Craps first came to Pennsylvania casinos following the addition of table games more than ten years ago. You’ll find this lively dice game at all 12 live casinos in PA. Also, you can play craps online. With regulated PA online casinos available as of July 2019, you can practice craps for free, or enjoy these games for real-money eventually. There are no approved online craps games yet, but online casinos are adding new titles weekly.
With two rounds each with different bets, as well as many side bets, craps can seem complex to new players. Enjoying the game online for small stakes is a great way to become familiar with the table layout and craps rules before you hit a live casino.
You’ll find more than craps’ bets and rules on this page. Below is all the information you need to get started playing craps online in Pennsylvania. We cover info on playing for free, for real money (including practical tips on banking), and what laws govern the game.
Is craps legal in Pennsylvania?
Craps is regulated, along with the card-based games and roulette, as a casino table game. These were made legal in 2010, as an addition to the 2004 act that regulated the casinos. To legally enjoy craps, you need to be at least 21 years or older.
You can legally enjoy craps online, too. Bill H 271 was designed to regulate online casinos in 2017. It took until the summer of 2019 for the first PA casinos to come online. Craps is available in the player-versus-software format, though is not included in live dealer casinos, or in casino apps.
Play real money craps online
While going on a long roll in demo mode can be entertaining, it lacks the excitement of having real money on the line. If you already know the rules, then skipping the free games and hitting the real-money craps tables gets you right into the thick of the action.
Legal PA online casinos only have a single craps game. These have minor differences in graphics, though they are essentially the same game. You have a choice of which factors will decide which real money craps game to play.
The bonus offers and how each casino weights wagering contributions for craps is important. For more on this, see below.
The other games you’d like to play, deposit options and ongoing rewards are also factors. Check out our detailed PA online casino reviews section for an overview of the best brands.
Play craps for free in Pennsylvania
Craps games at online casinos are available in demo (play-money) mode. This allows you to get to know the different phases of the game and the betting options within each before you play.
Whether you need to register an account to enjoy the demo games, or whether you can play them as a guest, will depend on the individual casino. The casinos will not remember your wins or losses in play chips as each session will be a one-off game.
Like the live craps games, PA rules specify that 3-4-5x odds are used for the “point round.” This gives different multiples of your “pass line” bet for the inside to outside points.
See the “how to play” section below for more on this.
How to deposit and cash out winnings
PA casinos allow several easy payment options. Note, you need to be within Pennsylvania state lines to deposit or play real-money games. Loading your casino account is similar to making any purchase online.
You can use your regular bank cards, bank transfers, cash or third-party wallet systems. Here is a list of the choices:
- Debit or credit cards: Visa, Mastercard and Discover are all welcomed.
- Prepaid cards: Some casinos and sportsbooks offer their own branded cards.
- E-check or ACH: The electronic equivalent of writing a paper check.
- Bill pay: Deposit at a casino as you would pay a utility bill.
- PayPal: This popular electronic wallet also works for withdrawals.
- Skrill or Neteller: These are alternatives to PayPal, which work similarly.
- PayNearMe: Use cash at your local 7-Eleven store.
- Casino cage: You can deposit and withdraw at the live casino holding the online license.
- Bank wire or money order: Old school methods that are ideal for larger deposits.
There are two ways to access the new online casinos in PA.
One way is that most people visit the website, which automatically adjusts to the size of the screen of your desktop computer or mobile device.
The second way is to download an app. These are currently not available for iOS devices, which is due to Apple changing its app store rules. Android users can download casino apps by downloading directly from the website. They are not available in the Google Play store.
Unfortunately, craps generally does not feature on the Android apps. These have a limited game selection compared to the full websites, especially when it comes to table games.
You will be able to enjoy a selection of the slots and online blackjack via the mobile casino apps. For now, we recommend that you access the website via your mobile device (iOS or Android). This will give you access to the full list of table games, including craps.
When live dealer games launch in PA, they may include craps.
How to play craps
Craps games have two phases. The first is called the “come out round” and the second is the “point round.”
Come out round
Aside from the many side bets (see below), players have two main options during the come out round:
- Pass line: 7 or 11 wins, 2, 3 or 12 loses. Other scores set the point.
- Don’t pass line: 2 or 3 wins, 12 pushes, 7 or 11 loses. Other scores set the point.
In a live craps game, most people will bet the “pass line,” which means that everyone at the table wins (or loses) together.
A player betting the “don’t pass” will be playing opposite to most others. This is known as the “dark side.” Depending on the mix of players, you won’t make many friends playing this. However, online you’ll be playing against the software and are free to choose whichever side you wish.
If the “come out” roll hits 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, the next phase, the “point round,” begins.
The dealer will flip a button to “on” at a live table. The exact number rolled becomes the point. Players joining the game who did not participate in the “come out roll” can’t bet on the numbers (points).
This part of the game can continue for some time. The roller keeps going until a 7 is hit. Players can bet on any number, though the one you’ll want to hit is “the point,” aka, the number rolled out on the “come out roll.”
In other states, individual casinos set limits on the amount that can be bet on the numbers or point in this phase. This can range from 2x to 5x the pass line bet, up to 100x. Some casinos have different odds on 4, 5, 9 and 10 points than 6 and 8 (that are more frequently rolled).
The Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board (PGCB) sets the odds rules for craps. All PA casinos use 3-4-5x odds. This means 3x on points of 4 or 10, 4x on 5 or 9 and 5x on 6 or 8.
Types of bets and odds
Basic craps rules show the format and phases of the game. You’ll find a lot of different bets are available. Some are part of these phases, while others are side bets that can be made during any game phase.
The best odds are available during the “come out phase.”
- Pass line bets: 1.41%
- Don’t pass bets: 1.36%
During the point phase, the odds are exactly even money. Essentially, you are betting that another number will be thrown before the 7, which ends the game with all bets losing.
While the mathematical odds of any number versus 7 are not 1-to-1, the odds paid when those points are hit make up for this:
- 4 and 10: 2-to-1
- 5 and 9: 3-to-2
- 6 and 8: 6-to-5
Place bets are similar to point bets. The key difference is that these are side bets and no “come out round” is needed before they can be bet.
You are betting that your numbers will be rolled before a 7. Unlike the point bets, these do have a house edge. It is a small 0.46% for 6 and 8, and up to 1.67% for 4 and 10. It is sometimes possible to make this bet the other way around, betting on 7 to hit before a specific point.
For players looking for bigger returns, you’ll need to balance that big-win potential with a higher house edge. “Hard ways” bets require the same number on each dice to win. For example, a “hard 6” requires a pair of 3s, with 2-4 and 1-5 losing.
There are also several multi-roll bets, known as prop bets. These often have very high house edges. They include tall and small, all hard hop bets and any craps.
Casino rewards programs
PA online casinos offer incentives to get new players. With so much competition, new players can take advantage of many of these. They include no-deposit welcome bonuses, matched deposit bonuses and loyalty schemes.
Craps has a very low house edge, especially when compared to online slots and many card games. This makes it hard to clear bonuses rolling the dice.
You’ll find that some casinos exclude craps completely from bonus clearance, while others weight the contributions. The typical contribution is 10% of your play.
There are still some great reasons for craps fans to take advantage of the casino bonuses.
The free (no deposit needed) money is open to all. While you can’t clear the $10 to $20 free offers, nothing is stopping you from taking a shot at the slots with the houses’ money. If you win, you could end up with a big bankroll for your craps play – no money down.
Look out for loyalty reward programs at online casinos. These are often tiered, offering bigger bonuses and extra benefits for regular players.
Again, some casinos will weight the contributions (points collected) for different games. By comparing these schemes, you can find that are the most generous for craps players.
Laws affecting online craps in Pennsylvania
Act 71, passed in 2004, legalized live casinos in Pennsylvania, though it did not allow for table games. The initial seven casinos and racetracks would generate more than $700 million in tax revenues by the end of the decade.
Craps was introduced, along with other table games like blackjack and roulette, in a separate amendment in 2010. This also saw the number of casino licenses expanded to the current 12. Stand-alone casinos are allowed up to 250 table games, while resort casinos were limited to 50.
Table games at PA casinos have a 16% tax, far lower than the 54% tax rate on slots.
Online craps took a different route to become legal in PA.
The first attempts to introduce legislation occurred in 2013. It would be October 2017 before an act (H 271) was signed into law. This allows for existing casino license holders to apply for online licenses. It also introduced sports betting and satellite casinos.
The first online casinos went live in mid-2019.
Where to find craps in Pennsylvania
You will find live craps tables at all the live casino venues listed below.
These games feature the 3-4-5x system for the “point round.” This means you can bet 2x your “pass line bet” on points of 4 or 10, 3x on points of 5 or 9 and 3x on points of 6 or 8.
In addition to these live craps tables, larger venues also feature Bubble Craps. This is an electronic table game which has dice inside a glass dome. Players place bets on touchscreens around this dome.
Pennsylvania craps tables near you
- Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack: 777 Harrah’s Blvd., Chester, PA 19013
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course: 777 Hollywood Blvd., Grantville, PA 17026
- Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin: 4067 National Pike, Farmington, PA 15437
- Meadows Racetrack & Casino: 210 Racetrack Road, Washington, PA 15301
- Mohegan Sun Pocono: 1280 PA-315, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
- Mount Airy Casino Resort: 312 Woodland Road, Mt. Pocono, PA 18344
- Parx Casino and Racing: 2999 Street Road, Bensalem, PA 19020
- Presque Isle Downs & Casino: 8199 Perry Hwy., Erie, PA 16509
- Wind Creek Casino Bethlehem: 77 Wind Creek Blvd., Bethlehem, PA 18015
- Rivers Casino: 777 Casino Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
- SugarHouse Casino: 1001 N. Delaware Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125
- Valley Forge Casino: 1160 First Ave., King of Prussia, PA 19406
The 13th PA casino, Live! Hotel & Casino, is under construction and is sure to feature craps games too when it opens in December 2020.