The Best Online Craps Resource!


Playing Craps in Reno

Playing craps in “The Biggest Little City in the World,” as Reno calls itself, is likely to be the most enjoyable experience for craps players who want to have a good time, enjoy the sites, and not play at the highest limits in the US. The city sits at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (4200 feet above sea level) close to hiking trails, skiing, and beautiful Lake Tahoe just 45-minutes away.

Large interstate highways merge in Reno, including I-80 from San Francisco to the west, about 3.5 hours and 220 miles away. To the east, I-80 connects Elko, Nevada (300 miles from Reno) with Salt Lake City, Utah (520 total miles from Reno). Highway 395 also connects with Reno, coming through the state’s capital, Carson City (30 miles away), from the state line at Topaz Lake towards Bridgeport, California near Yosemite National Park (220 miles). Las Vegas is north of Reno along US-95, just over 445 miles away.

Reno was once the gaming capital of the United States, and the craps games there were rivaled only by illegal games in Covington, Kentucky; Toledo, Ohio; and Hot Springs, Arkansas. The state of Nevada legalized open gaming in 1931, and for the next twenty years the biggest craps games were found in Reno, with casinos like Harold’s Club and the Bank Club taking wagers as high as $10,000 a roll. By the time Harrah’s was the largest casino in town, most clubs booked limits only as high as $2,000 per roll.

Twenty years ago, Reno had 25 major casinos and Harrah’s offered 13 craps games in their mix of 102 table games, but the casino now has just a half-dozen games, barely needing them except on a busy Friday or Saturday evening. Other well-known casinos get by on as few as three craps tables, with only one open during graveyard hours.

Of the 21 real casinos in Reno, only a handful has craps tables, restaurants, and hotel rooms. Several clubs have a single craps table in their mix of table games. One dozen clubs offer craps.

The Casinos

There are an even dozen casinos where you can shoot craps in Reno. During the winter months, limits can be as low as $1 on the pass line, although $2 to $5 is likely to be the minimum bet at most casinos. Although a game may occasionally be “inside stick” with just two dealers manning a game, most clubs offer full games with three dealers and a boxman overseeing the action. Marker, or credit play is offered at nearly every casino, and depending upon your credit, the casino may offer instant marker action.

Casinos that offer craps games include:

  • Atlantis
  • Bonanza
  • Club Cal Neva
  • Circus Circus
  • Eldorado
  • Golden Phoenix
  • Grand Sierra
  • Harrah’s
  • Peppermill
  • Sands
  • Siena
  • Silver Legacy

Of the 651 table games currently licensed in Reno casinos, about 50 are craps games. Casinos set their own limits. Expect to see $5 minimum and $1,000 maximum at most casinos. Northern Nevada rules are usually in effect, meaning double odds on line bets and come bets. Unlike Las Vegas, however, Reno casinos pay 15 to 1 on several proposition bets like “eleven” instead of 15 for 1 (which is 14 to 1). You can also expect to see field wagers pay 2 to 1 on “2” and 3 to 1 on “12” when it rolls.

The downtown area of Reno includes most of the casinos, and each is in walking distance of one another, weather permitting. Club Cal Neva, Harrah’s and Golden Phoenix have multiple games and are close-by. The Eldorado, Silver Legacy, and Circus Circus also have multiple games and are connected via sky-walks.

Outlying casinos that offer multiple games include Atlantis, Peppermill, and the Grand Sierra. The Grand Sierra Resort (once the MGM/Bally’s/Hilton) was built in 1977. It has the largest square footage casino in Reno, with 115,000 square feet of gambling space. The hotel boasts 1995 rooms, most of which are available (425 square feet) for less than $100.

The largest casino in terms of slots machines and table games is the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino. The casino is square footage is 87,341 square feet with 2160 gaming machines and 86 tables games. $5 minimum craps games are standard in what was once an upscale casino.

For less expensive action, $2 craps games can be found at the Club Cal Neva, the second largest casino in Reno with 1575 gaming machines and 44 table games. The Club Cal Neva Hotel has 306 rooms that often are available for under $60. At the Club Cal Neva you may wager the pass line for $2, make $1 proposition bets and hard way bets, and place the numbers for $5 on 4, 5, 9, 10 and $6 on 6 and 8.

Players enjoying their stay in Reno can expect to earn close to the same amount in comp dollars at each club in town, about $1 for every $15 in action per hour of play ($7 per $100 wager per hour). Hotel room discounts (casino rate) are available when space permits at most properties. Breakfast specials start at $2.95 and with the exception of the casino steak houses, meals are very reasonable.

The craps games are friendly, dealers are well-trained for heavy action at the clubs with multiple games, and games move quickly. Single-table casinos offer the most relaxed games, which may move at a more leisurely pace and may have limits as low as $1 to $200 maximum. Overall, Reno supports good action craps games without demanding high limits, and offers dealers who know their jobs and can still banter in a friendly manner with the players.

Share this article: