Ten major chapters (plus a glossary, resources page and index) cover the entire range of craps play. Each chapter is divided into ten sections. For example, the Pass and Come Methods includes information on how to make odds-only bets; betting before the come out; making money with place bets; pushing the house; making money with come bets; protecting your pass line bet; betting don't; multiple odds table; remembering odds; making money on a cold table.
The book also includes $50 worth of free coupons.
Who are these guys?
At the craps table itself, there is only one person who is seated and that person is the boxman. He (or she) takes care of things, for both the table and the players. Larry Edell has been the editor of 'The Crapshooter Newsletter' since 1994. He has published nine books and over two hundred different articles in magazines such as 'Casino Player', 'Gaming Today', 'Mid West Players 'and 'Gambling Times'. Larry's website is www.thecrapshooter.com He keeps an eye on the payoffs, the bets, and more importantly, the average bets of all the players who want to be rated.
I’ve found that if you tip the dealers, the boxman takes it upon himself to bump up your average bet a little. He has an obvious personal interest in this, as all of the dealers split the tips. He would rather have tippers return to his casino than non-tippers.
The boxman also handles player disputes and is charge of the table’s chip bank, which is directly in front of him, by the middle of the table. The boxman is the most experienced casino employee at the table. Occasionally an inexperienced dealer might make an unpopular decision and the boxman can overrule it.
The man with the stick is called the stickman. He technically is one of the three dealers, and they all rotate around the table, so each dealer takes turns with the stick. The stickman retrieves the dice and pushes them to the shooter, taking care not to display the dreadful seven that, of course, is bad luck.
The stickman also takes care of the proposition bets, and helps the other two dealers, who are on the opposite side of the table (next to the boxman) and handling all of the players’ bets.
Behind the craps tables is an area called the “pit”. Players are not allowed walk through this area. In the pit are floor persons, who are one step above the boxmen. Their primary functions are to watch out for cheaters and to keep track of rated players. When you first check in and ask for a marker, or when you leave and ask for a comp, or if you switch tables, this will all be handled by a floor person.
Supervising all of this is the pit boss. He is in charge of the casino personnel at all of the tables. You will rarely see him. If you have a dispute regarding ratings or table play you will be speaking with a floor person, not the pit boss.
So, let’s say something strange happens during your play and the dealer closest to you disagrees with what you want. For example, let’s say that you have a $10 hard six and the shooter throws wildly. The dice bounce around all over the table and somehow end up sitting on top of each other. If they were separated on the table it would show your hard six, but the dealer suddenly calls out “no roll!”
Your first appeal would be to the boxman, who could overrule the dealer. If he doesn’t, you can yell, “Stop Play, I want to talk to the pit boss!” They really will stop play and a floor person will come over and see if he can resolve the situation first by talking to the boxman. If he can’t, he’ll call over a pit boss.
Usually, it won’t get that far. The boxman knows that it is more important to keep the players at his table in his casino, than it is to pay off a few hundred disputed dollars. Casinos are very competitive these days and they will do a lot to keep you as a regular patron.
Now that we know the casino personnel, let’s take a quick look at the craps table itself, and learn some things that many players often overlook.
The Craps Table
There are signs on both sides of the craps table announcing what the minimum and maximum bets are. For example, one sign might say “$10 to $1,000, 2X odds”. This means that the minimum flat bet is $10, the maximum flat bet is $1,000 and the casino offers two times odds. There are usually several tables in the pit area, with different stated limits. It is not uncommon to see four tables, each with different minimums – $1, $5, $10 and $25.
Usually on weekdays, the minimums are lower, and on weekend evenings, the minimums are as high as the traffic will allow. In the evenings, when all the tables are in use, the house usually raises all of the minimum bets. If you are a $1 player, it is easier to find a low minimum table in the daytime.
Those minimum and maximum bets apply to flat bets only, not proposition bets. If you want to bet higher than usual on the 2, 3, 11, 12 or hardways you better ask the dealer what the upper limits are as they are never posted. Sometimes it’s as low as $50.
On the table itself, there are grooved chip holders in the sides to hold your chips. You can also use one of these racks to track the table. Just use a red chip for pass-line winners and a white one for don’t pass winners. This way you can see which way the table is going. For example if you have four red chips and only one white, you’ve got a hot table, and you might want to increase your bets and odds. If you have more white chips than red ones, you might want to switch to the “don’t” side.
The dealer will never make hand-to-hand contact with you, your money or your chips. If you want your cash turned into chips, drop it on the table and say “change”. He will take your money, convert it into chips, and push the chips back to you. Even when you win a bet, he will either place your winnings next to your bet, or push them toward you. Never try to hand anything directly to a dealer.
Finally, remember to have fun while you’re playing. Talk to the other players and dealers. Try to make some friends. Tip the dealers if they help you and use your chip racks to keep track of the table direction.
And, as always, good luck at the tables!
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