Basic Craps Bets

One of the reasons why craps is such a popular casino pastime is the relatively vast control players have over the game. In land-based casinos players take turns acting as “shooters”, set up the dice before shooting, and switch them whenever they please. What is more important, and true in online casinos as well, is that players have a wide range of bets to choose from.

Game Flow

Craps is a game played by one or more players, who each take turns rolling two dice. The player rolling the dice during a round of play is called ‘the shooter’. All players, including the shooter himself, may place bets on the outcome of the entire round, a single roll, or many combinations of dice results. Here is what a round looks like.

The first roll of each round is called “the come-out roll”. If the two dice add up to 7, 11, 2, 3 or 12, the round ends immediately. The shooter (could be a new one) then rolls another com-out roll to start off a new round. If any other number comes up during a come-out roll – 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 – that number is called “the point”. The shooter will now re-roll the dice over and over until one of two things happen: either the point is rolled again, or a 7 is rolled. Only when one of the two happens (or the casino burns down) does the round finally end.

Basic Line Bets

Line bets are the ‘classic’ crap bets, and each round of shooting is structured around these bets. If a player wants to shoot, he must place either a Pass Line bet or a Don’t Pass bet. Note: The payouts listed below are the most common both in online and land-based casinos. Individual casinos may, however, pay these bets at different odds. We strongly recommend making sure what the actual payout is before placing any bets.

Pass Line (AKA Win Line): This is the most fundamental bet in craps. A Pass Line bet is automatically won if the come-out roll is a 7 or 11. If the come-out roll is 2, 3 or 12, the bet loses immediately. In any other case (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) a ‘point’ is established, and the shooter keeps rolling to determine the outcome of the bet. If the point is rolled again before a 7 is rolled, the Pass Line bet wins. If the 7 comes out first, the bet looses.

  • Payout: 1:1
  • Actual odds: 251:244
  • House edge: 1.41%

Don’t Pass: The opposite of the Pass Line bet, the Don’t Pass bet looses in case the come-out roll is 7 or 11 and immediately wins if the come-out roll is 2 or 3. If a 12 is rolled, the bet becomes a standoff (sometimes marked by the word “BAR” on the table), which basically means that the bet is considered a draw, and is returned. This maintains the hose edge. If any other number comes up, that number becomes ‘the point’. Don’t Pass bets win if a 7 is rolled before the point, and loose if the point is rolled again – almost an exact mirror image of the Pass Line bet.

  • Payout: 1:1
  • Actual odds: 244:251
  • House edge: 1.36%

Note: Though the house edge on the Don’t Pass bet is a bit lower than the Pass Line, betting on this bet is considered to be in bad taste (or even taboo), and is sometimes referred to as “betting on the dark side”, since it goes against conventional play.

Come Bet: Almost the same as the Pass Line, with one small difference – Come bets can only be made after the come-out roll. The next roll of the dice will have the exact effect on the Come bet as a (first) come-out roll has on the Pass Line, i.e. if 7 or 11 show, the Come bet wins, if 2, 3, or 12 come up it looses, and if any other number shows then that number becomes the ‘come-point’. Again, if the come-point is rolled again before a 7, the Come bet wins, and if the opposite happens, the Come bet looses. Because the Come bet is essentially the same bet as the Pass Line, with the only difference being the starting point of the bet relative to the come-out roll, the two bets share the same actual odds, house edge and payout.

Don’t Come Bet: The Don’t Come bet is the opposite of the Come bet (which makes it equivalent to the Don’t Pass). Don’t Come bets can be placed after the come-out roll, and just like the Don’t Pass, win if 2 or 3 come up on the next roll, loose if 7 or 11 show, draw with a 12, and establish a come-point in any other case. If the 7 appears before the come-point does – the bet wins, and if not, the Don’t Come bet looses. It has the same odds, house edge and payouts as the Don’t Pass bet.