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How to Play Craps at A Casino?

  • Written By Kevin Parker
  • Edited
  • Reading 6 minutes

Of all the casino games that I have played, craps stands out for being one of the most fun to play.  I particularly enjoy the social aspect of the game and chances that any person who loves the thrill of being on the floors of a brick-and-mortar casino will do too.

Even when played online, craps still delivers on a thrilling experience that will be fun, exciting, and engaging for all the players. Besides that, it is one of the casino games that is often accompanied by enticing offers as well as some mind-blowing payouts.

If you are new to the game, we have put together a guide that will help you get started. We have also thrown in a few basic strategies that could potentially give any American player a better chance of landing a win.

Let’s begin with what the game of craps is all about.

The Aim of the Game

Aim of a Craps Game Icon

Craps is a pretty straightforward game, something that has significantly contributed to its popularity among gamers of all levels. In essence, it is all about betting on the outcome of the roll of two dice – players are required to correctly predict, or rather guess, the number that will come up on the next roll of the dice.

There are, of course, a few rules that define how the game is played but as far as simplicity is concerned, craps is one of the simplest casino games to get started with. Whether you are playing online or at a land-based venue, the goal of the game remains the same.

Gameplay and Rules

Gameplay and rules in a craps game

The rules of craps also exemplify the simplicity of the game as a whole. Not only are the rules extremely simple to understand but so is the gameplay. So much so that even new players will be able to quickly learn the ins and outs of the game.

The game is played on a special table that is artistically demarcated with a layout where the players place the wagers.

If you have been to a brick-and-mortar casino it is often the table with the loudest and most excited players. It draws in a lot of people who are either just watching or participating in the action.

Getting Things Started

Getting Started in craps Icon

To kick things off, one of the participating players who is referred to as ‘the shooter’ rolls the dice on the table. The position of ‘the shooter’ rotates between the players but one player can roll the dice multiple times in a row.

Other than the shooter other participants that will be at the craps table include the Boxman, the Stickman, and the Base Dealers.

The Boxman will be in charge of the chips at the table while the stickman will be in charge of all the dice. The Base Dealers who often sit on either side of the table are in charge of paying out winners and collecting the losing bets.

Once the dice have been rolled, the players bet by placing chips on the pass line on the craps layout. It is worth noting that there are several kinds of bets available at the craps table – which are covered below – even though the game is mainly structured around the pass line bet.

There are three possible outcome categories in a game of craps:

  1. A Natural means that the shooter’s roll results in a 7 or an 11 in which case they win and get to roll the dice again.
  2. Craps is when your roll a 2, 3, or 12 in which case you lose and the shooter gets to roll the dice again.
  3. A Point is when you roll 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10.

Types of Bets at the Craps Table

Craps players can make several kinds of bets at the tables. These apply whether you are playing online or at a land-based casino.

Image of Craps table layout

Here is a list of all the types of wagers that players will be able to place:

  • Pass Line
  • Don’t Pass
  • Come
  • Don’t Come
  • Pass Line Odds
  • Don’t Pass Odds
  • Come Odds
  • Don’t Come Odds
  • Place Win
  • Place Loose
  • Buy
  • Lay
  • Big 6
  • Big 8
  • Hardways
  • Field
  • Any 7
  • Any 11
  • Any Craps
  • Ace Deuce
  • Aces
  • Boxcar

You do not have to memorize all these bets as a beginner but over time you will definitely be able to find out the ones that are best for you. It is great to have so many options – not many other games offer anything close to that. We have a handy guide to the odds of each Craps bet in our ‘Ultimate Craps Strategy’ guide.

Before you are able to place any of these wagers, you will need to buy some credits. These come in the form of chips which you will then place onto the table and use to bet on the outcomes you have predicted.

Some Simple Strategies to Get You Started

Simple Strategies Craps icon

Once you are acquainted with all the basics of the game, you might be interested in some strategies that are either going to help better your chances of winning or make the game more fun for you.

Craps is a game of chance and therefore there is no absolute way of winning. Still, there are ways of making the game become fun and more enjoyable.

First of all, like any other casino game, bankroll management is very important in craps. I cannot emphasize just how important it is that you set limits to your spending to ensure that you do not use up money that you do not intend to lose. Ideally, try to size your bets as best as you can to make the most out of your bankroll while at the same time optimizing your time at the craps table.

Another basic strategy that has made craps for me is learning as much about the types of bets as possible. As you saw earlier, there are several kinds of bets available for you. However, depending on the scenario at the tables, you may need to pick one kind of bet over the other. Picking the best bet means that you have a better chance of winning – these bets are the ones that have the highest odds such as the Pass, Don’t Pass, Come, Don’t Come, and Place Bets on 8 and/or 6 among others.

In Summary

  • Manage your bank roll
  • Get to grips with a basic strategy
  • Learn the different types of bets

If you think Craps might be the game for you, check out my ‘Ultimate Craps Strategy‘ to get to grips with more advanced tips.

Kevin was raised on sports since a young teen and following a (fortunate) injury pursued new hobbies in table games such as Blackjack and Poker. Since 2009 Kevin has been writing for casino sites for various big names in the industry and CasinoSites.us is but one of his latest passion projects.