Craps Rules, Odds and Strategy Tips

When i first saw a craps table i was somewhat intimidated. There seemed like a myriad of complex bets and the game just generally seemed confusing to me. However, after being explained the rules and playing a few games i quickly got the hang of it and it become one of my favorite casino games.

For those of you who are confused, this following article aims to explain and simplify the game of craps so that you can start playing and enjoying this world famous casino game.

Craps Rules

First of all, there is one fundamental bet in craps, the “pass line” bet. This is the bet that virtually all players make.  As time goes on and you become more knowledgeable about the game and other bets you can then vary your bet, but for the time being, lets just stick with the pass line bet.

Lets say that you have made a pass line bet. The shooter then rolls the dice. If you roll a 7 or an 11 you will win at 1:1. So if you bet $20 you will win another $20. After the roll you can either keep your profits or keep playing.  If you keep playing you are said to be pressing your bet or “letting it ride”.

If however your roll a 2, 3 or 12 you have rolled “craps” and you lose your bet.

If however you roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 you have established “the point”. During the point stage of the game the dealer will the flip the circular off/on marker to on and place it on the square that corresponds with the rolled number.

At this stage of the game, the goal is to roll that number or point again before the next roll of 7. This will continue onward until a either a 7 or the point is rolled.

Lets now use an example to clarify things. You first of all stick $20 on the pass line and roll an 11 on your first roll. Success! You have doubled your money.  You can take your money or you can let it ride, in this case you decide to let it ride. This time the dice shows a 5. The point is now the number 5 and the dealer places the on marker on the number 5.

Your goal now is to roll another 5 before you roll a 7.  Essentially 7 has gone from being a winning number to your enemy.  If a 7 is rolled you lose. However if a 5 is rolled you win.  Your money is doubled and you can take your bet.

The approximate house edge on a pass line bet is 1.41%. This contributes to the popularity of the game because it provides the player with a good chance of winning.

There are other bets in craps such as the “Don’t pass bet” which is almost the opposite of the pass bet, this bet provides the house with a similar edge of 1.4%. Bets such as “proposition bets” and “field bets” provide the house with a larger edge and should be avoided.

Online Craps Video Demo

Optimal Craps Strategy

The optimal strategy for craps is fairly simple and doesn’t require much memorization. Always make the “don’t pass” bet and back it up by laying the maximum odds. Laying the odds bets provide the casino with no edge and you should always bet the maximum. This is known as playing the dark side because most players play the opposite way.  If you don’t want to be hated by your fellow gamblers we suggest that you you make pass bets plus take the full odds, this is almost just as good mathematically.