Craps Etiquette

Nobody really wants to cause a problem at the craps table, but unknowledgeable and inconsiderate players are by no means rare. To make sure you aren't unknowingly aggravating the other players, here is the complete guide to craps etiquette. From making change, to smoking cigarettes, to obeying superstitions; read on to learn all of the messy details.

The Technical Side

Formal codes of etiquette in casino games (like craps) are essential for some very practical reasons. Above all, the casino wants all of the players to behave in a certain way to prevent cheating, and to make it easier for the casino employees to do their jobs properly.

From the security perspective, the most important craps etiquette is focused on handling the dice. To make sure you aren't swapping the real dice with loaded dice, there are two golden rules for the shooter. The first rule is to never take the dice away from the table surface. When handling them, you should make sure they remain directly over the felt.

The second rule is to throw them immediately after picking them up. If you are tossing them between your hands, or shaking (or blowing on them) for good luck, expect nothing less than a scolding from the croupier.

If you are not the shooter, you'll still have some rules to abide by. Don't try to make change while the dealer is busy, or while the shooter is rolling the dice. Also, by the time the stickman returns the dice to the shooter, you should be finished betting.

Some Craps Superstitions

There are a few superstitions that seem to be observed universally at every craps table. For instance, it is bad luck to have a first-time shooter (so don't announce it!), and most players won't appreciate you rooting against them by betting on the don't pass line.

The single biggest superstition in the game of craps is simply the word "seven". This is because rolling a seven (after the point has been set) is a sure way for the majority of the table to lose. There is NO acceptable time to say the word "seven" while standing at a craps table.

There are other superstitions that might pop up depending upon where you are playing, but if you happen to offend another player, it's fine to apologize and make a mental note of your error; just don't make the same mistake twice!

Common Courtesy

You might be in a casino, maybe having a few drinks, and surrounded by cheering players, but that is no reason to forget your manners. Don't forget to say please, thank you, and excuse me, and don't forget to tip the dealers. When you win, give them a chip or two; these guys are lucky to make minimum wage.

Although it should go without saying, you shouldn't do anything that interferes with the normal flow of the game. There are always players who insist on throwing the dice way too hard, often with enough force to send them flying off of the felt. At the other end of the table, if you are leaning on the edge (or hanging well beyond it) you may actually bump into the dice as they roll. Both of these behaviors result in a mis-roll.

If you are in a casino where smoking is allowed, the ventilation is generally powerful enough to quickly draw the smoke overhead. To be considerate to the players around you, blow the smoke straight up to get it out of the way. From there, the fans can take over.

Related Articles

If you liked this article but want to learn even more about craps, here are some other articles to check out: