Playing Craps Online For Real Money
Like roulette, there are lots of things to bet on playing the game of craps, but what makes craps stand out so much is the custom of the players at a crap table betting on the same thing, the pass line, and rooting together for it. While you can play against a computer with online craps if you wish, online casinos also give you the opportunity to bet together with other players and enjoy the social aspect of the game. Join us for a tour of online craps.
Online Craps – An Introduction
Craps is one of the classic casino games that really took off in popularity in the second part of the 20th century, and still commands a big piece of the overall casino pie. Craps is the only major casino game that use dice, and people have been fascinated with dice gambling games long before cards or wheels were ever used to gamble.
Craps is not a game that you can just look on with little or no idea of how the game is played, and while craps is not a difficult game to learn at all, you still have to grasp the basics of it. Once a few simple things are understood, players then are fully equipped to play and enjoy real money craps at the highest level possible.
Whether you are looking to play real money craps at a casino or just log into your favorite online casino site and enjoy the game any time you want, we have everything you need to make your craps experiences as good as you can make them.
The roots of the popular casino game of craps goes all the way back to the Roman Empire. The Romans were known to gamble with dice, and gambling with dice then spread to other areas of the empire, first Spain and then France and Great Britain in turn.
We have evidence of a game called hazard being played in Europe which eventually was brought to England during the Norman invasion in the 11th century. It is thought that the game originally came from the Arab world who had a game called yasara, which means playing at dice, and by the time it made it to Spain, the name got changed to azar, which means unfortunate throw at dice.
This is where we first get a reference to the game referring to an unfortunate outcome, a theme which continued when the British changed the game from azar to hazard. A young gambler called Bernard de Marigny brought the game of hazard from London to New Orleans, which set the stage for the transformation from hazard to craps. In the game of hazard, a total of two or three were called crabs, and the French immigrants in Louisiana took a liking to this name, only they mispronounced crabs as craps.
The name craps stuck, and this both fit with the concept of crabbing out which now became crapping out, and with crap being typically used to describe an undesirable event, keeping the tradition. Craps was born, although it still wasn’t in its modern form just yet.
As craps grew in popularity in the United States, its early history was clouded with disreputable operators using crooked dice, and cheating was rampant. Back then you could only bet on the shooter, and operators would design the dice so that it was less likely for the shooter to win than not, which is about half the time with normal dice.
Crooked dice remained a big problem until 1907, when Philadelphia dice maker John Winn came up with the idea of allowing a no pass bet, betting against the shooter winning, to go along with the pass bet betting on the shooter succeeding. The house used to win when a shooter did not pass, but with players being able to bet on this now as well, that put an end to crooked dice forever, as crooked dice could now be used against casinos and bring them down in fact, so their survival now depends on the dice being standardized and completely fair.
World War II saw an explosion with the game of craps as it was very popular with soldiers and all you needed for a game was a pair of dice, which you could take anywhere, even on the battlefield. It then spread to Las Vegas casinos, and then to casinos around the world, and was the most popular casino game for several decades. Even though it has since given up this title, it remains very popular in casinos and offers a social gambling experience like no other, which many players find particularly enjoyable.
Craps In Other Countries
The Basic Elements of Craps
Craps is not a game that is all that intuitive, as uneducated observers would find it very difficult to even figure out what is going on at the table, with players rolling dice and getting happy or sad at moments difficult to comprehend unless you knew a little about the game. A player may roll a 7 for instance one time and everyone cheers, where later a 7 would be rolled and the crowd would groan, for instance.
Craps is not a difficult game at all as it turns out once you have a basic idea of what the object of the game is. There are dozens of different bets that you can make in craps, with most having unfavorable odds, but all you have to know is a few relatively simple bets and you are not only fully ready for craps, you also are sticking to the straight and narrow and not venturing off into the world of side bets which have a bigger to much bigger house edge.
The best way to understand the main betting with craps is to see it as either betting for or against the shooter. Players take turns as the shooter and the player and other players at the table have the choice to bet on the shooter or against the shooter, and this is where the camaraderie comes in with craps.
While you can bet against the shooter, if you do this at a live game, you will usually be looked down upon and even reprimanded by other players who see this as looking to be a party pooper and rain on their party. This might not trouble some players, and we are reminded of the late Senator John McCain, who was a craps lover and famous for his lack of manners at the craps table, even verbally abusing players at times. Most players not only want to swim with the tide, they consider this a real benefit, and this is not unlike a sports team celebrating a win when everyone at the table wins at the same time.
Players start by betting on pass, for the shooter, or don’t pass, against the shooter. The term pass may seem unusual to describe what goes on but this actually came from the French word pas, which means to proceed, and is pronounced like paw in French. This time, it was the English players who did the mispronouncing, and the concept of calling this pass or don’t pass stuck.
The shooter must bet on pass or don’t pass, and the other players at the table may place bets on this as well. The first throw if the dice is called the coming out roll, and in the interest of fairness, both dice are supposed to bounce off the furthest wall, although casinos sometimes allow throws where only one die hits it.
Craps is a pretty labor-intensive game, with 4 dealers at a regular craps table, each with their own roles. During off-peak times, the number of staff may drop down to 3 or even 2 if the table only has a few players at it. Online craps is all done by computers of course, but some real money online casinos feature multi-player virtual games where you can sit with others and cheer together, as well as some offering live dealer craps where you sit at a real table with real dice virtually.
Once the initial dice are cast, the coming out roll, if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11, the pass bets win and the don’t pass bets lose. If the shooter rolls a 2,3, or 12, the pass bets have “crapped out” and lose. The don’t pass bets win if it is a 2 or 3 and push if a 12 is rolled.
If the shooter rolls anything else, which would be a 4,5,6,8,9,or 10, the number rolled becomes the “point,” which needs to be rolled again before a 7 is rolled for the pass bets to win. At this point, players may place come or don’t come bets, which is just like making a pass bet after the first roll, with identical conditions other than the next roll being the coming out roll for these bets. Both pass and don’t pass and come and don’t come are essentially the same bets, with pass bets being made prior to the dice being thrown and come bets placed after the first roll, but bet on the same things.
A simple way to understand this is that when you make a come bet, you pretend that the first coming out roll didn’t happen, and the bet proceeds just as if the roll did not happen. Should the bet not be decided on the next roll, it becomes subject to the point being made or not to decide it. The only line bet that can be made prior to the first roll is a pass line bet, and thereafter, further bets of this nature can be made on subsequent rolls called come line bets.
Both of these bets pay even money. Pass and come bets have a house edge of 1.41%, and don’t pass and don’t come have a house edge of 1.36%. We might think that this would make it more sensible to always bet against the shooter, but we also need to consider that this is much more about seeking the best odds, and if people really wanted to minimize the house odds, they would keep their chips in their pocket where the house edge is 0.
However, we gamble because it is fun, and you aren’t going to make a lot of money making even money bets at craps or anything else unless you are betting big stakes, and most people play craps mostly for the entertainment. Craps has a pretty low house edge overall compared to casino games in general, not as low as a skilled blackjack player would get but comparable to baccarat and a lot better than roulette, slots, and most other casino games.
If you are betting $10 per round, this means that on average it costs you about 14 cents per round, not a lot of money to spend on entertainment like this. When you add in free drinks and comps, this can be a pretty inexpensive night out for what you get back, including the social aspect of the game and the fact that you can indeed get lucky and walk away with your pockets fuller in any given session.
Betting on the Odds in Craps
Aside from betting on whether the shooter succeeds or not, there are a number of other things that players can bet on, often with inferior odds. Making an odds bet is not one of them though, and an odds bet in craps does not have any house edge at all attached to it. You have to make a pass/don’t pass or come/don’t come to be allowed to make this type of bet though, so it’s not that the house will ever entertain action that is not in their favor, but since they have the edge on these initial bets, they are happy to throw in what is essentially a freebee.
Players may take or lay odds at any time, although they only go into effect once a point roll is made, where the dealer places the off button to the on position and places it on the number that is the point.
Odds bets are additional wagers on whether the point will be made or not, and players place these bets by putting chips behind their pass/don’t pass or come/don’t come bets, called line bets. If you take odds on a line bet, and the point is hit, you get paid out the actual odds involved. If a point of 4 or 10 is hit, you get paid 2:1, if it is a 5 or 9 you collect 3:2, and 6 and 8 get paid at a rate of 6:5. These payouts are all perfectly in line with the probabilities involved, which is why they are zero house edge.
This can be used as a strategy to reduce the house edge on line bets, where you pony up additional chips on odds bets and use this to dilute the house advantage accordingly. Casinos set maximum multiples of odds bets to pass line bets, usually 2 to 3 times the original wager, but if you are looking to reduce the house edge, odds bets are clearly a good way to do this.
If, for instance, you bet $10 on pass and take odds for $20, you have wagered $30 but are only subject to a house edge on $10 of it, cutting the house edge by two thirds, where if you are betting pass you are now down to 0.47%, which is even lower than blackjack played with multiple decks and the lowest you’ll find in the casino period. Being able to bet three times the line wager reduces this even further.
You can shave this down to 0.45% if you are up to betting on don’t pass, to the chagrin of the rest of the players at the table perhaps, although this is such a slight difference that few players choose to oppose the pack. This might seem silly but this does take away from the enjoyment of a lot of players, where the sharing in the glory together trumps a couple of hundredths of a percent with a high percentage of players.
If you bet don’t pass, you can lay odds by betting behind your no pass bet, where now you pay the odds if the number gets hit. If you imagine two players at a table, one betting behind pass and the other betting behind don’t pass, and they bet the same amount, one would collect or pay the other’s odds bet directly.
Other Craps Bets
Players can make another type of odds bet called a place bet, with the difference being that you don’t have to place a pass or come bet to qualify. Players can wait until a point is made and place an odds bet but they also need to make a come or don’t come bet along with it, to give the house a piece of the action.
If a player only wishes to place an odds-type bet, they can, this place bet, but these bets have a higher house edge than pass line or come line bets and do the opposite of what line bets in combination with odds bets do, expanding the house edge rather than reducing it. The house edge for place bets ranges from 1.52% to 6.67%, so this places the player at a bigger disadvantage with no real purpose other than just feeding the house more than they should.
This is also the case with a field bet, betting on the outcome of any throw not being between 5 to 9. Even though a 2, snake eyes, or a 12, boxcar, pay 2 to 1, and boxcars even pay 3 to 1 in some casinos, this 3 to 1 still has a house edge of 2.27%, which is better than the 5.56% that 2 to 1 with boxcars has, but still not competitive with line bets and especially not against the combination of line and odds bets.
There are literally dozens of other bets that you can make playing real money craps, but all have odds too high to be considered by astute players, with house edges as high as 16.67%, which is what they take when you bet on a 7 being hit. The biggest payouts at craps come with betting on either a 2 or a 12, which pays 35 to 1, but both have a house edge of 13.89%. If hitting 35 to 1 excites you enough, you may not care, but there are other games such as roulette which pay this much but with a considerably lower house edge if these bigger payouts are your thing.
What we choose to gamble at is never just a matter of the odds, or we would not even play, it is about the overall value of the experience, which includes but certainly is not limited to what the house edge may be. A perfect example of this in fact is how players will bet pass together which makes the game fun enough for them to overlook the extra 0.05% this costs.
Wise gamblers will consider whether the extra cost of a bet overall is worth it or not, and there really isn’t anything about these off the main path bets in craps that really have that much additional value behind them. There’s loads of fun that can be had by betting craps the right way, without having to even entertain betting on numbers being hit the hard way or all of the other side bets that craps offers.
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Real Money Online Craps
There isn’t a single casino game that gives up as much as far as the experience of playing live and in person than craps, and this all has to do with the contribution that the social element of craps makes. Players at a physical crap table team up to beat the house, and this one thing alone drives a lot of players to the game of craps as well as keeping them playing it.
Playing real money craps online, like playing other casino games online, falls short of delivering the same camaraderie, even though you can indeed play multi-table craps online for real money and find these games pretty easily. Being there together with others at a land-based casino is a fundamentally different experience than chatting things like woo-hoo in an online chat box, although this format does deliver at least some of the same feeling and does allow for some social interaction with other players at least.
Both land-based casino games and online ones do have their strengths and weaknesses, and playing online craps for real money does offer a level of convenience that is worlds away from travelling to a land-based casino to play it. By default, we can assume that anyone who wants to play live craps could already do it, if there is a casino handy enough and they wish to make the trip and can justify the additional time and expense, and online craps focuses on all of the rest, those who cannot or do not wish to but still would like to play real money craps.
Those who prefer the realism of a real crap table and real dice and dealers can enjoy the live dealer format that online casinos offer, with other people at the table, with the only real difference being that people are only standing there in front of the crap table making bets virtually, seated in the comfort of their own home.
Online craps have broadened the reach of casino craps from those who can go to a casino to anyone who has the internet, where online casinos are available for you any time of day or night and visiting one of these casinos is as simple as logging in. As long as you are playing at a highly regarded and recommended online casino site, you can be assured that you will be able to enjoy the best craps games this side of the top casinos in an instant and to your heart’s content.
- How long has the game of craps been played around the world?
Craps has its heritage in a European game called hazard, although hazard is different enough to be a distinctly different game. It is more accurate to say that the game of craps has evolved over many centuries where it got closer and closer to the game we know today as craps. Even when the game came to America and started being called craps wasn’t quite the same game, as it wasn’t until the early 20th century that players were even allowed to bet both ways, for or against the shooter, and while most players still bet on the shooter, this significantly changed the game.
- Why is the initial bet in craps called pass and not pass?
Calling the opening bet that the shooter must make before rolling the dice a pass line bet comes from the French word pas, which means to take a step forward, as in proceeding to bet. We can think of the shooter passing the test that is before them with their dice or not passing this test to easily remember what these bets mean. Craps players can bet on either outcome by making a pass bet if they want to win with the shooter or don’t pass if they are betting the shooter won’t pass the test.
- Why do players like to bet with the shooter rather than against the shooter?
Players take turns throwing the dice, being the shooter, and while they do need to make a pass line bet, and can bet on either pass or don’t pass, they almost always choose pass to bet on. There is no particular good reason to bet this way and in fact the odds are a little better with the don’t pass bet, but by only 0.05%. With the shooter betting on pass, players at the other table tend to join this bet, and players can even be socially reprimanded by going against the flow at the table, where wins are seen as more exciting when everyone wins together.
- What is the difference between a pass line bet and a come line bet?
There are two scenarios in a craps game, where the dice are first rolled to see if a 2,3,7,11, or 12 is rolled or if a 220.127.116.11.9,or 10 are rolled. A pass line bet applies only to the initial roll, and players may win or lose depending on the outcome of this roll, or have their bets remain in play if a point is made to see if the point can be hit again to win. A come bet does the same thing but it picks this all up after the first roll is made, where the next throw decides the outcome of this first round, allowing players to still bet on a 7 or 11 to win or a 2,3, or 12 to lose.
- What are odds bets and why are they the best bet in the casino?
Odds bets are direct bets on a shooter making their point or not. You can place these ahead of time and should the game conclude prior to a point being set, the bet remains in play in the next game if the bettor chooses to leave it there. You need to make a line bet before you can place an odds bet though, and the big reason is that odds bets have no house advantage and they want to have at least a small advantage against all players. If you place an odds bet, and the point is made, you collect, and if you lay odds by betting against the point being made and is not hit, you win.
- How do craps players reduce the house edge by using line bets and odds bets together?
If not for the requirement of needing to make a line bet like a pass/don’t pass or come/don’t come, there really wouldn’t be a reason to bet on anything else but odds bets because they don’t come with a house edge, where line bets do. You need to give the house the opportunity to make money from your play over time or they won’t let you play there, but you want your odds bet to be as large as it can be relative to your accompanying line bet. Since casinos usually allow two to three times an odd bet as a line bet, this is the correct proportion to dilute the house edge on line bets as much as possible.
- Do players need to worry about crooked dice or crooked virtual dice when playing craps?
As long as you are playing craps at a casino, with the traditional craps layout, and not just in a back alley, you can be assured that all rolls are fair. While crooked dice are always a possibility in a casual dice gambling game, playing real craps allows us to bet on both the success and failure of the shooter. If casinos biased rolls to either have shooters winning too much or not enough than probability would dictate, this would allow players to bet the side that is cheating and bring down the casino. Casinos must have fair rolls, either live games or virtual ones.
- Do real money online casinos allow you to enjoy the game of craps on your devices?
Craps is a game that is well enjoyed by a great number of online casino players, even though it is more of a niche for sure than playing slots are, which has a much broader appeal. There are more than enough craps lovers at online casinos to not only make the game make sense to offer, but for it to take its place among the most popular real money casino table games that they offer. Players can enjoy playing craps at any time they wish now, by just logging into online casinos from either their computers or from their mobile devices.
- How has remote live dealer crap games bridged the gap between live and online play?
Online craps or online gambling in general is much more like a video game than a casino table game, where all of the elements are represented graphically but the graphics are created by computers. Live dealer crap games actually use real crap tables at casinos, sent to players by way of a video feed that the online casino provides, where all the action unfolds right before your eyes in real time just like if you were at this casino, which a lot of players prefer. You can have it both ways at leading online casinos.
- How do you know if you are playing craps at a trusted real money online casino?
Just like we would not just want to go to a random casino before at least having some sense of what the options out there are and how the choices we have may stack up against one another, you especially do not want to be doing this when selecting an online casino to play real money craps or anything else at. Just like you would want to ask the experts about land-based casinos, it’s even more important to get expert advice to even know whether an online casino is even worthy of our play.