The Etiquette of Craps: Mastering the Unspoken Rules of the Table

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A blurred-out dealer at the craps table.
BetMGM Dec 04, 2023, 10:04 AM

The craps table is undoubtedly the most intimidating one on the casino floor or site. Many beginner players turn to roulette or online slots as soon as they lay eyes on the craps table’s complex layout. 

The truth is that, at its core, it’s a pretty straightforward game. As a beginner player, the best thing you can do is to learn basic craps etiquette and craps table rules before you play. That way, you can approach the table brimming with confidence.

Here’s everything you need to know about craps etiquette and lingo that will set you up for success.

Joining the Craps Table

First impressions count in casinos, and you need to ensure that you join the craps table at an appropriate time. It’s completely okay to take up a position at a table when the shooter is in “mid-roll,” but don’t make any motions or indications to buy in or throw money on the table.

One of the best tips for beginner craps players is simply to wait until there’s a break in play, such as when the previous shooter has rolled a seven-out. There is a natural break in the action while the dice are passed to a new shooter, so this is also a perfect time to join a game.

Under no circumstances should you throw money on the table, increase your bets, or add bets when the shooter has the dice and is ready to throw or if the stickman is pushing the dice to the shooter. Most shooters and players would consider this rude or bad luck.

Watch Your Hands

You’re going to hear the stickman/dealer say “hands high” or “the dice are out” at some stage during the game. This means that all players at the table must get their hands out of the way so that they are not interfering with play. You could be asked to leave the table if you haven’t removed your hands, and they get in the way of the rolling dice.

Keep the Dice Visible

One of the more stringent casino rules craps players adhere to is keeping the dice visible at all times. When you become the shooter in a craps game, you’ll pick two dice from a selection, and you must then keep them in sight. Do not remove them from the table or hide them from the dealer or other bettors at any stage. If the dice are hidden from sight, you’ll be asked to leave the table.

Know the Table Rules

It’s basic craps etiquette to learn the rules of the particular table you’re joining before you place a bet. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind is the betting limits. It’s incredibly disruptive and will be considered a waste of time if you try to place a $10 bet at a craps table that has a minimum of $25.

Another rule that is often enforced differently depending on the table or casino that you’re joining is “call bets.” This is when you call your bet for the play without placing the appropriate chips on the table. Some casinos accept this and will trust you to pay up anything you owe if the bet loses. However, some casinos have a strict no-call bet policy, and you should take note of whether it does or not.

Be Patient

Some craps tables can become crowded, and it’s essential that you’re patient and wait your turn when it comes to getting paid and changing bets. The game’s base dealer will usually have a particular order in which he pays out bets and players. Take note of where you are in that order and wait your turn. It’s seen as incredibly rude to push in front of another player to be paid or to change your bet when it’s not your turn.

Do Your Research Before Playing

It won’t be pleasant for you or for any of the other players if you pitch up at the table with absolutely no clue of what craps is about and how to play. Have a look online at some of the most important lingo that you need to know, as well as some of the craps goals and strategies for novice players that will set you up for success. 

Don’t Hand Dealers Cash

It’s considered poor form to hand dealers cash. They are not allowed to accept it under any circumstances. It’s always a good idea to get chips before a game of craps; if you’ve been unable to do this, then ensure that you put the cash on the table to change for chips and don’t give it straight to the dealer.

Leaving the Game

As with joining the game, there’s also an appropriate manner in which to leave it. Once again, you shouldn’t interfere with the action, and you should only leave the table when there’s a break in play. The best time to do this is when the shooter has sevened-out, and the dealers are removing losing bets from the table. Never leave the table during the shooter’s turn with the dice.

Etiquette for Online Craps

Of course, if you’re playing online casino games, you don’t have to be so aware of these unspoken rules around the craps table. However, you should still be considerate of other players and dealers, especially if you’re playing a live dealer game.

Online craps allows you to spend more time learning about secret success strategies and other important facets of the game without having to worry too much about how you behave at the table.

Play Craps and Other Games With BetMGM

BetMGM has an array of online games for you to choose from, whether you’re after a game of jackpot slots, poker, craps, blackjack, or anything in between. 

Register with BetMGM to play your favorite online casino games.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.