Part of the charm of craps is its lively patter and alley lingo. Unfortunately this same chatter that adds to the charm of the game can make rookies feel like they’re in a foreign country. Here’s a brief guide to help with some of the table talk.
The Basic Bets
Pass Line Bets: This is known as a “front line” bet. Make this bet and you’re a “right better.” You’re betting “with” the dice.
Don’t pass bet: This is known as a “back line” bet. This bet makes you a “wrong bettor.” You’re betting “against” the dice.
The Table Action
Working: A bet is considered “working” if it’s “on” or “live” for the next roll. Usually, place bet, come odds, and buy/lay bets are not working on the come-out roll unless a player says to the dealer to have them work.
Press: To press a bet is to raise a previous bet, typically done by doubling it. For example, after winning your place bet on the 6, the dealer may ask, “Do you want to press the 6?”
Take down: Removing a removable bet from the table is a take down.
Throwing number: Throwing numbers is a term used when the shooter tosses an abundance of point numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) without throwing a 7
Natural: A term for when a 7 or 11 is thrown on the come-out roll.
Two ways: This is an accepted method of tipping. The player will bet one chip for the dealer along with his own bet. If a player says , “Hard Eight, two ways” and puts down $2, then $1 is a bet for the player and $1 is a bet for the dealer.
There seems to be an endless variety of ways to refer to various numbers. Some are unique to a particular casino – and only understood by the stickman and casino regulars, while others are universally known.
Two: Craps; snake eyes; rat’s eyes; two aces.
Three: Craps; ace deuce, no use; Joe Luis – the old one-two; winner on the dark side.
Four: Little Joe; little Joe from Kokomo; hit us in the tutu.
Five: Little Phoebe; five fever; we got the fever; fiver, fiver, racetrack driver.
Six: Pair of treys – waiter’s roll; two trees – Brooklyn forest; sixie from Dixie; catch’em in the corner; the national average.
Seven: Big red; six ace, in your face; six ace, out of the race; five two, you’re all through; cinco dos, adios; front line winner, back line skinner.
Eight: A square pair; Ozzie and Harriet; the windows.
Nine: Nina from Pasadena; center field; center of the garden – home of the rangers; What shot Jesse James? A forty-five.
Ten: Puppy paws; pair of sunflowers; pair-a-roses.
Eleven: Yo leven; yo Levine the dance hall queen; six five, no jive.
Twelve : Craps; boxcars; all the spots we got.
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