Craps is an exciting casino game, in which players roll a pair of dice and bet on the outcome. It is a game of pure chance but playing it does involve skill and knowledge, and when played correctly, it offers one of the lowest house edge rates in the history of casino gambling. But it was not created overnight – craps has existed for centuries in some form or another and its rules have changed and gradually developed into the sophisticated game we know today.
Fast-paced and offering tons of wagering options for players, it is one of the most popular games of chance alongside roulette and it is featured in the largest casinos around the globe. This dice game comes with seemingly complex rules and extremely rapid gameplay that may easily overwhelm some casino enthusiasts. In reality, craps is much simpler than it looks and players can quickly learn the basics once they start off with the fundamental bets.
In the following sections, beginner players will find the most important information about craps – its rules, types of bets, and even some of the strategies developed by professional craps players. We have also tried to explain the mathematics behind craps in the simplest way possible, as well as the differences between the variations of the game. Like with all other casino games, craps can be played online, so we have also included a quick introduction to several software developers who have excelled in designing high-quality, user-friendly versions of craps.
Craps Table Layout and Etiquette
Basic Craps Rules
The first toss of the dice is called a “come-out roll” and it is considered the beginning of each round. The outcome of the toss is the sum of the numbers displayed on the pair of dice and it can be anything from 2 to 12. Each come-out roll has three possible outcomes:
- 7 or 11 – A roll of the dice, resulting in 7 or 11, is called a natural and all “right” bettors win. This outcome ends the round.
- 2, 3, or 12 – These numbers are known as the “craps numbers” and if the dice show any of them, “right” players lose, while “wrong” players win. The round ends.
- 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 – If the shooter rolls one of these numbers in the come-out roll, this is called establishing the point. The tossed number becomes the “point” and one or more rolls of the dice are required to settle the round.
Fundamental Bets in Craps
Single and Multi-Roll Bets
Also known as proposition or prop bets, these one-roll bets are resolved in the next roll of the dice and players either win or lose immediately. Most of these bets are also known as Service bets and for them, chips are placed at the center of the craps table. It is different, however, when playing online craps.
A good example for a prop bet is Snake Eyes and with it, players bet that the shooter will toss 2 in the next roll. The Field bet is more popular, though, because it wins if the dice land on 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12.View more...
Craps Odds and House Edge
Since craps uses two six-sided dice, the probability and odds for every number are fixed and can be calculated very easily. As we have mentioned above, there are 36 possible combinations in the game, so to determine the probability for tossing 7, for instance, we simply need to compare the combinations for 7 with all possible combinations. There are 6 different combinations for tossing a 7, so the probability of winning is 6/36 or 0.1666.
2Craps House Edge
Remember that the probability of an event happening ranges between 0 and 1, where 0 means that the event will certainly not happen, while 1 means that will certainly happen. Usually, the probability is represented as a percentage, so 0.1666 will be 16.66% (0.1666×100). What about the odds in craps? This term is usually used to represent basically the same thing – the likeliness of an event happening. However, with the odds, we compare the winning combinations for tossing 7 and the combinations, which are losing.
In this case, the odds for 7 will be 6 to 30, which is typically expressed as 6/30 or 6:30 – 1 win to 5 losses. In most cases, the odds are written in reverse and refer to odds against winning – 5:1. The payout for this particular outcome of the roll, however, is 4:1 and this slight difference between the true odds (5:1) and the casino odds (4:1) create a built-in advantage for the casino. And this is the so-called house edge, which for the Any 7 bet is 16.67%.
In other words, players who place this particular bet can expect to lose 16.67% of their total bet ($16.67 out of $100). The overall house edge for the game of craps is 1.41%.
Major Developers of Online Craps
1Allocating Session Bankrolls
New players on the craps table should always allocate a session bankroll, i.e. the money they can afford to lose every time they visit the table. A good way to do that is to separate the entire gambling bankroll for the week into smaller bankrolls – each of them, however, should be enough to last ten different shooters or at least ten rounds of craps.
2Win Goals and Loss Limits
Another method to avoid spending too much money at the craps table is to set win goals or loss limits. It is even better to do both – the loss limit should never exceed 50%, while a good win goal is 30% of the entire bankroll. The idea is to stop before you lose all your money or with win goals, to stop while you still have some profits.
3Winning and Losing Streaks
Winning and losing streaks are a reality in gambling and at the same time, they are absolutely random. Craps players should not continue playing after 6 or 7 consecutive losses (5 losses is even a better limit) and wait for their bad luck to change. Winning streaks are also random, so players can never be certain that the next bet will win.
4Betting Systems to Avoid
Craps players should know that progressive systems do not guarantee winnings and while some of them are often useful for money management, others can be devastating. Negative progressions, in particular, should be avoided at all times, as they include exceptionally high risk. The Martingale, for instance, requires doubling the bet after a loss and returning to the original stake after a win – this could be very risky if the player is in a long losing streak.
Is It Possible to Change the Odds in Craps?
No, the odds in craps are fixed, as is the overall house edge of the game. However, players can choose to place bets with the low house edge in order to increase their chances of generating a profit by the end of the craps session.
Can I Play Online Craps for Free?
Yes, most online casinos offer demo versions of their games, including craps. Playing craps in fun mode is a great way to learn the basics of the game and become familiar with all the different types of bets. Often, players will not be required to even register an account in order to try the craps variation on offer.
Is Online Craps Better than Craps in Land-Based Casinos?
That depends solely on every player’s individual preference – virtual craps in online casinos is a single-player craps and the speed of the game is determined by the player. Usually, the betting limits of online craps are lower and players can check the rules and the payouts at any time. The physical game is much more dynamic and played by up to 8 gamblers simultaneously, which makes it seem much more complex and difficult to play.