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Pick Your Favourite - Roulette vs. Craps

Roulette vs Craps

Craps and roulette may seem to have very little in common at first glance, except for a green felt table, but both offer a comparatively high payout potential with multiple bet options. If you want to know which suits your gameplay style better, then find out how they compare in terms of bets, risks and rewards. Better yet, take each for a spin. Thanks to online casinos, it's easier than ever for Canadian players to give these games a try before laying real money down.

The Basics of Craps

Like Roulette, the craps table offers players a wide variety of high and low risk bets to choose from. Payouts range from 1/1 to 30/1. House edge tends to vary from bet to bet, ranging from as low as 1.4% to as high as 11.1% depending on which bet you pick.

Once the dealer flips a marker indicating that bets can be made, players can choose which bets to lay chips on. The shooter rolls the dice until either losing or reaching a profit goal. Each consecutive win allows for another roll for that particular shooter. A loss, such as rolling a 7 before making the point number or crapping out at the very beginning, requires the shooter to pass the dice left to the next player.

Even if you are not the shooter, you can place bets based on which numbers you think will be rolled next. 'Pass' line and 'come' bets wager that the shooter will win. 'Don't pass' and 'don't come' bets wager that the shooter will lose. All of these bets are considered to be relatively low risk when compared to other bets on the table and each pays 1/1.

Some of the riskier bets with higher rewards include place bets, buy bets, and proposition bets which involve placing wagers on specific numbers. These pay out 7/5 to 30/1.

"Craps is one of the most exhilarating social experiences to be found at the casino. As a fast paced game of chance, gamblers need to know the bets, odds and potential payouts inside out to make the right decisions in the moment."

Comparing the Odds

Even-money bets in craps have a house edge of 1%-2%. By comparison, you'll find that roulette's house edge is much higher - up to 5.26%. In the long run, this means that craps may technically be more favorable when playing even-money bet spaces.

However, while the house edge in craps fluctuates from bet to bet, roulette offers the advantage of a fixed house edge across most bets. For example, an even-money bet on black roulette numbers paying 1/1 will have the same house edge of 5.26% as a straight-up bet on 3 red paying 35/1. In craps, an even-money bet on the pass line has a house edge of 1.41% which differs significantly from a hard way bet on 4 which has a house edge of 11.1%.

If you like games that provide a strategic challenge, craps may be a great fit, as you need to have a thorough understanding of each bet's stats to make the most of your gameplay. However, players new to the game may find this complexity to be more of a hindrance.

Complexity v. Simplicity

Although you only need to know a couple of the basic bets to get started, we'd still argue that it's more complicated to learn the rules of craps than roulette. Not to mention, the many different bets, payouts and odds can be a bit overwhelming for a first time player.

With the exception of the La Partage and En Prison rules in French roulette , all bets placed in roulette are resolved after a single spin. This is true of many other casino games as well, but doesn't apply to craps. It's not uncommon for bets to stay on the table for several rolls.

There is also less time to plan the next move in craps than roulette making it easier to get caught up in the moment and lose more than you intended. That said, to truly master both games, players must have a thorough understanding of the odds and payouts for each bet type on the table. While the basic concept and process of laying bets on the roulette table may be easy to learn, it takes skilled application of your betting strategy to come out ahead.

"Roulette is a game of complexity that appears simple on first glance. You can learn to play it in one sitting, but you can't master it in 100."

Your Potential Winnings

While both games offer comparably high payouts, craps is a much faster paced game with the potential to make an estimated 100 rolls per hour. Roulette gives a little more thinking time between spins, with at least a minute interval for an estimated 60 spins per hour. This means that you could be making almost double the amount of bets within an hour by playing craps! Of course, some bets stay on the table for more than a single roll. However, it's still clear that craps requires quick thinking in addition to a healthy dose of luck!

Have a look at how much you can win at each table and how likely it is that the house will win.

Roulette Blackjack
Lowest payout per bet 1/1 1/1
Highest payout per bet 35/1 30/1
House edge 1.35%, 2.70% or 5.26% 1.40%-11.1%

We recommend not giving the house a chance to win by keeping your sessions short no matter which game you play. The longer you play, the higher the chance that the house edge will kick in and steal the money right out of your bankroll. Have a plan before starting each session, and quit while you're ahead.

Pick Your Winner

It all comes down to personal taste, but even if you're only making pass/come or don't pass/don't come bets in craps, the game can be more expensive due to its faster pace. Roulette may run a little slower, but this allows you to build your bankroll using even-money bets making it a better choice for cautious gamblers.

Arguably, letting craps bets stay on the table for multiple rolls builds the excitement level giving you more entertainment per Canadian dollar spent than when playing roulette. Of course, some players prefer roulette's more consistent pattern of betting, winning/losing and then repeating the process. It all depends on what you're in the mood for.

Test Before You Invest

Whichever you ultimately prefer, both craps and roulette are excellent choices for anyone looking to have an exciting, potentially profitable gambling experience. Many online casinos offer free play options for automated versions of these games allowing you to test out different bet combinations to see how well they work before laying real money down.