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Craps Training

Say What? The Words of Craps

When a new player walks up to a busy craps game he will sometimes stand and stare wide eyed at the table, listening to the incessant din of the game, attempting to discern what all of these players are saying and in what language they are speaking. Virtually nothing that is being said seems to make any sense.

This is the first problem that a new craps player has to overcome. What are these people saying, what does it mean and how does it affect me and the game that I am trying to play?

There are many things that are said by the craps crew that do in fact impact the players, and can seriously affect their bets and their bankroll. Some craps tips are:

  1. coming out
  2. hardways work unless called off
  3. even up your odds
  4. down with odds
  5. no bet
  6. off and on
  7. your hard six is down

And many other phrases that might affect your bets on the next roll.

Understanding the words and phrases of the game will help your play, and will save you money. These pages are here to help you understand what the crew is saying and also what you should say to help them assist you in having more fun and more importantly help you make more money. The dealers are there to help you and the better you are at speaking their language the easier it will be for you to play this great game. Learn how to play craps to win - using these simple craps tips.

Understanding the words and phrases of the game will help your play, and will save you money. These pages are here to help you understand what the crew is saying and also what you should say to help them assist you in having more fun and more importantly help you make more money. The dealers are there to help you and the better you are at speaking their language the easier it will be for you to play this great game. Learn how to play craps to win - using these simple craps tips.


What the Dealers Say and Why

Everyone that has walked past a craps game knows that it is a very noisy and confusing corner of the casino. Craps Dealers, your friendly dealers, also know this. They know that to run the game properly every one of the dealers must be able to communicate precise instructions, pay offs, and other important information, so they have developed a language that helps them to more easily understand each other. Every word or phrase that the dealers use has a purpose and even though you may have been under the impression that they say some of these phrases to entertain the players, and they are quite entertaining sometimes, these phrases do have a higher purpose than their entertainment value.

Some words and especially some numbers sound very much alike since they use common letters in their spelling and apply different prefixes and suffixes to alter their meaning. Some excellent examples of this that affect a craps crew are five, nine, seven, and eleven. These numbers sound alike and have many common letters. During the heat of battle, the stickman must have a way to differentiate these different numbers since a dealer confusing what the stickman has said would create a problem so severe that it would require a United Nations negotiating team to calm all of the players.

YO! Eleven is the call a dealer will make so that none of the dealers will mistake that call for the hand ending SEVEN – OUT! Five, no field five and nine, center field nine have different cadence and different syllables to help the crew tell the difference. With the exception of conversation on a dead or slow game, everything the dealer says is said to either sell the game or to improve the accuracy and the speed of the game. Listen closely to what the dealers say and you will notice the pace and structure they are giving the game and your enjoyment of the game will also increase.


What You Should Say

Knowing how to say the bet that you want will make the dealers’ job easier and will help them keep the game at a good pace, which the other players will also appreciate. Both players and dealers like the game to progress at a good speed and in fact some superstitious players will become very agitated if the game slows down because of a player not using proper etiquette or proper phrases. These 10 words and phrases will get you started

The Top 10 Phrases that Pay

  1. Two ways.
    Any dealer will tell you that this is the first thing that a new player should learn. When a player makes a bet that is "two ways" they are making a bet for themselves and a bet for the dealers. Casino dealers’ pay comes from player’s tips or "tokes." By tipping the dealers they will take more interest in your overall experience.

  2. Working / Off.
    My bets are off, my hardways are off, my odds are off. By telling your dealer that any or all of your bets are off, they will put a small disc on them to alert the other dealers and security cameras that you want to suspend play on those wagers. When a player tells their dealer that they are working, it means that they want their bets to return to normal play and they will then be at risk. After a player calls his bets off he must tell the dealer they are working when he wants to resume play in that game.

  3. Dice out / in the middle.
    The stickman will announce "dice out" when they send the dice to the shooter. This tells the other dealers and the players that betting should stop and the next toss of the dice is coming. After a dice throw the stickman brings the dice back to "the middle" of the table and that is the time for the players to make their bets on the next throw. If the stickman tells you to bet when the dice are "in the middle" you probably have tried to make a late bet when the dice were "out."

  4. Inside / Outside.
    The box numbers 5, 6, 8, 9 are the inside numbers. A craps layout shows the box numbers with the low number, 4, on the left and continues to the right going to the highest box number 10. Players that make place bets will often place all the inside numbers. When you make a bet like this you should tell the dealer how much the total bet will be; as in, $22, $44, $110 followed by inside. This tells the dealer how much and where you want your money bet. The box numbers 4, 5, 9, 10 are the outside numbers. As you can see 5 and 9 are considered both inside and outside numbers when they are being bet with either their inside or outside neighbors. Players betting all of the outside numbers should again tell the dealer how much as in $20, $40, $100 followed by outside.

  5. Prop bet.
    Prop bets are the bets that are in the center of the craps layout. They include the hardways or pair bets and other bets on the crap numbers and eleven that are only good for one roll. All of these bets are poor bets for the player and should be avoided.

  6. High or heavy.
    Sometimes you might make a bet that includes two or more numbers, and might want to bet more on one or more of them. You will alert the dealer to your intention by saying it will be high or heavy. Some of these phrases might be $34 inside heavy 6 and 8, $5 hard 6 and 8 heavy 6, or horn high 11.

  7. To and For.
    Craps layouts give players a lot of information about the game that is being offered, and when you step up to a table it will serve you well to use the readily available information to your benefit. In the prop bet section that is in front of the stickman the layout lists the pay offs for those bets. These bets will be listed as "to one" or "for one". These pay offs are not the same. Thirty for one is not equal to thirty to one. This is a trick that some casinos play on players. The bets that pay thirty to one will pay 30 times the bet and the ones that pay thirty for one will pay 29 times the bet. Even if you are a smart player and avoid these bets, this little observation tells you that this casino gives the player a better deal and it is likely that there are other things about this game or casino that you will find to be player friendly.

  8. Press.
    This is a phrase that a player needs to learn and then learn how to avoid using. When a player says press, the dealer will usually increase your bet by a factor of two. If you say press after a win the dealer will double your bet and hand off the change. Pressing your bets gets more money in action and if the hand continues you will win more when if bet that bet wins again and you will end up short if the hand ends. The problem with learning how to say press is that you won’t know if your guess was correct until the hand ends. You can also use this phrase to instruct the dealer to increase your bet in an amount that will be less than double. By saying "press my bet to" or saying "press my bet one unit" you can give the dealer a clear path to follow to get your bet to the amount that you want.

  9. Make my bet look like.
    This phrase should be part of every player’s vocabulary. Players and dealers use this phrase to describe common betting arrangements quickly and clearly. Here are two easy examples. You are in an extended hand and have pressed some of the place bets that you have. Some of the bets are many units higher than others. The shooter makes the point and you decide that you want your bets to be an even amount on each number that you have had in action. This might mean that some bets might be increased and some might be decreased. If you were to ask the dealer to adjust each bet individually it would be very confusing so you can simply say, "Make my bets look like $44 inside, or $40 outside or perhaps $32 inside no eight. You might be betting on the hardways and during the course of the hand the shooter has thrown some easy numbers causing some of your hardways to lose. One of your hardway bets happens to hit, and you want to either add to that bet or replace the bets that have lost, you could say, "make my hardways look like $3 each 6 and 8 and $2 each 4 and 10" and the stickman would know exactly what you want and would instruct your dealer to hand off the change less the amount bet. Both examples are an easy and quick way to get your correct bet down with less delay and less confusion. Hardways bets are not recommended bets because the house has very high edges on them.

  10. House Advantage.
    Learning about the house advantage or edge that each game has will do more for your stake in the game and enjoyment than any other thing that you can learn. There are many bets offered on a craps layout and some are great bets and some are downright awful. Learning which bets have a lower house advantage and are more player friendly will increase your fun, chance to win and your playing time in the game.

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