craps etiquette
Craps Etiquette

Apart from the general rules of Craps certain unwritten rules of etiquette exist whilst playing the game and must be followed to the letter. Many consider these guidelines just as important as the actual rules. New players must undertsand the game’s etiquette before approaching a craps table.

Rules related to casino security

  • Players are not supposed to handle the dice with more than one hand or pass them directly from hand to hand, nor take the dice past the edge of the table. The only way to change hands when throwing dice, if permitted at all, is to set the dice on the table, let go and take them with the other hand.
  • When throwing the dice, the player is expected to hit the furthest wall at the opposite end of the table. The dice may not be slid across the table and must be tossed. They may not be thrown higher than the eye level of the dealers.
  • The dice must not land in the Boxman’s bank or on any of the dealers’ working stacks of money.
  • Do not try to place money in the dealer’s hand or expect the dealer to hand you chips. Dealers are not allowed to touch the players at any time. Players are expected to place cash on the layout and announce “change only” or a specific bet and amount. The dealer will then place chips on the layout or in front of the players.
  • Many craps table layouts state “NO CALL BETS”. This means a player is not allowed to call out a bet without having at least the bet amount of chips on the table. If the chips exceed the bet, for example a $100 chip is placed and bets called out of “$25 on five and nine”, the dealer will say “it’s a bet” and return $50 change to the player.
  • The dealer doesn’t have to place the bet in the proper place on the table to form a valid bet. This method is consistent with the fast action of the game, permitting a player to make a last-second bet while the dice are about to be thrown. The NO CALL BET rule exists to prevent confusion on the amount bet, possibly going back to the days of 25 cent tables. For example “three fifty” could mean $3.50 or $350. If the dealer is uncertain about a player’s intention he may state “no bet” and push the chips back to the player.
  • Commonly observed etiquette
    • When offered the dice to shoot, a player may pass the dice to the next player without fear of offending anyone. Keep in mind that at least one player must always be a “shooter” betting on either the pass line or don’t pass line for the game to continue.
    • The part of the bet for the dealer is called a “toke” bet. This is from the $1 slot machine coins or tokens that are sometimes used to place bets for the dealers in a casino. Most casinos require the dealers to pick up their winning bets, including the original tip, rather than “let it ride” as the player may choose to do.
    • After the come-out roll, it is considered bad luck to say the word “seven”. A common “nickname” for this number is “Big Red”.
    • It is considered bad luck to change dice in the middle of a roll. Centre bets are made by tossing chips to the centre of the table and calling out the intended bet; the stickman will then place the chips correctly for the player.
    • It is considered rude to “late bet,” or make wagers while the dice are no longer in the middle of the table. While it’s allowed, excessive late betting will normally garner a warning.
    • Food and drinks as well as other items should remain off the chip rail.
    • Players feel it is bad luck for the shooter to leave the table after a successful come-out roll. When the shooter is ready to roll, players must remove their hands from the table area in order to avoid interfering with the dice. The stickman will often say “hands high, let ’em fly” or “dice are out, hands high”.