Funbox
Funbox
Joined: Aug 29, 2011
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May 23rd, 2012 at 10:52:50 PM permalink
I have been a casino employee for two years and a dealer since February. I deal Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Mini-Baccarat, and the carnival games. My goal is to get on every single game, but I've hit a huge road block with craps in that nearly everyone goes to a craps school to be able to deal it. One dealer on my shift somehow managed to learn the game on the floor with a shadow, but I'm not sure how much outside experience he had.

I understand 95% of the game, I am perfectly decent at cutting cheques, doing quick mental math, multi-tasking, etc. However, my casino isn't offering a school in the near future and I can't afford to pay for an outside course. What options are available to me? Is this a game that I could pull off learning at home and then pass the audition at work? I have chips, dice, layouts, etc to practice at home, but I don't know what my limitations are without formal training.

Any craps dealers here? What can I do?
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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May 23rd, 2012 at 11:01:58 PM permalink
Yes:
Especially if you play craps seriously. Most crap dealers really learn craps by dealing it for a while, and many get on the game by being dealers who volunteer on their breaks or extra days off.
- LEARN press moves from youtube videos;
- PRACTICE on a make-shift crap table.

OR....build a practice crap table by buying a mail-order dice layout and a 6' x 8' particle board at your local Lowe's or Home Depot; laminate the layout felt to the board with 3M spray-on glue, using a clean and dry paint roller to get the felt smooth, flat, and adhering to the board.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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May 23rd, 2012 at 11:02:29 PM permalink
PM me, I'm in Vegas; I can send you a craps dealer training manual....
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
7craps
7craps
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May 23rd, 2012 at 11:57:47 PM permalink
ed4313425
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FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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May 24th, 2012 at 1:50:43 AM permalink
A layout at home would be nice but get the manual.
Remember there are certain sequences to do things in and you pay different players with different hands.
Learn the stick calls precisely ... its what you are do and the order you are to do it in.
Its not just about correct payouts and correct math or fancy press moves.

What the Box will want to see is just what surveillance wants to see... you doing everything according to procedures and doing it in the correct sequence.

Be prepared to audition as a Base Dealer or as a Stickman.

Practice your multiplication tables from fourth grade math. Nothing like starting with good fundamentals.
You can learn math shortcuts (keys) later.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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May 24th, 2012 at 5:52:19 AM permalink
I'm no dealer, but I've suffered thru enough novice dealers to give an opinion.

You didn't mention Roulette.

There is as much mental math in Roulette as there is in Craps, but Roulette has the advantage of not having a lot of procedure, verbal bets, and fast-paced action that Craps has. Those things help confuse a novice Craps dealer. On Roulette, if you really need to stop and think about things, even getting a floor person to confirm things, nobody really minds. Cause an unnecessary delay at the craps table, and all the players will blame you for the inevitable seven-out that rolls next.

Get proficient in ALL games, including Roulette, before thinking about Craps.


As far as the original question about school goes, I think it really depends upon the casino you're working at.

If you're at a crummy saw dust joint, known for having novice dealers, then you can probably get away with learning on the job. If you're at a high-class place, forget it. If you're somplace in-between, well, then it depends.

No offense to Dan or his employer, but he works at Fiesta Henderson. They have two pits with about 10 various tables per pit. Usually only one pit is open. I'm not saying it's a crummy break-in joint, but it ain't Bellagio either. I do think it's the type of environment where they'd be willing to put a novice in and train them on the job, even on Craps.

But it has to be the right novice.
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Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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May 24th, 2012 at 8:40:27 AM permalink
Quote: 7craps

Best way is to earn, find, borrow, steal - whatever it takes to get the money needed for school.
The worst Dice dealers are the ones that think they can deal because they know how to play and did NOT go thru school.
The best dice dealers are the ones that knew just about nothing of the game to start and learned in craps school. It's true.


Not entirely.
Knowing the game well is ALWAYS a great help and start.
It is the attitude of "knowing it all when you're only familiar" that is the danger here - of "having a little bit of knowledge" and staying at that level
Many students who went to dealers school for dice, going in knowing nothing, came out knowing nothing, and never got to deal craps.
Some of the best dice dealers were players first, by following up from there.
Some of the worst dealers were also players first, thinking as a result that they knew it all, and stop growing, only to remain forever crappy. (No pun intended.) You see this, but it is not the reason.
Anyone who applies himself in good faith with good attitude will get there.

Quote: 7craps

About 1 in 50 can turn into good dice dealers.
The rest are just headaches for the experienced dice dealers and box.


True, but because it is a hard game with hard players, and 1 in 50 in any field have the work effort and humility to improve to greatness or at least competency in the toughest area.

Quote: 7craps

You need to learn the correct procedures.
You need to practice the correct procedures.


Critical. Buying Taucer's book and practicing correct procedures on a felt with checks when wanting to watch the tube makes the difference.

Quote: 7craps

The payouts are the least of your worries.


No, it is one of your worries, and one of your most basic ones. Wrong payouts cause scenes at a table, slow the game down, and get you off dice and onto Blackjack real quick. It is one of the entry level skills on dice that is not enough to know, but has to be known to go forward. There is a lot more road after the basics.

Quote: 7craps

It is all about Attitude,
Correct Procedures,
customer service and game protection.
This can make you pass an audition.

Then after about 3 to 5 years of full time Dice dealing, you may be a good Dice dealer.


Spot on here. Experience and getting experience with good attitude are everything.
I've seen good dice dealers with a year of experience, and bad dealers with decades of experience.

Quote: 7craps

There is no luck needed to become a good dice dealer.
Just good consistent practice.


Good advice.

Good dice dealers are becoming a rarity; it pays no more than dealing Blackjack, yet requires 20 times the work with often the worst of the player population.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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May 24th, 2012 at 8:57:05 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear


Get proficient in ALL games, including Roulette, before thinking about Craps.


Yes.

Quote: DJTeddyBear

No offense to Dan or his employer, but he works at Fiesta Henderson. They have two pits with about 10 various tables per pit. Usually only one pit is open. I'm not saying it's a crummy break-in joint, but it ain't Bellagio either. I do think it's the type of environment where they'd be willing to put a novice in and train them on the job, even on Craps.

But it has to be the right novice.


Fiesta Henderson is not a break-in joint, and it is not a fancy strip casino. It is a serious locals' casino for regular players who are generally very experienced players. The only game that gets taught to players there is Pai Gow Poker; every player already knows the basic games. Almost no tourists.

Fiesta will put an experienced non-dice dealer on dice, to develop into a dice dealer. Same with Pai Gow poker. Some knowledge and familiarity with dice is required, whether school or experience playing, and good attitude is a must.

Too Many dice dealers are only good at dice, and have bad attitudes towards other games, viewing them as unnecessary. It's a little bit like being a limo driver who has disdain for cab drivers, really. Management rolls their eyes....

What Fiesta often/usually does it have the dice crew also carry another game, doing "120s", such as three-card poker, Roulette, or Blackjack, but not Pai Gow. You go from stick, 2nd base, 3rd base, Three Card Poker, THEN you go to your break.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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May 24th, 2012 at 9:24:22 AM permalink
I would strongly suggest going to the school, pay if you must. First, read my blog here on my attempt at it, as well as my dealing craps at corporate monte-carlo nights. I can say from experience that you need other people to make good practice. You can lay out bets on the table and cut cheques watching TV to build your skills, but the rapid-fire action will freeze almost anybody at first. You need to have a class of students throwing bets at you to really get good. You need to use that time to learn instinctively when to give 4 whited or say "drop me a white" based on what the player has in the rail. You have to pay bets you did not place for practice. You have to be able to do this all at once.

IOW, there is a reason that in PA and WV craps dealers need to have twice the hours of training vs any other non-carnival game.

I lasted 4 weeks in class, practiced even on breaks. But I didn't get the real flow until I started dealing the parties. This was because class limited our betting patterns and some of what we did were just "drills." This all helped, but the benefit came with different people throwing different bets. Good luck.
Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing
Croupier
Croupier
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May 24th, 2012 at 9:56:30 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

I'm no dealer, but I've suffered thru enough novice dealers to give an opinion.

You didn't mention Roulette.

There is as much mental math in Roulette as there is in Craps, but Roulette has the advantage of not having a lot of procedure, verbal bets, and fast-paced action that Craps has.



You should see some of the Roulette games we get here. Loads of call bets, cash to place and colour chips to place, all while the ball is spinning. As Craps is generally dead over here, Roulette comes closest to the high speed action.

I would love to be a craps dealer(and work in Vegas), but alas, seems unlikely to happen. Especially as Caesars is now trying to sell off their UK arm for about half what they paid for it.
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