Craps in Las Vegas

Go to any casino on the Vegas Strip and the most uproarious behavior – both in jubilation and frustration – will be found coming from the Craps table. Craps in Las Vegas is perhaps the most exhilarating game there is, tremendously popular among those who know how to play it, and frequently too intimidating for those who do not. Please don’t be intimidated by this fabulous casino game. Any casino enthusiast must take a shot at Craps in Las Vegas at least once in their lifetime.

Craps in Las Vegas greatly differs from playing Craps in an online casino. You simply don’t get that invigoration at an online casino, or even at land-based casinos outside Las Vegas, that you experience at a Las Vegas Craps table. Also, online casinos do everything manually. Playing Craps in Las Vegas incurs an indiscriminate limit on the number of players that can be at a single table, limited only to the space available along the table rail. If you can’t fit your hands on the rail, the table is full, move on to the next table.

Players will find four casino employees working each the Craps table in Las Vegas. These are the Stickman, the Boxman and two Dealers. The Boxman is the lead man at the Craps table, overseeing the entire game and watching over the casino chips. The Boxman is responsible for exchanging each player’s cash for chips to use at the Craps table, though this goes first through a Dealer. The Boxman will inspect the dice regularly to ensure fair play. Should any disputes arise, it the Boxman’s duty to resolve them.

Directly opposite the Boxman stands the Stickman. It is the Stickman’s job to control the dice, using a long flexible stick. With this tool, he will pull the dice together after each roll, calling out the number rolled. Before a new Shooters first roll, the Stickman will push 3 sets of dice towards the Shooter, who will choose one set to use throughout the duration of his roll. After the Come Out Roll, the Stickman will announce the number rolled, followed by “The Point”, to relay that a Point has been established. In addition to controlling the dice, the Stickman is responsible for all Proposition Bets – those placed in the very center of the table’s betting diagram.

At each side of the Boxman stands a Dealer. It is each Dealer’s job to take care of his own end of the table. He will watch the bets being placed and ensure each losing bet is collected while each winning bet is paid properly.The Dealer is also responsible for taking certain Bets, such as Lay Bets, as they require a 5% commission to be paid. When a player wished to exchange cash for chips, the play must hand the money to the nearest Dealer, who will then hand it to the Boxman for counting. The Dealer then hands the new chips to the player.

With a general idea of how Craps in Las Vegas unfolds, players should have no fears about walking up to the table, requesting chips and placing a bet. Once you’ve spent a bit of time playing Craps in Las Vegas, you’ll understand why the majority consensus believes Craps to be the most exhilarating of all casino games.

Craps Odds

Craps is well known for presenting the highest level of intimidation for inexperienced casino gamers. When someone walks into a casino for the first time, they may find themselves attracted by the loud raucous that commonly occurs around a Craps table, however, once they get close enough to see that it is a Craps table, they will most likely smile, nod and keep walking. This doesn’t have to be the case.

In order to enjoy the game of Craps, quite possibly the most thrilling game in a casino, a player just needs to understand the various bets and odds related to them. This article is intended to provide Craps players will a list of Craps Odds, allowing inexperienced players to make the best decisions when placing bets on Craps.

Table Odds and Layout

Below you will find the odds for specific Craps bets. Scroll down for a view of the Craps table layout.

Pass Line
The Pass Line is the most common bet before the Come-Out Roll, paying 1:1. The House Edge on a Pass Line Bet is 1.41%, considerably higher than most Craps Odds.

Don’t Pass Bar
While this is regarded as a “wrong” bet, that is only because most players don’t understand the Craps Odds on a Don’t Pass Bar. Paying 1:1, the House Edge is 1.364%, actually better than the Pass Line bet. It is not recommended to boast about wining this bet, as most players around you will have lost by betting on the Pass Line.

A Come is the same as a Pass Line bet, but may be made at any time after the come out roll. Come bets pay 1:1 with a House Edge of 1.41%.

Don’t Come
Just like the Don’t Pass bet, but can be made anytime after the come out roll. Don’t Come bets pay 1:1 with a House Edge of 1.364%.

Place Bets
Place Bets can be made on 4,5,6,8,9 and 10. If the chosen number hits before a 7, the bet wins. Betting on 4 or 10 pays 9:5, House Edge 6.67% – 5 or 9 pays 7:5, House edge 4% – 6 or 8 pays 7:6, House Edge 1.52%.

Big 6 / Big 8
Big 6 and Big 8 bets are rip-offs. They work exactly the same as a Place Bet on 6 or 8, but pay worse odds. The payout is 1:1 with a House Edge of 1.52%, rather than paying 7:6 with the same House Edge.

Lay Bets
These are the opposite of Place Bets, choosing 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and/or 10 in hopes that the chosen number will NOT roll before a 7. Player’s must pay a 5% commission to make this bet, otherwise the edge would be in the player’s favor. In addition, the payout is less than the amount wagered. 4 and 10 pay 1:2, House Edge 2.44% – 5 and 9 pay 2:3, House Edge 3.23% – 6 and 8 pay 5:6, House Edge 4%.

Hardway Bets
There are 4 Hardway Bets in Craps; 4 (2+2), 6 (3+3), 8 (4+4) and 10 (5+5). These are called Hardway Bets cause the number must be rolled the “hard way” (as doubles). Hardway 4 and 10 pay 7:1 with a House Edge of 11.11%. Hardway 6 and 8 pay 9:1, House Edge 9.01%.

Proposition Bets

These are bets that last for a single throw of the dice, at which time they are won or lost.

Crap 2
A bet that a 2 (1+1) will be thrown next – Pays 30:1, House Edge 13.89%.

Crap 3
A bet that a 3 (2+1) will be thrown next – Pays 15:1, House Edge 11.11%.

A bet that a 7 will be thrown next – Pays 4:1, House Edge 16.67%.
(Note that players can earn more with better Craps Odds by placing 3 Hops Bets (see below), one on 1-6, 2-5 and 3-4 – Pays 13:3, House Edge 11.11%.)

A bet that 11 (5+6) will be thrown next – pays 15:1, House Edge 11.11%.

A bet that 12 (6+6) will be thrown next – Pays 30:1, House Edge 13.89%.

Any Craps
A bet that 2, 3 or 12 will be thrown next – Pays 7:1, House Edge 11.11%.

Field Bet
A bet that 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 will be thrown next. 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11 Pays 1:1, 2 or 12 Pays 2:1 (some casinos pay 3:1 on 12), House Edge 5.56%.

Hops Bets
These are not on the table, but in a real casino can be negotiated with the dealer. The player chooses exactly what two numbers will roll next. Two different number (i.e. 4+6) Pays 15:1, house Edge 11.11%. Betting on two same numbers (i.e. Doubles, 4+4, 5+5, etc.) Pays 30:1, House Edge 13.89%.

Horn Bets
A bet on four numbers, 2, 3, 11 and 12. The best is divided into 4 (i.e. a bet of $4 places $1 on each number). 3 or 11 Pays 15:1, House Edge 11.11%. 2 or 12 Pays 30:1, House Edge 13.89%.

If you want to learn more about odds in other games here’s an excellentpoker odds calculator.

Craps Strategy

Craps is a very in-depth game when it comes to implementing a winning Craps strategy. There are various routes one can take to accomplish this, putting the oddsfurther into the player’s favor, but there is one particular Craps strategy that most people don’t even consider because it is generally referred to as the ‘wrong’ way to play Craps.

Those who believe this Craps strategy to be ‘wrong’ are those who’ve never taken the time to calculate the odds and House Edge. What is the Craps strategy we are referring to? Betting against the Shooter.

We would suspect that it was the various casinos themselves who spread the rumor of betting against the Shooter to be the ‘wrong’ way to bet. Or perhaps it is because most players bet with the Shooter, therefore a player betting against the Shooter who cheers after a victory is frowned upon by the remaining players who just lost their bets. Either way, this article will detail how this Crap strategy works and why it is the ‘right’ Craps Strategy to win more often.

We’ll start with the first bet most players make, Pass Line or Don’t Pass. APass Line wager is betting with the Shooter, hoping that he will roll any number besides 2, 3 or 12. A Don’t Pass bet is hoping for a 2, 3 or 12, but only loses on a 7 or 11. The Pass Line bet (with the Shooter) has a House Edge of 1.41%, while the Don’t Pass (against the Shooter) offers the player a better House Edge of 1.364%. It may not seem like much, but increasing your edge over the House is the key to any winning Craps strategy.

Now let’s say the likely occurs, and none of the automatic win/loss numbers are rolled (2, 3, 7, 11 or 12). Any other number rolled establishes the Point. When this happens, all Pass Line and Don’t Pass bets become standing wagers (Place Bets / Lay Bets) that the Point will either Come again (Pass Line, betting with the Shooter), or will NOT Come again (Don’t Pass, betting against the Shooter).

If you’ve ever placed a Lay Bet (against the Shooter), you may have noticed you were required to pay a 5% commission fee. This is because without that fee, the odds would actually be against the house in the player’s favor. With the 5% commission fee, the House Edge would become 1.364%. When placing a Don’t Pass bet that naturally becomes a Lay Bet, there is no fee, swaying the odds considerably into the player’s favor.

As you can see, betting ‘wrong’ is actually the best Craps strategy – just try not to cheer too loudly when you hit the big win and everyone else at thetable is glaring at you.

One other thing we would like to point out, as it goes completely against any good Craps strategy, is to never, ever bet on Big 6 or Big 8. These bets are rip-offs. They are exactly the same as a Field Bet on 6 or 8, but have lower Pay-Outs.

The best game to actually make a realistic profit at online however is poker, hence we recommend you to learn more about poker strategy if you aren’t already familiar with it.

Street Craps

Street Craps, also referred to as ‘Ghetto Craps’, or ‘Shooting Dice’, is a version of casino Craps that is played amongst friends and acquaintances without the benefit of a real Craps table. Street Craps, usually considered illegal, got its name from how it was often played in the mid- to late 1900’s – on the city streets, sidewalks and back alleys.

There a few key aspects that set Street Craps apart from traditional casino Craps. First is the obvious lack of a Banker. There is generally no one there with the specific job of handling the money, watching bets and making sure everyone is properly paid. The second major difference is the lack of a Craps table, which makes it acutely more difficult to place complicated bets.

Street Craps generally consists of two betting options – Pass and Don’t Pass. Before play begins, the Shooter will place a wager on Pass or Don’t Pass. Starting on the Shooter’s left and going clockwise, each bettor will be asked if they want to cover the bet, or a portion of it. Usually, the bettors will only cover a portion each. A bettor may decline to cover a bet at all if he wishes.

If the Shooter’s bet it not completely covered, he can either increase theodds, giving the bettors a chance to make more money if they cover the bet, or the Shooter can withdraw the remaining, uncovered portion of the bet.

Once the Shooter’s bet is covered, the bettors now have the option of wagering against each other. Any bettor who chose not to bet against the Shooter will likely place a bet against another player who did. With all bets placed, the Shooter may now toss the dice, using the same Come Out, Pass and Don’t Pass rules as in a real casino.

The Shooters first roll is the Come Out roll. If the Come Out roll is a 7 or 11, all Pass bets are won. If the Come Out roll is Craps – 2, 3 or 12 – all Don’t Pass bets are won. If the Come Out roll is any other number – 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, the rolled number becomes the Point.

With a Point established, all Pass bets turn into Come bets, wagering that the Point will come again before the Shooter ‘7s Out’ (rolls a 7). In the same token, all Don’t Pass Bets are now Don’t Come bets, wagering that a 7 will be rolled before that Point comes again.

Street Craps vs. Cee-Lo

Street Craps is often confused with the game of Cee-Lo, which is an entirely different game. In fact, the only common denominators in Street Craps and Cee-Lo are the presence of betting, and dice. However, there are 3 dice used by each player, and all are rolling against each other. The confusion between these two games probably came with the general term of ‘Shooting Dice’, which can refer to either game, Cee-Lo or Street Craps.

Craps Table

The Craps Table is a truly unique design developed 100% to accommodate its players. Craps is one of the most popular games in all casinos, as any such visitor may have noticed by the large hovering crowds and uproarious activity surrounding a Craps table.

Clever Design

A Craps Table can be compared to a billiards table, depicting the same basic shape and sunken design. The rails are fairly high, about 6 to 8 inches, so that the Shooter may bounce the dice off the opposite wall – a strict requirement in the game of land-based casino Craps. The rails are padded for the comfort of its players, and one thing most players may not realize is that there is a compartment under this rail where you can place your drink, rather than holding it or attempting to balance it on the padded railing.

Now for the most intriguing aspect of design for all novice players – the betting diagram. The Craps Table has a mirrored diagram of all possible betting options, centered by a Hardway and Craps betting diagram. Some inexperienced players may not understand why the casino would provide a mirrored diagram, essentially putting the same betting options on the Craps table twice, but there is in fact a very good explanation for this. Craps draws a very large number of players, as many as can fit around the table. A player on the opposite end of the table would have a difficult time reaching the most common bets – Pass, Don’t Pass, Come bets, Field bets, etc. – without it being present at both ends.

Betting Diagram

As we just mentioned, each mirrored diagram reveals the most common bets at each end of the table. These are Pass/Don’t Pass, Come/Don’t Come, Field Bets, Place Bets and the Big 6/Big 8 Bets. Each of these are considered Sequence Bets, because they may stay in play until the expected sum is rolled, or the bet is lost.

In the center of the Craps Table are Single-Roll Bets, also called Proposition Bets. We will call them Single-Roll Bets for this tutorial, as it is less confusing. These are bets that are won or lost in a single roll of the dice. These bets are less commonly placed in Craps, therefore are in the center of the table rather than mirrored for all player to easily access. Single-Roll Bets include Hardway Bets, Any Craps and Any Seven.

Bet Types and Payouts: Sequence Bets

In this section, we will describe for you each type of bet, how it is won/lost, and what the expected payout will be. We’ll start with Sequence Bets, since they are the most common.

Pass Line [Pays 1:1]
This is by far the most popular bet at a Craps Table. A Pass Line bet can only be placed on the Shooter Come Out Roll (first roll). If a 7 or 11 is rolled, the bet wins. If a 2, 3 or 12 (any Craps) is rolled, the bet loses. However – here comes the ‘sequence’ part – if any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) is rolled, this number becomes the Point. The Pass Line bet now becomes ‘Come’ bet, a wager that the Point will be rolled again before a 7. If so, the bet wins; if a 7 rolls first, the bet loses.

Don’t Pass [Pays 1:1]
This is exactly the opposite of a Pass Line bet, where a 2, 3 or 12 automatically wins, while a 7 or 11 loses. Any other number becomes the Point, and the Don’t Pass bet becomes a ‘Don’t Come’ wager that the Point will not come again before a 7 is rolled. If a 7 comes first, the bet wins; if the Point rolls first, the bet loses.

Buying Odds [Payout Varies]
Once a Point has been established, any bettor who placed a Pass Line bet may Buy Odds. This means the player may bet up to twice as much as the original Pass Line bet that the Point will come again before a 7. If the Point is a 6 or 8, the Payout is 6:5, a Point of 5 or 9 Pays 3:2, a Point of 4 or 10 Pays 2:1.

Laying Odds [Payout Varies]
Again, this is the opposite of Buying Odds. Once a Point has been established, any player with a Don’t Pass bet may Lay Odds. The player may wager up to twice the original Don’t Pass bet in hopes of the Point not rolling again before a 7. Since this is more likely to occur, the payout is lower. A 6 or 8 Pays 5:6, 5 or 9 Pays 2:3, 4 or 10 Pays 1:2.

Come [Pays 1:1]
This bet may only be placed after the Come Out Roll, once a Point has been established. A Come bet is a wager that the Point will come again before a 7 is rolled.

Don’t Come [Pays 1:1]
Opposite of a Come bet, the Don’t Come bet is a wager that the established Point will not be rolled again before a 7.

Place Bets [Payout Varies]
A Place Bet is like a Come Bet, expect the Point does not come into play. The bettor may choose any number from 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, betting that the chosen sum will roll before a 7. 6 or 8 Pays 7:6; 5 or 9 Pays 7:5; 4 or 10 Pays 9:5.

Big 6/Big 8 [Pays 1:1]
A Big 6 or Big 8 Bet is exactly the same as a Place Bet on either of these numbers, except for one huge factor – the Payout! These bets pay only 1:1, where making the same wager on 6 or 8 as a Place Bet Pays 7:6. For this reason, the Big 6 and Big 8 Bets should never be made.

Field Bets [Payout Varies]
A Field Bet is a wager that any one of the following numbers – 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 – will be rolled before a 7. A 3, 4, 9 or 10 Pays 1:1; 2 or 11 Pays 2:1; 12 Pays either 2:1 or 3:1, depending on the casino.

Bet Types and Payouts: Single-Roll Bets (Proposition Bets)

In this section, we will describe for you each type of bet, how it is won/lost, and what the expected payout will be (continued).

Any Seven [Pays 4:1]
A bet on Any Seven is a wager that a 7 will roll next, in any combination of numbers (1+6, 2+5, 3+4).

Any Craps [Pays 7:1]
A bet on Any Craps is a wager that any Craps number (2, 3 or 12) will roll next.

Hardway Bets [Payout Varies]
Hardway Bets, as the name implies, are difficult wagers to win at a Craps Table. However, they also present high Payouts. Hardway means that the chosen number will be rolled in a specific combination, or ‘the hard way’. For example, a Hardway 8 would be 4+4, Hardway 6 is 3+3, etc. The various Hardway Bets that can be made are listed below with their respective Payouts.

Hardway 2+2 or 5+5 – Pays 7:1
Hardway 3+3 or 4+4 – Pays 9:1

Horn Bets [Payout Varies]
Horn Bets are much like Hardway Bets, except that there is only one way to roll them, therefore it’s not just the ‘hard way’, it’s the only way! These include 2 (1+1), 3 (1+2), 11 (5+6) and 12 (6+6). The Payouts for Horn Bets are listed below.

1+1 or 6+6 – Pays 30:1
1+2 or 5+6 – Pays 15:1

4-Way Horn Bet [Payout Varies]
A ‘4-Way Horn Bet’ is a wager on all 4 Horn Bets (1+1, 1+2, 5+6 and 6+6). The bet is divided into 4 with the same Payouts as the respective Horn Bets. For example, a $20 wager would actually be a $5 wager on each possible Horn Bet, following the Horn Bet Payout Table for each winning roll.

Craps Rules

Did you ever want to learn to play Craps? Most likely, you found the game too intimidating or just too complicated to bother learning how to play. The truth is, learning to play Craps is not only quite simple, it is commonly referred to as the most exciting game in a casino – by those who conquered their fears and learned hot to play it, that is.

This article will teach the fundamentals of Craps, including the Shooter Rule, Pass Rule and Rolled Rule. These fundamental Craps rules will give new players a great start in learning how to play craps.

The first step is to understand who the Shooter is, why he is the Shooter, and when his Shooting days are over. This is referred to as the Shooter Rule. Players take turns being the ‘Shooter’ – the person who rolls the dice – in clockwise fashion. The same Shooter continues rolling the dice until he ‘Craps Out’ by rolling a 2, 3 or 12.

In a land-based casino, as opposed to online casinos, the Shooter Rules state you must only use one hand to roll the dice, and they must bounce off the opposite wall of the Craps Table before coming to a stop.

Moving on, we’ll discuss what is known as the Craps ‘Rolled Rule‘. This defines what action is taken depending on the roll of the dice. A Shooter’s first roll is called the ‘Come Out Roll’. The Come Out Roll establishes the ‘Point‘. Unless the first roll is a 7, 11 or Craps (2, 3 or 12), the Point is the sum of the dice on the Come Out Roll. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, the Shooter rolls a new Come Out Roll, essentially starting over. If Craps is rolled, the dice are passed to the next Shooter and play begins anew.

Once a Point has been established, the Shooter will continue rolling the dice until the Point hits again. For example, a roll of 4+6 is a 10, making the Point 10. The shooters job is to roll another 10 or 7 without rolling Craps (2, 3 or 12). If the Shooter makes his Point or a 7, he is returned the dice to begin a new Come Out Roll. If the Shooter rolls Craps (2, 3 or 12), the dice are handed to the player directly on his left – the new Shooter.

Now to explain the Pass Rule, the most simplistic bet in Craps, which most players place before the Come Out Roll. According to the Pass Rule, a Pass Line bet is a bet on the Shooter, betting that he will accomplish his goal of rolling a 7 or 11 on the Come Out Roll, or establishing a Point and rolling it (or 7) before rolling Craps (2, 3 or 12).

A Pass Line bet can only be placed on the Come Out Roll. If 7 or 11 is rolled, the Pass Line Bet wins. If Craps is rolled (2, 3 or 12), the bet loses. If a Point is established, the Pass Line bet becomes a standing wager that the Point will come again before the player Craps Out or rolls a 7.

The Pass Rule works in reverse for a Don’t Pass bet, where the player is betting against the Shooter. Again, this bet can only be made on the Come Out Roll. The Pass Rule states that a Don’t Pass bet wins if the Come Out Roll is a 2, 3 or 12. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, the Don’t Pass bet loses. If a Point is established, the Don’t Pass bet becomes a standing wager that the Point will NOT come again before a 7 or Craps (2, 3, or 12) is rolled.

All of the remaining wagers and odds descend directly from the Shooter Rules, Rolled Rules and Pass Rules. Therefore by obtaining a full understanding of these three fundamental rules, a new Craps player can go on to learn to play the excitingly intricate game of Craps.

Make sure to read our advanced strategy guides to better understand Craps from a statistical point of view.

Now that you’ve learned the basics of Craps you might want to do the same for another game and read this poker rules article as well.