How to Play and Wager on Craps

Craps is one of the most exciting table games in a casino. It is played on a long table with two dice. A full craps table requires three dealers. There is a stickman and two dealers that make payouts to players at each end of the table. During slow times, casinos may close half of the table and run it with only two dealers. A pit supervisor often sits at the chips to watch the game. 

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How a craps game starts

A craps game begins with the player buying into the table. Place cash on the table. It may not be handed to the dealer. The cash is counted and converted into chips. Players may also bring chips from other tables into the game. The dealer may make change for large chips upon request. 

The first shooter must make a bet on either the pass line or don’t pass. Once that wager is made, the stickman pushes five dice to the player who is known as the shooter. This player picks two of the dice. These are thrown at the wall on the other side of the table. The desired outcome depends on the type of wager made by the shooter. However, other players may bet with or against the shooter, or other bets that are not dependent on this roll, which is called the come out.

At an online casino, the player simply clicks the chip denomination they wish to use. The next step is to click a bet on the table. Casinos online do not require a pass line or don’t pass wager. You can bet anything you want. Once your bets are set, click the roll button. Online craps games allow players to easily place the same wager on consecutive rolls by using the rebet button.

Craps table at Grand Z casino in Central City, Colorado
Craps table

Most common craps bets

There are many bets available on a craps felt. Each is described below. Some are resolved after one roll. Others are multi-roll bets. These are the most common. 

Pass line

The pass line is the most popular bet. It wins on a 7 or 11 on the come out roll. It loses on a 2, 3, or 12. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled it becomes the point. The player must make this point before a 7 to win.

If a 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 is rolled on the come out, the shooter goes again. If a point is established, the shooter rolls the dice until either the point is made or a 7 is rolled. Then if the point is made, the shooter continues until there is a 7 when a point is established. 

Don’t pass

The don’t pass bet is the opposite of the pass line. The don’t pass bettor wins immediately on a 2 or 3. The bet loses on a 7 or 11. The 12 is a push. 

If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is rolled, the don’t pass shooter wants a 7 before the point to win. If the point is made before a 7 is rolled the don’t pass bet loses. 

Come and don’t come

The come and don’t come bets is identical to the pass line, except that it is a side bet on another roll. Neither bet is available on the come out roll. For example, if the come out roll is a 6, and a player makes a come or don’t come bet with the next roll being a 6, the come or don’t come moves to the 6. However, these bets are not permitted on the next roll because it is time to bet on the pass line or don’t pass.

Betting craps odds

Craps tables permit players to bet odds behind the pass line, don’t pass, come, and don’t come. The maximum craps odds are posted at the table. The payout is the true odds. There is no house edge on craps odds bets. 

Pass line and come odds

Nearly all Las Vegas Strip craps tables permit 3-4-5 times odds. This means a player may go three times on the 4 and 10, four times on 5 and 9, and five times on 6 and 8. Most other tables allow up to 10 times odds. Horseshoe casinos in Iowa and Maryland allow up to 100 times odds. This is the highest in the country. 

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If a player makes a $10 pass line bet, the player may put odds behind this bet up to the maximum allowed at the table. At a 10 times odds table, that amount is $100. For come bets, place the chips towards the dealer and announce the bet, making sure it is placed in the proper part of the felt.

Craps pass line and come odds payouts

  • 4 and 10: 2 to 1
  • 5 and 9: 3 to 2
  • 6 and 8: 6 to 5

Don’t pass and don’t come odds

The don’t pass and don’t come bets are the opposite of the pass line and come bets. The player lays odds against these numbers. The payouts on these odds are the reverse of the pass line and come.

On don’t pass odds, the player lays an amount to win up to the maximum amount. For example, a 4 or 10 requires laying $2 for every $1 that a player hopes to win. At a 10 times odds table and a $10 don’t pass or don’t come bet, the player could lay up to $20 to win $100.

Craps don’t pass and don’t come odds payouts

  • 4 and 10: 1 to 2
  • 5 and 9: 2 to 3
  • 6 and 8: 5 to 6

Other craps bets

The craps felt is full of other bets. Below is a list of common ones.

Place bet

A place bet is a side wager on a specific number. This may only be made on bets that can be points. The bet wins if the player makes the number before a 7 is rolled. Place bets are off on the come out roll unless otherwise specified by the player.

Place bet payouts

  • 4 and 10: 9 to 5
  • 5 and 9: 7 to 5
  • 6 and 8: 7 to 6

Buy bet

A buy bet is typically only available on the 4 and 10. Most houses give a free buy bet on these numbers if the player bets at least $20. The house takes a 5% commission on the amount wagered if it wins. For example, a $20 buy 4 bet wins $39 because the commission is taken from the $20 bet, not the win. 

Most casinos allow a player to make a $25 buy bet on 4 and 10 to win $49 for the same $1 commission. Some houses do not give a free buy bet. If that is the case, the player pays the $1 upfront. Buy bets are off on the come out roll unless requested otherwise by the player.

Hardway bets

There are four hardway bets in the center of the craps table. These are available on the 4, 6, 8 and 10. The 4 and 10 pay 7 to 1. The 6 and 8 pay 9 to 1. This bet wins if the player makes the number with a bet on it as doubles, known as the hardway in craps. It loses if the number is rolled the easy way, meaning not doubles, or a 7 comes. Hardware bets are off on the come out roll unless specified by the player. 

One roll bets

There are several one roll bets on a craps table. These are resolved on the roll after the bet is made.


The field bet may be placed by a player. It wins on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12. The 2 pays double. The 12 pays double or triple, depending on house rules. The other numbers pay even money. The field bet loses if a 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled.

Any craps

Any craps pays 7 to 1. It wins on a 2, 3, or 12. It loses on all other numbers.

Hop bets

Players may call a number for an exact roll. Hardways, including the 2 and 12, pay 30 to 1. All other numbers pay 15 to 1. If a player wants to bet the 2, 3, 11, or 12, there are places on the felt where the stickman will place them. Other numbers require the player to clearly state the exact roll of both dice. 

Some craps tables have spaces on the felt for each hop bet. Others have it confirmed by the pit supervisor before the roll is made.

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Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by John Mehaffey