A Guide to Online Craps
Craps is a popular casino game, with fans enjoying its dice-based play and its incredibly fast pace. Though it’s fairly simple to play once you know how, the presence of die makes it seem more accessible to newcomers than it actually is – there are plenty of rules to seek your teeth into before you become a skilled player. As with many casino games, craps has a strong presence both online and offline. You’ll find it in most brick-and-mortar venues across the globe, usually a thriving table surrounded by eager players (and spectators) and it’s available at most online casinos too. You can play craps on your desktop computer or on a mobile device (smartphones and tablets alike) today, with the best sites allowing you to enjoy your favourite game at any time, any place.In this guide, we’ll take a look at the history of online craps, the differences between playing online and at brick-and-mortar venues, as well as a few helpful strategies to consider.
The Beginnings of Online Craps
Casino games typically have rich, fascinating stories behind them. Craps started as a simplified version of ‘hazard’, an old English game with origins dating as unbelievably far back as the Crusades. It’s believed that soldiers would play on their shields, and that Sir William of Tyre created the game of hazard as he and his troops awaited the start of their siege on Hazarth centuries upon centuries ago. Of course, there is evidence that hazard was equally popular in the Middle-East in the Middle Ages too.
Craps, in its earliest form, spread across Europe, catching on in England throughout the Middle Ages, referenced in the classic Canterbury Tales (written by Geoffrey Chaucer). Hazard ended up embedding itself in the gaming culture, becoming a staple of the most high-end gambling houses throughout England in the early 18th century. Players included the country’s richest, with nobles and royals alike enjoying hazard in a social capacity.
By the time the game reached America in the 19th century, the name craps had stuck – and this caught on as the most popular term. Different forms of craps formed across the States, and it gained real popularity during the Second World War, with American soldiers playing it on their blankets or on sidewalks. With the rise of online casinos in the late 1990s, online craps became a regular addition, alongside the likes of roulette and poker. Over the past 20 years or so, online craps has become a fundamental game at countless virtual venues, and today’s high-end software ensures the animations are incredibly smooth. This helps to retain the fast pace that craps fans love.
Mobile gaming is now a key part of the online-casino industry, and gaming fans expect high-quality craps games on their smartphones and tablets. Mobile software keeps getting more and more advanced, for a more immersive atmosphere that captures the sense of playing at a real casino. As VR casinos continue to become more commonplace over the next few years, online craps will be recreated with more realism. You’ll be able to actually roll the dice with your hands, turn to face other players alongside you, and get all the excitement of being at a casino without having to leave your house.
How is Online Craps Different to Traditional Craps?
As with all online casino games, online craps has a number of differences from live craps. You can expect pros and cons with them both, but ultimately online craps is the most convenient option: you can pick up your phone and enjoy a few games as you lie on your couch or ride the train home from work.
One of the key differences is how the outcome of dice rolls are generated. Online casinos, of course, run on Random Number Generators – these are essential to ensure a level of fairness and realism. This means the outcome of your dice roll is created by an algorithm rather than by your own personal technique. When you’re playing live craps at a brick-and-mortar casino, you get to roll the dice however you like. This may leave you feeling a tad uncertain how reliable and fair the online version is, but rest assured: the best online casinos are subject to incredibly strict regulations imposed by their licensing bodies. All RNG systems are put in place to offer players the fairest experience possible.
Another key difference is the pace. Live craps is one of the fastest games you can play in brick-and-mortar casinos, but you still have to wait for the croupier to set it up; don’t forget about waiting for other players to roll their die either (some may prefer to kiss them, rub them between their hands etc.). All this may become frustrating if all you want to do is get to your own attempt to strike it lucky. Online craps is far, far faster. You can get through a game in less time and focus on your own experience rather than that of everyone else around the table.
Another difference is that you can play online craps for free at many virtual casinos before you spend any money. You can’t do this in brick-and-mortar casinos, of course, which can put novices off even trying the game (especially given the number of people who may be gathered around the table). Playing for free enables you to get a feel for the game and its rules, without losing any cash along the way. Software developers have to capture the sense of speed and chance so inherent to craps, and there are numerous online craps games to choose from, developed by different teams. You can expect to find craps created by NetEnt, Microgaming, Evolution Gaming, BetSoft, and more. All of these are reliable, popular brands developing high-quality games, and are available across desktop and mobile devices.
How Do You Play Online Craps?
Craps is played by one or more players, all betting on the outcome of the dice-roll. Every online casino will have different payouts, but the core system is the same. You’ll basically roll your dice (you’ll be the ‘shooter’), and you can place bets on different potential outcomes by moving chips onto specific areas of the table. You’ll need to place a bet on the ‘pass’ line or the ‘don’t pass’ line (at some online casinos, these might be referred to as the ‘win’ and ‘don’t win’ lines).
Each game of craps is played in rounds, and the ‘pass’ ‘don’t pass’ bets are wagers on the outcome of the round. Standard craps tables feature a number of different areas, and they can be intimidating to total beginners, but take the time to study it and you’ll soon get to grips with the game. Playing for free will help you familiarise yourself with the layout too, without having to spend any money. The ‘field’ section of the craps table is for one-roll bets on either 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, or 12 will come up on your rolled dice. The ‘place’ and ‘buy’ sections are for 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 outcomes will come up before the next losing 7 does (the end of the round). You’ll find that the numbers 6 and 9 are actually spelled out, to avoid confusion!
There are various terms specific to craps, including:
Craps – refers to 2, 3, and 12
Yo – refers to 11
C and E craps – refers to 11
Snake Eyes – refers to two 1s
Boxcars – refers to two 6s
Little Joe – refers to a 4 (usually as a combination of a 1 and a 3)
Jimmy Hicks – refers to a 6
Skate and Donate – refers to an 8
Skinny Dugan – refers to a loser 7
Centre Field – refers to a 9
Puppy Paws – refers to two 5s
Natural Winner – refers to a 7 or an 11 on the coming out
Every round of craps has two different stages – the ‘come out’ and the ‘point’. Shooters start each round by making a ‘come out’ roll, in which they roll as far to the back wall of the table as they can, and you’re expected to hit said wall with both of your dice. You need to toss both your die in a single throw (which is automated at online casinos anyway).
If you get a 2, 3, or 12 on your ‘come out’ roll, you’ll be crapping out, and if anyone’s placed their bet beyond the pass line, they lose. Conversely, any betters who have placed their bets on the don’t pass line on their ‘come out’ roll will win, with a roll of 2 or 3; they’ll tie if a 12 gets rolled. When you crap out, you can keep rolling your die if you wish to. You’ll only need to stop if you get a 7.
Players are free to place wagers on a number whenever they like, across the table, and any (except for those on the pass line or come bet) can be taken off or reduced whenever you like, before the bet loses. As you can see, craps is a fairly complicated game, especially in its purest form at brick-and-mortar casinos, but its online version is somewhat more streamlined. When you’re playing online, you can get easy access to the rules whenever you like, to ensure you’re following along properly. This is impossible at brick-and-mortar casinos, of course! The more you play, the more familiar you’ll become with the rules of craps. You can develop a knack for the game safely if you play for free before risking any money.
Online Craps Strategies
As with any online casino game, craps has strategies you can try to better your chances of winning. This isn’t guaranteed, of course, but when used wisely, strategies may be able to increase your enjoyment of the game.
– One important technique to keep in mind is managing your money. When you’re playing online, it’s easy to lose track of your stake amount and keep betting when you should probably take a break. It’s easier with a fast-paced game like craps, too. Set a limit for yourself before each game, and be willing to quit while you’re ahead.
– If you want to extend your craps game as much as possible and have fun, consider sticking to the pass / don’t pass and come / don’t come options. This helps to keep online craps a little bit simpler, and is ideal if you’re just starting to get into the game.
– Keep raising your bets as you keep winning, but lower them if you end up on a losing streak. Don’t throw high-priced bets after one losing outcome after another, as you can end up costing yourself more money than you may realise.
– Playing online casino means you’re not actually physically interacting with the dice, so you can’t have your own technique for tossing them. You also can’t watch players, or see how they’re controlling the die on their throws. Instead, you’ll become more accustomed to developing your own techniques and betting systems. Remember to start small and increase your bets as you become more comfortable with the craps table’s layout and the game’s structure
– keep your wagers as low as you possibly can to begin with. You may become impatient, but don’t place maximum bets out of your eagerness to win big. As you develop a familiarity with the game, you’ll understand when and how to raise the stakes.
Playing craps online is incredibly fun, especially with the latest software. If you’ve played the game at brick-and-mortar casinos before, you’ll find online craps is largely the same, except for the lack of a dealer and fellow players. If you’re entirely new to the game itself, learning the rules online may help if you actually visit a land-based casino in the future – you’ll be able to join a table and try your luck with fellow players. You can play craps at plenty of online casinos, with some offering a live version too (complete with professional dealer and real-time play). Start small, keep to the simplest bets, and experiment with different options as you get better.