Craps is one of the most exciting games to play at a North Carolina casino and online. Often, it’s the game we see in movies to set the scene for an exciting casino experience—people cheering, blowing on the dice for good luck, and dramatic dice rolls.
Craps can also look complicated and intimidating, especially when a crowd of strangers is watching you toss the dice and bet on the outcome. While craps is more complex than other North Carolina casino games, it’s not as complex as it looks, particularly online. Of course, no one is watching you play if you are online.
Craps for beginners—how to play
The game basics are straightforward and easy to grasp:
- Craps is played with a pair of dice.
- Each round is started with a roll of the dice.
- Players at the table take turns going counterclockwise to roll the dice.
- The player who rolls the dice is called the ‘shooter.’
- Anyone at the table can make a bet based on the outcome of the dice roll.
- The outcome of the dice roll is the value of both dice combined.
Basic rules of craps
When you walk up to the craps table or enter a live online game, you’ll see a round On/Off marker. If the black ‘off’ side is up, then players can place their bets. If the marker’s white ‘on’ side is up, the game is in progress, and you’ll need to wait for the next round.
Play starts by betting on either the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass Line.
Placing chips on the Pass Line means you are betting that the shooter will roll a seven or an 11 on the first roll. If this happens, the Pass Line bets win. The Pass Line bets lose if the shooter rolls a two, three, or 12.
If the shooter rolls four, five, six, eight, nine, or ten, the croupier will flip the marker to ‘On’ and place it on the number rolled by the shooter. This number is called the Point. Once the Point has been established, Pass Line bets win if the shooter rolls the same number as the Point before rolling a seven. Pass Line bets lose if a seven is rolled before the Point is rolled.
For example, If the shooter rolls a five, he or she continues rolling the dice. If a five is rolled, the Pass Line bets win. The Pass Line bets lose if a seven is rolled before a five.
Betting on the Don’t Pass line is betting for the opposite outcome. Don’t Pass line bets win on the first roll if a two or three is rolled and push if a 12 is rolled. They also win if a seven is rolled before the Point number is rolled.
- Pass Line
- Big 6/Big 8
The basic bet is the Pass/Don’t Pass bet as described above.
A similar bet to the Pass/Don’t Pass is the Come bet. The difference is that it is made after the Point has been established. A Come bet wins if the shooter rolls the Point number before he or she rolls a seven. The Don’t Come bet is the opposite of the Come bet.
An Odds bet is a side bet that is also made after the Point has been established. To make this bet, place your chips below the Pass Line. You are betting that the shooter will roll a specific Point number before a seven is rolled.
A Place bet is for one of the Point numbers four, five, six, eight, nine, or ten to hit before a seven is rolled. Place bets can be made and removed at any time.
A Field bet is a bet placed on two, three, four, nine, ten, 11, and 12. You win even money if three, four, nine, ten, or 11 are rolled. If two or 12 come up, you win double. You lose if five, six, seven, or eight are rolled.
The Big 6 and 8 bets are placed on either the six or the eight at the corner of the table. If a six or eight is rolled and you’ve bet on either, you win. However, these bets have the worst odds on the table because they pay even money. If you want to bet on six or eight, execute a Place bet since it pays 7 to 6.
Long shot bets
Long-shot bets pay well, but, as the name implies, they don’t hit often. Long shot bets include:
- Hardway—Betting on four, six, eight, or ten, but they must be duplicate numbers: 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, and 5-5.
- Horn—Betting on combinations 1-1, 1-2, 5-6, and 6-6, or all of them.
- Craps—Betting that two, three, or 12 will come up next.
- C and E—Betting on any Craps (two, three, 12) (C) or 11 (E). This is a one-roll-only bet.
- Big 7—Betting on any seven. It’s also for one roll only.
Strategies for winning at craps
Like all casino games, craps is designed to favor the house. Unlike games such as blackjack and poker, in which strategy can reduce that edge, craps is a dice game, ensuring each roll is random.
The best you can do at craps is to play the best odds to optimize your winnings.
Firstly, stay away from the bets in which the house has the greatest advantage. This includes Big 6 and Big 8 bets.
The best strategy is to place a portion of your bet on Pass/Come or Don’t Pass/Don’t Come and put the rest on the odds bet. The odds bet is the best bet as it virtually has no house edge. Because the house does not have an advantage, casinos usually charge a commission to place an odds bet. This strategy reduces the house edge to less than 1%.
Real money craps vs. free online craps
Online casinos give you the opportunity to experiment with craps games without the pressure of putting real money on the table. You can play for free by using the demo mode. In demo mode, you play with virtual chips that have no value, and you don’t pay for them. This is a perfect scenario if you are just learning the basics of craps and the various side-bets. By playing for free, you can play both the Pass Line and Don’t Pass options while also gauging how long you can maintain rolling once your Point is set.
Online craps games that are software-based are regulated by a random number generator (RNG). This guarantees a random result each time you press the ‘roll’ button. Reputable casinos frequently conduct tests on their games to ensure fairness, providing you with the same chance of winning real money online as in the casino.
Online casinos are currently illegal in North Carolina. Lawmakers have introduced the topic to the General Assembly, but until the state legalizes commercial casinos, online casinos remain off the table for North Carolinians.
Comparing the benefits of real money and free online craps
Benefits of Real Money Online Craps
- Playing with real money gives you a thrill that free play does not, even when your bets are small.
- Real-money casinos offer a wide variety of bonuses that increase the amount of money you can bet without risking your own money.
- The opton to play with a live croupier. Several real money casinos now offer live play as an option and it is gaining in popularity.
Benefits of free online craps casinos
- Learn how to play without risking your money.
- Learn the different types of side bets without the pressure of losing money.
- Try betting on the Pass or Don’t Pass Line without the fear of losing money.
- Test different betting strategies to find out which ones work best for you.
- Have fun with the game without having to deposit money.
How to select an online craps casino
The best online casinos offer great bonuses, easy-to-use platforms, ongoing promotions, and a large game selection. As you try different online casinos, you’ll notice big differences.
Here are some of the key items to look for when choosing which online casino to play craps and other games:
- Game variety: Some online casinos offer an extensive library of 600 or more games. Other casinos offer a carefully selected list of 100 or fewer games. While online craps doesn’t have many variations, a big game selection is important if you want to experiment playing different games. Look for a wide array of slots, video poker, table games, and novelty games like Slingo or virtual betting.
- Bonuses: The weighting for craps can range from zero to 25% at online casinos. It’s also important to compare the size of each bonus, the play-through requirements, and the time given to meet these requirements.
- Mobile casino craps apps: All casinos have desktop sites that are accessible from a mobile device’s browser. Some also offer legal casino apps that use geolocation technology to permit play within state lines. If craps is your preferred game, ensure it’s available on the mobile casino apps before making a deposit.
- Ongoing promotions: Online casinos often use loyalty reward schemes to incetivize their regular players. Keep an eye out for regular promotions, specials, and cross over promotions with physical casinos.
- Legal, licensed, and regulated brands: To keep your money safe, stick with casinos that are licensed by the state. A legal, licensed, and regulated online casino guarantees that your deposit and bonus deals will be honored. They also provides a regulatory body to turn to if there are any problems.
- Look for brands with a history of excellent customer support, regularly adding new games to their platform, and making progressive jackpot payouts.
The difference between online craps and live craps
Live craps games in physical casinos display the minimum bet and the odds multiplier. For example, you might see a $10 minimum bet with 5x odds. The minimum bet referes to the come out bet. The odds multiplier refers to the Point round.
Online craps usually have much lower stakes. You can find online casinos in the U.S. with bets starting with as little as 50 cents. This gives you the thrill of the game with a minimal financial investment.
Another perk of playing online is the option to bet on the Don’t Pass Line. In live casinos, the majority of players bet on the Pass Line. Although the Don’t Pass option offers better odds, it means you win when everyone else loses, which can detract from the overall fun at the table for some players. In live casinos, betting on the Don’t Pass is often referred to as the ‘dark side’.
Most online craps for real money are software-based. In some jurisdictions, real money craps is available with a live dealer. In this scenario, a real person is rolling real dice in a remote studio. You place your bets on your computer or phone and the play takes place on a real table in the studio. This setup merges the social aspect of craps while online and you can still place smaller bets.
Understanding online casino bonuses for craps players
When you play online craps, a variety of bonus deals are available. These include welcome offers for new players that match your deposit as well as popular no deposit bonuses. Additionally, once you become a regular player, you can benefit from loyalty rewards and promotions.
Make sure to read the terms and conditions before taking advantage of bonuses and promotions becasue not all online casino bonuses are created equal. For example, make sure your table bets contribute to your bonus playthrough requirements. Understand that different games are assigned different weightings to play through the bounus.
Table games, because of their smaller house edge, are often weighted less than slots which have a larger house advantage. Craps, in particular, can range from being not counting towards your playthrough to have as much as 25% weighting for playthrough.
Now is the time to play
Craps looks complex, but really it can be understood with just a little knowledge of how the game is played and the different betting options. Remember, it’s a game of chance where each roll of the dice is random, and the house always has an edge. But, making the right bets and avoiding the wrong bets will improve your chances of winning.
Craps is an exciting game. Now that you know the basics, give it a try.