Understanding How to Bet in Craps

To help you understand betting in craps, please refer to the illustration of the bets printed on a craps table’s felt. The modern craps table usually duplicates the printed left side layout on the right side of the table as well, thus enabling the various bets to be placed by more players from several locations.


The most basic bet in craps is the PASS LINE. This is an even money bet and pays 1:1. You place your bet on the pass line before the shooter makes the COME OUT or starting roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 you win. If the shooter rolls a a 2, 3, or 12, (called “Craps”) you lose. If the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 on the come out roll, this establishes the point for the shooter. Once the point is established, if the shooter rolls the point again before rolling a 7 you win and conversely, if the shooter rolls a 7 before rolling the point again, you lose. If a point is established, the round ends when the shooter craps out or hits the point again. There is also a DON’T PASS bet which is the opposite of the PASS LINE bet. Many players consider this an unpopular (even anti-social) bet because you are betting on the shooter to lose and it is not played as often as the pass line bet.


In order to make a BUY or ODDS bet, you must first make a pass line bet. Once the point is established, you may then bet up to twice your pass line bet on the odds. This is a bet that the shooter will make the point before rolling a 7. If the point is 6 or 8, an odds bet pays 6:5, if the point is 5 or 9, an odds bet pays 3:2 and if the point is 4 or 10, an odds bet pays 2:1. LAY bets are the opposite of Buy bets and many players also avoid this bet for the same reasons the Don’t Pass bet is often avoided.


After the shooter has established the point, one may make a COME LINE bet by placing a bet in the box on the table marked “COME”. Other than the fact that the COME LINE bet is made only after the shooter establishes the point, the rules for this bet are the same as for the PASS LINE bet. There is also a DON’T COME bet with the same rules as the don’t pass bet, excepting that this bet is made after the point has been established. This bet is also subject to the same player prejudices as the dont pass and lay bet.


A PLACE or NUMBER bet may be placed on the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. If the number is rolled before the shooter rolls a seven the bet is a winning bet. A 4 or 10 pays 9:5, a 5 or 9 pays 7:5 and a 6 or 8 pays 7:6.


The FIELD bet is a one time bet that the next roll will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. All wins pay 1:1, except the 2 and 12, which pay 2:1.


There are 4 hard way bets. One can bet the 4,6,8 or 10 the hard way. To win this bet, the shooter must roll a 4, 6,8 or 10 the “hard” way before the shooter rolls a 7 or rolls the number being bet the “easy”way. As an example, to win with a 4 the hard way, the shooter must roll a pair of 2’s instead of rolling a 4 with a 3 and 1 which tends to come up more often than a pair of 2’s. 4 and 10 the hard way pays 7:1 and 6 and 8 the hard way pays 9:1. Some casinos also offer EASY WAY bets that are the opposite of hard way bets since one is betting that the shooter will roll the 4,6,8 or 10 the easy way before rolling a 7 or rolling the number the hard way.


This is a bet that the shooter will roll a 7. This bet pays 4:1


This is a bet that the shooter will roll a 2, 3 or 12 and pays 7:1.

There are quite a few other bets in a craps game and if you wish to learn about all of them in detail there are many fine fine books on craps available as well as many websites that offer detailed information on craps bets, odds and strategy. Refer to our links page for more information.