How to Play Crabs: A Beginner’s Guide

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Introduction to Crabs

Welcome to the thrilling world of Crabs, a dynamic and exciting dice game that has captivated players in both casual gatherings and the glittering ambiance of casinos. If you’re new to this game, you’re in for a delightful journey of chance and strategy. Crabs, often mistaken for the well-known ‘Craps,’ is an engaging and easy-to-learn game, making it a favorite among both novices and seasoned gamblers.

This guide simplifies Crabs for beginners. It breaks down rules and steps clearly. Whether you want to play confidently at social events or try your luck in casinos, this article gives you the basics. Start your dice game adventure here.

By the end of this guide, you’ll understand the fundamental aspects of Crabs, from the equipment needed to the exhilaration of making your first bet. So, let’s roll the dice and dive into the captivating game of Crabs!


1.Understanding the Basics of Crabs

Before diving into the gameplay, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the basic principles of Crabs, a game that combines simplicity with the potential for strategic play. This section provides a foundational understanding of the game, helping you grasp the core concepts and terminology.

Game Overview

Crabs is a dice game traditionally associated with casino environments but is equally enjoyable in a more relaxed setting, like a casual game night. It’s played with two standard six-sided dice, and participants can include both active players and onlookers betting on the outcomes. The game’s essence lies in predicting the numbers that will come up on the dice rolls.

The primary objective in Crabs is to correctly predict the outcome of the dice rolls. As a player, you will be betting on whether the shooter (the person rolling the dice) will win by rolling the right combination of numbers, or lose by rolling numbers that lead to an immediate loss.

Key Terms

  • Shooter: The player who rolls the dice. Each player takes turns being the shooter.
  • Come-Out Roll: The first roll of the dice in a betting round. It sets the pace for the rest of the player’s turn.
  • Point: If the come-out roll is neither a winning nor losing number, it establishes a point, which the shooter aims to roll again before a 7 for a win.
  • Pass Line Bet: A bet placed before the come-out roll, betting that the shooter will win.
  • Don’t Pass Bet: The opposite of a pass line bet, wagering that the shooter will lose.
  • Crabs (Craps): Terms used to describe a losing roll of 2, 3, or 12 on the come-out roll.

Understanding these basics sets the stage for delving into the setup and the actual play of Crabs. In the following sections, we’ll explore how to set up a game, the flow of play, and the various betting options that add depth and excitement to the game.

2.Setting Up the Game

Setting up a game of Crabs is straightforward, requiring minimal equipment and preparation. Whether you’re playing at home or in a more formal setting, understanding the setup is key to a smooth game experience. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Equipment Needed

  • Dice: Two standard six-sided dice are the heart of the game. Ensure they are in good condition and easy to read.
  • Betting Surface: While a specialized Crabs table is used in casinos, any flat surface will suffice for casual play. You can draw or print out a betting layout to mimic a casino table.
  • Chips or Money: Chips are typically used for betting. In a casual setting, you can use anything from real money to tokens or even pieces of paper as substitutes.

Setting Up the Betting Surface

  • Casual Play: For home games, set up your betting surface with marked areas for Pass and Don’t Pass bets, and other common betting options.
  • Understanding Betting Areas: Familiarize yourself with the layout. The Pass Line is for bets on the shooter’s success, while the Don’t Pass Line is for betting against the shooter.

Choosing the Shooter:

  • In a casual game, decide who will start as the shooter. This can be done by rolling the dice and the highest roll starts, or by simply volunteering.
  • The role of the shooter rotates among players in turn.

Establishing Betting Rules:

  • House Rules: In a home game, decide on the betting rules. These can vary, so make sure everyone understands them before starting.
  • Minimum and Maximum Bets: Set limits on the minimum and maximum bets to keep the game enjoyable and fair for all players.

Starting the Game:

  • Once the setup is complete and everyone understands the rules, the shooter can begin with the come-out roll.

Setting up the game correctly is crucial for an enjoyable experience. It ensures clarity on the rules and smooth gameplay. In the next section, we’ll dive into the actual gameplay and how to navigate through a round of Crabs.

3. How to play Carbs?

Now that you’re familiar with setting up the game, let’s delve into the heart of Crabs: the gameplay. This section will guide you through the flow of the game, providing clear instructions on how to play and what to expect during each phase.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. The Come-Out Roll: The game begins with the shooter making the come-out roll. Players place their bets on either the Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line.
  2. Determining the Point:
    • If the come-out roll is 7 or 11, Pass Line bets win.
    • If it’s 2, 3, or 12 (known as Crabs), Don’t Pass Line bets win.
    • Any other number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10) rolled becomes the ‘point.’
  3. Continuing the Game: The shooter continues to roll the dice.
    • If they roll the point number again before rolling a 7, Pass Line bets win.
    • If a 7 is rolled before the point, Don’t Pass Line bets win.

Role of the Shooter:

  • The shooter’s role is to roll the dice and aim to hit the point.
  • The dice are passed to the next player if the shooter rolls a 7 after the point is established.

Betting Options:

  • Pass Line Bets: Bet on the shooter to win (rolling the point before a 7).
  • Don’t Pass Bets: Bet against the shooter (rolling a 7 before the point).
  • Come Bets: Similar to Pass Line bets but made after the point is established.
  • Don’t Come Bets: Like Don’t Pass bets, but placed after the point is set.

Understanding the Odds:

  • Crabs is a game of chance, and understanding the odds can help in making informed bets. Each number has different probabilities of being rolled.
Craps Dice Roll Probabilities
Craps Dice Roll Probabilities

4. Basic Strategies for Beginners

While Crabs is largely a game of chance, employing some basic strategies can enhance your playing experience, especially as a beginner. This section offers insights and tips to help you approach the game with a bit more confidence and understanding.

1. Start with Simple Bets:

  • Focus on Pass Line and Don’t Pass Line Bets: These bets are straightforward and offer a good introduction to the game. They also have a lower house edge, making them a safer choice for beginners.
  • Avoid Complicated Bets Initially: Bets like single-roll bets or hardways are riskier and more complex. Gain more experience before exploring these.

2. Learn the Odds:

  • Each roll has its own probability. For instance, a 7 has the highest chance of being rolled.
  • Understand that certain bets, like those on 6 or 8, have better odds compared to others.

3. Manage Your Bankroll:

  • Set a Budget: Decide on a fixed amount you’re willing to bet and stick to it.
  • Don’t Chase Losses: It’s easy to want to win back what you’ve lost, but this often leads to more losses.

4. Practice Discipline:

  • Know When to Stop: Whether you’re winning or losing, have a clear stopping point.
  • Don’t Bet on Every Roll: It’s not necessary to bet on every roll. Taking a break or skipping a bet can be part of your strategy.

5. Use the Odds Bet:

  • Once you’re comfortable, consider the ‘odds bet,’ a secondary bet placed after a point is established. It has no house edge, making it a favorable option.

6. Observe and Learn:

  • Watch other players, especially experienced ones. Observing can provide valuable insights into different betting strategies and game dynamics.

7. Playing in a Relaxed Environment:

  • If you’re playing in a casual setting, use this opportunity to experiment with different bets and strategies without the pressure of a casino environment.

8. Remember, It’s a Game of Chance:

  • No strategy guarantees a win in Crabs. The game is unpredictable, which is part of its charm.

5.Playing Crabs Online

In today’s digital age, Crabs has also found its place in the online gaming world. Playing Crabs online offers convenience, diverse playing options, and the opportunity to play with others from around the globe. Here’s what you need to know to enjoy Crabs in the online sphere:

Choosing an Online Platform:

  • Research Reputable Sites: Look for well-reviewed and licensed online casinos or gaming platforms that offer Crabs.
  • Check for Fair Play Certification: Ensure that the platform uses random number generators (RNGs) for fairness.
  • Compatibility: Verify that the site or app is compatible with your device, whether it’s a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Understanding Online Game Variations:

  • Variants: Online platforms often offer different variants of Crabs, each with unique rules or betting options. Familiarize yourself with the variant you choose to play.
  • Demo or Free Play: Many sites offer demo versions. Use these to practice and understand the game mechanics before playing with real money.

Creating an Account:

  • Sign-Up: You’ll need to create an account, providing some personal and payment information.
  • Bonuses and Promotions: Look out for welcome bonuses or promotions for new players, which can offer additional playing credit or other perks.

Navigating the Online Interface:

  • Layout: The online interface will typically mimic a Crabs table layout, with clickable areas for placing bets.
  • Betting Process: Select your chips and click on the betting area to place your wager.
  • Rolling the Dice: Click the roll button to roll the dice. Online Crabs games use RNGs to determine the outcome of each roll.


As we wrap up this beginner’s guide to playing Crabs, it’s clear that this game is not just about the roll of the dice but also about strategy, understanding the odds, and enjoying the social aspects of gaming. Crabs is a captivating and engaging game that offers endless entertainment and excitement for players of all skill levels.

Throughout this guide, we’ve explored the essentials of Crabs, from setting up the game and understanding its basic rules to navigating through the gameplay and adopting basic strategies. Whether you’re playing at a physical table with friends or enjoying the digital version online, the core principles remain the same.

Remember, the key to enjoying Crabs, especially as a beginner, is to focus on learning and having fun. The game offers a blend of luck and strategy, making each round unpredictable and thrilling. As you become more familiar with the game, you can start experimenting with different betting options and strategies, enhancing your playing experience.

Above all, Crabs is a social game, so whether you’re cheering for the shooter or holding your breath for the next roll, the camaraderie and energy around the Crabs table are what truly make the game special. So, gather your dice, place your bets, and let the good times roll!

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