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Best of Alan Krigman

Gaming Guru

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Does “mini-craps” differ from the regular game in any important way?

4 February 2013

Question: I've occasionally noticed new craps games at the casinos. One type looks like the standard game, except the tables are smaller and the players can sit down. Another is played at what appears to be a blackjack table and uses dice in an enclosed shaker. What's the difference between these games and regular craps?

Answer: There are several types of "mini-craps" tables. On these, the game is generally the same as regular craps – bets are identical, as are conditions and payoffs for winners. They differ from each other and from the traditional game only in layout details and number of dealers. In general, the casinos run these as low-limit tables and keep the pace relatively slow. The idea is to make craps less intimidating to novices. Some seniors also like these tables because they can sit down while they play.

One version of the game played at a blackjack-size table with the dice in a shaker follows the spirit but not the letter of craps. The primary difference is that "line-type" bets – pass, come, don't pass, and don't come – are eliminated, while a new one-roll proposition – over or under seven – is added.

Without line-type bets, the game is much easier to comprehend. But simplicity has a price. The missing bets are those on which the casino has the lowest edge; they are accordingly the wagers favored by the most savvy players. Relinquishing the opportunity to make them gives the casino more advantage than necessary. And you are not learning the most important aspect of the game.
Alan Krigman

Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.
Alan Krigman
Alan Krigman was a weekly syndicated newspaper gaming columnist and Editor & Publisher of Winning Ways, a monthly newsletter for casino aficionados. His columns focused on gambling probability and statistics. He passed away in October, 2013.