# 1 - You can stop play - If you have a good reason!
First, let's take a look at how the craps
game is managed by the casino.
At the tables, there is only one man (or woman) who is
seated. He (or she)
is called the boxman, and takes care of things, for both the
table and the players. He keeps an eye on the payoffs, the bets, and more
importantly, the average bets of all the players who want to be
rated. He also has
little slips of paper, which contain your name and comp card
number. On these he
enters your buy-in, your
first bet and your average bet.
Personally, I've found that if you tip the
dealers (more on tipping later) the boxman takes it upon himself
to bump up your average bet a little. It always pays to tip the
The boxman also handles player disputes,
and is charge of the casino's bank of chips, which is in front
of him, in the middle of the table. The boxman is usually the
most experienced casino employee at that particular table.
Occasionally an inexperienced dealer might make an unpopular
decision, and the boxman can overrule it. The man with the stick
is called the stickman. He technically is one of the three
standing dealers, and they all rotate shifts around the table,
so each dealer takes turns with the stick. The stickman
retrieves the dice and pushes them to the shooter, taking care
not to display the dreadful seven, which of course, is the
ultimate in bad dice etiquette.
The stickman also takes care of the proposition bets, and
helps the other two dealers, who are on the other side of the
table (on each side of the boxman) handling all of the players'
Behind the craps tables is an area called
the "pit". Players are not allowed walk through this
area. In the pit are floor persons, who are one step above the
primary concern is to watch out for cheaters, and keep track of
rated players. When
you first check in and ask for casino credit, or when you leave
and ask for a comp, or if you switch tables, this all will be
handled by a floor person.
Supervising all of this is the pit boss. He
is in charge of all of the casino personnel at all of the
tables. You will rarely see this person - usually when you have
a dispute regarding ratings or table play you will be speaking
with a floor person, not the pit boss.
So - let's say something strange happens
during your play and the dealer closest to you disagrees with
what you want. For
example you have $10 hard eight and the shooter throws wildly
and the dice bounce around all over the table and somehow end up
sitting on top of each other. If they were separated on the
table it would show your hard eight, but the dealer calls out
"no roll!" Your
first appeal would be to the boxman, who could overrule the
dealer. If he doesn't, you can yell "Stop Play, I want to
talk to the pit boss!" and a floor person will come over
and see if he can resolve the situation by talking to the boxman.
If he can't he'll call over a pit boss.
Usually, it won't get that far. The boxman
knows that it is more important to keep the players at his table
in his casino, than it is to pay off a few hundred disputed
dollars. Casinos are very competitive these days and they will
do a lot to keep you as a regular patron. Remember, you
have a lot of power when you play - don't let the dealers push
# 2 - Your best friend is NOT at the craps table!
The person who is charge of keeping you as
a regular patron is not in the pit area, but in his or her own
office. This would be your casino host. He really has the final
say on your comps and is in charge of keeping you happy and
satisfied - but he supervises comps only and has nothing to
do with table play. You should talk to him about your rating,
and make sure you get everything that's due you. If you don't
already have a host, just pick up a house phone and ask for one.
It's their job to help you, so be sure to take advantage of
#3 - Proposition bet limits are NOT posted!
Now that we know the casino personnel,
let's take a quick look at the craps table itself, and learn some things that
are often overlooked. There are signs on both sides of the craps table announcing what the minimum and maximum bets
are. For example, one sign might say "$10 to $1,000, 2X odds". This means that the minimum flat bet is $10, the
maximum flat bet is $1,000 and the casino offers two times odds. There are usually several tables in the pit area, with
different stated limits. It is not uncommon to see four tables, each with different minimums - $2, $5, $10 and $25.
Usually on weekdays the minimums are lower, and on weekend evenings, the minimums are as high as the traffic will
allow. In the evenings, when all the tables are in use, the house will usually raise all of the minimum bets, no matter
what they are. The minimum and maximum bets apply to flat bets only, not proposition bets. If you want to bet higher
than usual on the 2, 3, 11 or 12 you should ask the dealer what the upper limits are as they are never posted. I've
seen people bet progressively on the "Yo" only to have
the dealer call "No Bet" when a low limit (sometimes $25)
is reached. Be careful, and ask the dealer. Make sure of the prop bet limits before you bet!
# 4 - Use chips to track the table.
On the table, there are grooved chip
holders in the sides to hold your chips. You can also use one of these racks to track
the table. Just use a red chip for
pass-line winners and a white one for don't pass winners. This way you can see which
way the table is going. Instead of tracking the pass/don't pass, you can also track sevens, or inside numbers. Use a
red chip to count the sevens and a white chip to track the 5, 6, 8 and 9 rolls. If there were more than six sevens
during the last 36 rolls, it's time to increase your place bets. If there were less than 18 rolls of the 5, 6, 8 and 9
(again in 36 rolls), it's time to bet more inside and less outside.
When you do make your bets it is not really
necessary to know all of the various odds combinations, as the dealers
will readily give you that information if they know it. But a little extra knowledge never hurts.
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