Posted by AZDuffman
May 12, 2010

If you decide to learn to deal......

Well, a little time to relax before the next cut-down test. I think I will do better than last week. I feel stronger in all areas. I totally blew stick calls last week, the rest they said I am doing as expected. My calls feel better to me thsi week as does my stick handling. So wish me luck.

Remember a few weeks back when I said they asked who wanted to learn craps? I put craps first, BJ second. Seems some students didn't put craps at all. Learning to deal this game without knowing how to play I can't imagine. Being "put on" it I can't come close to imagining. I've had plenty of jobs I took to "get in" in my time, but this is something of a lifestyle job. BJ, carnival games, even roulette (to a lesser extent) I can see taking while you are trying to find your big break. But with 80+ different bets and I quit counting how many "oppisites" if you are not giving it 100% dedication even the most intelligent person will struggle at best.

Had I known I would take craps I would have done it different before. Remember, I was going to take BJ until literally when they handed us the preference sheet and put craps as #1 instead of #2. I decided that I wanted to learn anyways and why not now, do it not because it is easy but because it is challenging. But here is my case of "had I known." Before the 1960s every kid in the USA learned math mostly the same way. Addition first because without that you could never multiply. If you couldn't multiply you could never divide. And before "Mathland" math gave us kids who know none you were drilled your "times tables."

After you knew them, division became possible. Learning them was a mix of memorization and working it out. Same with craps. Had I known it was so ratio-driven I'd have practiced the following before. As it is I will do so now.


These are the ratios a craps dealer will need to learn. There are shortcuts for the 7:6 place bet. And I omitted 2:1 since if you can't do that you don't belong in gaming in any capicity.I made an excel spreadsheet with them all laid out. Will learn all the payouts from $5 to $50. Then I will practice it to $100. When I know it cold then my speed will go up.

I have no kids, but wonder how many craps dealer's parent-teacher conferenfces get to "sir, your child for some reason cannot multiply or divide by 8 or 4."

Wish me luck tomorrow. Next post I will discuss more on delaer life and some hopes I have.


FleaStiff May 13, 2010

I'm told the Stick Calls are critical, because its those calls directed at the dealers that keep them doing what they have to do in the order they have to do it. Sure eventually you will start hearing some humorous variations in the stick calls but right now its those basic stick calls that are critical.

Math... ah y'all know I can't do it at all so good luck. Do you memorize the keys for 1-9 and then just break down the various bets? That way paying off a six dollar bet and paying off a sixty dollar bet use the same key.

Its certain to be rewarding for you to have stepped up and taken the most challenging game. You've helped out other students and you've streamlined some of their instruction techniques, so congratulations.

DJTeddyBear May 13, 2010


And I omitted 2:1 since if you can't do that you don't belong in gaming in any capicity.

Haven't you seen my "People are math challenged" thread?

RonC May 13, 2010

Just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying this blog.

Thanks for taking the time to write about learning to deal!

Posted by AZDuffman
May 10, 2010


Since we have little "new" to learn, some observations.

"If you ask a normal person what they get paid fro working more than 40 hours a week they will say time and a half. If you ask a craps dealer he will say he gets paid 3:2."--AZDuffman himself!


As I expected, the pace is picking up and we are getting a slightly more "boot camp" feel. This is to be expected. It is all numbers. Say you have 90 or so rolls an hour as a standard (we are told strandard will be 80-120.) That is about 40 seconds a roll. Lop off 5-7 seconds for the throw and call and you must pay out in 35 seconds or so. Assume 8 players on your side, that is about 5 seconds per payout. Not hard if it is a passline bet only. Easier if it is a field bet. 2:1 odds on the 4/10 are also quick. And most rolls don't require paying all players.

But if you have 8 come bets you need to pay them fast. Very fast. This part of the game would be a time-and-motion engineer's dream. We were shown a neat shortcut on Saturday extra-session. I like it, it is way faster than calculating things. Those who ignore using units to figure most bets and rely on making it into dollar value may well find themselves dealing Casino War.


Last week we got our application to fill out for a gaming license. Things go back up to 20 years. Glad to see how serious the state is taking things. If it was taken so serious way back, Las Vegas History would not be nearly as clolrful as it is.


For many if not most craps payoffs there is not a "right" way, but there are wrong ways. No other game in the casino asks the dealers to use so much common sense and judgment. Most games in the casino prohibit ANY judgment calls on the part of the dealer. To the outsider a craps table looke like some organized chaos theory experiment. This scares many potential dealers off. It is for this reason also that dice is more of its own "culture" among dealers for all games except poker, which is set up that way.

Time for bed for me. Not much new to write about but the feedback I have gotten here shows people actually seem to be looking forward to a semi-weekly report.


appistappis May 10, 2010

your action will always be 80 to 90 % place bets.

Niblick May 11, 2010

Just want to mention that I truly enjoy reading your blog. Checking for new entries is on my daily to-do list.

Just one curiosity, how close to the regulations posted on the PA Gaming Control Board is your instruction? My selfish reason for asking is to try to get some further feel for the Blackjack rules that we can expect to see in PA.

DJTeddyBear May 11, 2010

I think the 40 second average needs to explained in more detail.

First, I think they do not discount the time it takes the shooter to actually shoot when they look at the rolls-per-hour. If the shooter is taking too much time setting those dice, the boxman should be saying something.

And 40 is an average. It's probably more like 50 seconds to clean up after a seven-out and for all the come-out prop bets, and another 50 seconds to set up all the place bets after the shooter gets a point, then more like 40 seconds if the shooter hits his point and 25 seconds for other numbers.


people actually seem to be looking forward to a semi-weekly report.

Ya think? Personally, I wish it was daily!

I'm eating it up!

NOTHING in these reports has given me any reason to stop thinking about being a craps dealer myself someday. Quite the contrary in fact!

RaleighCraps May 11, 2010


We were shown a neat shortcut on Saturday extra-session. I like it, it is way faster than calculating things.

When you get a chance would you be able to explain that shortcut? I suspect it has to do with looking at 'units', as we have been discussing in another thread. Great reading, keep 'em coming. ;-)

appistappis May 11, 2010

please keep in my guys when figuring hours per roll......your table goes semi dead some times and you easily do 5,6,7 even 8 rolls every minute.

AZDuffman May 11, 2010

@Niblick: I haven't read the PGCB rules for training, but I can say the whole thing is very much a fluid situation. Thru HS and college I took several "new" courses where they tried different things as time went by. For craps we started by learning then "playing." This casued some issues like I said before. Namely some people didn't know how to play; some seemed to want to load up every bet possible; you coulod not predict payouts for practice; and small other issues. We have since moved on to "drills." Pay Pass Line Bets of varying flats and odds. Then pay Come bets of varying flats and odds. Then it was a Come, Place, Field, and a DC to "collect" and replace. Start on the 4, move to the 10. Someone rolls dice so stickman gets practice, but he calls the numbers in order (what the dice show is irrelevent."

My guess is the state wanted more "playing" and fewer drills. But I also guess they got bad feedback and allowed some innovation. If you post a link to the training rules you are refering to I will give them a glance this weekend.

As to BJ rules, here is what I know:

BJ pays 3:2.

Cards will be dealt from a shoe but with a shuffle machine. Machine will rotate two different colored decks, poker-room style.

8 decks, cut card penetration leaves 2 decks.

AZDuffman May 11, 2010

@DJTB Glad you like it. Take it up! We can move to Vegas, find 2 more, and have a kicking crew :-)

You are pretty right on the high side but again remember most rolls are not decision rolls. Paying 1 number, taking Down Behind, Field, all can be done fast. And it had better as the shift manager will be telling you to get a roll :-)

AZDuffman May 11, 2010


Picture a Come bet already on the number. Flat and odds. Move it to the come "dealer work area" and:

If it is a 4/10, size into the whole stack, then drop the number of "free odds" cheques on top.

If it is a 3/9, size in the same way, but drop half as many cheques on top as are on "free odds."

If it is a 6/8, size in the same way, then drop a smaller denomination cheque 1/5 the size on top. (ie: if there are 3 reds flat and 5 reds on odds you size in for 8 reds and put 5 whites on top.)

Those who guessed it was units-based, give yourself a hand.

Now, this is NOT the best way to do it. BUT what I did was do it a few days to get my mind around making the right payoff, then started using s prettier way. It is also a good "back-up" in case your brain freezes up or you are getting slammed.

@all--thanks again for the support. Another "cut-down" test thursday so hopefully I write more Friday about making it anoither week!

Niblick May 12, 2010

AZ, here's the link: PA Temporary Table Games Regulations

I guess the overall question is, "Does your instruction bear any resemblance to these regulations?"

Do you think the BJ shoe/shuffler thing is going to be casino dependent? Or do you think the shuffler will be instituted statewide?

Posted by AZDuffman
May 04, 2010

In case you forgot, there is a reason why the casinio exists..........

"The bottom line here is.....CASH!"--Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro (Tony Spilotro) in "Casino."

Class she is moving along. The instructors are slowly but surely how casinos work. Namely that casinos "earn" not "win" their revenue. They are not that direct, that palgirism from a place I can't remember to cite. But they are subtly pushing the idea that time is money, there will be a rolls-per-hour goal (80-120) and the prop bets make the casino money so get the players to play them. The rolls per hour was told to the class after I asked privately on break. Hopefully I get noticed as someone on the ball.

On that note we took a written test and got to give feedback. My rotation suggestion was used virtually verbatim. I'm serious! I'm not saying it was my idea or I was the only one with it, but I *am* saying I said "we need to do this" and they did it almost exactly. Not only did that feel good, the idea WORKED! And I felt 100% better about my practice after.

Since we rotated I played near someone new. And he threw the dice. And I saw in a second the "Rosebud" grip and throw! I subtly ask, "where did you practice dice control?" I don't know if anyone else knew as fast as I did, but there was no doubt. Maybe we can get a crew and play in WV......

Finally, today we were told sometime in the near future the time comes to have the State Police see if our backgrounds will allow us to work in a casino. There are three basic levels: nongaming; gaming; and key. SOme nongaming positions don't even need to be licensed anymore. Gaming will be quite a bit more thorough. Key employees probably get as thorough a check as someone working in the White House.

Out for now. Keep the comments coming. Maybe one day a gaming magazine pays me to blog like this. Life of a dealer?


boymimbo May 06, 2010

I think that your checks are similar to what good employers would do: (1) Criminal Check (2) Credit Check (3) Employment check. If the State Police are doing it, they will probably do a thorough criminal check only. I doubt they would investigate your lifestyle or anything that you do in your private life.

FleaStiff May 07, 2010

I don't know just what this rotation suggestion was but I certainly think that forcing the students who are playing the roles of players to rotate would be a good idea. As players rotate from one player position to the next player position they will have to learn how to recognize what "their" new bets are which will force them to be attentive to layout placement for that determination. That way they are practicing the skills they need when they rotate into the dealer and stick positions.

It seems you are enjoying your classes and most of all it seems that you are still there whereas others have either dropped out or been dropped out! Congratulations.

AZDuffman May 08, 2010

@Fleastiff: Rotation is simple, really. Dealer students rotate like dealers. Player students move clockwise until they are next to second base, then they go to stick. Third base dedalers step left to become a player. This does what you say, making you learn your what your "new" bets are. It also prevents people from betting to "win" or covering the borad to just bet. Leaving a place bet up when your come travels teaches nothing. Leaving a place bet up when the point gets established to that number is just as bad. Here is an example:

I usually place 6/8 in addition to a pass line bet. I try to be the (unassigned) role of a farily rational, conservative player. I do this since no one else seems to want to. Anyways I have the 6/8 up when a point is made, then there is a new comeout roll. Point is 6, mark the point. I say, "Take that down, please." Person had no idsea why I wanted to do this. Zero. First she asks/says I can't. Then she wants to know why I would do it. So I try to explain true odds and I would move my money to true odds vs 7:6 I had. I think an instructor got involved.

I was trying to be the difference to be someone who wants to help people "learn how to pay" and instead be someone who teaches you to learn good customer service. ie: help the player make a better bet and you a better toke!

Yes, enjoying class very much. Hopefully I keep making the cut. I was told my stickcalls and stick work need help. They evaluate every week and raise the bar each time. Will study and practice all I can. At worst I end up doing it again somewhere and know craps for the Monte Carlo Nights. But hoping for the best, a real-time delaer position!

FleaStiff May 10, 2010

Drivin' me crazy!!

That link on your blog should be Blackjack rather than Blacjack.

Yeah, I know. My spelling is worse!

Posted by AZDuffman
May 03, 2010

Another week, another new bet.

Today we covered the place bets. This pretty much does all but the center prop bets. (Buy and Lay will not ba allowed by the state at this time.) I swear I heard someone mention after "why place the 6 and 8 when you can play Big 6/8?" Grrrr. No matter how willing I am to help out any other student understand the concept on breaks, there comes a point when I wonder if some people have paid attention at all.

Class is now basically play/deal/practice. Some people would rather make big bets than learn the right way to play, which to me is a prerequisite to dealing correctly. We were subtly warned of this. I think I am safe as I have not flat-bet more than a unit and 3 or so units of free odds, whatever makes a proper bet.

There is a challenge to dealing that is weird. This challenge is that when you are playing you can figure the payouts several times as fast as when you deal. Same on stick calls. So practice has to be my motto.

Behaving professionally should be everyons's all the time, but more and more reason to do so. A few more suits walked by today and it was suopposedly the owners of the parent company, or at least some board-level people. Business casual is not a concept in gaming, so thus far all suits have been worth noting.


appistappis May 03, 2010

azduff, this might be the most important tip I can give you....while all the idiots are making huge outlandish bets during your practice sessions, get a couple of people to practice with.....just do the place bets, 22 inside, 44 inside and 66 inside......practice them over and over and over learning the press moves as you go along....when your class graduates, the dealers who can do the simple press moves quickly and efficiently will standout.

DJTeddyBear May 04, 2010

appistappis makes a good point.

But also practice a variety of units, inside/outside/across, both with AND WITHOUT A LINE BET.

I find a lot of dealers that get confused when I give enough chips to bet on FOUR numbers inside, when the point is an inside number.

Duh! I don't have a line bet, but I want the point too! That's why I gave you enough to bet on four numbers.

Also, if the shooter makes his point, and the new point is a number that I have place bet on, and I still don't have a line bet, then no, I don't need my place bet moved.

DJTeddyBear May 04, 2010


I hope you're also practicing pressing place bets.

And when you do, practice not only pressing the winning bet, but it's partner, and all place bets.

I often have place bets on 5,6,8,9. If any hit, I'll often say "Both up a unit." And sometimes I'll throw a chip or two, and say nothing.

Would you know what I meant in either case?

Let's say I had $44 inside. A 9 is rolled and I throw down $6. What do you think I want you to do with it?

FleaStiff May 04, 2010

>Let's say I had $44 inside. A 9 is rolled and I throw down $6. What do you think I want you to do with it?

Thats easy!! Lock it up in the Toke Box and say thank you!!

Seriously though here is my answer:

The INSIDE numbers are 5 6 8 9.

44 Inside means 10 on the 5, 12 on the 6, 12 on the 8 and 10 on the 9.

You said that 9 was just rolled.

So Dealer has to pay off the Place bet on the 9 at 7to5 payoff. There are TWO "fives" that were bet on 9. The dealer has to payoff 7 for each of those 5's. So dealer has to payoff 14 dollars to you. BUT dealer knows from your past behavior and from the fact that you've just dropped down six dollars that what you really want done is to have your Place Bet on the 9 Pressed. All your winnings of 14 dollars are to increase the Place bet but only 14 dollars would raise the place bet to 24 dollars... and why on earth would either of you want to deal with the breakage? If 9 rolls again he can't pay off 7to5 if the bet is 24 dollars. He CAN pay off 7 to 5 if the bet is 30 dollars. So Dealer takes your winnings of 14 dollars plus your new drop down of 6 dollars, thus making 20 dollars, and presses your PlaceBet to its new value of 30.

Next Roll: Seven out.

Oh, okay... why should I be that way?

Next Roll: 9 !! Paysoff at 7to5. There are Six 5's in 30, so the payoff is 7 times 6 or 42.

42 and 30 are 72. So to avoid breakage you now need to drop down: an additional 3 dollars so Dealer can Press your PlaceBet onthe 9 to a new value of 75.

AZDuffman May 04, 2010

Thanks for the advice, all. Im doing a little of that now. We rotate who we practice with now (see next entry) but before class I have just been practicing paying off the common bets. I'm not sure if it is worth an 80 mile trip to see some real action for practice or not. Maybe if I can split gasoline with one or more others. What do you think I will see most? A bunch of pass/odds then place bets?

BTW: things like "44 inside" can have different meanings at different places. We learned a few "slang" bets today, word was a few might change by a number or two by both opening and accepted practice after some time.

FleaStiff May 04, 2010

In case anyone is wondering about my analysis of the 44Inside and the additional six dollars that the player dropped: Yes, I had to consult my cheat sheets on this. I knew what the inside numbers were but I couldn't do the 10-12-12-10 stuff on my own and I certainly could not remember that a 5 or 9 placebet is paid off at 7:5. So y'all can see why I couldn't be a dealer. No math skills at all.

My hat is off to craps dealers (and students) who can perform such higher mathematics!

DJTeddyBear May 05, 2010

OK. Here's what I wanted done with that $6. Add it to the $14 pay from the 9, and you've got $20.

Place $10 each on the 4/10.


I had actually done this recently. I just got to the table, put down $44 inside, hit the 9, and dropped $6. The dealer had no idea of my betting habits, so I don't blame him for asking, but the question was really just verification of what he thought I wanted.

He took the $1, then stacked the three reds on top of the other red, and had it in his hand, looked at his hand a second, then looked at me and said "Placing the 4/10 for $10 each?"

DJTeddyBear May 05, 2010


Yeah, I realize it was a trick question.

I've seen players get absolutely rude and abrasive with dealers who don't instantly understand thier betting strategy. so a trick question (or tricky betting) is something you might want to be prepared for.

RaleighCraps May 05, 2010

Not sure it was really a trick question, but it does point out why the player and dealer need to be in synch. To prove this, let's point out how many options are really available for that scenario:

$44 inside is the bet, 9 just rolled, player drops $6 down before the payoff:

(we know the payoff is $14 + $6 dropped equals $20 that players wants to bet)

1.) Player wants to place 4/10 for $10 each

2.) Player wants to place 10 for $20

3.) Player wants to place 4 for $20

4.) Player wants to press 9 to $30

5.) Player wants to press 5/9 $10 each.

6.) Player wants to press all the inside numbers, and miscalculated by $2 !

I am sure there are a few other possibilities I have missed.

Posted by AZDuffman
Apr 29, 2010

Book'em, Danno!

A few people were missing tonight so we squeezed, actually fit nice, on one table. The state gaming board was there! Three suits, with a sort of badge as well. They talked to the trainers a little, even to a student beside me. Just a check-in visit. One was supposedly the top commissioner, who said he doesn't play at all. I guess that is good.

Class has moved to where 90% of the time is play and practice dealing. A few still need the "be nice to others" concept down as they place bets that are intentionally hard to pay. As a rule the guys in class bet easier on others and the women are betting all over the place. Guys are keeping dice on the table with far fewer "NO ROLLs." And guys understans "to the wall, not thru the wall" better. Not that we don't have a few good ladies, but the seperation is there in some ways.

I think I'll put out some dealing basics as the interest seems to be there. Today will be center-table bets. They are hard to resist for many, 30-1 odds on some! You must get a dealer involved to take them. In fact you need two delaers (or one plus the boxman) to "book" the bet. You see, just as a telecenter rep will repeat your need back to you to the pilot and air traffic controller repeating to see it is understood, so too with booking craps bets. To an outsider is will sound strange:

"$25 Horn High Yo, my second" cries second base.
"$25 Horn High Yo, your second" replies the stickman.

What just happened? Well, as we know this is a $25 horn bet with four $5 bets and the remaining $5 on the eleven. But what is this "your second?" Simple. Craps tables will usually hold eight people per side unless you really jam them in. The corner divides "yours" and "mine" for the dealers. So in this case the second person from second base made the bet. The baseman took the bet so he calls out first. The stickman says, "your second" since he is repeating it back as it is, not word for word. If second does nothing we assume a good bet and the stickman puts that cheque in the proper spot to remember who to pay it off to.

Different places say it differnt with things like "on the hook," "straight out," or "next to me." As long as everybody speaks the same terms it still works.

And THAT is just what the heck all those dealers are saying when you wondered while others made those center bets. This site has taught us to bet better!


gambler Apr 29, 2010

It sounds like you are having so much fun. Keep the blog coming! Very interesting stuff.

FleaStiff May 01, 2010

>$25 Horn High Yo, my second" cries second base.

>What just happened? Well, as we know this is a $25 horn bet with four $5 bets and the remaining $5 on the eleven.

It is????

Its a bet on four number 2, 3, 11, 12. Its divided into Four equal parts. Six dollars each. The remaining one dollar is added to the amount on the 11 since its High on the Yo.

So which of us is right on this?

AZDuffman May 02, 2010

@Fleastiff: well, I sould have said I said $5 Hardways high 10 since we haven't done the hop bets yet and not allowed to bet green chips, but the process is the same. If I was booking that I'd say you put $5 on the high and not $1. To make sure you had no mistakes you would ask the player. But my thought is a player throwing in $25 wants to bet in $5s and not $6s.

Sorry for the misspeak, again I post this stuff at the end of a very long day.

FleaStiff May 03, 2010

>Sorry for the misspeak, again I post this stuff at the end of a very long day.

I don't know if there was any misspeak or not. You just might have been right in your interpretation.

I guess this is a question for the instructor but only after you've covered such things in the class. I have never made a Horn Bet at all, but I've heard it described as a bad thing to do because you are really making FOUR bets and THREE are certain to lose. I THINK that the total amount bet by the player is to be divided by FOUR and any overage goes to CHANGE unless the player has indicated that one of those four bets is HIGH in which case the overage goes to the bet that is indicated as being high.

I don't really know though. Maybe some expert players or dealers here on the forum might know.

appistappis May 03, 2010

one of the talents that a dealer has to acquire to become good is to interpret what a player is asking for.....obviously a $25 horn high yo makes that easy for him, the extra 5 is on the yo.

but, you will get a guy who throws 10 bucks and says all the hardways, high on the 6 and you set up $2 each on the 4 and 10 and $3 each on the 6 and 8.

you will get $50 inside, high on the you give him 44 inside with the extra $6 on the 6.

being a mind reader helps