How to Make Friends and Alienate People: Craps Etiquette 101

The craps table is a great place to make friends, or make a fool of yourself. 

An important point to bear in mind – what actually takes place at a typical craps table isn’t anything like its portrayal in films and on TV. Something that should be taken into account when visiting a casino in general, as it’s not a good idea to base your behaviour on pop culture portrayals. 

Contrary to popular belief, casino gaming in a crowded and chaotic establishment isn’t nearly as intimidating as it appears. For one thing, the overwhelming majority of people who visit casinos are casual amateurs and outright newcomers. Hence, most are in exactly the same boat as you – all learning the ropes as they go. 

Secondly, by getting to grips with the basics online ahead of time, you can forgo the awkwardness of having to ask other people for a step-by-step overview of how things work. Sign up with an online casino, place a few wagers and learn the basics of your preferred games in advance.

Other than this, it’s simply a case of familiarising yourself with the etiquette of the game. Casino etiquette in general is something to be mindful of, but there are a few additional rules that apply when playing craps. 

So, if you’d rather make friends than alienate people at the craps table, here’s how to conduct yourself with the appropriate decorum:

Tip #1: Keep Your Hands Under Control
First up, being mindful of your own body language and gestures when playing craps is essential. Keep an eye on those around you and watch how they behave for a general idea of what’s acceptable and what isn’t. For the most part, keeping your hands under control means avoiding the temptation to fling your arms around the place wildly and become a distracting nuisance.

In addition, touching the chips in play or any of the ‘props’ of the game is a massive no-no. As is fiddling with anything that shouldn’t be at the table in the first place, which could see you falling into the bad books with the security guards in the vicinity.

There’s also an unwritten rule which states that nobody should place their hands on the craps table while a game is taking place. It’s primarily a security factor, but is also considered good manners. Keep your greasy and grubby mitts to yourself, only interacting with the table and the other bits and pieces in play at the appropriate time.

Tip #2: Read the Body Language of Those Around You
While some players will have every intention of socialising and getting friendly, others prefer you to leave them alone. Attempting to chat up someone who’s seriously not in the mood for it could prove to be the distraction needed to tip them over the edge.

It’s therefore a good idea to read the body language of those around you and be respectful to the signals you pick up. Be polite to those who want to chat your ear off when you’re not in the mood, while paying others the courtesy of leaving them alone if they’re not feeling social. 

Still, the fact that craps is a seriously social game means you’ll usually find yourself in a chatty and lively group of like-minded players you’ll enjoy spending time with. Just don’t assume that everyone is feeling quite as outgoing and chatty as you are.

Tip #3: Don’t Be a Bad Winner or Loser
Throwing a tantrum when things don’t go your way is a one-way ticket to disrespect at the craps table. Even if you’ve had the worst run of luck in the history of casino gaming, you need to take ownership of the decisions you made and accept your loss with suitable bravado.

It’s also true at the exact opposite end of the scale, given how different people have entirely different experiences at the same table. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself on a winning streak or strike it lucky with a lucrative bet, be mindful of those around you who may be having a devastating run of bad luck.

There’s nothing worse than sharing a craps table with someone who flaunts their wad and makes you feel even worse about losing yours. Save the celebrations until later unless it’s a major group win then feel free to go nuts!

Tip #4: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
Last up, far too many newcomers to gambling assume it’s better to make things up as they go along than to ask for help. With games like craps, this really isn’t the case. What’s important to remember is that with each mistake you make, you delay play for everyone else and demonstrate to the others how you’re not actually as clued up as you’re pretending to be.

If you’ve any doubts or concerns that need clarifying at any stage along the way, feel free to ask. Casino dealers, hosts and staff members in general are there to serve a purpose and to keep you happy. Across the board with all casino games, they’d rather you ask when unsure than make things up as you go along and interrupt the flow of the game.

As mentioned above, one of the best ways of getting to grips with everything ahead of time is to set yourself up with an online casino account. Even though the real-life casino experience is unique, you’ll at least have a decent grasp of the rules of the game and know what to expect with each roll of the dice. 

In Summary…
The key to good casino etiquette lies in three things – manners, common courtesy and common sense. It doesn’t have to be a stuffy or stifling experience, nor is there a long and complex list of rules to memorise.

Just as long as you’re mindful of those around you and conduct yourself calmly, you’ll fit in just fine and have a great time!

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