Proper etiquette applies if you play craps

2014-05-15T02:00:00Z Proper etiquette applies if you play crapsJohn G. Brokopp
May 15, 2014 2:00 am  • 

Craps, more than any other casino game, is filled with superstition. There are certain things you must do before you step up to the table to play to avoid having that beginner’s spotlight shining brightly upon you.

First of all, never, EVER, talk about the number "seven" or even cheer for it on the come out roll. It is a word that quite simply is not said or talked about. If craps players could read minds, it's also something that is never even thought about. That's why it is referred to as "big red" or "red" by anyone who wishes to play it as a proposition bet.

Keep your hands out of the pit when the stickman is ready to push the dice to the shooter. Dealers are often heard to admonish players with the warning "hands high." If the dice happen to hit your hand and seven out, you'll probably wish you were never born.

Don't toss in chips and call instructions to the dealer haphazardly. The dealers take instructions from players in order. They have plenty to do, calculate, and think about. You'll get your timing down once you become familiar with things. The dealers will let you know if you speak out of turn. Many experienced dealers will even anticipate your moves once they pick up on your playing method.

Learn the proper method for tossing in chips. If you throw them wrong, they'll roll all over the layout and create havoc for the stickman and dealers. Hold the chip(s) by the sides between your thumb and index finger and "spin" them Frisbee style onto the layout. They won't roll and in many cases the stickman will catch them in midair and set your wager.

Don't be a table hog. There should be room for seven or eight players on each half of the table. If you're spread out all over the place with elbows resting in the rails on either side of you, you are being inconsiderate to others who may want to join the game.

Finally, don't be afraid to tip courteous and helpful dealers, especially when things are going well.

There are many ways to tip craps dealers: Proposition bets, place bets, pass bets with odds, etc. If you want to make a dollar bet on the hard eight for both you and the dealers, just toss in the chips and announce to the stickman a "2-way on the hard eight." He'll know to position your chip in the appropriate place and place the dollar dealer chip in the center.

You can make a line bet for the dealers yourself (if you lay odds for them they gleefully announce "dealers have shoes"), or even a place bet by announcing your intentions to the dealer. Dealers always love to be "in the game."

Learning how to play the game of craps is only half the battle. Recognizing proper table etiquette will make you fit in just like an experienced pro!


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The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach him at

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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