Craps : Etiquette and Lingo : Dice



Anyone who has ever played craps remembers the heart pounding feeling of green-ness the first time they bellied up to the rack threw their cash or chips down on the layout. No casino game - with the possible exception of poker - has such an ominous presence in a casino, not to mention its large self-contained dictionary. To aid you in your quest for dice shooting perfection, we present the newbies guide to craps etiquette and lingo, guaranteed to take the edge off your first time at the bone table.

Let's meet the people who work at the dice table:

Dealers (2) - Standing at either end of the table with their backs facing the pit. It is their job to handle check change and paying or banking winning or losing bets.

Stick Man - Standing in the center of the table. It is the stick man's job to keep his eyes on the dice at all time, from the time they are resting in the boat (the semi-circular dish that unused dice rest in) to when they are in play. The stick man is the play by play announcer at the table - it is his job to call the numbers as they're thrown, place proposition bets on the center felt, coordinate payment on winning prop bets and act as a carnival barker to get players for proposition bets.

Boxman - The usually suited gentleman sitting in a chair behind the bank. It is his job to mind the chips, over see the whole table and settle any disputes that may occur.

What to do when:

You want to get in on the game:
Drop your money directly in front of you and ask the dealer (politely) "Change, please." The dealer will toss your money to the center of the table in front of the BoxMan who will verify the cash count and the chip count and stuff the green in the drop slot on the table. He'll probably give you a grimace too. Most boxmen are a crabby sort.

You want to make a bet:
Pass Line, Pass Line Odds, Field, Don't, Big 6 / 8 and Come bets are all placed on the layout by the player. If you would like to Place a specific number put the chips down in front of you within reach of the dealer and say "Can I have the 6 and the 8 please." The dealer will take your bet and move it to the 6/8 or whatever other number you choose and place it in the correct spot according to where on the rail you are situated.

The same process goes with Odds on Come bets. Simply say "Odds on my Six, please." The dealer will look at you and grab your chips and wedge it on top of your original come bet.

Hardways bets are usually tossed gently out into the center of the table along with the exclamation "4 and 10 Hardways, $1 each" (insert bet and denomination of your choice.) The stickman will repeat the bet back to you then move your chips to the appropriate spot.

The dice are out:
When the dealer announces "The dice are out!" Please pay attention and KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE DICE. If the shooter is winding up for their toss MOVE YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM THE TABLE. Do NOT adjust or move your bet, pick up winnings you slacked on, move chips around. CRAPS VOODOO FACT #264: If you touch live dice, the next roll WILL BE a seven. Rolls that hit hands are almost guaranteed to roll a 7 on the next toss. Believe it, it happens almost every time. If dice come careening off the table towards you do not catch them... get out of the way and let the dice hit the floor. After they have landed it is safe to retrieve them for the dealers. We're talking voodoo here folks... trust us. These non-scientific tenets are absolutely true.