How to Play Craps: A Guide on the Different Rules

how to play craps

Craps is one of the world’s oldest casino games. Some historians believe that history goes all the way back to the Holy Roman Empire.

Today, it’s a game that can be found in the majority of the world’s casinos. 

Maybe you’ve seen people play before but aren’t sure how to play craps yourself. Or you just want to learn more.

Either way, don’t worry. Continue reading and we’ll show you how to play craps so you can be ready the next time you’re at the casino.

Craps Basics

In craps, there is one player who’s job is to roll a pair of dice. All of the other betters will put wagers down on that roll.

The first roll is called the “Come Out”. During this phase of the game, the roller is trying to hit a 7 or 11. If he does so, he wins automatically. However, if he rolls a 2, 3, and 12, then it’s automatically a loss. 

In craps, there are dozens of ways to bet. With every roll of the dice, people can lose money, win money, or may remain with the same amount of chips. Let’s look at some of the most important rules below.

Number of Dice

At most craps tables, the roller will be handed five identical dice. He will then have the choice to roll any two of those dice. The other three will be put aside. 

The dice are then rolled and the better is betting on the sum of the numbers that come face up on those dice. For example, if one dice shows a 1 and the other shows a 2, then the roll is 3.  

You can’t bet on only one of the dice. So you can never bet on a 1 showing up. All possible rolls range from 2 to 12. 

Buying Credits

When you play at a live casino, you buy-in at the table. For online casinos, you’d start by making a deposit.

Most players pay as they play. You do this by putting cash on the table and asking the dealer from chips. Dealers are not allowed to take cash directly from a player’s hand. 

So you’ll have to first put your cash on the table and let the dealer take it. He will then place your chips in front of you.

The People at the Table

Like most games, craps comes with its own terms and it even has a variety of roles that different people take on. Typically, there are four people who work at a craps table. They are the stickman, boxman, and two dealers. 

Like his title implies, the stickman holds a long, hooked stick. He uses this to move the dice around on the table. When your turn to roll finally comes up, the stickman will move the dice to you. 

The stickman is also in charge of the proposition bets at the middle of the table. 

The boxman is the boss of the table. He makes sure that all of the players are following the rules and that the dealers are making the correcting payoffs. When you put cash on the table in order to buy in, the dealer will hand the money to the boxman. 

The boxman will lay the money flat, face down on the table. He will watch to make sure the dealer hands you the right amount of chips. When the transaction is complete, the boxman will use a flat, plastic paddle to put the cash into a drop box. 

Because of the design of a craps table, two dealers are required. One on each side, performing the same tasks. They will move your chips based on the wagers and make payoffs. 

Betting

To make a bet, you put your chips on the pass line. You can also put it in spaces marked “Field” and “Come”. For the majority of bets, it’s the dealer who is going to be placing your chips for you. 

You tell the dealer how much you want to bet and what to put it on and he will move the chips accordingly. 

The Shooter

There isn’t just one person assigned to shooting the dice. Players take turns rolling.

Those who are betting that the shooter is going to win make a Pass Line bet. In a Pass Line bet, the shooter wins if they roll a 7 or 11. A 2, 3, or 11 is a loss. If any other number is rolled then it becomes a point. 

The shooter then continues to roll. If they hit that point number again, they win. If they roll a 7 before hitting that point number, they lose and the dice are then passed to another player. 

The dice are only passed along if the shooter rolls a 7 instead of the point. If the shooter keeps rolling points, they continue to roll. 

In 2009, a grandmother from New Jersey broke a record when she rolled for 154 times in a row without “sevening out“. Those are smaller odds than winning the lottery!

The Rewards of Learning How to Play Craps

By learning how to play craps, you open yourself up to a new and exciting form of gambling. Craps is one of the most boisterous and community-centered games at the casino. Often, when you pass a craps table, you’ll hear shouting and hollering as people are constantly calling for all different numbers.

Most tables have a buy-in of only $5. So what are you waiting for? Head on down to your local casino and give craps a shot today.

Looking for new casinos in your area? Check out the rest of our site today!

BONUS READ: 5 Tips on How to Win at Craps

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