Casino Strategy

Craps Betting: A Quick Tutorial

When you see a casino in a movie, it's practically guaranteed that you're going to see a Craps table show up, complete with players cheering, dice getting tossed and a dealer throwing chips hither and yon. However, new players are frequently intimidated by the game, and it's easy to see why: there's a lot of spaces on the board to cover, some weird terminology that doesn't sound right and a learning curve that can make even the most enthusiastic gambler pause. Let's take a look at the game's most basic elements and how you can get started.

It's recommended that any new player stick to the most basic rules of the game. As we said, there's a real learning curve in Craps and the intricacies of the game can be difficult. Stick to the core of the game and lay down a foundation from which you can create a style of play.

Once you make a buy-in, you have the first turn at throwing the dice. This is also known as shooting and every player can win or lose on a roll, even if they're not the ones shooting. This generally applies more to brick-and-mortar locations and not online casinos. Online, you'll find yourself playing solo, which can allow you to take the game at your own pace. You'll keep shooting the dice until you hit a seven. This ends the turn, and in a brick and mortar game, means that the next player gets their turn to play.

The Pass Line bet is the bet that most Craps players stick to and for good reason. It offers the smallest house edge of any game in any casino — only 1.4% — and is very simple to understand. You win immediately if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on their Come Out roll. If a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled, you lose. If any other number is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10), the dealer will mark the Box Number and this is the number that the shooter plays for — they have to hit that number before a 7 to win

The Don't Come bet is the opposite of this and while a lot of superstitious players view betting on the 7 as a "bad" bet because you're going against the shooter, it's a perfectly valid way to win. After all, the odds for a 7 to come up are slightly better than the rest of the board (you can make a 7 with a larger number of combinations than a lot of choices: 1/6, 2/5, 3/4). Don't fret over superstition, though; just play either the Pass Line or Don't Come bet and stick to your guns.

These two bets are the core to a good Craps experience and if you learn your way around them, then you can start to consider the other bets, which offer longer odds but better rewards.


This article is intended to help you build your strategy for the free play games found on