Learn Casino Craps – What Are the Pieces of a Craps Table?

If you’ve ever walked through a casino, you’ve probably seen a craps table, but have you ever wondered what a craps table actually is?  What does it comprise, what are its components?

The biggest and most obvious part of the table is the bed.  Casino craps tables are generally available in 8-foot, 10-foot, or 12-foot lengths.  Along the top edge of the bed is a continuous Padded Rail on which the players can lean.  Standing at a craps table for long periods of time can become tiresome for the player, so the padded rail allows the players to rest or change body positions to ease the stress.  After all, the casino doesn’t want players to walk away simply because their feet and knees hurt.  Obviously, the casino wants players at the table as long as possible.

Adjacent to the padded rail is the wooden Chip Rack, which is usually two-racks deep with dividers about every 12-to-16 inches.  The dividers separate the chip rack into individual sections for the players.

Along the outer perimeter is a little shelf called a Drink Rail.  As the name implies, this is where players place their drinks.  Drink glasses and bottles are not allowed on the Padded Rail because of the risk of spillage onto the layout.  Not only do spills make a big mess on the layout (which the casino has to pay to get cleaned), spills delay the game which digs into the casino’s profits.  Cigarette ashtrays are also placed on the Drink Rail.

Inside the bed is the Table Layout with all the numbers and boxes onto which the players’ chips are placed.  The felt can be any color depending on the casino’s specifications.  Common colors are green, blue, and sometimes red.  Special designs and patterns can be incorporated into the layout to match the casino’s theme.  The area on the outer edge of the layout is called the Apron.

Rubber material lines the inside wall of the bed and is called Rail Rubber.  Below the rail rubber on each inside end of the table is a 6-to-8-inch wide piece of Pyramid Rubber.  This is the part of the table with all the little pyramids or spikes that are specially designed to randomly deflect the dice.  Casinos have a rule that a player must “hit the back wall” when tossing the dice.  This rule ensures the dice hit the pyramid rubber, thereby, preventing anyone from controlling the outcome of a dice roll.  Regardless of what you hear, read, or see at a live craps table, no one (NO ONE!) can consistently control the outcome of a craps roll when the dice hit the pyramid rubber.  They just can’t.  (Please read my other articles about the silly notion of “dice control” or “dice setting.”)

On the inner side of the bed across from the dealers and boxman is a mirror about 8 inches wide that runs the length of the table.  The mirror allows the dealers and boxman to see the palm side of the player’s tossing hand.  The boxman can easily see if a player is cheating by “palming” the dice, trying to introduce a crooked pair into the game.

Cut into the table layout in front of the boxman is a Money Slot for the Money Drop Box.  The money slot is about 3/8-inch wide and about 3 inches long, which is just the right size for pushing bills down into the drop box.  The boxman uses a Paddle to push the money through the slot into the money box that’s attached to the underside of the bed.  (That’s where the term “boxman” came from.)

The stickman controls a small bowl that rests on the tabletop against the wall directly in front of the stickman.  This Dice Bowl (or Dice Boat) simply holds the extra dice that are not in play.  When a new game starts, the stickman dumps the unused dice onto the table and uses his stick (or whip) to push them all (usually 6 or 8) to the next shooter.  The shooter then selects two that she thinks are lucky, and then the stickman pulls the remaining dice back and puts them in bowl.  The bowl is usually made of clear acrylic or wood.

Also considered part of a craps table are the Puck and Buttons.  The ON/OFF puck (white for the ON side, black for the OFF side) is used simply to indicate whether a new game is in progress.  If a new game is about to start, the puck is turned to the OFF side.  If a game is in progress, the puck is turned on its ON side and placed in the appropriate number box on the layout to indicate the “point” for the current game.  Small buttons about the size of a quarter are used to indicate whether a player’s bets are off or on, or whether a certain type of bet is a “buy” or “lay.”  Each button has one word engraved in it, either OFF, ON, BUY, or LAY.  Buttons help the dealer, boxman, and the eye-in-the-sky keep track of players’ bets.

Now you know all the components of a craps table!  The more you know, the more confident you’ll be when you walk up to a table.  The more confident you are, the less likely the dealers will steer you down the wrong path by enticing you to make bets with high house advantages.

Craps, a Table Game That’s So Mis-Understood Is Easy to Learn and Play – Here’s How

Many players avoid the casino game of craps at first because the large oval shaped table with numerous betting options seems a bit intimidating to table game players. Craps is actually easy to learn and fun to play, and here’s how:

Start at a five dollar minimum table. You’ll usually find them during non-peak hours. I recommend a buy-in at least 20X the table minimum. A button on the table will read ON or OFF. When it is in the OFF position, place your money on the table and ask the dealer for $5 chips. You will see seasoned players making various wagers. The most popular is the PASS LINE bet. Place a chip(s) in that area in front of you. When you hear the dealer shout “COMMIN’ OUT” that’s when the excitement starts and the designated SHOOTER will toss two dice. Here are the wagering choices:

Pass Line

If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the first roll, you win even money. If a 2, 3, or 12 appear, you lose. Any other number, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 becomes your POINT. A dealer will mark the point number with the ON button indicating game in progress. In order for you to win, the shooter must roll the point number before he or she rolls a 7. If a 7 appears before the point, the house wins. No other numbers matter on this wager, no matter how long it takes. The game will end only if a point or 7 is rolled.

Odds Bet

This is a wager every pass line bettor should take advantage of because it pays off in TRUE ODDS and has no house edge. If a point number is rolled, you will have the opportunity to take odds on that bet by placing an additional wager behind your pass line bet. Most casinos allow a double odds bet. For example, let’s say 4 is the point. There are three ways to win with the 4: 3 and 1, 2 and 2, or 1 and 3. However there are six ways to lose with a 7: 4 and 3, 5 and 2, 6 and 1, 3 and 4, 2 and 5, 1 and 6.Thus, 6/3 is a two to one payout. Your $10 double odds wager will earn you $20 plus your pass line bet if you win.

Don’t Pass

A very small percentage of players use this option. It works the exact opposite of the pass line. Here you are betting that the shooter will lose the roll. A wager on the don’t pass line will win if the come out shooter rolls a 2 or 3, push (no win/no loss) with a 12, lose if a 7 or 11 is rolled. Odds bets are available however your chances of winning are greater than losing, so you have to lay the odds instead of taking them. If a point is rolled such as 4, you win if a 7 is rolled first. This time 3/6 is a one to two payout so you would have to put up $20 to win $10 plus the don’t pass wager.

Be forewarned that only about 2% of players play the don’t pass, AKA wrong bettor. You will not have many friends at the table when betting wrong.

Come Bets

Come bets work the same way as a pass line bet but can only be made after a point is established. A 7 or 11 wins, a 2, 3, or 12 loses. Any other number becomes your come point and must be rolled before a 7 for you to win. You can also take true odds on your come point after the dealer moves your chip(s) to the appropriate number box. This wager is independent of the pass line wager and your come point may be other than your pass line point. Thus, if the shooter makes his or her pass line point, the game ends but your come point wagers remain active. If a 7 is rolled during the next come out roll, you lose the come bet but your odds are returned to you.

Don’t Come Bets

This play works the same way as a don’t pass wager after a point is established. You may also lay true odds. You want the 7 to be rolled before the don’t come point. Here is the one big exception on a don’t come bet: should the shooter win his or her pass line wager, and the don’t come point is made on the next come out roll, You not only lose your wager but your odds bet as well.

Place Bets

A wager on one or more point numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10). The bet(s) win if the number repeats before a 7 is rolled and lose if a 7 appears first. Payoffs are: 6, 8- pays 7/6, 5, 9- pays 7/5, 4, and 10- pay 9/5.

Buy and Lay Bets

A buy bet is the same as a place bet except you pay a five percent commission to the house when you make the bet but you are paid in true odds if you win. Payoffs are: 6, 8 pays 6/5, 5, 9 pays 3/2, 4, and 10 pay 2/1. A lay bet is the exact opposite of the buy bet. You must bet more to win less because your chances of winning are greater than losing.

Good Luck!

Caribbean Stud Poker: Walk Into Any Casino Worldwide or Online, and You’re at a Table

Caribbean Stud Poker is a very popular table game that has been seeing a lot of casino action for more than 30 years. It is found in nearly every casino that offers table play, and also online. If you know poker hand rankings, it is easy to learn and play.

How to Play

The game is played on a blackjack like table with six or seven seating areas. Each betting area contains three positions to make bets:

  1. A slot for the optional Progressive Jackpot bet
  2. An Ante bet box
  3. A bet (call) box

The objective is for the player to have a higher ranking hand than the dealer.

A standard 52 card deck is used. Before the cards are dealt, all players must make the ante bet. An optional progressive jackpot bet may also be made by inserting a one dollar chip or coin into the appropriate slot. The dealer will then deal five cards face down to each player, and four cards face down and one face up to his or herself.

After players review their hands, they must then make a decision to either call (make an additional wager), or fold, (forfeit the ante and optional jackpot bet). If the player calls, s/he must place an additional wager in the bet box, which must be twice the ante. After collecting the chips from the players that folded, the dealer will then turn over all the cards.

Dealer Qualifier

The dealer must have at least an Ace/King or higher to qualify for play. If the dealer does not qualify, All hands that called will win the ante bet at even money. The call bet becomes a push and will be returned to you.

If the dealer qualifies, the hand is compared to each player’s hand. If dealer beats player, the ante and call bets are lost to the house. If player beats dealer, He or she is paid even money for the ante wager.The call bet is paid according to a pay table depending on the strength of the poker hand as follows:

  • One Pair – pays even money
  • Two Pair – 2 to 1
  • Three of a Kind – 3 to 1
  • Straight – 4 to 1
  • Flush – 5 to 1
  • Full House – 7 to 1
  • Four of a Kind – 20 to 1
  • Straight Flush – 50 to 1
  • Royal Flush – 100 to 1

Payouts may vary between jurisdictions. Most casinos have a maximum table payout. Many are set at $5,000.

The Downside

A drawback for Caribbean Stud Poker is the dealer qualifying requirement. A player may have a very high paying poker hand but if the dealer does not qualify, the player will only win the ante bet at even money.

Progressive Jackpot

Provided the player placed $1.00 in the jackpot slot, the bonus pays to all qualified players that called. The dealer’s hand does not matter. Most progressive jackpots are at least $10,000. Here is one pay table

  • Flush – $50
  • Full House – $100
  • 4 of a Kind – $500
  • Straight Flush – 10% of jackpot amount
  • Royal Flush – 100% of Jackpot

If two or more players qualify for all or part of the jackpot in the same hand, they will share the jackpot.

Strategy

The following strategy when playing is recommended

  • Always call on a pair or higher
  • Always fold with less than Ace/King
  • Call with an Ace/King if you have a Queen and your fourth highest card is equal to or higher than the dealer’s up card

The house edge is about 5.3% when proper strategy is used.

The house edge for playing the progressive jackpot option is a whopping 26.5%!

Good Luck!

Gambling Jargon: Know the Lingo to Do the Deeds! Here’s the Jargon for Popular Table Games

Don’t be left out when playing games in the casino! Learn gambling vocabulary as you learn the games. It’s important to understand this so you won’t feel like a novice when playing table games.To get you started, here is the meaning of some of the terminology used in popular gambling games:

BLACKJACK

Basic Strategy – Plays you should make to maximize your advantage

Burn Cards – Removed cards after the shuffle

Bust/Break – Exceeding a hand total of 21

Card Counting – Memorizing played cards with an assigned value

Color Up – Cashing in your chips

Double Down – To double your initial bet following the initial 2 card deal

Even Money – Cashing in your bet for a 1/1 payout when you have a blackjack against a dealer ace

Face Cards – Jacks, Queens, Kings (AKA picture cards)

First Base – First seat to the dealer’s left

Hit/Draw – Calling for another card to add to your hand

Hole Card – The dealer’s face down card

Insurance – A side bet for the player when the dealer has an ace showing

Pat Hand – A had worth at least 17 points

Push/Tie – Player and dealer with the same hand total

Shoe – A device used for holding and dispensing cards

Soft Hand- A hand with an ace counted as 11 or 1

Stiff Hand – A hand with little chance of winning if hit

Surrender – Giving u your hand to lose one half of your bet

Third base – Last seat to the dealer’s right

Up Card – Dealer’s first dealt card face up

CRAPS

Any Craps – A dice total of 2, 3, or 12

Big Red – a bet in the Any Seven box

Boxcars – When the dice total 12

Capped Dice – Crooked dice

Cold Table – When most shooters are not winning

Come Bet – A bet made after the point is established

Come Out Roll – First roll of the dice in a round

Don’t Come Bet – A bet made after the point is established (Outcome is opposite of the Come Bet)

Don’t Pass Bet – Betting against the shooter before the Come Out Roll

Free Odds – An additional bet behind the Pass Line Bet taken at true odds

George – A good tipper

Hardway – A 4,6,8,10 thrown as pairs

Place Bet- Betting that a place number (4-6, 8-10) will be thrown before a 7

Point Number – One of the numbers 4-6, 8-10 made on the come out roll

Press A Bet – To double your bet amount

Proposition Bets – (AKA Prop Bets) one roll and Hardway bets

Right Bettor – Betting that the shooter will win

Seven Out – When a 7 is rolled before the point number

Shooter – Player currently rolling the dice

Snake Eyes – When the dice total 2

Stiff – A poor tipper

Toke – A tip given to the dealer

Vigorish – ( AKA Vig) commission taken by the house

Wrong Bettor – Betting that the shooter will lose

Yo – The number 11 (AKA Yo-Leven)

POKER (TEXAS HOLD’EM STYLE)

Aces Up – A pair of Aces with another pair

All In – Betting all your remaining chips

Ante – The opening bet before dealing begins

Belly Buster – An inside straight draw

Big Slick – An Ace and a King

Blinds – 2 forced bets before any cards are dealt (small blind & big blind)

Boat – Slang for a Full House

Broadway – The highest straight possible with mixed suits, 10, J, Q, K, A

Button – A disk placed in front of a player acting as the dealer

Bullets – A pair of Aces

Call – To match the current bet

Check – To defer making a bet until another player does

Cowboys – Slang for a pair of Kings

Dead Hand – A hand with no chance of winning

Donkey/Fish – A bad player

Drawing Dead – A hand that will lose even if it improves

Flop – The first 3 community cards

Flush – 5 cards of the same suit

Full House – (AKA Boat ) 3 of one kind and 2 of another

Kicker – The highest unpaired card in a hand

Ladies – Slang for a pair of Queens

Muck – Face down discarded hands

Nuts – The highest possible hand

Overcard – A card that is higher than another

Quads- 4 of a kind

Rag(s) – Cards that add no value to your hand

Rainbow – Cards with different suits

River – The 5th and final community card

Rounder – One who makes a living at playing cards

Royal Flush – The highest hand possible, a suited 10, J, Q, K, A

Set/Trips – 3 of a kind

Short Stack – Having the fewest chips at the table

Straight Flush – 5 suited cards in sequential order

Tells – Behavior that gives other players information about how you might play your hand

Tight – Someone who only plays premium hands

Tilt – Desperate to re-coup losses, causing bad decisions

Turn – The 4th community card

Under the Gun – First player to bet after the big blind

Wheel – The lowest straight possible with mixed suits A, 2, 3, 4,5

Wired – A pair dealt in the first 2 cards

So there you have it. Learning this jargon will assist you on your path to becoming a seasoned responsible gambler. Good Luck!

Learn the Proper Right Bettor Craps Strategy to Roll With 98% Of Craps Table Players! Here’s How

Craps Strategy for the Right Bettor begins with learning suitable strategy if you want to fit in with the 98% of rollers that bet with the shooter. A Right Bettor is a player that wagers with the shooter, hoping that s/he will win the roll.

A small 2% of players known as Wrong Bettors bet against the shooter, hoping that s/he will lose the roll. This type of player is usually not welcome at the table.

Buying In

Buy in at a five-dollar minimum table. (There’s usually $5 tables available during non-peak hours). Choose a table that offers at least double odds because the odds bet pays off in true odds, which has no House Edge.

It’s wise to buy in for at least 20X the table minimum as you want to have at least three numbers working for you during each roll. When you are ready to play, place your money on the table. Ask for 20 five-dollar chips and 20 one-dollar chips. ($120 total).

There are concave grooves at the edge of the table for racking your chips. Rack your five-dollar chips and place ten one-dollar chips on each side. Keep a watchful eye on your chips even amidst the roars of the crowd. Sometimes predators circle the crap tables hoping that the excitement of the game will distract the players long enough to swipe their chips. Sadly, these are the times we live in.

Right Bettor Strategy

When the dealer announces that a new game is about to start by shouting “Comin’ out”, place a five-dollar chip on the Pass Line. Also place three one-dollar chips on the table toward the dealer and say, “three-way craps.” He’ll put one dollar each on the 2, 3, and 12. This will keep you in the game on the come-out roll with the following possibilities:

If the shooter rolls:

7 or 11 – you win 5, lose 3

2 or 12 – you lose 7, win 30

3 – you lose 7, win 15

4, 5, 6, or 8, 9, 10 – you lose 3 (the five dollars stays on the pass line.) 4 through 6 and 8 through 10 are known as point numbers.

For example, if a 4 is rolled, your five dollars is still active. The 4 becomes the point number. In order for you to win your wager, the 4 must be rolled again before a 7. No other number matters, no matter how long it takes.

The Odds Bet

Once the point is established, always take double odds with your point number. Place ten dollars behind your $5 Pass Line wager for 2X odds. If you win, the payout is in true odds. There are three ways to win with 4 as a point number: 1, 3; 3, 1 or 2, 2. There are six ways to lose with a 7: 4, 3; 5, 2; 6, 1 – or 3,4; 2, 5; 1,6. In other words, there is 2:1 payoff if the 4 comes up before the seven. If so you’ll win twenty-five dollars: five dollars for your Pass Line wager and twenty dollars for your odds bet. Here are the true odds for all the point numbers:

Point Number True Odds

4 and 10 – 2 to 1

5 and 9 – 3 to 2

6 and 8 – 6 to 5

Place Betting

After you’ve placed your odds bet, let’s assume the point is 4, put twelve dollars on the table and tell the dealer to Place the 6 and 8. The dealer will place six dollars on each number. Each time a 6 or 8 are rolled before a 7 or your 4 and you’ll be paid seven dollars. While the place bets are not true odds, it is still a nice payout. You may want to press up one time (double the bet) to have twelve dollars on each number.

If 6 or 8 is the point number, avoid the place bet on that number and place twelve dollars on the other number.

The objective is to invite Lady Luck to drop her 6’s and 8’s before your point number is made or the dreaded 7 is rolled.

Remember that the 6 and 8 can be rolled more than any other number except the 7. This is why the strategy can be beneficial to you.

While there are many other bets on the layout known as proposition (prop) bets, these are one roll only bets that have a very high casino advantage. Stay away from them.

Good Luck with the Right strategy!