How To Play Craps

Craps is a lively dice game that often attracts a raucous crowd at the best casinos in Detroit, Las Vegas, and Atlantic City.

Online casinos offer virtual craps and live dealer craps games, which you can play via your phone or computer whenever you like.

This guide explains how to play craps, breaks down the various betting options, and highlights the best online casinos in Michigan for craps players.

How does craps work?

Craps is one of the most complex online casino games. A shooter rolls two dice down the table, and you can bet on the outcome.

There are different stages to a craps game, and there are also lots of different betting options to consider. Some wagers have a very low house edge, and others have a very high house edge, so it is important to know which bets to avoid.

Craps table

How to play craps

First, we will break down the stages of a craps round. We will then delve into the betting options at your disposal. Follow these steps to get started.

1. Select a craps game and choose your bet size

Visit the table games section of an online casino and select a craps game. When you enter the game, you will see a craps table and a series of chips at the table’s edge. You can use the chips to choose your bet size.

2. The come out roll

The game begins when a shooter rolls two dice down the table. This is called the come out roll. At land-based casinos, the role of the shooter alternates through the players at the table, but the dice shooting is automated when you play online.

There are two main betting options on the come out roll.

  • Pass | This bet pays out at 1:1 if the result is 7 or 11.
  • Don’t pass | Pays out if the result is 2, 3, or 12.

You can select your chips and then either click on the “Pass Line” or the “Don’t Pass Bar” to lay the chips on the table. When you place your bet, click the play button, and two dice will roll.

3. The point is established

The result of the first roll is called the point. There are three potential outcomes here:

  • Pass bets win if the result is a 7 or 11.
  • Don’t pass bets win if the result is 2, 3, or 12.
  • The game continues if the result is any other number.

If the result is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, that number will become the point. The dealer places a puck on that number, which informs you that the round is in play. Any pass bets and don’t pass bets remain live, and the game progresses to the point rolls.

4. The point rolls

The shooter will then roll the dice again. This is known as a point roll. There are three possible outcomes:

  • The result is a 7. Pass bets lose, and don’t pass bets win.
  • The result is the point. Pass bets win, and don’t pass bets lose.
  • The result is neither a 7 nor the point. The shooter throws again.

You can place a wide range of bets on the point rolls. The most popular betting options are explained in the next section.

5. The round ends

The shooter will continue to throw the dice until the result is either a 7 or the point. There can be lots of point rolls.

All open bets are settled when the shooter finally rolls the point or a 7. You can then play another round or exit the game.

Craps betting options

You can consider a huge variety of betting options when you play online craps. They can be split into three broad categories: line bets, multi-roll bets, and single-roll bets.

Line bets

These are the most common craps bets. Your options include the following wagers.

BetDescriptionHow to winPayout
PassA prediction that a 7 or 11 will be thrown on the come out roll.Succeeds if the result of the come out roll is 7 or 11.
Remains live after the point is established and wins if the point is thrown before a 7.
Don’t passA prediction that a 2, 3, or 12 will be thrown on the come out roll.Succeeds if the result of the come out roll is 2, 3, or 12.
Remains live after the point is established and wins if a 7 is rolled before the point.
ComeThe same as a pass bet, but placed during the point rolls.Wins if the point is thrown before a 7.1:1
Don’t comeThe same as a don’t pass bet, but placed during the point rolls.Wins if a 7 is rolled before the point.1:1

True odds bets

Line bets have a low house edge. The edge is just 1.41% on a pass/come bet and 1.36% on a don’t pass/don’t come bet, so these wagers are popular among experienced players.

However, you can also bet at true odds behind an existing pass/come or don’t pass/don’t come bet. It is called taking odds on a pass/come bet and laying odds on a don’t pass/don’t come bet. This is a very attractive option, as it allows you to reduce the overall house edge significantly.

Here’s an example:

  • You place a $10 don’t pass bet, which has a 1.36% house edge. The point is then established.
  • The online casino allows you to wager 6x your initial bet at true odds behind the open don’t pass bet.
  • That means you can bet $60 on don’t pass at a 0% house edge.
  • This takes your total bet to $70, and the overall house edge will be just 0.19%.

Multi-roll bets

These bets can remain in play for multiple rolls during a round of craps. Some have a high house edge, and sharp players will avoid them.

BetDescriptionPayoutHouse Edge
BuyA prediction that the point will be thrown before a 7.Paid out at true odds (6:5 on 6 and 8; 3:2 on 5 and 9; 2:1 on 4 and 10).The house takes a 5% commission, resulting in a 4.76% house edge.
LayA prediction that a 7 will be thrown before the point.Paid out at true odds, but the house takes a 5% commission.Varies according to the point is (2.44% for 4 and 10; 3.23% for 5 and 9; 4% for 6 and 8).
PlaceBet on a specific number being thrown before a 7.9:5 for 4 or 10; 7:5 for 7 or 9; 7:6 for 6 or 8.1.52% on 6 or 8; 4% on 5 or 9; 6.67% on 4 or 10.
Big 6 and Big 8Bet on either a 6 or 8 being thrown before a 7.1:19%
HardwaysBet on a pair of 2s, 3s, 4s, or 5s being thrown.9:1 on 3s or 4s; 7:1 on 2s or 5s.9.09% on 3s or 4s; 11.11% on 2s or 5s.

You may also be able to make a “place bet to lose” wager, which is a prediction that a 7 will be thrown before a specific number.

Single-roll bets

These bets focus on a single roll. They generally have a very high house edge.

BetDescriptionPayoutHouse Edge
FieldPrediction that the next throw will result in a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12.1:15.56%
Snake eyesBet on 2 being rolled.30:113.89%
Ace deuceBet on a 3 being rolled.15:111.11%
YoBet on 11.15:111.11%
BoxcarsBet on 12.30:113.89%
Hi-LoBet on 2 or 12 being rolled.15:111.11%
Three wayBet on 2, 3, or 12 being rolled.7:111.11%
C and EBet on 2, 3, 11, or 12.3:1 or 7:111.11%
HornSame as C and E, but with different payouts.3:1 or 27:412.5%
Any 7Bet on a 7 being rolled.4:116.67%
WhirlCombines the Horn and Any 7 wagers.3:1, 4:1, 27:413.33%

Virtual craps vs. live dealer craps

You can play virtual craps at the best online casinos in Michigan. Each roll of the dice will be powered by random number generators, which are tested for fairness and accuracy. They allow you to play at your own pace, but they lack the theater and atmosphere of a real craps table.

Alternatively, you can play live dealer craps. In that case, you will be able to stream the action on your phone or computer. A mechanical arm shoots the dice down the table, and you can bet on each roll. A chat box will allow you to interact with the dealer throughout.

Craps betting tips

  • Avoid sucker bets, such as the Big 6 and Big 8. You will benefit from a significantly lower house edge by betting on Place 6 or Place 8.
  • Stay away from single-roll bets with a high house edge, such as Any 7 or Boxcars.
  • Wager the maximum amount permitted at true odds behind open pass/come or don’t pass/don’t come bets.
  • Don’t pass/don’t come wagers can be viewed as rude when playing at a land-based casino, as they involve betting against the shooter. That is not an issue when you play online.
  • Claim bonuses at online casinos, as they give you the opportunity to play craps with the house’s money. Just make sure that craps games are covered by the promotion.

Where to play free craps

Craps is a relatively complex game, so it is sensible to play for free in demo mode while you learn the format. You can then switch to playing craps online for real money. These MI online casinos allow you to play free craps.

  • BetMGM Michigan | Hosts virtual and live dealer craps games, but only the virtual craps games can be played for free in demo mode.
  • Caesars Palace | Makes it easy for beginners to play online craps games for free via the Caesars Palace MI Casino app or website.
  • DraftKings Casino MI | Hosts exclusive virtual craps games with broad betting limits, and you can play them for fun in demo mode.
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