Craps Terms

craps termsTo be a good gambler you must learn all of the different craps terms that are used at the casino tables. Below you will find the most commonly used craps terms, whether you find yourself at a brick and mortar casino, or playing online craps. This craps terminology will help you place your bets more efficiently, by calling them by the proper name. This craps terms guide will also give you insight into bets, plays, and more that some players are not familiar with.

2-way

A pair of bets placed by a player where one is for themselves and the other is for the dealer. If they win, then the dealer receives the second bet and winnings as a tip.

3-way Craps

This is a betting strategy where a player bets three units with one going on the number 2, one on 3, and one on 12.

Aces

When players make a bet that the next number rolled will total 2, which is two ones, it’s known as aces. This is because in many card games an ace has a low value of 1.

Any Craps

If the next roll equals 2, 3 or 12, it is called any craps. On the come out roll if these numbers appear, it’s known as crapping out.

Any Seven

A bet that a player can make on the next number being a 7.

Action

The amount of money a player plans on wagering in a given session is known as the action they will give the game. Sometimes it also means the total amount of money on a craps table at a given time in the game. When a shooter is running hot, there can be thousands of dollars on the table, even at a low limit game.

Apron

Beyond the craps table layout, there is blank felt which is known as the apron. This is where players will make their odds bet, which will be directly behind their pass line or don’t pass line bet.

Backline

Another name for the don’t pass line.

Bank Craps

Technically in casinos, the real name for craps is bank craps.

Big 6 Or Big 8

Players can wager on a 6 or 8 being rolled before the 7 comes up. This is generally known as a sucker bet due to the high house edge compared to the same bet a player can make on the same numbers with a place bet.

Big Red

A bet placed on any seven is known as a big red bet.

Bones

Slang terminology for the dice.

Bowl

Usually located near the stickman, the bowl is where extra dice are kept. Shooters always have the option of picking two dice, usually from a selection of four. If a die lands in the bowl when a shooter rolls then it will not count and will be deemed as a no roll by the dealer.

Box Cars

When a player bets on the number 12 it’s known as a box cars bet due to the resemblance between the six pips on the dice and the box cars on a freight train.

Box Numbers

The place bet numbers in craps are known as box numbers. They are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.

Buffalo

A five-unit bet on all the hard ways and the number 11. It can also mean a bet on all hard ways and the number 7. The definition differs depending on where you’re playing. This is generally not a good bet based on the odds.

Buy Bet

Paying a commission to the casino of 5% so that you may receive the correct odds on a place bet. A buy bet on a 4 or 10 means the house edge is lowered on that bet by a few percent. Depending on the rules of the particular casino you’re playing at, you may be charged a commission when you place the bet initially, or you may only be charged if you end up winning on that bet.

C And E

One roll bet that players can make on the next number being a craps number or the 11. That is a 2, 3, 12, or an 11. This is generally considered a sucker bet due to the large house edge.

Cocked Dice

When dice land up against the wall of the craps table they won’t be lying flat and displaying a number clearly. This is known as cocked dice. When this happens at a craps table the dealer will decide what the resultant number would’ve been if the wall was taken away instantly and the dice were allowed to fall flat.

Come Bet

After the point is established, players can make a come bet which is a virtual pass line bet with the same payout and house edge.

Come Out Roll

The first roll by a shooter in a new round in craps is known as the come out roll. Players that have bet on the pass line will win if a 7 or 11 is rolled, and they lose if a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled. Don’t pass line bets are the opposite except if a 12 is rolled it’s a tie. If any other number is rolled then the point is established as that number.

Crap

The numbers 2, 3, and 12.

Credits

If you’re playing craps online or at a Shoot to Win craps table in a casino, then you’ll have a certain number of credits to play with. These credits are just a different way of representing the cash you have placed into the machine. Quite often you’ll have the option on a game to change the credits display back to cash so you can keep track of what you’re wagering in cash instead of those mysterious credits.

Croupier

A French term for a dealer, which is sometimes used at the craps table as the dealer doesn’t actually deal any cards. They are there to control betting, award wins, and take losses. Craps tables in live casinos will generally have three to four croupiers and a stickman. This is due to the extensive range of bets available and the huge amount of cash that can be in play on a particular table.

Dark Side Approach

In craps, it’s generally acceptable for players to forego the slightly better house edge available on a don’t pass wager by playing the pass line together as a table. This means everyone is pulling for the shooter to win on the come out rolls and roll the point once it has been established. The dark side approach is playing a betting method that is focused on the lowest possible house edge. This means a player will bet on the don’t pass line or come, and will also bet on the shooter not making the point once it’s established.

Don’t Come Bet

This bet is the virtual don’t pass line bet after the point has been established. It allows players to make this bet immediately upon joining the game. It also allows other players to hedge their bets against the current pass line and odds bets they have in play. This is not an advisable strategy.

Don’t Pass Bar

This the actual section on the table layout where the player makes a don’t pass line bet.

Don’t Pass Line Bet

A bet that a player can make before the come out roll. The don’t pass line bet is paid out at even money if the shooter rolls a 2 or 3 and it ties if a 12 is rolled. If a 7 or 11 is rolled this bet loses. The house edge on this bet is the best a player can get in the game at 1.36%.

Double Odds

After a point is established, a player can make an odds bet. If the table allows a double odds maximum, then the most a player can wager is double their pass line bet. Some casinos have double odds and some go up to 1000x odds. The higher the allowable odds bet the better for the player as this particular bet has no house edge.

Easy Way

When the dice equal 4, 6, 8, or 10 and the values on each die is different, it’s known as an easy way. An easy way 6 would consist of a 4 and a 2.

Field Bet

A single roll bet on 2,3,4,9,10,11, or 12. It pays out at even money for all numbers except 2 and 12 which pay out at 2 to 1, or even 3 to 1, depending on the casino rules. This may also sometimes be referred to as a garden bet.

Fifty-yard Line

An imaginary line in the middle of the table that dice must pass in order for the dealer to classify the roll as fair. If the dice don’t pass this point, then the dealer will call no roll and the roll is canceled and the shooter must throw the dice again.

Hard Way

A statistically harder way to roll a 4, 6, 8, or 10 where the value on both of the dice must be the same. The table layout has corresponding bets on hard way numbers on the craps table layout which pay off quite well but do have a higher house edge than other bet options. A hard way 8 would consist of a 4 and a 4.

High-low

A simple one roll bet on the next number being a 2 or a 12.

Horn Bet

This wager is on the next roll resulting in a 2, 3, 11, or 12. The bet is made with 4 units, with one unit on each of the aforementioned numbers.

House Edge

The very existence of a casino as a profitable business is built upon the house edge that it implements in every game. This house edge is the theoretical percentage of how much money the casino will retain from what a player wagers. A house edge of 3% means that for every $100 that is bet on that game, $3 will be kept by the casino and the remainder will be paid back out. Of course, there will be swings and variations on this but on a long enough timeline the practical house edge will match the theoretical house edge. This is a mathematical certainty.

Inside

Numbers 5, 6, 8, and 9.

Lay Bet

A bet that a 7 will come up before the number you make a lay bet on. The options to players are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. This bet requires a commission from casinos due to the better payout odds.

Layout

Betting options presented on the table felt are known as the layout. This is where all bets are placed and paid in the game of craps.

Line Bet

Simply a bet on the pass line or don’t pass line.

Little Joe

A slang term used for a hard way 4.

Marker Puck

A large white and black disc that is used to indicate when a point has been established and what that point is. One side is black and says off. This is used before a point has been set, and one side is white and it says on, which will indicate what the point number is on the table.

Midnight

When players make a single roll bet on the number 12 it’s known as midnight.

Natural

If the shooter rolls a 7 or 11 on the come out roll it’s referred to as a natural. When this occurs everyone betting on the pass line wins.

No Roll

Sometimes at a craps table, something will occur to the dice that isn’t permitted and the dealer will deem it to be a no roll. This can occur if dice shoot off the table, land in the bowl with the spare dice, land in a player’s rack, or land in the table bank of chips. A dealer can also deem it a no roll if a player tries to slide the dice instead of rolling, if a player throws the dice too high, or if another player tries to roll when they aren’t the shooter.

Odds Bet

A bet that a player can make behind their pass line bet once the point has been established. This is the best bet to make in craps due to the 0% house edge. If the shooter rolls the point then the odds bet is paid out at 2 to 1 for 4 and 10, 3 to 2 for 5 or 9, and 6 to 5 for 6 or 8. After this, a player will remove their winnings and the round starts again with the same shooter making another come out roll.

Off Or On

This is a marker displaying on or off that is placed on a players bet to indicate whether that particular bet is in play for the next roll. It’s also known as a lammer.

One Roll Bet

Any bet made by a player that is active for the next roll only is considered a one roll bet.

Outside Numbers

4, 5, 9, and 10 are referred to as outside numbers.

Pass Line Bet

The most common bet in craps is the pass line bet. This bet is placed before the come out roll and will be paid out at even money if a 7 or 11 is rolled. The player loses if a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled. This is known as crapping out. If any other number is rolled and becomes the point, then this bet stays in place and is paid out at even money if the point is rolled again. If a seven is rolled then the player loses this bet and the round is over.

Place Bet

This is a bet on a certain number being rolled before the 7. The numbers players can put a place bet on are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.

Point

The point is the number that is established on the come out roll. Any place number, being 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, can be the point. The aim in craps, at least for those playing pass line and odds bets, is for the shooter to roll the point again before rolling a 7. This would result in a win and the round being restarted with another come out roll.

Proposition Bet

Statistically one of the worst bets in craps due to the high house edge, proposition bets are single roll bets placed by players on a particular dice outcome for that roll. These also include hard way bets. Generally, these should be avoided all the time, even when you’re trying to hedge your other bets.

Rack

Each player in craps will have a wooden rack in front of them at the table where they keep their chips. This is sometimes also referred to as the rail.

Seven Out

A term that is used to indicate that a shooter has rolled the seven and ended the round before making the point. This results in pass line and odds bets being lost by all of those betting on these at the table.

Shooter

The player that’s currently rolling the dice is known in craps as the shooter.

Skinny Dugan

A slang term for the number 7. It’s poor etiquette to say the number out loud when playing at a craps table after the point has been established. Therefore, a number of slang terms have been developed to avoid the number being spoken and skinny dugan is one of these.

Snake Eyes

When a 2 is rolled in craps it’s known as snake eyes, for obvious reasons.

Stickman

The dealer that wields the stick in craps and collects the dice for the shooter after each roll is known as the stickman.

Square Pair

Slang for a hard 8.

Vigorish Or Vig

Another term for the casino edge on the game, or the house edge, and also the commission that the casino will take on certain bets. This is sometimes also called juice.

Whirl Bet

The same bet on 2, 3, 7, 11, and 12 is known as a whirl bet.

Wrong Bettor

When a player is using the dark side approach to craps they’re betting against the shooter making the point. This is known as a wrong bettor.

Yo Or Yo-leven

Slang terms used when the shooter rolls an eleven.

Other Craps Terms Resources

Other craps resources include: