Also known as ‘dice’, live craps is enjoyed by casino players the world over. Enjoying a resurgence due to the convenience of RNG- (Random Number Generator) based online craps, here’s a game of chance that not only brings you massive entertainment value, it also makes you look like a legit casino connoisseur.
Craps is the archetypal casino game and can be seen in countless television outings and movies. Fancy modelling yourself on a James Bond-style character? Craps has you covered. No Martini cocktail, Walther PPK, or commitment anxiety required. Get ready to blow on those (digital) dice.
The craps origin story is one of obscurity, intrigue, and mystery.
Way back in 1788, ‘krabs’ - later reworked to ‘crabs’ - based on an English variation called Hazard - was played on cobbled streets and down back alleys by pretty much anyone old enough to count.
1805 saw the game go global as hazard travelled stateside and found a home among the swamps and casino boats of New Orleans. Local rich kid Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, a scion to a family of wealthy Louisiana landowners, fell in love with hazard during his debauched time in London.
Not only did de Marigny transport the game to a new home where crabs would become popular, but he also simplified gameplay. Sadly, his fancy buddies weren’t taken by this game of chance so de Marigny introduced Hazard to the local underclass. They loved it.
Soon, the game was spreading up the Mississippi River and down its tributaries. To celebrate the game’s newfound popularity, de Marigny renamed a New Orleans street Rue de Craps.
Casinos soon picked up on craps and punters were loving the game - but were playing with loaded dice provided by the house. In 1907, a dice maker aptly named John H. Winn reworked the layout to include the ‘don’t pass’ and ‘pass’ bets as seen today. Pretty much every respectable casino welcomed the change and it prompted the casinos to use fair dice.
Word War II was when craps really exploded. US soldiers would play craps on a blanket as a shooting surface and the game ultimately became the go-to casino outing for post-war Las Vegas and also in the Caribbean.
2004 was the year that saw craps go online and is still enjoyed to this very day.
Casino Craps for Beginners
Whether you’re playing craps online or live craps, you’re going to need to know how to play. While it might be tempting to load up your casino account with funds, find the nearest dice variant that tickles your fancy, close your eyes, and hope for the best, you first need to know the basics.
Let’s start with craps personnel:
- Boxperson - the craps supervisor responsible for chip handling and player disputes
- 2nd base dealer - sat to the right of the boxperson, any player on this side is said to be playing on the ‘2nd base side’
- 3rd base dealer - sat to the left of the boxperson, any player on this side is said to be playing on the ‘3rd base side’
- Stickperson - the croupier with the hooked stick, positioned directly opposite the boxperson
To fully immerse yourself in the game of craps and the glitz and glamour that come as standard, you’re going to need to know how to play. It goes like this.
The aim of craps is to roll a number (also known as a point) and then roll the same number one more time before a seven is rolled. The ‘shooter’ is the player who rolls the dice. There will be a number marked by ‘pucks’ on the layout - this is the number that the shooter is trying to make before a 7 is rolled.
This initial roll is known as the ‘come out roll’ when no point has yet been established.
If the following number that is rolled is a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 then that is the next point of the game. The shooter then tries to shoot without rolling a 7. Should a 7 roll before the point is made, the shooter makes what’s known as a ‘seven out’ - and the next player takes a turn at being the shooter.
The next shooter follows the same set of rules as the previous shooter. This is craps.
When you play craps online, you’ll soon discover that it’s similar to learning a whole new language and this serves as one of the game’s appeals. Common craps terminology is as follows:
- ‘Pass line’ bet - a wager on the initial roll: 7 or 11 wins and 2, 3, or 12 loses. If 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 rolls, the number needs to arise once again before a 7 is rolled to win
- ‘Don’t pass’ bet - a wager on the initial roll: 2 or wins, 12 stands and 7 or 11 loses. If 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 rolls, the number needs to arise once again before a 7 is rolled to win
- ‘Come’ bet - exactly the same as a ‘pass line’ bet, this is often viewed as a game within a game
- ‘Don’t come’ bet - precisely the same as a ‘don’t pass’ bet, this is often viewed as a game within a game
- ‘Field’ bet - should any numbers contained within the field box (the trapezoid shape on the layout) roll, the player wins. Sometimes referred to as a ‘one roll’ bet
- ‘Place’ bet - wagers made on the point numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 that are not considered contract bets
- ‘Proposition’ bet - a ‘one roll’ bet on numbers 2, 3, 7, 11, and 12
Is Craps Any Good?
While the name might suggest otherwise, craps is a lot of fun and a game of chance that can be played by anyone. But before you start laying down hard-earned cash on the line, play a demo version so you’re familiar with the game.
Free-to-play craps games are the perfect way to learn the terminology, betting procedures, and wager limits that are placed on the game. Before you start your craps odyssey, always make sure that you completely understand the rules and are intimately familiar with the specific bets and how much they pay out.
Craps brings players long odds and boosts RTP (Return to Player), giving punters a favourable financial reason to get involved with this casino table game of the stars. For example, a ‘don’t pass’/’don’t come’ bet has an RTP of 98.64%, one of the best RTPs of any casino game on the planet.
There’s also a strong community element to the game and you can interact with other players at the table (chat feature dependent).
Craps is a game steeped in history, excitement, and a fair bit of casino gaming glamour. the rules aren’t complicated but the payout structure may take a bit of time to fully understand. While there’s a fairly steep learning curve with craps, you’ve just got to roll with it.