Mastering the Come-Out Roll and Betting System: A Guide to Playing Craps

Ever watched a crowd gather around a craps table and wondered what all the excitement’s about? You’re not alone. Craps is a high-energy dice game with a rich history, and it’s as thrilling as it is complex.

This article will demystify the game for you. It’ll guide you through the basics of craps, from understanding the layout of the table to getting the hang of the betting system. Whether you’re a casino newbie or an experienced gambler looking to branch out, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding the Basics of Craps

In the heart of the casino, you’ll often find a group of elated individuals huddled around a game table. They’re playing craps, a dice game acclaimed for its rich history and high-energy atmosphere. Learning how to play craps can be a thrilling experience. But without understanding the basics, the table might feel more like a complex maze than an exciting game.

  1. Table Layout: The craps table is essentially mirrored on both ends, allowing more people to participate at once. Centered on the table are spaces for ‘One Roll’ and ‘Horn’ bets. Around the edges, players can place ‘Pass’ or ‘Don’t Pass’ bets. Understanding the layout is the first step in learning how to play craps.
  2. Dice Rolls: The outcome of a craps game is determined by rolling two six-sided dice. The ‘shooter’, or player who rolls the dice, follows a set order. They first make a ‘come out’ roll. Then, depending on the result, proceed with other rolls.
  3. Betting: The craps betting system is where the complexity arises, but also where the chance for big wins lies. The most basic bets are the ‘Pass Line’ and ‘Don’t Pass Line’ bets. More advanced techniques involve betting on specific outcomes or sequences of rolls.

For any enthusiast looking to delve deeper into the casino scene, it’s well worth taking time to learn craps. Not only does it offer the opportunity for significant winnings, but the high-energy atmosphere is entertaining in and of itself. Stay tuned as we further deconstruct the game’s betting system, provide tips for beginners, and delve into the rich history of craps.

The Layout of the Craps Table

Understanding the layout of the craps table is essential to mastering the game. At first glance, it may seem complex due to the myriad betting options marked on it. However, upon a closer look, we can break it down into simpler sections.

The table usually consists of a felt surface with various compartments. It’s divided into three main sections: two symmetric end sections and a middle section. Each end section is a mirror reflection of the other. This design allows more players to participate as they can bet on either side of the table.

The end sections contain the following:

  • Pass line
  • Don’t pass bar
  • Come
  • Don’t come
  • Place bets
  • Field bets

The middle section of the table, also known as the proposition or center section, contains:

  • One-roll bets
  • Hardways
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One more key feature of the table layout is the boxman’s station. The boxman, responsible for managing the table’s cash flow, sits at the table between the two dealers.

Now that we have some understanding of the craps table, it’s important to remember this: it’s just a tool to facilitate the gameplay. Don’t let it intimidate you. With time, practice, and a steady mind, one can learn to navigate the table with ease.

Having understood the basic layout, we’ll delve deeper into each section’s specific bets in the coming sections. Stay tuned for more insights.

The Role of the Shooter

Moving forward, The Role of the Shooter is an integral aspect to understand in the game of craps. The shooter’s part on the craps table isn’t just about rolling the dice. It involves a series of responsibilities, combining both skill and luck.

The shooter’s journey begins with the ‘come-out roll’. This initial roll can determine the outcome of a round, thus playing a pivotal role in shaping the course of the game for both the shooter and fellow players. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on this roll, every player who bet on the “pass line” wins. Conversely, if a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled, the “pass line” bettors lose.

However, the shooter’s role doesn’t end there. If they roll any other number, that number becomes the point. Now, the objective for the shooter is to roll this exact same number again before rolling a 7. If they manage to do so, the “pass line” bettors win again. However, if a 7 is rolled before the point, then the “don’t pass” bettors win.

It’s the shooter who sets the pace of the game and to a certain degree, dictates its direction. Therefore, an understanding of the shooter’s role is crucial to foster strategic plays at the craps table.

You might be wondering about the circumstance in which someone becomes a shooter. Well, there’s no tight criterion to dictate this. Usually, the shooter is simply the next player in clockwise rotation after the last one. However, anyone can refuse to be the shooter, and there’s no penalty if they do.

Next up, we’ll delve into the intricate details of each kind of bet. By learning these, you’ll be well-equipped to interpret the outcomes of the shooter’s rolls — another critical step towards mastering craps.

The Come Out Roll

Every round of craps initiates with a come-out roll. This roll marks the start of the game and is essential in establishing the point number. To elaborate, the shooter’s first roll of the dice is the come-out roll. The potential outcomes of this roll could either automatically win, lose, or establish a point.

When the shooter rolls a total of 7 or 11, it’s called a natural. This results in an automatic win for pass line wagers, causing an uproar of cheers around the table. On the other hand, totals of 2, 3, or 12—collectively termed craps—mean an automatic loss. In these roles, it’s the don’t pass line bettors who revel in small celebration, having won their bets while others simultaneously lose.

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However, when the shooter’s come-out roll results in totals of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, they’ve established what’s known as the point. This changes the game’s dynamics as the round continues in quest of this number. The dealer will place a marker on the number rolled on the craps table to denote the point, and the game carries on until either the point or a seven is rolled.

From an understanding of the shooter’s role in our previous section, we know they set the game’s pace, and with the come-out roll’s significance now apparent, it becomes clearer how strategic decision-making interplays with the game’s structure. Learning the implications of the come-out roll deepens one’s grasp of the game, revealing intricate layers of potential strategies. The game’s depth and complexity require patience, but with calculated plays and inevitable trial and error, players get the hang of it.

The Betting System

Shifting focus to the betting system within the game of craps is vital for truly understanding the dynamics of the game. In craps, players make wagers on the outcome of the roll, or a series of rolls, of a pair of dice.

Pass Line Bet is the most fundamental wager in craps. This bet must be placed before the come-out roll. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, pass line bets win. On the other hand, if it’s a 2, 3, or 12, pass line bets lose. In case the shooter throws a different number, it becomes the point and the round proceeds.

Once the point is set, a player can make an additional bet – termed as Odds Bet. Here, the player is betting that the point will be thrown before a 7. It’s a unique bet as it’s the only one without house edge.

Another type of bet is the Come Bet, which can be made once the point is established. It’s similar to a pass line bet but can be placed while the round is in progress.

Experienced players often explore alternative bets. For instance, Don’t Pass Line Bet or Don’t Come Bet where players are betting against the shooter, meaning they win when the shooter loses.

Lastly, Proposition Bets, placed in the center of the craps table, are high-risk bets with high payouts. They’re generally one-roll bets with the exception of hardways.

Below is a brief breakdown of the major bets in craps.

  • Pass Line Bet
  • Odds Bet
  • Come Bet
  • Don’t Pass Line Bet
  • Don’t Come Bet
  • Proposition Bets
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Once players grasp these various bets and how they can potentially influence the game, the nuances of playing craps become more clear. It’s more than rolling dice – it’s a carefully crafted dance between risk, strategy, and luck. Each bet provides a different way to engage in the game.


Now that you’ve got a firm grasp on the basics of craps and its betting system, you’re ready to roll the dice. Remember, understanding the different types of bets is key to forming your strategy. Whether it’s the Pass Line Bet, Odds Bet, Come Bet, Don’t Pass Line Bet, Don’t Come Bet, or Proposition Bets, each holds its own unique potential for payouts and risks.

Don’t forget, craps is not just about luck, but also about making smart decisions. So, as you step up to the craps table, keep in mind the betting strategies you’ve learned. They’ll help you navigate the game and potentially walk away a winner.

Most importantly, craps is a game meant to be enjoyed. So whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, remember to have fun. After all, that’s what it’s all about.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is craps?

Craps is a dice game played in casinos, where players bet on the outcome of a roll or a series of rolls.

What is the come-out roll?

The come-out roll is the first dice roll in a round of craps. It determines the point number and initiates the game.

What is a Pass Line Bet?

A Pass Line Bet is a bet that wins if the come-out roll is a 7 or 11, and loses if it’s a 2, 3, or 12.

What is an Odds Bet?

An Odds Bet is an additional bet made after a point is established. It pays true odds based on the point number.

What is a Come Bet?

A Come Bet is similar to a Pass Line Bet but can be made anytime after the come-out roll.

What is a Don’t Pass Line Bet?

A Don’t Pass Line Bet is the opposite of a Pass Line Bet. It wins if the come-out roll is a 2, 3, or 12, and loses if it’s a 7 or 11.

What is a Don’t Come Bet?

A Don’t Come Bet is the opposite of a Come Bet. It can be made anytime after the come-out roll.

What are Proposition Bets?

Proposition Bets are one-roll bets on specific outcomes, such as a certain number combination or a specific total.

Why is understanding different bets important?

Understanding different bets in craps allows players to make informed decisions and develop strategies to maximize their chances of winning.

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