Craps is a popular dice game, which is not only a great hit in land-based casinos but also popular online. Learn how to play craps online, including the rules, strategies, bet types, online variations of the game, and more in our expert guide.
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What Is Craps?
Craps, or seven-eleven, is a dice game where you bet on the outcome of the dice roll. The game is fast-paced, and there are two popular versions you can play, namely street craps and bank craps. In street craps, you play against other players, while in bank craps (or ‘casino craps’), the game comes with a table and chips and is played at casinos. In this guide, we’ll focus more on bank craps, but before we do that, here’s a quick history lesson on how craps came to be.
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History of Craps
The history of craps goes way back, with different civilisations claiming to be the first to invent the game. Romans believe they were the first and that it was played more than 2,000 years ago using pigs’ knucklebones as the dice and a shield as the table. However, historians say that the first version of craps can be traced to an English game called ‘hazard’.
Around the 18th century, the game became popular in France and was known as ‘crabs’, closely resembling today’s name ‘craps.’ It was in the 19th century when a wealthy nobleman, Bernard de Marigny, introduced a simplified version (playing for a seven) in New Orleans, America. It took off and was finally called craps. John H. Winn, a diemaker, who came to be known as the “Father of Modern Craps” was the one who came up with new craps rules that guide different versions of the game up to today.
Is Online Craps Legal in India?
Craps is more a game of chance than skill, and so it is prohibited in most states in India. You can always check where your state stands on gambling. However, that doesn’t mean you have zero chance to roll the dice;; you can play craps online on secure offshore casino sites which don’t fall under India’s jurisdiction.
How To Play Online Craps
Onto the big question, how do you play craps online? We must admit, it isn’t the easiest of casino games, and your best bet is to take it one step at a time. However, playing online makes it a tad easier, so here’s a step-by-step guide to follow.
- Choose a craps casino and sign up.
- Head over to the games section and choose the craps version you are most comfortable playing.
- Come up with a reasonable budget to play the game.
- Get ready to place your first bet, the Pass Line bet, on the come-out roll (we will explain more later).
- The outcome will either be a Win (7 or 11), Craps (2, 3 or 12) or a Point (any other number) and will determine your next bet.
- If you get a Point, the game proceeds, and you can place more bets.
- The dice are rolled, and the round ends when your initial Pass Line Bet wins or loses.
Basic Craps Rules
At first, a craps table might look intimidating, with betting options and numbers almost everywhere. And if you are playing in a land-based casino, the game is even more intense, with up to four dealers and fast-paced movements.
The objective of playing craps is to bet on the outcome of a roll of dice, where you can either win or lose. The first roll is called the ‘come-out roll’, played when the Marker or Puck is off. With this roll, you can place a Pass Line bet and getting an outcome of 7 or 11 on the dice wins your bet. A result of 2, 3 or 12 loses your bet, and the numbers usually are called ‘craps’, hence the phrase, aw craps! Inversely, you can place a Don’t Pass Bet, where the latter gives you a win and the former results in a loss.
Getting any other outcome (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) means the game continues. The number becomes the new Point, and the Marker is placed on that specific number on the table with an ‘on’ indication. So, let’s say you throw a dice of 9, and it becomes your Point. Your initial bet will still be active, and to win on a Pass Line bet, you need to get the same value (9) before you dice a 7. If your wager was a Don’t Pass bet, you’d need to throw a 7 before your Point number (9) to win.
A round in craps only ends when the Pass/Don’t Pass bet either wins or loses. The dice will then be passed to the next player for another round.
And those are the simple rules to craps. The only extra thing you need to know is the different bets you can place when playing craps, and we explain them right below.
Different Craps Bets Explained
Besides the main bets, craps has several other bets you can place, each with its payout. If you are a beginner, it’s best to start with simple bets first, as they are more straightforward and less risky.
- Pass Line Bet: As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Pass Line bet is placed on the come-out roll, and a 7 or 11 gives you a win, while a 2, 3 or 12 loses your bet. The house edge for this bet is 1.41%.
- Don’t Pass Bet: This bet works oppositely, and a 2, 3 or 12 wins your bet, while a 7 or 11 loses it. The bet has a house edge of roughly 1.40%.
- Come Bet: On the craps table, you’ll notice a ‘COME’ box, where you place your Come Bet. This wager is placed once your Point (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) is active, and to win, you need to dice the Point number before you throw a 7.
- Don’t Come Bet: Just like the Don’t Pass Bet, this one is the opposite of the Come Bet and is placed in the ‘DON’T COME’ box. You’ll be betting on throwing a 7 before you get your Point number.
- Odd Bets: All the bets we’ve discussed above are even-money bets, meaning their payout is 1:1. To increase your odds, you can place side bets called Odd Bets. They are a follow-up to the four main bets listed above, and their house edge is practically zero! Unlike other bets, you can add or remove them at any time.
- Place Bets: These bets only become active after a Point is established. However, place bets allow you to wager on the other numbers left instead of focusing on the Point. A Place Win Bet is choosing that the other numbers, either 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, will appear before a 7, while a Place Lose Bet is betting on a throw of 7 to come first.
- Field Bet: You’ll also notice a large ‘Field’ box on the craps table with numbers written on it. That’s where you place field bets, and the numbers indicated (2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12) are your winning outcomes. You lose if the dice shows a 5, 6, 7 or 8. Note that you can place field bets whether the Marker is on or off.
Once confident with your craps skills, you can proceed to wager proposition bets. These are bets with higher payouts but are also riskier. However, don’t let the huge payouts dazzle you into forgetting you need to manage your bankroll. If you are still up for the challenge, here are some of the proposition bets you can place:
- Hardway Bets: Betting on a perfect pair on the dice. For example, a ‘Hard 8’ is betting that the outcome of the dice will be a 4 and 4.
- Big 6: Betting on the rolled-out dice to be a 6 before a 7.
- Big 8: Betting on the rolled-out dice to be an 8 before a 7.
- Any 7: Also known as ‘The Seven’ bet, this means you’re betting on throwing a 7. The payout is 4:1.
- The Horn: Betting on the winning roll to be either 2, 3, 11 or 12. The payout is 5:1.
- Any Craps: 2, 3 and 12 are referred to as craps numbers, and this bet allows you to bet on any of them. The payout is 7:1.
- The Ace Deuce: Is putting your money on 3 to be rolled out. The payout is 15:1.
- The Yo: Also known as Yo-Leven or Any 11, here you bet that the outcome of a roll will be 11. The payout is similar to The Ace Deuce at 15:1.
- Boxcars: This is one of the highest-paying bets with a payout of 30:1. All you need to do is bet on a 12.
- Snake Eyes: Snake Eyes, or Aces, have a payout of 30:1. To win this bet, you need to wager on a 2 as the outcome.
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Best Craps Strategies and Tips
Like in blackjack, roulette and poker, you also need to have some strategies up your sleeve if you want the best craps experience. While there’s nothing as random as throwing dice and luck will play a big part in your wins, these tips will definitely increase your chances of winning.
- Play for free first
Being one of the most advanced table games you can play, what better way to familiarise yourself with craps than playing for free? Instead of wagering real money and losing a streak of bets as a beginner, you can play the demo version and learn all about the game until you feel confident.
- Manage your bankroll
Before playing craps online, ensure you have a favourable budget. Stick to your bankroll, and don’t chase your wins or losses, even though it might look tempting!
- Check the betting limits
Each craps table has its conditions, and betting limits are one of them. If you go for a table with a high betting limit, you’ll burn through your funds quickly since the game is also fast-paced – so go for a table with bet limits that won’t break the bank.
- Make Pass Line Bets
Pass Line bets are great options, especially if you are a beginner. They might have a low payout of 1:1, but you’ll have a high chance of winning. If you want to start playing craps online for real money, Pass Line bets are the best to make your debut.
- Avoid Proposition or Prop Bets
Even if you’re a veteran craps player, prop bets remain a risky endeavour. Their huge payouts are eye-catching, but the odds are significantly against you. For example, an Any 7 Bet has a house edge of 16.67%, which is quite high.
- Have a cheat sheet
Since you’ll be playing online, there’s no dealer around to prevent you from having a printed sheet with t rules, bets and instructions. You can refer to the sheet as you place bets to make it easier. Just don’t forget to leave the sheet home if you visit a land-based casino.
- Have a betting strategy
You have no control over the outcome of the dice, but you do have complete control over how you bet. So, having a betting strategy can balance your wins and losses. Some popular craps betting strategies include Three Point Molly and Iron Cross.
Online Craps Variations
From our short history lesson earlier, you could see that craps continues to evolve as different game versions come up. The good thing is that the basic rules remain the same, with only minor changes.
If you choose to play craps online, some of the variations you can find include:
- Bank Craps: Is the most common craps version, also called casino craps. In the game, players wager against the casino by placing bets on a unique table with several bet options. The shooter throws the dice, and the players place their bets.
- Crapless Craps: If you never want to lose a Pass Line Bet, you can play Crapless Craps. The game doesn’t have craps (2, 3 and 12)—hence the name ‘crapless’. The version is also known as ‘never ever craps’ or ‘ruse craps’, and the main advantage of playing it is that you’ll enjoy a lower house edge.
- Simplified Craps: This version of craps is best for beginners because, as you can tell from its name, it’s simplified. The game doesn’t have many betting options, and players can only wager on 2, 3, 4, 10, 11 or 12 to win. You lose your bet if the outcome is 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9.
- High Point Craps: With a house edge of 2.35%, High Point Craps comes with a slightly different gameplay. While you would normally bust your Pass Line Bet when you get a 2, 3 or 12, in this version, a 2 or 3 gives you a re-roll. Likewise, an instant win comes from an 11 or 12, not the usual 7 or 11.
- New York Craps: Even though the game is most popular in the US, you can still play it in India. The variation doesn’t have Come Bets, Don’t Come Bets and Place Bets. What’s also different is that you can bet on the number 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 10, but the casino gets 5% of your winnings.
- Die Rich Craps: Funny as the name sounds, this game comes with a surprising twist. Instead of having dice, Die Rich Craps only uses one die. If you’re wondering how that plays out, a 6 gives you a win on the Pass Line Bet, while a 1 loses your bet. The other numbers can become a Point, and the game continues as usual.
Live Dealer Craps vs Online Craps
There are two ways to play craps: the virtual online version or the live dealer option. For online craps, casinos use a Random Number Generator (RNG) to ensure the dice’s outcome is random. You’ll play a virtual game against the house with no real players.
For a more immersive experience, but without the cheering crowds, you can play the live dealer option. However, live craps games aren’t widely available, unlike live blackjack or roulette. If you look hard enough, you’ll find developers like Evolution Gaming and Vivo Gaming have launched a title or two. The game is streamed live from a casino studio, and players can place their bets live.
Playing Online Craps for Real Money
Yes, you can play craps for real money, but our advice would be to first test the waters with the demo version. Even though you won’t be able to win real money, you’re better off learning the game first with your money intact. Most online casinos allow players to play craps for fun with virtual credits so you can save your cash for later.
Once you’re ready to dive into the deep end, you can deposit some funds and start placing real-money bets. If you’re lucky, you can win real cash, which you can withdraw from the casino.
Playing Craps Mobile Apps
Should you choose to play craps on the go, you can comfortably do it through mobile casino apps or sites. Don’t worry, the craps table will fit perfectly on your screen, and you’ll see all your bets. You’ll also enjoy high-quality graphics and an optimised gaming experience.
Players can download craps mobile apps on Android, Windows or iOS devices, so no one is left out. Otherwise, you can enjoy the instant-play option, where you access online casinos via your mobile browser—no download necessary!
Craps Final Thought
Craps might look easy to play, however, it’s far from just throwing dice and waiting for your win. The game has rules, bet types, and strategies which make it complex – but interesting, nonetheless. You’ll probably not get it perfectly right the first time, so feel free to come back and check our guide as many times as you need to!
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- What are the best craps bets to make?
The Pass Line bets and Come bets are the best you can wager on as a beginner, but there are several others you can try once you become a pro.
- Can I always win at craps?
Craps, like many other casino games, is mainly a game of luck. So, you might land a couple of wins now and then, but you won’t win every time.
- Are there craps bonuses?
If you are lucky enough, you can find a craps-specific bonus. However, there are other offers, such as welcome and cashback bonuses, which you can use on craps.
- Where can I play craps online?
Most online casinos offer craps, so you can easily find it under the table games category.