Craps — the Table Game Every Online Player Should Know

How do you play craps online? This might seem like a million-dollar question, especially to the uninitiated. Many players avoid this classic table game because other genres like slots and roulette require less effort. However, the same people also miss out on the awesome return rates of craps, which are some of the best in gaming.

Our experts created this new guide for two main reasons:

  1. To prove that you don’t need a degree in rocket science to play craps;
  2. To recommend awesome casinos for bettors interested in playing the game online;

If you’ve already learned the ropes, feel free to pick an excellent operator from the below table. If not, read on to discover how to play craps easily with zero confusion.

The Best Online Craps Sites for This Year

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The Roulette vs. Craps Table – Explanation through Comparison

It can be argued that craps and roulette are quite similar. Both are table games that come with lots of betting options, and the outcome of the dice throw/where the ball lands determines if you’ll win or lose. If that’s the case, why are most people comfortable with roulette but intimidated by craps?

The main reason is that roulette bets are much more intuitive. You can put money on an individual number, a small or large group of them, or on a color. If the ball lands in a pocket covered by your bet, you win.

Roulette versus Craps

Roulette (top) versus craps (bottom) table comparison

Meanwhile, the craps table is teeming with mystifying areas like “pass line,” “don’t pass bar 12,” “come/don’t come,” “field,” etc. To top it all off, there’s even a weird puck that switches between “OFF” and “ON” for some seemingly random reason. If you’re trying to figure everything out at once, there’s a good chance that you will get overwhelmed. However, if you take it one step at a time, everything becomes super easy to understand.

The Essential Craps Rules for Online Players

Knowing the role of the “ON/OFF” indicator and what the “pass line/don’t pass” bets do are essential to mastering craps online. Basically, when this puck shows “OFF,” it means that you’re in the initial phase of the game known as the “come-out roll.” When betting online with no other players, the puck will always be in this position before you throw the dice. If you enter a live dealer stream or visit a real-life casino, a round might be in progress, in which case the indicator will be turned “ON.” In this situation, our advice is to wait a bit until the puck reverts to “OFF” to start placing bets.

On/Off craps puck

The ON/OFF marker

Most online craps players always begin with “pass” or “don’t pass” bets. These two wagers are polar opposites. If you put money on “Pass” during the initial phase (come-out roll), you’ll win as much as you’ve wagered if the next dice roll is a 7 or 11 and lose if 2, 3, or 12 appear.

Conversely, “Don’t Pass” loses on 7 and 11 and wins on 2 and 3. The 12 usually results in a tie, meaning that your money will be returned if the dice show two sixes. This is why “Don’t Pass Bar 12” is written on the felt. Every craps casino does this to preserve its mathematical advantage known as the house edge. The come-out roll lasts as long as 2, 3, 7, 11, or 12 are rolled consecutively.

Entering the “Point”

We just established how the entire first phase of craps works. But what happens if any other number shows up? In such scenarios, you won’t win or lose anything. Your bet stays in place, and you enter the game’s second stage, known as the “point.” The point is established after a roll of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. Following such a result, the indicator turns “ON” and is placed on the corresponding number at the top of the table.

Craps point phase

The second phase in craps is known as the “point”

From here on out, the dice rolls continue, and the only two numbers that matter are the point number and 7. If you’ve wagered on the “pass line,” the craps rules say that you’ll win an even-money payout if the point number shows up before 7. “Don’t pass” bettors lose if the point appears and win on a 7. Let’s summarize everything:

  1. Start betting during the come-out roll (when the marker is “OFF”).
  2. Decide whether to bet on “Pass” (7 & 11 win, 2, 3, 12 lose) or “Don’t Pass” (2 & 3 win, 7 & 11 lose, 12 is a tie).
  3. The dice starts rolling. If the above numbers show up, you stay in the come-out roll, winning and losing money depending on the results.
  4. If any other number appears, a “point” is established. The rolls go on, and you’ll win depending on whether 7 (don’t pass bet) or the point number (pass bet) appear first.

These are the basics of how to play craps. It’s somewhat lengthy to explain in text, but if you find an online demo and play through a few rounds, you’ll realize that it’s quite easy to keep track of things.

Pro tip: We might be repeating ourselves, but it’s not necessary to master every bet before you start playing. You can have a satisfying session by betting exclusively on “Pass/Don’t Pass.” Once you’re ready to advance, check out the other awesome bets we’ve listed below.

Craps Odds Bets and Other Great Wagering Options

If you want to implement a simple and effective craps strategy, learning about the odds wagers is a must. You can think of these bets as putting extra money on the “pass” and “don’t pass” lines. The difference is that odds wagers become available after the come-out roll.

Since this is a beginner’s guide, we’ll explain how to “place” odds, which is associated with the “pass line.” This is the more popular way of playing, as it grants better payouts than 1:1 and requires you to risk less money:

  1. The craps table doesn’t have a designated area for odds wagers. In real-life casinos, people put chips directly behind their “pass” bet, but that’s not always the case online. The easiest way to figure out the right placement is using the “help” page of an individual game.
  2. Start with a “pass line” bet and let it roll.
  3. Once a point is established, proceed to place the odds wager. It’s better to wager less money on “pass” and more on odds, as the latter has superior payouts.
  4. Both of your wagers will win if the point number appears before 7.

Here’s what craps payouts you can expect when placing odds:

  • 2:1 if the point is 4 or 10;
  • 3:2 for a point of 5 or 9; make sure to bet even numbers ($4, $6, $8) to not get rounded down;
  • 6:5 for a point of 6 or 8;

The “Come” and “Don’t Come” Areas

Come and don't come bets

Once you get a grasp of the two betting groups we discussed above, the “Come/Don’t Come” wagers will be a cakewalk. Basically, “Come/Don’t Come” are “Pass/Don’t Pass” bets that are placed after the come-out roll. This allows you to adopt an interesting craps strategy where you play a game within a game.

For example, if you go for “Don’t Pass” on the come-out roll and get the point of 9, you can proceed to place a “Don’t Come” wager. Now, you’ll have two positions open — if the dice rolls a 7, you’ll lose the latter and win the former, meaning that you’ll break even. If another point number is rolled, your “don’t come” wager will go there. In such cases, a 7 (which is the most likely dice combination) will win both of your wagers.

Should You Try Any Other Bets When Playing in a Craps Casino?

The rest of the wagering options on the table have inferior craps payouts. You can play to your heart’s content without ever worrying about any of them. Still, some bets can be used in certain strategies, so it’s worth pointing them out before we conclude.

The Field

This wager is super easy to comprehend. If the numbers 2-3-4-9-10-11-12 show up, you win. If not, you lose. It’s worth noting that casinos will pay you 2:1 for a roll of 2 and 12 and 1:1 on the rest of the field numbers. You can go for this bet any time you wish, and it will only be valid for the next roll of the dice. Typically, the house edge is 5.5%. If you encounter a game that pays triple on the 12 or 2, the craps casino’s advantage is reduced to 2.8%.

Craps field bet

Place Bets

It’s also possible to directly wager on any of the point numbers at any phase of the game. Again, these will lose if a 7 comes up and win if the corresponding number is rolled. Keep in mind that place bets have worse payouts than their odds counterparts, so use them sparingly. We advise you to prioritize the 6 & 8, as the house edge on them is only 1.52%.

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