How to Play Craps in a Casino: A Beginner’s Guide to Winning Big


If you’re looking for a fun and exciting game to play in a casino, look no further than craps. Although it may seem intimidating at first, craps is actually one of the easiest games to learn and offers some of the best odds for players. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to playing craps, as well as expert insights, visual aids, and tips for avoiding common mistakes. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to hit the craps tables and win big!

Step-by-Step Guide

At its core, craps is a game of chance where players bet on the outcome of a roll or series of rolls of a pair of dice. The object of the game is to correctly predict the outcome and win money.

When you arrive at the craps table in a casino, you’ll see a large rectangular table with several players gathered around it, as well as a dealer who oversees the action. The table is divided into three main sections: the left, middle, and right side.

One important thing to note before beginning is that craps can be played in rounds, and each round contains four phases: the come-out roll, the point phase, the come phase, and the don’t pass phase.

The come-out roll is the first roll in a round, and the point phase begins after the come-out roll.

During each phase, players take turns rolling the dice while others place bets based on the outcome of the roll. The dealer will also make specific moves based on the roll’s outcome. Here is a step-by-step guide to each of these phases:

The Come-Out Roll

In the come-out roll phase, the player rolls the dice to establish a point number. The two dice will determine the point number, which could be 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. If the roll produces a 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12, the round will end immediately.

If the roll produces one of the point numbers, the game moves onto the point phase.

The Point Phase

During the point phase, the dealer will place a puck on the number rolled during the come-out roll, and the player will now attempt to roll that number again before rolling a 7. If the player rolls the point number first, they win. If the player rolls a 7 first, they lose and the round ends.

The Come Phase

If the player wins during the point phase, the game moves onto the come phase. In the come phase, the player will now attempt to roll another point number. If the player rolls this second point number before rolling a 7, they win. If they roll a 7 first, they lose.

The Don’t Pass Phase

Alternatively, players may choose to place a don’t pass line bet. This means they are betting against the shooter and are hoping for a 7 to be rolled before the point number. During this phase, the player will roll the dice until they roll a 7 or the point number, whichever comes first.

This cycle repeats until the round ends and a new round begins with a come-out roll.

Strategies for Experienced Players

There are several advanced betting strategies that experienced craps players use to increase their chances of winning. One popular strategy is the “3 Point Molly” strategy, which involves placing bets on the pass line, the don’t pass line, and then making a come bet.

Visual Aids

Visual aids are one of the best ways to learn how to play craps. These can range from diagrams and flowcharts to images and examples. Many casinos also have helpful posters displayed on or around the table, which can be great resources for learning the game.

Visual Aids for Different Bets

One of the most important things to understand before playing craps is the different types of bets you can make. Some of the most common bets include:

  • Pass Line Bet: This wager is placed on the “pass line” section of the table and wins if the come-out roll produces a 7 or 11, while losing if it produces a 2, 3, or 12. If the roll produces one of the remaining point numbers, a marker (or “puck”) is placed on the corresponding number, and the game moves to the point phase.
  • Don’t Pass Line Bet: This wager is placed on the “don’t pass” section of the table and wins if the come-out roll produces a 2 or 3, while losing if it produces a 7 or 11. If the roll produces a 12, the bet ties. If the roll produces one of the remaining point numbers, the game moves onto the point phase.
  • Come Bet: This wager is made after a point is established, with the goal being to roll a 7 or 11.
  • Don’t Come Bet: This wager is the opposite of the Come Bet and is made with the aim of rolling a 2, 3, or 12 before rolling a 7 or 11.

Tracking the Table

One useful visual aid for keeping track of bets and rolls during craps is “tracking the table.” This simply involves observing and keeping track of the numbers that have already been rolled so that you can make more informed bets in the future.

Expert Insights

Learning from Experienced Players

One of the best ways to learn how to play craps is to seek advice and insights from experienced players. Professional craps player, Patrick “Dr. Craps” has been playing craps for over 25 years and offers the following insights:

Tips for Beginners

  • Always start with smaller bets until you feel more comfortable with the gameplay and strategies.
  • Focus on understanding the pass line bets and the don’t pass line bets before moving onto other more complex bets.
  • Pay attention and follow the dealer’s instructions for the different phases of the game.

Tips for Advanced Players

  • Try out different betting strategies to see what works best for you.
  • Avoid rolling the dice too hard, as this can reduce your chances of hitting a desired number.
  • Stay mindful of your budget and set limits for yourself before beginning to play.

Casino Etiquette

As with any casino game, there is an important etiquette to follow during craps gameplay. Here are some key dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Always handle your own chips and wait for the dealer to take them before making a bet.
  • Do not try to change your bet after the dice have been rolled.
  • Be courteous and respectful to the dealer and other players.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

There are several common mistakes that craps players make, which can negatively impact their overall gameplay. Here are some common mistakes and tips for avoiding them:

  • Avoid making “fancy bets” with high payouts but low odds of winning, as these can quickly eat away at your bankroll.
  • Keep track of your bets and the game’s progress to maximize your chances of winning.
  • Don’t feel the pressure to constantly make bets or roll the dice – take breaks when you need them and never exceed your budget.


Craps is an exciting and fast-paced casino game that can be intimidating for beginners. However, with the right knowledge, strategies, and visual aids, anyone can learn how to play and win big.

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