Craps (version 2) – Part 5 of 5

Mike: Okay Angela, so this is the final part of our craps videos and in this one we’re just going to cover miscellaneous topics about craps in general that we didn’t hit on in the earlier videos.

Angela: Okay.

Mike: So that said, do you have any questions for me about craps in general that you didn’t asked before?

Angela: I do, so these are some non-technical questions-

Mike: Okay.

Angela: -but things that are a lot of fun.

Mike: All right.

Question 1 - [00:31]

Angela: Well, how about superstitions? Are there superstitions in craps that I should know as a first time player coming up to the table?

Mike: Yes, craps is a very superstitious game. The number one thing to remember is to be careful about what you say, especially saying numbers, and you especially don’t want to say any number that would cause the table to lose which is usually a seven. So after the comment rule never ever, ever, ever say the number seven because it’ll really freak some of the other players out and they’ll think that you’re jinxing the whole table.

Angela: Oh.

Mike: So yes, and if you must like talk to someone about it, maybe, try to use a foreign language or a code word for the- [crosstalk]

Angela: Really [laughs]

Mike: -for seven, yes, but they’re really sensitive about that and about other numbers as well and you never know what will set them off. So my policy at the craps table is if I must talk don’t talk about craps try to talk about something else.

Angela: [laughs] Okay.

Mike: So I really feel like I’m always on thin ice at the craps table without offending other players.

Angela: Whoa, they’re like walking into a theater and saying [inaudible] very loudly.


Angela: So don’t do it right?

Mike: I didn't know you're not supposed to do that.

Angela: Oh no, no if you do that you have to go outside the theater, run around clockwise seven times, I don't know what it is with the number seven.

Mike: And what is it [sic] the connection to make that?

Angela: Oh, it's of the cursed play so you're allowed to say the Scottish play but never say the word [inaudible] inside the theater- [crosstalk]

Mike: I didn't know.

Angela: Now that you've told me somethings that I definitely shouldn't do when I come up to the table, I know I should tip.

Mike: Yes.

Question 2 - [02:13]

Angela: But I don't know how to tip, so what’s the etiquette of tipping?

Mike: Okay, well this is a sensitive question with any casino game, first of all let me say that I think you should tip, I think it should be mostly based on the service but also a little bit on how much you're winning so I think if you're getting bad service and you're winning like crazy it's going to look bad if you don't tip something. So yes, first of all you should tip, that's just the etiquette of how it is here in Vegas. So number one don't make sucker bets for the dealers, I mean they know they're sucker bets so they don't want to see a big percentage of that tip loss to the house advantage. So there's two ways I would recommend tipping for the dealers. One is just giving the money straight to the dealers without betting it, and for example, after a good roll when someone finally settles out, you might toss the dealer nicely a chip and say, "This for the table, thank you."

Number two is you can make a bet for the dealer as you can do in any other casino game and I would recommend doing that on the pass line. The table minimums do not apply to tips and it'll be understood that the extra dollar is a tip and it looks kind of stingy to not put odds on it if a point is rolled so keep in mind if you're going to do that you should put odds on it afterwards so you may just tip a dollar on the pass line. I may have forgotten to say this before but the distance between the pass line, bet and the odds should be greater than the width of a die because you do not want a die to get stuck between the pass line bet and the odd-

Angela: [laughs]

Mike: -because it's really going to annoy everybody. So keep a little bit of distance between them like that. So those are my suggestions on how to tip in craps.

Question 3 - [04:11]

Angela: Is it okay to just ask the dealers what they prefer? To say would you prefer that I tip with you or that I bet with you? Is that okay to do on this or is that varied by casinos?

Mike: I'd let you do that if that's what you feel comfortable with, I know a lot of players like to bet for the dealers and blackjack.

Angela: Yes.

Mike: Normally the dealer's if it wins they just take it both and drop it in the box, but some players like to let the tips ride and they'll say, "Do you want me to let that ride?" and some dealers like it when you do that because it makes it more interesting for them and some of them just don't care.

Angela: Okay.

Mike: So it's up to you. Personally I never bother with that I think that the vast majority of dealers know that it's all going to get split up and they appreciate the gesture but they don't really care if it means a loss because they're only going to see 1% of that tip, so I don't make a big show of it but it's up to you.

Question 4 - [05:05]

Angela: Okay, fair enough. Well, totally non-related question Bubble Craps.

Mike: Yes.

Angela: I've heard the term, I don't know what it means, can you-

Mike: Okay so- [crosstalk]

Angela: -sounds fun.

Mike: So I'm sure you've seen in a lot of casinos here is these big machines the Deal Roulette, Blackjack, where you're not playing against a live dealer but you're-- but there might be like a video screen of the dealer or a basically a roulette wheel that you don't need a dealer for it just spins automatically. So they have this for craps and it's informally known as Bubble Craps. It's made by a ruse gaming and it's this thing where about six players can sit around it and everyone has her own seat and their own monitor and they, you know, they press it to put in what bets they want, and then it gives you so much time to do it and then there's a two dice the size of softballs in there, this like fingers of cylinder and it bounces around and then shoots them up and where it lands determines the outcome of the role.

So some people love it I'm not one of them but it's a much-- but it's a way to play craps in a much lower level like the minimum bet is a dollar and it's a-- you don't have all this intimidation of live craps with all the etiquette and sometimes it can get a little bit angry. There's none of that it's a very relaxed way to play craps if, and as a new player, if you're still not 100% on the rules and what you're doing, it's a great way to get your feet wet without anyone yelling at you so for new players out there I think it's a good way to get your feet wet with craps before you start playing on a live table. So whether you play Bubble Craps or Live Table it's totally up to you, they both have totally different kind of vibes to the game, I personally would much rather play on a live table but to each his own.

Angela: [laughs] We're going to love that it's kind of reminds me of those great school games where you pop the bubble and [crosstalk]

Mike: Yes it's exactly yes [crosstalk]

Angela: Yes. [chuckles]

Mike: It's much like that.

Angela: Yeah.

Mike: Yeah, it's much like that, you know, they call it Bubble Craps but the dice aren't actually in a bubble but more like a cylinder thing but it's a really well done the way that dice like shoot up in there and roll around and it still has the cut like that, you know, that group euphoria where, you know, everyone wins and losses at the same time because people tend to still bet the same way in Bubble Craps and Live Craps so.

Question 5 - [07:40]

Angela: That's new. Well, another interesting term I've heard that I've no idea what it means: Short Sticking. Is this good is this bad, what is it?

Mike: Well, short sticking is when there is an attractive female players such as yourself especially if she's wearing a low-cut dress and what some un-gentlemanly dealers might do is when they push you the dice they don't push it all the way towards you but would make you bend over to reach them.


Angela: Okay.

Mike: So he carefully know when short sticks see you at the table.

Angela: [laughs] But now is a good time to warn a girl.


Angela: Thank you [inaudible] [crosstalk]

Mike: You're welcome.

Angela: -it's enough. [laughs]

Question 6 - [08:26]

Angela: All right Mike, I know in general how you feel about side bets, what about the new craps side bets?

Mike: I, well mathematically speaking I feel the same way that there's sucker bets with a house advantage of about 20%, but I will say something good about them, like the fire bet and the all, tall and small is a single bet that can last a long time. I mean it could last dozens and dozens of roles so you get a lot of excitement out of that one bet and I'm sure players love these bets, I just can't mathematically recommend them and like I said that the big ones are the fire bet, all, tall, small, they carry high house advantages but they also carry the possibility of big payoffs, and the fun factor is probably very high but it would be against my religion-

Angela: [laughs]

Mike: -to endorse them so there you have it.

Angela: Fair enough, all right.


Question 7 - [09:24]

Angela: Well, along with that how about some tips for money management? Not in life in general but just on the craps table.

Mike: Okay, well as with any casino game I think that money management is really overrated. There is no magic way to decrease the house advantage by how much you're betting and the reasons why you're making the bet, so if you're trying to keep volatility low which I like to do I recommend just flat betting, if your goal is to leave the casino with a really big win or bust trying then you should be pressing your wins and hopefully you'll get a lot of consecutive wins in a row and you'll hit your big win. The downside to that is that chances are, you're not going to hit it and there's a really high probability of walking away loser. The flip strategy to that is the people that just want to win a little bit or lose a lot trying, and to do that you should be increasing your bets after a loss. None of this I recommend, neither do I say don't do it, as I've said many times all betting systems are equally worthless. What's important is that you make the good bets, the ones with the low house advantage but how much you bet is entirely up to you. That’s where your free will can come in.

Angela: All right. I’m going to bring up something a little controversial.

Mike: Okay.

Angela: Because I know I will get a good answer from you.

Mike: Okay.

Question 8 - [10:58]

Angela: I've heard chatter about influencing the dice and ooh what does it mean and what do you think about it?

Mike: Yes. This is indeed a very touchy question and it's something that divides the whole Craps community. There have been huge, huge debates about this on my forum. Every time it quiets down someone will ask about it again and we'll all get stirred up again. There are some people that believe that through a lot of skill that they can throw the dice in such a way that they can influence the outcome. They're not saying they can roll exactly what they want 100% of the time but if they’re trying to avoid a seven for example normally the chances of rolling a seven are one and six.

They may believe that they can set the dice and throw them so carefully that they can get that probability of a seven down to less than one in six. What’s my opinion? I'm a skeptic. I'm sorry it's been argued for at least 10 years and I had yet to see any firm evidence that anyone can do it. Furthermore, I believe that even if there is somebody out there who can do it I think that for every one of such people there's 100 of believers out there that think they can do it and they're really just deluding themselves.

As evidence, I have seen it lots of times in the casino where there's somebody doing this. They're so carefully setting the dice and throwing them in just such a certain way and then the dice hit the other side and they're all over the place. I think that -- and the dealer's totally allow it. I think that they're just secretly laughing to themselves like, “Look at this sucker he thinks he can influence the dice. We'll take this action all day long.” Again I'm not saying it absolutely can't be done but it hasn't been proven to me, so I still remain in the skeptic camp and always I've been.

Angela: Yes. Definitely the skeptic’s camp with you on that way.

Mike: Thank you for joining me.

Question 9 - [13:09]

Angela: Absolutely I will. This might be another controversial topic. I’m really not sure but it's just a phrase I've heard. Then you’ll have to explain it to me again, sorry Craps virgin, biased dice?

Mike: Yes. That's got to be the second-biggest controversial topic and Craps and this also bubbles up on my forum a lot, is some people believe that there is a conspiracy amongst all the casinos to be putting in play dice that are weighted in such a way as to make the casinos win more. They're never specific about how they're weighted, about any of the details but they allege that there's just this big conspiracy of silence about it and then the Gaming Control Board is in on it then the casinos are in on it and most players are just in denial about it but this is something I’m a huge skeptic about it. I might have a little bit of open-mindedness about dice influence but weighted dice, no. It's a complete utter conspiracy theory. Trust me the dice are perfectly fine and they're all fair.

Angela: Okay, so we don't need to get aluminum foil make little hats out of it. [laughter] This is a conspiracy theory debunked.

Mike: Yes. I will not say that I've debunked it but I had yet to see any evidence and the believers, they don't present any legitimate evidence whatsoever, so yes.

Angela: Yes.

Mike: Yes, I would put it on the level as like the alien autopsy and things like that. Just totally ridiculous.

Question 10 - [15:00]

Angela: Craps table is big enough for an alien I suppose either way. All right, you're a great teacher Mike and I think I picked a lot of this up. Let's say I have a really blonde moment and I go walking into the casino late at night and I forget all of this, what is the one thing that I can't forget? As in what would be the absolute worst mathematical thing I could walk up to the table and do?

Mike: Okay the worst thing you could possibly do mathematically the craps table is make a pass line that when it's not a come-out roll. What would be the absolute worst part of that scenario is at the point where already a 4 or 10 and you make a pass line bet because you're only going to have a one-in-three chance of winning. You’re only going to get paid even money so it would be a house advantage of 33% and players do this sometimes.

I don't know if they don't know the rules or they don't realize it's not a come-out roll but a nice dealer will warn them, “This is not the time you should be making a pass line bet,” but not every dealer is nice. Yes. If you're going to make a pass line that always wait for come out roll and even though it's allowed to make them wait absolutely never do it. Worst thing you could do in Craps.

Angela: Okay thank you. I will remember that one no matter what I’ll do.

Mike: All right.

Angela: Thank you, Mike.

Mike: Thanks, Angela.