Rules of Craps

Of all the games in the casino, craps is unarguably one of the most intimidating. The very name conjures up images of the “lucky” guy, or gal, rolling the dice only to be quickly followed by the yelling and screaming of the crowd. Then there’s the old Vegas image where people bring their own “loaded” dice to the table in order to move the odds into their favor. These were special dice that had been worn down in just the right places so that certain rolls would come up again and again. If the large audience doesn’t confuse you then selecting the dice and the odd configuration of blocks printed on the table will certainly send your head spinning.

Craps 101

This dice game involves players making wagers/placing bets as to what the outcome of a roll or a series of rolls of a pair of dice will be. Players can wager against other players or against a bank (AKA the house).


Shooter – the player that rolls the dice

Stickman – the casino worker who hands off the dice to the shooter (He’s not allowed to hit you with the stick)

Come-Out Roll – the first roll of a new shooter

Point – the first number rolled that isn’t a seven and the number that if rolled again means that the shooter’s turn is over

Craps/Crap Out – also known as “throwing a 7”,when the shooter rolls a seven

Rules of Craps

The shooter must place a bet on either the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line and it must meet the table’s minimum bet. The stickman then holds out a selection of five separate dice for the player/shooter to select two. The dice that are not chosen are then returned to the stickman’s bowl and not used.

The shooter may only roll the dice with one hand and must toss them hard enough to hit the back wall of the table. If one or both of the dice fall off of the table then they are inspected and put back into play. This is usually taken care of by the stickman.

The game is played over numerous rounds with up to 20 players that are each allowed a turn that follows in a clockwise rotation around the table. No player has to be the shooter, they can simply bet on what that person will roll. New people wishing to join the game should look at the on/off button to see if bets are allowed. The “on” button means that only Pass Line bets are acceptable.

There are two phases for each round: Come Out and Point. The shooter makes one or more Come Out rolls to start the new round. Rolling a 2, 3 or 12 ends the round. A Come Out roll of 7 or 11 gives those that made Pass Line bets a win, but the shooter continues roll until he rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. Whichever of these numbers are rolled is the Point number.

One of the two dealers, not the stickman, moves an “On” button to the point number thus starting the second phase of the same round. If the shooter rolls the point number, the result is a win for bets on the Pass Line. If the shooter rolls a seven the Pass Line loses and the round ends.

A new round begins with a new player/shooter, the player directly to the right of the previous shooter, unless the current shooter rolls his Point number. The dice are given back to the current shooter and he/she starts with a new “Come Out” roll. While technically a continuation of that player/shooter’s roll, the “Come Out” roll identifies that a new game is starting.

The layout is divided into three areas – one center area separates two side areas. The center area is where the Proposition Bets are placed and is shared with both side areas. The dice are thrown across the table in order to bounce off of the back wall. Each side area is a mirror image of the other one and contains:

  • Pass and Don’t Pass Line bets
  • Come and Don’t Come bets
  • Odds bet
  • Place bets
  • Field bets

Dealers make payouts and collect the losing bets between dice rolls. After those two things have taken place players can place new bets. The stickman decides when to give the shooter the dice by watching the dealers and activity around the table. Once the dice have been handed to the shooter then no more betting is allowed.