Craps Online

If you’ve read our introduction to the game of craps, you’re already familiar with how a session progresses, and how to place a pass line bet. This is an excellent start. All you need to learn now are the other bets and when you can place them. When and where you can place bets comprises not only a guide, but also a good summary of craps rules.

Craps online rules

Let’s have a look at the specific parts of the table where you place your bets. In a land-based casino the craps table is twice as long as it needs to be, with each end being a copy of the other in order to accommodate more people around the table. Online craps of course is slightly different, as you are only presented with one end of the board, simply because it’s all you need.

The pass line is a long wide strip of felt that runs along the outer edge of the craps table. From here players can place chips for a pass line bet. Our pass line bet page also covers issues of playing with odds.

How yo play craps?

craps online strategiesJust above the pass line is a thinner band of felt (broken at the corner by the big 6 / big 8 area). This is where you place your don’t pass bets (essentially the opposite of a pass line bet) on the table.

The big 6 and big 8 bets reside in a small area above the corner of the pass line and in between the two sides of the don’t pass bar. This bet, as you will read, is similar to a place bet with regards to craps rules, but with overall poorer results for the player.

Playing the field is a common and popular bet. To place this bet find the box with the word ‘field’ on it, along with a large set of numbers. Placing a field bet means you’re betting that the next roll will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. Field bets, like many craps rules, apply to the ‘next roll’ of a bet only, while others will remain in effect for the duration of a session.

The come bet area takes up a sizable portion of the center of the craps table. The come bet is essentially the same as the pass line bet, but can be made after a come-out roll has already established a point.

The opposite of the come bet is the don’t come bet, in the same way that the opposite of the pass line bet is the don’t pass bet.

Another favorite of patrons, the place bet, is located along the inside edge of the table. Placing the 6 and 8 offers one of the best bets on the table.

Buy and Lay bets are placed in a similar manner to the place bet, but offer different odds. Learn more about the buy bet and the lay bet.

The hardway bets sit in the very middle of the craps table, making you think they have a set of complicated rules attached to them. They’re not complicated, but they should be approached with caution and bet on sparingly.

In the center of the craps table are a number of alternate proposition bets including things like ‘any seven’, ‘yo eleven’, ‘horn bet’, and ‘any craps’. All of these bets, while they are explained fully on their own page, are not generally considered particularly sound bets from a house edge perspective, so read about them to make up your own mind.

The Pass Line Bet

Bet placed before Come Out Roll

  • Win: when the Come Out Roll is 7 or 11
  • Lose: when the Come Out Roll is 2, 3 or 12
  • Point: when the Come Out Roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10.
  • To win, you must roll the Point again before rolling 7; if 7 appears before rolling the Point, you lose.

A Pass Line Bet is placed in the “PASS LINE” bar. This bet is made before the Come Out Roll. This bet wins when the Come Out Roll is 7 or 11, and loses if 2, 3 or 12 is rolled. If 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled, that number becomes “the Point.” To win a Pass Line Bet, you must roll the Point again before rolling 7. If you roll 7 before rolling the Point again, the Pass Line Bet loses. This bet pays even money (1 to 1). Once the Point has been established, unresolved Pass Line Bets may not be removed or reduced and can only be resolved by a roll of the Point or 7.

The Don’t Pass Bet

Bet placed before Come Out Roll

  • Win: when the Come Out Roll is 2 or 3
  • Lose: when the Come Out Roll is 7 or 11
  • Push/Tie: when the Come Out Roll is 12
  • Point: when the Come Out Roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10.
  • To win, you must roll a 7 before rolling the Point again; if the Point appears before rolling the 7, you lose.

A Don’t Pass Bet is essentially the opposite of a Pass Line Bet, and is placed on the craps table in the “Don’t Pass” bar before the Come Out Roll. When the Come Out Roll is 3 or 2, the Don’t Pass Bet wins. When the Come Out Roll is 7 or 11, the Don’t Pass Bet loses. When the Come Out Roll is 12, the bet is returned to the player in a push. When the Come Out Roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, that number becomes the Point. Once the Point has been established, Don’t Pass Bets win when you roll 7 before rolling the Point again. If you roll the Point before rolling 7, the Don’t Pass Bets lose. A winning Don’t Pass Bet pays even money (1 to 1).

The Hardway Bet

The Hardway bets are single roll wagers located in the ‘center’ area of the craps table. To roll a ‘hard eight’ means to roll an eight with double 4’s; to roll a ‘hard 6’ means to roll a six with double 3’s. Consequently the only hardway bets that exist are hard 4, 6, 8, and 10. When you make a hardway six bet for example, you win if hard six (two threes) comes up before a soft six (any other six), or a seven. Unresolved Hardway Bets may be removed; they are inactive during Come Out Rolls.

A hard 4 pays 7 to 1, a hard 6 pays 9 to 1, a hard 8 pays 9 to 1, and a hard 10 pays 7 to 1.

The Big 6 and Bit 8 Bets

A Big 6 Bet is a bet that 6 will be rolled before 7; a Big 8 Bet is a bet that 8 will be rolled before 7. The bet is placed in either the “Big 6” or “Big 8” box located in the left corner of the craps table. This bet wins even money. Unresolved bets may be removed.

The Feild Bet

This bet is the very same as placing either the 6 or 8, but the payoff ratio is slightly offset. It is a better wager to choose to place the 6 or 8 over the Big 6 / Big 8 bet.

The field bet area is located on the craps table just beyond the don’t pass bar. A field bet can be played on any roll, and covers a number of dice totals. The field bet is well liked due primarily to its simplicity. It is a one-roll bet which states simply: if the shooter throws a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 (any of the numbers printed in the field area) then the field bet wins. If a 5, 6, 7, or 8 are thrown then the field bet loses. There is no trick to placing your chips on one of the numbers in the field, you can simply place them anywhere within the field area. There is also a double bonus associated with 2 and 12 for the field bet. If 2 or 12 are thrown you are paid 2 to 1 on your original bet.

The Come Bet

You’ll quickly notice the large area of the craps board labeled with ‘COME’ written in the middle of the playing area. If you know all there is to know about the Pass line bet, then you won’t have any trouble getting your head around the simple ‘COME’ bet. The easiest way to understand the COME bet is to think of it as being exactly the same as the Pass line bet, but it can be made after the point is set. There is no such thing as a come bet on the come out roll, because it would be exactly the same as a Pass line bet.

For example, if a player were to make a come bet after the point had been set to 5, they would place the bet in the come section and wait for the next roll. If a 7 or 11 is hit the come bet wins; if a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled it’s a loss. If any other number is rolled, it becomes the ‘come point’. The come point is for the individual bet only, and is independent of the point for the shooter’s round. If the ‘come point’ is rolled before a 7, it wins. Say a 9 is rolled to set the come point. At that time the come bet moves to the 9 on the table. If a 9 is rolled before a 7 the come bet wins; if a 7 is rolled before a 9 the come bet loses. Also remember that on come bets you also have the ability to place “odds” bets just like pass line bets after your ‘come-point’ is established.

The Don’t Come Bet

The Don’t Come Bet is placed after the Come Out Roll.

  • Win: when the roll is 2 or 3
  • Lose: when the roll is 7 or 11
  • Push/Tie: when the roll is 12

Otherwise a Don’t Come Point is set (when the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10). To win, a 7 must be rolled before the Don’t Come Point; if the Don’t Come Point appears, the bet is a loss.

The Don’t Come Bet is the opposite of a Come Bet. The bet is placed after the Come Out Roll in the “Don’t Come Bar” on the craps table. Don’t Come Bets win when the next roll is 2 or 3, and lose when the roll is 7 or 11. When you roll 12, the bet is returned in a push. When the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 it becomes “the Don’t Come Point” and the dealer moves the bet from the “Don’t Come” bar to the right corner over the box corresponding to the Don’t Come Point: “4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10.” After the Don’t Come Point is established, Don’t Come Bets win even money when 7 is rolled and lose if the Come Point is rolled. Don’t Come Bets will stay in place until the Don’t Come Point or 7 is rolled.

The Place Bet

Win: when the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 before 7

The Place Bet to Win is a bet that 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 will be rolled before 7. The bet is placed under the corresponding number in the narrow unlabeled bar located under the “4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10” box. Winning bets payout according to the following ratios: 7-to-6 on numbers 6 and 8, 7-to-5 on numbers 5 and 9, and 9-to-5 on numbers 4 and 10.

Place Bets to Win are inactive during Come Out Rolls. The markers are removed after the Come Out Roll, since all Place Bets will be active. Unresolved Place Bets may be removed.

Place Bet to Lose

Win: when the roll is 7 before 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10

The Place Bet to Lose is a bet that 7 will be rolled before 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. The bet is placed over the corresponding number in the narrow unlabeled bar located over the “4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10” box. Winning bets payout according to the following ratios: 4-to-5 on numbers 6 and 8, 5-to-8 on numbers 5 and 9, and 5-to-11 on numbers 4 and 10.

The Best Buy Bet

The Buy Bet is a bet that 4, 6, 8, 9, or 10 will be rolled before 7. The bet is placed in the box corresponding to the number on the craps table: “4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10.” The bet is covered with a “BUY” marker to distinguish it from a Come Bet. A vigorish (vig.) of 5% is charged when placing a Buy Bet and the winnings are paid at true odds: 6-to-5 on numbers 6 and 8, 3-to-2 on numbers 5 and 9, and 2-to-1 on numbers 4 and 10. If a Buy Bet is lost or removed, the 5% vig. is returned.

Buy Bets are inactive during Come Out Rolls, an “OFF” marker will cover your Buy Bet to indicate that is inactive. The markers are removed after the Come Out Roll, since all Buy Bets will be active. Unresolved Place Bets may be removed.

The Lay Bet

Win: when the roll is 7 before 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 (bet covered with a “LAY” marker)

The Lay Bet is a bet that 7 will be rolled before 4, 6, 8, 9, or 10. A Lay Bet is essentially the reverse of a Buy Bet. The bet is placed above the corresponding number in the narrow unlabeled bar located above the “4, 5, SIX, 8, NINE, or 10” box. The bet is covered with a “LAY” marker to distinguish it from a Don’t Come Bet. A vigorish (vig.) of 5% is charged when placing the Lay Bet and the winnings are paid at true odds: 5-to-6 on numbers 6 and 8, 2-to-3 on numbers 5 and 9, and 1-to-2 on numbers 4 and 10. Lay Bets are active even during the Come Out Roll. Unresolved Lay Bets may be removed.

The Hardway Bet

The Hardway bets are single roll wagers located in the ‘center’ area of the craps table. To roll a ‘hard eight’ means to roll an eight with double 4’s; to roll a ‘hard 6’ means to roll a six with double 3’s. Consequently the only hardway bets that exist are hard 4, 6, 8, and 10. When you make a hardway six bet for example, you win if hard six (two threes) comes up before a soft six (any other six), or a seven. Unresolved Hardway Bets may be removed; they are inactive during Come Out Rolls.

A hard 4 pays 7 to 1, a hard 6 pays 9 to 1, a hard 8 pays 9 to 1, and a hard 10 pays 7 to 1.

The Proposition Bet

Proposition bets are found in the middle of the table, and exist only on the ‘next roll’.

These bets include:

  • “any seven” bet
  • “any eleven” or “yo eleven” bet
  • “any craps” bet
  • “horn bets” bet

Any 7 Bets

Win: when the roll is 7
The Any 7 Bet is a bet that the next roll of the dice will be 7. This bet is placed on any one roll of the dice in the “ANY SEVEN” area on the craps table. If 7 is rolled, you win 4 times your bet.

Any 11 Bets

Win: when the roll is 11
The 11 Bet is a bet that the next roll of the dice will be 11. This bet is placed on any one roll of the dice in the box on the craps table containing the two illustrated dice that add to 11 or on a circled ‘E’. If 11 is rolled, you win 15 times your bet.

Any Craps Bets

Win: when the roll 2, 3, or 12
The Any Craps Bet is a bet that the next roll of the dice will be 2, 3, or 12. This bet is placed on any one roll of the dice in the “ANY CRAPS” area on the craps table or on a circled ‘C’. If 2, 3, or 12 is rolled, you win 7 times your bet.

Horn Bets

Win: when the roll 2, 3, 11, or 12
The Horn Bet is a bet that the next roll of the dice will be 2, 3, 11, or 12. This bet is placed on any one roll of the dice in the “HORN” box on the craps table. A Winning Horn Bet pays 15-to-1 on numbers 3 and 11, and 30-to-1 on numbers 2 and 12. Placing a Horn Bet divides your wager by four. A quarter of the bet is placed on each number. When you win, the amount won is a quarter of your total bet times the given odds.

Craps strategy

Every gambler, whether occasional or serious, should have a basic understanding of the probability of winning or losing. This understanding is fundamental to maximizing your chances of winning against the casino. Walking into a casino without understanding the odds of winning or losing each bet you expect to make is the same as taking a job as a truck driver without knowing how to drive.

The key to understanding the mathematics of craps is knowing the frequency of appearance of the eleven possible total numbers—2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12— that can appear when two dice are thrown. The following chart, taken from The Facts of Craps, by Walter I. Nolan, is the best illustration I’ve seen of precisely how 36 different combinations of the dice can produce these 11 numbers.

Basic Craps Strategy

Using this chart, it is easy to compute the true odds for any given situation. First, we determine the probability of each number being thrown. For example, there are 6 ways to roll a 7, according to our chart. That leaves 30 ways that a 7 will not show; therefore, the odds are 30 to 6, or 5 to 1, that you will not throw a 7 in one roll. Similarly, there is only one way to roll a.2, as compared to 35 ways to roll some other number; thus the odds are 35 to 1 that you will not throw a 2 in one roll. The next table shows the probability of each of the 11 possible numbers appearing on the next roll.

Don’t bother to memorize the percentages in this chart, since as a smart player you will be making only a few of these bets, studiously avoiding any wager with a casino edge approaching 2% or more. Making wagers which pay off with a disadvantage as great as almost all the bets on the chart is the quickest way to wipe out your bankroll. The only real difference between an astute craps shooter and a mark is the knowledge and use of percentages comparing the number of ways the point can be made to the number of ways to roll a 7. For instance, if our point is 4, Nolan’s probability chart shows it can be rolled 3 ways, as compared to the 6 ways to throw a 7. Therefore, the odds against making a 4 before a 7 are 6 to 3, or 2 to 1. By computing the true odds for every betting situation, and then comparing them with the payoff odds offered by the casinos, we can arrive at the precise casino advantage for every bet. The mathematics are not difficult, but they are tedious. The formulae are detailed in The Casino Gambler’s Guide, by Allan N. Wilson and in The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic, by Richard A. Epstein. With the help of these two recognized leaders in the mathematics of gambling, we arrive at the chart on page 78.

Don’t bother to memorize the percentages in this chart, since as a smart player you will be making only a few of these bets, studiously avoiding any wager with a casino edge approaching 2% or more. Making wagers which pay off with a disadvantage as great as almost all the bets on the chart is the quickest way to wipe out your bankroll. The only real difference between an astute craps shooter and a mark is the knowledge and use of percentages.

When you make a regular pass-line bet at the craps table, you are playing against a casino edge of 1.414%. To figure out exactly what this means to you, estimate the total amount of bets you might make in an hour and multiply it by this figure; the result will be an average hourly cost of shooting craps. For instance, if your bets total $1,000, the casino wins $14.14. This is in the long run. In the short run, which could be one hour, one day, one week, one month, or even one year, you may be on the winning side, or you may lose more or less than 1.414%. Every gambler walking into the casino believes he is the lucky one who will beat the house percentage. Sometimes you do, but more often you don’t.

There are some astute craps shooters who call the lower casino advantage percentages for free odds an “illusion.” Donald Schlesinger states:

If two people each bet exactly the same amount on the pass line, but one takes the free odds while the other doesn’t, they will both lose exactly the same amount of money (1.41% of the pass-line action) in the long run. The lower percentages above are always working on a larger bet than the player originally intended to make, thus the “illusion” of getting more for your money. In reality, when you stop to think of it, there is really no benefit at all where single or double odds are offered!

What I question about this reasoning is the phrase “larger bet than the player originally intended to make.” I strongly believe that all bets, from the smallest to the largest, should be based on the player’s bankroll and betting If you have a $1,500 bankroll and you bet three units on the pass line at:

  • $1. per unit at a maximum-double-odds game, the casino advantage will be .500.
  • $1.09 per unit at a double-odds game, the casino advantage will be .606.
  • $1.42 per unit at a maximum-single-odds game, the casino advantage will be .740.
  • $1.52 per unit at a single-odds game, the casino advantage will be .848.
  • $2.53 per unit and take no odds, the casino advantage will be 1.414.

Since units of 3 are the most advantageous when taking odds, round these figures off to a $3 base bet at the double-odds game, a $5 base bet at the single-odds game, and a $7 base bet if you do not take the odds. If, however, you do not vary your bet size for the same bank according to the game you play, then the comments above about the “illusion” of an advantage are correct. The $1,500 bankroll used in this discussion is quite conservative, and, of course, you may use a smaller amount. The important thing to remember is that you must vary your bet sizes according to the type game you play for the reduced casino advantage to be effective.