Besides the classic craps you’ve played in the casino (or back alleys) your whole life, there are a number of alternative craps games that are played in casinos, and especially on the Internet. In my experience, most craps game variations are not an improvement on the original, mainly because they tend to have worse odds than the game you already know and love.
That being said, any craps player worth his or her salt is going to want to be able to say they’ve played every version of craps out there, even if only once. So I wanted to make a list of the craps variants you are most likely to come across when searching for novel craps games to play. There are always going to be oddball craps games made up on the spur of the moment and having some new crazy name, but it would be impossible to know of and list all of these games, so I’ll stick to the games considered successful and likely to be found online.
Craps Game Variants
The most likely alternate games you’re likely to find are Las Vegas craps (or bank craps), New York Craps, Die Rich Craps, crapless craps, Simplified Craps, and High Point Craps, so I’ll focus on these and give a brief description of each.
Las Vegas Craps – Bank Craps
Bank craps or Las Vegas craps is a variant originally found in Nevada casinos. This craps variation has an increasing visibility online, so you might be able to find casinos that offer bank craps. Bank craps requires the player to place bets against the house, and typically has players throw the dice against a wire or string stretched a few inches over the surface of the craps table. Las Vegas craps has a house edge around 1.4%.
You can make bets for a player in the “Does Pass”, “Win”, or “Line” areas of the table layout, and against the player in the “Don’t Pass” section. Proposition bets are also available, with certain variations in the percentages (not in your favor) for certain of those bets.
New York Craps – Craps Game Options
Another option is “New York Craps”, which is popular in some parts of the East Coast of America. Once again, the house edge in NY craps is higher than in Las Vegas Craps. The table is much different, as it uses a double-end dealer table.
New York craps doesn’t allow “Come Bets” or “Don’t Come Bets”. Urban legend has it that New York craps was played in the United Kingdom, the Bahamas, and even the now-defunct Yugoslavia, but whether this is true or just color to draw in more suckers is unknown. As with most game variants of classic games, the house odds rise as the game gets more exotic, and the odds are less known.
Die Rich Craps – Craps Rules Variations
“Die Rich Craps” has a number of other names, including money craps, fading craps, and open craps. The big novelty in this game is that you only use one die. Box numbers include 4 through 6 and 8 through 10, and you’ll be able to bet on the win line and lose line.
In Die Rich Craps, the house keeps a vigorish of 5 to 7 percent, and many gamblers consider this craps game to be illegal. Usually this game is played in Internet environments for big money, and usually in private.
Crapless Craps – Bastard Craps
One colorful variant is called “Bastard craps” or “crapless craps”, and this version tends to be played on the Internet in private games. This game version tends to be stripped down and simple to play, but the house edge is a huge 5.38%. What you get in the way of novelty is therefore paid-for, and I wouldn’t suggest you play bastard craps except as a conversation piece later. You won’t be beating it nearly as often as the original craps game.
Rules variations in crapless craps lets you bet on rolling a 2-3-11-12 before a 7 is rolled. Also, the 2-12 bet has odds of 11:2, while the 3-11 bet has odds of 11:4.
Simplified Craps – Craps Games
Simplified craps has a bet where you win if you hit on 2-3-4-10-11-12, but lose on a 5-6-7-8-9. The house edge in “Simplified Craps” is around a respectable 2.8%.
High Point Craps – Craps Types
The game known as “High Point Craps” requires a little bit of math and memory work, because you add 1 point to your total in certain circumstances. If you roll a 2 or 3 on your first roll in this version of craps, you ignore the roll. Elevens and twelves are an automatic win on this roll.
If any other total is rolled on the succeeding hands, you add 1 to your total and you roll again. You have to get higher than an 11 or 12 to win, in this case. The house edge of High Point Craps is 2.35%.
Once again, I’ll warn you that some of the alternate craps games you’re going to find are not going to be to your advantage, compared to traditional craps. One incentive to making up your own craps game is to make a game weighted heavily in favor of the house, but which people can’t find a whole lot of craps strategy guides to give them the odds breakdown. Craps gamblers tend to be risk takers, so any dice gambler worth his salt isn’t going to be able to turn down a game shooting some new craps version.
When you walk into a casino off the beaten path or into underground gambling house, or you go to a private dice room online, I’d warn you not to take people at their word or their knowledge of these new craps games at face value. Made-up craps games sound better if there’s some kind of a back story, and with the dearth of information on the newest craps games, it’s easy to make stuff up and hope it sticks. Let me give you an example of faked, made-up craps games.
Hottest Craps Games – Latest Alternative Craps
“The hottest new craps game out there is ‘Trident Craps’. It’s played with three dice and pays off 3x the bet when you roll the 1-1-1 three. They call that roll ‘snake-eyes-eating-a-rat’, because the rat’s the third eye–get it? They call it trident craps because of its three-pronged nature, and also because it was played in Ancient Atlantis.”
“The best new craps variation is ‘Chinese Craps’. It got big in Macao and now it’s the hottest thing in underground online casinos. It uses two dice, but the “1” is called an ace and it’s wild. You can use a 1 as either a 1 or a 7, but it can’t be used to make a 7. Also, if you roll snake-eyes at any time, you lose.”
Best Craps Games Ever
See, both of those are complete crap–I just made up both. It’s like that “parity hedge system” thing. If you give it a couple of years of bouncing around the Internet, you’ll see numerous websites presenting these suggestions as real craps games variants. You might even hear about trident craps being played in private Internet casino rooms–licensed in Atlantis, of course. I can’t tell you what the rules will be exactly, but I guarantee the house edge on these new craps games will be over 5%, though.