How to play Craps: Complete Beginners Guide | LeoVegas NZ

How To Play Craps: Beginners Guide


This comprehensive guide introduces beginners to the game of Craps, a popular casino dice game, covering both physical and online versions. The step-by-step process is explained, from placing bets to rolling the dice and concluding a round.

Basic rules of Craps are detailed, including various bets like Pass Line, Don't Pass Line, Come, Don’t Come, and more. The casino table layout is described, highlighting the significance of areas like Pass Line, Don't Pass Bar, 6&8 Big, Field, and Come & Don't Come Bar. The guide explains over 40 different bet types and their meanings, offering a broad understanding of the game's diverse wagering options.

Table of Contents

Craps is a popular casino game that many people enjoy playing around the world. Essentially, it is a dice-based game that involves people betting on the outcome of how a pair of dice will land when they have been thrown down the craps table.

Players can wager money play craps online live against the house or bank, but due to today’s technology, there are more online casino sites that feature ‘online craps’ games.


How To Play Craps: Step-by-Step

Craps is a casino game played with two dice. The aim of the game is to predict the outcome of a roll, or series of rolls, of the dice. Players make wagers on the outcome of the roll, and then a shooter (person throwing the dice) will roll the dice.

Depending on the wager made, players may win or lose based on the roll of the dice. The game is played in rounds, with players taking turns as shooters.

This is how a betting round typically goes down:

  • Start with a bet
  • Roll the dice
  • Check your initial bets
  • Establish a point
  • Place more bets
  • Continue to shoot
  • End the round

Craps Basic Rules

Although each casino or online gambling site might offer different variations of the craps tables, the basic craps rules are far less complicated than they may look.

All bets must be wagered before the ‘shooter’, the player who rolls the two dice, sends them down the craps table. All players involved in the game then take it in turn to be the ‘shooter’, with players betting on various outcomes using betting chips that are placed directly into marked sections on the craps table layout below.

If you are the shooter, you must place a bet on the ‘Pass’ line and/or the ‘Don’t Pass’ line. The shooter must aim for the dice to hit the back wall of the table, with both dice being thrown in one go.

When starting your craps career, there are four main types of bet. These include the ‘Pass line’, which is an even money bet which wins if a shooter rolls 7 or 11, but loses if 2, 3 or 12 are rolled. Any other number that is rolled is the ‘point’ and must be rolled again before a 7 to win.

The ‘Don’t pass line’ bet is also an even money bet and works in the opposite way to a ‘Pass line’ wager, i.e. if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 you lose, but a 2 or a 3 wins. However, a 12 is a tie for this type of bet. If a ‘point’ has been created, you lose if that point number is thrown, but win if a 7 is rolled.

A ‘Come bet’ can be made any time following the first roll, if the shooter needs to make a point roll. You win on a 7 or 11, but lose on 2, 3 or 12. Any other number becomes your point and must be repeated for you to win before a 7 is rolled.

Finally, ‘Don’t come bets’ can also be made any time following the first roll when a shooter needs to make a point, but act in the opposite way to ‘Come bets’, i.e. you lose with a 7 or 11, but win with 2 or 3, other than a 12 which will be a tie. Any other number becomes your ‘come point’ and if repeated you lose but a 7 will see you win.

Craps Casino Table Layout

A craps table comprises several components. The most important part of casino craps, is the layout, which is a large felt cloth that covers the entire table and displays all the necessary information for players to make bets. On either side of the layout, there are walls known as "rail" that act as barriers to keep dice on the table.

In the center of the table are boxes that denote all the different types of bets players can make. These include Pass Line, Don't Pass Line, Come, Don’t Come, Field, Big 6/Big 8, and Hardway bets. On either side of these boxes are areas marked "On" and "Off," which represent whether a bet is live or not.

In the middle of the table, there are two spots for dice. The shooter, or person throwing the dice, stands at one end. At the other end of the table is the "stickman," who retrieves and controls the dice after they have been thrown. craps table layout.png

Here is what each segment means in relation to the craps table?

  • Pass Line: The pass line in craps is a wager that the shooter will roll either a point number (1, 4. 5, 6, 8. 9. 10), a 7 or 11 before rolling a 2, 3, or 12.
  • Don’t Pass Bar: The Don't Pass Bar in craps is a bet that the shooter will not pass their roll, which is the opposite of the Pass Line bet.
  • 6&8 Big: The 6&8 Big bet in craps is a wager that the shooter will roll a total of either 6 or 8 before rolling a 7.
  • The Field: The Field Bet in craps is a one-roll wager that pays out even money for most numbers rolled, with higher payouts for certain combinations.
  • Come & Don’t Come Bar: The Come & Don't Come bets in craps are wagers that the shooter will either roll a 7 or 11 on the first roll (Come bet), or fail to roll a 7 or 11 on the first roll (Don't Come bet).

Craps Bet Types

There are about 40 different bets that can be made when playing the game of craps - although that sounds like an intimidating number, it just means there are more options for bettors to enjoy!

Below, we briefly break down the meaning of each wager on the table:

Pass Line & Don’t Pass

Pass line and don’t pass wagers are two of the most popular bets in craps. The pass line bet is an even-money wager that is placed before the come-out roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, then you win. However, if they roll a 2, 3, or 12, then you lose. If any other number is rolled, the bet continues to move forward and establishes a point. Once this point is established, you must roll that same number before rolling a 7 in order for your pass-line bet to win.

The don’t pass wager can be thought of as the opposite of the pass line wager. If the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, then you win. However, if they roll a 7 or 11, then you lose. Just like the pass line bet, if any other number is rolled it establishes a point and you must roll that same number before rolling a 7 in order for your don’t pass bet to win.

Come & Don’t Come Bets

Come and Don’t Come bets are two of the four basic wagers in craps. The other two are Pass/Don’t Pass bets. All of these bets are based on the outcome of the “come out roll,” which is the first roll made by the shooter each time a new round begins.

Come bets are placed after the come out roll and they win if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11. If any other number is rolled, that “point” number will be established and the bet will stay in place until it either wins or loses. Come bets win when the point is repeated before a 7 is rolled.

Don’t Come bets are just the opposite of Come bets. They win on a 2 or 3 and lose when a 7 or 11 is rolled on the come out roll

Odds Bets

In craps, odds bets are additional wagers that can be made after a point has been established, which can increase the payout for a player's original pass line or come bet by adding true odds to the outcome of the roll.

Place Win/ Lose

In craps, Place Win/Lose bets are wagers made on specific numbers to come up before a 7 is rolled (Place Win) or after a 7 is rolled (Place Lose), and pay out according to the true odds of those numbers appearing.


Buy betting is a craps wagering strategy in which a player pays a premium to buy a bet at true odds, as opposed to the usual "table minimum" odds.


Lay betting in Craps is a type of wager where the bettor predicts that a specific number will not be rolled before a 7.

Big 6 and Big 8

The Big 6 and Big 8 betting type in Craps is a bet on whether the shooter will roll a total of 6 or 8 before rolling a 7.


Hardways betting in Craps is a bet placed on all even numbers of a specific combination of dice (4, 6, 8 or 10) to be rolled as doubles before they land easy or before the number 7 appears.


Field betting is a type of wager in Craps where players bet that the total on the dice roll will be 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12.

Proposition Bets

Proposition Bets in Craps are one-roll bets that offer a variety of unique payouts depending on the outcome of a single roll of the dice.

2 or 12 Bets

The 2 or 12 Bets betting type in Craps is a wager that the shooter will roll a two or twelve on the next roll.

3 or 11 Bets

The 3 or 11 Bets betting type in Craps is a wager that the shooter will roll a three or eleven on the next roll.

Any 7 Bet

The Any 7 betting type in Craps is when a player bets that the next roll of two dice will result in a sum of seven.

Craps Terms:

There are tens of popular Craps terms, almost too many to list. To save you time, we have earmarked the top ten Craps terms in parlance today.

  • Ace deuce - When a three is rolled.
  • Any craps - Bet on whether the next roll will be a 2, 3, or 12.
  • Betting right - Make a wager on the pass line and back the shooter (the person rolling the dice).
  • Betting wrong - Betting against the shooter.
  • Centre field - Rolling a nine.
  • Come out - The opening roll in a craps round.
  • Easy way - Without rolling a pair, the shooter totals a 4, 6, 8, or 10.
  • Inside numbers - Bet on 5, 6, 8, or 9.
  • Natural - A 7 or 11 is rolled on the come-out.
  • Yo bet - Wagering that the next roll will be an 11.

Craps Tips and Strategies

Like any form of live casino betting, there are many tips and strategies that the player can employ to maximise their chances of winning. Remember, though, that no matter the strategy, the house is always likely to win.

Here are a couple of Craps strategies that players can utilise:

3 Point Molly

The 3 Point Molly is a craps betting strategy that maximizes the chances of winning while minimizing risk. It involves placing three bets on the pass line, come line, and maximum free odds bet to maximize your winnings when you hit a hot streak.

If any one of those bets wins, then you will have a guaranteed profit of at least two times your original stake. This strategy is especially suitable for experienced players who want to take a more conservative approach to their gambling. The 3 Point Molly can be used to reduce the house edge and increase your chances of winning big on each roll.

The Iron Cross

The Iron Cross strategy in Craps is a betting system that is used to cover almost all possible outcomes on the craps table. It consists of placing four equal bets at the same time: the pass line, two separate numbers (4 and 10) and one don’t pass line bet.

This method covers every number, except for the seven, and is a popular strategy for those looking to reduce their risk of losing. This system also allows players to have more control over their winnings and losses, since they will not be completely dependent on one outcome.

Craps Odds and Payouts

There are many bets that can be placed when you playing craps online beside the basic pass line play. Each bet has its own rules and pay out chances.

The pass line, where you can place a Pass or Don’t pass bet, sits closest to where a player stands. When you place either of these bets, you are wagering either with, or against the dice. With this type of bet, the casino has around a 1.4% edge.

Come or Don’t come bets are placed after the ‘come out’ roll in the ‘come’ section of the table. They are a way for a casino to get a bet in on every roll with the ‘house’ having around a 1.4% edge.

Place bets can be made on the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 and you are betting that a particular number will be rolled before a 7. Place bets can be made any time after the come-out roll with the house edge differing depending what you have bet on.

If you bet on 4 and 10, the house edge is 6.66%. A bet on 5 and 9 would see a house edge of 4%, whilst a bet on 6 and 8 would offer the house an edge of 1.51%

A field bet is one you place in ‘the field’, which is the large area near the edge of each side of the table containing the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12. You can place these one-roll bets on no particular number. The bet has an even money pay out, unless a 2 is hit which pays 2 to 1, or a 12, which usually pays 3 to 1. The house edge on field bets is 5.55%.

A Proposition bet is placed in the centre section of the table where the stickperson is located as either a ‘Hardway’ or ‘One roll’ bet. Hardway bets require the numbers to be rolled the hard way, i.e. an 8 would need to be rolled as two x 4s. A one roll bet is a single roll bet placed on a specific number. These types of bet certainly mean the house has the edge due to how hard landing them is.

What Craps games are available at LeoVegas New Zealand?

LeoVegas New Zealand can boast a couple of online craps games that will give you that casino buzz from the comfort of wherever you choose to play them.

Craps allows you to play at your own pace on an online table and is ideal for craps beginners to get used to the rules with lower stakes.

Whilst Craps Live will see you playing with other players from across New Zealand in this engaging dice game. A great game to enjoy once you are ready to mix it with a more experienced player.

Craps FAQ

What is the best bet in craps?

In terms of odds, the Don't pass/Don't come bet is best as it gives the house an edge of around just 1.4%.

What is the safest bet in craps?

The pass bet is one of the safest, with a low house edge of around 1.40%.

What is the difference between the pass line and the come bet?

The main difference between these two bets is that a come bet can be placed anytime during the round, while a pass line bet must be made before the come-out roll.

What is the best craps betting strategy for beginners?

The 3 Point Molly Strategy is a basic strategy with low volatility.

What is the house edge in craps?

The house edge in craps is the statistical advantage the casino has over the players, expressed as a percentage of each bet made. House edge in craps is different for each type of bet, with the lowest being 1.41% for pass bet, while the highest is 16.67% for any seven bet.

Is it hard to play craps?

No - playing Craps is easy to learn and a fun and inclusive way to gamble.

Is craps a skill or luck?

Luck - like most casino games, Craps requires an understanding of the game’s rules, but no amount of knowledge can reduce the house edge.

How likely are you to roll a 7 in craps?

The odds of rolling a 7 in Craps is the highest of any dice combination at 16.66%

What number hits the most in craps?

The number 7.

What is the horn bet in craps?

Betting that the sum of the dice will be 2, 3, 11 or 12.