OK. I know you’ve seen a craps table, and I also know that you found it confusing and intimidating. I know this because I am the Guru. You can call me George though, since you’ve been good enough to come and visit my Craps site Craps-Guru.com and I feel like I know you. I hope you’ve been visiting other pages around my place on the ‘net. If not, please feel free to browse around this site and learn what you will need to become a great craps player like me. On this page, I’m going to de-mystify the craps table for you. I know. It looks complex, but just let the Guru show you the way, and all will be revealed.
This game has always been a source of fear for those that are new to the casino, but remain calm, and I’ll guide you through the basics, and give you lots of information to make your gambling experience one to remember.
By now, you already know that when you walk into a casino, you can find the craps table by following the sound of the crowds gathered around them. If you happen to arrive on the scene at a quiet time, look for the long green tables with at least four casino workers standing around them. Every craps table is covered with felt that is printed with the spaces for the bets. In the center, there’s the section where Hardways and One Roll bets can be placed, and the opposite ends of the table each have sections for the other bets. The two ends are the same as each other, so you can stand at either end and not miss out on anything. On almost every craps table the felt is green with white lettering, but some casinos use other colors such as dark blue or even purple. Below, you can see a bird’s eye view of the craps table and the workers. I think it gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect.
As you can see, even with a couple of players, it’s a pretty crowded place. But I’ve never seen one this empty! So here’s the low-down on the workers that make everything run smoothly. The Boxperson is the one who keeps watch over all the proceedings. He sits at the center of the table, with the stacks of chips in front of him. He will settle arguments, count the money, and is kind of the King of the Table. He’s in charge of the whole thing. He’ll keep an eye on the dealers, to make sure they're paying the winners (and taking losses) correctly. If it’s really crowded and there’s a high roller at the table, I’ve sometimes seen an extra Boxperson come on board for extra security.
Now, you may only see two dealers in the picture above, but there are actually four at every craps table. Two of them are obvious, the third is the Stickperson. The fourth? That’s the guy who’s on a break. There’s always one on standby and they rotate around the dealer positions, so they don’t get end up getting stale. As you can see, two of them stand at the back of the table, facing the players. That’s called being “on base” and these two keep track of your bets, and give or take chips depending on the roll of the dice. They’ll also place certain bets for you (read more on my Craps Rules page), and mark the “point” with the “puck” (again, more later). The last one is the Stickperson. He’s the guy with the stick (I bet you saw that one coming!). Sometimes it’s also called a mop or a whip, too. The stick is for handling the dice. So he’ll gather up the dice after a roll, and give them back to the shooter. The Stickperson may sometimes place bets in his area of the table too, but one of his main jobs is to increase the excitement (and the level of the bets) at the craps table. This is called “talking up” the dice, and when someone’s on a good roll, this guy can have a lot of influence on the betting going on. But that’s just part of his job (to increase the casino’s profits), so be careful not to get caught up in his chatter. Take it from the Guru: remain focused on the game at hand.
So there you have it. The craps table de-mystified, just as I promised. I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit to this page, and please make sure you stick around until you’ve gathered all the knowledge that the Guru has to give.