after its point is established.
The same rules apply as the odds bet with the pass line bet.
If you hit your point number for that come bet before a 7 is rolled, you win! When a 7
is rolled, you will lose that bet.
If you’re a little confused, that’s okay. We’re going to give you a full
example from start to finish of making a pass line bet and then a come bet, both
You place a $5 pass line bet. The casino you are playing at follows the 3x,
4x, 5x odds format that we talked about in the previous section. The shooter
rolls the come out roll and rolls an 8. You decide that you want to place your
full 5x odds bet. You place $25 ($5 x 5) behind your pass line bet. If the
shooter rolls an 8 before they roll a 7, you will win your pass line bet and
your odds bet.
You decide that you want to get some more action on the table, so you place
a $5 come bet. The shooter rolls again and rolls a 9. Your come bet’s point is
now a 9. The dealer slides your $5 up to the 9 and asks if you want to place an
odds bet on the 9. You decide that you want to place your full odds, so you give
the dealer $20 ($5 x 4), which they place on your bet. Now, if the shooter rolls
a 9 before they roll a 7, you win on that bet.
At this point, if the shooter rolls an 8 or a 9, you are getting paid. If
they roll a 7, you will lose both bets. You’ll see soon that our strategy is to
place a pass line bet and then get odds bets placed on two come bets so we have
three numbers that we can win on. The idea at this point is to hit the 9 and the
8 before the dreaded 7 is rolled.
What happens if the shooter rolls the 9? Well, first you’re going to get paid
on your bet. If you do not have another come bet out there, your bet will be
paid, and your initial bet returned to you as well. If you have another come bet
out there, you will be paid, and you will have the option to leave your initial
bet out there. If this is confusing, think of it this way. The first bet is
always paid and returned. But if you have another come bet out there, it will
slide up, and you will immediately be given the option to place another odds
bet. You aren’t actually leaving the same bet out there, but replacing it with
the exact same bet.
You’ll see that, strategically speaking, we will recommend always having a
small come bet out there just so you can keep your bet on a particular number
going. If you do this, you can hit 9s until the cows come home and rack up a
nice payday. This is how you go on runs when playing craps. If the shooter fires
off a bunch of 9s and then hits the original point of an 8, you’re going to be
getting paid all over the place.
The Don’t Come Bet
The don’t come bet is again the nemesis of the come bet. If a 7 or 11 is
rolled, the don’t come bet loses. If a 2 or a 3 is rolled before a point is
established, the don’t come bet wins. If a 12 is rolled, it’s a push. Once a
point is established (for this bet, not the main point which is already
established), the don’t come bet will be banking on a 7 being rolled before that
bet’s point is hit. So, in our above example, let’s say that when the 9 is
rolled, you had a don’t come bet instead of a come bet. You will now be hoping
that a 7 is rolled before the 9 is hit.
Again, this bet is the easiest ticket to get you hated by the table. Craps is
a game about the whole table working together, and when you come in betting
against everyone, they aren’t going to be too fond of you.
The Field Bet
The field bet is the first of the bets that you really don’t need to
understand or concern yourself with, unless you want some different action. The
bets that we’ve already covered are all you need to have a lot of fun playing
craps. That being said, this bet and most of the ones to follow are popular with
gamblers, so we’re of course going to cover them.
The field bet is a bet that is always settled on the very next roll after the
bet is made. If a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 is rolled, you win your field bet!
If a 5, 6, 7, or an 8 is rolled, you lose. It’s that simple. The bet pays out at
1:1, unless a 2 or 12 is rolled, in which case you would get paid at a handsome
There’s something about the hardway bets in craps that get players excited.
Our staff says they haven’t played in a game yet where someone wasn’t going to
town on the hardway bets. Here’s how they work: the hardway of hitting a number
refers to hitting that number with the same number on each dice. For example, a
hard 8 would be hit by rolling two 4s. A hard 10 would be rolled by each dice
showing a 5. Any other combinations of the number do not count for the hardways.
After you place a hardways bet, you have to hit your hardway before the next
7 is rolled or you lose. Each hardway is paid out at a slightly different pay
rate. A 4 or a 10 is paid out at 7 to 1, and a 6 or an 8 is paid out at 9 to 1!
As you can see, the payouts for these bets are great, but they are more
challenging to hit. This bet is one of our favorites when it comes to tipping
Next Roll Prop Bets
The final bet types that we want to cover today are the next roll prop bets.
These are bets that are always settled on the next roll and are pretty
straightforward. These bets are only active for the next roll. If you don’t hit
what you’re trying to, you lose your bet. As you can guess, this makes it more
challenging to hit, but you will be rewarded handsomely for each, depending on
how hard it is to hit.
The Boxcar Bet –If a 12 is rolled, you’ll get paid out at 30 to 1. It’s
called the boxcar bet because the two 6s look a bit like train cars.
Aces –If a 2 is rolled, you’ll get paid out at 30 to 1.
Ace Deuce –If a 3 is rolled, you’ll get paid out at 15 to 1. As you can see,
you’re getting paid out half as much as you do with the boxcar and aces bet, but
you are twice as likely to hit what you’re looking for.
Any 11 –If an 11 is rolled, you’ll get paid at 15 to 1.
Any Craps –If a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled on the very next roll, you’ll be paid
out at 7 to 1.
Any 7 –If a 7 is rolled, you will get paid out at 4 to 1. Remember, this is
another one of those bets that will get you taken off the rest of the table’s
Christmas card lists.
The Strategy of Craps
So, what’s the secret to beat the house? Here’s the answer: there is no
secret to beat the house. Outside of the odds bets, the casino is always going
to have a slight edge over the players. This doesn’t mean that you can’t walk
away a big winner; it just means that making a sustainable profit or playing
craps for a living is just not feasible.
That being said, there are strategies that you can employ to limit the house
edge as much as possible, stretch your fun, and give yourself the best chances
of walking away from the craps table a winner. Below, you’ll find our favorite
strategy, which maximizes your ability to take advantage of the edge-free bets
and allows you to get enough action to go on a run while not being overextended.
Our Favorite Way to Play
We’re going to give you our favorite way to play in “craps speak,” and then
we’re going to break it down so everyone understands exactly what we mean. This
is the way that we play every single time that we play. It allows us to have the
best odds of winning and not have to worry about what to do or being confused.
We place a pass line bet, take our full odds, and then place two come bets
and also take odds on those. We then keep betting the minimum on the come bet
just to keep all of our numbers working for us.
That’s the confusing way of saying it. Now let’s break down exactly what we
do. The first thing that we do is place a pass line bet. We like to bet an
amount that allows us to take the full odds bet that we want. Let’s say we are
playing at a $5 minimum table and decided to bet the $5 minimum on the pass line
bet. The shooter rolls a 10, and the point is established. We then take our full
odds on the 10 and put another $5 out on the come bet area. The shooter rolls
again and hits an 8. Our come bet is slid up to the 8, and we take our full odds
there. We place another $5 on the come bet area. The shooter rolls again and
hits a 5. Our come bet slides up, and we take our full odds on the 5.
At this point, we will get paid if the shooter rolls a 10 (the initial
point), or an 8 or a 5 (the points on our come bets). In order to make sure our
bets keep working and we can hit them multiple times, we keep placing a $5 come
bet out there. If that come bet gets another point, we don’t take the odds on
it. We feel that having three numbers is plenty of action and doesn’t spread us
too thin. While that additional $5 come bet is still a bet for us, we are
effectively using it so we can have the chance to repeat some numbers.
If the shooter rolls an 8, we get paid, and our bet stays up
there. If they roll an 8 on the next roll, we get paid again, and because we
have a come bet out, our bet stays up there.
This is how we play every single time we play craps. It allows us to get
several numbers working while taking full advantage of the no-house-edge odds
bets. Notice we never touch the other bets at all. The odds on those are the
bets where the house makes their money.
If you’re thinking that a $5 bet is too low for you, let’s take a minute and
see exactly how much you would have on the table here, using our above example.
Let’s say you are playing at a casino that uses the 3x, 4x, 5x model for the
amount you can bet for your odds bets. Say you started with a $5 pass line bet.
The shooter established the main point as a 10, which you can bet 3x on. So, you
place $15 behind your pass line bet and a $5 bet on your come bet. The shooter
then rolls an 8, which you are allowed to bet 5x on. You bet $25 on the 8 and
place another $5 come bet out. The shooter then rolls a 5, which you can bet 4x
on. You bet $20 on that and place out another $5 come bet. You now have $80 on
the table, all from a $5 bet. The most else you’d put out there on this game
would be a few more $5 come bets. If a 7 were to come, you’d lose $75, but you
would win your come bet for $5 back in the other direction.
If this is too much for you, you aren’t required to take the full odds on any
of your numbers. You can take anywhere up to the max amount allowed. Also, you
don’t have to bet the other two numbers with the come bets if you don’t want to.
We tend to get bored with only one number to hit, so we like to get a fair
amount of action. Some players like to continue taking odds on every number with
come bets, but we think this gets too much money on the table and makes a 7
Craps Table Etiquette
One of our favorite reasons to play craps online is that we don’t have to
worry about any of the etiquette or confusion that can come with playing in a
brick-and-mortar setting. That being said, craps can be a very social game that
people love playing with their friends during a night out. For that reason,
we’ve put together an extensive list of the basic craps etiquette that you need
to know to have a good time. None of this is going to be rocket science, but it
may be something you haven’t thought of if you’ve never played craps in a casino
Stack Your Bets
As you might imagine, a lot is going on at the craps table, especially when
there are a lot of players playing. For this reason, things need to stay
organized, or the dealers are going to have no idea who to pay. To help the
dealers out and to make your experience that much better, stack your chips like
an adult. Don’t throw chips when you bet. Slide them out in a neat stack, and
everything will go smoothly.
Watch Your Arms
Probably the biggest infraction on this list is when people allow their hands
and their arms to get in the way of flying dice. Here’s the thing: whether you
hit the dice with your arms or you don’t, the outcome is going to be completely
random. But the reason that people like gambling is that they feel they have
some control over the outcome of the game. This means that when the dice fly,
they don’t want anything getting in the way of their flight path.
If you are reaching down and messing with your chips or putting in a bet too
late and you hit the dice and the table loses, you’re going to hear about it. In
fact, this is the second-quickest way to get off the Christmas card list behind
betting the don’t pass line. Keep an eye on the shooter and get your bets in
early. The dealers are going to wait to push the dice to the shooter until
everyone has had adequate time to get their bets placed. Still, though, for some
reason, people like to make last-minute decisions.
Make your decisions early, so you’re never “that guy” or “that girl.” Keep an
eye on the shooter, and if they’re getting ready to shoot, get your grubby paws
Watch Your Drink
For most people, unwinding at the casino usually involves a little bit of
gambling and a cocktail. If you’re playing craps, you’re going to need to be
extra careful not to spill your drink, because the action is faster paced and
people are a lot more animated. There is a lot of jumping around, cheering, and
high fiving, which can be a death sentence to an unmonitored drink.
Here’s what you need to know: underneath every craps table is a rim that is
made for putting your drinks on. If you put your drink here during the
commotion, you won’t have anything to worry about. The ledge is put there
specifically for drinks, so be a good ole chap and use it. Don’t hover over the
table with your drink. If you get bumped into, you might end up spilling your
drink all over the felt and the chips, which will result in the game action
having to be stopped. People are not going to love you if they have to wait to
play because you spilled your drink all over the place.
Don’t Say Seven
While this is not an actual rule, it’s understood amongst craps players. If
you’re anywhere within about 20 feet of a craps table, you do not say the word
seven. It’s a superstitious thing that has no effect on the outcome of the game,
but don’t ever say that to a serious craps player. If you want to have a good
time and not upset anyone, avoid dropping the S bomb. You may be wondering if
it’s okay before the point is established, where everyone would win if a seven
were rolled… No…no…no. It is NEVER okay to say seven around a craps table if
you want to leave with any friends.
Don’t Spit on the Dice
Hollywood movies (well, movies from anywhere) have made people think that the
secret to winning at craps and getting a lucky roll of the dice is by having a
pretty lady blow on the dice. If you’ve ever played at or watched a craps table
in the casino before, you’ve seen this practice done. Do we have any issues with
that? Nope! Not at all. What we do have an issue with, though, is people that
don’t realize that blowing on the dice and spitting on the dice are two
When you blow on the dice, only air should come out of your mouth. If
anything else is coming out, you’re doing it wrong. If you think it’s silly that
we’re giving you this tip, go watch someone drinking and playing craps. You may
be interested in bringing a mask with you next time.
Minimize Your Routine
As we’ve mentioned, craps is a lot of fun, and part of the fun is feeling
like you have some sort of control over the outcome of the roll. Because of
this, people love to have a “pre-roll” routine that they do to help bring them
luck. Sometimes this is as simple as blowing (spitting, for some) on the dice,
or it might be setting the dice to certain numbers before they toss them.
All of this is totally fine and is part of the fun theatrics of the game.
Here’s the thing, though. If your pre-roll routine takes 15 minutes every toss,
people are going to get annoyed. You can do a few things that take a few
seconds, but please don’t take forever. Most of us didn’t come to the table to
see you perform your pre-roll routine over and over again. If it’s simple,
awesome! If it involves you doing five jumping jacks, setting the dice to sixes,
and then singing the complete National Anthem, you need to cut that short.
Don’t Blame the Shooter
There is a double standard that exists at the craps table that should be
completely okay. When the shooter does well, you can high-five them and thank
them for doing a great job. When the shooter rolls a 7 and no one makes any
money, don’t hold it against them. In reality, everything is completely random.
It can just seem easy to blame or praise the person with the dice in their hand.
Once you realize that they have no actual effect on what lands, the game
becomes a lot more relaxed for you. Think about what you would want people to do
when you’re the shooter. You wouldn’t want them getting mad at you because you
rolled a number that you had absolutely no control over. Remember, the game is
all about having fun. Gambling is about having a good time and camaraderie with
friends and sometimes strangers. Don’t ruin the party just because you’re losing
and want to be mad at someone.
Be Careful as a Smoker
If you’re a smoker and are at a casino that allows it, there are a few
etiquette things you need to take into account. First, make sure that you aren’t
holding your cigarette over the table and ashing on the felt. It’s gross, and
it’s going to slow the game up if they have to clean your mess off of the table.
Second, you need to realize that craps tables are crowded. Everyone is in close
proximity, which means one of two things: either you need to smoke away from the
table, or you need to be very cognizant of where you blow your smoke and where
you stick your cigarette. We’re not here to debate the merits of smoking; we
just want you to make sure to be respectful of the other players at the table.
Be Patient with the Dealers
The dealers have A LOT to do with every toss of the dice. They have a ton of
bets to watch and pay out, and they keep everything in order. They’re the best
in the casino, but they will on occasion make mistakes. Here’s what you should
do: pay attention to your bets, and be patient with the dealers if they make a
mistake. Tell them calmly (but quickly) and they will get it sorted out. The
bottom line is that you need to be patient and respectful of the dealers. They
are there to help facilitate a good time for you.
If you’ve made it this far, congrats! You now probably know more about the
game of craps than most of the people that step up to the table in casinos
worldwide. Most people that play craps only learn what little information their
friends teach them or what they pick up in “on the job” training. You, on the
other hand, have now had a top-to-bottom teaching experience, where you know
everything you ever wanted to know about the game.
Before you go play your first session of craps, here’s what we recommend:
take the time to review any sections of this guide that may have confused you or
that you think you need to brush up on. When you do go to play your first
session, relax. You know everything you need to, and with a little experience,
you’re going to look like an expert at the tables. Remember, craps is supposed
to be fun, so make sure you keep that in the foreground.
Only gamble with money
that you are willing to lose, and always remember that no matter what system
someone tries to sell you, it’s always going to be gambling. Have fun and
bookmark this guide in case you ever need to refer to it.
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