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However, amid all that ruckus, you can easily overlook the unwritten rules you should abide by.
This guide will outline the basic live craps etiquette so that even if you find yourself at a craps table for the first time, you won’t make a buffoon of yourself. Remember, craps players are a very superstitious bunch, so good table manners are a must.
Top 10 Dos and Don’ts at a Craps Table
Things at a craps table can get hectic pretty quickly, so let’s equip you with the skills you need to find your way around the game. Let’s start with the things you should and shouldn’t do.
Don’t Buy-In in the Middle of the Roll
The most basic rule of craps in land-based casinos is to wait for a new shooter to be selected before you buy in.
During the middle of the roll or the time when the shooter has yet to establish his point, you should never interrupt the action so that you can join in.
Nowadays, casinos let you buy in when the dice are in the middle of the table. Look for the dealer and their reaction so that you know the time has come for you to join.
Ask the dealer if you are unsure if the time is right, but never make a bet when someone is ready to roll.
Don’t Hand Cash to the Dealer
The dealers are not allowed to take cash from you directly.
If you want in on the action, leave your money on the felt, and the dealer will take it using the stick. Everything should be done transparently so that the cameras catch the action.
Keep Your Hands Away From the Felt During Play
You never know when the shooter is ready to throw the dice, so keep your hands on the rail.
If the dice hit your hand, the least you will get is a few curse words, that’s for sure, especially if a seven comes up.
Don’t Use the Word “Seven”
Many craps players consider saying the word “seven” to be bad luck since a seven will result in a loss both for the shooter and anyone else who has bet on the Pass Line. This is why people use the term “Big Red” to talk about it.
Use One Hand to Throw the Dice
When you begin shooting, handle the dice using only one hand.
This way, you ensure the dealers don’t ever think that you might be trying to swap the dice with your other hand or manipulate them in any way.
Wait for the Dealer to Give You the Dice
As a new shooter, you’ll get five dice on a pan by the stickman. Don’t come reaching for them or touch all five of them since other players might think you are tampering with them.
Take your time choosing the dice but only touch those you are about to use.
If You Bet on the Dark Side — Don’t Celebrate Your Wins
Betting on the dark side, or betting against the shooter by putting your money on the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets, is risky business. You might be the only one at the table doing it.
If you win by betting on the dark side, don’t celebrate your wins. People will find that rude and disrespectful.
Always Tip the Dealers
Tipping the dealers is customary in craps. Usually, you do it before your first roll or when you are ready to leave the game. There are different forms of tipping dealers.
You can play a hand on their behalf, meaning if you win, the winnings go to the dealer.
Naturally, you can always give them chips or cash directly, but most dealers prefer it the other way around.
Don’t Take Too Long to Play Your Hand
You are expected to already have a bet in mind when it’s your time to make one and to throw the dice quickly when you are the shooter.
This way, the casino prevents you from tampering with the dice in any way that could potentially help you get the desired outcome.
Your Dice Throw Should Hit the Back of the Table
One of the key rules in live craps is that the dice you throw have to hit the back of the table.
Some casinos will only require the dice to cross the middle of the table, but don’t count on it. Also, make sure always to throw and never slide the dice.
Craps Lingo and Terminology
Sometimes, you’ll hear people use specific terms and expressions at a craps table. That’s craps lingo for you. Here are some phrases you are bound to hear:
- Big Red — The number seven
- Coloring Up — A player is ready to leave the game
- Ace Deuce — A roll of three
- Bones — Dice
- George — A player that tips well
- Midnight — A slang term for 12, also known as box cars
- Snake Eyes — Number 2, aka aces
- Natural Break — A pause before the throw when a point has been established
- Mechanic — A shooter who apparently knows how to control dice
Learning proper game etiquette is crucial to enjoying the gameplay experience thoroughly. There are some written and a bunch of unwritten rules in all casinos, and your job is to know them. This guide to live craps etiquette will give you the confidence you need to come up to any craps table and give those dice a throw.