If you have watched any US movie or TV show with a scene that involves gambling, then the chances are if the people involved are not playing poker, then they are playing craps. While casino blackjack, baccarat or roulette are normally reserved and peaceful, craps tables are anything but. They are usually surrounded by a crowd of people hollering and shouting in that way that American people seem to love.
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Craps is unique among casino games in that the ‘deciding factor’ (the rolling of the dice) is performed by the player rather than a dealer or a croupier. It is also one of the least-found games available at an online casino and if you want to find out why this is to keep reading our exclusive guide to online Craps casino casinos here at NewCasinos.org.
History of Craps
Even though Craps is a game associated with American casinos, the game was invented in England in the late 1700s. Originally known as ‘Hasard’ or ‘Hazard’, this game involved a player choosing any number from five to nine as their ‘main number’. The main object of the game was to roll the dice as many times as you could without scoring the main number. Eventually, this rule was simplified so that the main number was always seven, which is the most common number rolled when rolling two dice. There was also a rule that if the player threw two or three in their first roll, they would lose instantly. Throwing a two or three in the first roll became known as ‘throwing crabs’ or ‘crabbing out’. When the game moved to America ‘crabs’ became ‘craps’, and it eventually became the name of the game.
Craps soon became popular at casinos, but mainly because it was easy for casinos to create weighted dice so they could rig the games in their favour. In the early 1900s, a dice maker called John Winn became so scandalised that more weighted dice were being created than fair dice he suggested a new rule to craps called Pass/Don’t Pass (see below). This rule created more balance in the game, meaning casinos no longer had to cheat to win, but players had a decent chance of winning too. Soon players were playing craps that had the Pass/Don’t pass rule, and all casinos eventually adopted this adaptation.
Other possible bets to craps have been added since then, but now the casino version of craps is standardised.
How to Play Craps at Online Casinos
Craps is a simple game to play – players make bets, a player throws the dice and everyone shouts. Betting on craps though is not quite so simply so craps should only be played by people who know what they are doing and what they are betting on.
Craps is played over a casino table with a craps layout indicating where players place their bets via chips, in the same way as roulette. Usually, a maximum of eight players plays craps at a time. Because of the complexity of craps betting, it can take as many as four casino employees to run a single game.
One player is chosen as the shooter and chooses two dice from five that are (typically) on offer. The shooter MUST place a bet on the ‘pass’ line or the ‘don’t pass’ line.
A round of craps has two phases – ‘come-out’ and ‘point’.
For their first roll, the shooter must avoid scoring 2, 3 or 12. If the shooter does score 2, 3 or 12 then this is known as ‘crapping out’, and every bet on ‘pass’ loses. Every bet on ‘don’t pass’ wins though unless the shooter scores 12, in which case ‘don’t pass’ bets are pushed back to those who made them.
If the come-out roll is 7 or 11, then this is called a ‘natural’, and all pass bets win and don’t pass bets lose. If 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 is scored, then this is called ‘point’. The shooter will then keep rolling the dice until he scores his point total again in which case all pass bets win and don’t pass bets lose. If the shooter scores 7 before he scores his point total, then all pass bets lose and don’t pass bets win.
Once a round has ended, the shooter passes to dice to the player to their left who then becomes the shooter, and a new round begins.
Other Craps Bets
If you look at a craps table, you will notice that there are a lot more betting options that pass or don’t pass. These betting options are explained below.
Come or Don’t Come bets are additional Pass or Don’t Pass bets that – like the Pass or Don’t Pass bets – pays even money. The come bet is a bet on the shooter’s first roll:
- If the shooter throws an opening roll of 7 or 11, it wins.
- If the shooter throws an opening roll of 2, 3 or 12, it loses.
- If the shooter throws an opening roll of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, then the dealer will move the come bet into the box signifying the total of the roll. If the player craps out before hitting point, then the come bet loses.
The Don’t Come bet works in the same way, but completely the opposite way:
- If the shooter throws an opening roll of 7 or 11, it loses.
- If the shooter throws an opening roll of 2, 3 or 12, it wins.
- If the shooter throws an opening roll of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, then the dealer will move the come bet into the box signifying the total of the roll. If the player craps out before hitting point, then the don’t come bet wins.
Not all casinos offer multi-roll bets. These are bets where the shooter has to roll more than once before the bet is decided. You will need to seek the casino’s multi-bet policy to see if such bets are available. The following are all example of multi-roll bets.
A place bet is a bet that a specific number will be rolled before a seven is rolled in the current round. Place bets can only be placed on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. You can also at most casinos place a bet to lose, betting on a number not being rolled before a seven is rolled.
A buy bet is a place bet for which better payouts are made, at the expense of five percent commission being charged by the casino.
A lay bet is the opposite of a buy bet, in the same way, that a place bet is the opposite of a place bet to lose. Again, the odds are better than a place to lose the bet, but 5% commission has to be paid.
Players may place a pass line bet or increase their current pass line bet after a point has been rolled. This is offered at some casinos only and is called a ‘put’ bet.
A bet that can only be placed (for reasons which will become obvious) on 4, 6, 8 or 10. This is a bet on a total being rolled as a double before the shooter rolls a seven. Two fives, for example, is known a ‘hard ten’.
Not offered in all casinos, an easy way is a bet (again, only on 4, 6, 8 or 10) that the number will be rolled before the shooter rolls a seven but not as a double. If the player bets on eight and the shooter roll a double four, then the bet loses. If the shooter rolls a five and a three (an ‘easy eight’) the bet loses.
Big 6/Big 8
A bet that the shooter will roll 6 (or 8) before they roll a seven. Casinos that allow these bets to be made permit smaller stakes to be used than place and other similar bets.
There are a huge number of potential bets on craps, but not all casinos offer types of bets on craps. If you intend to play craps, you should learn which bets are available before you set out to play, and they understand the benefits of all available options.
Successful Craps Strategy at Online Casinos
To the newbie, craps can seem like a complicated game. Indeed, it is, but that’s only because over time casinos had added countless additional bets to the game.
No matter how complicated craps can seem, it mainly boils down to the pass bet which all players at the table usually make. Here, you are simply betting on one of three things happening from the start of the round:
- The shooter will roll a 7 or 11 on their first roll.
- The shooter will not roll a 2, 3 or 12 on their first roll.
- If neither happens on the first roll, then the shoots roll the total of their first roll again before they roll a 7
If any of those things happen, then you win back your bet at even money.
It is the custom with craps to bet with the player, which is how casinos make their money. The ‘fun’ with craps comes when a whole host of gamblers are willing the shooter to be successful and are betting that they are. It is actually more beneficial to bet against the shooter, but doing so is frowned upon. If, however, you are playing an RNG-version of craps than the opinions of other people at the table is not something you really have to worry about.
Your ‘don’t pass’ bet should be backed up with a lay bet against the total with the best odds. After the come out bet, you are no longer betting on the player to win or lose, but on a specific total not coming out. When you think about it, this is a common-sense bet. Say you lay a bet on 10, and the player rolls a 5 as their point total. For you to win the lay bet, the player needs to roll their point total or a seven before they roll ten.
- Winning/losing combos: 1-4, 2-3, 3-2, 4-1, 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1.
- Losing place bet combos: 4-6, 5-5, 6-4.
As you can see, there is far more chance of you winning your place bet than losing, as there are more totals that will win you your bet than lose it.
In ‘craps circles’ betting against things happening is considered cowardly, even though you are more likely to win if you bet against things happening, then betting on things actually happening. Again, with RNG-based craps, this is something that you do not need to worry about!
If you have visited casinos in the USA, then you’ve probably heard the commotion going on around a craps table and wondered what all the fuss is about. Craps is a game that fits the American psyche well – it’s about betting on a fellow player being successful and celebrating that success with them. If you see craps portrayed in celluloid or on TV, then you’ve probably never seen a sombre and silent game of craps going on.
Craps is much less popular in Europe as ‘noisy gambling’ is not popular in Europe either. While the US has the madness of Las Vegas, Europe has the non-hoi polloi of Monaco and Monte Carlo.
Online, craps have not really taken off as a casino game, mainly because it is hard to recreate the social aspect of the game online. There are a few versions of craps that have been made, and you should be able to find one if you hunt around hard enough. As far as we can tell, no software developer has made a live casino version of craps, probably because you need four people to run a craps table at a casino as betting can be both frenetic and hard to keep track of.
As with any casino game, make sure that entertainment is your sole reason for playing, and never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose.
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