Some people are put off craps because they’ve only ever seen it in films or in land-based casinos, where it’s usually played at a very fast pace amidst a noisy and enthusiastic crowd of onlookers, and in such circumstances it can be difficult for the novice to work out what is actually going on.
However, playing craps online gives you much more time and breathing space to appreciate the game more fully. Many are surprised to learn, for instance, that online craps is one of the few games you can play in an online casino with bets that have no House Edge. If you play online, you can play the game at your own pace, so for beginners or those who just like to take a little more time over their decisions, online craps is the perfect solution.
How to play online craps
Craps is a game where bets are made on the outcome when a pair of dice is thrown. You decide whether you are betting with or against the ‘shooter’ (online, this is the casino’s RNG) rolling a specified number (known as ‘the point’) before they roll a 7. There is also a range of side bets that can be made on other predicted outcomes as well. In the example below of how an online craps game develops, it is assumed that players are betting the pass line:
- before each new game begins, players wager on the ‘pass line’
- the dice are then rolled (this is known as the ‘come-out’ roll)
- if 2, 3 or 12 are rolled (known as ‘crapping out’), all pass line bets are lost and a new game begins
- if 7 or 11 is rolled, pass line bets win (paying out even money), and a new game begins
- if any other number is rolled (4, 5, 6, 8, 9,10), this number is declared the point and the game then continues, until either the point number or 7 is rolled
- once the point has been established, players can now also make ‘odds bets’ in addition to an original pass line bet, and ‘come bets’ (creating another point number for the next roll)
- if the point number is rolled first, players who bet on the pass line collect (including any additional odds bets)
- if the shooter rolls 7 first, all pass line bets are lost
- when the shooter rolls either the point number or 7, the game is over and a new game can begin with another come-out roll
How to bet when playing online craps
Although there is a large number of bets available in online craps, the only ones that you should be interested in are come bets, don’t pass line bets, and odds bets.
You can make a ‘come bet’ at any time after the come-out roll, and it essentially creates an additional point number that you are betting on, so that the next roll is like another come-out roll. Your come bets either win or lose in the same way as pass line bets, as described above.
Don’t pass line
Betting the ‘don’t pass line’ essentially means you are betting against the shooter, and the way the game is played as described above is reversed i.e., you win instead of losing if a 7 is rolled before the point number, and you win if 2 or 3 are rolled (although 12 is a ‘push’). Betting the don’t pass line is also known as a ‘wrong way bet’, and in a land-based casino can make you pretty unpopular — however, when you play craps online you can bet the don’t pass line as much as you want, and no-one will scowl at you!
If you’re looking for an online casino bet with no House Edge, then an odds bets in craps is it (which is why you should always take this bet, for as much as you can afford). Odds bets are added on to your pass line bets after the come-out roll, and can be either 2x or 3x your original bet, depending on the point number. An effective craps strategy is to split your bets on any one game 1:3, with the greater amount on your odds bet.
Visit our recommended online craps casinos to enjoy
An online craps table
Although an online craps table and the terms that appear on it can appear confusing at first glance, in reality you can ignore much of it (unless you like taking on long shot ‘prop bets’, which are discussed below). If you’re serious about playing craps, and want to implement an effective strategy, you only need to know about a couple of sections on the table:
- The pass line is where you place your bets before the come-out roll. It curves around the bottom and the side of the table.
- On an online craps table, you click on the area below the pass line to place odds bets.
- There are two don’t pass bars located above the pass line (one on the side of the table, one at the bottom), where wrong way or don’t pass bets are placed.
- Across the top of the table are boxes containing the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. These are used to indicate the point number for each game, which is done by an ON button appearing in the relevant box.
Online craps odds
If you make the right sort of bets when you play online craps, you can be playing against a small, or even no, House Edge — one of the few games you can find where this is the case. Come bets and odds bets are offered at true odds, which means there is no House Edge at all. While not quite zero, pass line and don’t pass line bets have very small House Edges, at 1.41% and 1.36% respectively. However, some bets in craps are just the opposite, in that the House Edge is so large that you are cautioned to stay away from them. Proposition bets (or prop bets, as they're more usually known) do offer generous odds, but bets such as Hard 4 or 10, Big 6 or 8, Any 7 or Any Craps do not offer anywhere near enough value to make it worth your while taking them on — they are, in fact, the classic sucker bets.
Sic Bo is the game that has the most affinities with craps that you can find in our recommended online casinos. Although an ancient Chinese dice game, it remains very popular to this day and has been successfully adapted so that it can be played online. Sic Bo is played with three dice, rather than the two used in craps, and although both games involve betting on the outcome when the dice are rolled, in Sic Bo there is an outcome with every roll, whereas in craps it can take several rolls before a game comes to an end. A table where players place chips to make their bets is also used in Sic Bo, and like craps there is a large variety of bets available on every roll — forty-nine in total — and the odds and House Edge of these different bets vary significantly.
The best aspects about playing craps online are that you can play the game at a pace that suits you and you can bet the don’t pass line as often as you like without being seen as an outcast! Although the game looks confusing, as discussed above, there is much on the table that you should consider irrelevant, and many bets you should ignore, so when you get down to its essence, it’s actually a very straightforward and enjoyable games.