Craps is not only the most exciting of all casino games, it is second only to blackjack when it comes to giving the knowledge player a chance to come out a winner. Much of the fear of playing craps can be dispelled by gaining a clear understanding of what you can expect to encounter before first stepping up to the table. If you take the trouble to become thoroughly familiar in advance with every aspect of procedure at craps, once you start playing you will find that the alien will quickly become the familiar. Before long, you will be playing with as much confidence as all the veteran players crowded around the table. What is much more important, if you follow my advice on strategy, you will also be playing far more intelligently then even most veterans, and you will walk away a winner far more often than they do.
THE ELEMENTS OF THE GAME
The first requirement in removing the mystery from the game is an understanding of the duties of each member of the crap-table team. A crap game is conducted by a crew of four dealers, only three of whom are on duty at any given time. In addition, a supervisor called the boxman sits at the center of the table on the casino's side of the pit and oversees the game, guarding against any errors or irregularities. He is the final arbiter of any dispute at the table. He is easy to identify, since he is the only wearing a suit rather than a dealer's uniform. In some casinos, if a table is very busy they will have two men sit box, one to watch the left half of the layout and the other to watch the right half. In this case, the two men will sit side by side.
Two dealers are stationed on the inside (pit side) of the table, one on either side of the boxman. Each of these two dealers is in charge of collecting and paying all bets on his half of the layout. Since the left half of a crap layout is identical to the right half, both dealers have exactly the same job. The only reason for having two dealers and two duplicate layout patterns is that no player will have to stretch all the way across the table to place his bet. These two dealers also have the job of changing cash into chips for the players. When you buy in, place your cash on the layout in front of you. The dealer will pass the money over to the boxman, who will count it and announce the total to the dealer. The dealer will then count out the proper amount in chips and pass them over to you.
Finally, the boxman will deposit your cash in the drop slot in front of him. You may also have the dealer change your chips to those of different denomination. Standing on the players' side of the table at the center, opposite the boxman, is a third dealer, who plays the role of the stickman. He is in charge of the dice. He has a long wooden stick curved at the outer end that he uses to gather in the dice after each roll and push them to the shooter for the next roll. It is also his job to announce the number that is rolled on the dice each time. This is for the benefit not only of the players but also of the two dealers, since they are not supposed to take their eves off the layout at any time. They must rely on the stickman's call to know how to settle the bets. The stickman also helps the boxman oversee the game. When bets are paid and collected, he watches the dealer at the end of the table at which the dice have to come to rest, while the boxman watches the dealer at the other end of the table. Finally, the stickman is also in charge of the proposition bets, which are on the central part of the layout directly in front of him.
When a player wants to make one of these bets, he places his chips in front of the stickman and indicated the bet he wants. Later, the stickman will instruct the other dealers on taking or paying these bets. He will tell them the amount of each payoff and which player to give it to. Each crap-table crew also contains a forth dealers. The dealers rotate, each taking his turn at the stick and at each of the two ends of the layout. Since there are only three dealer positions, this always leaves one dealer free to take a break in the dealers' room. Craps is the most difficult of all casino games to learn to deal and the most grueling one to conduct. Crap dealers are recognized as the most skilled of all casino dealers. If you think it's confusing for you, imagine how demanding it is for a dealer, who has to simultaneously keep track of the progress of the game and the bets of a half-dozen players, many of them having several wagers going at once, while simultaneously watching for cheating. When you consider how costly a mistake on a dealer's part may be, you can realize how much pressure the crap-table crew is under. Taking frequent breaks is necessary for dealers to maintain the required level of concentration.
The complexities of dealing craps and the many opportunities for error are also the reasons why there is more extensive supervisions of craps than any of the other games. In addition to the one or two boxmen, there is also a floor man inside the pit, who typically has two crap tables assigned to him to watch. While the management of the game is generally left in the hands of the table crew, the floor man can and, if necessary will, overrule any decisions in the course of the game. Most of the time when playing you need only be concerned with two of these people, the stickman who will offer you the dice each time it is your turn to bet, and the dealer on your side of the layout, who will pay off and collect your bets. Don't worry about the proposition bets; they are strictly for suckers. You will be staying away from them. see more > > >