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GSR Casino Gambling 101: Craps Terminology

Posted by Alex D'Antonio on Apr 24, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Craps maintains a dialect worthy of its long history, hailing back to the ancient Romans. Though there’s lots that can be said about a winning strategy, before playing at GSR Casino, it pays to become a student of craps rules and basic lingo. Casino Grand_Dice-039375-edited.png

Gather around the game table and here’s what you will see. Craps action occurs on a standard 14-foot fabric-covered table, with similar markings in every casino. To place bets, players signify with colored chips on the table, divided into the side section and center section. A two-foot railing keeps the dice (also called “bones”) on the table and stores a player’s chips. A puck mark, reminiscent of a hockey puck, signifies the point.

In addition to the table and game pieces, each craps table includes a craps crew of five casino employees: one boxman and four dealers. At any one time, you will see a boxman, two dealers, and one stickman tending the table, giving the fourth dealer a rotating 20-minute break. Though dealers chat with players, the boxman maintains professional distance and neutrality.

  • Inside dealers: Two dealers who handle chips inside the pit on each of the side sections.
  • Outside dealer (or “stickman” in craps): With a long stick, called a “mop” or a “whip,” the stickman stands outside the pit, pushing the dice to the shooter and calling the rolls. Handles prop bets.
  • Box (boxman): Senior game supervisor and mediator who sits in the center of the table, overseeing all the action.

Ready to place your first bet? Don’t let all the betting options intimidate you. Craps makes it easy to get in the game. Place your bet and watch as the shooter (a rotating role of a designated player) throws the dice.

  • Pass Line and Don’t Pass Wagers: Find both of these common bets on the table apron perimeter, clearly labeled with their namesakes.Though in direct opposition, these straightforward bets sit within easy reach of players. Place bets before the come-out roll (first roll) of each game. Win a pass line bet if the come-out roll is a 7 or 11; lose if it’s 2, 3, or 12. Don’t pass wagers win if the come-out roll is 2 or 3 and lose if it is 7 or 11. Both bets remain on the table if a point is established.
  • Come and Don’t Come: Similar in play to the pass and don’t pass bets, come bets are placed after the point is established. The difference is that a come bet behaves like a more personalized line bet, establishing the point number on the first roll after it has been placed. 
  • Odds Bets: These bets act like side bets for pass line/don’t pass and come/don’t come bets. Following an established point, players place pass line odds to complement pass line bets.
  • Place Win and Place Lose Bets: Just like odds bets, make these bets after a point-establishing come-out roll. Though both bets use numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, payouts happen if the selected number comes up before a 7 is rolled in a place win bet and if a 7 is rolled before the selected number for a place lose bet. In both bets, the number chosen determines the payout.
  • Buy and Lay Bets: Similar to a place win bet, in a buy bet, players bet on a specific number coming up before a 7 is rolled. A lay bet operates in the antithesis, with players betting on a 7 being rolled before a specific number. Both earn higher payouts, with winnings subject to a 5% commission.
  • Big 6 and Big 8. These straightforward bets pay even money (1:1) if the chosen number (either 6 or 8)  is thrown before the next consecutive number. For example, a big 6 wins if it is thrown before a 7.
  • Hardways: A hardway (meaning a double number) wagers on certain doubles being rolled before a 7. Hardway bets can only be placed on a hard 4, a hard 6, a hard 8, or a hard 10.
  • Field: This bet depends on the next roll. It wins if a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or 12 is rolled and lose if 5, 6, 7, or 8 is rolled.
  • Proposition Bets: Also called single roll bets, these riskier bets are settled in the next roll and can be found in the center of the table.
    • Any 7 (Payout 4:1). Wins if 7 is rolled next.
    • Any 11 (Payout 15:1). Wins if 11 is rolled next.
    • Any Craps (Payout 7:1). Wins if any 2, 3 or 12 is rolled next.
    • Ace Deuce (Payout 15:1). Wins if 3 is rolled next.
    • Aces (Payout 30:1). Wins if 2 is rolled next.
    • Boxcar (Payout 30:1). Wins if 12 is rolled next.
Just like appreciating the complexity of a fine vintage increases when you know more, understanding craps dialect helps make the most of your experience. Don’t try to master all the terms and bets in the first game. Just make a bet or two and see how it goes. Always take advantage of free, hands-on instruction at the Grand Sierra Resort (GSR) craps table. Win with every bet and earn great perks with the Club Grand Card. And don’t forget about the toke (tip)!

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