Published on 17.05.2022

Written by

Kelvin JonesKelvin Jones
Fact checked by Kelvin Jones
Published on 17.05.2022
Reading time 15 min

Play Craps Online

Few games give you the thrill of real money gambling like Craps. Better still, the game also gives you very high odds of winnings against the house! If you want to enjoy this exciting game in South Africa, you are in luck – various electronic variants of craps are readily available in South African online casinos these days. 

In this craps guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about playing craps online in South Africa. For experienced pros seeking the best real money online crap sites in 2022, we have an updated list right here to save your valuable time. We also have a detailed guide that covers the following basics about craps: 

  • History of Craps
  • Basic Rules
  • Craps Terminology
  • Winning Strategies
  • Different Online Variants
  • Information about Bonuses

First, we have an updated list of the best sites to play craps online in South Africa right now, in 2022: 

The Best Real Money Online Craps Sites in South Africa

How We Chose the Best Online Craps Casinos

We have a team of dedicated gambling experts here to scour the internet for the best online casinos for South African players. While picking a casino to add to the recommended list for online craps players, our experts look for the following features: 

  • Valid License – In 2022, nobody should play real money craps at unlicensed casinos. Craps is a game with one of the highest player odds for wins. If you play at an unlicensed casino, there is a high risk of finding a craps game that is rigged in favour of the house. We look for casinos licensed by reputed authorities. 
  • A Good Selection of Online Craps – This aspect is often harder than you would think – many online casinos tend to focus exclusively on video slots and live dealer games. While some providers like Evolution do have craps in their live game catalogue, it is not as commonly found as blackjack or roulette games.
  • Support for Rands – Any online casino aimed toward South African players should automatically have support for transactions in SA Rands. This is essential if you want to avoid currency conversion fees every time you deposit or withdraw your money from the casino. 
  • Fast and Secure Payments – The best online craps casinos should provide players with a diverse array of payment methods. We look for casinos with at least 5-6 banking options, or more. Ideally, a casino should provide credit/debit cards, online banking, e-wallets, and if possible, cryptocurrency support. 
  • A Positive Track Record –The best online casinos for craps are the ones that treat their customers with respect. What is the point of winning money on craps if the casino fails to pay your money on time? Our team reviews the performance history of a casino, looking for any complaints or controversies.

A History of Craps

Craps is a simple game that can be played anywhere with a pair of dice. It has a long and colourful history, often intricately linked to soldiers and warring times. The game has historic connections that can be traced back to three separate eras.

Ancient Rome 

Some historians trace its origins back to Ancient Rome. Roman soldiers were known to play a game of throwing dice made from pig bones into inverted shields. This is supposedly the source of the phrase “rolling the bones,” which is used in modern craps to describe the throw of dice. 

While there are still lingering doubts about the Roman origin of craps, no such ambiguity exists about its more recent ancestor. This was a dice game that appeared in Europe in the 12th Century – it was called Hazard and it too had a link with soldiers and warfare. 

Medieval Europe/Middle East

The dice game was discovered by European crusaders who went to the Middle East to conquer Jerusalem and other holy cities.

One theory states that the name “Hazard” came from the name of the castle the crusaders were sieging at the time – Hazarth. But the more likely origin of the name comes from the Arabic word 'al zhar’ which means simply ‘dice.’ 

When the crusaders returned to their home countries, the game also spread with them and acquired new names. Going from 'Azar' in Spain to 'Hasard’ in France, it finally morphed into ‘hazard’ when it arrived in England. 

Early Modern America

The modern origins of craps can be traced to Colonia Era Louisiana in the United States. The game was brought from England by Bernard Xavier de Mandeville, a French-American nobleman and avid gambler. He encountered a modern English version of Hazard called “Krabs.”

When de Mandeville simplified the game and introduced it into Louisiana high society in 1788, it was rejected by the wealthy sections. However, the game caught on among the lower classes of labourers and artisans and its name morphed into craps.  

The game of craps truly exploded in popularity more than a century later, during WWII among US servicemen. When Las Vegas became a gambling destination in the 1950s, the demand from these ex-soldiers made it a major casino game in the US. 

How to Play Craps Online

To play Craps online, you need either a PC or mobile device (iOS or Android) and a decent internet connection. Ideally, use one with faster speeds over a 4G network or broadband. The PC could be using Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X. 

When you have all the essentials, follow these steps to start playing craps online: 

  • Pick a trusted online casino with craps from our recommended list
  • Visit the casino using the links provided
  • Click/tap on the “Sign-Up” or “Register” buttons on the casino welcome page
  • Enter your details like name and contact address in the online form
  • Accept the casino terms and create your registered account
  • You can now make cash deposits and claim welcome bonuses
  • Once the funds are in your casino balance, go to the Table Games section of the casino
  • Pick craps from the available options and start playing! 

How to Use Free Craps Online to Practice

If you are a beginner at craps, spending real money on bets may not be the optimal idea. Instead, you can play craps for free online to practice and hone your skills. 

You can play with virtual funds in modes frequently called “free play,” “demo,” or “fun play.” The main difference between this and bonus play is that in bonus play when you win you get cash in your casino balance. With free play, wins only give you fake virtual coins. 

Getting free craps online for practice is incredibly easy if you follow these steps: 

  • Visit any trusted online casino on our list 
  • On the game lobby, find a game of craps 
  • Hover your mouse over the game icon or tap it once on mobile
  • The option to play for free/fun will appear 
  • Click or tap on that option to practice craps online for free!

Free play is only available on virtual craps in the table games section of the casino. You cannot use free play on live dealer versions of craps. Also, some casinos – mainly those licensed by UK Gambling Commission – cannot allow players to try free/demo play without registering and performing KYC.

Craps Online Rules

Craps is, at its core, a simple game involving the throw of a pair of dice. The players bet on the outcome of each throw, adding the numbers that land on the two dice to figure out who won or lost. The live dealer version of craps is a more or less faithful representation of the offline casino version, with just one difference – instead of you throwing the dice, a machine will do the “shooting” on your behalf. 

Craps are played on a board with various possible outcomes from the dice roll printed. Participants all place their bets on what they think the dice rolls will be before the throw. 

  1. Placing Your Bets

In offline play, both the person throwing the dice – called the shooter – and other people around the table can place bets on the outcome of a throw. But in online craps, it is just you and any other active players betting against the casino. At the beginning of each round, you will get the option to place your bets – we will explain each type of bet in craps in detail in the next section. 

In live dealer games, you will have up to 30 seconds to place your bets on the table. Do note that you are not restricted to single bets – many craps games allow you to place multiple bets before each round to balance your risk somewhat. After the betting window, the machine will throw the dice – in virtual craps, you can press a button to throw the dice. 

  1. Different Possible Outcomes 

Once the throw is completed, it is time to add the combined value of the two dice to figure out if you won. There are numerous possible outcomes when you place with two regular six-sided dice. However, these are grouped into the following easy to understand categories.

Natural 

A natural is when you land either a 7 or an 11 with your dice roll. In offline play, this means that you won and better still, you get to continue playing as the shooter. A natural is the best possible outcome in craps for the player. 

Craps

The name of the game is derived from the bad outcome where you lose. It happens if you roll a 2, 3, or 12. Rolling a 2 is called snake eyes. In offline play, you would also lose your position as the shooter if you get craps. 

Point 

If you roll one of 4,5,6,8,9, or 10, it is called a point. When this happens, you have to throw the dice again and hope for a repeat of the same number. You don’t need to land the same combination as before – just the total sum has to be identical. 

For example, in the first round, you landed a 2+6. In the second round, you have to land an 8 via either a 1+7, 2+6, 3+5, or 4+4. It doesn't matter which combination you get as long as you get an 8 in both rounds. 

Types of Bets in Craps

The basic rules of playing craps are easy to understand. The real kicker for most beginners is in figuring out the many betting options you have at your disposal. In this section, we will take a look at each of the bets available in online craps.

Pass or Don’t Pass Bets

These are the two most common betting options used in craps. And they are also the easiest to understand – you are betting on whether the dice will roll a ‘natural’, a 7 or 11. You have to place these bets before the first throw of the dice. Here are the two options: 

  • Pass the Line – You win if the roll gets a 7 or 11. If it is a 2,3, or 12, you lose the bet. Any other number and your wager are moved to points. You now have to get the same number in the next roll to win your bet. 
  • Don’t Pass the Line – This is the opposite of pass the line. You lose if the dice land on a 7 or 11. You win if it is a 2 or 3. If it is a 12, then it is called a 'push' – you neither win nor lose.  

Come and Don’t Come Bets

These are the bets you can only place after the pass line bets have been placed. Usually, this happens when the shooter is on a point. Here are the two options:

  • Come – If you think the next roll after the point will be a 7 or 11, you place a come bet. You lose this bet outright if you a 2, 3, or 12. However, if it is any other point, you reach the Come Bet-Point stage – you win if that point repeats itself. If not, you lose. 
  • Don’t Come – Just like don't pass the line, this is the opposite of the come bet. You win if you land a 2 or 3, and lose if you get a 7 or 11. On 12, you neither win nor lose. If a point is made, you want the next roll to be a 7 to win. 

Proposition Bets

These are single roll bets available in a separate section of the board. There are several different outcome combinations that you can place your money on, including: 

  • Any Seven – you win if the roll is a 7
  • Any Craps – you win if the roll is a 2, 3, or 12
  • Ace Deuce – You win if the roll is a 3
  • Aces – you win if the roll is a 2
  • Boxcars – you win if the roll is 12
  • Horn – you win if the roll is a 2, 3, 11, or 12

As you can see, proposition bets drastically increase your betting options on a craps table. But that is not all, the game has a few other options as well: 

Other Betting Options

The three bets in this section are place bets, field bets, and 'Big 6' or 'Big 8' bets. These bets only pay out in a straight 1:1 ratio. 

  • Field Bet – you win if the roll is 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12. You lose if it is 5, 6, 7 or 8. 
  • Place Bet – On a point, you can bet on any number on the table to land before a 7. 
  • Big 6/Big 8 – you win if a 6 or 8 is rolled before a 7.

Craps Odds and Optimal Bets

Craps has one of the highest odds of any online casino game. The standard RTP on a game of craps in an online casino is around 98.59%. That means that the house edge in this game is just a measly 1.41% – that is much lower than the 3% - 8% you see on video slots. 

That said, it is still a game more like slots than blackjack in terms of skill –everything is based purely on the chance of dice rolls. In offline games, some people claim that you can practice your dice throwing skills to get the best rolls. But you cannot get guaranteed outcomes in every round. 

As for the online version, there is no physics involved and it is all based on pure RNG algorithms. So the best that you can do is try to play a conservative game – place the optimal bets possible out of all the options. In craps, an optimal bet is one with the lowest house edge. You have a few options that fit the description: 

  • Pass the Line/Don’t Pass the Line
  • Come/Don’t Come
  • Place 6 or Place 8

With these bets, the house edge is at its lowest, around 1.41%.

Craps Terminology Explained

One of the most intimidating things about craps for a newcomer is its special slang – many important words and phrases may sound like gibberish to someone who is not familiar with the game. In this section, you can find a list of the most important craps terms and phrases: 

  • Ace – The value of 1 showing up on a dice
  • Big Red –The number 7, or any bet hoping for that number
  • Big 6 or Big 8 – Any bet hoping for a 6 or 8 to land before a 7
  • Box Numbers – 4,5,6,8,9,10 place numbers
  • Cold Dice/Cold Table – When you fail to hit the points and keep sevening out
  • Craps – The numbers 2, 3, and 12
  • Easy Way – Bet that wins when you roll 4,6,8,10 without a double
  • Front  - Another name for pass the line
  • Hard Way – Bet that wins when you roll 4, 6, 8, 10 as dice pairs
  • Hi-lo – A single roll bet on 2 and 12
  • Inside Numbers – Place bets on numbers between 5-6 and 8-9
  • Little Joe – Slang for a roll of 4 on the dice
  • Little Phoebe – Slang roll of 5 on the dice
  • Outside Numbers– Place bets on numbers between 4-10 and 5-9
  • Puppy Paws – Slang for a roll of 10 on the dice
  • Snake Eyes – Slang for a roll of 2 on the dice (two dots)

How to Win at Craps Online

This is a common question among newcomers to the game of craps. In this regard, online craps are a bit different from offline because you don't get to control the throw of the dice. You have zero control over deciding the outcome of any round of craps online. It is all based on advanced algorithms that generate truly random outcomes for each betting round. 

The simple truth is that you cannot win constantly and consistently in online craps. It is entirely luck-based. The best you can do is minimize your odds of losing. For that, you need to learn all the different kinds of bets and how they are affected by the house edge. 

More importantly, you need to realize that some numbers are more likely to land in a roll than others. For example, you can only land a 2 with a single combination – a pair of ones. The same is true for 12 – you need a pair of sixes. 

But some other numbers have more possible combinations across the two dice. For instance, a 7 is the most likely number in craps because it has 6 different combinations.

You can roll 36 different combinations with a pair of dice in craps. That gives the number 7 a chance of one in six. This is why pass and come bets are your best options for winning with anything close to reliability in craps. 

Further here are some handy money management tips to improve your odds of winning: 

  • If you win a big amount, keep playing with your winnings and set aside your initial stake and some profits as a safety cache to break even if you lose big time. 
  • Set a strict limit on how much you can afford to lose. And never play craps with money that you cannot afford to lose. 
  • Divide your bankroll by fifty and use the result as your bet limit for each roll. This way you can extend your gaming sessions and avoid the risk of blowing it all away in a few rolls.  

The Most Popular Craps Variations

Unlike blackjack or video poker, craps do not have a wide array of different regional variations. Most casinos – both offline and online – tend to provide the same classic Vegas craps experience. While novelty variants are quite rare, you can still find a few exceptions. 

Crapless Craps

This novelty variant is mostly played in a few casinos in Vegas, Detroit, and Mississippi, as well as a handful of online casinos. In this variant, there is no don’t pass bet and 11 is not considered a natural. Instead, the numbers 2,3,11, and 12 are considered as point numbers While it is more thrilling to play, the house edge is considerably higher (5.38%) in this version.   

New York Craps

Despite its name, the game originated in Yugoslavia and is mainly played in the UK and the East Coast of the United States. In this version, there are no come/don’t come bets. It uses a different table and has two dealers at opposite ends. You can bet directly on 4,5,6,8,9, or 10 to win. The game has a higher house edge and 5% commissions. 

Simplified Craps

This is like a beginner's version of craps, with most of the complex bets removed from the table. It is drastically different from the normal Bank Craps. To win in simplified craps, you have to land specific numbers – 2,3,4,10,11,12. If you roll 5,6,7,8,9 – you lose straight away. The house edge is double that of normal craps at 2.8%. 

Die Rich Craps

Die Rich Craps is a rarely seen and unique version. Instead of using two dies, just one dice is used in this variant. The table layouts are also different and more related to blackjack tables. In this simple and fast-paced game, the natural is 6 and the crap number is 1. You win instantly if you roll a 6 and lose if your roll a 1. Hit any number in between and the game heads to points bet. 

Real Money vs Free Online Craps

As previously noted, you can play two main variants of craps at online casinos – real money and free. Check out this handy table to quickly understand the main differences between the two forms: 

Real Money Craps
Free Online Craps
Requires a casino account and cash deposit
Does not require registration or deposits
Available at all online casinos as long as they have craps in the catalogue
Free play may not be available at some online casinos even if they have craps
There is an element of risk in losing your money
No risk involved
Comes with the chance of winning real money
Wins don't give you real money, the game is played with fake coins
Not the best option for beginners and novices
A perfect starting point if you are new to craps
You can play live dealer craps
You cannot play live dealer games with free/fun play

Craps and Online Bonuses

Craps and online casino bonuses do not get along well. Online casinos try to steer players towards games with low RTP as it significantly reduces the risk of losses for the casino. If players win big with bonus cash, it is bad news for the casino. And since craps have one of the highest RTPs of all casino games, casino operators rarely award bonuses linked to this category of games. 

Some sites do allow you to use bonus funds on virtual craps. But there is a kicker – if there is a wagering requirement (chances are very high that there will be one), you will be at a severe disadvantage. 

You see, casinos assign different percentages to the contributions each game category makes towards your wagering requirement. Slots contribute 100% – if you bet R500 on slots, that entire amount is reflected in your wagering calculations. Craps contributions are down in the single digits – like 5% or even zero. If you bet R500 of your bonus money on craps, it may reflect as just R25 or even zero on your wagering. 

Playing Online Craps on Mobile

With the current state of online casino technology, mobile gaming is on the same level as PC gaming. You get the same casino account on multiple devices, with identical bonuses, game choices, and other perks. 

At the top South African online casinos, you can easily play craps on your mobile device. This includes both virtual craps and the live dealer variant. Just keep in mind that the live dealer variant used video streaming technology and will require a higher bandwidth on your internet connection. 

Other than that, everything is all good. You can play craps on mobile using a basic web browser like Chrome or Safari. The experience is identical whether you play on a costly iPhone or a budget Android device. 

FAQs about the Best Craps Online Casinos

Yes, at the top South African online casinos listed on our list at the top of this page, you can play craps with real money. We have a list of 100% safe and trusted SA online casinos with Rand payments. You can deposit in your local currency and withdraw your craps winnings as well!

The best way to practice craps online is using free play or fun play. Just visit any online casino on our recommended list and click on a game of craps – the option called either "demo mode" or "fun play" will appear. Click on it to play for free without signing up. Try to select the default game of craps or “bank craps” as a beginner, avoiding more exotic variants at least until you learn the basics.

In a standard game of bank craps, the house edge is 1.41% if you play with the optimal betting strategy. This translates into a stated RTP of around 98.59% which is phenomenal for an online casino game. Do note that the odds can go up in favour of the house if you consistently place aggressive and sub-optimal points spread bets.

The best variation of craps online is without a doubt the standard Vegas or bank version.It has the highest player odds of all variants at 98.59%. All others are novelty variants with fun twists to the formula, but they come at the cost of a higher house edge of up to 5%.

You can play craps in any Vegas-style casino. It is usually one of the most active and popular areas on the casino floor. However, if you want to play exciting craps from the safety and comfort of your home, you can easily do so at the top South African online casinos with craps listed on the top of this page.

Kelvin Jones
Kelvin Jones

Senior Editor and Product Owner