So many people want to learn how to play craps, yet the layout looks too complicated and before even making an attempt to learn the game these people flee for the safety of what they consider simpler games such as blackjack, roulette, slots and baccarat. But craps is actually an easy game to play, and it does not take a load of study to learn the proper way to bet. In fact, read this article and you’ll be able to start right now or at least right away! 

Note: If you already know the game you will notice that I am not going into the “don’t” betting in this article.

Craps Layout


How do you play Craps? The game looks way too hard and I do not want to make a fool of myself.

ANSWER: Relax, the game is a breeze. See that line that goes around the layout that says Pass Line? You put a bet on that Pass Line when the shooter gets the dice and is on what’s called the “Come-out” roll. His goal is to hit a 7 or 11 for a win; but avoid the 2, 3 and 12 which loses. Or he wants to establish a “Point Number”.

Box Numbers on Craps Layout


ANSWER: Check out the image of the layout again. See the boxes at the top with each box containing a number? Those are the point numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. On the come-out roll, if the shooter hits one of those numbers that becomes his point. He now must hit that number before a 7 shows to win but if the 7 shows before that number he loses. 

Just a couple of more things, simple things, and you can play the game. When the shooter loses to the 7, he must give up the dice to the next shooter. If the shooter wins by hitting his point number he then goes on the Come-out roll again trying to hit 7 or 11; not hit 2, 3 or 12; or establishing another point of either 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. If he doesn’t hit that 7, he keeps the dice. He hits a 7 during the point part of the game, he loses.


Is this Pass Line bet a “sucker bet”? Or is it a bet you would recommend?

ANSWERWe talk about bets in terms of the percentage edge that the house has over the player. The Pass Line bet comes in with a house edge of 1.41%. That means the player’s expectation is to lose $1.41 per $100 wagered.


Does the House Edge of 1.41% is good or bad?
ANSWER: It’s pretty good and it is the best bet at the game of craps. Put another way, the player will win 244 times and the casino will win 251 times. The seven unit difference creates the edge for the house. The Pass Line is one of the best bets in the casino and is the best bet at the game of craps. You have a good shot of a winning session just using this bet at the game of craps.

Come section on Craps layout


Are there any other easy craps bets you would recommend that are also considered good bets? 

ANSWER: Yes, one other and it is called the Come bet. Notice that big section on the layout that says Come? Once a point has been established you can put a bet on the Come section. This bet operates the same way as the Pass Line bet. If the 7 or 11 is rolled, it wins; if the 2, 3 or 12 is rolled, it loses; and if a point number is rolled it goes up on that point number. The house edge is again 1.41 percent.

Since the shooter has a point number that he must hit before the 7 shows, being up on the Come box number is also lost should that 7 show. However, the moment you place the Come bet a 7 will win the bet for you but it will also lose the point number. The dice get passed on. 

So initial placement wins on the 7 but the Pass Line point loses. Also during the Come-out roll a seven loses the Come even though it wins the Pass Line bet. Think of the Come bet as a separate game with the house. That lessens any confusion.


What if I do get confused between these two bets?

ANSWER: Then just make that Pass Line bet and forget the Come bet. Since the idea is that you want to play right away then only play the bet that is easy to do and good to make. There are many other bets, just about all of them not recommended but I’ll get to those in a latter column.


ANSWER:  You are ready to go! But in case you want to read more information about the game, here are some topics that you might find interest in:

Now go and enjoy the game of craps. 
Oh, and good luck!

Frank Scoblete’s new books are “I Am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps”; “Confessions of a Wayward Catholic” and “I Am a Card Counter: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack.” All available from, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, and at bookstores. Visit Frank’s web site at

Frank Scoblete grew up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He spent the ‘60s getting an education; the ‘70s in editing, writing and publishing; the ‘80s in theatre, and the ‘90s and the 2000s in casino gambling.

Along the way he taught English for 33 years. He has authored 35 books; his most recent publisher is Triumph Books, a division of Random House. He lives in Long Island. Frank wrote the Ultimate Roulette Strategy Guide and he's a well known casino specialist.