Roulette or Craps: Which Game Has Better Payouts at Online Casinos

Determining the profitability of casino games can be a numbers game in itself. For those weighing the options between Roulette and craps, a detailed analysis of payout ratios and odds can offer clarity.

Payout Ratios in Roulette

Roulette is often seen as a game of pure chance, where the outcome is largely dependent on the spin of a wheel. A small ball is dropped onto the spinning wheel, eventually coming to rest in one of the 37 or 38 pockets, depending on whether the wheel is European or American.

For Roulette, understanding the house edge is key to assessing potential payouts. The house edge for European Roulette is around 2.7%, while the American version pushes it to about 5.26%. To simplify, for every dollar bet, a player is expected to lose 2.7 cents or 5.26 cents over the long term in European and American Roulette, respectively.

Betting Options

Roulette offers a wide array of betting options, from simple red/black or odd/even bets, to wagers on specific numbers. The payout can vary depending on the type of bet made. For example, a bet on a single number yields a payout of 35:1. Betting on red or black, on the other hand, comes with a much lower payout of 1:1.

Craps and Its Complexity

Craps might seem complicated at first glance, with its intricate table layout and myriad betting options. However, once the basics are understood, it becomes more straightforward.

House Edge and Basic Bets

For Craps, the house edge varies significantly depending on the type of bet placed. The basic “Pass” or “Don’t Pass” bets offer some of the lowest house edges, around 1.41% and 1.36% respectively. With odds bets, this can be further reduced.

Complex Bets and Their Risks

There are other betting options that come with a higher house edge. Proposition bets, hardways, and one-roll bets typically come with a house edge exceeding 5%. This makes them less favorable when considering potential payouts.

Comparing Roulette and Craps

Both games have their unique features and appeal to different types of players. However, for the purpose of evaluating potential payouts, one can assess the average house edge and the variety of bets that could potentially yield higher payouts.

House Edge Comparison

If we take the bets with the lowest house edges, Craps tends to be more favorable. A Pass or Don’t Pass bet in Craps has a house edge of around 1.36% to 1.41%, lower than the 2.7% to 5.26% in Roulette.

Variety in Betting

While Craps offers a variety of betting options, some of them come with high house edges. Roulette offers more uniformity in this aspect, especially when sticking to simpler bets like red/black or odd/even.

Potential for Strategy

Craps allows for a certain level of strategy, especially when you combine basic bets with odds bets, reducing the overall house edge. Roulette doesn’t offer this level of strategic depth, largely due to its nature as a game of pure chance.

Online Casino Differences

At real money online casinos, the mechanics of both games translate well to the digital format. However, there’s a higher chance for faster play online, which can affect how quickly your bankroll might change. Understanding the house edge and betting strategically can extend your playtime and potentially maximize returns.

Software and Random Number Generators

Online versions of both games rely on random number generators (RNGs) to determine outcomes. This ensures fair play and unpredictability, mirroring the experience you would have at a physical casino.

Live Dealer Options

Some online casinos offer live dealer options for both Roulette and Craps. The house edges remain the same, but the interaction with a live dealer can add a different dimension to the game, though it doesn’t directly impact payouts.

Consistency Over Time

One important factor to consider when weighing potential payouts is the longevity of your game session. Roulette’s simpler rules and betting options can make for more consistent gameplay. On the other hand, the complexity of Craps bets can make for more fluctuating results, especially if you opt for riskier wagers with higher house edges. Long-term consistency is a vital consideration for anyone serious about making the most out of their bets.

Table Limits and Their Impact

Different casinos, including online ones, set varying table limits for both Roulette and Craps. High-rollers might find themselves more comfortable at Craps tables, which frequently offer higher maximum limits. The larger the bet, the higher the potential payout, but also the greater the risk. Knowing your comfort zone and how it meshes with table limits can be another determining factor in choosing between Roulette and Craps.

Game Availability and Accessibility

Craps tables are often fewer in number compared to Roulette tables, both in physical and online casinos. The space required for a Craps table and the need for more staff make it a less common option. Online, however, this is less of an issue. Accessibility could be a secondary factor when considering which game to play, particularly if you have a preference for real-world interaction as opposed to digital formats.

Speed of Play and Time Management

Roulette generally operates at a slower pace, as each spin of the wheel takes time, and bets are often resolved more simply. In contrast, Craps can be faster, especially online. Each roll resolves multiple bets, and players often have several wagers in play simultaneously. The faster pace can lead to a quicker depletion or growth of your bankroll, affecting how long you can play and, thus, your potential payouts over time.


Comparing the payouts between Roulette and Craps is not straightforward due to the variety of bets available in each game. Ultimately, it boils down to player preference and risk tolerance. Familiarity with the rules and odds of each game can inform a smarter betting strategy.

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