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The ultimate craps guide

Craps is a game with the best odds possible. Unlike slots, playing craps will help you win more often, especially if you study the rules and strategies carefully.

Craps is long-lasting and popular among table players. Among games played in table pits, Craps ranks second in popularity to blackjack. That’s why Trusted Casino has decided to share with you a full craps guide that will help you both learn the basic rules and more specific winning strategies.

History of craps

It’s an old game that presumably descended from Hazard. It was invented in about 1125 by English Crusaders waiting to lay siege to a castle called Hazarth. The game developed overages, with the French bringing a version to New Orleans in the early 1800s. A New Orleans-style dice game became known as “crapaud” and later “crabs,” and with a few slight modifications converted into the Craps game, we enjoy playing today.

How to play craps

It’s obvious that without a clear understanding of the rules you can never become a good craps player. Fortunately, the rules of craps are quite simple and don’t demand any special gambling knowledge and preparations. 

ca. 1949 — Jim Kurstyn (Frank Morgan) and Ada (Mary Astor) stand at the end of the craps table surrounded by other players. — Image by © John Springer Collection/CORBIS

Basic rules

  1. Craps has dozens of wagers available, but the game is structured around the pass line bet.
  2. Players bet by placing chips on the pass line on the playing field. 
  3. The pass sequence starts with a come-out roll and the shooter rolls the dice.
  4. Pass bettors win if the roll is 7 or 11 and lose if it is 2, 3, or 12. Any other number becomes the point.
  5. If the shooter rolls a point number on the come-out, he keeps rolling until either he rolls the same number again to win an even-money payoff, or rolls a 7 to lose.
  6. If the shooter makes his point, he keeps rolling with a new come-out. If he doesn’t, he “sevens out,” and the dice rotate to a new shooter

Craps can be both easy and complex at the same time. “How’s that?” you would ask. Well, the simple way consists of betting on one number and waiting for either winning or losing. The more difficult playing scheme could be described as making a bet, waiting until the shooter rolls a target, or “point” number, then hoping that he can roll the same number again. That procedure can go on for any number of rolls.

Layout overview

Craps layout is the main “field of battle”, so it’s really important to understand how it’s organized. Let’s have a look at the key aspects of it:

  • Every section of the craps layout signifies a different bet.
  • If your chips are on the pass line, you’re making a pass bet, which is a multi-roll wager. If your chips are in the box that displays images of dice showing a 6 and a 5, you’re making the one-roll bet on 11.
  • When you’re playing online craps, you can make any of the bets by clicking the layout on the screen. It’s different in live casino play. There, you can bet on pass, don’t pass, come, don’t come and the field by putting your chips on the layout. 
  • For all other bets, you put your chips right in front of you and tell the dealer what you want. If you want to bet $7 on the place bet on 4, you would put $7 in chips in front of you, tell the dealer, “$7 place on 4,” and the dealer then would move your chips to the right place.

How to win?

Craps is a game in which the chances of winning are high. But to maximize them you should follow these three simple steps:

  1. Use Dice Control. A small number of dice controllers can reduce the frequency of 7s and increase the frequency of point numbers enough to change the odds of a craps game in your favor.
  2. Keep your pass and come bets at the table minimum. 
  3. Keep your initial bets to a table minimum, then make up the rest of the wager by laying the odds.

How to shoot dice

It’s possible to win even without ever knowing how to shoot dice. But this skill may come very useful and it’s advisable to have at least a basic understanding of how it works.

Once you take your seat at the table, the dice will come to you in your turn. You can take dice and decide which two you want to shoot. The dice are the same, but some players just think some dice bring more luck than others.

  1. Begin by setting the dice. The starting spot for most dice controllers is to set them so both dice have a 3 face on top and to set themselves so the diagonal lines formed by the three spots align in the same direction on both dice.
  2. Pick up the dice between thumb and forefinger. Swing your arm in a pendulum motion and release: shoot the dice in a soft arc. The fewer rotations they make in the air, the better. The dice also should stay tight, close together in their arc. 
  3. The dice must hit the back wall and bounce on the table. However, your goal in releasing the dice softly and with rotation minimized is to take some of the randomizing factors out of the roll.


If you play for real money, then of course you do not want to lose it. That is why it is necessary to stick to some kind of strategy. Let’s consider the most popular in more detail:

  • PASS AND COME, WITH ODDS. Players who use this strategy frequently follow their pass bet with either two or three come bets, to get up to three or four numbers working. The object is to put as big a percentage of your bet as possible in the free odds, which have no house edge. Start with the table’s minimum bet on pass or come, then reach your desired total wager by putting the rest in odds.
  • DON’T PASS AND DON’T COME WHILE LAYING ODDS. Just as with pass and come plus odds, the object is to put as big a percentage of your bet into the odds as possible — the odds have no house edge, and you don’t pass and don’t come bets do. So the best strategy is to bet table minimums at don’t pass and don’t come, then reaching your desired total wager by laying the odds.
  • PLACING 6 AND 8. Other than 7, the 6 and 8 are the most frequently rolled numbers, so those are the numbers of players like to have working. The house edge on placing 6 and 8 is 1.52 percent, higher than on pass, come, don’t pass, and don’t come, but lower than most bets in the casino.
  • PASS WITH ODDS, PLUS PLACE 6 AND/OR 8. You start with a pass line bet at the table minimum. When a point is established, you back the pass bet with the free odds you can afford. If the point is 6 or 8, then you add a place bet on the other number. If the point is any other number, then you add place bets on both 6 and 8.