Online Craps

Craps is the grand social game of the casino but if you do not know the rules and odds it can be like walking into a party of old school chums and you know no one. Luckily the game play of craps is simple to understand and the potentially bewildering array of possible bets can be whittled down to one - Pass.

With that point a 7 or 11 on the shooter's opening roll returns even money. A 2, 3 or 12 craps and you lose your bet. Any other number becomes the Point and to win it must be rolled again before a seven. Players can enjoy craps online, gaining experience and confidence before taking their acquired strategies to the casino.

The History Of Craps

Dice predate recorded history, when they were carved from bones or the talus of hoofed animals by early hominid gamers. Dice games that have been cited as ancestors of modern craps are Hazard, an English game that legend has it was invented by Sir William of Tyre and his Knights passing the time while laying siege to a castle named Hazarth, and an Arabic game called "al Zar" which translates to "dice."

The French embraced the principles of Hazard and carried their version to North America where it was popular in French Acadian settlements in Canada and later along the Mississippi River. The dice game was a hit on riverboats that carried to other parts of America. The man who created the adaptation that transformed craps into a casino centrepiece was John H. Winn, who made a living manufacturing dice in the early 20th century. Winn's contribution was to give gamblers and not only the shooter the chance to bet on the dice. The opportunity for punters to bet both in favour of the shooter and against the shooter with Pass and Don't Pass wagers led to the layout that is familiar to craps players today.

How To Play Craps

As many as twenty gamblers can participate in the casino's dice game, with each player getting an opportunity to be the shooter, or dice thrower. Substitutes can be designated to “throw the bones” when a player's turn arrives or the chance can be forfeited to the next player. The dice are tossed at a table specially constructed for the purpose featuring a layout with all the betting possibilities marked out. The table and standardized layout are what help distinguish "casino craps" from "street craps." Once a craps table opens the play is continuous with new players rotating into the game whenever the dealer's button is set to "Off."

A betting round is not "Open" until the shooter completes the "come-out roll." Before that bets on the outcome of the Come Out roll, either Pass (Win) or Don't Pass (Lose) is placed. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 the Pass bets cash automatically; if the total is 2, 3 or 12 it is "craps" and the Pass bets lose. With either outcome a new round starts. Any other number rolled establishes the "Point Number." After that the shooter must roll that number again before rolling a seven to Pass or Win. The Pass bet is the fundamental wager in craps and novice players can join the action making only this bet, which carries a 1.41% house edge.

For experienced players there are numerous other bets to be made at a craps table. The Don't Pass bet is almost the mirror opposite of the outcome of the Pass bet save for the 12, or sometimes the two, which is a push and not a win. Since craps is the most social of all games in a casino and most players are cheering on the Pass this contrarian strategy does not win friends at the table.

At any point after the start of a shooter's round Come and Don't Come wagers can be made on the next roll of the dice. These bets are independent of the original bets in the game and carry the same house edge as the Pass Bet. During the round you can also wager on whether the point is thrown before the seven (taking the odds) or the seven before the point (laying the odds). This bet is restricted to an amount relative to the original Pass bet and pays true odds with no house edge. A similar bet to odds is the Place bet with the Place numbers being the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 and can be made without a Pass bet. Online casinos and gaming houses in the United Kingdom and Australia may also offer a Place to Lose bet which lets the punter back the seven on the upcoming rolls.

A Field bet is placed on any individual roll hoping for any result other than 5, 6, 7 or 8; all wins pay even money although the 2 and 12 return 2-1 or 3-1 at the casino's discretion. Other proposition bets on a roll include Any Seven, Any 11, Any Craps (2, 3 or 12), Horn Bet (2, 3 , 11 or 12), Hardways ( a 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 or 5-5) and others. Proposition bets carry some of the biggest house edge in payouts at the craps table and are best avoided.

Game Variations

Crapless craps, often played online, puts the 2, 3, 11 and 12 in play before the seven is thrown, increasing the house edge against Pass players to 5.38%. In New York Craps there is a different layout and the game does not allow Come and Don't Come bets. In High Points Craps an initial roll of a two or three is ignored and the payer wins of an 11 or 12. Simplified craps reduces the game to win or lose - 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 and 12 are wins and 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are losses; the house edge on each roll is 2.8%. Die Rich is a variant played with a single die that may be encountered in the gambling world.

Tips & Advice For Playing Craps

Players can enjoy the conviviality of a craps table by employing a simple strategy of betting Pass and then taking maximum odds. Beyond that, experience and knowledge of the odds in play will yield a go-to strategy for craps. As a rule of thumb, until you are well-versed in the rules and cryptic language of the craps table do not stray far from the Pass bet. Never play the Big 6 and Big 8 bets; the house edge is much less than on a Place bet on 6 and 8.