classic craps slang terms

7 Essential Classic Craps Slang Terms at the Casino

How well do you know the classic craps slang terms? Of course, all casino games have a huge number of slang terms and jargon words. Maybe because the game-play is getting fast, then the language has evolved to create phrases and terms that can keep up with this increased speed. We’re sure that you’ve heard of “rolling the bones” (rolling the dice), “dice sliding“(iIllegal way of tossing the dice), a “horn bet” (a 2, 3, or a 12) and the “Snakes Eyes” (a 1 to 1 combination). Craps has a huge number of these terms. In effect, this table game enjoys its own language. Both the regular players and the dealers (“the boys”) use these terms all the time.

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So we suggest that you get up to speed with some craps slang before you go out to hit the casinos to win the jackpot. To that end, here are 7 classic craps slang terms at the casino.

Right Way Betting

If you’re a new shooter, and you’re about to make your first roll (the “come out” roll), then the other bettors have a couple of choices. Firstly, they can wager on the pass line and keep their fingers crossed that the shooter wins. This can be by either rolling a 7 or an 11 on the come out or by setting a point number which they then hit again before rolling a 7. As you’re probably aware, pass line wagers are considered the standard bet by all craps players. These are to all purposes, ante bets, meaning that they enable further betting at great odds.

Now playing with the shooter, and placing your wagers on the pass line is called playing “the right way” or “playing right.” So when you see a lot of excited people surrounding the craps table, there’s a good chance that they’re all celebrating because they’re all “right way bettors.” The pass line wager is a good approach to wagering in craps. This is because the bet offers a very low house edge of just 1.24%.

classic craps slang terms
Can’t wait to play some craps online – Image source: Lisa Brewster from San Francisco, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Classic Craps Slang Terms: Dark Side Betting

Dark side betting is betting against the shooter. They do this with the don’t pass line wager. In classic craps slang terms, this is also referred to as “wrong way” betting and the bettor wants to see a 2, 3, or 12 on the same come out roll. This result will bring the shooters run to an immediate stop. If the shooter decides to set a point instead, then the contrarian gambler wants to see them spike a 7 to “7-out”, before they find the point for the second time. Though dark side betting is perfectly legal betting among you’re jackpot winning strategies, it produces dirty looks and disdain from other players. These shooters almost take your contrary stance as a personal affront.

Of course, you will not feel so bad if you’re paying online. especially at King Billy Casino. Here you can bet on the dark side without any bad feelings.

The amusing part of this whole scenario is that playing on the dark side is a better bet than playing normally. The house edge in the former is 1.06% and compares with the latter of 1.24%. Though this difference is small, it all adds up in terms of expected value over time.

The Hard Way

This bet will land you the biggest payouts in the game. A “hard way” bet is the hitting of a single number, but from the two dice, you’ll need the same number on each. So, for example, to hit a hard 8, you’ll need to roll a couple of 4’s. A 3 and a 1 will not cut it. Likewise, a hard 6 will have to come from each dice showing a 3. In craps, you can wager on the 4, 6, 8 or 10, either betting individually, on a couple of these, or on all of them. Your hard way bet will remain in place until the shooter rolls a 7 or an “easy” version of his chosen number.

In other words, if you’ve bet on a hard 8, then you don’t want to roll any 7’s or any other 8’s which are not formed by a 4/4 dice roll. If you happen to land a hard 8 or hard 10, then you’ll be paid out generously. For hard way bets, there’s a slight discrepancy between the true odds and the payout odds. To fix this, the casino will impose a higher house edge of 11.11% on the 4 and the 10. This is 9.09% on the 6 and the 8.

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Classic Craps Slang Terms: Buffalo Bet

If you want to hedge your action, you can do this with a “buffalo bet.” This is a basic hard way wager but with a 7 thrown into the mix. So this means that you can win with your hard combination or with any old 7 on the side. Your hard way payout remains the same. But you’ll get to add as many 7 bets (Big Reds) to your possible winners. There’s a 4:1 payout should you land a 7 with a Buffalo bet. You’ll have a 1:5 shot to cash it in. Unfortunately, this creates a massive house edge of 16.67%. So we would suggest that Buffalo betting should be off your betting menu.

classic craps slang terms
Stay classy… Play Craps! – Image source: Ddog9999, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Midnight or Boxcars

This bet is a form of hard way bet. it’s to land a 12 via a 6 on each dice. As such there’s only one winning possibility out of 36, so your true odds are 1:36. Even though the odds are certainly long, that doesn’t stop players who love to take a risk, from taking this bet. With a payout of 30 to 1, everyone wants to play this bet at least once. Once again, though the odds are long, the casino isn’t taking a chance, and so sets the house edge at a difficult 13.89%. For a lower house edge, we suggest playing craps online. With a casino like King Billy Casino, the house edge is always much lower. Plus you get a nice welcome bonus!

Classic Craps Slang Terms: Rolling a Natural

classic craps slang terms
Good luck!

This is nothing to do with marijuana! In classic craps slang terms, it refers to a shooter who manages to roll out a 7 or an 11 on his come-out roll. This is an instant winner for the pass line bet. And it’s known as a “natural.” Rolling a natural is a sure-fire means to increase your jackpot winning chances. Other casino games also have a “natural.” For example, in blackjack, an ace + 10 equals a natural. In baccarat, it’s a two-card 8 or 9.


A seven is probably the most sought after number in a game of craps. But there’s another number, the “Yo-leven” that might just be even more popular. because the 7 is such a high-status number players are very superstitious about saying “seven” out loud. Now, because they might want to place a single bet on the 11, the crowd around the table started to call out “Yo-eleven.” As years passed, then the phrase evolved to become “Yo-leven.” Sometimes, they will just shorten this to simply “Yo”. This doesn’t mean we’re all down with the rap boys in the hood. Just that they’re trying to avoid any bad mojo from saying 7.

Conclusion: Classic Craps Slang Terms

Of all casino jackpot games, craps is by far the liveliest of them all. The dealers also encourage all these high-fives and back-slapping as a means of drawing more layers to the table. As with all fairly closed groups, craps players have created their own jargon and classic craps slang terms. These may appear indecipherable for a stranger to the game. or even a novice player. That’s why it’s important that if you want to be seated comfortably at the craps table, you must take the time to learn these terms and phrases. We have a concise craps glossary to help.

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