Craps is one of the most lively games in a Las Vegas casino, and it’s also one of the games with the most colorful jargon.
Over the decades, craps dealers (many of them bored out of their skulls) have come up with clever ways of calling out dice numbers, often based upon rhymes.
Here’s a collection of our favorite names for dice combinations in craps.
Many of the slang terms for craps numbers have fascinating stories behind them. We obviously won’t be talking about those here, because we have a reputation to preserve.
An “Australian yo” is called that because on the opposite sides (“down under”) of a 1 and 2 are a 6 and 5. Those total 11, and “yo” is another name for 11. It’s called “yo” because it’s bad luck to say “seven” at a craps table. Please keep up.
It’s the “lumber number” (2-4) because of 2-by-4s, woodwise.
A “ballerina” is called that because, wait for it, two 2s sound like “tutu.” Hey, we didn’t say this was rocket science.
A 4-5 combination is called a “Jesse James” because the notorious outlaw was shot with a .45 caliber pistol.
A pair of threes is called “Brooklyn Forest” because, wait for it, “two trees.” The reference may date back to the 1943 novel, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.”
An easy six (a five and one) is sometimes called “alien handshake.”
A pair of fives can also be called as a “pair of sunflowers.”
At one time, the 3-2 combo was called “O.J.” (his uniform number was 32), before, you know, he murdered people. Now, the script has been flipped, and that combo reversed is 2-3, or Michael Jordan’s uniform number, 23.
Craps, of course, is a male-dominated game, so we hear the roll of 2-3 is also known as the “waitress roll,” because it’s a “pair and a tray.”
Naturally, our list isn’t complete. Names like “boxcars” for 12 have sometimes been replaced with colorful counterparts. A 12 can also be referred to as “all the spots we got.”
Thanks to our reader James H. for this gem: A roll of three is sometimes called a “shocker,” because its a two and a one. Saucy!
Reader Jonathan T. says he’s heard dealer refer to the hard six as “Colombian breakfast” because, well, two lines.