The Basics Path:

Paths are guided shortcuts around the website teaching different parts of Craps. You can learn more about Paths here. Paths are guided shortcuts around the website teaching different parts of Craps. You can learn more about Paths here.

Shooting the Dice

Getting to throw the dice is one of the best parts of Craps. There's something special about having the fate of the entire table at your fingertips. Time almost slows down while the dice are in the air, and when you win, it's a feeling hard to match.

Every Craps table has five dice that are considered sacred. It's the dealers' responsibility to know where all of them are, so you want to make sure to listen to the rules the dealers tell you to follow and don't' do anything crazy. Treat the dice like they're gonna buy you a new pair of shoes.

Five Craps Dice on Felt
Five maroon colored craps dice sitting on green felt.

New to Shooting Craps?

Everyone at the table has a chance to roll the dice but must follow certain rules. You cannot just pick up the dice and do what you want with them. The stickperson will send you five dice; you pick two, the dealer takes back the rest then it's time to shoot. Follow these rules when handling the dice:

  • Do not go hand to hand with the dice - Once you pick up the dice with one hand, do not switch them to the other hand. Please keep them in the same hand! If you want to switch hands, place the dice back on the table and pick them up with your other hand.
  • Keep the dice over the table - Do not grab the dice and turn around because the beverage server is coming around asking for drinks. If something is so imperative that you need to turn around, either keep your arm stretched out over the table or put the dice down and do what you gotta do. The dealers will bring the dice back to the middle of the table and give them back to you when you are ready.
  • Hit the back wall with both dice - The back wall would be the wall on the opposite side you are shooting from. It is not the wall closest to you. If you do not hit the back wall with both dice, it is still considered a roll, but you may be reminded by one of the dealers or the box to try and hit the back wall.
  • Do not pick up anything with the hand you have the dice in - Many players will pick up the dice ready to shoot but then decide they want to make a last-minute bet. They reach into the rail with the dice and pick up some cheques to make a bet. This is common but a no-no. Use your other hand or put the dice back down.
  • Throw them down the middle of the table - There will be many times where the table is filled with bets, and there may be no other option but to hit some of them. Please do not try to hit these bets on purpose. Specifically: do not throw the dice in the Place Bet area. When these cheques get hit, they easily get mixed, and it becomes hard for the dealer to determine whose cheques belong to whom. Nobody wants an argument at the table. Please try not to hit the mirror either. It will easily chip off the corners of the dice.
  • "Same Dice" - If you happen to throw one or both of the dice off the table, the stickperson will dump the bowl, and you will have to pick two more. If you want the same die/dice, you must tell the dealer “Same dice” before they dump the bowl to get your same dice back.

Are You Watching the Dice at the Craps Table?

You must watch the dice at all times! The best time to make bets is when the dice are in the middle of the table. As soon as the dice leave the middle of the table, it would be best if you were done. If you don’t watch the dice and the shooter throws them down the table and hits you, you’ll very likely be blamed if everybody loses. Don't be that person. If you would like to make a bet while the dice are out, you can make a verbal bet.

Watching the dice on a craps table.
A player with tunnel vision staring at dice at the opposite end of a craps table.

Do You Show Courtesies to the Shooter During the Craps Game?

The person shooting the dice bears the burden of whether or not the table wins or loses money. For most shooters, there is no skill in shooting the dice nor can they do anything to make the dice land on a certain number. Even though they can't control the game's outcome, other players still need to have etiquette towards the shooter.

  • #1 Rule: Keep your hands up!! - When the shooter is about to roll the dice, do not reach down onto the table for any reason. If you want to make a last-second bet, make a verbal bet. If you want to add or remove money from a bet, tell the base dealer.
  • Do not bother the shooter as they are about to throw the dice - It's pretty much ok for the table to root for the shooter as they’re going to shoot the dice but trying to ask a question or start up a conversation as they’re about to shoot is a big no-no.

Have You Been Hit with the Dice at the Craps Table?

How a player reacts to being hit by the dice determines whether a roll will be considered valid. Be a statue. If you see the dice are going to hit you and you don’t move and the dice land back on the table, it will be considered a roll. As a very general rule of thumb, if a player makes a forward motion with any part of their body that keeps the dice on the table, it will be considered a "No-Roll." It is at the discretion of the Stickperson and/or Boxperson to determine whether a player made a motion that they considered being 'forward' and should say “That’s a roll” or “No-roll” before the dice come to a complete stop.

Like a statue
A statue of Ceasar with his hand raised and a pointed finger.