How to Play Craps


by James Smith |
Date of Publishing: 12/11/2021


This guide will explain how to play the game of craps in easy to understand steps. Our guide will also cover the history of this famous casino game and the superstitions that the game has attracted over the years.

The History of Craps

In some quarters it is thought that the Romans (soldiers) invented the game of craps although they never used dice as we know them today, instead, they used the knucklebones of a pig and the shields as the table. Other opinions on the origin of this popular dice game say that craps originated from an Arabic dice game – and it was the merchants that brought the game over to Europe, but the most commonly accepted thought on the origin of craps is that it was invented by one ‘Sir william of Tyre’ during the Crusades and named after a castle called either Asart or Hazarth which was later called Hazard.

During the 17th century, the game Hazard became really popular with the French (especially in the drinking houses) and as it needs very little equipment to play it was also a game that could be played in informal settings.

The name we know today (craps) is thought to have originated from a spinoff of the French word ‘crapaudwhich means toad and is a reference to the way that players used to crouch over the floor or pavements as they played.

Social studies have also told us that in the late 1940s craps was highly popular with World War 2 soldiers who grew used to the game being played in the streets and then who played heavily in Las Vegas after the war.

What is Craps?

Today, craps is a casino online table game that is played with just two dice, chips to place bets with and a board to place those chips and dice on. The game is then played in rounds and there can be up to 20 players taking turns being the ‘shooter’ who is the one rolling the dice.

The aim of the game is quite simple and that is to correctly guess what dice value the shooter will roll.

How to Play Craps Explained

First we are going to look at the ‘come out roll’ and this is where the game commences. Here players will make their bets on the first roll of the dice deciding whether the dice will land on either a 7 or 11 (which is known as a pass bet) or a 2, 3, or 12 (which is called a don’t pass bet) This round ends if the total dice value is 7 or 11 (which is known as a a natural) or 2, 3, or 12 (which is also called ‘craps’)

If the total dice value rolled is either a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 then that number becomes the ‘point’ that starts the next stage of the craps game.

The base dealer will place a puck on the point number on the table which helps the other players to follow the game and then they will collect any additional bets. Then it is the turn of the shooter to roll the dice again. This all repeats until the shooter rolls a 7 or the point number – once this happens the craps game ends.

Playing Craps Online or at a Land-Based Casino

Personal preference counts a great deal to whether you choose to play craps online or at bricks and mortar venue, and both have features that are individual so taking a look at both is a great idea before making any concrete decisions of where to play.

One thing that is certain and that is craps have not changed much over time with the rules of the game and the table staying the same and this is one reason that the game remains so popular. It is easy to play once you get the hang of it although it might take you a short time to learn the rules in the beginning.

An interesting fact is that the game of craps has a number of superstitions attached to it as well as a wide range of prop bets (a one roll bet)

Playing Craps at a Land-Based Casino

If you are considering a night out at your local casino (or you are visiting a casino destination as a vacation) then you will need to consider the dress code of that particular casino and any other rules or restrictions that might apply to either you or any member of your party (remember in the US the age limit is different than in other countries.)

Once you have chosen to visit a land-based venue then the first thing you will need to do is get your betting chips – usually, you can buy these either at the table where you are going to play the game or at the cashier’s cage.

You must wait for a new game to start before placing your bet, and many people take the chance here to decide what bet they are going to make.

It is the dealer’s place to handle any pass line, don’t pass line, or place bets that you place. The stickman is the one who handles proposition bets ( a novelty, or a side bet)

Each player can either accept or decline when it is their turn to roll the dice, and if they do roll the dice it is expected for them to hit the table’s back wall with the dice. Throwing the dice is not acceptable and if the dice do get thrown off the table it constitutes an invalid roll and is also considered unlucky.

As was mentioned you can have up to 20 people playing a game of craps which creates a great atmosphere and can be very entertaining and enjoyable.

Playing Online Craps

The first obvious difference is that you can play a game of online craps at any time and from any destination (as long as you have a good internet connection) Convenience is the name of the game and as technology has advanced so has the quality of the games and the hardware they are played on.

With a tap/click of the table, you can join the craps game and all you will need to do is choose what denomination of bet you want to make and place it on the square on your screen. Many online sites also offer beginner free craps games which are essential if they want to improve, become familiar with the rules, test strategies and their knowledge without risking any of their own hard-earned cash.

Online sites also offer bonus money and for the new player, this can swell the bankroll substantially. Loyal players at online sites will also be offered regular promotional offers, and as long as they are happy with any rules or restrictions that may apply, they too can enjoy added funds to play their favourite game. You play craps with a live dealer at our live casino NZ today.

Some Superstitions That Surround Crap Games

  • First-time male players are bad luck when shooting the dice
  • First-time female players are thought to be lucky and other players may lay an additional bet for the lady when she is shooting the dice.
  • If the dice leave the table it is thought that the next roll will be unlucky as the shooter’s rhythm has been broken
  • It is considered unlucky to be the first at a table or the only player
  • Never talk to or touch the shooter when they are having a good roll
  • Never mention the number 7
  • It is thought to be bad luck if the stickman pushes the dice to you with a 7 face-up
  • The dice should never hit anyone’s hand when thrown

About the Author

Author: James Smith.

James Smith has been writing about casino games and strategies for over a decade. He is an expert in the industry and loves to help people get started with online gambling. In his free time, James enjoys reading books by other successful authors, cycling around town, or playing poker.