Real Money Craps Guide
Craps is sexy. It just had to be said. Everything about the game just oozes cool. A huge table that loads of people can stand around, the sheer bedlam of people placing bets all over the place, what’s not to love? We have all seen the scenes in the movies – a guy is on a great roll, he gets the bombshell on his arm to blow the dice for good luck. Next, we see a slow motion look at the dice as they bounce around the table, eventually stopping on a number that either sends the table into euphoria or despair.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Well, have you ever walked into a casino and over to a Craps table? Yes, there is definitely excitement happening at the table, but there is also what appears to be mass confusion. Chips seem to be flying all over the table, with bets being announced, a whole host of staff trying to keep everything straight. Then after a roll of the dice, a cane-shaped piece of wood starts wiping off losing bets and passing back winning bets…it can all be a bit intimidating for the novice gambler.
That’s where we come in! The game of real money Craps is actually quite a simple game to play, with a lot of advanced betting strategy. Our Real Money Craps Guide is a great place to start if you are new to the game and want to give it a try, or even if you have played before but want to improve your odds of winning.
We’ll cover a lot of topics about Craps on this page, and we’ll have links to other pages that can also be very helpful for you as you start to learn and love this great casino game. Let’s get started!
Why Play Craps for Real Money
Our answer to this is the same no matter what casino game you are playing; the reason you want to play Craps for real money is the chance to win loads of real cash! Of course, if you are nervous and what to try the game out for free, you can do that quite easily now in the days of the online casino. However, once you get the hang of the betting and the rules of the game, we are confident you will want to take your talents (and your bankroll) to the real money tables.
Also, outside of maybe a free tutorial every couple of days, there isn’t a way to play Craps in a land-based casino for play money. All the action you hear at a Craps table when you are in a casino is because, with every roll of the dice, there is usually a lot of money to be won or lost.
While we certainly encourage you to head to a real money Craps table armed with all the information you need to be a good player, we also want you to remember to bet with your head. The game can be high-speed, and you can win lose lots of money very quickly if you are not following along and if you are not regimented in your betting. We’ll cover everything you need to know to get started on this page.
How to Play Craps – The Basics
So, as we mentioned, the actual game of Craps is not all that hard to play. In fact, the majority of the action takes place with the betting before the roll, and then everything hinges on that one roll of the dice. We’ll get into the strategy of the game a little further down this page, but for now, let’s try to explain what you should expect to happen when you approach a real money Craps table.
First of all, you should know that Craps doesn’t need a table full of players to be played. You can play the game all by yourself against the house. This is how real money Craps is played online so that you can play from the comfort of your own home. Many players prefer to play by themselves as it allows them always to be the shooter.
Craps is played with two dice. These dice are checked by the casino to ensure they are perfectly balanced and they are replaced every few rounds to avoid any potential cheating (like you sometimes see in the movies). The two dice are handed to one player at the table, known as the shooter. The shooter changes with the start of every round.
When the best are placed, the croupier announces no more bets, and then the shooter throws the two dice to the other end of the table. The table is high enough to allow for the dice to bounce off the end; in fact, many casinos won’t count a throw unless that takes place. At the start of the round, the shooter is rolling what is called the “come-out roll” to determine the “point” or the number the shooter must match to roll out.
Before this initial roll of the dice, the shooter (and others at the table) must bet on either the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass line. If the player rolls a 7 or 11, then all the Pass Line bets are winners. If the player rolls a 2 or 3, then the round is immediately over, and the Pass Line bets are all losers while the Don’t Pass line bets are paid out. If the shooter rolls a 12, then the round is also over, but the Don’t Pass bets are considered a push.
If the shooter rolls any of the other numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10), then that number is considered the Point. Once that happens, more betting takes place, and the shooter continues to roll until they either roll the point number or a 7. For example, a player may roll a 6, and with the point being six, could roll 20 times before either or a 6 or a 7 is rolled. This is usually when you hear the most excitement as everyone loves when a player gets on a good roll without rolling a 7.
Once the player rolls the point for the second time, the round is considered over. At this point, the shooter is usually g9iven the option of being the shooter again – Craps players like to keep the good times going. If the round ends with a 7, then the dice are more likely to be passed to another player at the table. If you are playing online, this is not an issue as it is the computer “rolling” the virtual dice.
So there you have it! It really isn’t a tough game to understand from a rules perspective. What separates the regular player from the great Craps player is an understanding of the different bets and how to manipulate them.
Types of Craps Bets
All of the bets you can make in real money Craps are laid out for you right on the table, including in many cases the odds for each bet. We have a full page dedicated to explaining all the Craps Bets in detail, but to make life simple for you, here is a quick summary of the more common wagers that can be placed while playing the game:
- Line Bets – The Pass/Don’t Pass bets that are placed before the initial shooter roll
- Come Bets – Very similar to Line bets, except these are placed after the initial roll
- Place Bets – These are bets on individual numbers that you can bet occur before or after a 7 is rolled.
- Buy and Lay Bets – Also similar to the Place bets, these are bets on exact numbers either being rolled or not being rolled before a 7. These bets have better odds, but you have to pay a commission if they hit.
- Hardways – Betting on the two dice to have the same number rolled on each.
There are loads of other types of bets that can be made, so you should check out our Craps Bet Types page for all the details.
As we discussed in the overview of how real money Craps works, there really isn’t any strategy in the actual gameplay. Now, there are those that will tell you that they have figured out a special way to throw the dice to give them an edge, or that by starting with particular side of the dice facing up they can predict the numbers that will likely be thrown. As far as we can tell, that is all hogwash; actually, since the dice have to hit the end of the table, you can’t “slide” the dice to a winner (unless you are playing in a casino with particularly bad staff).
All of the strategy when it comes to Craps comes on the betting side of the equation. There are many respected theories on how best to bet to maximize your chance of coming away a winning player. You can find several books on the topic of Craps strategy at any bookstore, and we encourage you to read our online Craps Strategy guide page. This guide will walk you through the best strategies for beginners right through to some of the most advanced betting techniques used by the professionals.
We usually give our players the same single piece of advice: don’t get carried away with your bets. The game is very fast-moving, and there are loads of chips out on the table; it is crucial that you know what bets you already have on the table and when and where to add to them or take them away. In many cases, players standing at a real money Craps table in a land-based casino can find themselves part of the yelling and screaming of a great long roll only to find themselves with less money than when the roll started.
Playing Craps Online Vs. Land-Based
As opposed to many other games in a casino, there is a dramatic difference in the experience of playing Craps online versus playing in a land-based facility. First off, the obvious difference is the number of players playing the game. When you play at an online casino, you are likely playing by yourself with the computer. In a land-based casino, there can be dozens of players standing around the table, which can cause a lot of commotion and confusion.
Next, there is the speed factor. With all the bets being paid out electronically and with only one person placing bets, the roll of the dice is in your hands. You can have the game play as quickly or as slowly as you like; most players prefer the speed of the online play, but there are still some who use the slow pace of land-based Craps to control the amount of their bets.
Overall, while the two are very different, the rules are the same, and online real money Craps is a way to be able to play for smaller denominations while taking the time to learn the game at your own pace.
Why does it sound like people are speaking a different language at a Craps table?
You aren’t wrong; there is a lot of slang used at a Craps table. Usually, it all revolves around the bets that are being made. I many cases the players can’t reach all the betting spots on a table, so they have to flip their chips to a staff member and dictate the desired bet. If you want to know what players are saying, and to be able to use the same lingo, we suggest you have a look at our Craps Glossary page. We’ll have speaking like a pro in no time!
Do people really swap dice out in order to cheat?
The short answer to this is not very successfully. The days are long gone of one set of dice being used for extended periods of time, so even if a player were somehow able to replace the dice with a weighted set magically, it wouldn’t take long before those would be out of commission. With all the security measures in place in a land-based casino these days (cameras, strict inventory control, etc.) it is near impossible for a player to succeed in changing the dice. So, while it looks cool in the movies, it is safe to assume that the game you are playing is on the up and up.
How much money can I win playing real money Craps?
Like any casino game, Craps is a game of chance, so the more that you risk, the more you can win. Having said that, there aren’t any games in the casino with more betting patterns than Craps, so if you are trying to win a massive amount of cash, it is critical that you follow a strict betting strategy that puts you win the best mathematical position to walk away from the table a winner. Our Craps Betting Strategy page will help.
How long can I roll as the shooter?
Well, if you are the only player at the table, or you are playing online real money Craps, then you could be the shooter for an unlimited amount of time! When you are playing in a land-based casino, it is more likely that you are being joined by other players at the table so you can be the shooter as long as you don’t roll a 7. This roll could last a long time; it isn’t uncommon to hear of a roll that can last over an hour if there are a lot of players making bets and the shooter not rolling a 7.