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Everything You Need to Know About Real Money Craps

Walk into any live casino in North America, and you’ll know it instantly: The Online Craps table is where the excitement is. Now people around the world can experience the same rush by playing the best online Craps for real money at Bodog Casino. This colourful dice game is available 24/7, and with a little know-how, you can roll the bones like a pro. We’ll show you what Craps is all about, from the rules of the game to the best strategies for choosing your bets. But first, we have to go back in time about 600 years.


Introduction to Craps

The game we play today as Craps is a simplified version of hazard—an Casino English game that appears in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. That collection of stories was published around 1400, but hazard may stretch back as far as the Crusades. Dice have been used since prehistoric times, and the oldest set found thus far (nearly 5,000 years old) was discovered in Iran.

Hazard was one of the best games at the original Crockford’s Club in London, which opened in 1823, but it wasn’t catching on in America. A French-Creole nobleman named Bernard de Marigny (later to become President of the Louisiana State Senate) brought the game to New Orleans in 1807 and made the rules easier. Finding little interest among his colleagues, de Marigny took his version of hazard to the streets–where it was a smash hit, and spread throughout the region on the Mississippi riverboats.

The name of the game eventually changed to Craps, a mispronunciation of crabs, which was the nickname back in London for rolling a Two or a Three in hazard. Nicknames like this are a big part of Craps today; you’ve probably heard of Snake Eyes (rolling a Two) and Boxcars (rolling a Twelve), which are now familiar terms in English. The language of Craps has blossomed over the years, and learning any new language can seem daunting, but you only need to know the bare essentials to play in a real money online casino.


Online Craps Strategy and Systems

Craps is much easier to understand when you think of it as a game comprising different rounds, all combined into one. Each of the different ways you can bet is its own mini-game, and many of these bets share the same basic rules – all based on the roll of two dice. Each bet has its own odds, as well, which is where the strategy comes in.

Unless you’re playing Craps at a live casino, where you can gain an edge on the house (in theory) by learning how to control the dice during your throw, this is a game of pure chance that should be played for entertainment purposes only. However, you can minimize the house edge in online Craps by choosing the bets that give you the best odds. There’s even a bet you can make in Craps that has zero house edge attached – which we’ll get to in a moment.


The Come-Out Roll

When you open up a Craps table (either the Classic or the “New” streamlined version) at Bodog Casino, you’ll see the layout on the virtual table with all the different bets you can make. Many of these bets are based on a single roll of the dice, but the original Craps wager (called pass, as in the French word for “pace”) is a multi-roll bet that begins with the come-out roll. After placing your bet on either the Pass Line or the Don’t Pass Bar, you make the come-out roll. What happens next depends on which of the two bets you made:


Pass Line

Seven or Eleven: Bet wins (at even money)

Two, Three or Twelve: Bet loses

Any Other Result: Point is established


Don’t Pass

Seven or Eleven: Bet loses

Two, Three: Bet wins (at even money)

Twelve: Bet ties

Any Other Result: Point is established


The Point Round

Assuming your come-out roll wasn’t an automatic winner or loser, you move on to the next phase of this multi-roll bet. Whatever number you rolled becomes the point, which will be indicated on the display by the ON/OFF puck at the top – this puck will flip to the ON position when a point is established and move to the number you’ve rolled.

Once you’ve placed any additional bets you want to make, it’s time to start rolling again. The object here is simple: Keep throwing the dice until you roll the same number as the point, or you roll a Seven, whichever comes first. Again, whether you win or lose depends on which bet you made originally:

Pass Line

Seven: Bet loses

Point: Bet wins (at even money)


Don’t Pass

Seven: Bet wins

Point: Bet loses (at even money)

Once the bet has either been won or lost, the round is over, and the puck resets to the OFF position. Then you’ll make another come-out roll to start the next round. These two bets have some of the lowest house edges you’ll find not just in online Craps, but anywhere in the casino: just 1.41% for the Pass Line, and 1.36% for Don’t Pass.


Buying the Odds

This is where you get to make that bet with zero house edge. After the point is established on a Pass Line bet, you’re allowed to place up to three times your original wager on a special side bet known as buying the odds. Again, you will win if you roll the point before you roll a Seven, and you’ll be paid out according to what point was established:

Four or Ten: 2/1 payout

Five or Nine: 3/2

Six or Eight: 7/6

The payouts are highest when the point is either a Four or a Ten, since there are fewer ways of rolling those particular numbers. If you want to narrow the overall house edge when you play Craps online, make the maximum 3X bet when you buy the odds – but make sure you’re also betting a suitably small percentage of your overall bankroll, so you don’t wind up ending your session earlier than expected if the dice don’t fall your way.


The Come Bet

The Craps layout includes an area where you can place a Come bet, which is very much like making a second Pass Line bet. After a point has been established, you’ll place your Come wager, then whatever number comes up on your next roll will be your new target – unless you roll a Seven or Eleven (an instant win at even money), or a Two, Three or Twelve (an instant loss). Otherwise, your bet will automatically shift to that number on the layout. Roll that number before you roll a Seven, and you’ll be paid out at even money. You can buy odds on the Come bet the same as you would with a Pass Line bet.


Betting the Dark Side

Earlier on, we showed you both the Pass Line bet and the Don’t Pass bet. These are essentially mirror images of each other; the Pass Line bet is sometimes referred to in live settings as betting “the dark side,” because when you win, it usually means that other players at the table have lost. It’s even considered something of a social faux pas to make the Don’t Pass bet because of this dynamic – but you don’t have to worry about any of that when you play Craps at Bodog Casino.

When you place a Don’t Pass bet, you can also play a “dark side” version of buying the odds, known as laying the odds. This is another Craps bet with zero house edge, and the payouts are almost exactly the opposite as they are for buying the odds:

Four or Ten: 1/2 payout

Five or Nine: 2/3

Six or Eight: 6/5

There’s one more “dark side” bet on the Craps layout: the Don’t Come bet. It’s just like the Come bet, except you get paid when you roll a Seven first. You can lay odds on a Don’t come bet, and if you want, you can even make both a Come and a Don’t Come bet at the same time.

There are many other bets waiting for you at the Craps table, all of which you can learn about by tapping or clicking the hamburger icon at the top left of the display and selecting “Rules” on the menu. You can also learn more about online Craps and how to play it by browsing our growing list of helpful guides and articles here at Bodog Casino. Now that you know the basics, give Craps a try today for free by using the Practice Play mode, then switch to the Real Play version once you’re ready – and may the bones be with you.



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