It’s no secret that craps is my favorite gambling game. It’s just more fun than any other game I can imagine. Sure, I wish it had a skill element, and I don’t believe in dice setting, but it’s still a wicked amount of fun.
And if you stick with the bets which have a low house edge, it’s one of the best games in the casino.
But what if you want to play craps at home for some reason?
What are your options?
That’s what this post is all about.
Buying or Building Your Own Craps Table
Craps tables are big. If you want to play craps for real money on a table similar to what you’ll find in a casino, you need to make sure you have a space big enough to put it in. For some people, the garage or the basement is the only option.
Buying your own craps table isn’t cheap, either. You can expect to spend close to $1000 for even a cheap one, and if you want one that’s actually nice, you should expect to spend closer to $2000.
Even that $2000 one won’t duplicate what you’d play on at a casino. It’s going to be a little smaller and not quite as high-quality.
Still, if you’re determined to play casino-style craps at your house with your buddies, you have the option of buying one.
Another option is to build your own craps table. You can find plans for craps tables online easily enough if you’re a do-it-yourselfer.
A friend of mine once told me he was going to build his own smoker, and he didn’t realize how hard that was really going to be until he embarked on the project.
But yeah, you have options.
People have played craps on the street for decades. You don’t need a special table at all for this. Just a pair of dice and some folks who understand what the game is all about.
Normally when you’re playing street craps, you have some players who are willing to bet on either side of the game. In other words, some of the bettors are betting on the pass line, while others are betting don’t pass.
You need someone to place a bet, but you also need someone to lay that bet.
I should point out that in most jurisdictions, street craps is illegal. That doesn’t seem to slow down the action on such games, but I’d be irresponsible if I didn’t at least mention it.
Free Craps Games Online or Off
Of course every traditional online casino I can think of offers its entire suite of games to players for free. This includes their craps games. The big drawback with these free craps games is this:
You can’t win any money playing them.
The big selling point to these free online craps games, though, is this:
You can’t lose any money playing them.
When you play the free games at an online casino, the casino gives you a specific number of play-money chips to bet with. Your balance goes up and down, but these chips don’t have any monetary value. They’re just a means of keeping score.
You can compare playing online casino games with free chips to playing poker for matchsticks or toothpicks as a kid. It’s a way to keep score in the game without risking anything with any actual monetary value.
Online casinos provide these free games with the hope that you’ll like them well enough to sign up for the casino and play for real money. They’ll usually give you a significant sized signup bonus when you make your first deposit, too.
These signup bonus offers come with strings attached, of course, in the form of wagering requirements. You can’t just sign up at a casino, claim a bonus, play craps for 2 or 3 hands, then withdraw the free money they gave you.
The casinos require you to wager your deposit and your bonus a minimum number of times before cashing out.
And most of them don’t count wagers on craps toward those wagering requirements.
The house edge on craps is too low.
But with a software program like that, you don’t have the option of trading up to real money play even if you want to.
I also want to caution you about one thing:
I’m confident that the real money versions of craps have the same odds attached to them as regular craps in a traditional casino. There’s plenty of mathematical edge built into the game as it’s traditionally played that casinos have little or no incentive to cheat.
But with the free casino games, I suspect that they tilt the odds slightly in the players’ favor.
I have no evidence of this, but in my first online casino experience, I just couldn’t lose when I played their free online blackjack game.
And that changed dramatically after I made a deposit and started playing with real money on the line.
Internet Casinos for Real Money – Simulated Craps
When you do play online craps for real money, you’ll usually be playing an animated game that’s powered by a random number generator. This random number generator has been programmed to offer the same kinds of odds and probability you’d find in a traditional craps game.
Some people suspect online casinos of cheating, but I think that’s the least of your worries. They don’t need to cheat. There are no bets at the craps table where the player has an advantage, so why would they need to cheat?
But for someone who’s used to playing craps in an actual casino, playing a simulated video game version of craps lacks a certain something. It’s just not the same as throwing the dice yourself or watching another player throw the dice.
It reminds me of playing craps in the casino a few years ago in Oklahoma. They offered craps, but they weren’t legally allowed to use dice. They used playing cards, instead, and each card represented a different result of throwing 2 dice.
It just wasn’t the same.
Live Dealer Casinos
The more exciting way to play craps online is to play at one of these new live dealer casinos that are becoming more popular. These casinos use webcams and chat software to power their games. And their craps games use real dice.
But I have friends who are skeptical in the extreme about the fairness of most casino games. They think that all of them are rigged except craps. They claim that you can cheat with anything but dice, and the casinos do.
No matter how hard I tried to explain to my one conspiracy-minded friend that this isn’t the case, he refused to believe me. His mind was made up.
Of course, he also believes that the earth is flat, so there’s that.
Practicing Dice Setting and Dice Control Techniques
I’ve already mentioned that I don’t put much stock into dice setting and dice control techniques, but if this is an “advantage” gambling method you’d like to try, you WILL need to practice at home.
To have any hope of success, you’ll need to make sure that you’re practicing on a craps table that’s the same size and shape as one you’ll find in the casino. This means spending some money and doing some research.
If you’re not practicing in conditions that are similar to the conditions you’ll face in the casino, you won’t have any way of knowing if you’re actually going to get an edge over the house.
Also, when you practice, you’ll need to track your results on a consistent basis to be sure that you’re actually doing well and not just seeing a statistical anomaly.
That means thousands of dice throws.
How do you play craps at home?
You have multiple options, depending on what your goals are.
If you want to practice dice control, you should probably have a craps table built to casino specifications.
Otherwise, you might as well play on the street or on the internet.