Craps Mines Games Bonus Etiquette 101 How Not To Act Like a Fool
On a recent work trip to Las Vegas, a co-worker and I decided to hit the craps tables for a bit to enjoy a brief amount of downtime that we had. While playing that evening, it felt like we were possibly on some form of hidden camera show. It seemed like every few minutes, a player was making a mistake that should have been avoided. What’s crazy is that it wasn’t even the same player messing up. Instead, it was several different players at our table.
Over the course of an hour or so of playing, we practically saw it all. From a player constantly mentioning the number seven out loud, to players taking their sweet time shooting the dice, we watched constant etiquette errors being made by our fellow players. On the flight home, it got me thinking that perhaps I should compile a blog about craps etiquette tips in an effort to help educate craps players everywhere.
These tips are super helpful if you’re new to craps. You’ll want to study each of these and keep them in mind while you’re at a casino craps table. For those of you that are not new to craps, it’s probably worth a quick scan to refresh your memory. Sometimes we get caught up in the excitement of the game and we forget about some of the basics.
Top 10 Craps Etiquette Tips
Below, you’ll find my top 10 craps etiquette tips. I’ve compiled these from two decades of craps experience. If you’re able to follow these simple etiquette tips, you’ll blend right in at the table, and you won’t cause any issues for your dealer or your tablemates.
If you’ve never played craps before, you should know that things get a bit nutty around the table. I’m assuming many of you have at least witnessed the excitement around a craps game in a casino. While craps is fun to play, there are many moving parts. Due to all of these moving parts and the general buzz around a casino, it can get confusing on when to take actions such as placing your bets and shooting the dice.
Your best bet is to follow the instructions of the table dealer. Be sure to watch their verbal and physical cues. If you’re ever unsure what to do, it is okay to ask for clarification from the dealer. The biggest thing to keep in mind is to always follow the instructions at the table. By doing this, you’ll keep yourself from angering the dealer and your fellow tablemates.
Join at the Right Time
All too many times, I’ve seen someone join at a craps table at the wrong time. What you should know is that you should never try to buy chips while a game is currently underway. The biggest thing that you’ll want to avoid is putting your money on the table when a player is about to roll the dice. If you don’t see dice on the table, don’t put your money out there!
You’ll want to buy in once the dice are in the middle of the table. Have your money out in your hand and look for the dealer to acknowledge when it is time to join. When it is time for you to buy in for chips, make sure that you place your money directly on the table. Craps dealers are not allowed to have money handed directly to them. Keep in mind that you can always ask the dealer for help if you’re unsure. If you’re ever unsure about an action, don’t take it until you know for sure that it is okay.
Tip Your Dealers
Tipping the dealer is pretty customary in the game of craps. You should be prepared to tip the dealer regardless of if you walk away a winner or a loser. The only difference between the two is how much you should tip.
If you’ve had a monster session and you’re walking away with a large amount of cash, you should be sure to tip your dealer well. My general rule of thumb is to tip the dealer 5% of my winnings from a session. For example, if I won $2,000 on the craps table one night, I would generally consider tipping the dealer $100.
On the flip side, if you’ve lost some money at the craps table that night, you should still consider tipping the dealer something before leaving the table. Depending on the stakes that you were playing, even something in the $2 to $5 range per hour will be greatly appreciated by your dealer.
In craps, you can also tip your dealer by making bets on their behalf. This is a great alternative to just tipping as you go. There are many different ways to go about this. Ultimately, you’ll place your own bets and then let the dealer know what you’d like to place on their behalf. What’s nice about doing it this way is that your tip amount will grow substantially if your wager is right.
Shoot the Dice Quickly
When your turn comes to shoot the dice at the craps table, make sure that you do it quickly. Craps players and dealers don’t like it when someone takes too long to toss the dice. You’ll want to keep this in mind so that you don’t anger your fellow tablemates.
I understand that many players have different strategies or good luck things that they like to do with the dice before shooting them. That being said, you’ll want to get through your routine quickly. If you take too long to go through your pre-shooting bit, you will draw the ire from the dealer and your tablemates.
If you’re unsure how much is too much, just take note of roughly how long everyone else at the table is taking when it is their turn. You can always just follow suit with what they have done. Ultimately, you may have to speed up or shorten your routine if it is too long.
Don’t Put Things on the Table
Something that you’ll want to avoid doing is setting things on the top of the craps table. While there is a nice railing there, that should only be used for your hands and arms. You never should put anything else on the top of the table.
If you’ve played craps in a casino before, I’m sure that you’ve seen it all. I’ve come across people placing drinks, ashtrays, purses, and more on the table. The problem with putting things on the table is that there is a potential for these items to get knocked down into the play area. If this happens, your fellow players and your dealer won’t be happy campers.
A better option for you is to use the shelf under the table. There, you can safely store any item that you might have considered for the table itself. This shelf is great for ashtrays, drinks, and anything else. By storing things under the table, you won’t have any chance of them getting knocked into the play area and disturbing the game.
Tip Your Servers
This particular tip is not just craps-specific. Instead, this is a good casino-wide tip. If you’re going to order a drink from one of the casino cocktail servers, make sure that you’re prepared to tip them when they bring you your drink. Like all servers, casino cocktail servers work for tips, and tips make up the majority of their income. Since you’re getting the drink for free from the casino, make sure that you tip the server for their service. My general rule of thumb is to tip the servers at least $1 for each drink that they bring me. Keep in mind that players that tip their servers will often see the servers more frequently than those that don’t.
Be Considerate of Your Fellow Players
At a craps table, you’ll want to make sure that you’re considerate of your fellow players. In general, I’d suggest two main things that you need to be aware of. Those two things are space and smoking. I’ll cover each of these in more detail below so that you can learn how to be thoughtful of your fellow players at the craps table.
The first thing that you’ll want to do to be considerate of your fellow players is to make sure that you give them some room. If you’ve ever played craps at a casino before, you know how packed it can get around a full table. It’s not the most comfortable by any means. To help ease things a bit, consider turning yourself sideways as opposed to facing the table full-on. By doing this, you’ll make more room for your fellow players around the table. Something else that you can consider doing is taking a slight step back from the table if you’re a taller person that can see well.
Another thing that you need to be considerate with is smoking. My suggestion would be that you don’t smoke while at the craps table. In general, the vast majority of your tablemates probably don’t care to be around the smoke. With as packed as craps tables often are, there is no way for you to avoid bothering at least some of your fellow players.
If you feel like you have to smoke while at the craps table, I’d recommend that you keep a couple of things in mind. First, make sure that you don’t blow the smoke towards any of your fellow players. Instead, be sure to blow the smoke directly up, as opposed to blowing it to the sides. Secondly, be careful with your ashes. Make sure that they end up in an ashtray and not on the playing table or the casino floor. Once again, I’d suggest that you try to avoid smoking at the table if at all possible, as that keeps you from bothering any of your fellow players.
Avoid the Dreaded ‘S’ Word
For those of you that are new to craps, you should know that there is an ‘S’ word that you should avoid saying at all costs when at the craps table. The dreaded ‘S’ word that you should never speak at a craps table is ‘seven.’ If you mention that word out loud at the table, expect your fellow players to give you some dirty looks and potentially some choice words.
You’ll want to avoid using this word, as the vast majority of craps players bet the pass line. People betting the pass line will lose their wager if a seven is rolled. Therefore, speaking the word ‘seven’ at the craps table is considered bad luck, and it should be avoided completely.
If you’ve decided to wager on the don’t pass option, you still should avoid speaking the number seven out loud. Players making the don’t pass bet are looking for a seven to be rolled to win the bet. However, you need to keep in mind that the rest of the players at the table will lose if a seven is rolled. Therefore, it is best to keep the sevens unspoken.
Keep Your Arms and Hands Out of the Playing Area
One thing that you’ll want to make sure of is that you keep your hands and arms out of the table playing area. This is especially true if you’re at the opposite end of the table from the shooter. From time to time, the dice can take a crazy bounce and end up heading towards the walls. Your goal is to make sure that you’re never in the playing area where the dice might hit you.
While the dice hitting someone doesn’t kill the play, it can cause issues with your fellow players. As we’ve covered earlier, craps players are some of the most superstitious casino players. If the dice were to hit another player and then end up being a seven, the table wouldn’t be happy.
To help avoid any issues, simply remember to keep your arms and hands out of the playing areas at all times. Often, players do this by accident when they are not paying attention to the game at the moment. They might be chatting with a fellow player and lose track of what they are doing with their body. Just make sure to keep track of your hands and arms at all times so that there is no way for the dice to hit you.
Bet on Time and Quickly
At a casino craps table, players are not fans of waiting. When it is your turn to make a bet, make sure that you act on time and quickly. While I’m not saying that you have to toss your chips on the table the first second available, you also shouldn’t be standing around deciding what to do when it is time to bet.
Be sure to think ahead about the next bet that you want to place. Also, consider how much you’d like to wager on that bet. By thinking ahead, you’ll be able to quickly place your next wager when the table opens for bets. Your fellow tablemates and the dealer will be thankful that you acted quickly.
If you’re not sure when to bet, look to the dealer for guidance. It’s better to ask the dealer as opposed to assuming something. When in doubt, don’t place a wager. You don’t want to try placing a wager when it is not yet time to bet.
Hopefully you learned something new from my blog on craps etiquette. If you’re new to playing craps, do your best to keep all of this in mind at the table. If you can perfect these etiquette tips, you’ll blend right in with the others and not piss off your fellow players or the dealer. Best of luck to you in your future craps adventures!