In casino craps, the players place their bets and the casino bank “covers” them. In addition to covering every player’s bet, the casino-banked craps game offers many other types of proposition bets. These bets, along with the basic “pass” and “don’t pass” bets, are explained in the accompanying diagram.

There are four people actively running the game. The boxman, who sits behind the middle of the table, is the boss. He keeps a constant watch over the game. The two dealers on each side of him pay off the winners and “rake” in the losers’ chips. Each dealer handles all the players on his side. The table is divided by the center box of proposition bets and also by the stickman, who stands on the players’ side of the table.

The stickman controls the action of the dice and the pace of the game. After seeing all bets are down, the stickman pushes a few sets of dice to the shooter. That players selects a pair of dice and is ready to roll them across the table so that they hit the wall at the opposite end. If, on the first roll, you make a 7 or 11, you’ve rolled a “natural” and you win. What you win is the equivalent amount of chips you have bet on the pass line.

If you roll a 2, 3 or 12 on your first throw, that is called “craps” and you lose. The dealer picks up your pass-line bet. However, the shooter does not relinquish the dice. He continues to roll until he “sevens out.”

If, on the first roll, you shoot a 4, 5, 6,8, 9 or 10, that is your established “box point.” The object then is to keep rolling the dice until you make that number again. You lose, however, if you roll a seven before making your box point.

These are the basic rules of craps. There are many other bets which can be made, all of which are explained in the diagram.

Our advice is to play the line and the come, either pass or don’t pass. These are the two best areas to bet, offering the best possible odds to the player. If you’re betting the pass line, always take you full odds in back of your pass line bet. Some casinos offer double odds or higher; if so, take advantage of this option. One last piece of advice: increase your bets on wins, do not double up on losses.


This one-roll bet pays odds of 4 to 1, correct odds are 5 to 1 with the difference giving the house a 16.66% edge.

This is another one-roll bet. It pays 14 to 1, but the true odds are 17 to 1 with a house percentage of 16.66%…bad bet!

The 4 and 10 pay 9-5, true odds 10-5, yielding a house edge of 6.66%. The 5 and 9 pay 7-5, true odds are 7.5-5 (house edge 4%). The 6 and 8 pay 7-6, true odds are 6-5 (house edge 1.51%. BUY BETS: Player pays 5% “vigorish” to get true odds on all numbers. Only the 4 and 10 make buy bets worthwhile. They reduce the house edge to 4.76%.

This bet can be made on the 4, 6, 8 and 10. Payoff is 9 to 1 on the 6 or 8 and 7 to 1 on the 4 or 10. The house edge is 9.09% and 11.11%, respectively. Another bad bet.

Even money bet with the exact same house percentages of 1.414% and 1.402%, as the pass line bets.

Pays even money (house edge is small, 1.414%). One of the best bets on the table.

Pays even money (house edge 1.402%). Slightly better odds than pass line bet odds.

A one-roll bet that pays even money or 2 to 1 on 2 or 12. House edge is 5.55%.

This is a one-roll bet. if a 2, 3 or 12 hits, you’ll get 7 to 1 odds. House edge is 11.11%, which makes this a bad bet.

BIG 6 & 8
Player bets in boxes marked as such as receives even money instead of 6 to 5 true odds. House has a 9.09% edge.

Although the 2, 3, 12 and 11 may be bet separately, this area is also known as the “horn.” A player makes a horn bet by handing the bet to the dealer, calling out, for example, “$4 horn bet.” This would give him $1 on each of the four one-roll propositions. Payoff is 30 for 1 on a 2 or 12, A 3 or 11 pay 15-for-1. True odds are 35 to 1 (2 & 12) and 17 to 1 (3 & 11). The house edge on all four bets is a whopping 16.66%. Obviously a bad bad bet. Not recommended!

When a point is made (either the shooter’s point on his first roll, or a come point on a succeeding roll), a player can take the odds. He will receive 2 to 1 on 4 and 10; 3 to 2 on 5 and 9; 6 to 5 on 6 and 8. He lays the same odds when he bets against the point.