How to Play Craps For Beginners | Fruity King

by James Smith |
Date of Publishing: 22/07/2021

Rate this post


Craps has been around since the middle ages and is an iconic table game that involves throwing dice and betting on the outcome.

Fans of this game seem to be torn between it being a game of chance or a case of skill. The truth is, it’s more likely luck than strategy – but either way, craps is thoroughly entertaining.

In this guide, we at Fruity King will explain how to play craps in a newbie-friendly manner.

What is Craps and how Does it Work?

Craps is a game that will see you placing a bet against either the casino or other players. Based on your prediction of the result of the dice thrown – you will place a bet. As we said, this casino game has been played for over 600 years!

Visually, there is a craps table with designated areas. The dice are thrown, and each player will place a bet on what will happen. You can either wager against the banker or your fellow players.

The idea of craps is pretty simple, although there are plenty of bets to choose from and a rather busy-looking table.

Craps Table Layout

The layout of a craps table isn’t a simple one, which is why the game puts off many newbie online players. The design will be virtually the same whether you go to a land-based casino or decide to play at home.

Let’s try and break the craps table down into bite-sized chunks so that it’s easier to fathom – starting with the ‘side section’:

  • There are two of these; each will have its own ‘standing dealer’, and both are 100% identical.
  • It doesn’t matter which side you opt to place a bet on, in terms of one being better, but you must choose your side.
  • Each side has an area for the dealer and one for the players called the ‘apron’.
  • Multiple bet types make up the player area of the table.
  • This includes ‘pass line’, ‘field ‘, ‘don’t pass’, ‘don’t come’, ‘hard ways’, and ‘come’. You will find that some craps tables offer bets called ‘big 6’ or ‘big 8’ too. We talk more about this later.
  • This area is self-service, meaning players can handle their bets.
  • Your winnings will be laid out by your initial bet by the dealer in question if you win.
  • Moving onto the ‘centre section’:
  • The stickman manages this area.
  • Whilst players stick to their own side of the table, they all share the centre section.
  • Players are not permitted to access this area themselves. In other words, in a land-based casino – you cannot place your chips here.

That’s the craps table layout, in a nutshell. When you see it with your own eyes, this will make much more sense. The areas on a craps table are fairly self-explanatory when laid in front of you.

How to Play Craps: The Fundamentals

Now that you know how the table is arranged, you can learn how to play craps. The simple version is – you and other players are invited to bet on the outcome of rolling two dice in rounds.

Let’s explain further with a bit of a step by step of how the traditional game of craps is played:

  • The first round of craps, meaning the first dice that is rolled, is known as the ‘come out roll’.
  • The person who rolls the dice is referred to as ‘the shooter’.
  • Next, the shooter takes two dice from the craps dealer.
  • The craps dealer, known as the ‘stickman’, rolls the dice to the end of the table.

At this point, the numbers are revealed, and there are only three possible outcomes, which we talk about next.

How to Play Craps: Possible Outcomes

  • Outcome number 1: ‘A natural’ – This means you have landed a 7 or an 11 on your first roll. If this happens, congratulations – you win and get to roll again.
  • Outcome number 2: ‘A Craps’ – In this scenario, you will have rolled a 2, 3 or 12. This is not a win, but all is not lost, as the round isn’t yet over. Notably, if you get a craps post-roll, you can roll again.
  • Outcome number 3: ‘The point’ – This means you have rolled a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. In this scenario, the dealer is going to mark a point (the number you rolled).

Please note that as you will probably be playing online – this is usually displayed as a white button over ‘the point’.

When the dealer or casino has marked the number of your last roll, you may roll again. If you are lucky enough to land the same number again – not necessarily in the same combination – you win.

If, after rolling the point mentioned above number, you then land on a 7 – you lose and the betting round comes to an end. This is known as ‘a seven out’.


How to Play Craps: Betting Options and Terminology Explained

The most intimidating thing when it comes to how to play craps is the bets and terminology.

You will see below a list of the most essential craps bets and terms used:

  • Pass Line Bet – These bets can be placed before ‘the point’ (outcome number 3 in our example). By placing this bet, you are wagering that the shooter will win the round by landing a ‘natural’ – or winning the point before they seven out. The house edge on this bet type can be as low as 1.41%.
  • Don’t Pass Line Bet – This is the opposite of the above. You are saying that you think the shooter will land a 2, 3, or be unable to roll another point before getting a 7. In other words, you think the shooter is going to lose. If they roll a 12, then your bet becomes ‘a push’ – this is neither a win nor a loss. When the shooter has rolled the point – they roll again.
  • Come Bet – You may only place this bet after the point has been rolled. If a natural is rolled, this bet wins. If craps are rolled, this bet loses. This becomes the come bet point if it is rolled – comparable to the pass line bet. You also win if this bet comes up, before a 7.
  • Don’t Come – As above, this is only an option after the point. This is similar to the don’t pass line. This bet loses on a 7 or 11 and wins on a 2 or 3 – a 12 is a push. You cannot reverse this, or the bets as mentioned above – instead you must wait until they have played out.
  • Place Bet – Once the point has been established, you can bet on any number on the craps table.

Next, we move onto alternative craps bets, namely proposition bets.

How to Play Craps: Prop Bets

When learning how to play craps, you will also see that there are proposition bets. This is a one dice roll type of wager. Notably, ‘prop’ bets, as they are sometimes called, are often the ones the stickman wants you to play and will push for.

As such, you might hear something like “anyone for number 11?”.

To give you an idea, below we’ve listed the most common proposition wagers to give you an idea of what will be available to you and how each bet wins:

  • 7 – If a 7 is rolled next
  • 11 – If an 11 is rolled next
  • Any Craps – If either a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled next
  • Ace Deuce – If a 3 is rolled next
  • Aces – If a 2 is rolled next
  • Boxcar – If a 12 is rolled next (this is classed as a long-shot wager)

Notably, there are a fair few one roll options on the table and each prop bet within the horn and hard ways section of the craps table will clearly display the odds.


What is craps?

Craps is an ancient dice game that is played at a table or an online casino. The crux of it is – you (and other players) must place a bet based on what you think the outcome of the roll of two dice will be. There are many betting options available when playing this game of chance.

How can I play craps?

To play craps you can either head to a land-based casino and find a craps table – or you can stay at home and play online. To get started, decide how much to wager and place a bet – of which there are many. A common one to start with is a pass line bet.

Which craps bet has the highest house edge?

The highest house advantage bet is the big 8, followed by the big 6. For this reason, some casinos don’t include it because the majority of players shy away from such a likely loss.

What is the simplest wager in craps?

The simplest wager in craps is probably the pass line bet. This one has a super low house edge and is easy to place. This means that you believe the shooter – the person rolling the dice – will land an 11 or a 7 before a 12, a 3, or 2 on a ‘come out’ roll.

Is there a strategy for playing craps?

Whilst there are many so-called strategies – a commonly adopted approach is to opt for bets with the lowest house edge. You might also look out for generous bonuses and create a casino budget.

About the Author

Author: James Smith.

James Smith has been writing about casino games and strategies for over a decade. He is an expert in the industry and loves to help people get started with online gambling. In his free time, James enjoys reading books by other successful authors, cycling around town, or playing poker.