The view of the craps table from the casino security camera, also known as the Eye in the Sky, provides a great way to learn the basics of craps. Note that there are two identical ends of the table that share a common middle or proposition area.
It takes a crew of five people to fully staff a craps game. The crew consists of a boxman, a stickman, and three dealers – one of whom is on break at any given time, leaving two dealers on duty. Each crewmember has specific duties and responsibilities. The boxman is the only one sitting during the action. One dealer stands on each side of the boxman. The stickman stands at the opposite side of the table, facing the boxman.
As you can see, each end of the table has its own dealer. Each dealer is responsible for his or her end of the table, and is the person you will have the most interaction with. When you approach the table and decide to buy-in, you drop your money into the Come area in front of you and stay “Change only, please.” The dealer will then hand your buy-in to the boxman, who counts the money and then tells the dealer the correct amount of chips to give you.
The dealer will also pay off your winning bets and collect your losing bets. Some bets, like the Pass Line, Come, Don´t Pass, Don´t Come, Free Odds and Field, are self-service bets. You can make them by yourself. But Place bets, Lay bets, Buy bets, and Free Odds on Come and Don´t Come bets can be made only by the dealer. To make those bets, you put your chips on the layout and tell the dealer how you want them wagered. The dealer will then take your chips and place them in the appropriate area of the layout.
Remember that casino dealers are paid relatively small salaries and depend on player tips or “tokes” for the majority of their income. It is a difficult job, and good service should always be rewarded.
The boxman´s primary responsibility is to protect the casino´s bankroll. All of the casino´s chips are right in front of him, with the larger denominations in the middle. He changes your cash into casino chips when you buy in to the game and exchanges smaller denomination chips for larger ones when you cash out. He also monitors the game, checks the dice regularly to safeguard the game against crooked dice, and solves any disputes between a player and a dealer.
The boxman position is becoming rare in some casinos as the bosses look for ways to cut expenses and increase table game profits. In those situations where there is no boxman, the Eye in the Sky provides the primary security for the casino´s bankroll. Dealers handle customer buy-ins and settle the majority of the disputes at the table. If they are unable to resolve a dispute to the customer´s satisfaction, a casino pit supervisor known as a Floor Person is called over to settle the issue. During a particularly hot hand the Floor Person may take a seat in the boxman´s position and supervise the game in order to keep the game moving while providing an extra measure of dealer supervision.
The Floor Person is also responsible for tracking rated players buy-in, average bet, and length of time played. Rated players can earn casino complimentaries in the form of free meals, free or discounted rooms, show tickets or other amenities. It is always to your advantage to obtain a casino club card and asked to be rated.
The Stickman stands across the table from the boxman. He is the most vocal dealer at the table, as he is responsible for “selling” proposition bets and calling out the results of each roll. The stickman is the individual who is in charge of the dice. He uses a flexible stick to move a selection of five or six identical dice to the shooter at the beginning of each game. The shooter chooses two and the stickman retrieves the remaining dice and returns them to the dice bowl. After the shooter tosses the dice the stickman announces the results of the roll, retrieves the same pair of dice and returns them to the shooter after all bets have been paid.
All bet payoffs are verified by either the boxman or the stickman. The stickman is responsible for watching the dealer payouts on the end of the table where the dice land after being tossed. The boxman watches the dealer at the opposite end of the table. The Eye in the Sky watches everyone.