Like most casino games, craps has an incredibly rich history in the US after it modified the English game of Hazard. This possibly dates back to the era of the Crusades. The game made its way from London to the city of New Orleans during the early 19th century by a young gambler. He was a descendant of rich landowners in Louisiana named Bernard Xavier Phillipe de Marigny de Mandeville. De Marigny chose to simplify the game by making the main number seven as it’s the optimal choice when looking at it from a mathematical perspective, as opposed to the original game of hazard which allowed the shooter to select any number from 5 to 9.
More About Craps
Both craps and hazard were rejected by the wealthy and this forced de Marigny to introduce the game to the blue-collar class. This gained a lot of success as the game spread as field workers taught their friends, and deckhands spread the game via their escapades on the Mississippi River and the connected channels. De Marigny chose to name a street in his subdivision, Rue de Craps, after the game, as an act of celebration following its success.
How Craps Got Its Name
The name of the game, craps, comes from the working-class natives of Louisiana who mispronounced the word crabs; however, this is what the game is called in all regions. The original name, crabs, comes from aristocratic London and had been the nickname for the numbers 2 and 3. When playing hazard, the numbers 2 and 3 were losing numbers for the first roll irrespective of what the shooter's main number was. If the chosen number was 7, the number 12 will be added to the crabs as a losing number on the first roll.
Early Days Gameplay
There was a bit of controversy surrounding the game as it was abused in casinos as players were often caught using loaded dice. However, the problem was fixed by John H. Winn, a local dice maker from Philadelphia, as he introduced a new layout which featured bets on Pass and Don’t Pass variations in 1907. To this day, his invention is still used in all casinos, which means that casinos are always using fair dice.
Craps’ popularity was at an all-time high after World War 2, as service members often played the game using a blanket as a means of shooting service. With many of the soldiers being from the US, the game spread upon their return home, and casinos in the Caribbean and Las Vegas found that the game was extremely popular. Craps gained international fame as it spread to many countries in the 1960s and when online casinos rose to prominence in 2004.
Play Craps Online
Craps can be found in plenty of online casinos, and there is a range of Canadian platforms that offer the game. Casinos such as Jackpot City, Spin Casino, Ruby Fortune, Royal Vegas, PlayAmo, and Betway Casino, are great options, but if you’re going to look at other casinos, ensure that they’re licensed by a reputable authority and that their games are regularly audited by third-party organizations such as eCOGRA.
This will ensure that you’ll be subject to the highest standards in the region and that the casino will keep your data secure. Furthermore, there’s also the fact that there are plenty of casinos out there that are keen to take advantage of unsuspecting players. Playing craps online means that you’ll be able to choose from a variety of craps variations and you’ll be able to play in a more comfortable environment.
The absence of the cheering crowds might be a letdown for some players, but for others, this is one of the best things about playing online. When playing online, all the rules are available at the click of a button, which means that you won’t have to ask anyone for help. It’s also very easy to navigate the tables and you’ll be able to test the games for free if you’re not comfortable placing a real bet. Furthermore, there’s also the option of being able to use a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet to play, which means that you’re able to play wherever you are.
How to Get Started
Before getting started with craps, there are a few things that you should know besides the rules and how to play. The truth is that this is one of the most difficult games to play if you have no prior knowledge of playing. Below you’ll find some of the most confusing things about craps and how to overcome them.
Focus on Four Main Bets
The game is filled with a variety of wagers that can be made; this is what makes it so confusing. The best approach you could take when learning how to play is to focus on four of the available bets, namely don’t pass line, pass line, don’t come, and come. These bets will provide you with the lowest house edge as come and pass line bets have a 1.41% house edge and don’t come and don’t pass line has a 1.36% house edge.
Veteran Bettors Get Annoyed with “Don’t” Bettors.
By making “Don’t” bets, you’re choosing the side with the smallest house edge and this means that you’re betting against the shooter. Most players bet with the shooter, these are called right bettors, and this usually results in players cheering in unison when the shooter is on a winning streak. By placing “Don’t” bets, you’re essentially betting on the wrong side as you want the same outcome as the casino does.
There’s a Wager That Has No House Edge
There’s a wager that has no house edge called odds, and it can be placed behind the “pass line” or “don’t pass line” bets. The key is to make the smallest “pass line” or “don’t pass line” bet and then place the highest odds wager possible.
Veteran Craps Players Are Incredibly Superstitious
Below are some of the superstitions attached to the game, and while they’re not vital to know. It can be quite fascinating to know what some players believe.
Don’t touch the shooter – Players often believe that touching the shooter breaks their rhythm.
Avoid saying the word seven – It’s believed that this number causes players to lose.
Cold and Hot Dice – When a shooter is changed, players often sit out the first few rounds as they believe that the dice are cold and that they won’t win.
Don’t touch the dice or let it hit your hands – A roll is deemed invalid when the dice touch the hands of a player; however, some players believe that this means that the next round will be bad luck.
These are just a few of the important aspects that you’ll need to be aware of before playing craps. There’s also the fact that many of these also depend on the region you’re from, especially when it comes to superstitions.
Rules and How to Play
One of the great things about craps is that it’s incredibly exciting to play and there are many different ways to play it. While craps do have a lot of numbers and terminology, there’s no reason to be intimidated by it, as it’s not as complex as you’d think. Below you’ll find all the information needed to be able to play a game of craps, along with the terminology and the betting system.
Names of Rolls
- 1 + 1 = Snake Eyes
- 1 + 2 = Ace Deuce
- 1 + 3 = Easy Four
- 1 + 4 = Fever Five
- 1 + 5 = Easy Six
- 1 + 6 = Natural/Seven Out
- 2 + 2 = Hard Four
- 2 + 3 = Fever Five
- 2 + 4 = Easy Six
- 2 + 5 = Natural/Seven Out
- 2 + 6 = Easy Eight
- 3 + 3 = Hard Six
- 3 + 4 = Natural/Seven Out
- 3 + 5 = Easy Eight
- 3 + 6 = Nina
- 4 + 4 = Hard Eight
- 4 + 5 = Nina
- 4 + 6 = Easy Ten
- 5 + 5 = Hard Ten
- 5 + 6 = Yo (Yoleven)
- 6 + 6 = Boxcars (Midnight)
How it Works
The game works with players taking turns rolling a pair of dice and the person rolling the dice has taken the role of the shooter. Those placing bets are capable of betting on a variety of options by putting chips precisely on the appropriately-marked sectors of the table’s layout, or by asking the base dealer to do so. This depends entirely on the type of wager that’s being made.
While assuming the role of the shooter, the player is required to place a wager on the Pass Line or the Don't Pass Line. These bets are also called Win and Don't Win or Right and Wrong wagers. A game of craps is often played in sets and the Pass and Don't Pass bets are wagering on the result of a set. Multiple dice are given to the shooter, which is usually around five, by a table assistant known as the stickman, thereafter, the shooter is required to select two of them for the set.
With each round of craps, there are two stages called come-out and point. Dice are then handed to the left. When the set begins, the shooter then performs one, sometimes additional, come-out rolls. When rolling the dice, the shooter is required to roll to the back wall of the table and is usually needed to hit the back wall with the set of dice. The general rule is that both dice are required to be rolled in one motion and if only one is rolled, the shot is deemed invalid.
Craps is identified as a come-out roll which has the values of 2, 3, or 12, and Pass Line bettors are the losers of the set. However, any player who has placed a bet on the Don't Pass line on the come-out roll wins with a roll of 2 or 3 and pushes, ties, if a value of 12 is rolled. The shooters are allowed to continue rolling even after crapping out. In the event that the shooter rolls a value of seven, then only are the dice required to be passed.
When the shooter makes a come-out roll of either 7 or 11 this is called a "natural". This means that the players who bet on the Pass line win, and those who bet on the Don't Pass line loses.
Variations of Craps
There are a few variations of craps and some of them pay out more than others. You’ll find a detailed list of them below.
This variation is also known as Ruse Craps or Never Ever Craps, and was originally invented by Bob Stupak as he wanted a game where the player could never lose a Pass Line bet by hitting the craps numbers 2, 3, and 12. What makes this game so popular amongst players is that it’s virtually impossible to lose their bet on a Pass Line bet. However, the downside of this game is that casinos don’t offer it very often as it’s not profitable.
High Point Craps
In this variation, the numbers 2 and 3 are completely disregarded on the come-out roll which means that they’re given back to the shooter to have them roll again. If an 11 or 12 are rolled, this results in a direct win and any other total is established as the point value which has to be beaten by the second roll in order to win.
This variation has only one roll of the dice and the betting system has been simplified. This means that there is no Pass, Don’t Pass, Craps, or Natural numbers involved. There are two sets of numbers that will determine whether or not you win, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12, results in a win and 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 will result in a loss.
Die Rich Craps
Unlike the other variation, this one is played with a single die and is perfect for inexperienced players. The aim of the game is to land on any numbers between 1 and 6, and if they land on 1 on the come-out roll they’ll automatically lose. However, if they land on a 6 on the come-out roll, they’ll automatically win.
New York Craps
This is a variation that mainly played in New York, as well as the Bahamas and the UK. It features a completely different table layout and as there are no Don’t Come, Space, Place, and Come bets. You’ll also be given the opportunity to place a bet on 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 10; however, there is a 5% commission on all winnings.
Effective Craps Strategies
Like many casino games, there are plenty of strategies that can be used, and below we’ll be mentioning the most effective of the lot.
Placing 6 & 8
This is a great strategy if you want to choose your numbers, and apart from 7, 6, and 8 are the numbers that are the most commonly rolled. The main advantage of this strategy is that you’re not stuck with numbers that aren’t frequently rolled and you’ll get a low house edge; however, there are no free odds on point numbers and that means that you’ll always have a house edge.
Pass and Come (With Odds)
This strategy presents a low house edge of just 1.41% and to sweeten the deal, there’re free odds which means that the house edge will continue to decrease as long as you keep passing the bet. The advantage of this is that your betting pass and come with odds has the lowest house edge compared to any legitimate strategy.
Hedge bets are kind of like a safeguard for another bet, which makes it more of an insurance strategy. This works by placing a covering the weak point of any particular bet with a hedge bet. For example, you place a CA$6 bet on 8 and CA$2 on the hedge, which means that if the shooter rolls an 8, you’ll win CA$7 and lose CA$2, which means that you’ll get CA$5 in winnings.
Our Final Thoughts
Craps is a great game with a rich history which is probably one of the most exciting games to play with a large crowd. However, if you’re not that kind of player, you can also enjoy it online in the peace of your home. There are also plenty of variations available, with lots of strategies that can be used to increase your odds of winning. Overall, this is one of the best casino games to play, and it doesn’t take a long time to get used to it.