Imagine a three-legged race with a dozen contestants tied together. That’s craps. The game cannot function unless everyone cooperates. Dealers, stickman
, players, and shooter have to be inBasil Nestor is the author of the new Playboy Complete Guide to Casino Gambling. This wonderful book teaches players how to avoid sucker bets and win more when playing gambling games. He is also the author of The Smarter Bet Guide series for video poker, slots, craps, and many other books about gambling. Basil's website is www.smarterbet.com
a rhythm or the whole thing is absolute chaos.
Miscommunication can cause bets to be incorrectly handled or improperly paid. A shooter who doesn’t hit the wall can cause a no-roll and delay the game. Ditto for dice that fly off the table. If you ever want to stop a craps game cold, just put one or both hands flat on the layout. A dozen people or more will turn their eyes to you. And you’d better have something important to say.
You shouldn’t be intimidated by this need for cooperation, but you should understand that it’s an important part of the game. Also understand that some rules are absolute, and others are more like customs or superstitions. The latter may not have a practical basis, but they’re rarely broken without some sort of admonishment or minor incident.
Thou Shalt Not
Here are the inviolable rules. These involve the integrity of the game
Dealers’ areas must never be touched.
The numbers, the center of the table, and the bank in front of the boxperson are inviolate. Players must never touch them. If a dealer makes a mistake placing a bet, say what you must to call attention to the problem, but don’t reach for the chips.
The dealers’ area, which includes the numbered boxes, is formally called the dealer’s cash register. Chips are officially referred to as checks or cheques. A dealer “cuts checks” when she converts your money into chips.
Dice must be thrown correctly.
I mentioned this previously, but it bears repeating here. Use one hand to throw the dice. Do not hold anything else in that hand when you grab the cubes. Do not conceal them from view at any time. Make sure they bounce off the far wall. Do not slam them on the table or grind them in your hand. Aim for the end of the table and try not to knock over stacks of chips.
Money transactions must be secure and observable.
This rule is the same one mentioned earlier, and it applies to all table games. In the case of craps, you should get chips onto the layout within a reasonable amount of time after the dice have been called. Promptly remove bets from the layout if you don’t want them to play. Don’t touch bets on the pass line when the puck is on. Never hand money to a dealer. Put it on the layout in a neutral space and ask for change.
A dealer must understand your bet or it is void.
Tell dealers exactly what you want, and be sure they understand. If you want an odds bet
on the come, mention the number and make sure you say it’s odds, as in, “Odds on my four.”
All players must have an equal opportunity to shoot.
Moving around the table in an attempt to shoot the dice out of sequence is not allowed.
Other craps no-nos include hanging your hands over the edge of the rail, resting drinks on the rail, and betting cash (rather than chips) without approval from the boxperson.