Craps Glossary

A
Aces — Betting that the next roll will be the total sum of 2.
Any Craps — A bet that the next roll will be 2, 3, or 12.
Any Seven — A bet that the next roll will be 7.
Arm — A term used in the game of craps to denote a player who is so skilled at throwing the dice that they are able to alter the conventional odds of the game. Such a player is said to be ‘an arm’. Whether or not such individuals actually exist or are simply the product of game legend is debatable. However, it is worth noting that the casino craps dealers are very adamant about the dice being thrown against the far wall of the table to ensure a completely random outcome.

B
Back Line — Another term for the Don’t Pass Line.
Bank Craps — The casino game now known as Craps is actually «Bank Craps». «Craps» is a dice game popular in American private gambling and is played against other players. In Bank Craps players may bet only against the house.
Betting Right — Betting the throw will win on Pass Line and Come bets.
Betting Wrong — Betting the throw will not pass on Don’t Pass Line and Don’t Come bets.
Big Eight — A bet that an 8 will be rolled before a 7 comes up.
Big Six — A bet that a 6 will be rolled before a 7 comes up.
Big Red — Placing a bet on Any Seven.
Boxcars — (Betting on the 12) Two 6s rolled in a craps game are called ‘Boxcars’. (Boxcars are the last cars on a train.)
Boxman — Casino employee who sits between the two dealers at the Craps table and is responsible for the chips the casino keeps at the table.
Buffalo — Placing a bet on each of the Hardway and Any Seven.
Buy Bet (Buy and Lay bet) — Giving the house a 5% commission in order to be paid correct odds for a place bet. Buy and lay bets are made the same way as a place bet, but at corrected odds.

C
C and E Bet — A one roll bet that the next roll of the dice will be any craps (2,3, or 12) or 11.
Capped Dice — non standard, crooked dice.
Cold Table — for the moment shooters aren’t winning at this table. A table in which very few shooters are making The Point.
Come Bet — Same as the Pass Line bet but made after the Come Out roll.
Come Out Roll — The first roll of the dice in a betting round and determines the point for Pass and Don’t Pass Line bets.

D
Don’t Come — Making a bet against the dice (a 7 will appear before the point is rolled again) after the come out roll.
Don’t Pass Bet — Making a bet against the dice before a Come Out roll.
Don’t Pass Bar — Just above the pass line is a thinner band of felt where you place your don’t pass bets (essentially the opposite of a pass line bet).
Double Odds — Doubles the initial Pass Line, Don’t Pass Line, Come, Don’t Come bets.

E
Easy Way — A dice roll of 4, 6, 8, 10 each die being different from the other.
Edge — The advantage the casino has on player on any given wager.

F
Fade — To meet the bet of an opposing player in the game of dice. This is common in ‘Craps’ as played privately against other players and not against the casino (casino craps — see «Bank Craps» above). Before his first throw the shooter/thrower puts up a stake, and the other players fade it, i.e., bet against the shooter up to the amount of the stake. The shooter must withdraw any part of his stake that is not faded. If the shooter/thrower loses, the other players take away double the amount they faded.
Field Bet — A bet on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12.
Free Odds Bet — Taken at true odds.
Front Line — Another term for the Pass Line.

H
Hardway — Betting on a 4, 6, 8 or 10 thrown as pairs (2-2, 3-3…) before rolled easy or before a 7 comes out. (See also ‘The Hard Way Bet’ below)
Hi-Lo — A bet that the next roll of the dice will be a 2 or 12.
Hope Bet — One roll bet on a particular dice combination.
Hoping Hardway — A 2-2 hope bet.
Horn Bet — A bet on 2, 3, 11 and 12 with the same amount.
Horn High Bet — bet amount is split into five parts. Two parts on the high number 12 and three units for the other numbers 2, 3 and 11.
Hot Table — A table in which most shooters are making The Point.

I
Insurance Bet — Two or more wagers made to partially cover one another.

J
Juice — Another term for vig (vigorish). The casino edge or commission taken by the house.

L
Lay Bet — Betting that a point number will not be rolled before a 7 is thrown.
Lay Odds — Additional odds bet against the dice.
Line Bet — Bet on the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line.
Little Joe — A Hard 4 (2-2).

M
Marker Puck — A Plastic disk that the dealers use to mark the point on the Craps table; ‘Off’ or ‘On’.
Midnight — One roll bet on 12.

N
Natural — Another term for a throw of 7 or 11 on the come out roll. (Natural seven or natural eleven.)

O
Off — Meaning certain bets will be safe on the next dice roll.
One Roll Bets — Outcome of these bets are established by the next dice roll. Depending on the next roll, the bet either wins or loses.
Outside Numbers — The numbers 4,5,9, and 10.

P
Parley — Increasing a bet, usually double (let it ride).
Pass Line Bet — Bet stating the dice will win or pass.
Payoff — The return or payback the player receives for his or her wager.
Place Bet — bet stating a place number will be thrown before a 7 comes out.
Place Numbers — 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10.
Playing the field — is a common and popular bet. To place this bet find the box with the word ‘field’ written in it along with a set of numbers (as in ‘Filed Bet’ above). Placing a field bet means you are betting that the next roll will be a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12.
Point — See «The Point» below
Point Number — One of the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 determined on the come out roll.
Press a Bet — To double a bet.
Proposition Bets — All one-roll bets and the hardway bet.

R
Rail — The grooved area along the top of the craps table perimeter where players keep their chips
Right Bettor — A player betting the dice will pass or win. A player who bets that the shooter will make the Point.
Rounding — Payout rounding. Rounding up or down the amount.

S
Seven Out — When a 7 is thrown after a point has been established and before repeating the point number, next player in line will be the shooter.
Shooter — The player who is currently rolling or throwing the dice.
Snake Eyes — When you roll a two in craps, it is called ‘Snake Eyes’ — eyes because they look like eyes, snake because they are bad news since the most common bet made on the craps table is the pass line and when ‘snake eyes’ is thrown on the come out roll a bet on the pass line loses.
Stickman — A casino employee who calls out the dice rolls and returns the dice to the shooter, also responsible for the placing and paying the proposition bets.

T
Toke — A tip given to the dealer.
The Hard Way Bet — (see also ‘Hardway’ above) Making a hard way bet means going for the total of the two dice on doubles. Say you wanted to go for a hard six, the only way to do it is with two threes. It is called the hard way because it is not easy to hit. There are only four hard way combinations: 4 (2×2), 6 (3×3), 8 (4×4), and 10 (5×5). These are not anytime one-roll wagers. Hard ways win if the selected hard way is rolled before a seven appears or before an «easy way» combination of the hard way total is hit. So if you have a bet on a hard 4 and a 3 and 1 (easy 4) comes up before two twos (hard 4), you lose your hard way bet.
The Point — The number that is established on the come-out roll. Only place numbers (4,5,6,8,9,10) can become the point. The shooter will attempt to repeat throwing the point before throwing a 7 in order to win that round of betting.
Three-way Craps — A bet made in units of 3 with one unit on 2, one unit on 3, and one unit on 12.

V
Vigorish — (Also abbreviated Vig.) The casino edge or commission taken by the house.

W
Working — Meaning certain bets will be at risk on the next dice roll.
Whirl Bet — Betting on 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 with the same amount.
Wrong Bettor — A player betting the dice will not pass. A player who bets the shooter will not make the point and instead he will Seven-Out.

Y
Yo — The number 11. Also called Yo-leven

Craps Rules

The basics

Casino Craps (or Bank Craps), a dice game, is one of the most exciting casino games. It is common to hear yelling and shouting at a craps table. It is played on a purpose-built table and two dice are used. The dice are made after very strict standards and are routinely inspected for any damage. As a matter of course, the dice are replaced with new ones after about eight hours of use, and casinos have implemented rules in the way a player handles them.

To begin, the Shooter (one of the players) must bet at least the table minimum on either the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass Line (sometimes called ‘win’ or ‘right’ bets and ‘don’t win’ or ‘wrong’ bets). The shooter is presented with multiple dice (normally five) by the Stickman, and must choose two to roll with. The remaining dice are returned to the Stickman’s Bowl and are not used.

The shooter must handle the dice with one hand only when throwing and the dice must hit the walls on the opposite end of the table. In the event that one or both dice are thrown off the table, they must be inspected (usually by the stickman) before putting them back into play.

The craps table can accommodate up to about 20 players, who each get a round of throws or at ‘shooting’ the dice. If you don’t want to throw the dice, you can bet on the thrower. Several types of bets can be made on the table action. The casino crew consist of a Stickman, Boxman and two Dealers.

The game is played in rounds, with the right to roll the dice by each player moving clockwise around the craps table at the end of each round. A player may choose not to roll but can continue to bet.

Each round has two phases: Come Out and Point. To start a round, the shooter makes one or more Come Out rolls. A Come Out roll of 2, 3 or 12 (called Craps, the shooter is said to ‘crap out’) ends the round with players losing their Pass Line bets. A Come Out roll of 7 or 11 (a Natural) results in a win for Pass Line bets. The shooter continues to make Come Out rolls until he rolls 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, which number becomes the Point. The dealer then moves an On button to the point number signifying the second phase of the 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 (a Seven-out), the pass line loses and the round ends.

The first roll of the dice in a betting round is the Come Out roll — a new game in Craps begins with the Come Out roll. A Come Out roll can be made only when the previous shooter fails to make a winning roll, that is, fails to make the Point or makes a Seven-out (rolls a seven).

A new game then begins with a new shooter. If the current shooter does make his Point, the dice are returned to him and he then begins the new Come Out roll. This is a continuation of that shooter’s roll, although technically, the Come Out roll identifies a new game about to begin.

When the shooter fails to make his or her Point, the dice are then offered to the next player for a new Come Out roll and the game continues in the same manner. The new shooter will be the person directly next to the left of the previous shooter — so the game moves in a clockwise fashion around the craps table.

The dice are rolled across the craps table layout. The layout is divided into three areas — two side areas separated by a center one. Each side area is the mirror reflection of the other and contains the following: Pass and Don’t Pass line bets, Come and Don’t Come bets, Odds bet, Place bets and Field bets. The center area is shared by both side areas and contains the Proposition bets.

Pass bets win when the come out roll is 7 or 11, while pass bets lose when the come out roll is 2, 3, or 12. Don’t bets lose when the come out roll is 7 or 11, and don’t bets win when the come out roll is 2 or 3. Don’t bets tie when the come out roll is 12 (2 in some casinos; the ‘Bar‘ roll on the layout indicates which roll is treated as a tie).

A player joining a game and wishing to play craps without being the shooter should approach the craps table and first check to see if the dealer’s ‘On’ button is on any of the point numbers. If the point number is Off then the table is in the Come Out round. If the dealer’s button is ‘On’, the table is in the Point round where most casinos will allow a Pass Line bet to be placed. All single or multi roll ‘Proposition bets’ may be placed in either of the two rounds.

Between dice rolls there is a period for the dealers to make payouts and collect the losing bets, after which players can place new bets. The stickman monitors the action at the table and decides when to give the shooter the dice, after which no more betting is allowed.

Below is a list of the various bets you can make at craps.

Pass Line Bet — You win if the first roll is a natural (7, 11) and lose if it is craps (2, 3, 12). If a point is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) it must be repeated before a 7 is thrownin order to win. If 7 is rolled before the point you lose.

The fundamental bet in craps is the Pass Line Bet, which is a bet for the shooter to win their point number. A Pass Line Bet is won immediately if the Come Out roll is a 7 or 11. If the Come Out roll is 2, 3 or 12, the bet loses (known as ‘crapping out’). If the roll is any other value, it establishes a Point; if that point is rolled again before a seven, the bet wins. If, with a point established, a seven is rolled before the point is re-rolled, the bet loses (‘seven out’). A Pass Line win pays even money.

Odds on Pass Line Bet — After a point is rolled you can make this additional bet by taking odds. There are different payoffs for each point. A point of 4 or 10 will pay you 2:1; 5 or 9 pays 3:2; 6 or 8 pays 6:5. You only win if the point is rolled again before a 7.

Come Bet — It has the same rules as the Pass Line Bet. The difference consists in the fact you can make this bet only after the point on the pass line has been determined. On a Come Out roll the Come Bet is placed on the pass line as they are an identical bet. After you place your bet the first dice roll will set the come point. You win if it is a natural (7, 11) and lose if it is craps (2, 3, 12). Other rolls will make you a winner if the come point is repeated before a 7 is rolled. If a 7 is rolled first you lose.

A Come Bet is played in two rounds and is played similar to a Pass Line Bet. The main difference is that a player making a Come Bet will bet on the first point number that ‘comes’ from the shooter’s next roll, regardless of the table’s round. If a 7 or 11 is rolled on the first round, it wins. If a 2, 3 or 12 is rolled, it loses. If instead the roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 then the Come Bet will be moved by the base dealer onto a Box representing the number the shooter threw. This number becomes the Come Bet point and the player is allowed to add odds to the bet. The dealer will place the odds on top of the Come Bet, but slightly off center in order to differentiate between the original bet and the odds. The second round wins if the shooter rolls the Come Bet before a seven. If the seven comes before the number (the Come Bet), the bet loses. On a Come Out roll for the pass line the Come Bet is in play, but traditionally the odds are not working unless the player indicates otherwise to the dealer.

Because of the Come Bet, if the shooter makes their point, a player can find themselves in the situation where they have a Come Bet (possibly with odds on it) and the next roll is a Come Out roll. In this situation odds bets on the come wagers are presumed to be not working for the Come Out roll. That means that if the shooter rolls a 7 on the Come Out roll, any players with active Come Bets waiting for a ‘come point’ lose their initial wager but will have their odds money returned to them. If the ‘come point’ is rolled the odds do not win but the Come Bet does and the odds are returned. The player can tell the dealer that they want their odds working, such that if the shooter rolls a number that matches the ‘come point’, the odds bet will win along with the Come Bet, and if a seven is rolled both lose.

Odds on Come Bet — Exactly the same thing as the Odds on Pass Line Bet except you take odds on the Come Bet not the Pass Line Bet.

Don’t Pass Line Bet — This is the reversed Pass Line bet. If the first roll of a dice is a natural (7, 11) you lose and if it is a 2 or a 3 you win. A dice roll of 12 means you have a tie or push with the casino. If the roll is a point (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) a 7 must come out before that point is repeated to make you a winner. If the point is rolled again before the 7 you lose.

Don’t Come Bet — The reversed Come Bet. After the come point has been established you win if it is a 2 or 3 and lose for 7 or 11. 12 is a tie and other dice rolls will make you win only if a 7 appears before them on the following throws.

Place Bets — This bet works only after the point has been determined. You can bet on a dice roll of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. You win if the number you placed your bet on is rolled before a 7. Otherwise you lose. The Place Bets payoffs are different depending on the number you bet on. 4 or 10 will pay 9:5; 5 or 9 pays 7:5, and 6 or 8 pays 7:6. You can cancel this bet anytime you want to.

Field Bets — These bets are for one dice roll only. If a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12 is rolled you win. A 5, 6, 7 and 8 make you lose. Field Bets have the following different payoffs: 2 pays double (2:1) while 12 pays 3:1. Other winning dice rolls pays even (1:1).

Big Six, Big Eight Bets — Placed at any roll of dice these bets win if a 6 or 8 comes out before a 7 is rolled. Big Six and Big Eight are even bets and are paid at 1:1.

Proposition Bets — These bets can be made at any time and, except for the hardways, they are all one roll bets:

  • Any Craps: Wins if a 2, 3 or 12 is thrown. Payoff 8:1
  • Any Seven: Wins if a 7 is rolled. Payoff 5:1
  • Eleven: Wins if a 11 is thrown. Payoff 16:1
  • Ace Duece: Wins if a 3 is rolled. Payoff 16:1
  • Aces or Boxcars: Wins if a 2 or 12 is thrown. Payoff 30:1
  • Horn Bet: it acts as the bets on 2, 3, 11 and 12 all at once. Wins if one of these numbers is rolled. Payoff is determined according to the number rolled. The other three bets are lost.
  • Hardways: The bet on a hardway number wins if it’s thrown hard (sum of pairs: 1-1, 3-3, 4-4…) before it’s rolled easy and a 7 is thrown. Payoffs: Hard 4 and 10, 8:1; Hard 6 and 8, 10:1

House advantage
2 — 17%