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Craps Etiquette

There is an etiquette involved in everything in life, and there is a specific etiquette for each casino game, including craps. Since craps is one of the more social gambling games, how you conduct yourself matters more than it would in other situations, like if you were playing slots. Some of these rules of etiquette make the game run smoother, and some are superstitious or just have to do with getting along with the other players. But if you want to play craps, then you need to get familiar with this aspect of the game.

It's customary, but not required, to be a "right bettor". A right bettor is betting with the shooter. There is nothing immoral or unethical about betting against the shooter, but it's almost always customary to root for someone than to root against them. It also makes you a part of the "team" that's formed around the shooter and who are supporting him by putting their money on him to succeed.

It's okay to drink at a craps table; it's not okay to hold a drink over a craps table. Keep your drink behind the railing of the table, because if you spill your drink on the table, it's going to disrupt the entire game. And THAT is rude.

Don't do anything to hold up the game if you can help it. This includes taking a long time to decide how to bet, and taking a long time to collect your winnings. In fact, when the dealer pays you, the chips will be placed on the craps table. The rule is if "they lay, they play", which means if you don't pick up your winnings, they're considered a wager, and you could lose your winnings on the next roll. So pay attention and collect your winnings.

Never use more than one hand to throw or handle the dice. (This is an unwritten casino rule meant to prevent "dice-setting", which is a way of affecting the outcome of a roll of the dice by the way you hold them before throwing them.)

It's customary to tip the dealers. One stylish way to tip a dealer is to place a bet next to yours on the pass line. The dealer will understand that this bet was made on his behalf.

Another popular technique for tipping the dealers is to throw a wager on a hardway and announce a hard 8 for the boys. If the shooter rolls "boys", then the dealer gets a $9 tip.

NEVER use the word "seven" at the craps table. (This is one of those superstitious rules I talked about earlier.) Most people consider this bad luck, and will not like it if you use the word. "Big red" and "Six ace" are acceptable alternatives to the word "seven", and they mean the same thing.

Some more jargon that's commonly used at the craps table:

  • 3 is "Ace deuce" or "craps"
  • 11 is "yo"
  • 12 is "boxcars"

If you're interested in playing craps at online casinos, please keep in mind that most of these etiquette rules won't apply, and you'll also be missing out on some of the biggest advantages of playing craps: the camaraderie and adrenaline rush.

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