The game of craps is a Canadian casino staple and is seen by many gamblers as one of the most exciting table games on offer. While the origins of the game are unclear, it is thought to be derived from an ancient English game called “hazard”, which was more recently modified by an American dice maker into the form in which it is played today. The term “craps” comes from the French word crapaud (toad), which referred to the crouched position its players took while playing the game.
With its large table, filled with numbers and wagers, craps can seem like an intimidating game. But in reality, it’s not as difficult to learn as you might think, and as it offers some of the best odds in the casino, it’s worth understanding. The game can also be enjoyed online, where players have the added advantage of practicing in demo mode in the comfort of their own home. Below we’ll go over the basics of craps and try and take some of the mystery out of the game.
Online Craps Rules
The shooter: In craps, players control the flow of the game and take turns rolling the dice. The player rolling the dice is known as the “shooter”, and rolls until he “sevens out” (throws a seven during the point round). In craps online, however, you will likely be the only one at the table and will roll the entire time yourself.
Come out roll: While it might seem complicated, craps is more easily understood when described as a simple game of rounds. The first round begins with a “come out roll”, and is signaled when the dealer turns the white hockey puck on the table into the “off” position.
Placing your bet: Before rolling the dice, place your bet on the table by clicking your chosen chip denomination, then clicking on the appropriate area on the game table. Once you’re ready to start your game, click the “Roll” button to throw the dice.
Types of Craps Bets
Pass Line Bets: The most important bet in craps is called the “pass line bet” which pays out even money. With a pass line wager, you’ll win if a 7 or 11 is thrown on the come out roll and lose if a 2, 3, or 12 turns up. If any other number is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) the game moves on to the “point round”.
The point: Whichever number was rolled to start the point round becomes known as the “point.” The dealer will then place the marker on that number and the shooter will roll again. If the shooter throws the point number, all pass line bets win. But unlike in the come out round, rolling a 7 will make you lose. If any other number beside the point or a 7 is rolled, nothing will happen and the shooter will roll again.
Odds Bets: During the point round, you’ll have the opportunity to make an add-on bet to your original pass line wager. This bet is called an “odds bet” and is made by clicking the corresponding area on the table just below your original pass line bet. Odds bets have zero house edge and dilute the edge the house enjoys on a simple pass line wager.
Craps rules: While it’s dependent on the individual online casinos craps rules, you will usually be allowed to place a much larger odds bet than the size of your original pass line wager. The odds bet pays out true odds, which is determined by the point number rolled in the come out round. This is because some numbers have more chances of coming up than others.
For example: There are only three combinations which equal a 10, while there are four combinations that make a 5. Therefore, rolling a 5 would return more money. In the table below you can see the payout odds for hitting each point:
Point & Odds:
- 4 odds are 2 to 1
- 5 odds are 3 to 2
- 6 odds are 6 to 5
- 8 odds are 6 to 5
- 9 odds are 3 to 2
- 10 odds are 2 to 1
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A low house edge: Another betting option to be aware of is the “craps rules,” which carries a low house edge, but is slightly more complicated than the pass line bet. Come bets can only be made in the point round and can be placed by clicking the “come” area on the online craps table. Once a point is established, come bets work similarly to pass line bets. You will win the bet if a 7 or 11 is rolled, and lose if a 2, 3, or 12 comes up. If any other number is rolled, that number will become the come point. The dealer will then position your bet on top of that number on the game table, and the shooter will throw again.
Bet to your come bet: Now there will be two points in play, a pass line point and a come point. If the shooter rolls the come point before throwing a 7, you win. If he rolls a 7, you lose. Just as with your pass line bets, you can pump up your wager by adding an odds bet to your come bet. Like with the pass line wager, you must wait for the come point to be established before you can make an odds bet.
Against the grain: Don’t pass, don’t come bets are great wagers for their low house edge, but have the potential to anger other players at the table. By placing these wagers, you will effectively be betting the opposite of pass line and come bet bettors, meaning you will be celebrating when most of the table is losing. When you play craps online, however, you’ll have the table all to yourself, so making these bets won’t have any social fallout.
Here’s how it works: If the come out roll is a 7 or 11, you lose; if a 2 or 3 is thrown, you win. The number 12 has no effect on the situation when you’re playing a don’t pass bet. If the action goes to a point round, you’ll win if a 7 turns up and lose if the point is rolled again.
Don’t come: In don’t come bets, you’ll lose on a 7 or 11 and win on a 2 or 3. If a point is established, you’ll lose if the point is repeated and win if a 7 is rolled. You can also make odds bets on don’t pass, don’t come rolls, but the payouts are backwards. Instead of getting 2 to 1 when you win on a point of 4 or 10, you’ll be paid 1 to 2.
Prop Bets: The aforementioned wagers are really the only bets that you should be making at the craps table. The other spaces on the felt are reserved for proposition bets, which give the house a massive edge. Still, if you’d like to test your luck, you can place a bet on any number of things, including betting on single numbers or single rolls.
Craps Strategy Tips
While the house will always have an edge in whatever casino games you play, there are ways to level the playing field somewhat. Here are a few tips to use when playing craps online:
- Stick to a pass line bet when the player is making his come out roll. For these rolls, the house will have just a 1.41% edge.
- Always take the odds bet and wager the maximum. These type of bets serve to reduce the house edge, giving you a greater chance of winning more money.
- Avoid proposition bets. These types of bets pay off handsomely when they hit, but they also give the casino a huge advantage. Unless you’re hoping for a miracle, avoid these bets at all cost.
- Before you play for real money, test your luck in a free craps game in one of our recommended casinos. This way, you can better understand the rules and formulate your craps strategy without risking any real money.
While online craps may look intimidating, it’s actually quite easy once you get the hang of it. While there are plenty of betting options in the game, it’s best to stick with pass line, come bets, don’t pass and don’t come bets, all of which give you the best odds for winning. Now that you have your newfound knowledge of craps, you can test your skills, either for free or for real money, in one of our preferred Canadian online casinos. Sign up and start building your craps bankroll today!