One of the more instantly recognizable casino games, craps has had a long and distinguished history. The iconic craps dice are often accompanied by reference to strange craps slang, terminology and other unusual jargon when portrayed in film and television, which helps build a specific air of mystery around the game and those that play it. In actuality, while these terms are used extensively in craps circles, they become much easier to digest as you play and your understanding of the game increases. However, while the problem is less of an issue for online craps players, those that take to the live casino floor for a game of craps are advised to get up to speed on the various craps slang words and phrases before entering the casino walls, if only to save blushes at the table.
The following craps glossary is designed to help demystify some of the commonly used terms in craps, from the classics like snake eyes through to the more obscure terms for different bets and outcomes. By using this guide as a reference to the different craps terms you will encounter, you can start to build up a better idea of what’s going on as you play.
any craps: a bet on a single roll delivering a 2, 3 or 12 outcome.
any seven: a bet on any combination totaling 7 on a single roll.
Apron: the edge of the craps table layout.
Bet: a wager on a particular outcome from the next single roll, or across the coming rolls depending on the type of bet
Big 6 or Big 8: a bet that a 6 or an 8 will be rolled before the next 7
Big Red: a name given to 7, or a bet that a 7 will be rolled
Buffalo: a bet on each of the hardways (i.e. doubles) or any combination totaling 7
Boxman: the casino representative responsible for banking at the craps table
Buy bet: a bet on the true odds of a roll, in exchange for a 5% commission to the house
Come bet: a bet that the point number will be rolled next before a 7 or an 11
Come out roll: a preliminary roll used to establish the point number, an outcome that is used as the benchmark for several different types of bets.
Craps: a 2, 3, or 12 roll.
Don’t come bet: a bet that a 7 or 11 will be rolled before the point number, a bet against the shooter
Don’t pass bet: a bet that the shooter will roll any craps or a 7 before the roll of the point
Field: a bet on the numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 and 12 that pays out on any of these outcomes being rolled at a rate of even money
Hardway: a role of a any double, i.e. 2/2, 3/3, 4/4 etc.
Hi-Lo: a bet that a 2 or a 12 will be rolled before the next 7
Hi-Lo-Yo: a bet on the 2 or 12 or 11 appearing before the next 7 roll
Hop Bet: a bet on a defined combination appearing, e.g hopping 2&3 for a 2/3 roll
Horn Bet: a multi-unit bet on the next roll delivering a 2, 3, 11 or 12 outcome.
Horn High: a multi-unit bet similar to the horn, plus an extra unit bet on the 12
Lay Bet: a bet on any of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10 being rolled before the next 7.
Little Joe: a slang term used in craps circles for the number 4.
Midnight: a name given to an outcome of 12, slang for a 6/6.
Parlay: adding in the winnings from a previous bet to the next bet, a double-or-quits bet
Pass line: arguably the default bet in craps, it is a bet on a 7 or 11 on the come out roll, or a bet on the point number appearing before the next 7 or 11 after the come out roll and the point is established.
Proposition bet: any of a number of different betting types including hops or bets on hardways combinations located towards the middle of the craps table layout.
Skinny Dugan: a slang term for the number 7, often used in place of the actual word ‘seven’ for superstitious reasons at live craps tables.
Snake Eyes: a slang term for a hardways 2, i.e. 1/1.
Square pair: a slang term for a 4/4 hardways 8.
True odds: the actual odds of an outcome, as opposed to the payouts offered by the house
Whirl: a single bet of 5 separate units on the numbers 2, 3, 11, 12 and 7,
Yo: yoleven, the term called for the number 11 to avoid confusion between the words ‘seven’ and ‘eleven’ at the craps table.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of the terms and craps terminology you’ll hear flying about the casino floor, it should be enough to get you started on the road to successful craps play. With the help of our glossary, the more Snake-Eyed among you hopefully start to grasp their Little Joe’s from their Hi-Lo-Yo’s, and their Buffalo’s from their Boxman – with all this jargon under your belt, perhaps it’s now time to learn how to play craps and try out your craps play in an online casino?