There’s a simple reason why craps is a popular choice for players of both land-based and online casino games: It offers one of the lowest house advantages in the gaming industry. If you’ve done your research and know your strategy, you’ll have an idea of which bets offer the most value, based on statistical probability. But there’s more to this casino dice game than numbers.
Of all the types of casino games, craps is the only one that gives you an element of control. This holds the possibility of increasing your chances by improving the way you shoot the dice. It’s one of the few casino table games where technique can increase your odds of winning, provided you understand the fundamentals of throwing and the layout of a craps table. Read on for tips on how to play craps at a casino using an improved dice-throwing technique.
The basics of rolling in a craps casino game
The basic rule when you’re shooting dice in a craps casino game is that they have to hit the back wall and roll down to the felt below (they can touch the table en route, of course.) If you roll the dice short, the “stickman” (as a craps croupier is known) could rule that it’s a no-roll, or you could forfeit the dice to the next shooter. The same goes for lob rolls that go too high.
Avoid these basic errors and you’re in the game. Of course, if you want to eliminate all possibility of rolling short or high, you can always play at an online casino (more on that later.) But if you prefer to play casino games at a real table, there are ways you can refine your craps shooting technique for potentially better results. It all starts with your knowledge of the game and where you stand at the table.
Position yourself for success
When you’re learning how to play craps at a casino, the key is to maximize your odds of winning through finesse and deliberate aim. You don’t want to hurl the dice at the back wall with all your force, because they’ll scatter randomly. For better chances of control, position yourself as close to the back wall as possible.
You have to learn the layout of a craps table to know where to aim. Stick right one (immediately right of where the stickman is,) stick right two, stick left one and stick left two are the closest points on the table to the back wall. That’s according to experts of dice technique, including Frank Scoblete, author of the book Casino Craps: Shoot to Win! Right-handers are advised to stand at stick left and left-handers at stick right because this will get your throwing hand as close to the midline of the table as possible.
Setting the dice
Setting the pair of dice means arranging them in a certain way so they don’t tumble randomly when you throw them. In theory, if you throw consistently, the dice should fall in the same way and show similar values every time. There are different types of “set,” each calculated to produce different odds and a range of values.
One of the most popular is the so-called “Hardway” set, which is designed to prevent the appearance of the number 7. To form the set, line up your two dice with the one on the left showing the “6” side to the left and the one on the right showing the “1” side to the right(you may need to rotate one of the dice to get to this position.) This makes it easy to ensure that all the faces show hardway numbers: 2:2, 3:3, 4:4, 5:5. Once you’ve set up this configuration, you’ll see that one die would have to move two faces relative to the other for a 7 to appear. If you do this, you then end up with the “All Sevens” set, which is potentially useful for hitting 7 on the come-out roll.
Another popular set is called the “3-Vm.” You set the dice with the 3s face up in a “V” formation, giving you hard 6 (3 and 3) on top, 6 (5 and 1) at the front, 8 (6 and 2) at the back and hard 8 (4 and 4) below, with no 7s showing. (It’s worth noting here that there are two ways you can form the “V” with two 3s, so make sure you have them the right way around!)
Pick up the dice like a pro
Rolling dice at a craps table requires a particular body movement, like a golf swing. The way you pick up and grip the dice can make all the difference to your throw. Best practice is to bring your hand over the top of the dice (try to rearrange them into the set of your choosing) and handle them from the sides. If the dice split while you’re holding them, take your outside fingers and gently close the dice together. Then grip the dice in such a way that they leave your hand together when you throw them. If you’re looking to make the perfect throw, you don’t want one die in front and the other lagging behind.
Grip the dice evenly
The ideal scenario is for the dice to be balanced evenly on release so they spin together in the same way (this, in theory, is why the sets can help you land specific numbers, although it’s not a foolproof method, of course!) The key to getting them to spin properly is the grip. One grip that comes highly recommended is the three-fingered grip. Your middle finger and thumb hold the dice in place, with the thumb centered evenly between the two dice, while your index and ring fingers guide the dice down the table. To keep your grip as light as possible, use your fingertips or the pads of your fingers.
Shoot the dice smoothly
Now it’s time to shoot the dice. Remember that they must hit the back wall … Make your grip, with the bottom of the dice level with the tabletop and the front of the dice square with the front wall. Aim the dice, move them back and forward with a pendulum swing, and release! Unlike online slots, there’s a bit more to it than just RNG. You want the die to leave your hands through controlled momentum. For added control, some advanced players add backspin to the dice. The theory is that this makes the dice hit the back wall with less energy. As a result, they don’t bounce as much and fall less randomly.
Beat the bounce
The bounce is the thorn in the side of any would-be precision shooter. Many would say that it’s flatly impossible to control the way dice bounce off the back wall. Some dice experts, though, say that it’s possible to reduce the impact of the bounce. The idea is to get the dice to travel at a 45-degree angle so that they hit the tabletop solidly, with as much of the surface area of the dice as possible. Hopefully, by the time they reach the straight part of the back wall, they will have lost most of their energy so they bounce off and come to an immediate rest. Try not to hit the table’s curved corner area – the so-called “mixing bowl.”
Play online casino craps live
Many players consider craps to be one of the best casino games purely because of its broad range of betting possibilities and low house edge. If, like them, you’re less interested in the act of shooting the dice than you are in placing bets, live dealer craps is for you! It’s one of the most recent live dealer casino games to hit the market and it’s taking off big time at our online casino.
The potential for live dealer casino games is exciting, to say the least. Imagine being (virtually) table-side in a laid-back, speak-easy setting. The dealer loads the dice into a robotic arm device on every round, which shoots the dice against the back wall after the betting round is complete. It’s the closest you can get to being at a land-based craps table, with the added convenience of online casino games being that you can connect on your mobile device from wherever you are.
Other types of casino table games, such as poker, for example, have dozens of variations and varied rulesets. Craps, on the other hand, follows the same format no matter where you’re playing. It’s an easy and accessible casino dice game to learn, with significantly less RNG than online slots.
Roll with the best at Borgata Online
Get your best casino craps game on when you register with us here at Borgata Online for First Person Craps. You can choose between the full version of the game, with the complete range of craps bets, and a simplified easy-mode option that allows less experienced players to get a feel for how to play craps at a casino. We also offer the whole gamut of casino table games at Borgata Online, so you can always try out roulette, poker, slots or other live dealer titles when you’re done at the craps table.