Plenty of us will be venturing out from Santa Monica to Inglewood, Gardena or Ventura for a night at the casino during the holiday season. Even more will be taking advantage of the various US online casino platforms that welcome players from California, to try their luck in cyberspace.
There’s a great choice of games, whichever option you choose, including slots and card games like blackjack or poker. But one of the most popular US casino games of all is not available in California’s land-based casinos. That’s why players have been heading online to play the fun, if inelegantly named, game of craps.
On the roll of the dice
Dice games are the oldest gambling games of them all. Archeologists in Egypt have found dice made from animal bones that date back to prehistoric times. Craps can’t date its history back quite that far, but it evolved from a similar game called Hazard, which was mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer’s epic Canterbury Tales, published in the late 1300s.
A craps table might look complicated, but the game is actually a simplified version of hazard that was invented by a Louisiana nobleman and inveterate gambler called Jean-Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville in the 1800s. The game was played for years in the streets and fields before being adapted for the casino in the 1940s.
How to play
The basic gameplay in craps is very simple. The shooter rolls a pair of dice. This is known as the “comeout roll”. If the value rolled is 7 or 11, it is said to have “passed the line” so pass line bets win. The shooter can go again. If it is 2, 3 or 12, don’t pass line bets pay out and the dice are passed to the next shooter. If the value is anything else (that is, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10) that value is known as the “point” and the game enters a second phase. The shooter must now try to shoot a point score again before shooting a 7. If the point is scored before a 7, pass line bets win. If 7 comes up first, don’t pass line bet pay out.
We have already mentioned the two most important craps bets – pass line and don’t pass line. That actually gives you all the information you need to play craps, as these two bets have the lowest house edge – both below 1.5 percent.
Of course, casino gaming is for fun not profit, so you might want to also try the come and don’t come bets, which are focused on the game within a game when the shooter is trying to match the point value.
Where to play craps
Dice games are not permitted in California’s land-based casinos, and although some have tried to find a way around this with playing card versions, it’s really not the same. Fortunately, this list of top online casinos to play in America doesn’t just include reviews for US casinos that welcome California players, it also has a great selection of the best sites for playing craps. Until such time as the ever-changing gambling laws are amended yet again, it’s the best way to join the party at the craps table.