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A Dictionary of Craps Terms

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There is a lot of terminology used in the game of craps that is confusing for new players. First there is the advantage, or house edge. If you have played other casino games, you may be familiar with this term. It refers to the amount of advantage the casino has over the player. In all casino games, the house has some sort of advantage, or edge. The casino would not offer the game without having an advantage over the player.

The word craps has two meanings, besides being the name of the game. The first meaning refers to rolling a 2, 3 or 12. These numbers are considered craps. They are non-point numbers. The word craps or “any craps” is also used to refer to a bet that the shooter will roll one of the numbers that is considered craps on the next roll. The term “any seven” refers to a bet that the shooter will roll a seven, in any combination of the dice (1-6, 2-5 or 3-4).

If you have been to the bar or the 12, this means you are in the don’t pass line and don’t come box area. Behind the line means a bet made on the free odds after scoring a point on the come out roll. Then there is betting left and betting right. Betting right is betting on the dice to pass and betting left is betting against the dice.

When you bet the big 6 or the big 8, you are making an even-money bet that a six or an eight will be rolled before a seven is rolled. The box numbers are the areas surrounding the numbers 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. Place and lay bets are made in this area.

Another term is boxcars, which refers to rolling a twelve. The boxman is the worker who watches over the craps table. He sits behind the chips during the game.

When players say to “bring out,” they are betting on a point. The five percent commission paid to the casino is referred to as a buy bet. When a player pays the commission to place a buy bet, they are paid based on the true odds rather than the normal payout if they win. Craps bets found in the center of the layout are called center bets or proposition bets.

The tokens that are used to place bets are called chips. These are used instead of money. Cold dice are dice that don’t pass the line. A color change refers to chips that change their denomination.The don’t come bet is made by placing chips in the don’t come box. This bet is made after the come out roll, which is the first roll in a round. The don’t pass bet is made at the don’t pass line.

Double odds are free odds bets made at double the amount of the bet. The expression easy way means that you are betting a number 4, 6, 8 or 10 in any of the possible combinations. The hard way refers to rolling doubles. The payoff on betting the easy way is an even-money bet.

A field bet is a bet that either a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12 will be rolled next. The stickman authorizes player credits and stands behind the craps tables to oversee everything and make sure there are no problems.

The house does not have the advantage on a free odds bet. This can happen on a come, don’t come or taken pass after the point is established. The pass line can also be referred to as the front line.

When someone bets a number the hard way, they are betting that the number will come up as doubles. So if someone bets eight the hard way, and the shooter rolls 5-3, the bet is lost. If the shooter rolls 4-4, the bet is won. The hard way bet is also lost if the shooter rolls a seven. If the shooter rolls any other number, the hard way bet is left in place for the next roll.

A high roller in craps, as in any other game, is a player who gambles a large amount of money at the table. High rollers often bet thousands of dollars at a time.

A hop bet is a one roll bet on a specific dice combination, such as 2-3 or 5-5. The bet is paid at 30 to 1 for hard way bets and 15 to 1 for easy way bets.

A place bet is a bet on the number 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10. If the number that is bet on comes up before the seven, then the bet is won. A lay bet is the opposite of a place bet. The lay bet is won if the seven comes up before the number does.

The term hot roll refers to the dice being held by one shooter for a long run before the seven comes up. Rolling a seven once the number has been established ends the shooter’s turn.
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