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Casino School

Craps Rules

There’s arguably no better feeling at a Casino than the one you get from throwing a great Craps hand. The cheers will ring in your ears for days afterward. Craps is an exciting and fast-paced game that can appear to be very intimidating to the beginner. However, once you learn the basic Pass and Don’t Pass Bets, you can play comfortably and confidently.


Play begins after all bets have been made and the dice are handed to the chosen Shooter. The Shooter continues throwing until they roll a losing combination. The Craps table’s layout offers a variety of exciting betting options. Each bet is dependent upon the point value of the two dice when they come to rest after being thrown by the Shooter.


Here are some simple steps for making a Pass Line Bet:

  • Find an open spot at the Craps table.
  • If play has already started, wait until the current Shooter is done throwing the dice.
  • Place your money on the table and ask the dealer for chips.
  • Put your chips in the rack in front of you.
  • Put the chips you wish to wager on the table in the place marked ‘Pass’.
  • If you are the shooter, use only one hand to pick up the dice.
  • Roll the dice inside the table. The first roll is called the Come Out Roll.
  • If you, or the Shooter, roll a 7 or 11, you win.
  • If you, or the Shooter, roll a 2, 3 or 12, you lose.
  • If you, or the Shooter, roll any other number, that number becomes the point number.
  • If you, or the Shooter, roll the point number before rolling a 7, you win.
  • If you, or the Shooter, roll a 7 before rolling the point number, you lose.
  • The Shooter continues to roll the dice until he or she ‘7s out’, whereupon the dice pass to the next player. You don’t have to be the Shooter to make a Pass Line Bet.


The Don’t Pass Line Bet is the complete opposite of the Pass Line Bet. You’re betting that the Shooter will lose. That is, the bet wins automatically on the Come Out Roll if a 2 or a 3 is rolled, (12 is a ‘stand-off’, nobody wins) and loses automatically if a 7 or an 11 is rolled. Any other number rolled becomes the point number. To win a Don’t Pass Line Bet, a 7 must be rolled before the point number is thrown. If the point number is rolled prior to a 7, the bet loses. As with the Pass Line Bet, anyone can make this bet, Shooter or not.


A Come Bet works much the same way as a Pass Line Bet, but it can be made while a round is already in progress. To make a Come Bet, you would place the chips you want to wager in the Come area of the table. The next roll by the Shooter becomes the Come Bet’s ‘Come Out Roll’ This is where you win or lose, or where the point number is set. If the Shooter rolls a 7 or an 11, the Come Bet wins. If the Shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12, the bet is lost. If any other number comes up, that number becomes the point number. If the Shooter rolls the point number before rolling a 7, the Come Bet wins. The Come Bet and its point number are independent of the Pass Line point number.


The Don’t Come Bet is the reverse of the Come Bet. It generally works the same way as a Don’t Pass Bet, but it can be made while a round is in progress. The bet wins if the Shooter rolls a 2 or a 3 on the roll after the bet is made. If a 12 is rolled, the bet is a tie. The bet is lost if the roll is a 7 or an 11. If any other number comes up, that becomes the point number. If a 7 is rolled before the point number, the Don’t Come Bet wins.


You have the ability to make a wager in addition to the original bet at any time after the point number is established. This is called an Odds Bet. An Odds Bet can be made if a player already has a bet on the Pass line, Don’t Pass line, Come or Don’t Come. The Odds Bet is placed behind the original bet once a point number has been established. you can choose to ‘take’ odds on any Pass Line or Come Bet, or ‘lay’ odds on any Don’t Pass or Don’t Come Bet. All Odds Bets may be removed or reduced at any time. Odds are paid based on true odds and win if the original bet wins, and vice versa. The table you are playing at will display the corresponding odds. You can take double odds up to the table maximum. Please ask your dealer for any needed clarification.


A Buy Bet is a bet that a certain number (a point number) will be rolled before a 7. The numbers you can make a Buy Bet on are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. The basic rules are: if the chosen point number is rolled before a 7, the player wins. A Lay Bet is essentially the opposite. It’s a bet that a 7 will be rolled before the chosen point number. In both the Buy and Lay Bets, the wager is paid according to true odds as shown at the table. A 5% commission, or ‘vigorous’, is charged on all Buy and Lay Bets, either on the amount bet, if it is a Buy Bet, or on the amount that can be won, if it is a Lay Bet.


A Place Bet is a bet that a certain number (a point number) will be rolled before a 7, much like a Come Bet. However, with a Place Bet, players choose their own numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10.) Place Bets to Win are the same as Buy Bets except that the pay-out odds are different and no commission is charged. Be sure to ask your dealer what the pay-out odds are for Place Bets to Win at your table.


A Hard Way is when both dice turn up with the same number, such as two 2’s. A Hard Ways Bet is a bet that a specific number will be rolled that’s made up of the dice showing doubles (two 2’s make four the Hard Way). If the Shooter rolls a 7 or any combination of the Hard Ways number that isn’t a double (a 1 and a 3, making 4, for example), the Hard Ways Bet is lost. The only way to win a bet of 4 the Hard Way is for the dice to show two 2’s before a 7 is rolled. Hard Ways Bets are located in the centre of the Craps table, and are placed by the dealer. Hard Ways may be bet on any roll. The four possible Hard Ways Bets are Hard Six (two 3’s) and Hard Eight (two 4’s), which pay 9 to 1, and Hard Four (two 2’s) and Hard Ten (two 5’s), which pay 7 to 1.


If a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 is rolled, you win. All numbers pay even money except 2 and 12, which pay double.


If a 7 rolls, you win and are paid 4 to 1.


If a 2, 3 or 12 rolls, you win and are paid 7 to 1.


If two Aces or a 2 (also called Snake-Eyes) is rolled, you win and are paid 30 to 1.


If two 6’s or a 12 is rolled, you win and are paid 30 to 1.


If an 11 is rolled, you win and are paid 15 to 1.


These bets are typically placed in units of five, with one unit going to each of 2, 3, 11 and 12, and one additional unit to one if these numbers. As an example, $5 Horn High Bet 12 has one dollar being placed on 2, 3 and 11, and two dollars on 12. If one of these four numbers are rolled, the payoff correlates to the pay-out odds outlined on the table for that number based on its wager, less the amount bet on the three losing numbers. A Horn Bet can also be made on just one number with one unit each on 2, 3, 11 and 12. The payoff follows the same rules as for the Horn High Bet.


Win even money on any 6 or 8 thrown before a 7.


A Hop Bet can be made at any time. In this bet, you’re wagering that the exact combination of the two dice, specified by you, is thrown on the roll immediately following placement of the bet. The odds depend on the numbers (i.e., a Hop Bet of 3 & 2 pays 15 to 1 and one of 4 & 4 pays 30 to 1). The Hop Bet loses if any other number combination is thrown.


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