Crapless craps tables are making a comeback in Las Vegas. The game, sometimes referred to as never ever craps, originated decades ago at Bob Stupak’s Vegas World. That property is known as The Strat today. The game is still offered there. At one point in the last few years, it was the only Las Vegas casino dealing it.
Harrah’s installed a crapless craps table near the south entrance in the last year or two. Luxor was the next new installation of the game that we found. It must have tested well there. These tables eventually popped up at Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, New York-New York and Park MGM. I found the minimum bet is generally $10 during slower hours, as opposed to $10 or $15 for the traditional craps tables at these same casinos.
All casinos with crapless craps still deal the traditional game on other tables. However, if only one table is open, it is sometimes the crapless one.
What is crapless craps?
Crapless craps is a carnival version of the standard game. The player cannot lose a pass line bet on the come out roll. If it is a 7, the player wins. If it is anything else, it becomes the point.
The pass line does not immediately win if an 11 is rolled on the come out. Like the 2, 3 and 12, these numbers are all points that must be made before a 7 is called to win. If the 7 comes before the point, the pass line loses. Come bets work the same way.
The normal prop and place bets are on a crapless craps table. The only bets missing are ones related to the dark side. The don’t pass and don’t come bets are not available at crapless craps.
Not being able to lose on the come out is a great gimmick. However, it comes with consequences.
The pass line bet at crapless craps has a 5.38% house edge, as opposed to a 1.41% edge for a traditional craps pass line bet. That is a difference of $0.40 every time a $10 bet is settled when no odds are taken.
You can offset much of this by taking odds. Taking the max odds on 3-4-5 times tables gets you back to about the line bet edge without any odds on a traditional game, according to the Wizard of Odds.
The Strat offers 10 times odds on its crapless craps tables. This is comparable in house edge to a traditional craps game with max odds.
Harrah’s offers 1-2-3-4-5 times odds. The 2 and 12 are the single, 3 and 11 double, then it is standard 3-4-5 times. Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, New York-New York and Park MGM have 3-4-5 times with the three times applying to the 2, 3, 11 and 12. All pay true odds. The 2 and 12 pay 6:1, while the 3 and 11 pay 3:1.
The crapless craps format makes it so that pass line bets take longer to play out on average than a normal craps game. A 2, 3, 11 or 12 would resolve the pass line immediately on the come out in traditional craps. In crapless craps, the line bet is not resolved until that number is made or a 7 is rolled. These numbers will be the point every six come out rolls, the same likelihood as a winner 7.
The payouts on place bets, buys and props are typically the same as a standard game. If you only make these bets, then the house edge should be identical to traditional craps.
Why is crapless craps making a comeback?
Craps is an expensive game to operate. It requires three dealers, a breaker, and the costs associated with the beverage service. Many tables also have dedicated supervisors. This cost is harder to offset at craps tables with limited capacity due to the pandemic. This seems like the most likely cause.
Las Vegas casinos must cut the maximum number of players at a craps table by about half right now. The fewer players at a table, the less money it theoretically makes. The only ways to make it profitable are increase the minimum bet (the market likely cannot absorb that during a tourism crash) or raise the house edge. This accomplishes the latter.
If this catches on, I think it will become the triple zero roulette answer for craps.