Craps is one of those special games that is both simple and very, very complex. While the game play is simply to roll a set of dice, the betting and strategy can be quite confusing to a casino newcomer. But don’t worry, here at Bonus Ninja we’ve got you covered. Simply read on and we’ll cover all you want to know about this fantastic game. We’ll also point our quality online casinos where you can give it a go yourself.
Craps has always been a popular game, in fact plenty of people list it as their absolute favourite. And who can blame them? It’s fun, exciting and offers plenty of opportunity to win big.
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The History of Craps
Craps is one of those games that has been around for so long we can’t even be certain of its origins. One story goes that it was played by Roman soldiers using the knuckle-bones of a pig as dice and their shields as a makeshift table.
During the Crusades in the 12th century a dice game was created by William of Tyre and became known as Hazard. So why the name Craps? Apparently, it comes from the French word for frog (crapaud) and referred to people squatting down to play it on the floor.
Over the years it has become such a popular game that it often features in popular movies and tv shows. In Indecent Proposal starring Demi More, Robert Redford and Woody Harellson, the game of craps is so central to the plot that it is almost a character in its own right.
How to play Craps
Unlike other casinos games, like Slots, Craps is fairly complex. That’s not to say rolling dice is complicated, because of course that part is simple. It’s the game play, strategy and betting that can be tricky to grasp.
Playing Craps online is a little different to playing it in person, and we’ll discuss that shortly. When you play online, you place your bets and then the dice is rolled. And although you might think that’s the end of the game, that isn’t necessarily true. Sometimes one game consists of a certain number of rolls.
Rules of Online craps
The game is started with the on/off marker is placed in the Don’t Come bar and is marked as Off. In online parker this is how the game automatically starts.
Your first step is to decide on the type of bet you want to place. The most common is the Pass Line. If you are playing online, the next step is to hit the roll button. An avatar of a dealer will likely show up somewhere on your screen to give you the next step.
There will then be a “live” or animated play of the roll of dice.
If the game has rolled a 4, 5,6 8, 9 or 10 (the sum of the two dice combined, the game is “on”. You’ll notice that the on/off marker is flipped to On and placed on the number thrown. You can now also place a second bet if you get a gut feel for the outcome.
Next up you need to roll again. You’ll keep rolling until a specific outcome shows up. Either the number that was first rolled or a seven.
Types of Craps Bets
Here are the possible bets that can be placed during a game of Craps.
- Pass Line Bet: you are betting on the person rolling the dice. If that person wins, you win; if they lose, you lose. If the first dice thrown is a 7 or 11. You automatically win the round. If the first roll is a 2, 3 or twelve, you automatically lose. Any other number and you’ll enter the next roll of the round (the game becomes “on”) and the marker moves.
- Come Bet: similar to the Pass Line bet but focused on the outcome of the next roll of the dice after the initial roll. Place a bet here and if the second roll is 7 or 11, you’ll win.
- Don’t Pass Bet: this one is when you don’t feel the dice will go the rollers way and you want to back the house. If the roller rolls a 2 or 3 you win. A twelve results in a tie and you keep your initial bet. If 4, 5,6 8 9 or 10 are rolled you’ll lose.
- Point Numbers: These are all the numbers you might land that don’t outright result in wins or losses after the first roll. You’ll find them at the top of the board. The dice can then be rolled a number of times, either until a seven is revealed or you hit the “on” number again. Hit the seven and you’ll lose, hit the on number and you’ll win the round.
- Place Bets: in this bet you will place your bet on one, several or all of the point numbers. (Not to be confused with placing a bet). For this bet the minimum bet is actually higher for the central numbers (six and eight) as they are more likely to be hit. You can place and remove this bet at any point during the round.
- The Field: this bet applies specifically to the next time the dice is rolled. If a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11 pops up you’ll be paid even money. Land a 2 or a 12 to double your wager.
There are the bets that might be hard to win, but if you do, you’ll feel like you have hit the jackpot.
- Big Red: in this one you are wagering on the seven. You’ll be paid out 5 times your bet if you win.
- Any Craps: here you are betting on the 2, 3 or 12 showing up on the next roll. You’ll be paid out 8 times your bet.
- C&E: here you are wagering on any craps or the 11 to pop up in the next roll
- Proposition Bets: these pay big, but the risk isn’t small. These are the duplicates, hard numbers, the ones that are always inexplicably won in movies. Double 2, 4, 5 and twos. These pay out between 8 and 10 times your bet. This bet is only applicable for one roll.
- Horn Bets: Get the hard two (pair of ones) or 12 (pair of sixes) to win 30 times your bet. Get 15 times your bet if you land either a one and two or a five and a six. Again, this bet only applies to a single roll.
The house edge is how a casino makes money. It is basically the likelihood that a player will win versus a player losing expressed as a percentage. For example, if the house edge is 9% it means that if a customer wagers $100 over say an hour, they are likely to end the hour with $91. This isn’t to say it is a forgone conclusion as it is worked out over several thousands of games.
In online Craps the house edge depends on the bet you have placed:
- Pass 1.41%
- Don’t pass 1.36%
- Taking and laying odds 0.00%
- Place 6 and 8 0.46%
- Place 5 and 9 1.11%
- Place 4 and 10 1.67%
- Don’t place 6 and 8 0.56%
- Don’t place 5 and 9 0.69%
- Don’t place 4 and 10 0.79%
- Buy 6 and 8 1.46%
- Buy 5 and 9 1.32%
- Buy 4 and 10 1.19%
- Buy 6 and 8 0.69%
- Buy 5 and 9 0.56%
- Buy 4 and 10 0.42%
- Lay 6 and 8 1.22%
- Lay 5 and 9 0.90%
- Lay 4 and 10 0.61%
- Lay 6 and 8 0.69%
- Lay 5 and 9 0.56%
- Lay 4 and 10 0.42%
- Hard 6 and 8 2.78%
- Hard 4 and 10 2.78%
Difference between online and physical craps
When playing at a brick and mortar casino, look for the liveliest table and chances are you’ve found the Craps table. At a physical casino you’ll also have the chance to physically roll the dice. Obviously, this atmosphere can’t be mimicked at an online casino. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as exciting.
Playing online has one very good benefit. You can play it for free or for a much lower minimum bet than at physical casinos. The action is also considerably faster online. On top of that it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to claim a casino bonus if you are playing online.
Finally, you might wonder if it is easier to beat craps at an online casino or at a physical casino. Honestly, it does all come down to luck, and the chances of winning at either one is pretty much the same.
Types of Craps
This is by far the most popular online version of the game. It’s pretty much the one we’ve been telling you about until now. Since it is also the most popular version in Nevada it is also sometimes known as Las Vegas Craps. All bets are made against the house.
Ruse Craps, also sometimes known as Crapless Craps or Bastard Craps, is similar to Bank Craps. The biggest difference is that if you have placed your bet on Pass/Don’t Pass or Come/Don’t Come you will never lose if Craps (2, 3 or 12) are thrown. This game essentially has no house edge. That said, it’s rare to find this one online as it’s just not financially viable for an online casino.
Unlike other versions of Craps, Simplified Craps comes down to one roll of the dice. You place your bet, and the dice is rolled. If you roll 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 or twelve you will win. Roll any other number and you’ll lose. See? Simple.
Die Rich Craps
You’ll only use one die in this version of the game. Roll a six to win, roll a one and you’ll lose. Any other number will become the Point number. You’ll then have three chances to roll that number again. If you roll a one, you’ll lose. If you don’t hit the point number, the game resets.
Being such a popular game, Craps has developed its own sort of culture, including a whole set of superstitions and terminology.
Pretty much every type of bet and every possible roll of the dice has its own special name. We won’t bore you with all of the terms, but we’ll highlight a few to get you started and help you fit in at any craps table.
- Bones: Another name for the dice
- Cold Dice: Used when no one is making their point
- Hot Table: When players are winning
- Snake Eyes: Rolling two ones
- Little Joe: Pair of twos
- George: A player who tips well
Since much of gambling requires a fair bit of luck, it’s no surprise that most gamblers are at least a little superstitious. That also applies to Craps.
- Betting Don’t Pass or Don’t Come: Some think that you’ll create a sort of bad Karma if you bet against the player
- Hands up: If a die hits the hand of another player it’s seen as bad luck, and many believe the next roll will be jinxed
- Saying seven: Known as “the Devil”, many players believe you shouldn’t say the number seven out loud at the table
- Rolling off the table: If the dice fall to the floor some believe that the next set of dice will cause an unlucky streak
Strategy of Online Craps
No Strategy is failproof, but there are a few ways you can up your chances of getting a win. Like all casino games, there are whole books written on the subject. So how do you play craps and win? Here are a couple of strategies you can give a whirl.
Bet on Pass/Don’t Pass
The best bet you can make it a casino game is the bet where the payout and the odds are as close as possible. In the case of craps, that’s the Bet on Pass or Don’t Pass. It’s the safest bet to place.
Craps Bets to avoid placing
The worst bet you can place is “Any Seven”, it carries a massive house edge of 16.8%. Although the craps payout seems high at 5/1 it’s just not worth the risk. Same applies to Hard Way 4 and Hard Way 10.
Playing for free offers you a number benefits. Firstly, being free, it won’t cost you any money whatsoever. Secondly, it’s a great way to learn the rules of the craps game. We definitely recommend playing craps for free. It can be a tricky game to get the hang of and to understand, so play for free to avoid the risk or making silly mistakes with real money.
Unlike slots, where you can easily claim Free Spins, you might have a harder time finding a bonus on Craps. So, this really is your best option.
Real money games
The biggest disadvantage of playing for free is that you can’t actually win any real money. If you want to win some cold hard cash, you’ll need to place a real money bet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, online casinos need to be licenced in order to operate. Different casinos are registered in different jurisdictions. If a casino is licenced in a reputable jurisdiction such as Malta, the UK or the Isle of Man you can rest assured that all the games they offer you are perfectly legal and legit to play.
Although Online Craps have become very popular in Canada, they aren’t available at all casinos. Sometimes casinos prefer to focus on one type of game, for example, quite a few casinos only offer slot games because of the high house edge. At other times casinos may have signed an exclusive contract with one developer, and not all developers offer craps as an option.
A great thing about online casinos is that they give you the opportunity to play games for free. Even table games like craps and blackjack are available to a player to play for fun. Sometimes you’ll need to sign up to the casino and other times you’ll be able to try a few games before you do. Playing for free is an excellent way to get your head around a game so we highly recommend it.
Yes, almost every game found in online casinos has now been optimised for playing on the go. Most games are available on both android and iOS devices. That means that you can play Craps anywhere you find yourself with an Internet connection.
Not at the moment. Not all table games are available in the Live Casino. That’s not to say that it won’t be in the future. The game play might make developing it a little complicated. But we’re sure it will become available some day in the future.
Craps is one of the most exciting games offered at any casino. It’s no surprise that it’s often the liveliest place in a physical casino. It’s also plenty of fun to play online. It might take a little while to get your head around all the possible craps bets, but when you do, we’re sure you’ll get into it!