Posted by AZDuffman
Dec 25, 2013

Silly craps student questions

I may have heard the silliest craps student question ever,

Guy 7s out. I am collecting the line and a woman says, "So now he wins all the kitty from everyone else, right?"

Uh, no.


odiousgambit Dec 25, 2013

I guess she only knows how to play poker.

FleaStiff Dec 25, 2013

She got mixed up as to which game you have to pretend ignorance at in order to avoid "heat".

Buzzard Jan 06, 2014

Hey, that's the way Lou Costello always played. Does anybody know who's on first ?

Posted by AZDuffman
May 10, 2013

BJ at a prom

Well, first time I ever dealt a vegas-night for a prom. I have to say the kids were very well-behaved. Not surprising given the district they were from. And I must say, a few even grasped the concept of BJ! They were rough around the edges, but none asked any really stupid questions--and I have had stupid questions!

Best part was teaching some of them basic strategy for the game. Felt so good to work with our youth and teach them something they can use.


FleaStiff May 11, 2013

Sounds like it was a prom from an upscale area which means I'm a bit surprised that the kids already didn't know Basic Strategy.

FinsRule May 11, 2013

Definitely thought this post was going to be about something else. Live and learn.

Buzzard May 11, 2013

Had open house at my dealers school. Graduates dealt to family and kids. Love ot when kid is told he has 8 or 18 and he yells 18, 18,

I want the 18 !

AZDuffman May 12, 2013

@Buzz: that is not confined to kids. I indeed love it when people say "18!" on a soft 18. Some other reactions:

"Do I have to decide now?"

"How do you know which it will be?"

It never crossed my mind to think you would ask, not even when being taught the basics of the game at about age 6. Maybe some people are more predisposed to gaming than others?

MakingBook May 14, 2013

I thought this was going to be about a BJ, not BJ.

djatc May 14, 2013

I love BJs on crowded tables. Everyone is so excited for me when I get one!.....

anyway not the story I was expecting..... lol.

Posted by AZDuffman
Apr 17, 2013

Neon Graveyard Question

I have been watching "Crime Story" on Hulu and a storyline is bothering me. The show was filmed in the late 1980s, set in the mid-1960s. Dennis Farina's character is told to go to the Neon Graveyard.

I wasn't aware that the graveyard existed in the 80s, let alone the 60s. Is this a classic anachronism?


odiousgambit Apr 18, 2013

Same thing as the Neon Museum? If so, "The Neon Museum was founded in 1996" per wikipedia.

odiousgambit Apr 18, 2013

pretty cool thing actually. I think I would like to see it.

kenarman Apr 19, 2013

The graveyard was around for a long time before the museum was set up. The 60's does seem like a stretch though. The original graveyard was just a storage yard owned by a major sign company.

Ayecarumba Apr 24, 2013

Neon signs have been around since the 30's, so a 60's reference to them is not so far off, but the term "Graveyard", I don't know about...

Posted by AZDuffman
Mar 26, 2013

So great when your students learn from you

Hopefully some of you enjoy these Monte Carlo Night stories. Anyways, here is another one. Dealing BJ and one girl says how she is going to Reno soon and "needs to learn." I am a pretty good judge of who wants to learn and who doesn't so I work with her. Now given it is just 2-3 hours and supposed to be fun I limit it to teaching just 1-3 concepts. The first one I teach is what to do when the dealer has a 4-5-6 because that is about the best way a new player can really affect their play.

My standard line goes as follows. "If you learn just one thing tonight learn this. If the dealer has a 4-5-6 and you have =>12 you stand, if you have <=11 you hit." Then I handle double-down as it comes up since with alcohol sometimes involved it is no time for a BJ boot camp.

Most times they remember a little, but this time the gal takes out her smart phone and starts taking notes. She has me repeat it a few times while she types. She wants to hit at the wrong time and I remind her with just a finger point at my hand, she looks and checks her phone. (I tell her that will be a no-no at the table, btw.)

Anyhow, last 20 minutes of the night some players leave and two new ones sit down. One gal gets something to hit against my bust card. She does not know what to do. So I look at the other one and say, "why don't you tell her?" Out comes the phone and she starts reading, "If the dealer has a 4-5-6 and you have =>12 you stand, if you have <=11 you hit." The table is loving it and I remark how great it is to see one of your students learned something.

Occasionally you have to take life's little rewards.


odiousgambit Mar 27, 2013

Before I knew anything about BJ I thought the simplest strategy was that a player was to hit until they got 17 or better. Look how different this still super simple strategy is.

FleaStiff Mar 27, 2013

I too was a player who mimicked the house strategy of draw to 16, stand on all 17s. Now not even the house does this any more.

Those Monte Carlo nights are fun. And I think one reason the attendees enjoy the trappings of realism is that they know amidst all the seriousness of clearing hands and putting the money on the table rather than handing it over, there is a degree of realism that is less obvious but just as vital.

JoeSpy Dec 29, 2013

Yes, I enjoy all these Monte Carlo night stories. I've been a casino party dealer for over 20 years...mostly craps, but also holdem, BJ, pai gow.

I enjoy the heck out of teaching craps, but alcohol can be a stumbling block. However, the vast majority of parties have been positive experiences. I only recently acquired earplugs to protect me when the music is too loud (often). Now, instead of cringing, I can enjoy the party. I find I can read lips rather well, and I don't need to hear much.

Anyway, this is my first post in this kind.


Posted by AZDuffman
Mar 16, 2013

Fun dealing poker night

Sometimes you just want to smile when dealing!

Another Bar Mitzvah dealing poker. Usually they are about as fun to work as going for root canal. Mainly because you are working with a bunch of 13 year olds. It is a whole-nother "control your table" environment, and in a way possibly harder than the real thing. Having done a few now I know more what to do and not to do, but it can be a drain. But the highlights:

1. One kid was a real loudmouth. Gets Q-2 in the hole and going wild when he makes 2 pair on the flop. Not showing his hand to the table but holding it up so the people across the street could see it. He got rivered. And the other kids at the table loved it when I informed him he lost.

2. Met a guy who was security at the local casino. He asked if I dealt anywhere and knew my dealing the party would endanger a dealer license.

3. This one kid, he was 12 or 13 but if you just saw the play you would swear he was an adult. He got people years older to back down. With coaching he could not need to work in college.


FleaStiff Mar 16, 2013

Alot of kids dropped out of college to play poker and many kids have played poker profitably but remained in college. I seem to recall a novel by Eugene Burdick from the sixties, The Ninth Wave or something about a young man who sat down and learned poker statistics and played all thru college and graduate school. Even that kid from Home Alone would take money from all the Teamsters on the movie set. Some people really learn valuable lessons in college, others go to class.

MonkeyMonkey Mar 17, 2013

"...and in a way possibly harder than the real thing."

Why do you say that?

AZDuffman Mar 17, 2013


Harder in few ways:

1. It is for fun and we are supposed to teach the less skilled how to play.

2. The poker etiquette in these games ranges from fair to nonexistent. Out of turn plays, chip splashing, all that. In real room they will eventually get a warning. I only once suspended a guy a hand for out-of-turn play and that was more because his coach was at my table and having fun with it.

3. 3 hours, no breaks.

Now I do know with real money and players the stress is many times higher. Just saying this breed of dealing has challenges that dealers in a real room do not.

MonkeyMonkey Mar 18, 2013

Not to denigrate what you've done, but none of what you listed is all that much different from "the real thing".

1. It's supposed to be fun (though many players seem to be having anything but a good time), and we're supposed to somehow make it fun, and yes, even coach the unskilled in how to play. I dealt 4 different games tonight and I swear it was newbie night as I had to explain everything from bj to 3CP to people who knew nothing about how to play. I coached a woman through over an hour of: "Well, the book says.... but if you really want another card I'll give you one."

2. I don't deal poker, but I know about people trying to play out of turn. OMG, do I know. If I've got 3 sidebets and 2 blackjacks to pay (1 with a rainbow bet) there's always some jackass pounding the table and cussing at me because I won't give him a card.

3. Been there, done that. Even longer than that in a snow storm where everyone calls off and not only are the pushes hellaciously long, but a 6 hour shift can turn into a 12 hour shift. Weird though, the break times don't get any longer.

Do you deal standing up or sitting down?

AZDuffman Mar 22, 2013

I deal sitting down except for craps and roulette.

See one of my former posts about out I turn players. I don't expect you to know if when you sit down but I expect an adult to look around and see his others are acting.

I don't mind teaching bj or anything EXCEPT poker. It isn't that I hate to teach it but that beginners do not understand I cannot stop the game for them and explain every detail when everyone else is a serious player. I am glad I asked my grandad to teach us when I was about 7.