How to Play Craps – Online Strategy for Winning Bets and Bigger Payouts

Knowing how to play craps, and craps online in particular, is way less difficult than many people imagine. At its heart, this is an easily understood casino game of chance that is played with a simple pair of dice. Yes, it has hidden depths when you begin to explore its full range of betting options, but you don’t need to start with those from the get-go. Focus on the basics and you’ll discover that craps are actually quite easy to play. And it’s also one of the fastest and most thrilling casino games around.

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How to Play Craps: Introduction to Our Online Guide

Learn how to play craps with a successful craps online strategy via our complete How To Bet guide

Knowing how to play craps is easy and playing the game itself is so much fun. This may be one of the most exciting games in any land-based or online casino and it is essentially about just one thing: betting on the roll of two dice. Craps rules are simple and the game is played on its own specially designed table that is reproduced online to look much as it would in a land-based venue. While many people assume that playing craps online is complicated, any apparent complexity only concerns the various ways in which you can bet on the dice being rolled.

There are more than five types of wagers in craps, and some of these can be a little hard to remember. Most players choose to wager on only the most basic bets available, which keeps the game super simple, so there is no need to fret over any parts of the game you do not yet fully understand.

This is a game of pure chance, and so it requires no skill to play. There is some useful craps strategy advice that can actually increase the likelihood of you winning though. You will read some of it here and also a detailed craps odds / craps payouts chart which will make you take better betting decisions. A list of the best craps casinos from our complete online casino index page will be made available as well with special bonus offers and promo codes.

If all of that sounds as good to you as it does to us, let's move on to discuss how to play craps online.

How to Play Craps Online

Learn how to play craps online with the help of the detailed How To Bet guide

Craps involve one pair of dice. Your task as a player is simply to bet on what those dice will show when they have been rolled (or 'shot') down the table. The person who rolls the dice in a land-based casino is known as the shooter. When you play craps online, the dice are rolled by the software.

When you place a wager, you are betting on the shooter either winning or losing. If we ignore for the time being some of the more complex dice combinations where you’ll need a special craps betting system, there are only a few simple bets that need to be understood before you can begin playing the game for yourself.

The basic bets we are talking about here are wagering on the Pass line and the Don't Pass line. These are the safest and best craps bets for beginners, as you will see in a moment. For now, let's get the game started.

Craps Rules: Commencing the Game

Craps games begin when the shooter makes his first roll. This starting roll is called the come-out roll and gets the game underway. Shooting two dice down the table, the shooter can expect to have three possible outcomes: a natural, craps, or point.

  • Natural means rolling either a total of 7 or 11. When shooters roll a natural, they also have the chance to roll again.
  • Craps means rolling a total of 2, 3, or 12, and is deemed a losing roll. Incidentally, the roll of 2 is often referred to as Snake Eyes, as that's what the two 1s resemble.
  • Point means rolling a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10.

If you do roll the point, a secondary follow-up roll is required. If you manage to hit the same number, then you will have to roll the dice all over again before you roll a winner.

Craps Rules: Wagering on Dice Rolls

This is where the Pass Line and Don't Pass Line come in. A Pass Line bet is a wager on the shooter rolling a natural or a point. Basically, you won't want him to roll craps.

Similarly, a Don't Pass Line bet means you are betting that the shooter will roll craps and lose.

We should mention that, in a land-based casino, the shooter will also bet on their own outcome of their come-out roll.

Should the shooter roll a 7 or 11, all Pass bets win. But if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, they have rolled craps, and the Don't Pass Line bets win.

If the shooter rolls any other possible total (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10), that number becomes the player's point. In this case, the shooter will carry on rolling the dice until they Pass.

And that's it! There are other bets, lots of them, in fact, and we have listed them below. But you can explore those at your leisure. Until then, the best way to get started when you’re wondering how to play craps is to bet on Pass or Don't Pass.

Craps Bets

See how to make winning craps bets with a successful online craps strategy

Now that you understand the simple ways to play, you can see the more complex craps bets explained here. As we said above, these wagers can largely be ignored and it won't harm your enjoyment of the game one bit. However, there is something to be said for knowing about all of your options so that you have more to choose from. 

Don't worry if these craps bets don't make much sense at first. Once you're at the table, things will become much clearer. Do not go overboard with these wagers though, even when you understand them. They might offer more attractive craps odds, but they also give the house a considerable edge over you, which makes it harder to generate a profit.

BetActionCraps Odds
Ace DeuceMust roll a 315/1
Any SevenAny Seven4/1
Any CrapsMust roll a 2, 3, or 127/1
Aces or Two CrapsMust roll a 230/1
Twelve CrapsMust roll a 1230/1
HornMust roll a 2, 3, 11, or 12Bets split evenly between numbers
ElevenMust roll an 1115/1
Craps and ElevenMust roll an 11 or crap number7/1 for a crap number & 15/1 for an 11
Field BetsMust roll a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 or 112/1 for 2 & 12 and evens for 3, 4, 9, 10, 11
Big 6 & Big 8 bets6 or 8 must be rolled before 7Evens

More Craps Bets

We said that there were plenty of craps bets available, which is understandable considering the rich history of this game, and we weren't joking. Some other wagers that you can place are as follows:

  • Horn High: Players can double Horn bets but must nominate one of four numbers as their high number.
  • Hop: You can make this bet at any time. It allows players to wager on their own specified dice combination.
  • Buy: Here you pick one number from 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. If the chosen number is rolled before a 7, you will receive true odds minus 5% casino commission.
  • Lay: You bet on the shooter rolling a 7 before rolling your choice of number. Should you win, you will receive true odds minus 5% casino commission.
  • Place Win/Place Lose: As above, but without true odds. Your Place Win bet will pay if 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 comes up before 7. Your Place Lose bet will pay if the 7 is rolled first.
  • Hard Way: Place a Hard Way bet and both dice must have matching numbers and be rolled before the 7. You can bet on the outcome of the dice resulting in a 4, 6, 8, or 10. Hard Way bets will be deemed losers if an easy way form is made or if a 7 is rolled.
  • Easy Way: Here you bet on the shooter rolling an easy way combination of 4, 6, 8, or 10 before a 7 is rolled.

Craps Strategy for Winning

Learn what the best craps strategy for winning your bets online is in this guide

If you want to enjoy any success with your bets, you need to find the best craps strategy that works for you. There are some fundamental rules to follow and we at How To Bet will lay them out for you. Here’s how to win at craps in a few easy steps.

How to Play Craps and Win

Before implementing any craps strategy, players should first establish guidelines to follow. This will make it easier for them to follow their strategy and test its success in any craps online casino. Here are a few points to consider:

  1. Do your research on craps online games: because of the multitude and diversity of games, always check the rules first for any differences between them that could possibly affect your craps strategy.
  2. Be realistic about your bankroll: don’t go for a high-stakes craps strategy with a low budget. Always check for minimum/maximum bet limits and walk away if they don't suit your game approach.
  3. Bet several times to assess how your craps strategy really works.
  4. Set a strict time limit for yourself: entering a losing spiral is easier than you think and may harm you, so sticking to a predetermined period of gaming forms part of the best craps strategy possible.
  5. Dive deep into statistics concerning your results: assessing your game after you’ve finished it is one of the best craps strategies known to us. See where your mistakes lie and what your right decisions are to make sure you learn from both the good and the bad. That’s fundamental when it comes to knowing how to win at craps.
  6. Hedge your bets: do so with some reasonable single or multi-roll bets, especially when you have a limited bankroll. A good option is to hedge your Pass and free odds bets by using place 6 and 8 bets (the house edge on them is relatively low) alongside them once the point is set. With this approach, your craps odds will be reduced but at the same time your craps payouts will be more frequent.
  7. Bet on the Pass Line for more simple craps bets in a land-based casino: here the house edge is a mere 1.41% and winning pass line wagers make even money (1:1). Bet on the pass line on the come-out roll and if the dice land on 7 or 11, you win.
  8. Bet on Don't Pass/Don't Come for craps online: this craps strategy has a slightly lower house edge than the Pass Line (1.46% vs. 1.41%). The odds of winning Don't Pass wagers are lower, since 7 has the biggest number of dice combinations.

Craps Odds and Craps Payouts

See how to play craps online successfully with our craps payouts / craps odds chart

In order to win, you must be aware which bets have the best craps odds of landing. Thankfully, we at How To Bet have prepared a detailed craps odd chart / craps payout chart to help you out in your quest for success. Learning about different craps payouts will improve your chances of winning so don’t hesitate to take a deeper look at the charts.

Keep in mind that one of the main craps strategies is reducing the house edge, especially if you play with high-stakes. If you want to know how to play craps for beginners, take the ‘pass line’ route because this wager has some of the highest craps odds for landing (251 to 244 to be exact), one of the lowest house edges (1.414%), and odds on craps payouts of 1 to 1.

Here’s our complete craps odd chart / craps payout chart to give you a much better idea of your chances of winning. 

Types of Craps BetsTrue Craps OddsCraps Payouts OddsHouse Edge %
Pass Line / Come Bet251 to 2441 to 11.414
Don't Pass / Don't Come Bet976 to 9491 to 11.36
Pass Line Odds / Come Bet Odds / Buy Bets (5% Commission)
Numbers 4 or 102 to 12 to 14.76
Numbers 5 or 93 to 23 to 24.76
Numbers 6 or 85 to 65 to 64.76
Don't Pass Odds / Don't Come Bet Odds / Lay Bets (5% Commission)
Numbers 4 or 101 to 21 to 22.44
Numbers 5 or 92 to 32 to 33.23
Numbers 6 or 85 to 65 to 64.00
Field Bets
3, 4, 9, 10, or 11-1 to 15.50
2, 12-2 to 15.50
Place Bets
Numbers 4 or 102 to 19 to 56.70
Numbers 5 or 93 to 27 to 54.00
Numbers 6 or 86 to 57 to 61.52
Hard Way Bets
6 or 810 to 19 to 19.09
4 or 108 to 17 to 111.10
One Roll Bets
Any 75 to 14 to 116.90
Any Craps8 to 17 to 111.10
2 Craps or 12 Craps35 to 130 to 113.90
3 Craps or 11 Craps17 to 115 to 111.10
Horn Bet (3 or 11)-3.75 to 1-
Horn Bet (2 or 12)-7.5 to 1-
Big 6 or 8-1 to 19.09

How to Play Craps in Vegas

Learn how to play craps in Vegas with a successful online craps strategy via the complete How To Bet guide

For those of you who want to see how to play craps in Vegas, you should know that it’s the same as in any land-based casino across the country. Something specific about Sin City venues though is that there are no seats around the table because the game is played standing up. Most tables in a Las Vegas craps casino are usually operated by four employees.

  • Boxman: seated at the center of the layout, he drops all currency into the money box, supervises, and directs the game.
  • Dealers (usually two): standing on each side of the boxman, they operate the game, administer the house rules, pay off the winnings and collect losses.
  • Stickman: placed in the center of the player's side of the table, he controls the dice in between rolls and delivers them with a stick to the person rolling. The stickman also announces the results of each roll, places all the prop bets, or instructs a dealer to place wagers.
  • Shooter: the player rolling the dice.

Find a free spot along the table in the Vegas craps casino of your choice, place the money in front of the dealer, and say ‘Change’. He will hand the money to the boxman who, after counting it, tells the amount to the dealer who will place an equivalent amount of chips on the layout in front of you. You should then take the chips and place them in the groove provided on the table railing.

The next step is to place a bet after checking the table minimum on the respective section of the board after the hockey puck is switched to OFF by the dealer or the stickman. Then you, the shooter, must make a "come out roll" (the first roll of a new round) by tossing both dice from one of the short ends of the table to the other, making sure that both dice bounce off the opposite side wall of the table. Next thing you should do is to see whether your bet is a winning one.

Basically, this is how to play craps in Vegas.

Craps Casino Options to Play Online

As you can see, there are many great online craps options for you to enjoy when you’re wondering where and how to bet, so the only thing remaining is for you to decide where to play. Craps is considered a staple casino game and so it is available at most online casinos. If you haven't done so already, take a look at our online casino index page for details of all the main operators, or simply check out any of our recommended casinos below. We guarantee you that you will discover the best craps online casino for your needs and preferences as a player.

How To Play Craps FAQ

Is craps a complicated game?
No. Craps is a simple game to learn, and many of its more complex betting options can be ignored completely.
What do you mean by complex betting options?
There are a lot of betting opportunities in craps, and they all involve paying for different dice combinations, but you do not need to worry too much about these. Also, these other bets tend to come with a high house edge, so they're worth avoiding if you want to maximise your chances of having a profitable session.
Is craps a game of skill?
No. Craps is a game of pure chance. And for that reason, no particular approach or betting strategy can influence the probability of you winning in any way.
How easy is it to get started playing craps?
It's refreshingly easy. Once you've learned how to play craps as explained in the article above, simply join an online casino in your state and start playing!
Can I win real money playing craps online?
Yes, you can, but always remember that you can lose money just as easily. For that reason, you should only ever bet with money that you can comfortable afford to lose if you don't get lucky.

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