A Casino Game We’re Loving Right Now: Shoot to Win Craps

If you spend any amount of time in casinos, you’ve no doubt seen a Shoot to Win Craps machine. The over-sized, bouncing dice create quite the spectacle. The game is also known, informally, as “craps bubble” machines.

We love traditional craps, at a craps table, with the chips and the cussing and the dice you can fondle, so we spent months just walking right by the Shoot to Win Craps game. Until recently, when we sat down and played, and we loved it right from the start.

Typically, eight players are seated around the game. At least one of them is drunk, if we're playing.
Typically, eight players are seated around the game. At least one of them is drunk, if we’re playing.

Craps can be intimidating. While craps tables are often the most boisterous parts of a casino, the jargon and fast pace of the game can be a little off-putting. The table layout and bets can take some time to learn, so many just watch and move on to game they’re more comfortable with.

Shoot to Win Craps makes craps accessible to everyone, and even provides a lot of benefits more experienced players will appreciate.

Big dice means big wins. Actual results may vary.
Big dice means big wins. Actual results may vary. It’s gambling.

First, the table minimum at Shoot to Win Craps is $5, and possibly less. At a real craps table, minimums can be much more, especially on the Las Vegas Strip.

There’s still a learning curve with Shoot to Win Craps, but the game provides convenient information about both the basics of craps and how betting works on the Shoot to Win Craps game. You can read up on the game before you ever bet a penny.

Shoot to Win Craps makes it easy to learn craps basics.
Shoot to Win Craps makes it easy to learn craps basics. Yes, it involves reading. You’ll survive.

Once you’re ready to dive in, you’ll see a layout that has all the features of a real craps table.

Let’s talk upside and downside with Shoot to Win Craps.

Upside first: Your bets are always paid off flawlessly, no dealer error, ever. You can play your own game, so nobody’s giving you nasty looks if you bet against the shooter or the table (called “don’t” betting). You can call off, or cancel, all your bets at any time without screwing with the mojo of the table. (Some bets, like a Pass Line bet, can’t be cancelled, but most can be taken down in an instant if you “get a call from upstairs.”)

Other benefits of an electronic game include a roll history, much like that on displays at roulette tables. Some gamblers love that function, although dice have no memory, and past rolls have no effect on future rolls.

At a real craps table, it's tough to keep track of past rolls if you're not the "Rain Man."
At a real craps table, it’s tough to keep track of past rolls if you’re not the “Rain Man.”

The machine also keeps track of how many rolls a shooter has had in a row. There’s only one casino in Vegas that does that at a real table, the Fremont, downtown.

It’s a huge benefit to be able to play at your own pace. Lots of craps players are up at certain times, but continue to bet on every shooter, even if the table gets cold. Eventually, they give their winnings back to the house.

With Shoot to Win Craps, you can pull down all your bets and just sit there, sipping on your free strawberry daiquiri, until you feel like betting again. This simple part of the game has allowed us to walk away a winner every time we’ve played to-date.

The "all off" button means your bets aren't "working," the "All Cancel" pulls them down.
The “all off” button means your bets aren’t “working,” the “All Cancel” pulls them down.

Now, some negatives of the game.

There are no chips and you don’t get to touch the dice. Fanatical craps players will miss that aspect of the game.

The pace of Shoot to Win Craps is fairly quick, so you don’t have a ton of time to waffle about your bets. Each roll is timed, and that “No More Bets” message can sneak up on you.

No dirty fingers or surly dealers here.
Still, there are no dirty fingers, surly dealers or impatient players here.

In Shoot to Win Craps, each player around the game gets to “shoot.” Shooting involves pushing a big red button. In a real game, a shooter keeps the dice until they “seven out.” But in Shoot to Win Craps, the game decide who shoots, and when. During one of our sessions, a shooter was on a tear, and the game decided someone else was going to shoot. Seasoned players won’t like that too much. If a shooter is lucky, you want that shooter to keep shooting until your virtual chip tray is full!

A minor point, but in Shoot to Win Craps, a 12 on the field pays double. We hate that, although it’s pretty common in real games on The Strip.

Also, the woman’s voice that calls the numbers and prompts players to “Push the button!” can get a little repetitive and grating at times. Surmountable.

It should be mentioned such machines do replace actual human dealers, so depending upon your sensibilities in that realm, you might consider that a downside. We’re thinking this game appeals to players who might not otherwise play craps, so nobody’s losing their job because a Shoot to Win Craps machine has been installed.

One of the biggest potential downsides to Shoot to Win Craps is the social factor. Players don’t seem to bond like they do at a real craps table. That camaraderie is a big part of the appeal of craps for many people. Then again, if you make it a party, it can be a party no matter what game you’re playing.

There's a lot going on, but if you stick to your basic bets, it should be a breeze.
There’s a lot of fairly useless razzle-dazzle going on, but if you stick to your basic bets, it should be a breeze.

We love this game because it’s a good value, you decide if and when you’ll bet (no peer pressure), and because those big dice are real and not digital, there’s a feeling you can have a monster roll and whoop the house. We heard from several of our fellow players who claimed to have done just that.

Give it a try, already.
Give it a try, already.

During our play, we heard rumblings from players about the Shoot to Win Craps dice being “rigged,” possibly with magnets. They’re not rigged! The dice rolls are completely random. The casino, and the machine, don’t need to rig the dice, because the odds are stacked against you already. Even winning bets have a little house edge built into them.

Craps has some of the best odds in the casino, though! Just make sure to learn the game, because craps has some awful bets, too.

Have you tried Shoot to Win Craps, also called a “craps bubble” machine? We’d love to hear your thoughts, and good luck!