Online Craps Guide

Craps is a popular dice game played using a pair of dice. It goes back hundreds of years and is rumoured to have been played as far back as the Crusades. The Craps game is sometimes known as ‘shooting dice' and the word ‘craps' is believed to derive from ‘crapaud'. This is the French word for ‘toad', because of the squatting posture that craps players adopted when playing the game in the street. But craps eventually gravitated from its street origins to casinos and online casinos.

Back in the early days of online casinos, craps was one of the first well-known casino games to make the transition online. As it was relatively easy for programmers to simulate the action of dice. Now, in every part of South Africa, online gamblers can play casino craps at their convenience, in the comfort of their own homes, or on their mobile devices.

In craps games, players wager on the outcome of the roll of the dice. Player bets can be against other players (street craps) or the bank (casino craps). Casino craps is played over a craps table which is a rectangular bathtub-looking arena for the players. Craps tables are usually coordinated by four four casino employees. 1 Boxman, 2 Base Dealers, and 1 Stickman are needed at large craps tables, while mini tables require only two dealers.

In this online craps game guide, we will help you learn how to play craps by covering various aspects of the game. Players will learn the rules of the game, how to place bets, types of bets, craps game rules, the craps table, and its parts. Here is all you need to know about craps games below.

By Adiela de Bruyn - Updated 2024/02/08 - Estimated reading time: 22 minutes.

Table of contents

Online Craps Guide

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Online Craps Basics

Casino craps is a simple game that involves between one to twenty players wagering on the outcome of two dice. When you play online craps, you will see the available bet types laid out on a table grid. Many of these bets have strange-sounding names and may be hard for new players to follow. The advantage of playing craps online is that you can study these bets in detail at your leisure.

Most South African online casinos will have a helpful information section containing the craps rules or allow you to play the game in fun mode. This gives you a chance to familiarise yourself with the various craps rules and bets without risking any real money.

When the shooter (player who rolls the pair of dice) throws the dice, there are three possible outcomes which are:

  • Natural: A Natural occurs when the shooter rolls a 7 or an 11. This is a good outcome for the shooter because they are allowed to roll again.
  • Crapping Out: When the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12, the player is considered to have crapped out. This means that the player has lost their roll of the dice but they get another chance to roll.
  • Point Roll: If the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 then they have rolled a point. When you play craps online the point is marked using an "ON" button, which appears on the number of the chosen bets.

What should every new player know about playing at the craps table? Whether you're hightailing it in Las Vegas or playing online at your favourite casino, players must follow the same rules. Here are the basic rules all craps players must know:

  • All craps games start with a pass line bet. Pass line bets wager that the dice roll will land on a 7 or 11 which will 'pass the line' or a 2, 3, or 12 (don't pass bet).
  • The game starts with the first roll of the dice done by the Shooter, called the come out roll.
  • If the dice lands on a 7 or 11 after the come out roll then all pass line bets win. Alternatively, if the dice lands on 2, 3, or 12, then don't pass bets are the winning bets. If neither of these happens, the bets remain active till subsequent dice rolls.
  • A point is established when the dice lands on any numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 from the come out roll. The game continues until the shooter rolls a 7 or the point number is rolled. All bets remain intact after the point is established.
  • After the point is set, players are free to place additional bets. Some bets players can take include the dice landing on the point, the dice landing on a new number, or maintaining their initial pass line bet (or don't pass).
  • The shooter rolls the dice until it lands on a 7 or point. Players are free to add bets as the shooter rolls.
  • If the shooter rolls a 7 before the point, all pass line bets lose, and if the point is rolled, all pass line bets win.

These are the basic rules gamblers must understand to play craps online. With the understanding of these rules, players can better strategize at craps games. Now that you understand how the game works, it's time to learn about the craps table.

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Craps Table Layout

The craps table is a rectangular-shaped, two-sided table with markings. Each of these markings demarcates the types of bets gamblers can place. To gain an edge when playing craps, gamblers must learn how the craps table works and how to place bets. The craps table is bordered on all sides to create a backstop for the dice, while the centre of the table contains the markings for the bets.

The centre of the table contains the different types of available bets a player can choose. It is where players use their chips to select the bet they want. When playing craps, there is a maximum bet and minimum bet allowed for each craps game. Players are encouraged to learn the maximum and minimum bets before they start to place a bet.

Craps tables can hold up to 20 players per round but casinos have created mini tables that handle fewer players. As you learn craps and its nuances, you will understand how each bet works and the best craps strategies you can use to win craps games.

Now that you have learned about the craps table, it is important to learn about the types of bets you can place.

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Types of Craps Bets

As a new player, you must have heard about the different types of bets available but you may not know what they stand for. Some of the bets available at craps games include pass line bets, don't pass bets, proposition bets, come bets, field bets, place bets, come bets, and other bets. These bets shape how gamblers play craps and determine the strategies players use. Here are some of the available bets in casino craps:

The Pass Line Bet

The pass line bet is considered to be the simplest bet in the game and it is usually recommended to new players. On the craps table, the pass line is located at the bottom section of the craps table. This bet wins if the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 and loses if the shooter rolls a 2, 3, or 12. Any other number combination that is rolled keeps the bets in place and establishes a point. If the shooter rolls the same number as before rolling a 7 the pass line wins but if a 7 is rolled before the point number then the bet loses.

The pass line bet pays even money and it is considered to be a contract bet. Contract bets cannot be turned off, altered, or taken down until an outcome is reached. The pass line bet can only be used before the come out roll and the establishment of a point. The only exception is at casino games where the rules allow players to make pass line bets and additional bets at any time. This bet has a house edge of 1.41% which makes it one of the lowest house edge in the game.

Don't Pass Bar Bet

The don't pass bet is the opposite of pass line bets. In this bet, players wager that the shooter rolls a 2 or 3, on the come out roll. If the shooter gets a 7 or 11 on their initial roll, the bet loses. If the roll of the dice produces a 12 then the bet is considered to be a push (the bet is not won or lost). Some variations have the push on number 2 and the win on 12, while some craps games allow users to choose which number they would like to push.

After a point is established, if a 7 is rolled before the point is rolled again then the bet wins. If the point is rolled again before a 7 is rolled then the bet loses. The don't pass bet is a no-contract bet which means that players can change and alter their bets at any time. If a player chooses to remove their don't pass bets they will be unable to place the bet again. Don't pass line bets pay even money on bet wins and the house edge is 1.41%.

Come Bet

The Come bet is made after one dice roll and points have been established. The come bet is located at the top of the craps table above the Field section. Come bets are additional bets made to determine the outcome of the follow-up throw after the come out. Only one come bet is allowed per roll and it must be within the betting range allowed in the game.

In a come bet, players wager on the point number from the shooter's next throw regardless of the betting round. If the shooter throws a 7 or 11, the bet wins, and if they roll a 2, 3, or 12 the bet loses. Alternatively, if the player rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 the bet is moved by the dealer to the corresponding number, and it is regarded as a come bet point. The come bet point allows players to take odds like pass line bets.

The come bet is a contract bet which means that it remains active till a resolution is reached. Although the bet can not be turned off or removed, players are allowed to reduce or turn off the odds behind the come bet. If the player turns off the odds bet and the shooter sevens-out or hits the come bet point, the bet is lost or doubled and the come odds are returned.

Don't Come Bet

The don't come bet in craps is the opposite of the come bet. Players wager that the shooter will throw a 2 or 3 on the next roll of the dice after the point has been established. If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 then the bet loses but if it is a 12 then it becomes a push. The numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 will get the bet moved to the corresponding number that was thrown. Players are allowed to play come and don't come bets on the same roll if they desire.

The don't come bet is a no contract bet that can be removed or reduced after a don't come point has been established, but it cannot be turned off except when the bet is removed. Players are allowed to call a "No Action" when a point is established to prevent the point from being moved to the point. To increase the chances of winning, players can also place additional bets that put the house edge in their favour.

Big 6 and Big 8

This big 6 and big 8 bet is a wager that the shooter will throw a 6 or 8 before they throw a 7. It is an even bet that is regularly avoided by experienced players because of its low reward and high risk. It has a house edge of 9.1% which gives the house an advantage over players. While players are allowed to place a bet on either the 6 or the 8 individually for higher odds, most casino games allow players to make the combined bet for lower odds.

The upside to this bet is that players can wager at the table minimum. In some modern craps games, this bet is not displayed as part of the betting options. Beginners are advised to avoid bets that have high house edges because they may lose most of their bankroll.

Field Bets

One of the first sections of the craps table that new players learn about is the Field bet which sits below the Come section. This bet wagers that the shooter will throw a 3, 4, 9, 10, or 11 in a single roll. Players can also triple or double their stake with an additional wager that states the dice will land a 12 or 2. This is one of the most beloved single roll bets by gamblers in real money live casino games. Players should note that there is a higher probability for the shooter to roll a 7, 5, 6, or 8.

Place Bets

Place bets are the most straightforward bets players can make in a game of craps. A place bet is a wager that the shooter will roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 before they roll a 7. These bets are considered to be working bets which are paid out each time the shooter throws the number. The place bet is considered to not be in effect on the come out roll except as stated by the player. In addition, players are free to remove or reduce this bet in any betting round until it loses and the bets must abide by the table minimum bet.

Some real money craps games offer players the chance to make an alternative form of a place bet called "place bet to lose." This bet pays if the shooter throws a 7 before a specific point number. The place bet has a payout that is slightly worse than the true odds. Furthermore, it has a house edge that ranges between 1.52% to 6.67% depending on the number combination wagered on.

Proposition Bets

Proposition bets are single roll bets in craps. A proposition bet wagers on the outcome when players roll the dice. These bets are placed in the center of the craps table and this bet is known to have the highest house edge in casino craps which ranges from 10% to 16.7% with the best odds of up to 30:1. This makes it a very risky bet for players as the odds are in the favor of the casino.

This one roll bet is decided from the outcome of the two dice. Here are some of the position bets that players can encounter when they play craps:

  • Any Craps: The shooter throws a 2, 3, or 12 when they roll the dice.
  • Ace Deuce: The shooter throws a 3 when they roll the dice.
  • Any 7: The shooter lands a 7.
  • Boxcars: The shooter throws a 12.
  • Horns: The shooter throws a 2, 3, 11, or 12.
  • Aces: The shooter throws a 2.

Buy Bets

Buy bets are real money bets that pay true odds but attract a 5% commission (vig). The buy bet wagers that the shooter will throw a specific number before they seven out. The buy bet is required to be at least the minimum bet allowed at the table. However, some casinos only allow players to bet a minimum of $20 because of the 5% vig charged. Payouts from the buy bet are always true odds and they can remove or reduce the bet at all times until the bet is lost.

The house edge is reduced by two points when the vig is charged on only the win, while it is reduced by less when it is charged on wins or losses. These bets are considered to be not working until points have been established and players are required to specify if they want their bets working or not.

Lay Bet

A lay bet is the opposite of the buy bet and it is a wager where the shooter will roll a 7 before any of the laid numbers. The only numbers that may be laid are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, and players may lay multiple numbers if they want. Lay bets also pay true odds like buy bets but the payouts are reversed. Therefore, a $40 bet on the number 4 will payout $20, and a 5% commission (vig) is charged on each win. This commission is usually charged upfront, which means that players pay whether they win or lose.

The house edge on the lay bet is low because commissions are charged upfront. This bet must be at least the table minimum and players are free to remove or reduce the bet until it loses. Lay bets are always active even when points have not been established. Therefore, players must state if they want the bet to be working or not.

Hardways Bets

Hardway bets are exceptions to a proposition bet. Players bet on a number and it becomes the winning bet if the shooter lands a 4, 6, 8, or 10. The catch is that the dice must show the same number displayed on each dice to win. For example, if you wager on a 4, both dice must have a 2, and the shooter must roll the combination before rolling a 7. In addition, if a player bets on a 6 and the dice displays a 4 and a 2 then the bet is lost.

There are just some of the bets available to players when they play craps. Players are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these bets and their house edge. This would give them an advantage when they gamble against the house or other players.

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Online Craps Betting

In a typical online craps game there will be around forty possible bets. It is possible to start playing online craps with just one bet, known as the Pass Line bet. To place a Pass Line bet, click on the Pass Line section of the craps table and adjust your stake to the desired level. Another popular type of bet is the Odds bet. These are bets placed after the first dice roll and before the second and are essentially bets on a specific number being rolled. Online casinos have no edge with Odds bets so they can be particularly profitable.

Online craps use a random number generator to moderate the games and ensure that they are fair from the first roll to the last dice bounce. There is also a real money mode and the free mode for playing craps. The real money mode allows players to wager money and win real rewards, while the free mode is a demo mode that allows players to learn how to play craps.

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Types of Craps Games

What are the best craps games available online? There are different variations of craps available to gamblers playing online. Some of the craps variations available to players online include:

  • Simplified Craps: Simplified craps is a variant of craps that has been streamlined for players. If a player rolls a 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, or 12 they win, but if they roll a 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9, they lose. The game has a house edge of 2.8% which makes the game favourable to players.
  • New York Craps: The craps rules in this game do not allow the come bets and don't come bets and the betting space for these options is not available on its board. Players bet on box numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. The craps table used in New York Craps is known as the double-end dealer table.
  • Low Limit Craps: This version of craps is great for beginners who do not have access to free play modes. Playing live casino games does not give gamblers an option for free mode, so new players have to play this low-limit variant. The bets in this game go as low as $3.
  • High Limit Craps: This is the opposite of low limit craps and is best for experienced high rollers. Players with a big bankroll and deep pockets looking for a thrill can try this craps variant for excitement.
  • Die Rich Craps: This is a relatively new craps variant available to players at online casinos. In Die Rich Craps, only one die is used and it is rolled using the dice cup. The shooter makes a pass line bet and rolls the die for the come out roll. If the come out roll number is a 6 the player wins, but if it is a 1, the player loses. Any other number that shows up is regarded as the point for the next round.
  • High Point Craps: This is a popular craps variant where the initial roll of numbers 2 and 3 are ignored. If these numbers appear on the come out roll, the dice are re-rolled to give a new number total. If the shooter rolls an 11 or 12 they win, while all other totals are regarded as points. The shooter must roll a higher total than the previous point to win the game. Players win an even money payout in this variant of craps.
  • Crapless Craps: This variation of craps is also known as Bastard Craps and is one of the most commonly played craps variations. If a 2, 3, 11, or 12 is rolled on the come out roll, it is regarded as a point. Rolling a 7 is an instant win and the shooter can also win by rolling the same number twice before getting a 7.

These and many more versions of craps are available to players at online casinos. Players are encouraged to go through the available variations before selecting a game to play. Studying the rules of the craps variation you're playing will help you to design your strategy. Players are also encouraged to play multiple variations of craps to improve their skills.

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Online Craps Betting Tips

When playing craps at online casinos, there are tips which you can use to improve your chances of winning. New and experienced players alike should learn the following tips to keep their skills sharp:

Players should always decide on their bankroll before going to the craps table. Bankroll management is a big problem for craps players because poor management leads to overspending. Once the budget is set, players are strongly advised to stick to it.

There are different types of online casino craps available to players. The best-fitting craps games should be selected when you want to play craps online. Players should always check the rules and odds of each game before they start playing. Most casino craps have their paytable and other helpful information available for players.

Most casino craps have adjustable betting limits that can be changed in-game. Players should familiarise themselves with the betting limits at the craps table. Ensure that the betting limit is properly adjusted before you start playing casino craps.

Check the RTP (Return to Player) percentage of craps games before you begin playing. This determines how much the house edge is and if the odds of winning are in your favor. The average RTP for the best craps games is 98.64% so games must have above or around the same RTP. Players should look for casinos with the lowest house edge and high RTP when playing craps.

If a casino has a welcome bonus, you must take advantage of it. Most online casinos will offer a welcome bonus to new users and you can use these bonuses to increase your bankroll. When playing craps, use the bonuses to extend your bankroll and playing time.

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Online Craps Gameplay

There are two rounds in a game of online craps, called ‘come-out' and ‘point', and a betting phase precedes each round. The first roll is called ‘come-out'. If the come-out roll produces a 2, 3, or 12, this is known as ‘craps'. A roll of 7 or 11 is called a ‘natural' and results in a win for those who bet on the Pass Line. Any other number establishes a ‘point' ahead of the second roll in which players aim to roll the same number again.

Online craps differ from physical craps because of how it is played electronically. Players roll the dice on a virtual generator that randomly spits out numbers. In live casino craps, players have a more immersive game as they can compete against other players. These live games are coordinated by live dealers who ensure that players stick to the rules of the game. Players are also free to choose the variant of online craps that they want to play.

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Online Craps Payouts

The odds on a Pass Line bet are usually Evens and many South African gamblers play craps online without ever using any of the other bets. But it can be worth familiarizing yourself with some of the other wagering options as these can prove profitable. For instance, if you land an Odds bet and the point number is 5 or 9, you will get odds of 3 to 2. If the point number was a 4 or 10 your odds will be a healthy 2 to 1.

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Conclusion

To newcomers, craps may appear to be complicated, but it is a fairly simple game. Once you get the hang of the bets and rules, you will find it easy to play craps at your favorite casino. Most South African casinos offer online craps and make it easy for the South African player to enjoy a game. Players are encouraged to play demo modes of craps games to learn how to play craps properly.

As you play craps for real money or the demo mode, ensure that you improve your skills gradually. This will help you to win bigger rewards and play higher-stakes games for real money. We hope that this comprehensive guide has helped you to learn how craps is played and how to improve the odds in your favor.

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Frequently asked questions about Craps

What is Craps?

Craps is a dice game that is played between one to twenty players. In the game, players guess the outcomes of the dice rolls and wager on the predictions.

Where can I play Craps Online?

You can find different craps variants at online casinos. Check trusted casinos online for their collection of craps games.

Are there free online Craps games?

Yes, the demo craps games allow players to play craps without using real money. Players can then use this mode to learn how the bets work and other craps rules that will improve their gameplay.

Can I play Craps online on my mobile device?

Yes, you can play craps at any mobile online casino that has craps titles.

What are the best Craps bets for beginners?

The best bets for craps beginners are pass line, don't pass, come, and don't come bets.

Author: Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn, our founder, launched this site in 2016. Since then, she's written over 100 pages filled with crucial info to enhance your gaming experience. Her goal? To provide you with the best, most reliable online casino knowledge.

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Article published 2021/03/16