Why It's Important To Follow Craps Table Etiquette In The Casino

Craps Table Etiquette

By Jerry "Stickman"

The game of craps is fun and can be very exciting. It can also be very frustrating. When things are going well points are being hit and money is being made. The camaraderie and good will at the table is something not available in other casino game. But this entire warm and friendly atmosphere can disappear in an instant. All it takes is someone to thrust their hands over the table to drop a bet when the dice are being thrown. The dice hit their hand and --- 7-out.

While the probability of a 7 appearing is one in six whether the dice hit someone’s hand or not, players remember all the times it happens and tend to forget the times it didn’t.

The game of craps can be intimidating. There are so many different bets and methods of making them. A little knowledge of craps table etiquette can save you some embarrassment and a host of icy stares – or worse. Here are a few things you can do to keep the game moving smoothly along.

  1. When buying in, wait until the dice are in the center of the table and the dealer motions for you to put your money on the table. I like to wait until the point is made or the shooter 7s-out before buying in. That way there is no way anyone can blame me for causing a 7 to appear. But if the dealer is asking you to buy in, go ahead.
  2. Place your bet while the dice are in the middle of the table. Once the shooter has the dice, forget about betting. If the shooter throws the dice while you are tossing chips or putting your hand over the table to make a bet, the dice may hit the chips or your hand and guess who gets blamed for the 7 that might appear.
  3. Know what bets you will be making before it is time to make them and know when it is time to make your bet. This will help the game move more smoothly. Dealers are very skilled, but rely on a certain pattern to make things go well. You make pass line and come bets by placing the money on the pass line or come areas. The dealer makes all the place bets. If you are making a place bet, know what you plan to bet and wait until the dealer looks at you or motions to you before placing your chips.
  4. Know the order of bet payoffs. Just as there is an order in placing bets, there is an order in paying off bets. Losing bets are collected first. Next pass line or come bet winners are paid in sequence around each half of the table. Then place bets are paid in sequence around each half of the table and finally any of the bets in the center of the table such as hard way, horn, and hop bets are paid in sequence around the entire table.
  5. Once you have made all your bets, keep your hands away from over the table. Do not even let your fingers hang over the edge. If the dice should hit them, you know who gets blamed for the 7.
  6. Be cordial, not loud or boisterous. Craps is the most social of the table games. Try to fit in with the group around the table. No sense making a spectacle of yourself.
  7. Once a point is established, never say the word "seven." It is a long held superstition that if someone says it, it will appear. The superstition isn’t true, of course. The 7 will show one in six times, but only the times it appears will be remembered, so don’t risk angering anyone. If you feel the need to mention the number, say "devil" or "red" instead.
  8. If you play the don’t pass or don’t come be very polite and quiet. Almost all craps players play the pass line and are rooting for the player to make the point. By placing a don’t pass bet you are hoping the shooter will not make the point. This makes you very unpopular so don’t do anything to further antagonize the rest of the players.
  9. Finally, tip the dealers. Dealers make minimum wage. Most of the dealer’s pay comes from tips. Dealing craps is a very difficult job. Imagine how hard it is to keep track of all the different bets and bettors, what each better likes to do when they win a bet, all the different payoffs for different bet amounts. Imagine how hard it is to do this and be pleasant. I like to place a bet for the crew beside my pass line bet the first and every time I shoot. This helps get the dealers on your side. It never hurts to be on the good side of the dealers and they just may overlook a future faux pas if you tip them.

Craps table etiquette is really just following a few simple rules and getting along with the rest of the table. Following these guidelines will make the game much more enjoyable.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses be slow and tiny.

Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps and Golden Touch Blackjack. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-886-738-3423. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com