Although Craps is a game based entirely on luck, it has a whole set of rules and bets that you should be familiar with before you start playing, it’s not just a matter of rolling the dice and waiting to see what numbers will come up.
In the game of craps there are a huge variety of possible bets. If your goal is to make a profit playing craps, it is crucial to learn how to distinguish between the types of bets, as well as their payouts. Keep in mind that different bets have different house edge values, so for a beginner player, it would be more logical to play only with the lower house edge bets.
Pass Line and Don’t Pass Bets
The house edge has the lowest value for Line bets, which are split into two main categories: Pass Line and Don’t Pass bets.
Pass Line bets are most common among beginners as they are also the easiest to understand; the shooter rolls the dice and if the 7 or 11 comes up, you win. If the shooter’s come-out roll results in a 2, 3, or 12 (also called Craps numbers), everyone who bets Pass Line loses.
Getting any of these numbers on the come-out roll: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, will result in the number that becomes the Point. The goal is to get Point before a 7 comes up. Rolling 7 before the Point number will result in a loss known as a seven-out. The numbers 7, 11, 2, 3, and 12 are called natural numbers because whether they come up on the come-out roll, players’ Pass Line bets will result in a win (with 7 or 11) or a loss (with 2, 3 or 12). Pass Line bets have a house edge of 1.41%.
Don’t Pass bets are another fitting option for those looking for a low house edge. Like Pass Line bets they are easy to understand, being almost the opposite of those.
In this case, players hope that the outcome of the shooter’s roll will be the numbers 2, 3, or 12 in which case they win the bets. The payouts are different, however. If the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, the Don’t Pass bet will have a return equal to the amount of the bet. However, if the roll results in the number 12, the Don’t Pass bets will result in a Push, which basically means that there was a tie, and so the bet is neither lost, nor won.
Come & Don’t Come Bets
Another great Craps betting category is the Come and Don’t Come bets.
The Come Bet is a more suitable option for beginners as it resembles Pass Line bets, but with an even lower house edge, at 1.36%.
The difference is that these bets are placed after a Point has already been established. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 the bet is won. If the result of the roll is 2, 3, or 12 you lose. But if another value results from the Come Out roll, for example the number 4, this becomes the Point for all Come Bets. So if the number 4 is rolled again, your Come bet will win, with seven-out loses the bet.
Don’t Come bets follow a similar principle, but are considered to be a less intelligent move.
Taking the Odds and Laying the Odds side bets are a great option as their house edge is zero, which, in theory, results in an even game. However, players are required to have already placed the minimum amount on Pass Line or Don’t Pass bets, a requirement which causes the house edge to tilt slightly towards the casinos side.
Single Roll Bets
If you look at the table, you will notice that there is a Field section with the following numbers listed inside, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12. You can choose to place a Field bet, which is a single roll bet. Bets can be placed on any of the numbers listed above and your bet will win as long as your number is the one rolled. Numbers 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 pay the same amount as your bet, number 2 pays 2 to 1 (or 3 to 1 depending on the casino), while 12’s payout is in most cases 3 to 1.
Many inexperienced players mistakenly judge that since seven numbers are in the Field option, this will be a bet with high odds of winning. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case.
Although there are only four numbers out of the Field bets (5, 6, 7, and 8), there are twenty combinations of dice that can result in these four numbers, as opposed to the sixteen possible combinations for the Field numbers.
Big 6 and Big 8 bets, on the other hand, are bets where you get paid the amount you bet if the 6 or 8 is rolled before the 7. The house edge on these bets is 9.09%.
These One Roll Bets are not the most suitable for beginners and it would be recommended that they avoid them completely, at least until they have mastered the simpler types of bets such as Pass Line and Don’t Pass.