How to Play Craps in Vegas

Posted by James Guill . Last updated:

If you’re wondering how to play craps in Vegas, you’ve come to the right place! Sin City is the place to be whether you’re a beginner or seasoned professional at craps. Thanks to modern technology, you can now play Vegas craps on the internet anytime, anywhere. In our guide, you’ll find the top craps casinos, learn the Las Vegas rules, discover the different bet types & more!

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Once you’ve learned craps at the casino, head over to the top-rated online casino sites for US players:

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How to Play Craps at the Casino

a green band of cash

Place Your Bets

When you sit at the craps table, your first move is to place at least one bet. The bets on offer reflect various outcomes on the roll of two dice.

two green die - a three and a five

Roll The Dice

When all bets are placed, the shooter will roll the dice. As they settle, you’ll be able to see the outcome and whether you won or lost your bet.

a man wearing a tie next to a bag of money

Collect Winnings

If you won, you’ll receive a payout in line with the bet you made. The table is then cleared and the game begins again! Craps is fast-paced so keep a close eye on your bankroll.

How the Craps Table Works

Though craps tables can differ from casino-to-casino, their basic layout is always the same. On the felt, you’ll find various areas market out. These areas correlate to the types of bets which you can place. We’ll look at them in more detail a little later, but for now, just know that the most simple bets you can make are ‘pass’ or ‘don’t pass’ bets. In order to make a bet, you simply have to place your money in the area and roll the dice!

When playing on the web, all payouts are automatically credited to your account. When playing at a craps casino, the dealers are responsible for paying out players.

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Table Staff for How to Play Craps in Vegas

When playing at a land-based casino, you’ll meet the staff members who work the craps table. Each has a very specific role to play in the game. Here are the key members and what they do:

Casino Craps Bets

Here are the most common types of bet you can make when playing craps in Vegas:

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Pass/Don't Pass

The most simple kind of craps wager, pass and don’t pass bets pay out even money. The pass bet wins when the opening roll of the round adds up to a 7 or an 11 and loses if the roll is a 2, 3 or 12. If any other number is rolled, the value is established as the point. The pass wager will then remain on the table until the value is rolled again (which would be a win) or a 7 is struck (which would be a loss).

In don’t pass wagers, players will win when the opening roll is a 2 or 3 and lose when it’s a 7 or 11.

hand with money

Come/Don't Come Bets

These bets are similar in meaning to pass/don’t pass, but are different in that they can be placed after the point value is established. If the roll directly after you’ve placed a come bet is a 7 or an 11, you’ll win. If it’s a 2, 3 or 12, you’ll lose. When another number is rolled, that will become the point for your bet.

For a don’t come bet, the opposite is largely true. Rolling a 2 or 3 will strike a win, while a 7 or 11 means a loss. Both bets are paid out at even money.

green calendar icon with a dollar sign on the front

Odds Bets

Odds bets in craps are essentially side bets which (like come/don’t come bets) can be made after the point is established. They are typically extensions of the pass/don’t pass and come/don’t come bets and can be placed to compliment the main wager.

Prop Bets

Prop (or proposition) bets are high-risk wagers with attractive payouts. However, prop bets have a high house edge and rarely pay off. For optimum craps strategy, we recommend avoiding them.

Las Vegas Craps Rules

Now you know how to play Vegas craps in its most basic form, it’s time to brush up on your etiquette!

white casino cherry icon

Dice Etiquette

When handling the dice, do so only with one hand. Aim for the back board and throw aggressively to make sure that both dice hit it.

white icon of dice, chips, and cards

Superstitions

The craps table is infamous for encouraging superstitions. In particular, be sure to avoid using the word ‘seven.’ Seven is considered bad luck in the game.

bag with a cross

Clear Table

Keep the craps table completely clear so that play is uninterrupted. Many players are tempted to put their drinks, wallets, and other personal belongings on the table. Place these on the shelf below instead.

Basics to Keep in Mind

What is the best bet in craps?

Craps is essentially a game of luck so there is no way of saying one bet is absolutely without a doubt better than the other. Strategically and mathematically speaking though, there are better bets where the house has less of an edge with better odds of landing, in this case we can say those bets are better than the others.

If you are a new player, we can suggest you go for the optimal bets where the house has less of an edge with higher odds of landing. The optimal bets would be Pass/Don’t pass and Come/Don’t come. If you stick with these bets, the house has only about 1.36% to 1.41% advantage. Apart from Pass/Don’t pass and Come/Don’t come, you can go for bets like Place 6 or Place 8 which offer the next best odds.

Is there any skill in craps?

Some say craps is a game of skill where the player has the control of the dice landing on the numbers they need, but there is not enough consistent evidence to back this theory up. The only skill we can mention when it comes to craps is to know when to bet on what and take advantage of the low house edge when the time is right. All in all, it is not clear whether craps is skill or luck based. We would advise you to be cautious when you make bets and don’t put too much faith in unproven theories.

Can you consistently win in craps?

Yes! You can technically win consistently at craps, if you place your bets strategically and avoid the bets that give the house more of an edge. Craps offers a big variety of betting and you should separate good bets from the bad bets to be able to consistently win at craps. You can check out the table below to see what bets are the best to make to win consistently at craps.

Craps House Edge 

We recommend sticking to the simple pass/don’t pass bets when playing craps. Here is a rundown of the house edge for various bet types, along with the corrisponding payout.

Proposition Name Payout House Edge
Pass/Come 1:1 1.41%
Don’t Pass/Don’t Come 1:1 1.36%
Any Seven 4:1 16.67%
The Horn 5:1 12.5%
Any Craps 7:1 11.11%
The Ace-Deuce 15:1 11.11%
The Yo or Yo-Leven 16:1 11.11%
Boxcars/Snake Eyes 30:1 13.89%

Craps Terms

Vegas Craps Casino FAQs

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