Craps can be a very complex game with dozens of bets and a whirlwind of activity. It takes time for a beginner to not only get used to the process of placing bets but just to get used to keeping track of everything that is going on during play. As is the case with many casino games, it’s a good idea for the beginning player to ‘keep it simple’ until he becomes more familiar with the way the game is played. This allows the player to participate at the table and get a feel for what is going on without having to worry about slowing up play or making an embarrassing mistake.

This ‘go slow’ approach is especially important in craps. Craps is somewhat unique among casino games as the house edge varies widely from one bet to another. Some craps bets are among the best wagers in the casino in terms of having a low ‘house edge’. Other craps bets, however, are some of the worst bets in the casino due to a high ‘house edge’. By taking your time and learning how to bet in a deliberate, systematic fashion you can avoid reckless play that *always* works in favor of the house.


For the beginner, these are two of the best bets you can make at the craps table. The reason for this is twofold–they’re simple bets to understand and utilize and have the additional advantage of having a very low ‘house edge’.

To make a ‘Pass’ bet, you just place a wager on the ‘Pass’ line indicated on the craps table. If the player rolls a 7 or 11 on the ‘come out’ roll, the bet wins. If he rolls a 2,3 or 12 on the come out roll, the bet loses. Any other number becomes the player’s ‘point’. If the player hits his ‘point’–meaning that he rolls that same number again–before he hits a ‘7’, the ‘Pass’ bet wins. If he hits the ‘7’ first the pass bet loses.

All winning ‘Pass’ bets are paid at even money (1-1) similar to a winning hand in blackjack. The ‘Pass’ bet has a house advantage of 1.41% which makes it statistically one of the best bets in the casino.

The ‘Don’t Pass’ bet is a similar concept but in reverse. In essence, you are betting *against* the shooter (and most of the rest of the table). There is a small difference on the ‘come out’ roll but otherwise what loses for the player in the ‘Pass’ bet wins for him in the ‘Don’t Pass’ bet. Like the ‘Pass’ bet, there’s a portion of the craps layout called the ‘Don’t Pass’ line. This is where you place your ‘Don’t Pass’ bet.

If the player rolls a 2 or 3 on the ‘come out’ roll, your ‘Don’t Pass’ bet wins (and the player loses). If the player rolls a 7 or 11, he wins and your ‘Don’t Pass’ bet loses. The small difference involves the 12 roll–in most casino craps situations, the player loses on the 12 but ‘Don’t Pass’ players push.

If the player rolls anything other than a 2,3,7,11 or 12 that number becomes his ‘point’. For the ‘Don’t Pass’ bet to win, the player must roll a 7 before he rolls his ‘point’ again. If he rolls his ‘point’ first, he’s a winner and your ‘Don’t Pass’ bet is a loser.

Like the ‘Pass’ bet, the ‘Don’t Pass’ bet pays off at even money (1-1). It is slightly more advantageous for the player than the ‘Pass’ bet as it has a house edge of only 1.40%.