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Rules of the Game

Craps is played with two dice so the possible numbers rolled are 2 through 12.  When you place a basic craps bet, all you are doing is betting that the person rolling the dice will roll the number needed to win. You are essentially just betting on how lucky they are with the dice. "The house" (the casino), on the other hand, is hoping the person rolling the dice isn't so lucky. 

Pass Line Bets

The basic bet in craps is the Pass Line bet.  

The bet (chips) is placed on the area of the layout marked "Pass Line" (see the diagram below).
The Pass Line bet is a series bet, meaning that the person shooting the dice (aka "the shooter") may have to roll the dice multiple times before you win or lose.
The first roll in a series is called the come-out roll and it is different from the rest of the rolls in the series.

On the Come-Out Roll:  

7 or 11 are automatic Pass Line winners and the series ends. (This is essentially a one-roll series.)
2, 3, or 12 (known as craps) are automatic Pass Line losers and the series ends. (This also is essentially a one-roll series.)
Any other number rolled (4,5,6,8,9,10) becomes the shooter's point and the series continues.  

When the series continues:  If the shooter establishes a point, the series continues and the shooter continues to roll the dice. The object of the game now becomes for the shooter to roll their point number again before they roll a 7.

If any number other than the point or a 7 is rolled, nothing happens and the shooter rolls again.
If the point is rolled, Pass Line bets win and the series ends. 
If a 7 is rolled, Pass Line bets lose (known as a "seven out") and the series ends.

Note that rolling a 7 after a point is established is a loser, which is opposite of the 7 being a winner on a come-out roll.  In other words, if a shooter establishes a point, they roll the dice continuously (the series of multiple rolls) until they either roll their point or seven out. If a number other than the point or a 7 are rolled, nothing happens (as far as Pass Line bettors are concerned) and the shooter rolls again.

Odds Bets

When you have a Pass Line bet down and once a point is established, you can also put down an additional bet known as an Odds bet. Winning Pass Line bets pay off at even money. Odds bets pay off at the "true odds" of making the current point. As a result, it is better to "put down odds" rather than to simply place a higher Pass Line bet. The fact that the payout is equal to the (true) odds of making the point, this bet is also referred to as "free odds" because the house doesn't take a "cut" of the payout. However, if a 7 is rolled, you lose both your Pass Line and Odds bets. 

The bet (chips) are placed directly behind your Pass Line bet on the layout after a point is established.  

Because there are five ways to roll a 6 or 8, four ways to roll a 5 or 9, and three ways to roll a 4 or 10, the odds pay differently based on the point:

6 or 8: Pays 7:6
5 or 9: Pays 3:2
4 or 10: Pays 2:1

Casinos have varying policies regarding how much can be wagered on odds bets, with it ranging from 2x to 100x the pass line bet.  For example, a casino offering 10x odds would allow you place a $50 odds bet with a $5 pass line bet, since that is 10x the amount of the pass line bet.

Other Craps Bets

There are many different ways to bet when playing craps, including bets that are not included in this tutorial.  Here are a few of the more popular bets with advanced craps players.

Place Bets

Just as shooters and tables sometimes get hot, numbers will also get hot. A shooter may have a point of 5, but for some reason they're throwing a lot of 6s or 8s or some other number. In this instance, you may want to try a "Place bet". Place bets are a way of betting directly on the point numbers (4,5,6,8,9,10). Unfortunately, you pay a price for this directness in the way of a lower payout. They can be made at any time and on as many of the numbers as you like. However, you can't put a Place bet on the shooter's current point.  Payouts are typically as follows:

6 or 8: Pays 6:5
5 or 9: Pays 7:5
4 or 10: Pays 9:5

Come Bets

Come bets can be placed in addition to a Pass Line bet and act just like a Pass Line bet. However, opposite of the Pass Line bet, Come bets can only be placed after a point has been established.  The Come bet is made by placing chips on the COME area of the layout (see below). It is called a "Come bet" because when you place this bet, the next roll is a "come-out roll" for you only.  The rules of a typical Pass Line Bet apply here:

If the next roll is a 7 or 11 you win
If the next roll is 2, 3, or 12 you lose
Any other number rolled (4,5,6,8,9,10) becomes your Come point

The dealer will move your bet to the number on the layout that coincides with your Come point.  You then have the option to place an Odds Bet on your Come Bet at that point in time.

Hard Way Bets

With a Hard Way Bet, you are betting on both dice to show the same numbers, such as: 22, 33, 44, and 55.  These would be known as Hard 4, Hard 6, Hard 8 and Hard 10.  There is only one combination out of 36 that results in a specific hard throw, which makes the payoff pretty decent if it hits:

Hard 4 or 10: Pays 7:1
Hard 6 or 8: Pays 9:1

Since the Hard Way Bet is a multi-roll wager, a player can keep rolling the dice until either their number comes up or if a 7 is thrown.  If a 7 is thrown, or if the Hard Way Bet number is thrown with any number combination (for example, a 4 could be 1 and 3, 2 and 2, or 3 and 1) that is NOT the hard way (2 and 2, using the Hard 4 example), then the bet is lost.  If the Hard Way Bet number is thrown the hard way (2 and 2, using the same example), then the bet is won, and the payout will be given at that time (7:1 for a Hard 4 Bet).

C & E Bet

The C&E bet is actually a combination of the any craps bet and the yo (11) bet. Basically, when you bet on C and E, you are wagering that the shooter will roll any craps numbers (2, 3, or 12) and 11. If you hit any one of these numbers, you win the bet.  However, this is a bet that is a one-roll bet.  If the 2, 3, 11, or 12 is not rolled on the next throw of the dice, then the bet is lost.  If the bet is won, the payouts are typically as follows:

2, 3, or 12: Pays 3:1
11: Pays 7:1

GoodFella's Craps Setup
        - Casino Sized 12' Foot Table
        - Wood Grain Finish
        - High Drink Rails
        - Premium Quality Felts
        - 16 to 20 Playing Positions per Table
        - 15' x 8' Needed for Each Table


There is not a more exciting game than Craps. Though intimidating at first glance, once you get up the nerve to step up to the table you won't leave.