Craps

It’s the most common dice game in the world and was originally called Crapaud. Develop your craps strategy with the help of our guide. learn how to win at craps in a casino.

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How To Win at Craps

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This guide will give you all the best tips on how to bet at craps, most successful craps strategy, advice and very useable information like detailed descriptions of the rules of craps and how they work. If you’re seeking to learn how to win at craps in a casino and how to improve the returns you make while playing, this is the right place to look.

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Craps Strategy – The Basics

Let’s start from the ground up, covering the basics of craps first so you have a solid foundation to build from. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, or if you already have quite a lot of experience with playing craps, then you can move on to the next steps: how to bet at craps, and later focus on the more complicated parts like learning tips and strategies for how to win at craps every time. You might already know a bit and just want to learn more, or some readers may be complete beginnings, so simply skip ahead if you need more of a challenge.

Craps Strategy

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What is craps?

Craps is a game played with dice, where the players bet on what number will show up when rolling a dice. That’s basically it, although it can have some additional frills and rules and the betting side of things can be a bit more complicated than just that. Because it’s so straightforward a game, craps has a long history of being a popular betting game, because you can play it practically anywhere, anytime, with minimal equipment: at the very least, all you really need is dice to play. In casinos, it is a bit more complex, with casino workers who play specific roles in managing the game, and the way the table is set up makes it a bit more complicated than the version of craps played at home on the floor.

Components of the Game

Let’s take a look at the game of craps by breaking it down into each component to understand the craps strategy.

The Dice

To understand how to bet at craps, you need to know that the dice is the central feature of craps. There are a couple of special aspects about them in the game which you might not know if you haven’t played craps before.

  • At the beginning of a round, the thrower gets to select their dice. The stick man gives the thrower the option of 5 dice to choose from, from which they must select two to play with. This ensures that the game is played fairly and that the dice are not weighted, etc.
  • The dice must always be thrown together, not one at a time. If the dice are thrown one by one, the throw will be disqualified.
  • The dice must usually hit the back wall of the table in order to count. There can be exceptions to this rule if the dealers are willing to go easy on the player, but for the most part this rule is enforced, even if one die hits the wall and only the other one does not.

The Table

In craps, the table has a special place in the game. To understand how to win at craps every time you need to get a full grasp of tables and their role in craps. The craps table is oblong and it has high sides around it, to keep the dice in, causing some to say that it is shaped like a bathtub. The surface of the craps table is covered in felt, much like other casino games like poker, blackjack or baccarat. The felt on a craps table is usually green with white markings and red and yellow text, but it’s not unheard of to find craps tables with red or even blue felt, and even different colours to show the areas for the bets. Marked on the craps table is the “layout”, which shows the different kinds of bets which can be placed. The lines and numbers printed on the felt mark spaces where bets can be placed.

how to bet at craps

Layout Markings

The table is symmetrical and each side of the craps table is identical. In the centre of the table is the area to place Hard Way bets and One Roll bets. Toward the sides, there are areas for Come, Don’t Come, Place, Pass Line, Don’t Pass Line and Field bets. Other bets can also be placed, such as doubles, but there may not necessarily be a marking for them on the table. The numbers are to show what specific outcome a player has bet on.

Chips

In banker or casino craps, chips are always used instead of cash money. They are moved around by the stickman to where the players would like their bets placed. Putting chips on an area signifies a bet on that outcome, and the different colours of chip designate what amount of money is placed on the bet.

Variations on the Game of Craps

There are several different styles of craps, which mostly fall into the following categories:

  • Bank Craps / Casino Craps
  • Street Craps
  • Mini Craps
  • Online Craps

Therefore, a slight difference between these craps categories can also alter your craps strategy a bit.

Casino Craps

In casinos, craps is played on a specially designed craps table, which is oval in shape, and has special markings which determine the betting options for the game. There are 4 employees of the casino, who run the table and oversee the game: the boxman, two dealers (one for each side of the table) and a stickman. For more on the role of these people in the game, take a look at the Glossary of Craps Terms, which gives a more in-depth description of their function.

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Street Craps

Compared to the style of craps played in casinos, street craps is a very stripped down, minimalist version. This kind of craps is played without the markings of the layout, and is played on the floor instead of on a specialised table. There is no backstop in street craps, which is also a bit different from casino craps. Wagers in street craps are placed in cash, rather than in chips as in casino craps. Also, since this kind of game is not played in a casino, there are no casino employees who oversee the game, and all calls in the game as to bets, fairness and settling out wagers are left up to the players of the game to sort out. In spite of its name, street craps is rarely played on an actual street, and it is more commonly played indoors on a soft floor with carpet, for instance.

Mini Craps

In this version of craps, rather than having two dealers accepting bets on separate sides of the table, the dealers accept bets on a single, central set of bets. The two dealers fill the role of all three positions in craps, one dealer covering the main bets and also acting as the stickman, and the other dealer manages secondary bets as well as overseeing exchanges of cash and chips.

Online Craps

Playing craps online is a new option which allows you to play and bet on craps from the comfort of your computer or even your mobile phone. In many ways, it’s quite similar to regular casino or banker craps, only digital.

Tips On How To Win At Craps Every Time

Knowing the rules of the game is essential if you want to improve your ability to play and to win at craps. Here’s a summary of the most important information you need to learn about craps, including the basics rules, craps strategy, and the different roles involved. These tips are essential if you want to learn how to win at craps in a casino.

how to win at craps

 

Payouts

Casinos vary as to what kinds of bets are possible and also the designated payouts for the corresponding kind of bet, but in general there is a somewhat standardised set of typical bets and payouts in craps.

Betting

The game begins with placing bets on the outcome of the rolling of dice. This is where the layout of the table comes in, as there are markings to show what kinds of bets there are and for what amount. The players can ask the “stickman” (basically, the one with the stick, who manages the dice and the chips) to place their chips on a certain kind of bet for them.

The Shooter

The focus of the game is centred around each player taking turns rolling two dice. The player holding the dice, and whose turn it is to throw them, is called the “shooter”.

Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line

While having the position of shooter, the player must bet on the “Pass” line, the “Don’t Pass” line or both. Sometimes these bets are referred to as “Win” (Pass) and “Don’t Win” (Don’t Pass) bets, or in other cases, “Right” and “Wrong” bets. These two bets are placed on the outcome of the round.

Selecting Dice

At the beginning of a round, the stickman gives the shooter the option to select two dice from around 5 possible dice. The shooter makes their selection of two dice and the ones which are not chosen will be returned to the stickman’s bowl. These extra dice are not used during the rest of the round.

Throwing the Dice

That means that they must throw the dice toward the back wall of the craps table, and they must hit the wall with both dice for the roll to be valid. If only one die hits the wall, the casino workers may go easy on the shooter and just issue a warning that they must hit the back wall in future shots. It’s necessary to throw both dice at the same time, and casing only one at a time will cause the shot to be invalidated.

Come Out Roll and Establishing a Point

In each round, there are two phases, which are “come out” and “point”. The round is begun by the shooter making at least one come out roll. The first roll is always called a come out roll, but this can also apply to any roll after the first roll which does not get a point.

Scoring a Come Out Roll

Craps

If the shooter gets a score of 2, 3 or 12 when throwing a come out roll, this is called “craps” or “crapping out”. When the shooter gets craps on a come out roll, any players who have bet on the Pass line loses. When a shooter craps out, a point is established. A shooter may continue rolling after crapping out, but they must pass on the dice if they roll a seven after earning a point.

Natural

A natural is when a shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on a come out roll. This means that the Pass line wins.

Establishing the Point

When any other number is rolled, for example, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, a point is established. After this, the shooter may continue shooting, and they must roll the same number as the roll which established the point before rolling a seven.

Sevening Out

When a shooter rolls a seven after establishing a point, it is called “sevening out”. This means they have not met the requirement of rolling the point number again before a seven may be rolled.

Once the Point Has Been Established

The dealer will flip a button to the “on” position and sets it to the number which established the point. When this happens, the game then enters the second phase of the round.

If the shooter hits the same number again before rolling a 7, then the pass line wins and the round is finished. If the shooter instead rolls a seven before hitting the point number, it is called a “seven out” and the pass line loses.

Concluding the Round

At the end of the round, the dice are passed clockwise to the next player, who then becomes the shooter for the next round.

How to Bet at Craps

In the game of craps, any player may make any bet they please on any number, at any time. This leaves open a lot of betting possibilities. However, having different betting possibilities doesn’t make craps easier. Therefore you need to implement these tips & tricks to learn how to bet at craps.

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Here’s a summary of the most popular possible bets which players may place:

Common Bets in Craps

  • 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10
  • Pass line
  • Don’t pass line
  • Field (any number: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
  • Hard way
  • Easy way
  • Come (if a point is established)
  • Don’t come (if a point is established)
  • Increased odds behind pass line
  • Increased odds behind don’t pass line
  • Big6 and Big8
  • Other bets offered by the table.
  • Taking it down *

* Except for the pass line and don’t pass line bets, all other bets may be reduced or removed at any time before a bet loses. This is called “taking it down” in craps.

The Pass Line Bet

This is probably the most simple and one of the most popular kinds of bets in craps. It pays out even money, meaning it pays out the amount you bet, so for example if you placed a £5 Pass Line bet, you would win £5 if the bet wins. When placing a Pass Line bet, all you need to do is to place your chips on the Pass Line area of the table when a Come Out roll is going to occur. Then once all the bets have been placed, when the shooter rolls their come out roll, there are several possible outcomes which will depend on how the roll of the dice turns out.

Here are the likely scenarios of this roll:

  • If they roll a 7 or 11, it’s called a “natural”, and you win.
  • If they roll a 2, 3 or 12, it’s called “craps, and you lose.
  • If any other number is rolled (for example 4, 5, 6, 6, 8, 9 or a 10), then the number which was rolled becomes the “point” and an extra round begins. The shooter will continue to shoot until they throw the same number as the point, which means they win, or until they first roll a 7, which means they lose. (more about this in the next section)

Rules of the Extra Round

When a number other than 7, 2, 3 or 12 is rolled in the come out roll, an extra round is initiated, meaning that the point has been established you move into the second phase of the game. The puck marker is placed to show what number is the point, which is the same number as the one rolled when the point was made. The goal in this part of the game is to get the point number again, before getting a number 7. If any number other than these two is rolled, it has no consequence for the game (except for on bets placed on those numbers) and the shooter continues to roll until one of these two numbers comes up.

If the shooter throws a 7: the don’t pass line bet will win and the pass line bet loses.

If the shooter throws the point number: the pass line bet wins and the don’t pass line bet loses.

Possible Outcomes of the Pass Line Bet:

Win Pass Line BetLose Pass Line Bet
Roll a 7 or 11 on the first rollRoll a 2, 3, or 12 on the first roll
OR
OR
Roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, + roll it again before rolling a 7Roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, + roll a 7 before you roll the point number

Come Bet

Once a point has been established, you can continue to place similar bets to the pass line bet, and this is called making a “come bet”. A come bet turns the next throw of the dice after your bet is placed into a come out roll and that means that you would win if a 7 or 11 is rolled, but you lose if craps is thrown (2, 3 or 12). This kind of bet also means that a new come point will be set, and if it is rolled again before a 7 is rolled it wins, and it loses if a 7 is thrown before the point is thrown. You can only place a come bet if a point has already been established for the table.

  • Aside from the interest in playing this kind of bet just for its face value, it’s also useful to know that you can back a come bet with an odds bet, just as you would be able to do on a pass line bet. As you will read more about further on in this article, odds bets have great odds for payouts, so this is a good option to keep in mind.
  • When placing a come bet, you can continue even after you have established two points. If you want, you can continue placing bets and establishing new come points. When you do this repeatedly, it comes with a risk that you may lose more money.

Come Bet Betting Table:

Kind of ThrowNumber ThrownOutcome
Come out throw7Win
Come out throw11Win
Come out throw2Lose
Come out throw3Lose
Come out throw12Lose
Come out throwAny other numberNo effect

Don’t Pass Bet

This bet is not very popular among punters because it means that you are betting against the shooter, and often that means betting against all other players at the table. That means placing a bet that the shooter will not make a point, so a 7 will be thrown before the point number is thrown.
Don’t Pass Betting Table:

Kind of ThrowNumber ThrownOutcome
Come out throw7Win
Come out throw11Win
Come out throw2, 3, 12Win
Come out throw4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10Lose

Don’t Come Bet

When you place a don’t come bet, you are betting that the number 7 will be rolled before the point is reached. That means that in the first round, you will lose if a 7 or 11 is rolled and you will win if a 2 or a 3 is rolled, and receive your money back if a 12 is thrown because it is a push. If a don’t come point is established and then a number 7 is thrown before the point is thrown again, your don’t come bet will win.
Don’t Come Bet Table

Kind of ThrowNumber ThrownKind of Bet PlacedOutcome
Come out7Don’t ComeLose
Come out11Don’t ComeLose
Come out2Don’t ComeWin
Come out3Don’t ComeWin
Come out12Don’t ComeMoney returned
After a point7Don’t ComeWin
After a pointPoint before 7Don’t ComeLose

Don’t Pass Bar

Betting on the Don’t Pass Bar means that you are placing a bet on the opposite outcome of what placing a Pass Line bet does. The Don’t Pass bar is located right next to the Pass Line section. So if you remember that with a pass line bet, throwing a 7 or 11 on a come out roll will mean that your pass line bet wins, then simply reverse that for the don’t pass line bet. If a 7 or 11 is thrown, the don’t pass line bet will lose. And if 2, 3 or 12 is thrown on a come out throw, a pass line bet will lose, so a 2, 3 or 12 thrown on a come out throw means the don’t pass line bet wins.

A simple way to remember this is that when you bet on the pass line, you are betting with the shooter. And when you bet on a don’t pass line bet, you are then betting with the house against the shooter.

Here’s a simple table to keep things straight:

Number ThrownKind of Bet PlacedOutcome
7pass line betWin
7don’t pass line betLose
11pass line betWin
11don’t pass line betLose
2pass line betLose
2don’t pass line betWin
3pass line betLose
3don’t pass line betWin
12pass line betLose
12don’t pass line betWin

Field Bet

A field bet is placed in an area of the craps table where you will see the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12 written out. This area is referred to as “the field”. When you place this kind of bet, you can actually place the chips there yourself and you are betting on that group of numbers together, not on a specific one. As long as your chips are somewhere in this field area, the bet is then placed on the field.

A field bet is a one roll bet and it pays out even money, unless a 2 or a 12 is rolled. This exception is because a 2 usually pays out 2 to 1, and the 12 usually pays out 3 to 1 unlike the other numbers. So to win a field bet, a number 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 must be rolled. You lose the field bet if any other number is rolled, so that means numbers 5, 6, 7 or 8. It might seem like an obvious choice to place this kind of bet because there are so many numbers in the field and far fewer in the opposing side, but in actuality it’s rather hard to win a field bet because the likelihood is in favour of the numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8 to show up more often than the field numbers. The house edge on a field bet is around 5.55%.

Field Bet Outcomes Table:

Number RolledOutcome
2Win
3Win
4Win
5Lose
6Lose
7Lose
8Lose
9Win
10Win
11Win
12Win

Big 6 and Big 8

Big 6 and Big 8 bets may be placed at any time and are easy bets which pay even money. In order to place a Big6 or Big 8 bet, you need to place chips on either the number 8, the number 8, or both, as you are allowed to bet on the big 6 and big 8 at the same time. As you can tell by the name, if you place your chips on the 6, it is a “big 6” bet and if you place your chips on the 8, it is a “big 8” bet. When you have done this, you want the number or numbers you bet on to be rolled before a 7 is rolled. A rule of thumb to abide by is that you should avoid placing big 6 and big 8 bets when the house edge exceeds 9%. If you really enjoy betting on the numbers 6 and 8, and insist on doing so, it’s wiser to choose to place a bet on the number 6 because it has a lower house edge. If a big 6 bet wins with a house edge of 1.52%, it pays out 7 to 6.

Number RolledKind of BetOutcome
6Big 6Win
8Big 8Win
Any other number than 6Big 6Lose
Any other number than 8Big 8Lose

The House Edge

The “house edge” in casino games is how much on average the house, or the casino, takes from every bet placed. It can vary from game to game and casino to casino, but in craps the house edge is usually around 1.41%. That makes it a much better betting option than roulette, for example, which has a house edge of around 5.26%, slots with up to around a 15% house edge and especially Keno, which has a house edge of up to 25%.

How to Play Craps Online

There are numerous different providers offering online craps, which is very much like banker or casino craps. In online craps, you have pretty much the same options as you would in regular craps, and usually the game will show just half of a craps table, because in regular craps you would be situated on one half of the craps table anyways. When playing online craps, the numbers on the dice will be automatically generated as random numbers. Although they’re not actual, physical dice, the random numbers you get from the digital dice are just as random as those from a regular set of dice, making online craps a suitable alternative.

Getting Started Playing Craps Online

Playing craps online works very much the same as it would in a casino. Here’s a quick walk through the basic steps involved in playing craps online:

How to Bet at Craps Online

At the beginning of the game, first you must place your bet on the outcome you would like to bet on. You can do so by clicking on the area designating your selected bet. You can add chips to increase your bet or select clear to remove your bet if you make a mistake or you change your mind. You can choose to place bets with single chips or select larger denomination chips to increase the amount you bet by 5, 25, 100 or 500.

Roll the Dice

Once you’ve placed your bets and are satisfied with your selection, then click roll to throw the dice. The numbers of the dice you rolled will show up in a special window on the screen where you can view the outcome of your roll. Based on the numbers you rolled, you may win chips, have them taken away if your bet loses, or you may need to simply roll again if the outcome was inconsequential to the bets which have been placed. You can continue betting on the different areas of the table between each roll of the dice.

Continue Rolling Until the End of the Round

Depending on the outcome of your throws, you may continue rolling the dice several times before reaching the end of the round. You may place or remove bets at any time between rolling the dice. Once the end of the game has been reached, you will be prompted to place your bet again, and a new round then begins.

Play Craps Online For Free

If you’re interested in playing craps online but don’t have any experience doing so, one great way to begin is to try out the free online craps games available on the web. A quick search for “play craps online for free” or a similar search term will present you with multiple options to choose from. Many sites offer free versions of craps where you can actually play craps completely for free, without having to put any money in, without downloading any programs and without opening any account.

Why try the free version?

What’s great about trying out online craps on a free web version is that it gives you hands on experience playing online craps, and best of all, you don’t risk any actual money by trying it. This is a much safer option than diving straight in to opening a real online casino account and potentially losing money while playing just to get the hang of it. That’s certainly not a fun idea and it doesn’t accomplish the goal of how to win at craps. The cool thing about free online craps is that it shows you how to bet at craps online so you can learn as you go. Reading pages and pages of explanations is one thing, but actually trying it out is a whole different beast.

Do I have to download a program to play craps online?

In most cases, you can find online craps programs where you do not have to download anything. If you prefer not to download the game, search for something like “free online craps, no download”. Sometimes you need to download an app to play certain games, and that is not such a bad idea, because it helps make the game run more smoothly, but if you’re totally against downloading craps games, it’s easy enough to avoid it.

Tips on How to Win at Craps In a Casino

Because craps is much more complex than it seems on the surface, there are many out there who wish to learn how to win at craps every time. This guide gives a quick overview of helpful strategies which will definitely get your betting on track to win. Whether you’re a complete novice at playing and betting on craps or a more advanced player, you are sure to find a use for these thoughtful tips and tricks for how to bet on craps and win.

Place Free Odds Bets

One of the most popular winning strategies in craps is to place free odds on line bets. This helps your chances of winning, as it reduces the house edge percentage. Usually the house edge is 1.41%, so if you place a pass line bet, you’re facing the full house edge. But if you place free odds on the very same bet, that percentage drops down to 0.8%. And if you really want to reduce the house edge, try placing the bet with double odds, which makes the house edge even lower, 0.6%. And each time you add to your free odds bet, the house edge decreases more and more.

To place a free odds bet, you need to first place some chips on the pass line bet. Then you can add more chips behind this first bet on the line, which makes the bet into a free odds bet. The free odds bet can be placed any time after a come out roll and can also be removed or changed any time thereafter. Casinos sometimes have specific rules on how much you can bet on free odds, so it’s useful to find this out. The amount you can bet on free odds is usually related to your initial bet on the Pass line, but can vary from double that amount to 100 times your initial bet.

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The Value of Controlled Shooting

Very experienced shooters can actually learn to learn how to control the way they throw the dice, with the intention of determining what the outcome of the throw will be. Some use the strategy of try to ensure that they get a 7, but others use the opposite, and try to avoid throwing a 7. To do this, they can position the dice in their hand in a way that they hold certain numbers facing up and then throw the dice carefully so as not to have them bump in to one another. As you can imagine, this kind of throwing technique requires a lot of practice to perfect. But when you master controlled shooting, which is also known as recurring shooting, you can make throwing more predictable and less random, which enables you to better predict the outcome of your own rolls.

This practice is frowned upon, so you must do it fairly secretively in order for it to work. If the casino employees notice you are trying to control your rolls, they will stop you from playing immediately. But if you mix up your bets on your own rolls with bets on other players’ rolls, you will be less likely to be discovered, and you can see how well it improves your winnings at craps.

Bet on Other Players and Watch for the Good Players

Take a moment to examine the other players around you so you can get an idea of who to bet on, aside from yourself, in craps. While it’s great to bet on your own throws it can also be a lucrative option to bet on other players who may be even better than yourself. This also applies if you are trying out other winning techniques such as controlled throwing, because if you need to also bet on other players to avoid suspicion, you should at least know who the good players are. Check to see who really seems to know what they’re doing, and seems to consistently play well. This small investment of time is well worth it in the long run.

Keep an Eye Out for Patterns, Stretches and Trends

Similar to the last tip, paying close attention to what is going on at the table is truly an excellent use of your time. By catching patterns which pop up, you can tune in to not only who is a good player and who is less experienced, but you can also see if certain players get on to a winning streak which might be a lucky chance to bet on. You might even be able to spot if a player is using a regulated shooting technique, and therefore rolls the same numbers consistently. This can be a great opportunity to bet on their throws because you can better predict whether or not they will be successful.

Tipping the Dealers

This strategy is obviously for real life casino craps, and it’s rather straightforward. You might not know that you can, but it’s actually a good idea to tip the dealers in craps. When you tip the dealers, it makes them more inclined to let you bet at higher denominations than would otherwise be allowed. And that translates directly into giving you a break on the house edge, because the higher the bet, the lower the house edge is. Basically put, everybody wins in this scenario.

Managing Superstition

A winning craps betting strategy also has to do with dividing some of the superstition surrounding craps from the actual goal of the game. At its heart, craps is a game of chance. Because of this, many people assign all kinds of beliefs and superstitions to what causes games to go one way or another, but truthfully this is not the path to take for how to win at craps. It’s absolutely fine to believe in any kind of superstition you subscribe to surrounding luck, patterns, etc, but make sure it doesn’t get in the way of your game. Every player has their signature way of playing, so it is best to let that be determined by your own personal experience, knowledge and beliefs.

The Financial Side of Betting on Craps

It might appear that some people simply walk into a casino, play a bit and then go home with a month’s rent by the end of the night. The reality is that there is a lot more which goes behind it, and it’s very important to examine the financial aspects of betting at craps if you are in it hoping to make money on your betting. Making a plan and getting familiar with how a betting budget works are key to any winning betting strategy.

Set Realistic Expectations

Although it would be incredible to be able to make millions or even thousands on a night of betting on craps, but the reality is that this is not exactly the way it works. Some people may end up getting extremely lucky and making a huge pile of cash in one go, but those cases are extremely rare. Betting professionals advise that making between 10% and 20% on your betting is their definition of a “good night”. So the first step is just breaking even, but if you start to make actual money from betting, check to see how that compares with the amount you put in. If it works out to be in the neighborhood of 10% you’re definitely on your way, and if you begin making 20% on your gambling, you should be very satisfied with those numbers because you’re doing very successfully.

Set Limits for Yourself

Some players may think that setting betting limits is just for gamblers “who have a problem”, but actually all betters can benefit from setting and sticking to limits. It’s also the sign of treating your betting as a business, because having a realistic overview of how much expenditure you can make, how much you expect to earn in a given timeframe and what kind of risks are allowed in your plan. By taking steps in the direction of managing your finances well, you make it less likely that your betting would become a financial burden or drain and also increase the likelihood that you can make wise financial decisions which will benefit you immediately and also down the line.

Set a Budget for Yourself

A shop owner or manager knows first hand that you can’t run a business without first setting out a budget. In betting, it’s very similar, you can’t expect to turn a profit if you have no idea how much money you will end up spending, nor how much money must be invested before you will make a return on that spending. Taking a realistic look at your personal finances is the first step in making such a betting budget.

Creating a Betting Budget:

  • Add up all forms of income you receive in a month. Consider any money which comes in together, so you can get a picture of how much money you have to work with.
  • Then subtract out all outgoing money: rent, bills, travel, taxes and all other expenses which occur on a monthly basis. Be quite generous in this section because there are always unexpected expenses which can pop up when we least expect it, so add in a bit for incidentals. You may be in the habit of putting a portion of your money into savings every month, so if that is the case, also take out that amount from the final figure.
  • What you will be left with is a figure of what remains of your monthly income once all the bills are paid. This is what we will call your “expendable income”. It’s money which is free to be used and invested however you wish, without threatening to affect your ability to pay your rent, keep the electricity running and to eat in a fashion you are accustomed to.

Once you’ve calculated your expendable income, you can then set a reasonable amount of that money aside as your betting cash. You can decide if you want to spend all that money, 50% of it, £500, £100, whatever, but make sure the number reflects your idea of what amount of money you would be ok with putting toward your betting. If you set a monthly figure on how much you’re willing to spend on betting, you should also develop an idea of how much you would be able to spend on a given night, so you don’t blow all the cash in one go. Many players enjoy setting a number on how much they’re allowed to bring to the casino per night, so they know in advance how their numbers look.

Set a Loss Limit

Now that you have a good idea of how much you are comfortable with as a spending limit, you can move on to the next step, setting an upward limit on how much you are willing to lose. Are you comfortable with potentially losing the amount of your entire betting budget in case you end up losing badly? That doesn’t at all mean that you are going to lose all the betting money, but because there is a chance, it is wise to consider that as a possible outcome. If your monthly betting budget is £1000 for example, what percentage do you want to set as the maximum you are willing to lose? Fixing this number beforehand gives you a strict limit on when you know you should cut your losses. That helps avoid getting swept up in the heat of the game and potentially going overboard.

Set Betting Amounts

If you want to get even more specific with how you manage your betting bankroll, you can even calculate how much you can stand to bet per round. What that means is that you take the amount you have given yourself for an evening at the casino, which is your “bankroll”. Then divide this out into how many times you think you would like to bet. If we set the bankroll for the day at £100, and you imaging placing 25 bets in a night, that would mean dividing the £100 by 25, leaving you £4 per bet. That’s not to say you couldn’t then bet £15 on a certain bet which looks appealing, and then spend other time betting £1 each round, but this number gives you a picture of how you could spend your bankroll wisely, so it lasts through the night.

Fix a Reasonable Betting Goal

This is one of the most crucial aspects of managing your betting finances, because the numbers don’t always match up to our wildest dreams. Many players make the mistake of giving themselves unrealistic betting goals, for example hoping to win a million pounds from a £50 note, and in the end those kinds of goals are merely frustrating. By setting attainable goals for yourself with your betting, you are more likely to actually achieve them and also feel the satisfaction of doing well.

Since the pro advice is to consider 10 to 20 percent an achievement, perhaps start out with 5% profit as your goal. Once you’ve met that goal, you can move it up to 10% and even increase it further to 15% or 20% as you improve in winning at craps.

Glossary of Craps Betting Terms

Here is a collection of all the useful betting terminology you can ask for, gathered together in one place. It’s a great tool for looking up confusing or new craps words, or to check what certain bets mean.

Aceswhen two dice are thrown and they both land on the number 1. This is also called “snake eyes”, but that is more in the movies than reality, and real punters call this aces.
Apronthe area which is outside of the layout.
At riskthis is when a bet is active.
Betting rightthis is when you bet with the roller instead of against them.
Betting wrongthis is when you bet against the roller instead of with them.
Big redanother name for rolling a 7. Many people call it this because rolling a 7 is bad luck.
Bonesa name for the dice. This could refer to the historical practice of making playing dice out of knuckle bones.
Boxcarswhen the dice are rolled and both of them land on the number 6.
Boxman one of four casino employees who run the game of craps. The boxman is the only seated one, sitting in the casino’s bank at the centre of the table. From there, the boxman can see all that goes on in a game of craps and manages the chips, advises the
Box numbersanother name for the point numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10.
Buy betthis is when you bet on a specific box number.
C and Eshortened way of saying Craps and Eleven.
Change onlyYou will often hear this phrase when buying chips. It is important to make it clear that the money you are placing down is not a bet, but that you are requesting to buy chips and can then use this phrase to do so.
Colouring upexchanging smaller valued chips of one colour for those of higher denominations, represented by different colours. This method is intended to preserve the chips at a given table and frees up smaller chips for use.
Come betsthis is when a bet is based on the next number to come out. This sort of bet would then either pay directly, or it will get moved to one of the point numbers, much like how it works for a come out roll.
Come out rollthis refers to the first roll after a hand has been set.
Crapsrolling dice which add up to 2, 3 or 12.
Dark Sidethis is another way of describing “betting wrong”.
DealersThe dealers in craps stand one on either side of the boxman. They manage the players on their respective side of the table. The dealers give out the winnings to the winners and collect chips from the players who lose.
Dimethis usually refers to a bet of £10.
Easy waywhen one rolls a 4, 6, 8 or 10 short of rolling a pair.
Fieldthrowing a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12.
Free oddsa secondary bet placed with more advantageous odds, another way of saying “true odds”.
Gardenanother name for “field”.
Handwhen bets and rolls are made up until a 7 is thrown or a point is established, whether or not the puck is on.
Hard waywhen one rolls a 4, 6, 8 or 10 by rolling a pair.
Hedge betthis is when one places a bet against one or more of their other bets with the intent of minimising potential losses. That way if your bet wins, you benefit, but if you lose, you don’t lose out completely.
Hi loa bet on 2 and 12, the highest and lowest numbers one can roll.
Hi lo yosimilar to a Hi Lo, but with 11 added to the bet. (2, 11 and 12).
Hot tablethis refers to a table where shooters are making points and not rolling 7s. It’s good to keep an eye out for hot tables, because they’re good betting opportunities.
Inside numbersa bet placed on the inner numbers of the box numbers (5, 6, 8 and 9).
Insurance betanother way of saying a “hedge bet”. It acts as insurance against losing.
Lay betwhen you place a bet against a box number.
Layout a printed piece of felt bearing the markings of the possible bets which can be placed.
Line betanother way of referring to the pass line bet.
Little Joethis is what it’s called when two dice are rolled and both land on the number 2.
Markeranother name for the puck.
Outside numbersthis describes the outer numbers of the box numbers (4, 5, 9 and 10).
Nickel often this is used as a short way to say a bet worth £5.
Nina Rossthis is said when two dice thrown add up to the number 9.
Odds Bet this is a bet that will give you true odds (a.k.a. free odds) and it increases your existing bet.
On/off puckthe name for the circular button that is placed on a number to show the point number. Sometimes the on/off puck is flipped over to show whether certain bets are turned off or on.
Parlaythis is when you increase a bet by letting it ride after a win.
Passwhen a player decides not to roll the dice and passes the roll on to the next shooter in line.
Pass line betthis is a bet in support of the shooter.
Past postingmaking a bet when the roll has been set. This is done in hopes that the dealer and the boxman don’t see it.
Pennya £1 chip.
Place betplacing a bet on a specific box number.
Point numberthis is the number which is set by a Come Out roll.
Point numbersthe numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10.
Pressanother way to refer to increasing the bet.
Prop betsthis refers to betting on the centre layout.
Railwhere you keep your chips.
Regressthis refers to reducing the bet.
Seven outwhen a 7 is rolled and it ends the hand for the shooter. When this occurs, the dice are passed to the next shooter.
Shooterplayer who is throwing the dice.
Stickman This is the fourth party of the casino employees who run a craps table, and the stickman is in charge of the dice. As you could have guessed, the stickman is the one with the stick, used to direct the dice. When bets have been placed, the stickman pushes the dice toward the shooter and they also collect the dice after the game has finished.
True oddsanother way of saying “free odds”. In this kind of bet there is no house edge, and it refers to the odds of a bet being as accurate to the likelihood of the event.
Viganother name for the commission (or “rake”) taken by the house.
Workingthe time when bets are active and the puck is switched on.
Yo-leventhis is a special way of pronouncing the number 11, so that it is not mistakenly heard as the number 7. Because playing craps can get quite noisy, it’s sometimes necessary to use this kind of term for the sake of communicating clearly.
2 waya 2 way is when half the bet continues to run and the other half is given as a tip to the staff.
22 insidethis is when £5 is bet on the numbers 5 and 9, and a £6 bet is placed on the number 6 and 8.

Looking at Odds: The House Edge

Knowing your odds is one of the essential ingredients to winning at craps. By familiarising yourself with the figures for how likely it is for a specific outcome to do well and how much the house edge is on certain bets, you can make better informed decisions with your bankroll and how to spend it most wisely. Craps usually has minimum single ods, but casinos actually have some flexibility about giving the choice of other odds. Often the minimum Pass Line bet can serve as a good indicator of what kind of odds to expect at a given casino. If the minimum Pass Line bet is low, you can also expect generally lower odds from that casino.

Here is a table listing the house edge on Pass Line bets. This is assuming you make full odds and also can depend on what odds are offered at a casino, which can vary a bit:

Pass Line OddsHouse Edge
No odds (pass line only)1.41%
1x odds0.85%
2x odds0.61%
5x odds0.32%
10x odds0.18%
100x odds0.02%

When the odds are against you, it allows you to bet with less money, so there is an appeal to this kind of betting. When the odds are neither for nor against you, it doesn’t really increase your chances of winning.

Example:

For example, if you have a plan to bet £5 per round, you could do so by simply placing £5 on the Pass Line and leave it at that. That kind of bet doesn’t take any odds. But if the casino allows betting on double odds, you could then place £1 on the pass line and £4 on the odds, which leaves you with a total bet of £5. Placing this kind of bet reduces the losses you may anticipate by 0.5. Statistically, you can make around 30 Pass Line bets per hour, so that enables you to calculate the expected losses you may incur if you were to play this way for a whole session.
Betting at no odds, the usual house edge. (Pass Line only)
£5 x 1.41% = potential losses of £0.3525 per round
-£0.3525 x 30 rounds in an hour = potential loss of £10.575 per hour
Betting at 1x odds:
£5 x  0.85% = potential losses of £0.0425 per round
-£0.0425 x 30 rounds = potential loss of £1.275 per hour

Placing Odds Bets as a Strategy

Odds bets pay out much better than Pass Line bets because the amount you win is based on the point value which you bet on. This is unlike the Pass Line bet because the amount you win is decided by the amount you have placed in as a stake and will pay out that same amount. (so for example, a £10 Pass Line bet will pay out £10) If a Lay Bet is placed on any of the following numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, and then a number 7 is rolled before your number comes up, then you will win. The reason for this is that the number 7 would be the  most likely number to be rolled, and therefore you should bet more than you can win in this instance. Here you would then pay a 4% commission on all of your winnings and you would get fair odds on the bet.

Fair odds would be:

  • 1:2 on dice rolls 4 & 10
  • 2:3 on dice rolls 5 & 9
  • 5:6 on dice rolls 6 & 8
Point bet onOddsBetPayout
4 or 102:1£10 bet£20 win
5 or 93:2£10 bet£15 win
6 or 86:5£10 bet£12 win

Playing Craps Online

If the hustle and bustle of the real life casino is not for you, and you would prefer to play and bet on craps online, there are a lot of other advantages that come along with choosing to gamble on online craps.

Flexibility and Mobility

One of the best aspects of online gambling is the flexibility to play any time of day or night, and with mobile casino games, you can also play from practically anywhere. You’ll not only skip out on needing to go out into crowded social situations, which is part of the regular casino environment. Instead, you can make yourself comfortable at home, and set up your own private casino experience from the convenience of your computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Casino Bonuses

Many online casinos also offer very generous bonuses, which are some of the best perks of playing craps online versus in a regular casino. Some of the kinds of bonuses you will be able to choose from include:

  • Welcome/ sign up bonuses
  • Initial deposit bonuses
  • Free bet bonuses

The welcome or sign up bonus is the most common of these, and also the most beneficial. When you receive a sign up bonus, it means you get a special prize as an incentive for signing up for a new account with an online casino company. Not all online casinos are alike, and they offer various amounts of money as a welcome bonus. You can also find special offers via secondary sites sometimes, where you get a special bonus code which unlocks even better bonuses than the usual grade of welcome bonus offered through a casino’s website. Keep an eye out for special offers and also don’t be afraid to shop around before committing to a casino to play at. Comparing the different options out there will help you to get the best bonus possible, which translates into more cash to play with in the casino.

Easily Find and Compare the House Edge

In a regular casino, it’s not always that easy to find out what the house edge of a given game is. It’s surely listed somewhere, but you might have to look, ask several employees, and generally have a somewhat awkward experience. In an online casino, it’s quite easy to find out what the house edge is. If you go to their home page, click to open the help section, and if it’s searchable, just type in “house edge” as a search term to find out what percentage the casino takes as a house edge.

Being aware of the house edge, you can determine if a casino is giving you good odds, and you can select a casino which gives you the best possible options for betting. Because you are betting online, it is then easier to find all the necessary information and you can compare and contrast in just minutes, rather than going to 5 different physical casinos, which could take hours or even days.

Negatives of Playing Craps Online vs. in a Casino

Although there are many positives to playing craps online, there are a handful of negative aspects to account for too. Whether these are negative or positive can be a totally subjective thing, but it’s useful to consider what fits you personally and your personal playing style in the game.

No Direct Interaction

Some players feel like the best part of playing craps is the excitement which comes from interacting with other players through the game. People shout and cheer, laugh and winge, all the while placing bets and getting totally engaged in the game. Though there are online gambling forums through which punters can exchange tips, stories and strategies, it’s not quite the same as the classic casino experience. But some players find this lack of “real life” interaction as the best part of online craps, and truly prefer not having to be around a large, at times noisy, crowd of other players. Suit yourself, to each their own.

Randomly Generated Numbers (RGN)

Another down side to online craps is that the numbers are all generated by computers based on algorithms. While this is convenient, fast and reliable for the casinos, it takes away any possibility to use special throwing strategies to help your game.

Missing Out on In House Odds

As mentioned earlier in the section on betting strategies for craps, you are sometimes able to get better odds in an actual casino than you can in an online casino. If you get to know the dealers and you tip them from time to time, they are more amenable to giving you better betting possibilities than otherwise, and in an online casino, there are only the options set by the program. That means you miss out on the possibility to place bets which exceed the upward betting limit set by the online casino, and other lucrative possibilities which are not quite officially allowed.

Fun Facts about Craps Superstitions

Craps punters can get mighty superstitious and even if you’re not a superstitious person, it’s quite fun to hear what kind of traditions there are in the game. Here are a few fun craps superstitions you may not have heard of before. And it could be useful to know these things because other players might get annoyed if they think you’re spoiling their luck.

  • It’s considered bad luck to say the word “seven” when a point is set. Some players believe that if you say that word, it will make the likelihood of a number 7 being thrown more likely. To get around this dilemma, many players refer to the number 7 simply as “it” to avoid saying it entirely.
  • Try not to hit another player’s money when you throw the dice. This is seen as more than rude, but actually unlucky, and likely to make a 7 appear, which would get rid of any points which have been set.
  • Craps players view new male players as unlucky and believe that they cause the number 7 to appear more often. (noticing a pattern here?) So, for this reason, new male players are advised to never admit that they are new to the game of craps.
  • In contrast to new males joining the game of craps, new female players are seen as auspicious. A new craps player who is a woman is referred to as a “virgin” and are believed to bring good numbers while they are at the table. For that reason, if you’re a woman and new to the game of craps, be sure to tell the other players so, because it will make you popular and can perhaps land you some extra cash to play with.

Conclusion

From this guide, you should be able to get a comprehensive understanding of the ins and outs of craps, how to improve your betting in the game, develop an effective craps strategy and understand how to win at craps. It’s a deceptively simple game, based around the basic principle of betting on the outcome of the throw of the dice, but as you see from reading this article, there is a lot more to craps than just throwing dice. Hopefully, the information you learned here will help clarify some of the complex aspects of betting on craps, and also make it easier for you to understand how to bet at craps. With the right combination of knowledge, skill and luck, you’re likely to improve and win at craps.

You can always return to our front page for more craps rules.

Play craps!