Craps Etiquette and You – A Complete Guide Tuesday, Apr 9 2013
Craps 11:17 am
Craps is an exciting and enjoyable game that is simple for beginners to learn yet offers hours of fun for the veteran player. At the same time, it is a highly frustrating game. Whilst betting on whether the dice will hit ‘snake eyes,’ the goodwill and brotherhood at the table is unmissable. To take full advantage of craps, there are some important rules to follow.
It is an intimidating game as essentially it boils down to lots of people shouting at the table. However, to avoid those icy stares and periods of humiliation, players must follow the right etiquette. Even if some of the rules seem quite stupid and mundane, it is best to follow them at all times.
Gamblers can buy in whenever they want. This doesn’t mean they should. There is an unspoken rule in craps where the player should wait until the dice are at the centre of the table. Wait for the dealer to motion with his hand or verbally with his voice to put money in. It is also wise to avoid trying to squeeze into small spaces on the rail.
Craps players are naturally superstitious, so it’s also a good idea to wait until the shooter hits a 7 before buying in. Many people, particularly in Vegas casinos, believe if people buy in before it they were the cause of the 7.
Placing Your Bet
Place the bet when the dice are positioned in the centre of the table. Never bet after the shooter has picked up the dice. This isn’t just about etiquette; it’s about practicality. Some people have tossed chips into the pot after the shooter has picked up the dice and the dice have hit these chips. It means the outcome was altered because of the actions of a player. This isn’t what craps is about.
Know the bet before playing. It helps the game move smoothly. Do not stare at the board and attempt to figure out the best bet during the actual betting sequence. It ruins the pattern of the game and leads to a lot of lost time. For place bets, wait until the dealer motions for the chips because they are responsible for putting them down, whereas players can make their own pass line and come bets.
There is a very specific order in craps. The betting order applies to making the bets and claiming any winnings. Spotting the order of the betting is easy. Just wait until the person on either side makes a bet and assume it is time to make a bet. Pay offs differ completely.
Pay offs are made in a very specific order. All losing bets come first. After losing bets, come or pass line bet winners gain their winnings. The order of this splits the table in half. Firstly, one half claims their winnings and then the next half. After this, the place bets come in the same manner as pass line and come bets. Finally, centre bets like horn, hard way, and hops are passed out in sequence around the whole table.
It sounds more complicated than it is. In practice and in person it is quite a simple process. Moreover, there is normally a friendly gambler who will help newcomers with the betting pay offs.
Social and Superstition
After making bets, keep hands away from the rail. Do not even let them hang over the edge slightly. Some craps shooters are known for their powerful rolls, and if the dice happen to hit a finger, there are no prizes for guessing who is blamed for a seven. Whilst it isn’t actually against the rules, it is not likely to win any friends amongst other players.
Be cordial at the table. Despite the fact it’s not uncommon to see a particularly large man screaming at the dice, it doesn’t mean people like him. Remain calm and get involved. Avoid going over the top. Try to fit in with the group. Players should aim to tailor their approaches to the current mood and tone of the table.
After establishing the point, no gamblers should ever mention ‘seven.’ It’s a traditional superstition that says if someone mentions the number, it will hit. It is completely and utterly untrue as the odds will not change regardless of what someone says, but it doesn’t mean people will forget about it. Abstain from upsetting someone by sticking to ‘red’ or ‘devil’ if it’s necessary to mention the number.
The don’t pass and don’t come lines are dangerous bets. Essentially, what it means is the gambler is rooting for the shooter to not make the point. Craps players nearly always root for the shooter to make the point. Remain polite and quiet during this time or risk becoming very unpopular very quickly.
Tip Before You Go
Tip the dealers before leaving. Whilst most American tipping colloquialisms have very little basis, such as tipping the guy just for opening a hotel door, this one is vital. Most dealers earn minimum wage and have to do a complex job. Imagine the difficulty associated with tracking each person’s bet, getting the pay off order right, and dealing with any unruly customers.
Not only is it rewarding someone for a job well done, it gets them on side for the future. Later on, if the gambler commits a faux pas the dealer is likely to let it go, as they’ll remember the kindness shown to them previously. M.A.H.