The game of craps, with its long and interesting history, has found an excellent place for itself on the internet, and today is recognised as one of the popular amusements at online casinos out there. In this exciting game of chance, the objective is to prognosticate the outcome of a roll of the dice.
If you have ever looked at a craps table, you might be forgiven for holding that this is a complex game because of the various betting options that characterise it. However, upon closer inspection, you will see that the game is simple to learn and extremely enjoyable.
At Casinos Explorer, the first thing we will do, naturally, is teach you how to play the craps game. We'll explain you the rules of the game, the betting options and the roles of the different characters at the table (such as the shooter, the stickman and so forth). We will provide you with the comprehensive tutorial so that by the end of it, you will know exactly how to play online craps!
Top craps casinos
It is seen as a complicated game, however, once you master the terminology and the rules of the craps, the game itself is not as complicated as it seems. Playing online is very popular and has fewer etiquette rules that need to be learned. Practice playing of craps will definitely help you to learn the basics and is a good idea before you tackle real money play.
- The table - Up to eight players can stand around the craps table at one time. The table itself is large and symmetrical with the same bets contained on both sides of the table for easy access for all the players. Of course, in the online version, you won't have situations like this.
- Beginning a game - Every round has a shooter who is the player who throws the dice. The first throw that the shooter makes is known as the "come out roll." Before the action starts, and shooter throws the come out roll, the players must all place pass line bets. The outcome of the pass line bet depends on the come out roll. If the shooter throws a come out roll, that is 7 or 11, the pass line bet wins. If on the other hand, the shooter throws a come out roll that is a 2, 3 or 12, the pass line bet will be a loser.
- Continuing a game - If the shooter throws a come out roll that is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, then that number on the dice becomes known as the point number. The shooter continues to throw until either the point number or the number seven is rolled. If case when shooter rolls the point number before the number seven appear, then all pass line bets win. If the shooter rolls the number seven before the point number, then all pass line bets lose.
- Placing alternative bets - The above bets such as come and pass line are the most common, but they are by no means the only bets that the player can place in a game.
The don't pass line bet is apparently opposite of the pass line bet. When come out roll is a 2 or 3, you win, while if it is a 7 or 11, you lose. If the come out number is a 12, you will tie.
The don't come is also the opposite of a come bet. When the point number has been determined, if a player placed a don't come bet and a 2 or 3 is rolled, he wins, but lose in case the number is 7 or 11. The player can win with 7 before the come point only when the shooter rolls subsequent dice rolls.
Some bets such as Big 6 or Big 8 can be placed at any time. You will win this bet if the shooter rolls a six or eight before a seven.
Place bets are placed after the come point has been found. These bets are placed on specific numbers and players will win if their number is rolled before a seven.
Field bets are also placed on specific numbers. You will win if the shooter throws numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12. When he rolls the number 5, 6, 7, or 8, you will lose the bet.
Tips and strategies
The truth is that there are no craps strategies that will turn the house edge to your advantage. However, there are tactics that you can use that will reduce the house edge, or at least ensure that you only make bets that have the lowest house edge and will thereby increase your chances of winning. These are applicable for land-based and online playing. There are some systems out there that guarantee ways to win, but you should be very sceptical about them, especially if they cost money.
- Decrease the house edge - There are many bets that can be placed in a game of craps with different odds. It is important to know the odds for the bets you plan to place so that you can make sure to only place the bets that give you the highest chance of winning. The house edge will remain relatively small if you follow this important strategy tip.
The free odds bet is an excellent choice as the house has no statistical advantage over the player. If you win after placing a free odds bet, your payout will be doubled. If you combine your win from the free odds bet with the low house edge of 1.41% on the come out roll, your disadvantage decreases significantly. The more you bet on the free odds bet, the less your disadvantage. For example, if you take 2 x odds, the overall house edge drops to 0.61%. If you can find a casino that offers 100 x odds on the free odds bet, the house edge can drop to as low as 0.02%!
The simplest and most reliable bet to place is the pass line bet. The casinos edge for the pass line bet is only 1.41% - lower than other bets. In fact, the don't pass bet has a house edge of 1.36% that is slightly lower than the pass line bet, but this is a bet against the other players, and while there is nothing to say you cannot place it, you will not be popular for it. When playing casino games like craps with so many other players, it is not always the best strategy to play against the others.
- Know your bankroll - A good craps strategy to use is to start small and build up your bankroll. You firstly need to bring a specific bankroll to the table with clear guidelines in your mind of how much funds you have to spend and how you will spend it. Being prepared and not overstretching yourself are essential if you want to be successful and come out ahead when playing craps. It is a good plan to start out betting the minimum amount. While this will not allow you to win big, it will allow you to build up your bankroll. Once you have increased the number of chips that you have, you can then use these winnings to place bigger bets and win big. Do not risk you initial bankroll on big bets. It is a good idea to raise when you win and lower when you lose. Don't quit on a win - use it to win more, but also set yourself boundaries of when to quit.
As with all games, it is important to have a bankroll set aside for this game. Do not bet money that you do not have or that is set aside for another purpose. Losing household expenses money, for example, will make you anxious and therefore not play calmly. This is unquestionably a recipe for losing. Once you have used up your bankroll, quit the game and try again another day.
- Understand the odds - In order to place the reasonable bet, it is essential to understand the odds. Up to twenty players can be standing around a craps table at any one time, plus a large number of spectators. It is a very exciting game with a lot of noise and buzz, and it is easy to get caught up at the moment. If you do not have a clear understanding of the odds of the game, it will be very difficult for you to place the most worthwhile bet. This is also one of the advantages when playing online because you will probably be the only player at the table. The exception is an online casino with live dealer games where is possible to play with other players.
- Which bets should you place? - As a complex game to learn and play, there are several bets that can be placed. Once you have mastered the types of bets that are available, the rest is relatively straightforward. If you remain focused and aim to place the most worthwhile bets possible, you can definitely walk away as a winner in the game of craps. The simplest bet to make and the one that is most reliable is the pass line bet. If you only place pass line bets, you are likely to come out ahead. Don't pass bets with maximum odds usually do well, as well. Come bets are also quite common, but you should only place them if you are ahead, and the current shooter tends to throw a large number of point numbers. Make sure to avoid proposition bets as the house edge is huge. Some players are attracted to proposition bets due to their high payouts, but this is not a good strategy to take.
- Learn etiquette rules - The numbers of players at each craps table can be large, so there are some etiquette rules that are necessary for you to follow. These apply a lot more to brick and mortar craps where you are present at the table then to the online version. You will not be popular around the table if you disrupt the game because you are not obeying basic etiquette rules. Some examples of the rules are holding your hands off the table, keeping your chips on the rails that are provided for the purpose and collecting your money when appropriate.
Please note that table etiquette is taken more seriously at craps than at most other casino games. So, other than basic common courtesies, all players should also adhere to the following rules while they play craps:
- Never say the number 7 out loud. This is considered bad luck and will irritate the rest of the table.
- It is considered bad luck or bad manners to place "don't pass" bets. These bets are the exact opposite of the pass line bet and therefore cause you to root against the rest of the table.
- It is considered bad luck to toss both dice in the air at the same time when preparing for a throw. You can toss one dice in the air at a time but if you toss both in the air, it supposedly invites bad luck.
- Keep the dice in full view of the table at all times. Do not bring the dice up to your mouth and blow on them, don't put them in your pocket, and make sure you only handle them with one hand at a time. If you want to switch hands, put the dice on the table with one hand and then pick them up again with the other hand.
- Have a long-term game plan - Craps is not different than most casino games and require you to be prepared to lose a little on the way to winning. It is very unlikely that player wins every placed bet, but there is no need to become disheartened too quickly. As long as you have a bankroll, stick to it and you will win as well. A generally good craps tip is to raise the stake as you win and lower as you lose. Do not quit after a win - it is a good chance to win more.
- Dice control - The subject of dice control is widely debated by experts and amateurs alike and although it isn't applicable while playing craps online it still deserves to be published in our tips section. Some people claim it is possible to develop a special throwing technique to alter the outcome of the dice. Other people say that dice control in craps is "crap".
You would think that it would be easy to either prove or disprove the theory of dice control, but it is not such a cut and dry issue. The problem with dice control is that it takes thousands and thousands of throws for any element of skill to become apparent. Dice control experts don't claim to be able to throw any specific number on demand. All they claim to be able to do is alter the odds of certain numbers landing so that they can gain an advantage in the long run. In the short run it appears completely random, but as they throw thousands of rolls, a winning pattern begins to emerge.
Sceptics of dice control point to the fact that there hasn't been a single documented case of a dice controller winning at craps over the long run or proving any special ability to manipulate the outcome of the dice. Furthermore, they argue, casinos haven't yet had to take any steps to combat dice control experts. If it was possible to control the dice to such an extent as to make money, the casinos would have caught on by now.
There have been attempts to document dice controllers but the test results have been largely inconclusive. The studies suggest dice controllers have some sort of affect on the outcome but there were never enough trial runs to prove for sure that dice controllers can have a noticeable affect on the outcome.
Setting the dice
Term "Setting the dice" refers to holding the dice in a certain manner in your hand prior to throwing them. One of the most basic patterns for setting the dice in craps is to hold it in your hand so that two of the possible losing sevens are facing outwards. This is done by holding the dice so that the fives are facing upwards and the ones are on the left side. Now if you look on the outsides of the two dice, you'll find a total of seven points. If you open the dice and look at the two inward-facing sides, you'll see another seven. Once the dice are set in that manner, the goal is to roll the dice so that there is a minimal left-right rotation. If you can keep two of the sevens from appearing in this position, you will increase your odds of winning. This doesn't guarantee anything at all and is only intended to make it slightly less likely to roll a seven.
Another popular manner for setting the dice is called the V-3 set. In the V-3 set, you arrange the dice so that both of the threes are on top and form the letter "V" when viewed from above. The V-3 set makes it so that you have a six on top, a six on the front, an eight on the bottom, and an eight on the back. There are no sevens showing on the outside of the dice. Once again, this doesn't guarantee anything but if you become skilled at throwing the dice in the same exact manner every time, you are more likely to see the same results come up more often than they would on a random basis.
Dice controllers attempt to manipulate the outcome of the dice by minimising rotation and spin of the dice. This is accomplished holding the dice with special grips and using special throwing techniques. One of the oldest known techniques is called the "Old Army Blanket Roll". It was used by servicemen during World War II and shortly after back at home. The technique involved setting the dice in a special manner and then sliding them down the table so that they were more likely to land favourably. Casinos quickly caught on to this trick and they added a rule to their craps games stating that all dice throws must bounce off the back wall of the table. The rubber bumpers at the back of the wall ensure a more random throw and are a major part of the reason why sceptics think dice control is a myth.
The current method of throwing the dice involves setting them first and then throwing them just hard enough to barely hit the back wall. By minimising the force with which the dice hit the back wall, you also minimise the randomising effect the wall has on the dice.
The principles behind dice control are simple, but putting them into action is an entirely different matter. It takes hours and hours of practice to perfect your throwing technique, and even then nothing is guaranteed. The key to successful dice control is consistency. In theory, a person who could throw the dice in the same exact manner every time would have non-random results.