Played at a very fast pace and by a loud crowd at brick-and-mortar casinos, the game of craps may seem quite intimidating at first. It features several phases, a great range of bets, and multiple dealers and casino staff who operate the table and pay off the winnings. What seems like a chaotic amalgam of people and chips around the craps table, however, is perfectly structured to create one of the most interesting casino games that exist today.
This article aims at providing novices with the information they need when starting to play craps – how the craps table is laid out, where and how the chips are placed, how many casino employees can be seen around the table, etc. It is important to note that while craps is usually played by many people in land-based casinos, it is played solo online. There is also strict etiquette that has to be followed when playing craps since there is a certain feeling of community and the game is filled with lots of superstitions.
The Craps Table and Betting Layout
In brick-and-mortar casinos, craps is played on a large, wooden table – the exact size could vary significantly in different casinos but in most cases, it is 12 feet long and 3.5 feet wide. It is a stadium-shaped rectangular with oval ends and a high edge that allows the dice to remain on the table when rolled.
The padded rail runs along the top edge of the bed and the purpose of the thick padding is to provide a comfortable place for players to lean on. Next to the rail, we can see the chip rack - a wooden section, divided into smaller sectors where players store their chips. The main part of the craps table is the betting layout and this is the lowest section covered with a cloth made of felt. The chips for each bet are placed onto the printed chart on the felt.
Usually, each end of the craps table features identical betting layouts and accommodates up to 8 players. The two long sides of the table have special cut out edges for the dealers and other staff who manage the game. The blank area along the perimeter of the layout is called the apron, while the inside wall of each end of the table is covered with a rubber rail with little spikes called pyramids. Their purpose is to make the dice roll as random as possible.
Casino Chips and Additional Equipment
When playing in a live, land-based casino, craps players should be aware of the importance of the equipment used during the game. Obviously, the dice that are thrown in each round are essential but there are a few other things that should be considered.
Personnel at the Craps Table
Since craps is a multiplayer game and the tables are quite large, they are usually operated by several casino employees. Their exact number may vary across casinos but usually, there are up to four people operating the craps table. They have different responsibilities and the dealers rotate positions every 20 to 30 minutes.
Etiquette of the Game
Craps is a game of pure chance and although it was scientifically and mathematically analyzed a long time ago, it remains one of the most superstitious casino games. Moreover, it is traditionally played by 10 to 20 people at a time and most of them bet together. This creates a sense of a community, of shared risk and reward. This shared experience fuels beliefs that are not always based on facts such as the notion that it is bad luck to even utter the word “seven” on the craps table.
Of course, there is also a certain etiquette that should be followed when playing craps in a brick-and-mortar casino. It comprises of a set of spoken and unspoken rules that have been established over the years to prevent the disapproval of other players and any suspicion of cheating.