Online craps is a popular dice game that has been played in casinos for years. It is one of the most challenging casino games due to its complex rules. However, if you know your way around the table, you can beat the game and work the odds in your favor.
How the Game Works Online
Craps is one of the online casino games with the lowest house edge. Many new players often find the game intimidating because of the table layout. However, once you get a hang of it, your gameplay should run smoothly. It is a game of chance, meaning that it does not require skill or any complex strategies to play. Familiarizing yourself with the game’s table and types of bets is important if you are seeking to play and win. More so, the game uses a random number generator to ensure that gaming is fair and there is no predetermined outcome.
The Basic Rules
Although the table for the game may look complex to some players, the rules are fairly easy to follow – meaning you should be ready to play in no time. Part of the reason why the game may look a little bit complicated is that there is a lot to look at on the table. However, the table is actually mirrored; both the left and right sides of the table are identical. Once punters realize this, playing the game online becomes a lot less complicated and it gets easier as you play.
Below are the basic rules for the game:
- The game is played with a pair of dice.
- The rounds of play in the game are conducted with rolls of the dice.
- The player who rolls the dice is called a “shooter”.
- Players on the table take turns to roll the dice.
- You wager on the outcome of the roll.
How to Play
The Come Out Roll
Every starting round in the game begins with the “Come Out Roll”, where players who wish to place a bet need to wager on either the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass Line bet. These are the only options available at this phase. Here, the shooter will aim at rolling either a 7 or 11, and if they manage, all players who wagered on the Pass Line will win their bet. If the outcome is a 2, 3, or 12 the Don’t Pass wagers will win. Once the round is over, another player takes over the role of the shooter, but if none of the mentioned numbers above are rolled, the game moves to the second phase, which is establishing the Point.
The Point Roll
The Point is any number that the shooter rolls other than a 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12. In this roll, the shooter will need to establish the point number before rolling a 7. The wagers on the Pass Line result in a win if they manage to do this. However, if a 7 is rolled before the Point is established then the Don’t Pass Line wagers win.
Types of Bets
Although the Come Out and Point rolls are largely important for players to know, there are many other different types of bets that can be made and they are as follows:
A bet made on the Pass Line on the Come Out roll. This is the most popular of all bets as it has the lowest house edge and it pays even money. If a 7 or 11 is rolled it results in a win, and you lose your bet if the Come Out is 2, 3 or 12.
This wager works the same way as the Pass Line Bet in that it results in a win if a 7 or 11 is rolled in the Come Out, and a loss if a 2, 3 or 12 is the outcome. The only difference is that the Come bet is only made after the Point number has been established.
The Don’t Pass is contrary to the Pass Line. This bet wins if a 2 or 3 is rolled by the shooter and loses if the outcome is a 7 or 11. Here, the Point is established if any other number besides the one mentioned is rolled and before that, the shooter will continue to roll with the hopes of getting a 7.
This bet works contrary to the Come bet, except that it can be made at any time after the Point has been established. Here, if the numbers 2 or 3 are rolled out it results in a win, while a 12 results in a tie. A 7 needs to have been rolled before the Point is established and the Point becomes any number that is rolled.
Place 6 and Place 8
Simply placing a wager that the number 6 or eight will be rolled before a 7. Players can find these types of bets on either end of the table.
A bet usually made in the center of the table. Hardways consist of four numbers; 4, 6, 8, and 10. Punters must roll an exact pair to roll a hardway. Other combinations of 6 are considered soft. A soft or easy number results in a loss.
Defining the house advantage in the game is not simple, as it consists of many different bets with a lot of expected returns. More so, the house edge also varies per casino. For instance, bets at some casinos can have a house advantage of up to 14%. The Big 6 and Big 8 wagers, as well as the Big Round and Hardways, are amongst the bets with the ‘worst odds’ with a 9.1% house edge. Meanwhile, the Field bet has 5.56% going to the house. Such wagers can do a lot of damage to your bankroll if you play recklessly.
A good player will make bets that have the lowest house edge. The best bets you can make in the game are the Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets with a house edge as low as 1.36% and the Pass/Come bets with 1.41% house advantage.
A Look at the Different Variations
There are plenty of games that players can play in casinos, with bank being the most popular one. Each variant follows its own set of rules, betting options and casino odds while also providing entertainment to players. Here’s a quick look at the variations:
The most popular variation which is available to players online and at brick-and-mortar casinos. The game is played using a special table with a unique layout. Players in this variation place their stake on an appropriate section on the table before the dice are rolled.
A simple variant of the game. Here, the shooter only throws one roll of dice. If the outcome is a 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 or 12 then it results in a win, whereas if a 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 is rolled out, then it results in a loss. This variant has a decent house advantage of 2.8%, way better than other games at some online casinos.
Also known as a bastard, never ever or ruse, this is another exciting and popular variant available to play at online casino sites. The game was invented years ago in an attempt to create a variation where players wouldn’t lose if a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled out on the Pass Line bet. This variation is very popular in states such as Mississippi.
Not everyone who gambles wants to stash high stakes, at least not all the time, and low limit is for such players. Low limit games allow you to enjoy the game with the lowest possible pay-ins, so you don’t have to worry about risking your bankroll in one game. Not all land-based casinos will feature low limit, but players can enjoy the variation at many casinos online. Several sites, such as ours, will also offer a low limit for free, meaning that you can play the game without paying a cent until you are ready to play for money.
High limit is suitable for both the standard player and high rollers. These are tables with higher limits. Usually, the minimum bet on this variation will start at $1 with an upper limit that sometimes exceeds $1000. So, the low stakes punter can still play low stakes, while the high roller is allowed to stake higher.
New York Craps
As the name may already suggest, this variation hails from NY. This exciting variation is played on a unique table known as a double-end dealer. It features Come, Don’t Come, and Place bets. Instead, punters will wager on what are called box numbers – 4 through 7, 9, or 10. While it pays true odds to players, the casino gets a 5% commission for all winnings.
This is a variant played on the streets. However, gamblers can organize their street games online and make bets between themselves. This is illegal, as you may already know. Everyone needs a gambling license to run any real money gambling operations.
Usually, on a homemade table, there will be a win line as well as a lose line along the numbers 4 through 6, and 8 through 10.
To start, the shooter will need to place a bet in the center of the playing area and then the other players get to cover a part of or the full initial wager by placing their wagers too. This is called the fading phase, and once the Come Out has been made, the game plays out the same way as standard games. If the shooter throws a natural he takes all the money. If craps is thrown then player bets are returned and the shooter’s wager is split among them.
This does not imply any “get rich or die trying”’ move. Instead, this variation uses an unusual take on the standard game only using one die. This is a much easier game for novice players who are still learning how to play as it is simple to grasp. The number 6 denotes a win, while the number 1 is an instant loss. The other numbers in this variation are used to establish the Point. Usually, the shooter will have three rolls before a 1 is rolled. If not, the dice will get passed to the next player and another round begins.
Another simple version of the game which also follows a different rule. Here, when the shooter happens to roll a 2 or 3 on their first roll, the dice are returned and thrown again. However, if an 11 or 12 is rolled out, then it’s automatically a win. The other numbers establish the point, and the shooter has to roll an outcome higher than the established Point in order to win. The house advantage on a high Point is 2.35%, which is higher than the standard game.
This variation does not feature any Come or Don’t Come bets. Also, the house gets no commission on the right bets. This is the least popular variation and was invented by gambling expert, John Scarney, hence the name. This variation is fun to play and is very rewarding. This variant is only available at selected casinos.
One other variation worthy of mention. These are the latest electronic versions found at some land-based casinos. In bubble machines, glass (or plastic) is used as a dome to house a big pair of dice. Sometimes the machine is used to play the game of Sic Bo which uses three dice. Up to 6 players can sit around the unit and bet on the outcomes of the dice. Currently, the main suppliers of bubble machines are Interblock calling their game “Organic Craps” and Aruze Gaming calling theirs “Shoot to Win Craps”.
Best Strategy & Tips to Win
Just as with other dice games such as Sic Bo and lightning dice, there is no right or wrong way to play the game. There are also no special strategies required to play this game as it is purely based on luck. Once you place your wager in the game, the roll determines everything. So, the outcome of the dice cannot be influenced in any way. However, we have put together some helpful tips and basic strategies to help improve your experience of the game.
- Set a budget – it is important that you set a gaming budget before you play any game, and to not go over it. This will help keep your finances in check and ensure that you do not spend all your money on gambling.
- Play sober and in a good mood – playing online games or gambling at a land-based casino while intoxicated is not a good idea at all. This is because you are far less likely to make good decisions and you could end up spending even more money. This is also the same for gambling when you have had a bad day and are in a bad mood. You are more likely to play out of frustration and this often does not help but rather worsens your situation.
- Choose a variation that you find most simple – there is nothing as bad as playing a game that you don’t understand. So, it is better to choose a variation that you find easy to learn, then further your research and try it out on demo mode before you can start playing for real cash. It is vital to learn and understand the basic rules of a game, the overall gameplay and ways to win.
- Try different bets – the game consists of many different bets. While some have a decent house edge, some have the worst odds. However, this should not stop you from trying out the unique bets. Something that only a few people can tell you is that games with the worst odds actually pay out the most if you get them right.
- Set a win limit – knowing when to cash out is as important as setting your gaming budget. This will prevent you from trying to keep a winning streak for too long until you run out of luck.
- Ace – refers to when a die shows a value of one
- Betting Right/Right Bettor – refers to wagering on the Pass Line. The term is used as most players bet on the Pass Line and it usually means betting with the rest of the table
- Betting Wrong/ Wrong Bettor – wagering on the Don’t Pass Line. This is the opposite of the betting right
- Bones – another word for dice
- Boys – a term for dealers
- Center Field – term for a roll of the dice
- Crap out – throwing a 2, 3 or 12 on the Come Out Roll
- Crap Numbers – 2, 3 and 12
- Hard Number – any pair. e.g. two fours form a hard eight
- Insurance – wager to protect against another wager losing
- Natural – a roll of 7 or 11 on the Come Out Roll
- Seven Out – Rolling a 7 before establishing the Point number
- Working Bets – wagers in play for the next roll
The game dates back to as far as the 12th century when English soldiers were fighting in the Crusades. The soldiers used to play a very popular dice game known as ‘Hazard’, which was far more complex before it evolved to what it currently is today. When Hazard eventually reached France, French people began to play and enjoy the game. Thereafter, French sailors took the game with them to New Orleans and that is how it was introduced in North America and further gained popularity in the whole of the United States. The sailors called the game “crabs” and that is how the current name was invented.
Over the years, the game was modified and became a lot easier to play. Now players from around the world can enjoy the dice game online and its different variations.
Craps is one of the prolific dice-based online games. Unlike some gambling games that need some planning ahead with complicated strategies, you can make some serious money playing the game from the first time you start playing. All you need is to remember that the table is mirrored and memorize the different types of bets. Some games play out amazingly fast, so be careful not to place too many bets at the same time.
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