Craps Vs. Slots – Comparison of Games

Slot machines have a strange relationship with craps. Craps has a long history predating slots, but with the introduction of slot machines in the the 1990′s, craps tables lost some attention in brick and mortar casinos. Slots took over as the most popular game of chance in standard casinos. As the online casino technology continued to develop, craps came back into its own alongside the ever-popular slot machines. In brick and mortar casinos, dedicated craps players ignored the newcomer gushing over slot machines and pressed on with their dice. Its still usually a matter of preference.

Craps has the public, communal energy of a table surrounded with players yelling, praying and cajoling the dice to do what they want for a win. Slots tend to be more individual, yet the whistles and bells of the original machines and even the flashing lights and attention of a winning video slots machine can create a momentary flurry of excitement. While both craps and slots are still considered the primary “games of chance” at a casino, each game carries different expectations and requires different strategic choices for players and enthusiasts of craps and slots.

Differing Expectations

Players seem to have very different expectations about playing craps than they do about playing the slots. With slots, though they are based on the same general, mathematical probabilities as craps, vastly more players seem to think that a slot machine will allow them to “hit the jackpot” with higher frequency. In some cases, this is true.

Slot machines use RNG–random number generators, to determine the combinations of a slot roll. Whenever a player is pulling the handle on the slot machine or even when the machine is sitting “idle” without a player, the RNG computer chip inside is constantly working to produce thousands of combinations a second. This ensures the true random selection of every spin of the slot wheel.

However, a machine can be a “loose” machine or a “tight” machine. In a loose machine, a certain paying symbol like two cherries which pays a few coins, replaces a non-paying symbol. This creates a loose machine–one that pays out more frequently, whenever those additional paying symbols appear. A tight machine is the opposite, having more non-paying symbols in place of paying symbols, thus less frequent payouts.

Oddly enough, smart craps players “create” their own “loose machine” function by choosing to make the best payout bets at the craps table. Every experienced craps player will say that the way to make the dice pay is to place odds bets. The higher the multiplier allowed, 2x, 5x, 10x, 50x, 100x, the greater the payout and the more even the odds against the house.

Obviously, the difference is that the rapid RNG computer can more quickly and more often create a winning scenario for a slots player than the human generated roll of dice can for a craps player.  So in terms of sheer time spent, in a given hour a savvy slots player may make more in winnings than a savvy craps player, but that also requires some strategic decisions along the way.

Different Strategies

Playing craps and playing the slots both do require strategic choices to maximize the benefits and fun of playing. (Losing hours in a row does not seem fun to most people.) Thus, when a player is trying to determine which game will earn his energy or attention on a given night at the casino, there are a few strategies to choosing between craps and slots.

Choosing Where To Play

Craps tables post the table limits prominently, so low limit players and high rollers can separate into their distinctive table groups. Low limit craps tables often have the larger crowds, who also frequently make the most noise in a casino as bystanders and players root for the favor of the dice. High roller craps players are making a choice about their large investments and have the longer bankroll to support big wagers. In online craps, choose a site that craps enthusiasts recommend, such as Online Vegas, Rushmore or Aladdin’s Gold, who offer bonuses for craps players at their online casinos.

Loose slot machines will more often be found in areas of high visibility and high traffic, so incoming players can see people winning. However, watching a row of machines for a few minutes before choosing one is helpful. Loose machines and tight machines tend to be located next to each other, alternatively (one loose, one tight, one loose and so on). Also, focusing on one machine at a time helps you track what you’re investing and receiving.

Choosing What To Invest

Craps players, after choosing a table limit, really make their investment choices based on what type of bets they place. Pass line and odds bets are the safe and functional way to go, but are not as “fun” as other bets like, come/don’t come, field bets or specific number bets. For players who are investing, rather than just spending, the discipline of choosing bets that will pay off more frequently will be the reward itself. Other players set monetary limits when they arrive at the craps table and play it until its gone, regardless of how soon that is.

Slots players have different kinds of investment choices. One coin to three, one reel to five, single coin or multiple coin progressive slots each have a certain advantage but the best way to earn some real cash is to play at a denomination level you enjoy with as many rolls and payoff possibilities as you can get. Some slots experts recommend the best choice is a two-coin, non-progressive machine that doubles or quadruples a winning hit. Not only does the two-coin function automatically double your payout, but using two coins instead of three means you get more chances to pull the handle and play longer with decent returns. Yet, for some players, similar to craps, if this is too much “thinking” before gambling, set a monetary limit to spend and roll away wherever you like for as long as it lasts.

Choosing When To Stop

This brings us to the intensive strategic choice of when to stop. In both craps and slots, the adrenaline flows, particularly after wins or jackpots. The easy nature of the games entices players of both to just stay for “one more spin.” Yet, this is where knowing your personal limits as a player is crucial. In craps, having a literally growing or dwindling stack of chips before you is a useful visual indicator of your investment or winnings. Make a decision before you start at the table about when you want to leave–when the chips are gone or when they are high. Don’t be deceived by the lure of the potential big payoff on the next roll. If you go home from the craps table with money in your pocket, that’s a good night.

With slots, this is a more difficult choice, because though your quantity of coins may rise and fall, the windfall of a jackpot quickly reorders your balance. It’s also a lot harder for most players to estimate the monetary total of a disorganized cup full of quarters than the color-coded stacks of chips representing certain cash amounts. Like craps however, the wisest gamblers will make a decision about when to stop before evening beginning at the slots. Set limits and stick with them. In slots also, the lure of “one more pull” is incredibly strong and only the best players know it is worth resisting in the long run.

Craps and slots have many more similarities than other casino games. The energy and excitement of hits is celebrated wildly with the fellow players around you. The feel of randomness in the play is part of what makes both games attractive to casino patrons, regardless of the actual odds of winning at either game. Players of both craps and slots have strategic choices to make about how to maximize their winning potential. This leaves the major choice between craps and slots up to a player’s “mood” or preference for physically rolling the dice for active involvement or sitting back with a push-button slots spin.