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If a Casino game has simple rules and is consequently easy to understand, it’s highly likely to be a bad game from the players perspective. That’s one of the golden rules when analyzing these games and trying to compare them with each other. Roulette is one of the simplest games available in the casino environment, it’s simply a case of selecting a wager and awaiting the result of the spin.
As expected; this means that the house edge is higher in Roulette when contrasted to other popular casino offerings such as craps or blackjack. Have a look through the Blackjack vs Roulette article if this subject interests you.
In this article however, the focus will be comparing Roulette to the dice based game Craps. Covering the following areas; complexity of the rules, the casino edge, the payout and the general advantages and disadvantages of each.
The Rules of Roulette
Roulette is one of the simplest casino games as mentioned earlier. The player must simply place their chips on the relevant section of the table prior to a spin. The choices range from a straight bet, where a single number is selected, to an outside wager such as ‘red’ or ‘black’. It’s also possible to cover larger sections of the table such as rows, columns or corners.
Whichever bet is selected, the outcome is always decided with a spin. The outcome can only be a win or loss, there are no money back results unlikely games like Blackjack where a ‘push’ is possible if the player and dealer get the same score.
Many novice casino players select Roulette because of it’s simplicity, especially given the fact that more complex games such as poker, blackjack and craps can be intimidating. Here’s a more comprehensive Roulette Rules Guide.
The Rules of Craps
Craps is significantly more complex when compared to Roulette. Each round begins by the ‘shooter’, or the person who will roll the dice, placing a bet. This wager would be placed on either the pass line or don’t pass bar. The dice are passed between players around the table. We won’t want to get too bogged down in the rules for this article as we want to focus on comparing the two games overall, so if you would like to learn the basics of craps please visit this article.
The Casino Edge of Roulette
In European Roulette the house edge for the majority of wagers is 2.70% as there is only a single green zero on the wheel. In the American variation, the edge is doubled as there are two green pockets, for this reason it’s always best avoiding this type of roulette.
It is possible to lower the casino edge further when playing roulette. Read the La Partage Roulette article for more information about this subject. To put Roulette’s house edge into context it’s worse than blackjacks but better than almost all slot machines.
The House Edge of Craps
The casino edge in Craps varies significantly depending on the type of bet the player places. For the most common ‘Pass/Come’ wagers it is 1.41%. For the opposite bet of ‘Don’t Pass/Come’ it’s slightly lower at 1.36%. Other types of bets vary all the way up 16.67% for any seven wagers.
To summarize, the basic bets that make up the foundation of craps do indeed have a lower house edge compared to roulette, but it’s possible to give the casino a huge advantage in craps if the wrong type of wager is selected. Whereas in Roulette, there is no possible wager with a house edge as bad as say the ‘any seven’ bet in craps.
The Potential Payout of Roulette
One of the appealing factors about Roulette is it’s flexibility and diversity in terms of the range of bets and potential payouts it offers. For conservative players, an outside wager will deliver an even money return with a probability of winning just less than fifty percent.
For the more adventurous, inside bets such as a single number will deliver a huge return as the payout is set at 35/1. Clearly, the odds of winning this type of bet are significantly lower, but the house edge is the same.
The Payout of Craps
Again, it varies based on the type of wager placed. The ‘Pass Line/Don’t Pass’ wager is comparable to an outside bet on ‘red or black’ in roulette as the payout is even (1/1) money and the probability of winning is very similar. As mentioned earlier, the house edge for this type of bet is slightly lower on craps so it’s superior in that respect.
Craps also offers higher potential payout options such as ‘any craps’ at 7/1. It’s important to remember that the house edge is significantly higher for these bets in craps though, so we’d never recommend them. In Roulette this isn’t the case, all popular bets have the same casino edge.
Advantages of Roulette
– The Rules are Simple, it’s easy and relaxing to play. Remember gambling should be fun so this is an important factor to consider. It’s a flexible game with many different wagering options so it shouldn’t become repetitive.
– The House Edge for big payout Wagers is the same as even money bets. So if you do want to take a higher level of risk chasing the big win, the casino isn’t penalizing you. This isn’t the case for most large return craps bets.
Disadvantages of Roulette
– The House Edge for Outside Wagers with an Even money return is higher compared to the equivalent craps bet.
– There is no interactive element in this game, many players enjoy the experience of actually getting to be part of the game. For example by throwing the dice in craps or choosing to ‘hit’ or ‘stand’ in blackjack.
Advantage of Craps
– The ‘Pass Line / Don’t Pass’ wager has the lowest casino edge of all the popular casino games offering an even money return. This makes it appealing from a mathematical perspective although in truth the difference is minimal and will only become a factor over a large quantity of rounds/spins/hands.
Disadvantage of Craps
– The Rules can be complex for new players and each round can be quite time consuming if many players are around the same table. This isn’t the case for Roulette where the time between spins is often very short. Of course playing Craps online would solve this issue, assuming it’s not a Live Casino version.
Conclusion – Which is the Best Casino Game, Roulette or Craps?
Roulette and Craps each offer a unique gaming experience, but our preference would have to be Roulette. The rules are simple to learn even for novice gamblers. Their are a range of bets to suit all players and the house edge is relatively low compared to most other offerings in the casino.
Certain bets in craps do give a slightly better chance of winning when compared to outside bets in Roulette, but this difference is so small that it is unlikely to be reflected in the actual winnings of players in the short term.