Online Craps – Practice Craps Online

I f you’re reading the information on my website, then chances are good that you’re a novice with little or no experience at a real craps table.  If that’s the case, then you’re probably thinking, “I don’t know if I‘m ready to play craps with real money.  I don’t know if I have the nerve to risk my money on something I’m not really sure about.”  Let’s face it, if you’ve never played craps for real money at a real table, then you’ll likely have a lot of anxiety about dropping your hard-earned money on the table.  Thirty years ago when I was a brand new player, I felt the same way.

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I admit it.  I was so scared that I couldn’t even approach the table.  I walked the casino floor in circles passing the craps tables, time after time, hoping with each pass to get enough courage to take an open spot at the table.  Regardless of the fact that I knew the game inside and out, I was terrified of doing something wrong or stupid and looking like a helpless newbie.  I knew the odds and house advantages for all the different bets.  I knew the difference between a good bet and a bad bet.  I knew all the craps lingo.  I knew everything about the game, but I was still afraid.  On about the 10th pass around the casino floor, I finally mustered enough nerve and forced myself to play.  Forty years later, every time I’m at a craps table, I see people doing the exact same thing I did, feeling the exact same anxiety.  It goes something like this.

You walk into a fancy casino, lights flash and blink, slot machines chime their attention-grabbing tunes.  You check the wad of cash in your front pocket for the 5th time to ensure it’s still there.  Your heart pounds from the excitement.  In the distance ahead, you see the craps tables.  Your pace quickens.  You notice there are eight tables, but only two are actively manned by crews.  The four people at one table seem lifeless; they’re quiet with little movement.  On the contrary, the 13 people at the other table are laughing, clapping, cheering, and fist-knocking each other.  You think, “Man, that table must be hot.”

rolling dice You see the only possible open spot near the end between the drunk and the fat guy.  You think, “Can I squeeze in there?  No, there’s not enough room.  I’ll just wait for another spot to open up.”  Suddenly, out of nowhere, someone rushes to the table and wedges himself sideways between the fat guy and the drunk.  You think, “Crap, he just took my spot!  Oh, well, I’ll just wait for the next one to open up.”  You continue to watch and wait.  The shooter is ablaze rolling point after point.  Everyone’s chip stack grows bigger.  Forget the crappy red and white chips, now they’re raking in green and black ones.  You continue watching and waiting for an open spot.  But who in their right mind would leave in the middle of a scorching hot streak?  No one.  So, you continue to stand, watch, and think about all the money you’re not winning.

Get the picture?  In this scenario, your fear and lack of confidence got in the way of you winning a wheelbarrow full of chips.  Fear controlled you, instead of you controlling your fear.  No space between the drunk and the fat guy was merely an excuse for not having the guts to squeeze yourself in and take the only available position at a blistering dream-come-true table.

The question is, as a novice who’s never played at a real table, how do you get over your fear, how do you gain the confidence to walk up to a table and appear to the crew and other players that you’re a master of the game?  The answer is simple, but may surprise you.  I recommend that you test your knowledge, refine your skills, and gain confidence by playing craps at an online casino.  Yes, an online casino.  Don’t roll your eyes with skepticism!  Let me explain why playing online craps at an online casino is the ideal mechanism for getting over your fear and developing rock-solid playing habits.

In my opinion, the best thing about playing online craps is that you can play with real money but not worry about losing your paycheck.  Typically, online casinos offers a wide-range betting limit, such as a $1 minimum and a $1,000 maximum per bet.  The key for you is the minimum, forget the maximum.  The $1 minimum is in stark contrast to the minimums found in Vegas, which have jumped up to as much as $25 in many Strip casinos.  What this means to you is, if you go to Vegas as a novice and play at a $25 table, your initial buy-in for your learning session should be at least $500 (i.e., your buy-in should be 20 times the minimum-bet amount: 20 x $25 = $500), which is a hefty price to pay to learn the game and experiment with your newfound craps knowledge.  (Note: Anything less than a $500 buy-in at a $25 table exposes you to considerably more risk of going broke quickly when the cold streaks appear.)  However, at an online casino with a $1 minimum, your bankroll for your learning session only needs to be $20 (i.e., 20 x $1 = $20).  Even if you have a bad-luck streak and lose the entire $20 during that online craps session, it’s okay because it’s a comparatively insignificant price to pay for learning the game’s ins-and-outs, testing your strategies, and gaining confidence in your craps game play.  Think of it as taking a college course; you’re paying to learn how a real game with real money works.  You’ll gain just as much knowledge and skill making $1 bets and losing only $20 as you would if you played making $25 bets and losing $500.  And remember, you probably won’t lose the entire $20 during that learning session; you could just as easily win $20 or break even.

At an online craps table, although your bet amounts are low compared to the $25 Vegas table, you still experience the excitement of playing with real money.  And because you’re playing with real money, you’ll develop the necessary discipline for maintaining the proper bet amounts throughout the entire session instead of getting frisky and increasing your bet amounts at the wrong times.  For example, when playing a free craps game on a gaming console (e.g., Xbox, PS-3, or a free shareware program on the Internet), few people have the discipline to stick to the strategies that give them the greatest opportunities to win.  Instead, when playing these free games, people often find themselves thinking, “Oh, cool, I just won $5, now I’m going to try a $100 bet to see what happens.”  Most people wouldn’t do that with real money.  So, although you’re playing a low-level $1 game, you’re still using real money and you’ll be a lot less tempted to deviate from your winning strategy.  This helps develop the discipline you need when you graduate from the online tables to the real Vegas tables.  Your discipline will make you a solid rock at the Vegas tables and the casinos will fear you because they know you’re not going to just give away your money by making big, stupid bets.  The discipline you learn playing on the cheap online table will help keep you focused on your strategy of making good, sound bets at a real table no matter what the table conditions may be (i.e., cold table, choppy table, hot table).

You might think, “Okay, your recommendation for me to learn the game at an online casino is logical and I’m eager to sign up, but I’m a little reluctant about whether an online casino is fair and secure.  Does the software make the casino always win?”  Great question.  That’s exactly why, before signing up with any online casino, you should read a little about the casino you’re thinking of joining.  The legitimate and reputable online casinos aren’t interested in illegally stealing money from their customers.  They make their money from customers who fail to learn the game before playing higher-limit stakes (i.e., ignorant players).  In other words, while you (i.e., the smart, solid player) might lose $20 making $1 bets when playing your learning session, the other player (i.e., the ignorant player) who starts right out of the gate by making $10 bets might lose 100 times more than you.  The online casino loves that guy because he’s a consistent big-time loser.  However, the online casino dislikes you because you’re a smart player.  You’re a disciplined rock who makes $1 bets during your entire learning session, never deviating from your solid strategy.

Additionally, take the time to browse the online casino’s website.  Check whether they offer craps as one of their games (i.e., if the online casino doesn’t have a craps game, then, obviously, immediately cross it off your list of choices) and the casino deposit & withdrawal methods offered.  Next, look for information about whether the casino regularly tests its random-number generator used for their games.  For example, the Sun Palace online casino is regularly tested by the firm Technical Systems Testing.  The Sun Palace homepage includes a tab labeled “Fair Play” that explains their policy for ensuring a consistently fair and accurate playing experience.  This ensures a fair game for everyone.  Next, check to ensure the means by which you apply your funds to your account is secure (e.g., credit card, Neteller, or other means).  Although I believe it would be difficult to find an online casino in these modern times that doesn’t offer secure financial transactions, it’s good to check just to be sure.

Another important criterion to help you choose your online casino is the look and feel of the game.  Most online casinos offer a free preview of the game so you can see it in action before signing up.  Does the look appeal to you?  How are the sound effects?  Is it easy to use or is it like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle?  It’s a lot more fun playing an online game if you like the graphics, sound, and game play.  Also explore the site to see if they offer both a download and instant play casino games.

safe casino Once you’re satisfied that the casino you’re interested in is secure and won’t rip you off, find out if they offer promotions or complimentaries (i.e., “comps”).  For example, they may offer a sign-up bonus or other incentives.  Don’t immediately choose the online casino that gives the biggest sign-up bonus.  The one that gives the biggest bonus may not have the look and feel that you like.  You’ll have to do a tradeoff and choose the one that offers the best overall package that best suits your needs. You can read more about online casino bonuses here.

I’ve done much of the homework for you.  As you can see on the pages of my website, there are banners and links for some of my favorite online casinos, such as the  Sun Palace that offers crap online.

I’m sure you’ll find one you like.  When you’re ready to play for real, just click on the banner or link and follow the instructions provided on the casino’s website.  Remember, start with a small bets, such as $1 (or even smaller if they offer penny bets), until you gain confidence in your game play.  Then, you can either move up to bigger bets or you can head to Vegas and show off your skills at a real table with real people.  Good luck and have fun!

You can now head over to the table of contents to find more great content or check out the Online Craps FAQ

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