Craps Pit Personnel
The various departments of a modern casino engage in a healthy rivalry, each one competing to turn in more revenue, attract more loyal customers, and add to the overall success of the business. This competition is especially keen in the Pit area, where the supervisors of various table games vie to outdo each other. This is a environment that smart players take advantage of, getting to know Pit bosses, dealers, and other personnel on a first name basis, which can lead not only to better treatment at the tables but also more comps.
The Table Crew
Most casino Craps tables are managed by a team of four employees referred to as “the crew” or sometimes informally as “the boys,” even if one or more females are included. Of the four, three will be dealers and they may take turns at the various Craps table positions. Some crews also have an extra dealer who rotates in, so that the others can go on periodic breaks.
One of the key positions at the Craps table is the Boxman, who is very easy to spot. This person is usually a seated casino executive who dresses more formally than the other members of the crew—not in a uniform but in a business suit. The Boxman has two main responsibilities, to oversee the game and protect the casino’s interest. His/her word is final in any disputes that arise. The only “higher court of appeal” is to the Pit Boss, who will rarely if ever overturn the Boxman’s decisions.
Another easily identified position is that of the Stickman. This is a dealer who uses a long wooden stick with a curved end to ferry the dice around the table. The stick also helps guard against potential cheating, as casino personnel are not permitted to touch the dice with their hands. Another responsibility of the Stickman is to call the game, announcing winners and loser. This employee also looks after the center of the table where the proposition wagers are made.
Two dealers are typically positioned at the Craps table, one at either end. They take care of their respective sections of the layout, converting cash into chips, collecting losses and making sure that winners are paid correctly. In some casinos, they are also called “croupiers.”
Working at the Tables
Craps dealing is considered an entry level job at most casinos, but it still requires special training. To be hired for such a position, a prospect should be able to show six months of experience or a certificate of completion from a recognized dealing school. Quite often a formal audition is required and, if accepted, the applicant has to be willing to work on any days of the week and on any shift, day or night.
According to recent wage surveys, the average hourly income for a new dealer in the United States is just $7.13. That explains why, contrary to popular belief, most dealers like to see shooters get on a winning run. When the table is hot, players are more likely to give the crew tips, and tips make up a considerable portion of a dealer’s pay.
Most Craps dealers aspire to be promoted to Boxman, which entails an average hourly pay of $21.39. It takes several years of experience and a demonstrated knowledge of federal and state gaming regulations to reach this level. Leadership skills are required, too.
And of course, any good Boxman will have an eye on the Pit Boss position. It takes a minimum of five years working in the Pit, plus a record of good judgment and an ability to accomplish goals, to make this grade, where the average wage is $27.33 an hour.
Some good advice to players who want to curry favor with a Pit Boss is to tip generously when he/she first starts out as a dealer and then to keep playing regularly. They have all had their salad days, and they remember well who helped them on the way up.