Craps: How to Play + Best Casinos (2023)
Craps is a table casino game that was invented at the turn of 18th and 19 centuries. Since the late 20th century online version of Craps has been becoming more and more popular, and in this article, I am going to explain how to play in Online Craps.
It is fair to say that both Online and Offline implementations of Craps are very similar so after this article, you will become familiar with Offline Craps rules as well.
Best Craps online casinos in United States (2023)
(players from United States are welcome)
When I was learning how to play Craps, it was a bit difficult since the rules of the game are relatively complicated (in comparison with some other casino games). But please don’t be discouraged to start, because it is a lot of fun to play in Craps, and I will do my best to explain it.
Craps is a dice game, in which players are supposed to guess correctly at the outcome of the roll. So, as you may have figured out, there are only two equipment items needed in order to play Craps:
A kit of dice which consists of two dices. However, in land-based casinos players are offered with 5 dices initially from which they need to grab any two. Only these two dices will be engaged in gaming process later on. In online casinos, there are two dices from the very beginning since the rolling process is performed by RNG (random number generator) in the background.
A table with a special layout on it. Craps, in that sense, is very similar to some other casino games, like Roulette, for example. Craps table reflects outcomes which players can bet on, and it is basically the only purpose of the Craps table.
Let’s take a look at how it usually looks like.
As you can see, there are many boxes on the field, and each of them reflects possible outcomes of the game (dices roll). Since outcomes in Craps have different probabilities to happen, payouts vary as well (we will discuss them in details further).
Each round of Craps one player must be appointed as a “shooter”. A shooter just throws dice. It doesn't matter who is a shooter, and casino players always gamble against a casino, not against a shooter. Each round the turn to be a shooter comes clockwise.
In online Craps, there is no need to have a shooter, since all results are generated by some computer program. There is no advantage in being a shooter or not in terms of House Edge or RTP. It is just a feature to make the gaming process more thrilling in land-based casinos.
The round of the game consists of two stages, which is called “Come-out” and “Point”, and this is the most confusing part of it as for me.
Stage 1. “Come-out” stage is the first stage of the round, and players have only two betting options: “Pass line” and “Don’t pass line”. But the game has three possible scenarios at this stage:
-“Pass line” bet wins when the outcome of the roll equals to 7 or 11, and all “Don’t pass line” bets lose.
“Don’t pass line” bet wins when outcome of the roll equals to 2, 3 or 12, and all “Pass line” bets lose.
Neither of those bets wins or loses when a shooter hits 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. Only those outcomes trigger a Craps round to proceed to its second stage.
Thus, a shooter continues to throw dices until he/she hits one of these combinations: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. Once it has been done, the “point” is established, and the game’s round proceeds to its second stage.
Stage 2. “Point” stage of the round provides players with a lot more betting options and it has opposite rules how “Pass line”/“Don’t pass line” bets are counted.
At this stage of the round, any 7 (sum of two dices) is going to cause loss of “Pass line” bets, and pointed number will result in a win of “Pass line” bets (the pointed number is one of those: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, which was hit by a shooter in the previous stage of the round, and in the land-based casino a dealer would place “on” button on the pointed number).
Once a shooter has hit either 7 or pointed number, the round of Craps (consists of two stages) is over. But before it has happened, players can bet on some different outcomes. Let’s talk about them.
Bet types, and their House Edge and RTP
First of all, Craps is quite unique in a sense that bets can be divided into:
Multi roll bets that do not necessarily win or lose each roll of the dices. The great example would be a “Pass line” bet, which stays in place until a shooter hits 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12.
Single roll bets are the ones that either win or lose each roll of the dice. For example, any bet on a single number implies that either a player wins by hitting this particular number or loses by hitting any other number.
Also, there is a division on:
Contract bets (they are Pass/Come bets) must stay intact until the full round (not a stage) of Craps ends.
No-contract bets allow players to increase or decrease the initial amount of the bet. They basically include all bets except for Pass/Come and Single roll bets (for obvious reasons since they either lose or win each roll of the dices).
Don’t Pass/ Don’t Come. If the come-out roll is 2 or 3, the bet wins. If the come-out roll is 7 or 11, the bet loses. House Edge 1.36%. RTP 98.64%.
Pass Odds / Come Odds. House Edge 0%. RTP 100%.
Don't Pass Odds / Don't Come Odds. House Edge 0%. RTP 100%.
Place bet can be made on any of these numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10.
Place 6 or 8. House Edge 1.52%. RTP 98.48%.
Place 5 or 9. House Edge 4%. RTP 96%.
Place 4 or 10. House Edge 6.67%. RTP 93.33%.
Field bet can be made on any of these numbers:2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. House Edge 5.56%. RTP 94.44%.
Hardway bets are made on particular number, but they must be formed by the same values on the dices. For example: Hard 4 allows to get it only with 2-2 on the dices (3-1 would be loss)
Hard 4 / Hard 10. House Edge 11.11%. RTP 88.89%.
Hard 6 / Hard 8. House Edge 9.09%. RTP 90.91%.
Any Seven. House Edge 16.67%. RTP 83.33%. This is the worst bet for casino player in the whole game.
Any Craps. House Edge 11.11%. RTP 88.89%.
Horn. House Edge 12.5%. RTP 87.5%.
About RTP and House Edge
As we have learnt from the payouts spreadsheet, House Edge or RTP in Craps can vary in a huge way depending on the type of the bets that a player prefers to make.
So to say, Craps may have House Edge as low as 1.36% (RTP is 98.64%), which makes this game very attractive for online casino players, and much better than all video slots on the market.
But if you were not careful with choosing your bets, then Craps could become really garbage game to play in with House Edge at ridiculous levels of 16.67% (RTP is 83.33%). Though it is fair to notice that this is a rather extreme case, and House Edge lays somewhere between 1.36-16.67% (RTP 83.33-98.64%) depending on particular bet type.