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The Basic Rules of Craps

Learn about one of the most misunderstood games in the casino.

Man playing Craps

In Craps, bets are made against the casino, and the roll of the dice determines the game's winners and losers. The atmosphere of craps is created around the "shooter," the player who rolls the 2 dice with which they play this game.

The result may be:

  • That you are a winner: you will be paid immediately according to the risk taken and the amount of the bet
  • That you are a loser: your bet will be picked up immediately by the casino
  • That the move is zero: it is to be replayed and nothing moves on the table
  • That the result is suspended: there will be another throw: certain bets will not be able to move, others will be able to do so.

Here are the basic rules of the game of Craps according to the roll of two dice:

  • The player who rolls 7 or 11 wins his bet
  • The player who rolls 2, 3 or 12 loses their entire bet. This is called "craps".
  • The player who obtains 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 makes "the point". He must then reroll the dice until the point is obtained again. If the point comes out the bets are winners. If a 7 is rolled before the point all bets lose.

Here is what a table looks like to play craps in a casino  :

Have you figured out how to play craps online or in the casino? Maybe not completely… We give you a more concrete example below!

The Two Phases of a Craps Game

First phase: determining the "point"

The game of craps begins when the shooter makes an initial bet on "Pass" or "Won't Pass". This is to bet on whether the launcher will "pass" the first stage or not. The thrower will not pass if he rolls 2, 3 or 12: it's craps, and the turn ends.

The thrower, therefore, performs this first throw of two dice which determines the rest of the game. There are then three possibilities:

  • 1 The launcher "does not pass", he obtains (sum of the dice) 2, 3 or 12 : It is a "craps". The player loses and everyone who played like him ("Pass") also loses. Their bets are picked up by a croupier. Those who played "Ne Passe Pas": With 2 and 3, they won. Their stakes are paid evenly and they get their stakes back. With 12: the move is zero. The first move is over. Although having lost, it is always the same player who will throw: this time he can bet on the "Pass" or on "Don't Pass".
  • 2 The player rolls 7 or 11 : the player who rolled the dice wins as well as all those who played like him on "Pass". They are paid equal to their bets and they each get their bets back. Those who have played "Ne Passe Pas" have lost: their bets are picked up by the croupier. The first move is over. It is the same player who will throw for the next trick: he bets again on "Pass" or on "Don't Pass".
  • 3 The player gets 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 : this result determines the "Point", and the second phase of craps begins…

Second phase: redo the "point"… or not

The second phase, therefore, begins only if the result was 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 during the first phase. The "Point" is thus determined, and the setups cannot be moved. It is possible to increase the bet on "Pass" and decrease or even withdraw the bet on "Don't Pass". Once you understand the principle of pass bets, you will be able to discover the other types of bets possible in craps, available with each roll of the dice.

The caster then rolls the dice again:

  • 1 If he repeats the point, he wins : All those who had played "Pass" have also won. They are paid equally and get their bets back. Those who played "Ne Passe Pas" lost. Their bets are picked up. The blow is over. The thrower will continue throwing for the next turn.
  • 2 If he rolls a 7, he loses: All those who had played "Pass" also lost. Their bets are picked up. Those who played "Don't Pass" won. They are paid equally and get their bets back. The turn is over, and it is then up to the caster's neighbor (clockwise) to roll the dice.
  • 3 If he does neither the "Point" nor 7, the result is suspended . The thrower rerolls the dice again until he gets:
  • – either "the point" and he wins.
  • – or 7 and he loses.

A concrete example of a game of Craps

You bet 10 dollars on "pass". On your first throw, you get an 11, you win 10 dollars. The game then starts again, with a new first throw. You leave 10 dollars on "pass". You roll a 9, which becomes the Point. Your next roll results in a 6: you reroll the dice. Your next throw results in a 9, so you win 10 dollars.