Craps: 10 Tips
Following this set of 10 craps tips helps the odds of winning and avoids a slow bleed (loss) at the table. When Sam "Ace" Rothstein of "Casino" surveyed his gambling floor, he focused on the high rollers at the craps tables. Craps has the best odds and there is no need to be a high roller to win.
- Play the correct table. New craps players need to stick to the beginners tables with the low-bid minimums. Make time to practice in the afternoon when the action is slow. Many of the downtown Las Vegas hotel casinos set aside afternoon tables where the crew teach the ropes and provide tips and strategies. The stickman (the person regulating the action) and the dealer (money tender at the end of the table) give seasoned gaming advice that you won't hear during a regular game during prime time evening play.
- Learn the lingo. The crew (casino employees at the craps tables) and gamers at the big money tables speak in riddles to the uninitiated, but knowledge of the language is key to understanding the action. To change large chips for smaller denominations, for instance, simply push the chips to the center of the table and announce, "Color change, please" and the exchange happens. The lingo provides tips to the game action.
- Avoid cold tables. Seasoned players offer a craps tip to avoid the cold tables where the players are missing the naturals and not making any points (a slang expression for missing the key dice rolls to win). While certainly unscientific, gamers claim hot tables provide a better chance of winning. The action is certainly more fun to watch at a hot, winning table.
- Play or pass. Blend in on a high-roller table with the craps tip to move away from the table if you're not betting. It's fine to pass the dice if you don't feel comfortable shooting when the dice come around for your roll, but decide quickly.
- Avoid alcohol at the table. Drunks are the casino's best customers and there is a reason that the drinks are delivered free to the table. The table action moves fast and it is easy to lose a lot of money in a short period of time. Alcohol impairs gaming judgement. The best craps tip is to finish gaming before ordering drinks.
- Do research on the game. Pick up several books by accomplished gaming authors who provide craps tips. Repeated suggestions are the most valuable, but also confirm that the recommendations are actually allowed by the casinos. Some texts make suggestions that are outlawed by the house and use will lead to a ban from all future gaming.
- Change money in between the action. Don't just throw bills on the table during the game. Cash is legal tender on the table. Once the craps table is in action, the stickman may interpret the change money as a bet. Use the change cage on the casino floor for chip conversion.
- Set limits. A veteran gamer sets loss limits for each session for the day, as well as for the entire casino visit when the stay is more than one day. The best craps tip is to set a loss limit for the visit.
- Follow the action carefully. Learn from other players and keep an eye on the table. Big rollers rarely provide craps tips to others at the table, but it is possible to learn strategies by watching the betting patterns and plays other gamers use.
- Leave a decent toke. A toke is a craps tip given to the table crew. The group can assist you in staying in the action. A nod or a comment such as, "Long and hard" (a suggestion how the dice should be thrown) from the stickman help when you're unsure how to put down a bet or when to throw the dice. Tip when you win big, at least fifteen percent of your take.