Anatomy of the Craps Table
The game of craps is incredibly exciting; it is also the fastest paced game in the casino. Unlike blackjack, which can expect around 60 decisions per hour, the craps table can see 100 or more. For players (bettors and shooters alike), the game is incredibly enjoyable, fostering a feeling of friendship and camaraderie when the dice are "hot" or the shooter is "on their game." In other words, when the shooter rolls well, the entire crowd is boisterous and excited. However, a table with "cold" dice is usually subdued and somber.
The game can be confusing if you have never played it. Numerous types of bets can be placed on the game; there are throngs of people and you place bets on someone else who controls the dice. In addition, there are several casino employees at each table. Knowing who is who around the table will help you enjoy the game to the fullest extent and bet with greater confidence.
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Here is the basic rundown for the craps table.
The table is mirrored at each end; in a sense, it is two tables put together, with identical play on each half. This allows more players at a single table. The first person you will notice stands in a cutout on one side of the table. This is the boxman. He is the game supervisor or overseer. He also takes the money from the dealers and places it in a deposit box for safety. There is an enormous amount of cash present at a craps table at any given time, making this job essential.
The stickman stands across the table from the boxman. This person uses a stick to move the dice towards the players, thus the name "stickman." This is also the person who exhorts bettors to place their wager, upping the excitement around the table. In a sense, his job is much like that of an auctioneer, in that they set the pace of the game and can increase or decrease the excitement at a table based on their performance.
There are two dealers at every craps table (the double tables, at any rate). These dealers stand at opposite ends of the table. The dealers are responsible for taking bets, paying out money to bet winners and taking money from the losers. When the dealer has a losing bet in hand, it is turned over to the boxman for deposit in the safety deposit box.
Around the dealers are the player areas. The Pass Line is located here, as is the Don't Pass line. Come and Don't Come areas are also located in this area. These areas are also where the shooter rolls the dice, hoping for a positive outcome (a point on a come-out roll and the same point being rolled before a 7 on subsequent rolls). Numbered boxes corresponding to the available rolls are located here, as are the boxes for Hard 6 and Hard 8 bets. Come and Don't Come bets are placed in these areas, as well.