Up to eight players can stand on each side of the table. The players in positions 4 and 5 (around the corners) are said to be "on the hook."
When you walk up to a table, just take any open slot. You don't have to worry about taking someone's place: If anyone has to leave momentarily and plans to return, a special "towel" is placed over his chips to save the spot.
The shooter is the player who rolls the dice. The dice are thrown so that they hit the back wall at the end of the table opposite the shooter. Every player takes turns being the shooter, with turns rotating clockwise around the table. When a new shooter steps up to roll, the stickperson pushes several sets of dice up to him so he can select the pair he wants to use.