Craps Rules and Strategy

Many players get outright confused and put off by the large number of bets available to the Craps player.

We have put together a comprehensive guide of all Craps rules and popular strategies, along with the bets that are available, so you can play this game with all the knowledge you want to have to be able to win in a variety of different ways, and have the most fun playing the game.

When you’re ready, take your pick from our recommended Craps online casinos below!


Advanced Craps Bets

craps rules and bets

Craps is actually a lot less complex than it looks.

If you are looking for an overview of the most common bets (Pass/Odds/Pass/Don’t Pass/Come/Don’t Come/Field), you may first want to read through our online Craps page. It will be helpful to have a grasp of the basics Craps rules and bets before learning all the side bets.

Many of the side bets are similar to other bets with the only difference being the odds on that particular bet. So read through all the Craps rules bets so you know what you can do and when you can do it throughout the game.

Once you've got the hang of it, you can play Craps at any of the recommended online casinos listed above - all are safe, secure, and fully licensed in the UK.


Craps Bets Explained

Buy Bets

This is very similar to the place bet or odds bet, but with different odds on the bet, and you also pay a 5% vig (vigour to profits) on the bet as a result of this bet having no house advantage (known as ‘true odds'). This bet can be placed at any time and at any point, and you win the point if it is rolled before a 7. You can make a bet, remove your bet, increase or decrease the amount of the bet at any time during the game.

Payout:

  • 2-1 for a 4 or 10
  • 3-2 for a 5 or 9
  • 6-5 for a 6 or 8

Lay Bets

This is the opposite of the buy bet, instead of betting on the 4,5,6,8,9 or 10, you bet that the 7 will roll before the point number of your choice. They work in the same way that as a result of lower house edge you have to pay a 5% vig on the value of your bet, not your winnings.

Payout:

  • 1-2 for a 4 or 10
  • 2-3 for a 5 or 9
  • 5-6 for a 6 or 8

Big 6 & 8 Bet

The Big 6 & 8 Bets are the same as the place bets, except for the fact that they give even money, instead of 7 to 6 like the place bet. The odds are better on the place bet so you should avoid this bet.

Hard Ways

To win a hard way bet you have to roll one of the following combinations: 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, or 5-5. This bet can be made at any time and you win if the dice combination you bet on is rolled, and you lose if you get the same total you bet on but with different combinations, or if a 7 is rolled.

Payout:

  • 9 to 1 for a Hard ways 6 (3-3) and 8 (4-4) 
  • 7 to 1 for a Hard ways 4 (2-2) and 10 (5-5)

Proposition Bets

The proposition bets can be made on any roll of the dice and are only valid for the next roll of the dice. What sets these bets apart from similar bets are the odds on them. They are definitely not as favourable, but it can add excitement and edge to the game to bet on them. Just keep in mind that the house edge on all proposition bets are much, much higher, so check with the casino first and if you’re feeling like some extra thrill while you play try one of the following bets:

Any Craps Bet (or ‘Craps Check’ Bet)

Wins: If a 2,3 or 12 is rolled;
Loses: If any other number is rolled;
Payout: 7 to 1

Any 7 Bet (or ‘Big Red’ Bet)

Wins: If a 7 is rolled ;
Loses: If any other number is rolled;
Payout: 4 to 1

Horn Bets (The 2,3,11 & 12 Craps Bet)

The horn bet involves placing one bet on four outcomes: either the 2, 3, 11, or 12. You lose the bet if any other number is rolled.  You can also bet on one individual number on a single roll:

  • Two Craps or Aces/Snake Eyes:  You win if you roll a 2 and it pays 30 to 1.
  • Twelve Craps or Two Sixes/Boxcars:  You win if you roll a 12 and you will lose the bet on all other numbers. This horn bet pays 30 to 1.
  • Three Craps or Ace Deuce/Cross-eyes: You win if you roll a 3, and you lose the bet on all other numbers. Pays 15 to 1.
  • Eleven or Six Five/Yo bet:  You win if you roll an 11, and lose on all other numbers. Pays 15 to 1.

Horn High Bets

The Horn High Bets are played in units of five. One unit goes to each of the numbers 2,3,11 and 12, and the fifth unit goes to one of these numbers that you choose. If you place a 5 pound High Horn Bet 3 for example, then one pound goes on the 2, 11 and 12, whilst 2 pounds are placed on the 3.

Payout:

  • 27 to 4 for a 2 or 12
  • 12 to 4 for a 3 or 11

Hop Bets

Like a proposition bet, a hop bet can be made at any time of the game. You are able to choose a dice combination of your liking, and you are betting that that combination will be rolled on the next roll. The specific odds depend on the casino, and you need to check the table to make sure that this bet is possible.

However, due to the fact that rolling the exact combination is difficult, the house edge on the hop bet is very high. However, it’s a fun bet to place if you are feeling certain numbers haven’t been rolled in a while, or you simple want to bet your own favourite or lucky numbers! The payout is normally 15 to 1.

Now you know all the possible bets available on a Craps table and know all the Craps rules regarding when you can make your bets, you can really start having some fun with it, be a bit adventurous and use the variety of bets to your advantage when you play online.


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Craps Strategy And Tips

craps strategy

Become a Craps master with these Craps strategy tips!

Because of the vast amount of bets available within the game of Craps, strategy depends on each individual’s preferred style of gameplay, which is one of the great benefits of this game.

There are so many options you can play the way you like to; it’s really for all player types. What you want to is lower the house edge as much as possible.

There are bets which offer great odds, and others really terrible odds. You can combine different bets to minimise the house edge. You don’t want to be placing only bets with the largest house edge as you will out of the game pretty quickly!

The simplest way to reduce the house edge is to play the pass or come bets, with the odds bet. So again, depending on your playing style, you can adopt a betting style in craps to suit your individual wants and budgets. Read through our strategy guide to learn the best betting strategy for your style to maximise your winnings.


The 5-Count Craps Strategy

craps rules

The 5-Count Craps Strategy can take a little time to execute, but the payoffs can be rewarding!

Even though playing Craps can seem extraordinarily complicated with a dizzying amount of bets, it’s best to learn a simple strategy which will help keep your head on your shoulders as you’re playing and help you maximise your winnings.

The 5-count Craps strategy is an extraordinarily simple strategy that you can stick to throughout the game so the speed of craps won’t induce a mild headache!

Why Use The 5-Count Craps Strategy?

If you’re after a good Craps strategy to reduce the odds of you losing your bets with a shooter, then this is the strategy for you. If, however, you’re looking for the fast-paced action and entertainment and aren’t too concerned with being a bit savvy with your funds, then, by all means, give this method a miss as you will have to wait to start betting until you get to 5-count. Shooters may also be ‘sevened out’ before you reach 5-count as well, so you won’t be able to place a bet on all shooters.

Remember to keep in mind that regardless of which method you decide to take when betting in Craps, the house advantage on the bets you make will still remain the same. The 5-count method will improve your chances of having minimal losses as you play as you will place your money on good shooters.

Where did the 5-count Craps method come from?

It’s known as the ‘Captain’s method’ and it became popular amongst Craps betters through Frank Scoblete’s book Beat the Craps out of the Casinos. Scoblete relates a method to him which he was told by the ‘Captain’ in the 1980s, hence its nickname the Captain’s method.

What does the 5-count Craps method do?

When you are playing Craps online you are betting on shooters, and not rolling yourself. When you are on a winning streak with a shooter you want to maximise that opportunity the best you can. What the 5-count method does is eliminate the amount of bad shooters that you’re betting on, and allows you to cash in on the ones that are showing a bit of longevity at the table.

Whether online or in a real casino, finding the right shooter to bet on will make the difference between you going to sleep with anxiety, or dreaming about what to spend your winnings on. By using the 5-count method you can eliminate approximately 50% of the bad shooters (you know the ones, the ones who seven out depressingly quickly and make you want to bang your head against the wall repeatedly), and increase your odds of betting on the good shooters.

How does it work?

The 5-count method starts with a point number and ends with a point number, and you start betting after 5 points have been made. You count as follows to determine when to start betting:

  • When a new shooter at the Craps table takes the dice to make the come out roll, the first roll of the dice, the count is zero. 
  • When the shooter rolls a point roll (4,5,6,8,9, or 10), the count is one. If the shooter rolls any other number the count remains at zero. 
  • For each following roll after a point roll, regardless of what the outcome is, you keep counting 1 per roll until you reach 4. 
  • For the roll, after you have 4-count the shooter must roll a point number (4,5,6,8,9, or 10) for the next point to be added to reach a total count of five. This can be any of the point numbers. The count remains at 4 if you roll any other number. 
  • Once the count reaches five points, you can now place bets on the craps table, but only the safe come or place bets. Stay clear of the one roll proposition bets (see all the proposition bets in our Craps bets guide above).

If you stick to this betting method it will help you from losing money at the table. Some shooters only roll a few times before ‘sevening out’, so this will ensure that you are not throwing your money at these unreliable shooters. You want to be betting on the shooters who are able to remain at the table rolling the dice for longer periods of time.

The 5-count Craps Method in Practice

So you can see how this method works in practice, we'll go through this method as if a new shooter is now rolling the dice:

  • Let’s say on the first roll, the come out roll, the shooter rolls a three. Your count will remain at zero as the number is not a point number, as you only start counting if a 4,5,6,8,9, or 10 is rolled.
  • You have to start counting on the second roll regardless of the number rolled, so if the shooter then rolls an 11 on the 2nd roll of the dice, your count is at 1. 
  • If the shooter rolls a 5 on the 3rd roll, your count is 2, if the shooter rolls a 2 on the 4th roll, your count is 3.
  • If the shooter rolls an 8 on the 5th roll, the count is now 4 (or at ‘4-count’).
  • To count the final point after the 4-count the shooter *must* roll a point number.
  • So if the shooter rolls a 3 on the 6th roll, you don’t count, you remain at 4-count.
  • If the 7th roll is a 9, a point number, then you get to 5-count.
  • The roll after the 5-count roll you can start placing your bets, as the risk of you losing with this particular shooter has been decreased significantly. Remember that if the first roll is a point number, you start counting with that first roll.

Summary

  • 1st roll: 3 – no-count
  • 2nd roll: 11 – 1-count
  • 3rd roll: 5 – 2-count
  • 4th roll: 2 – 3-count
  • 5th roll: 8 – 4-count
  • 6th roll: 3 – no-count
  • 7th roll: 9 – 5-count
  • Start betting!

Craps Strategy: Maintaining Your Bankroll

craps strategy maintain your bankroll

Staying in control of your bankroll is a very important aspect of Craps play.

Due to the very fast pace of Craps, managing your money is more important in this game than in other games where you have a lot more time to think about your bets and what you want to do. As Craps moves so quickly, it’s easy to get carried away placing risky exciting bets which may see your bankroll disappear very quickly.

To build a Craps bankroll make sure you set aside money specifically to play the game. With some planning, you can use what you currently have and increase it throughout the gameplay through investing it properly, knowing when to walk away from the table or stop clicking to increase your bets.

Craps Bankroll Setup

Regardless of whether you play online Craps for the pure fun and entertainment value or for the game to deliver some serious returns, if you’re going to play regularly then it’s wise to set up a separate account just for playing the game. Put aside a certain amount each week, or fortnight, or month, whatever works best for you and your financial situation, and then stick to only spending that money when you play. Establish exactly what you are willing to risk and what you are not.

When you win money, put a portion of the winnings back into this account as well instead of spending it all right away. When you find that you have extra cash coming in that you didn’t envision coming in before, put that into your bankroll as well. Learn to be disciplined and walk away from the table when you have used it up.

Before you play, also establish how much of your bankroll you are willing to spend in one game. For example, you may want to spend 2%, or 5% or up to 20% of your bankroll in one session.

Play Craps for Free

Apart from being smart with your account, being creative with ways to increase the bankroll, and establishing what your limitations will be, your next step is to take advantage of what the online casinos actually have to offer and use it to your advantage to build your Craps bankroll.

Playing online has distinct benefits over playing surrounded by people shouting bets at a casino table.  First of all, you can practice for free online without dwindling away your life’s savings before getting a hang of the game. Take advantage of the free game on our online Craps page, and learn how to play and place bets on the Craps table until you figure out a strategy that works for you and you feel comfortable.

Take Advantage of Online Bonuses

Here at CasinoGuide, we have compiled a list of all the best casino bonuses for you, so you don’t have to wade through pages and pages on the internet to find them. Online bonuses allow you to play with money given to you, with certain terms and conditions of course. However, once you have practised with the free games this is a great way to start building your online Craps bankroll without investing your own money to begin with. Once you win a few rounds and see your total increasing then you can add your own gambling money to the bankroll.

Bets to Avoid

If you are starting with a relatively low craps bankroll, then don’t go crazy with the high-risk proposition bets. If you need a reminder of which bets have the higher house edge read over the proposition bets mentioned above. Particularly if you’re a beginner still finding your footing in the game, place it safe at first and then as you get used to the game, then see if you are willing to take more high-risk bets.

Best Bets to Play

You need to focus on the bets which have the lowest house edge, mainly the pass or don’t pass, or come and don’t come bets. These bets have such a low house edge, sitting at around 2%, that the risk of playing these bets is relatively low. If you want to read through a comprehensive guide of all the different odds and payouts of the numerous bets in craps, then make sure to read our online Craps bets guide above. However, if you can afford to spend £2000 on a spread, then, by all means, take some risks with some of the bets with a high house edge, but potentially great payouts.

If you find you are reaching your limit and not winning anything back from it, take a break from the game and re-assess your strategy until another moment. One of the most important parts of gambling is knowing when to walk away from the table.


Play Online Today

Now you know all the possible bets available on a Craps table and know all the Craps rules regarding when you can make your bets, you can really start having some fun with it, be a bit adventurous and use the variety of bets to your advantage when you play online.

You can test out the waters and play a free game first, and then when you're ready, choose from the best casinos found online right here on our site.

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