The United States’ craps scene is well-documented. Movies often portray American craps as being an exciting game filled with cheering players.
This depiction isn’t too far off from reality. Craps tables do feature a team-like atmosphere and are often the loudest games in the casino.
Furthermore, you can find plenty of craps tables throughout the US. Almost every casino with table games features at least one craps table.
You can see that this game is quite popular in American gambling establishments. But what is the European craps scene like?
After all, you don’t hear much about craps in Europe. That said, I’m going to discuss what the action is like in Europe along with if you can find good games here.
Not Very Well Represented
The idea of gambling with dice is nothing new. Ancient civilizations used to shave down sheep knuckles and use them as rudimentary dice for gambling games and religious ceremonies.
Obviously, craps isn’t exclusive to the US, but this casino game is definitely bigger in America than anywhere else. The main reason why is due to the history of US craps.
American soldiers spent a great deal of time playing street craps during World War II. Upon returning home from the war, they quickly found their favorite game in Las Vegas. Craps, which was previously a sparsely played game in Sin City, quickly became the toast of the town. Many WWII vets filled the craps tables in the late 1940s and early ‘50s.
This roaring popularity for the game didn’t continue forever. However, it left enough of a lasting mark to were craps’ popularity remained for years to come. European soldiers also played street craps. However, they didn’t rush to the limited tables throughout Europe after the war.
Even today, craps is one of the least-popular games in European casinos. It doesn’t hold the same appeal to gamblers here as blackjack or roulette.
Some European Countries Offer Craps
Craps may not have the same prestige as blackjack in Europe. But it hasn’t disappeared like games such as faro either.
It remains available in certain European countries. The UK is especially fond of it when compared to the entire continent. At least a couple dozen casinos throughout the UK feature one or more craps tables. London is the biggest hotspot for rolling the bones.
Although not quite equal to the UK regarding craps, France is another country that enjoys this game. Several French casinos offer at least one table. Switzerland is another craps-friendly nation. Just like France, it has a few different casinos that feature one or more tables.
The game is relatively limited throughout most of the rest of the continent. Here’s a rundown of some other European countries and the prevalence of craps in each one:
- Belgium – Casino Kursaal Oostende is the only Belgian casino that currently features a craps table.
- Croatia – Mulino Casino Club (Buje) is the lone Croatian gambling venue with this game.
- Denmark – Casino Mukebjerg Vejle features the only craps action in Denmark.
- Greece – A few casinos in Greece boast craps tables.
- Hungary – The “Heart of Europe” offers this game in three different casino locations.
- Italy – Despite its relatively large size (60.4 million), Italy only features craps in Casino de la Vallee (Saint Vincent).
- Portugal – Casino Solverde de Espinho is the one Portuguese establishment with craps.
- Romania – A couple of casinos offer this game in Romania.
- Spain – Like Italy, Spain (47 million) is another large European country that only features one table.
You Won’t Find Great Odds Bets in Europe
An odds bet is the only casino wager that doesn’t feature a house edge. You can back pass line and don’t pass line bets with odds to reduce the overall house advantage.
Here’s a look at how much the casinos edge decreases when you take bigger odds:
- 1x odds: pass line 0.85%; don’t pass line 0.68%
- 2x odds: pass line 0.61%; don’t pass line 0.46%
- 3x odds: pass line 0.47%; don’t pass line 0.34%
- 3-4-5x odds: pass line 0.37%; don’t pass line 0.27%
- 5x odds: pass line 0.33%; don’t pass line 0.23%
- 10x odds: pass line 0.18%; don’t pass line 0.12%
- 20x odds: pass line 0.1%; don’t pass line 0.07%
- 100x odds: pass line 0.02%; don’t pass line 0.1%
Of course, the downside to these craps bets is that they force you to risk more money. If you make a $5 don’t pass line bet with 10x odds, for example, you’re risking $55 per roll. But if you have a fairly large bankroll, you can’t do much better than a small pass line or don’t pass line wager with 10x odds.
You especially benefit when combining a big bankroll with huge odds. Some Las Vegas casinos offer anywhere from 20x to 100x odds.
Not surprisingly, many serious players head straight to Sin City. This lot includes European high rollers who enjoy craps, because they won’t find the same odds in their own countries.
Some London casinos do feature tables with odds bets. However, these wagers generally top out at 5x. You certainly can’t go wrong when backing a pass line or don’t pass line wager with 5x odds. You’ll be facing 0.33% and 0.23% house edges, respectively, in each case.
These house advantages are outstanding when compared to the average casino game. But they don’t represent the absolute best you can do.
You may only find 2x or 3x odds in some countries. As long as you’re alright with taking lower odds, then they shouldn’t bother you. But if you’re a serious player and/or high roller, you should be thinking about Vegas or another major American casino destination
What to Do If You Can’t Find a Craps Table in Europe
As covered earlier, not every European country features craps. Assuming you live in a nation that does an offer this game, then you can take the following steps to get in on the action.
1 – Play Online Craps
Craps’ atmosphere is a big reason behind its popularity. Many gamblers bet with the shooter when playing this game.
Therefore, the table often cheers and jeers together. You can sometimes hear a craps game from across the casino.
Unfortunately, you won’t get to enjoy these same experiences in some European nations. If your country doesn’t offer craps, though, then you’re not at a total loss.
You can easily find this game at online casinos. Most gaming sites offer an online craps game that looks just like the real deal. Odds bets are a bit limited in internet craps. I’ve never played an online game that offers more than 3x odds.
On the bright side, though, you can play this game anytime, anywhere through your smartphone or tablet. Additionally, most online casinos only require a $1 minimum wager to join in the action.
2 – Make Don’t Pass Line Bets
Craps offers several regular wagers with low house edges, including the following:
- Pass line – 1.41% house edge
- Come – 1.41%
- Don’t pass line – 1.36%
- Don’t come – 1.36%
You’ll be using good strategy as long as you make any of these bets. Judging between them is essentially splitting hairs.
Many live craps gamblers like placing pass line and come bets so that they can wager on the shooter winning. Those who make don’t pass line and don’t come wagers, on the other hand, are often said to be on the dark side. But you don’t have to worry about any peer pressure at an online casino. Therefore, you might as well place the don’t pass line and don’t come bets to gain a small advantage.
Knocking 0.05% off the house edge isn’t going to dramatically turn the tide in your favor. However, you should grab any little advantage that you can.
3 – Back Your Bets With Odds
Again, odds are the top bets available in casino gaming. They put you in a coinflip situation with the casino.
Every other game and wager, meanwhile, gives the house an advantage. That said, you should take advantage of odds whenever possible.
Here are tips for placing odds bets in online craps:
- Make a pass line or don’t pass line wager.
- Wait for a point number to be established.
- Place virtual chips behind your original wager.
- Your bet will be on the specific point number winning and paid at appropriate odds. E.g. a 4-point number has 2:1 odds of winning and pays 2:1.
4 – Take Advantage of Craps Bonuses
Many UK casino websites feature deposit bonuses that can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars. These deals offer a match percentage on your deposit amount.
Here’s an example on how these bonuses work:
- A casino offers a 100% match bonus worth up to $500.
- You deposit $350.
- You now stand to earn a $350 bonus after satisfying terms and conditions.
Craps is often listed under the umbrella of table game bonuses. However, you should always check the terms and conditions to ensure that craps qualifies.
You’ll find the bonus playthrough (rollover) listed in the terms and conditions as well. Rollover refers to how much you must wager before cashing out the funds.
Due to its low house edge, craps features lower rollover than slots. For example, you might need to meet 100x playthrough with craps versus 40x with slots. If you’re going to play this game online anyways, though, then you might as well take advantage of the bonus.
Europe will never have the most vibrant craps scene. In fact, some countries don’t feature a single table dedicated to this game.
However, certain European nations do provide craps tables throughout a few casinos. Assuming you live in or near one of these places, then you can enjoy this exciting dice-based game. When doing so, you should definitely think about placing odds bets. They’re the best wagers in the casino due to their lack of a house edge.
If you don’t live anywhere in the vicinity of a craps table, you can at least play online. The internet version allows you to enjoy all the same bets that are available in land-based casinos.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …