Craps Table Layout
The original game of Craps required no table. It could be played against other players on any flat surface. But the introduction of “Bank Craps,” pitting all the players against a banker, also known as the “House,” required a layout with fixed betting areas.
In today’s casinos, this table layout is relatively standard. A deeply recessed table top surrounded by padded walls is used. Its surface is divided into clearly labeled betting areas, of which the five most commonly used are the Pass Line, Don’t Pass, Come, Don’t Come, and Field.
Pass Line – Bets placed here win even money, 1-to-1 odds, immediately if a “natural” (7 or 11) is thrown by the shooter on the come out roll. All bets here lose, however, if the shooter throws craps (2, 3 or 12) on the come out. When any other total is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10), it becomes the Point. The shooter must continue rolling until the Point is made, in which case original bets on the Pass Line pay 1-to-1. If a 7 is rolled before the Point is made, all Pass Line wagers lose. Bets on the Pass Line are often called “right” bets, because they back the shooter to win.
Don’t Pass – Also an even-money bet, this is the opposite of the Pass Line. Wagers here lose on the come out roll if the shooter throws a natural, but they win on craps of 2 or 3 and push (no winner or loser) on craps of 12 (the so-called “Bar 6-6”). Bets on Don’t Pass also lose if the shooter makes the point, but they win if a 7 is rolled before the point is made. Bets on Don’t Pass are often called “wrong” bets, because they back the shooter to lose.
Come – Another even-money bet, this wager is “Off” for the come out roll and only becomes available after the Point has been established. Similar to the Pass Line, bets here win on a natural and lose on any craps on the first roll after they are placed. Any other number that turns up becomes the “Come Bet Point.” To win, the Come Bet Point must be rolled before a seven, otherwise it loses.
Don’t Come – The opposite of the Come, this even-money bet can also only be made after the Point has been established. Similar to the Don’t Pass, Don’t Come wins on craps 2 or 3, loses on natural 7 or 11, and becomes a push on a roll of 12. If the Come Bet Point has been established, this bet wins if a 7 is thrown before the Come Bet Point is made; otherwise, it loses.
Field – This one roll bet can be made at any time. It will pay even money on the roll of a 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11. It pays double, 2-to-1, if a 2 or a 12 appears (or 3-to-1 in some casinos). All other totals (i.e., 5, 6, 7, or 8) are losers.
The five basic wagers described above have short odds. Players who seek higher odds and are willing to take greater risks have a number of other options on the Craps table layout. Specifically, there are five additional betting areas to become familiar with:
Odds – This bet is most often made in the unmarked area of the table behind the Pass Line, which is called the “apron,” but only after the Point has been established. When a player “takes Odds,” he/she is increasing the amount of the Pass Line Bet to receive “true odds.” The bet is made by stacking additional chips on the apron directly behind the original bet. The maximum allowed depends on the House rules, typically 2X, 3X or 5X, but sometimes as high as 50X or even 100X. The payoffs on these wagers are 2-to-1 for a 4 or 10, 3-to-2 for a 5 or 9, and 6-to-5 for a 6 or 8. Odds may also be taken on the Come or laid on the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come, but they must be placed by the dealer on behalf of the player, not directly in a betting area.
Big 6 or Big 8 – This is another even-money bet that pays 1-to-1 if a 6 appears before a 7 comes up (Big 6) or an 8 is rolled before a 7 is thrown (Big 8). Note that the odds strongly favor the House on this bet; a better wager is to bet the 6 or 8 using Place Bets (below).
Place Bets – After the Point has been established on the come out roll, bets may be made straight up on the box numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10). If the shooter rolls the selected number before throwing a 7, the place bet wins; otherwise, it loses. The payoffs are 9-to-5 for a 4 or 10, 7-to-5 on a 5 or 9, and 7-to-6 for a 6 or 8. Obviously, the latter pays better than Big 6 or Big 8, and because place bets are not just for one roll, they may be taken off any time before the shooter throws.
C & E – This is a one roll bet made in the small circular betting areas on either side of the center of the table layout. The wagers of at least one unit each go on any craps (“C”) paying 3-to-1 and on 11 (“E”) paying 7-to-1. Such bets must be placed by the dealer on behalf of the player, not directly in the betting area.
Proposition Bets – The center section of the Craps table is reserved for these special wagers, which include Hardway Bets paying 7-to-1 or 9-to-1, Any Seven paying 4-to-1, Any Craps paying 7-to-1, and Hop Bets on specific rolls (2-3, 3-5, 4-6, etc.) paying 30-to-1. Many of these areas can be played in combination and have special names like Horn Bet, Buffalo, Hi-Lo-Yo, and others. Please see the Craps Glossary for additional details on these and other proposition wagers.