What is the craps table? ☘️ Casino Strategy

Craps is a classic table game in the casino and has since become just as popular in the online casino. The game of craps involves betting on a set of dice. The game is loved and widely played due to its simplicity and suspense. Within this article, we will outline everything you need to know about the craps table so you can be well prepared next time it comes to playing craps.


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What is the craps table?

The craps table is where the game tables are placed. There will likely be a green-coloured felt cover over the table that has the layout of the game on it. The felt is labelled with numerous bets, such as the pass line and the don’t pass line, as well as the number you may roll on the dice. The table is there so players can put their chips in the area they wish to bet, but since the table is labelled, understanding where to place your bets is much more straightforward.

On the craps table, there can be up to eight players, and each takes its turn to place a roll. When it is the players turn to roll, they are named the shooter, and the first player to roll is called the come-out roll; this is the first roll. When this roll takes place, there will be only three possible outcomes:

  1. Natural numbers: this is where the first roll of the game will land on a 7 or 11. If a player had wagered on the pass line for the first roll, they would win, whereas whoever wagered on the don’t pass line would not. If you roll a natural number, then the player will get another go at rolling the dice again.
  2. Craps numbers: a crab number is labelled 2, 3, or 12. If you placed your bet on the pass line and the dice outcome is a craps number, then you lose the bet, but sometimes a 12 can count depending on the casino and the rules, so make sure to familiarise yourself with these before playing. Just like when you roll natural numbers, you will get the chance to roll again if you roll crab numbers during the first roll.
  3. Point numbers: this happens if the first roll is a 4,5, 6, 8, or 10, and then the dealer will then market this roll as a point on the table. If you roll the number before a 7, then those who wagered pass bets will win their bet, and those on the don’t pass line will lose. You will once again have the chance to re-roll the dice.

Why is it important to understand the craps table?

The craps table is at the centre of the game and is fundamentally easy to understand. This is why you should take time to learn and familiarise yourself with the craps table before playing.

  • Help you be better prepared.
  • Help you understand the game.
  • Help you know where to place bets so you do not bet incorrectly.

Tips for learning the craps table

At first glance, the table can be quite intimidating; however, once you read it and understand it, it is not as complicated as initially anticipated. Here are some tips we put together to help you learn the table for beginners.

  • Use online diagrams.
  • Read similar online articles.
  • Ask friends
  • Play free games to practise.
  • Watch explainer videos online.

Bets you can make in craps

On the table, you will see the various bets you can place on the game of craps. When it comes to placing bets on the table, you use your chips. These are small counters that represent the money you are betting. Each player will have a different colour to make them stand out and be distinguishable. When it comes to betting, when it is your turn, you can move your chips to the designated bet area on the craps table. Once the dice have been rolled, the stickman is responsible for moving them.

Here is a breakdown of the bets you will be able to make via the craps table in the casino. While these may feel overwhelming at first, the more you play the game, the more familiar you will become with the various bets you can wager on.

  • Pass Line: This is a bet on whether you think the roller will win. Thus, you are betting the roll will be a 7 or 11, and you will lose if the number rolled is a craps number. If the roll is on any other number, then the bet will continue onto the next round; this is known as an active bet. These are the most simple bets you can make in craps, and often the most common. This is due to the low house edge on this type of bet. It is estimated that a pass line has a house edge of 1.4%. The pass line can be found on the outer edges of the craps table.
  • Come bet: this bet can be placed after the first roll has taken place. Here you are wagering that a point number will thus be rolled. This wager will lose if a seven has been rolled once the point has been seen. You can only place a come bet when the pass line has been activated on the table. If you wish to place a come bet, then you will wager in the centre.
  • Place bet: here you would be betting on the dice to roll a 4,5,6,8,10 before seeing that a 7 was rolled. This has a high success rate as all you need to do is pick one of these place numbers to bet on, and you should win. There will often not be a pass line bet needed to win either. If you wish to place a place bet, then you will be placing our chips in the area above the come bets, and you can place your chips in a specific number slot.
  • Don’t bets: these are bets you place against the shooter and are different from those we have discussed so far. These are the opposite of the pass and come bet, and some argue they are more controversial to make as it can be seen as rude to go against the roller, but this is not to say they can’t be successful bets to place in craps. These bets can be found on the top left of the table. Or if you are placing a don’t pass bar bet, then you will be looking at placing your chops under the field bet area. These are made clear by the yellow icons next to the text.
  • Proposition bets: this is a bet on the craps table between the stickman and the boxman and is located in the middle of the craps table. These are wagers on a certain roll of the dice. If you’ve heard of the term ‘hard ways, this is where you can place the bet.
  • Field bets: in the field section of the table, you will see a set of numbers, which are 2, 3, 4, 10, and 11, and you wager that these numbers will show when the player rolls the dice. Although this can be deceiving because many believe these numbers must come up, some have proven that statistically, the numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8 will come up more frequently. The house edge is a little higher for this bet, at around 5%. Field bets are found under the come bets on the craps table.
  • Hardways bets: this is a bet on whether a hard number will be rolled. An example of this is if two of the dice both landed on 4, making the roll a hard 8. This is slightly more risky than some other bets; the house edge has been estimated to be about 9% for this wager.
  • Big six and big eight bets: this is another very straightforward bet to place, as you are wagering that a 6 or 8 will come up before the next 7 is rolled on the table. If you wish to place these bets, you would be placing your chips in the bottom left area of the table, where the numbers 6 and 8 are in bold.
  • 3 or 11: As the name suggests, you are betting whether the player will roll a 3 or 12 before a 7 is thrown.
  • 2 or 12: these are hard numbers to roll since there are very few combinations of this happening, making it a very risky bet to place. But if you are successful, these can be rewarding. Therefore, it is said that the pay-out odds for this bet are about 30:1. This bet can be found under the come bets on the craps table.
  • Any 7 bet: this is a bet on whether the number rolls will land on a 7 with another number. The lower the risk of the bet, the lower the payout.
  • Any crab bet: this is referred to as wagering on a crap number. This will be highlighted on the tab as ‘any craps’.

If you familiarise yourself with these types of bets and the rules for placing the bets, you should be good to go. Just like with any table game, this will become easier over time and the more you play.

Terms at the craps table

Understanding the terms the casino will use while at the craps table is important to help you stay in the loop of the game. Therefore, we have put together a list of common terms that are regularly used throughout crap.

Ace deuceThe next roll will be a 3.
ArmA term used to describe someone who is good at rolling the dice in the game
Big eightBetting on the shooter will roll an 8 before a 7.
Big redUsed to describe the number 7 in the game, it is often seen as rude to shout or say the number 7 out loud while playing.
Big sixBetting the shooter will roll a 6 before 7.
BoxmanThis person will be seated with the stickman, and their role is to supervise the table.
BoysA name to describe the base dealers in the game.
Centre fieldThrowing a 9 on the table.
DownRemoving a table bet
FeverThrowing a 5 on the table.
Free oddsA bet doesn’t have a house edge, but there must be two bets placed.
GardenA field bet, also known as a one-roll bet,
GeorgeA good tipper
Little joerolling two 2’s on the table.
MarkerThis is a small plastic disc that will mark said point; one side has the word on, and the other side has the word off.
MechanicSomeone who believes they have control over the dice they throw.
OffPlayers will say this if they are not placing a bet this round.
Off and onThe dealer is currently paying off the come bets when a new come bet on the same number has been placed.
OnAll current bets are active on the table.
Pay-out oddsThis is the number the casino offers when the craps bet is paid out to the player. This will often be displayed as a decimal.
ShooterThe player is currently rolling the dice.
Snack eyesThis is used to describe the number 2. This will happen when both dice roll a 1 on each side facing up. Some casinos refer to this as an ace too.
Square paidUsed when rolling a hard 8 or two 4s during a roll.
StickmanThis will be a professional casino staff member, or if playing online will be done virtually, someone who pushes the dice and chips around the table so the players don’t have to.
YoTerm used when a player rolls an 11

While this is not an extensive list, we have highlighted numerous terms to help give you an idea of the type of crap language used at the table.