Craps Etiquette

Most of what has evolved as Craps table etiquette has been developed to protect both players and the casino by discouraging cheating. For example, the shooter must handle the dice with only one hand because so many cheats have tried to substitute “loaded” or unbalanced dice for the real ones. This is also why the stickman offers the shooter five dice initially—to decrease the chances of crooked dice entering the game.

Similarly, players may not place their own chips in certain betting areas of the table. Having the dealer position the chips discourages “past posting,” whereby cheats try to sneak chips into a stack or slide late bets onto the table after the result is already known.

Following are some additional Do’s and Don’ts regarding behavior at the Craps table. If all players these guidelines and the chances of uncomfortable situations occurring can be greatly reduced.

Don’t Squeeze In – There are a fixed number of betting positions available at any Craps table—typically 12, 14 or 16. If they are all taken, wait for a space to open up. Never try to squeeze between players to make a wager.

Don’t Hover – Keep chips, drinks and cigarettes on or behind the table railing. Never hold them over the playing area. The only time any player’s hands should be above the layout is when placing chips or shooting.

Bet Right – This is certainly not a rule, but betting with the shooter to win is customary. So-called “Right Betting” means wagering on the Pass Line or the Come, not the Don’t Pass or Don’t Come. Betting right makes a player part of the team.

Call the Bet – When requesting that chips be placed by a dealer or the stickman, announce the bet loudly, clearly, and succinctly: “Hard 8,” “Buy the 6” or “High Horn.” Chattiness such as “I would like to bet these on the Hard 8 please” just wastes time and may be misunderstood.

Keep Pace – A good table will yield about 100 rolls an hour. Players who slow the game by deliberating over bets or shooters who spend time clowning around simply slow down the action. Bets should be placed before the shooter picks up the dice, while the dice are still in the center of the table. Don’t be late. Get into the rhythm of betting and stay there.

Pick Up Winnings – Pay attention to which chips have been paid out. Any chips left on the table after a payout will be considered part of the next bet if they are not removed. As the saying goes, “If they lay, they play.”

Don’t Say “Seven” – Never shout, “C’mon lucky seven!” Saying this number at the table is considered bad luck. Use slang, such as “Big Red” or “Sweet.” Other terms can be found in the Craps Glossary on this site.

Don’t Throw Chips – Tossing the chips onto the table can cause them to roll or land in the wrong betting area. Chips should always be placed carefully on the layout.

Throw Cleanly – The shooter must toss the dice in such a way that they hit the far wall of the table and do not fly off. High-speed shots, big bounces, throws into the chip stacks, and too much time spent setting the dice only annoy the crew and other players. Roll the dice down the center of the table cleanly.

Be Generous – When winning, tip the dealers. This can be done by pushing a chip toward the dealer or stickman and saying, “For the crew.” It can also be done by making a wager for them, placing an additional place a bet next to one’s own on the Pass Line or by announcing a “Hard 8 for the boys.”