With punters shouting bets and dice being rolled often, it can be hard to keep track of what’s going on in a game of craps. We’re here to break it down for you so that, when you’re ready to give craps a fair go, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
Every game of craps starts with a new bet. Like roulette, there are heaps of betting options on the table. Each bet has different win conditions and different odds, and some types of bets can persist over multiple rolls. A lot of the chatter you’ll hear around the table is just craps players making new bets. One important thing to remember is that whenever a 7 is rolled, the game ends, and the dice is passed to the next shooter.
Here are just a few of the types of bets you can make, and what they mean to the progression of a craps game:
Pass / Don’t Pass Bets
The most common bets in craps are also the easiest to understand, and they are placed at the start of a game, before the shooter has rolled the dice. At some casinos, Pass or Don’t Pass bets need to be placed before you can bet on other outcomes.
A shooter’s first roll in a craps game is called the come-out roll. A Pass bet wins if the come-out roll adds to 7 or 11, and it loses if the roll adds to 2, 3, or 12. A come-out roll of 2, 3, or 12 is called “craps” or “crapping out”. If any other number is rolled, that value becomes the point, and the Pass bet remains on the table until either the point is rolled again, which is a win, or a 7 is rolled, which is a loss.
A Don’t Pass bet works as the reverse. If the come-out roll is 2 or 3, the bet wins, though if a 12 is rolled it counts as a tie. If the come-out roll is 7 or 11, it counts as a loss. If a point is established, a Don’t Pass bet wins is a 7 is rolled, and loses if the point is rolled again.
Come / Don’t Come Bets
Come and Don’t Come bets are almost identical to Pass and Don’t Pass bets, but what makes them a bit difficult to understand is that they are placed after the come-out roll.
Since a craps game can continue until a 7 is rolled, there’s less structure than other table games, and it can be unclear why you might have won or lost. Even though they follow the same format as Pass and Don’t Pass bets, Come and Don’t Come bets are personal to you – other punters can make bets of their own at any time, on any roll, and there’s no one single win condition.
After you place a Come bet, if the first roll is a 7 or 11, you win. If it’s a 2, 3, or 12, you lose. Any other number rolled becomes the point for your wager, regardless of whether it’s the point in the ongoing game. Here’s an example:
On the come-out roll, the shooter rolls a 9, so the point for this portion of the craps game is 9. After this point is established, you make a come bet. On the next throw, the shooter rolls a 4. Nothing happens in the overall game, but the pass line for your Come bet is established as 4. As with a Pass bet, if 4 is rolled before 7 is, you win, even if 9 is rolled first.
Like a Don’t Pass bet, the Don’t Come bet is the reverse of a Come bet. If a 2 or 3 is rolled on the come-out roll, you win, with a 12 being counted as a tie. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, you lose. If a point is established, you lose if the point is rolled, and win if a 7 is rolled.
Odds bets can be think of as a way to supplement the four kinds of bets above. There’s no house edge on odds bets, so you can only bet so much. The amount you can win also changes depending on what the point is, with harder-to-roll values like 4 and 10 granting better payouts than more common results like 6 and 8.
When the same number shows up on the dice – two 3s to make 6 or two 5s to make 10 – the result is said to have been earned the hard way. Hardway bets are straightforward bets that the shooter will roll doubles adding up to a certain value before they roll a 7. There are two hardway bets that can be made: 4 or 10, with doubles of 2 and 5, or 6 and 8, with doubles of 3 and 4.
This isn’t a complete list of every type of bet, but understanding how these bets work helps you to understand (and hopefully be less intimidated by) craps as a whole.