TumblingBones
TumblingBones
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January 6th, 2018 at 9:26:46 AM permalink
A couple nights ago I was watching an old movie: Flame of the Barbary Coast. John Wayne is a rancher-turned casino owner in 1906 San Francisco. I noticed the craps tables didn't have the little pyramids on the walls which got me wondering when they were added. I couldn't find any info on-line so I figured maybe somebody whose been playing the game longer than I have might know.
Gandler
Gandler
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January 6th, 2018 at 1:21:32 PM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones

A couple nights ago I was watching an old movie: Flame of the Barbary Coast. John Wayne is a rancher-turned casino owner in 1906 San Francisco. I noticed the craps tables didn't have the little pyramids on the walls which got me wondering when they were added. I couldn't find any info on-line so I figured maybe somebody whose been playing the game longer than I have might know.




I don't know the answer, but when it comes to historical technology, or even basic gambling stuff, it is hard to know for sure, sometimes movies are just to lazy to be historically accurate. For example maybe they did have the liners in that movie, but the movie people just did not know how to properly assemble the table. I know when you buy tables online you often have to add those side walls on (if you are talking about what I think you are), so maybe they simply assembled it wrong or didn't know better. But, any gambling movie, that was not filmed in the time period in which it takes, I would not regard as historically accurate. Really most movie genres for that matter.

I have never seen a craps table without them, but I am 26, and I almost never play craps, so my observations are of little value.
"Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.” -Thomas Paine
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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January 6th, 2018 at 1:46:53 PM permalink
Movies often are as realistic as possible given time and budget constraints, but if the public expects poker in the movie its hard to force them to watch a Faro game.

If a scene is shot on location a window with 'established 1950" painted on it may be sprayed out with water soluble black ink, but they won't construct a building just for a realistic shot.

Craps is legally known in Vegas as 'bank craps' because the house takes all bets. Originally even a constructed craps layout was only a Right Way game. Along San Francisco's Barbary Coast a pyramid studded table would be of little concern. Nobody would fuss with those pyramid shaped studs, a Mickey Finn and a Knife would be more likely.
Gandler
Gandler
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January 6th, 2018 at 4:25:00 PM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

Movies often are as realistic as possible given time and budget constraints , but if the public expects poker in the movie its hard to force them to watch a Faro game.

If a scene is shot on location a window with 'established 1950" painted on it may be sprayed out with water soluble black ink, but they won't construct a building just for a realistic shot.

Craps is legally known in Vegas as 'bank craps' because the house takes all bets. Originally even a constructed craps layout was only a Right Way game. Along San Francisco's Barbary Coast a pyramid studded table would be of little concern. Nobody would fuss with those pyramid shaped studs, a Mickey Finn and a Knife would be more likely.



That is simply not true.

I am working on my Masters in Military History, and am also in the military. So to keep strictly within my area of knowledge, I have yet to see a film that is accurate (some do a far better job), most get many minor logistical things wrong from certain units wearing certain patches at certain times, to the type of weapons various people use and carry (some being off by decades).

As for gambling, another topic I know a lot about (specific historical periods not so much), many movies get it wrong, not so much because its hard to do the research, but because its boring. Nobody is going to make a movie about somebody counting cards for 12 hours a day making about a 10 dollar an hour return.

But. the bigger point is for any historical scenario. I also have a lot of family in the movie industry, and their goal is to maximize entertainment while minimizing expenses. For example on one Vietnam Film (I am not going to say which one) I know somebody who was an Advisor, He pointed out that M16s they were using for a past scene (something like 10 years before the main story), did not actually exist then, it was an earlier version of that rifle they would be using. The producers basically said, why would we spend millions getting and altering weapons on a scene that will probably only pop up for a few mins, and that 99.9999% of the population will not notice or care about.

I like Military History (and gambling), but you like gambling and you know a lot about it, you noticed something that 99.9999999% of people would not notice, why would they spend thousands of dollars finding and buying that component for several historic craps tables if they did not need to?

Now with CGI it is easier, you can have an actor hold a stick and add in any weapons you want. In the 1940s making movies, they had far more limited options, if their table was missing something, you cannot simply add it in with Computers. So of you were making a movie in the 1940s that took place 50 years earlier, when it comes to a lot of things, it would not be worth trying to acquire the exact year replica, especially for a piece that most of the audience did not know or care about, gambling was far more restrictive then, so the vast majority of Americans probably had no clue what a craps table looked like,
"Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.” -Thomas Paine
RS
RS 
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January 6th, 2018 at 5:24:11 PM permalink
I was under the impression that the casinos introduced the pyramids on a craps table within the last 20 years or so. I'd be fairly confident the pyramids weren't around in 1906.
#TeamNathan
beachbumbabs
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beachbumbabs
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January 6th, 2018 at 8:32:33 PM permalink
Quote: RS

I was under the impression that the casinos introduced the pyramids on a craps table within the last 20 years or so. I'd be fairly confident the pyramids weren't around in 1906.



Comment I saw from Frank.Scoblete's craps book implied they came in around the 60s or 70s, but he didn't give a date.

Anybody heard from him lately?
"If the house lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game."
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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January 7th, 2018 at 3:43:43 AM permalink
Quote: beachbumbabs


Anybody heard from him lately?

At Amazon sorted by 'newest arrivals' he hasnt had a book out since 2015.

He has quite a list there. I've never read any of his books, one glance at the "type" they seem to be from the title and cover art just means I'd never give them a chance. Could be they are entertaining. Give him credit for being able to sell a book.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
Tanko
Tanko
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January 7th, 2018 at 4:28:03 AM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones

I noticed the craps tables didn't have the little pyramids on the walls which got me wondering when they were added.



One photo in this collection shows an early craps table, circa 1910-1020, with pyramids.

Museum of Gaming History
BleedingChipsSlowly
BleedingChipsSlowly
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January 7th, 2018 at 5:14:40 AM permalink
Quote: Tanko

One photo in this collection shows an early craps table, circa 1910-1020, with pyramids.

... and another photo shows a 1940’s table without.
TumblingBones
TumblingBones
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January 7th, 2018 at 7:59:04 AM permalink
Quote: BleedingChipsSlowly

... and another photo shows a 1940’s table without.



Everything takes time to spread and catch on. I did an image search for "vintage craps table" and the impression I get is that the pyramids started to appear around 1920 and were pretty well adopted by all casinos by the mid-50s (maybe earlier).
As side note... I came across this 1945 photo of Bogart which is IMHO a classic!

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