It would be a lie to say I’ve never played craps. It would also be a lie to say that I ever played craps while having any idea what I was doing.
So, with the recent introduction of live dealer craps to Michigan online casinos, I figured it was time to accomplish the latter.
Thankfully for me, the live dealer version, produced by Evolution, is incredibly friendly for newbies.
Playing craps at Michigan online casinos
I have always been intrigued by craps. It looks like so much fun in the movies. But it’s also a bit intimidating if you don’t know the game.
With the advent of online casinos in Michigan, and the addition of craps to their game libraries, I thought it could be the perfect chance to learn.
For some people, it might have been. For me, however, it was not. A full computer-animated version of the game just didn’t do it for me. I learn through playing, and that version of the game wasn’t exciting enough for me to want to keep playing while I didn’t fully understand it. I did visit the DraftKings Casino education hub, but again, I couldn’t get excited about it.
That meant just sticking to blackjack, where I at least knew why I was losing my money.
Live dealer craps adds excitement to game at Michigan online casinos
The launch of live dealer craps in Michigan earlier this month reignited my curiosity.
Maybe a live person and a real craps table with real dice — albeit on a phone screen — could help me get into it. And, amazingly, it kind of did.
That’s not to say I’m going to become a consistent craps player or make the short trip to one of the three Detroit casinos to post up at a table anytime soon. But I’m not scared of it anymore, and here’s why.
Beginners can feel welcome in live dealer craps
The opening screen of live dealer craps at a Michigan online casino (I played at BetRivers Casino) is immediately friendly to newcomers. It literally asks you, “Playing for the first time?”
You have the option to go into Easy Mode or Full Mode. You can also click “Learn Craps” at the bottom of the screen, which launches a tutorial.
Now, this tutorial isn’t just someone explaining the game, or a list of instructions and rules. It allows you to click through on each of the possible bets to see what would be a winning roll or a losing roll. There really is a simplicity to the game if you look at the board, but it’s not too often you get to do that without the pressure of placing a bet, or an explanation if you have a question.
This tutorial provides that, and while I didn’t feel like an expert after going through it, I felt confident enough to start putting money on the table.
Playing live dealer craps at a Michigan online casino
After exiting the tutorial, I was pushed right into the game. It also defaulted to full mode without asking.
There is a toggle within the game’s menu to switch to easy mode, but I would have preferred to start there. If I’m coming off the tutorial, chances are I’m a beginner, right?
The difference between the two is what bets are offered. On full mode, you see the full board of possible bets. On easy, they eliminate the pass line, don’t pass bar, come and don’t come bar, as well as the hardways.
Only the simplest bets are available for you, and they come with instructions. Wins 4-10 show the odds, and it reads “roll before 7 to win” right above them. Underneath are clearly labeled “one roll” bets, which includes seven, the field, snake eyes, 1-2, 5-6 and double sixes, all with the odd clearly spelled out.
While I better understood what I was wagering on in easy mode, I won more in full mode. That was absolutely a coincidence.
Live dealer craps is now available at the following Michigan online casinos: Golden Nugget, Caesars, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, PokerStars, SI Casino, PointsBet, Eagle Casino & Sports, FireKeepers and Four Winds.
Live dealer craps offers atmosphere typical online casino games do not
Outside of the actual game board, the first thing you notice is that there’s a bit of an ambiance to Evolution’s live dealer craps.
The jazz music, the decor and even the dealer’s outfit make you feel you’ve stepped into an old-timey casino. Or maybe even a saloon. It’s much more enticing than a black screen with a computer-animated table. Plus, it’s all happening not far from me, at Evolution’s Southfield studio.
I had two dealers while playing, and both brought quite a bit of energy despite how early in the morning it was. They can see usernames of the people playing, and will welcome you to the table. They also call out big winners on any given roll. Is it the same social aspect I’ve seen in craps during a movie? Of course not. But it’s something.
After the countdown clock would tick down, they’d call out “hands up, dice out,” and a robot arm would roll the dice. For those who question the integrity of online casino games, I’m sure it’s nice to see actual dice flying onto an actual table.
And as those dice hit the table, I knew immediately if I had won or lost, which is Step 1 to having an enjoyable gambling experience.
So, for this beginner, I’d say live dealer craps is absolutely a success.
Screenshots from live dealer craps gameplay.