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A dice game that’s known as much for its glamour (thanks to several starring roles in James Bond films) as it is for its complicated rules, Craps is a fast-paced, fun and thrilling game of many layers; the epitome of what casino games are all about. Made up of two game stages and a variety of bets that can be multi roll, single roll and in some instances placed and removed at will, Craps offers value for money and plenty of action.
History of Craps
The game that we know and love today evolved from an English dice game called ‘Hazard’ which is thought to date back to the time of The Crusades. The game travelled to France, where it was adopted by street gamblers and renamed ‘Crapaud’. As it grew in popularity and travel became more widespread, it then expanded on an international scale, until it reached America and transformed over time into the game we play today.
It’s biggest rise in popularity occurred during the Second World war, as it was versatile and easy to transported; once the war was over, Craps became a regular in casinos worldwide. The main draw was its complexity, intriguing players with an unusual betting structure, multi-layered rules and huge table requiring several members of casino staff to man the game. It became a thinking-man’s choice, with players admired on the circuit worldwide for their intelligence and mathematical skill – thus adding to its appeal.
With the onset of technology and the dawn of the Internet, even more possibilities arose as the game moved online. Not only did it become easier to play Craps - with games available twenty-four hours a day, every day of the week - technological advances also enabled a wider variety of games rules, progressive jackpots and casino bonuses, making this already exciting game even more attractive. And with table limits starting at very low limits, craps suddenly became an affordable, convenient and lucrative choice for those who previously had no or limited access, making it an overnight online success.
The game of online Craps is all about the bets you can place at certain times within the game. You need to learn to recognise what stage of the game is in play, as well as each of the bets before you play. This will make sure your bets balance, rather than cancel each other out. The main bets to learn are the Come Bet, Don’t Come, Pass Line and Don’t Pass and the two game stages to recognise are the Come Out roll and a Point roll. Once you have these basics, you can get started, learning the other more complicated bets as you immerse yourself in the game.
All online Craps games are played with two dice and begin with the Come Out roll (you will see the Dealer button is turned to ‘Off’). This is the initial roll where the shooter aims to establish a point by rolling 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 and players can place certain wagers on the outcome of this initial roll.
A Pass Line bet wagers that the shooter will roll a 7 or 11 on the Come Out roll. If this s the case, you win. If a 2, 3 or 12 (also known as Craps) is rolled, you lose. If, however, the shooter establishes the point, that is your point and the shooter continues to roll until either the point or a 7 is rolled. If the point appears first, the Pass Line bet wins, if a 7 appears first, the Pass Line bet loses.
The Don’t Pass bet is the reverse of the Pass Line Bet and is also placed on the Come Out roll. This bet loses if a 7 or 11 is rolled, and wins if a 2 or 3 is rolled. A 12 is considered a ‘standoff’ or ‘push’, which means it’s a draw and your wager is returned.
Once the point is established (you will see a Dealer Button marking the point and switched to ‘On’), players can make different bets. A Come bet wins if a 7 or 11 is rolled and loses on 2, 3 and 12. If a number is rolled instead, that becomes the player’s point and you win if your point is rolled before a 7. Alternatively, a Don’t Come bet works in the opposite way, winning on 2 or 3 and losing on 7 or 11. A 12 once again considered a standoff and in this instance, your wager is returned to your bankroll.
Other bets to learn include Lays, Odds, Place, Buy, Any Seven, Any Craps and Horn; some are multi-roll bets while others are single roll. Some can be removed at will mid game, whereas others have to stay in place until the result is achieved. Once you understand the basic game structure and betting system, take your game to the next level by learning and including more of these variations. You can use our glossary below once you are comfortable with the game and our software.
As with any casino game, the lower the payout in online Craps, the better chance you have of hitting the winning combination. A quick way of getting to grips with the odds of a bet being successful is to look at the payout table using this rule; you can then balance your own betting system with a range of low to mid-range paying bets, with a nice variety of high and lower odds of winning. You can try out your strategy in Practice mode first to get a feel for the software, and then apply the same logic to your Real Money games to boost your bankroll.
When it comes to players odds versus house edge, there are many things to consider such as how easy it is to hit each specific number, how many number variations are possible, how many rolls of the dice are involved and whether the bet can be removed or not. To increase your odds of winning, research optimal betting for Craps. This provides you with a range of mathematical information that is designed to help you improve your strategy and, in turn, your chances of winning.
You might hear people talk of ‘true odds’ when you play Craps, and this refers to a bet that offers you a payout on the actual odds of winning. These bets have no house edge and the ‘true odds’ bets you can place in Craps are done so on the Come Out roll, in addition to the Pass Line bet.
When it comes to your winnings, online Craps is considered one of the best online casino games to play as it offers better odds overall – the house edge is much lower than other casino games and so you have a better chance of hitting a payday. The best way to improve your odds of winning is to adopt some basic Craps strategy; this will help to prevent you from making easy-to-avoid mistakes and help you to maximize your potential.
Strategy and Tips
Whether you’re starting out or have been playing for a while, there is a wide variety of tips and strategy on offer, designed to help your game when you play online. There are no hard and fast rules and what works for one player may not suit another - it’s a question of playing style and personal taste.
Whenever you adopt a strategy, make sure that you give the concept a fair trial over a set period of time. Otherwise, you won’t see true results. Here are some of the basic concepts and ideas to help you get started.
- Pass Line Betting Strategy This is a great choice for beginners and regular players alike as it has a low house edge. To win a Pass Line bet, you need a 7 or 11 to win on the Come Out roll; a number 7 has more possible two-dice combinations than any other number, so there is more chance of this number hitting. That’s why the bet is such a good choice.
- Come Bet Strategy: Like the Pass Line bet, this is a staple favourite amongst players because it mirrors the Pass Line bet on a Points roll and offers the best chance of hitting. Many players like to place a Pass Line or Come Bet every roll combined with an Odds bet (see below) to increase winning potential.
- Taking Odds: there is a bet in Craps called the Odds bet. This is an extra side bet on whether a point number will be rolled before a 7 and is paid out at ‘true odds’. It has to be placed in addition to the Pass Line bet. Although the Pass Line bet has a house edge of around 1.4%, taking odds significantly reduces the house advantage overall.
- Maximum Odds: When players take Odds, they usually ‘take maximum odds’ which means they keep the Pass Line bet small and bet the maximum possible on the odds. The thinking behind this is that when the combination wins, you win more cash, so it’s the healthier choice for your bankroll.
- Optimal Strategythis term refers to adopting a rigid betting system that is designed to increase your winnings and payouts. Looking at house edge, bet amounts and bet order, optimal strategy is based on a system that intends to reduce the house edge through a playing pattern. Some players adopt this strategy 100% whereas others prefer a less rigid, varied game.
Glossary of useful craps terms
These terms will assist you while you play, helping you to understand the game, its bets and special features.
- Any 7: a single-roll wager on the shooter hitting a 7 using any dice formation in the next roll and pays out at 4-1.
- Any craps: This is a single-roll wager on the shooter hitting a 2, 3 or 12 in the next roll and pays out at 7-1.
- Buy bet: a multi-roll bet on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 but with a 5% commission on your winnings. You win if your number is rolled before a 7.
- Come bet – the initial roll where the shooter aims to establish a point by rolling 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10.
- Come out roll - receive another card to try and improve on your current hand.
- Don’t Come bet: placed once a point is established, winning on 2 or 3 and losing on 7 or 11. If a 12 is rolled, your wager is returned.
- Don’t Pass bet: a bet placed on the Come Out roll and loses if a 7 or 11 is rolled, and wins if a 2 or 3 is rolled. A 12 is a ‘standoff’ and your wager is returned.
- Field bet: a bet on the shooter rolling 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. Pays out at even money except 2 and 12 – these pay double.
- Horn bet: a wager spread 4 ways across four numbers; 2,3 11 and 12. If any other number is rolled, you lose.
- Lays: in addition to Don’t Pass/Don’t Come bets, can be placed or removed at any time after the Come Out roll when a point has been established. Lays bets are placed against the Point of your choice, with each having a specific wager maximum and set payout. For instance, Lays bet against Point 4 or 10 can pay out up to 20x your Don’t Come/Don’t Pass bet, and pay out at half your stake (you have to pay 2 to win back 1).
- Multi roll bet: any bet that can play out over more than once dice roll.
- Odds bet: in addition to a Pass Line or Come bet, placed or removed any time after the Come Out roll. Odds bets are placed on the Point of your choice, with each having a specific wager maximum and set payout. For instance, an Odds bet on Point 4 or 10 can be 20x your Come/Pass Line bet, and pays out at 2-1
- Pass line bet: a wager that the shooter will roll a 7 or 11 on the Come Out roll. If a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled instead, that point must be rolled again before a 7 is thrown to win.
- Place bet: a multi-roll bet on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. You win if your number is rolled before a 7.
- Shooter: the person rolling the dice.
- Single roll bet: any bet that is reliant on the single roll of the dice.
- Standoff: refers to a draw (only possible for some bets) and means your wager is returned to your bankroll.
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