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Online Craps

Craps in a casino setting is a game with four dealers and many exotic betting options. If a beginner sees the craps table, dice shooting looks complicated. In truth, craps requires no special skill to play. It is one of the simplest games in the casino, if you have the right advice.

This craps guide provides everything you need to know to shoot dice in a casino. We provide how-to tips on where to play online, how to find good mobile craps apps, and which bets to place. This guide to craps includes beginner and advanced strategy advice, along with a simplified craps pay chart in addition to a list of craps bets from worst to best.

Where to Play Real Money Online Craps

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How to Play for Real Money

Online craps is easy to play. Players need to learn the dynamics of a dice roll to learn the game. Otherwise, the rules of shooting dice are about paying out bets. Below is a quick guide to a standard round of craps.

  • Place Bets: Make wagers by placing chips on the craps layout. You can make one or more bet on each roll.
  • Come-Out Roll: The come-out roll begins play. If the shooter rolls a 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12, then a winner is declared. If a 4,5,6,8,9, or 10 is rolled, a point is established.
  • Pay Winnings: If a 7 or an 11 was rolled, the dealers pay the shooter and anyone who placed a pass-line bet. If a 2-3-12 was rolled, then those who placed a don’t pass bet win.
  • Roll the Point: If 4,5,6,8,9, or 10 was rolled, that number becomes the point. The shooter must roll that number again before rolling 7.
  • Pay Winnings: Keep rolling until the point or seven is rolled, then pay winnings. All bets should be resolved on the same roll.

How to Play for Free

Anyone can play for free in a number of ways, including social gaming apps, tutorial sites, and online casinos’ practice mode. The easiest way to play is practice mode, because you’ll learn the interface you’ll play when you bet real money.

Beginner Strategy

Beginner strategy is simple: only place the basic bets. Basic bets are the pass-line bet, don’t pass bet, come bet, and don’t come bet. The pass-line and come bets have a house edge of 1.41%, while the don’t pass and don’t come bets have a house edge of 1.35%. Those are the highest expected return, so simply avoiding the exotic-sounding bet is the best strategy you can use.

It might look to a novice like the gamblers who bet on the Whirl Bet or the Hardway Bets know what they’re doing. In fact, they are making sucker bets.

Craps Odds

Craps odds vary wildly, so research the house edge on any craps bet you choose to make. Pass-line and come bets have a house edge of 1.41%. Don’t pass and don’t come bets have a house edge of 1.35%. The Place 6 Bet and Place 8 Bets each has a house edge of 1.52%, which are not much worse than the basic bets. The Lay 4 Bet and Lay 10 Bet has a house edge of 2.44%, which is better than European Roulette wagers.

Every other bet in craps is 3% or higher. Most are over 5%, while a great many are 10% to 16%. Those are sucker bets, which you should avoid. A lot of craps strategy is avoiding the sucker bets, though you should be familiar with a couple of techniques.

Expert Craps Strategy

One aspect of expert strategy which is not complicated: taking the odds. A player can take the odds once the point is established. You can take the odds on 4,5,6 or 8,9,10. These bets pay out real odds, meaning they have a 0% house edge.

A controversial craps strategy is “dice control” techniques. Dice control is tossing the dice in a way that some numbers are more likely to appear. Casinos have dice-holding rules to combat dice control. Some craps writers, including respected gambling experts like Stanford Wong, claim that dice control works. Other writers believe dice control is nonsense. In either case, no one can use dice control in online craps, so ignore such talk.

Self-proclaimed craps experts might tell you that varying the bets, especially with a progressive betting technique, will help you win. Betting methods are bunk, because the house edge applies. The Martingale scheme is no way to beat the house edge.

Craps Pay Chart

Online craps pay charts usually are complicated by the real odds and house edge, so I’ve created a payout chart. The following table includes payouts from the highest to the lowest. Be warned that the craps bets with the highest payouts tend to have the worst house edge. That’s common in most forms of gambling.

  • 12 Bet– 30:1 Payout
  • 2 Bet– 30:1 Payout
  • 3 Bet– 15:1 Payout
  • Yo Bet– -15:1 Payout
  • Hi/Lo Bet– 15:1 Payout
  • Hard 6 / Hard 8 Bets– 9:1 Payout
  • Hard 4 / Hard 10 Bets– 7:1 Payout
  • Craps Bet– 7:1 Payout
  • C&E Combined Bet– 7:1/3:1
  • Horn Bet– 27:4/3:1 Payout
  • Whirl Bet– 26:5/11:5/0:1 Payout
  • Any 7 Bet– 4:1 Payout
  • Place 4 / Place 10 Bets– 9:5 Payout
  • Place 5 / Place 9 Bets– 7:5 Payout
  • Place 6 / Place 8 Bets– 7:6 Payout
  • Buy Bets– 2:1/3:2/6:5 Payouts
  • Field Bets– 1:1/2:1 Payout
  • Pass Line Bet– 1:1 Payout
  • Don’t Pass Bet– 1:1 Payout
  • Come Bet– 1:1 Payout
  • Don’t Come Bet– 1:1 Payout
  • Big 6 / Big 8 Bets– 1:1 Payout
  • Taking the Odds: 4/10– 1:2 Payout
  • Lay 4 / Lay 10 Bets– 1:2 Payout
  • Taking the Odds: 5/9– 2:3 Payout
  • Lay 5 / Lay 9 Bets– 2:3 Payout
  • Taking the Odds: 6/8– 5:6 Payout
  • Lay 6 / Lay 10 Bets– 5:6 Payout

Craps History

Dice gambling is one of the oldest games of chance there is. Ancient Egyptians played dice games and Ancient Sumerians might have, as well. One of the first stories in history to describe dice shooting might be in The Bible, where Roman soldiers were said to have “cast lots” for Jesus’s clothes (Matthew 27:35) after the crucifixion. Casting lots (or drawing lots) is defined The Free Dictionary as “making a chance decision by using lots (straws or pebbles etc.) that are thrown or drawn”.

The exact timeline of craps isn’t known, but tradition suggests that craps goes back all the way to the Crusades. As the story goes, French knights brought a version of the game back to France from the Crusades. The French called the game “crapaud”, because dice shooters crawled along the ground like a frog or toad when they played. One thing is certain: the game of craps gained popularity in France sometime between the Early Renaissance (14th century) and the Age of Enlightenment (18th century).

Modern Craps History

In modern gambling history, shooting dice has continued to follow army camps. During the American Civil War, officers on both sides issued orders to stop soldiers from shooting dice. In World War II, U.S. soldiers popularized craps. The “bed roll”, where G.I.’s used government issued blankets to affect the outcome of the dice roll, is one of the first known uses of craps cheating.

Cheating at craps goes back a long time further, though. In April 2018, archaeologists working for the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research found loaded dice in the Vagsbunnen district of Bergen, Norway. They carbon-dated the dice to 15th century Norway, in what was known as a tavern district of the time.

Online craps and mobile craps have taken away the ability for players to cheat anymore, though gambling writers publish books which suggest dice control works in brick-and-mortar casinos. The best way to shoot dice for real money in the year 2018 is to play live dealer craps. For that, you’ll need to find a live casino online.

Live Dealer Craps

Despite the popularity of craps in land-based casinos, you’ll find a surprising lack of live dealer craps games online. The need to have four dealers is doubtless the reason that Evolution Gaming, Extreme Live (Novomatic), GGL, and Ezugi do not offer live dealer craps. We’ve done the research to provide recommendations for live craps online, as well as one alternative to live craps you might enjoy: Live Sicbo.

Vivo Gaming is a provider of live craps to US and international online casinos. Vivo Gaming partners with over 100 online casinos, including Rich Casino, Black Diamond Casino, Spartan Slots, 1xBet, Winward Casino, 21 Dukes, CloudBet, SekaBet, and Golden Lion Casino. Vivo Gaming also has live Sicbo, which I’ll discuss in the next entry.

Playtech Live does not have a live craps, but it does provide live Sic Bo, a Chinese dice game. Playtech Live has individual studios which cater to players from UK, Italy, Spain, and Romania, with more studios to come. Playtech Live supports a variety of popular online casinos’ live dealer games, including Bet365, Ladbrokes, Betfair, William Hill, Betfred, and Paddy Power.

Microgaming Live also has live Sic Bo, but not live craps. The world famous online casino software designer’s live product serves casino sites like Platinum Play, DublinBet, and Royal Vegas Casino. Microgaming’s live dealer games are streamed live from Toronto but unfortunately, not available for Australian players.

Table Etiquette When Playing Craps Live

Craps is the most social game in a brick-and-mortar casino. For that reason, craps has a lot of etiquette rules. In some cases, good manners involve keeping the game flowing. In other cases, good craps etiquette involves preserving the game equipment or the sense of decorum at the table.

  • Exchanging Money: When you want to exchange money for chips, hand your cash to one of the base dealers. These are the dealers flanking the boxman, who stand on either end of the table.
  • Don’t Bet Late: It is considered rude to bet after the stickman moves the dice from the middle of the table. Late bets slow down the game, which ruins the fun for the players and costs the casino money.
  • One-Handed Rolls: When it’s your time to shoot the dice, handle them with one hand. A two-handed dice roll is considered suspicious, as you might try to manipulate them (dice control).
  • Make Timely Rolls: Also, wait until the dealer signals it’s time for you to throw the dice. At the same time, don’t spend too much time shaking dice or blowing on them for good luck. This slows down the game.
  • Graceful Exits: If you win on the Come-Out roll, it is considered rude to leave. The shooter maintains the right to keep rolling the dice after a winning roll. A hot shooter is good luck, so a hot shooter walking away is taboo.
  • No Food or Drinks: Don’t place food or drinks on the table or the cusp of the table. Drink holders are found on the side of the table. Felt tables are expensive and the casino doesn’t want you dripping food or condiments on the felt.
  • No Cigarette Butts: Just the same, the casino does not want you holding a cigarette or other smoking implement over the felt. Butts burn holes in the table that are hard to replace. Smoke if allowed, but don’t hold it over the table.
  • Toking the Dealers: When you have a big win, tip the dealers. If you leave the table on a win, it’s considered polite to tip the dealers. If you do so, drop a chip on the table and say “For the House”.
  • Don’t Taunt Players: It should go without saying, but it’s considered rude to taunt, laugh at, or smirk at other players when they lose. Most craps players bet on the shooter, which instills a sense of camaraderie. You ruin the good vibes if you taunt other players when they lose a big bet.

Playing on Mobile

Most people carry an Android smartphone or iPhone everywhere they go, so mobile casinos have become much more important in the past few years. Mobile craps is available at most legitimate online casinos. To download a mobile app to play craps using an Android or IOS device, follow these steps.

  • Sign Up: Go to an online casino to register an account. Click “Sign In” once you have an account.
  • Mobile Download: Next, go to the mobile download page. You’ll see a link for Android and iPhone/iPad.
  • Download App: Click on the icon of the operating system your device uses. Casinos also offer Windows 10 Phone or BlackBerry apps, too.
  • Visit the Lobby: Once your smartphone or tablet computer has the casino app, click on the lobby and pick mobile craps. You’ll be playing in minutes.

Apps to Play Craps on Mobile & Apps For Craps

To play craps on your mobile device, you’ll need to download a craps app in most cases. If you want a free craps app, go to either Google Play for Android devices or the iTunes Apps Store for iPad or iPhone craps. Windows 10 Mobile craps apps are located at the Windows Apps Store, while BlackBerry store has casino apps for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets.

When you get to the mobile craps app store, look for the following craps gaming apps. I’ve culled the best mobile craps apps from Google Play, the iTunes Apps Store, the Windows Store, and AppWorld.

Apps to Play Craps on iPad/iPhone

  • Craps: Casino Style by Phonato Studios: Craps: Casino Style has a 4.3 rating at the iTunes Store and a 4.5 rating on Google Play. Many iPad/iPhone players prefer this app, because it is free-to-play. Craps: Casino Style has in-game purchases.
  • Aw Craps! by 24x7digital LLC: Aw Craps! is a high-rated IOS craps download at the iTunes Store. Aw Craps! is on version 4.01 and has a 4+ rating, though it costs $1.99 to download.
  • Craps Master 3D by AreaSixtyOne LLC: Craps Master 3D might be the best IOS craps app for those who use iPads. It has a 4.3 rating and 3D graphics, which pop off the screen better with a tablet computer. Craps Master 3D is free but has in-app purchases such a 50-mulligan pack and the “turn off ads” purchase.
  • Casino Craps Pro by MMW Apps: Casino Craps Pro is the best option for international dice shooters, because it supports 9 different languages. Though Casino Craps Pro has the best rating (4.5), it requires a $1.99 purchase to download.

Apps to Play Craps on Android Phones

  • Street Craps Dice Game by G Coding LLC: If you ever wanted to play craps using “street corner rules”, then G-Coding offers the Street Craps downloadable app. Street Craps Dice Game has a 4.1 rating on Google Play. Street Craps is free with in-app purchases.
  • Craps (Free) by gApp Technology: Craps by gApp Technology has a 4.0 rating on Google Play, though it hasn’t been updated since 2015. Still, this free craps app has life-like animations, quick bet buttons, and a drag-and-drop betting interface.
  • Craps Trainer Pro by E7Systems.com: What sets Craps Trainer Pro apart is its strategy performance dashboard, which helps players hone their craps strategy. If you don’t mind paying $4.99 for a craps app, then Craps Trainer Pro provides one of the best craps simulations on Google Play.
  • Craps Counter by LEI: Craps Counter helps players record “which numbers you throw the most”, to help one master “the art of dice influence”. I recommend players take this craps app with a grain of salt, but it has a 4.5 rating on Google Play. Craps Counter by LEI is a hoot.

Apps to Play Craps on Windows 10 Phones

  • Vegas Sidekick by Metal Wrench Productions: Vegas Sidekick is a Windows 10 app for $0.99 which gives players plan a budget for Las Vegas craps, baccarat, or blackjack sessions. Vegas Sidekick costs $0.99 to download.
  • Craps Alone by High Iron Software: Craps Alone is the best simulated craps app on the Windows 10 Store. It costs $1.99 to download Craps Alone but has a 4.0 rating.

Apps to Play Craps on BlackBerry Phones

  • Dice by Future Soft: Future Soft has a craps app on BlackBerry’s Appworld simply called “Dice”. The Dice craps app has a 4.0 rating and a QR code for an easy download process. If the Dice Blackberry app isn’t to your liking, E7 Systems has Craps Trainer Free on the BlackBerry Appworld site.

General Questions & Answers Pertaining to Craps

How much strategy is required in craps?

Not much. In fact, shooting dice is not a game of skill at all. The most strategy required in craps is to learn the various bets, then play the ones with the best odds. Here’s a hint: place the basic bets, such as the Pass-Line Bet, the Don’t Pass Bet, the Come Bet, and the Don’t Come Bet.

Is there one tip that will help my craps game?

Yes, once you learn the basic bets, read about how to “take the odds”. Taking the odds is possible only on certain rolls, but odds have a 0% house edge and they lower the effective house edge one the basic bets. Taking the odds is such a good betting opportunity that casinos limit the practice, usually with signs that say 3x odds, 5x odds, or 10x odds.

Do I have to be the shooter in a craps game?

The shooter in craps is the player rolling the dice. The dice rotate around the table in a clockwise fashion after a shooter loses a roll. No, you do not have to be the shooter if you don’t want to. If you don’t want to be the shooter, allow the dice to pass to the next player at the table.

Can I bet against the shooter?

Yes, it is allowed for players to bet against the shooter in craps, called “dark side” betting. To do so, make the Don’t Pass Bet or the Don’t Come Bet. Keep in mind you’ll be betting against most players at the table. Also, it’s considered rude to celebrate if you bet against the shooter, so be polite.

Is dice control a legitimate craps strategy?

The subject of dice control is controversial among the craps community. Some respected gambling experts claim dice control techniques work. Other craps experts are skeptics or take a hardline stance against dice control, claiming it’s a scam to sell books or videos. Casinos have rules about how to handle the craps dice, which suggests dice control might have some validity.

The two sides have staged demonstrations to settle the debate, with anecdotal evidence suggesting dice control might work. Stanford Wong, a respected writer on other gambling subjects, is a firm advocate of dice control techniques. Whatever the case, dice control is a skill that has to be mastered, so you would have to practice long hours if it does work.

Is craps a better game than roulette?

Yes, if you want the game with the lowest house edge. The basic bets in craps have a house edge of 1.35% or 1.41%. The best version of roulette, either European Roulette or French Roulette, have a house edge of 2.70%.

Even if you get house rules that halves the house edge in roulette (which happens), European Roulette would have the same odds as craps. If you make certain sucker bets in craps, then shooting dice has one of the worst house edges in the casino.

Is craps a better game than baccarat?

Baccarat has a 1.06% house edge for the banker bet and a 1.24% house edge for the player bet, so baccarat has slightly better odds than craps. Craps is considered a more exciting game and a more social game than baccarat (unless you’re in an Asian casino), so the tradeoff is minimal for the excitement of shooting dice.