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Craps basic game play & craps strategy for beginners

The Game of Craps:

The goal of this game (which you'll only understand after reading the rest of this page) is to toss the Point again. BEFORE tossing a 7. A 7 after the Point, is an Out 7, as opposed to the 7 on the Come Out Roll.

When you roll the dice, you become the "shooter". That first roll of the dice is called the "Come Out Roll". If you roll a 7 or 11, you win and the game is over before it even started. If you roll a 2, 3 or 12, then you have rolled Craps and you lose, before the game is even started. But if you roll any other number, it becomes the Point.

The purpose of the Come Out roll is to determine the Point which can be either 4, 5,6,8,9 or 10. The dealer places a puck marked "On" above the Point number printed on the table.

Now, we're going to repeat that the goal of this game is to toss the Point again, BEFORE tossing a 7. A 7 after the Point is an Out 7, as opposed to the 7 on the Come Out Roll. If the Point is tossed, you win and the round is over. If you toss an Out 7, you lose.

Craps Betting

Pass Bets:

This bet is placed on the Pass Line before the Come Out Roll. This bet assumes that you'll get past the Come Out Roll, and that you'll roll the Point again before you roll an Out 7. This is called the "right" bet, because you're betting that the shooter wins. These bets win at even odds 1:1.

You win if you roll 7 or 11 on the Come Out Roll, or if you later roll the Point. You lose if you roll 2, 3 or 12 on the Come Out Roll, or an Out 7 on later rolls.

Don't Pass Bets:

This is the opposite of a Pass Bet. Assuming that the round goes past the Come Out Roll, you're betting that the shooter will roll an Out 7, before hitting the Point. You're betting against the shooter, which is why this is called a "wrong" bet. But, there's nothing wrong with the odds! You win if the Come Out Roll shows Craps (2,3 or 12), or if a later roll is an Out 7. You lose if the Come Out Roll shows 7 or 11, or if a later roll is the Point.

Come, Don't Come Bets:

These are comparable to the Pass/Don't Pass bets. The difference is that they are placed, while a round is in progress for players who join the game late. The same rules apply. You win if the next roll is 7 or 11 and you lose if it's Craps.

Other Bets:

These are Place Number bets and Proposition bets. The odds on these bets are not very good and are basically for people with money to waste or itching to gamble on every toss of the dice.

In a place bet, you bet that a particular number will roll before a 7 does, or vice versa. These include Place, Buy, Lay and Lose bets, the Big 6 and Big 8, and also the Hard 4, Hard 6, Hard 8 and Hard 10. In a proposition bet, the you bet that the next roll will be a specific number. These include 2,3,7, 11 and 12 bets the Any Craps bets, the Field, Hop and Horn bets.


The best strategy is to get the best odds. The best odds in Craps are on the Pass/Don't Pass/Come/Don't Come bets as the house has the smallest edge here (of about 1.40%).

Other bets give the house odds that are too high, such as:

The Field - 5.6%
Big 6/Big 8 - 9.1%
Horn - 12.5%
Craps 2/Craps 12 - 13.9%
Any 7: 16.7%

The way to improve these bets is by either "buying odds" or "laying odds". These bets are placed in addition to your first bet, after the Come Out Roll. They improve your first bet, because the house doesn't take any edge on Odds. You're just betting on the dice.

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