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Craps is renowned as one of the best bets in a bricks-and-mortar casino, because in general, the odds are better than those offered in other games and the slot machines. It’s also known as a lively, noisy game, often with players screaming and yelling in excitement when they win.

Craps is a game of dice and unlike other casino games, the players themselves can roll the dice, rather than just the croupier. This all adds to the excitement. If, however, you don’t fancy going to a noisy, crowded casino and immersing yourself in the hectic atmosphere, it’s now possible to play online live craps, one of the newest additions to the online casino revolution.

A short history of craps

Historians believe that the game of craps is based on an old English game, hazard, developed by the nobleman Sir William of Tyre in the 12th century. It was said that Sir William and his knights played hazard during the Crusades, while waiting to attack Hazarth Castle in 1125, hence the name “hazard” was born. A variation of the game spread to France, where it became known as “crabes”. It became popular in the French casinos, when players would bet on the outcome of the rolls of two dice.

Three types of craps have evolved from crabes: the first, street craps, is the informal version, which is still played by gamblers anywhere and not necessarily in casinos; the second is casino craps, which is the game played in bricks-and-mortar casinos which causes all the excitement; the third is online craps, the newest version.

Live craps in online casinos is a thrilling combination of the two other forms that has been made simpler so that online players can enjoy the same thrills as they would in an actual game. The difference is that you can play from the comfort of your own home, or from virtually any location if you’re playing on a mobile device.

How to play craps online

The beauty of craps is that you can make a lot of different bets. For the average beginner, it’s preferable to focus on a smaller number of easier bets.

The game begins with each player taking their turn at rolling the dice. The player who rolls the dice is called the “shooter”. All the players bet on the same roll, regardless of whether they’re the shooter, or one of the other players. The same person keeps on rolling the dice until he happens to roll a seven at the wrong time. This means he or she “sevens out”. Then another player takes over rolling the dice and becomes the shooter.

Live craps is played in rounds. When a round begins, the first roll of the dice is called the “come-out roll”. The round itself, depending on what is rolled and when it’s rolled, can last for just one roll, or for several rolls. If you start getting confused, it’s better to wait for the next come-out roll. It’s something that gets easier with practice, as most things do.

When a new come-out roll is about to start, the croupier will let everyone know it’s “coming out,” and you will know the new round is beginning.

How live craps works

The most basic wager is called a pass line bet. This pays even money, so if you bet £10 and win, your prize money will be £10, plus your stake back, of course. To make a pass line bet, you must place your chips on an area of the table that is marked “pass line”.

When all the bets have been placed, the shooter will roll the come-out roll. If the total of the two dice rolled is seven or 11, you will win. If the total is two, three or 12, that is craps, which means you lose. If the total is any other number (four, five, six, eight, nine or ten) you will go on to the next round.

A marker is placed on the table on the number that has been rolled to reach that round. This number is called the “point”. For example, if the shooter rolled a six, the marker will be placed on number six on the table.

In this next round, the game changes and players have another chance of winning. The dice are rolled again. If the point is rolled again (for example, a number six) then you will win. If the dice total number seven, you will lose. If any other number is rolled, other than the point or number seven, it’s not relevant and the dice will simply be rolled again.

Learn the relevance of the roll of the dice

If you play live craps online and aren’t familiar with the way it works, you might find yourself getting a little confused at first. It’s important that you understand the relevance of the roll of the dice and the number seven. Always remember that with the come-out roll, if a seven is rolled, you win. However, when you go through to the second round, rolling a seven will make you lose!

It’s so important to know where you are in the round and simply wait for the next come-out roll if you get confused at first. In the second round, if a seven is rolled before the point and you lose, this is when you are “sevening out”. When this occurs, the shooter will seven out and the dice will be passed on to the next shooter.

When the point has been rolled, any dice totals, other than seven, are called numbers. If someone is “throwing numbers”, this is known as being “on a roll”, as they’re making plenty of throws, but not hitting the seven.

What are odds bets?

If you want to decrease the house edge and improve your chances of winning, place odds bets. This is known as “taking the odds”. You can place odds bets after placing a pass line bet and after a point has been made. When a point has been made, you can place an odds bet below a pass line bet. Remember not to stack your chips on top of each other. The two bets are tied to each other. This means that if you win a pass line bet, you will also win the odds bet. But losing the pass line bet means that you actually lose both bets.

As an example, if you’re taking the odds, a sequence might play out in the following way: a new round begins and you will win if a seven or 11 is rolled; lose if a two, three or 12 is rolled; or set a point if a four, five, six, eight, nine or ten is rolled. A seven is rolled and you win. A new round starts and the same shooter rolls again. This time, a 12 is rolled. You lose.

Another new round begins, still with the same shooter. This time, a four is rolled. A point is set and the marker is moved on to the number four on the board. This time, you place an odds bet below your previously-placed pass line bet. You will win both of your bets if a four is rolled again before a seven is rolled. If a seven is rolled, you lose. If anything else is rolled, it’s irrelevant and the dice will be rolled again. A six is rolled and this is irrelevant.

The same shooter rolls again. This time, it’s a four. This means you have won both bets. The marker is removed and a new round starts, still with the same shooter. This time, you win if a seven or an 11 is rolled. A three is rolled. This means you lose and the dice pass to the next shooter. A new round begins and an 11 is rolled, so you win.

Once you get the hang of the way it works and how a number seven can mean you win or lose, depending on the round, it will become easier. Practice makes perfect.

How much can you wager on an odds bet?

Odds bets will reduce the house edge, so you want as big an odds bet as possible. However, the casino will limit the amount you can bet. Your odds bet can be the same amount as your pass line bet in a single odds game. If it’s a double odds game, your odds bet can be double your pass line bet.

Some casinos will offer even better odds than this. Check out a number of casinos offering live craps and see what their house rules are.

Do odds bets make you more likely to win?

Placing odds bets doesn’t make you more likely to win, but will pay different amounts, dependent on the point on which you bet. For example, you’re playing live craps at an online casino and decide to place an odds bet after your pass line bet. If the point is on a four or a ten, the odds are 2/1, so if you’ve placed a £10 bet, then you’ll win £20. If the point is five or nine, the odds are 3/2, so a £10 bet nets you £15 if you win. If the point is six or eight, the odds are 6/5, so a £10 wager wins £12.

In a nutshell, the odds bets pay out according to how difficult it is to hit the point. It’s harder to roll a four than a seven, because there are only three ways of rolling a four, but there are six ways of rolling a seven. This means the odds are 2/1 against you rolling another four before a seven comes up, so if you do roll the four, you’re paid 2/1. If your odds bet was £5 on that occasion, you would win £10.

What’s a come bet?

When playing live craps online, there’s one more type of wager you can make. This is called the come bet. This can be made after a point has been established. If the point is four, five, six, eight, nine or ten, you then make a come bet by placing your bet on an area marked “come”.

At this point, a come bet works in a similar way to a pass line bet. You will win the come bet if a seven or an 11 is rolled, but lose if a two, three or 12 is rolled. If any other number is rolled, you’ve established your come point and your wager is moved to that number. This means there will then be two points – the original point that would win your pass line bet and the come point that would win your come bet.

Some novices find this harder to understand, so you don’t have to make the bet if it doesn’t make any sense to you at first. Stick with pass line bets and odds bets until you get more familiar with how it works. Practise, learn and when you feel more confident, go for it.

You don’t have to make any bet other than pass line bets if you prefer. But making a come bet can liven the game up considerably, if you feel up to doing so.

Is there anything else to know about live craps?

Craps is a game surrounded by a number of superstitions! If you’re a man playing online craps for the first time and you’re chatting to other players, don’t mention that you’ve never played before. It’s supposed to be unlucky and you might find yourself a little unpopular with the others if they’re all seasoned craps players.

However, if you’re female and playing for the first time, this is supposed to be lucky! There’s absolutely no relevance to these superstitions at all, other than they are age-old beliefs from the bricks-and-mortar casinos.

Are there any betting systems that work?

If you’re looking online and spot adverts telling you of systems which guarantee you’ll win at live craps, don’t believe the hype. There’s no winning system. It’s based on luck. If there was a system, the authors would have used it themselves and would be millionaires! The casinos would have gone bankrupt, or would have changed the rules of craps to fix the flaw in the game which was allowing you to win all the time.

There are plenty of books and guides teaching beginners how to play, but none that will teach you how to win all the time. That’s simply impossible. As with all live casino games, gamble responsibly and don’t spend more than you intended. Don’t try to win back any losses if you’ve been swept away in the heat of the moment and gone over your budget. Just stop and try again another day.

If you feel ready to play live craps, click on one of the links above, choose a casino and give it a try. Once you start, the rules will become much clearer with practice and you’ll soon be playing like a pro.