Posted by AZDuffman
Apr 27, 2010

Since yesterday was the Come bet, guess what today was?

Today was the Don't Pass bet. About 30 mins of instruction, rest of the night practice. I do some darkside betting since we are supposed to practice the new bet. Funny moments tonight as one woman bets the Come and Don't on the same roll. I ask what she is doing and she says "practice." Just a second later the instructor says, "Come and don't? What are you doing?" I told him I brought it up and she said practice. He took down the come bet.

Another moment was when one woman said I couldn't set the dice. I said I beleived I could as long as they stayed on the table, no banging, etc. Later the instructor comes byu and they want me to "show" him what I did. I said I don't need to show him, I can ask in one sentence. The are then describing it (not well) and I just say, "Can you set the dice before you shoot?"

Answer was a vague, "You are not supposed to."

Reality is probably only he and I knew the whole thing about it, which I will not repeat here. Which brings me to today's last point. Last week I wondered here "how many dealer school types were 'players'" I asked and was told, "not many dealers candidates are players."

Now, I think this is a shame. A player knows the game, he knows the good feeling of a point made or hitting two BJs when you split Aces. And he knows the frustration of having your 20 cracked; or the seven-out when you have action on several numbers.

Unless you live in NV I guess it would be hard to find enough "players" to keep stocked with player-dealers.


DJTeddyBear Apr 28, 2010

"he knows the good feeling of...hitting two BJs when you split Aces."

Yeah, but he'd also know that such a result would be two 21s not two BJs.

Sorry. Had to do it!

I've been enjoying your updates too. I can't wait until you actually start dealing and start reporting on the 'real world' of craps.

AZDuffman Apr 28, 2010

Yeah, I messed that one up I guess. Nothing I'm going to report today except to say the seperation I talked about before continues and some folks do not really want to be in class. Hopefully they don't think I'm one of the screw-offs.

FleaStiff Apr 29, 2010

Some dice dealers have enough during an 8 hour shift and don't shoot dice on their own time but some simply go to a neighboring casino and shoot dice there.

I think its great that you, a player, are transitioning to dealing dice. That view from the other side of the table must be great.

I get annoyed with dice setters only if they take time to do it.

Most idiotic thing I ever say was some guy who kept rolling the two dice right near him ... about a four inch roll in the wrong direction. After four or five such mini-rolls he would pick them up and roll them for real. Stick and box said nothing to him about it. Strange.

Posted by AZDuffman
Apr 26, 2010

Week 2 Starts!

Week 2 in Craps Dealer Class started today! There was some instructor shuffling which some people disliked but myself it was no big deal--a little more prespective if anything. Topic was Come Bet and it's free odds. Just Come, no DC. It isn't hard of itself, but when you add it to the payouts it will take much practice to get fast. Another thing killing me is dealing third base (I might have posted this before.) In craps you deal outside-in. So on second base the payouts are just as in BJ which I have almost 100 hours of "Monte Carlo Night" dealing. I'm fairly fast there. But on third base everything is backwards. Just like moving an OT in the NFL from left to right. I will overcome it with practice but it will be a little longer.

There is getting to be just a little seperation in class of those who are getting it and those who are not. My sense is a few thought "Dealing sounds cool, craps looks cool, why not?" One had to have the fact that you can't bet the Come on a come-out roll explained a few times. The instructors said we will probably fall from 18 to 12 by oepning day. Time shall tell.

I've gotten happier with my decision to learn craps. It is weird to describe, but you know you did it not because it is wasy but it makes you the best of the group--the few, the proud, the dice dealers. No disrespect to any USMC members reading this, in fact, I see what you folks are talking about. I may fail in the end, but I know I took the hard game first to make my mark.


Croupier Apr 27, 2010

I am pretty jealous. As craps is not widespread here I have never got the chance to learn craps and become part of the Dealer Elite, and become a 5 game dealer. Keep with it and it will come though. The closest thing in my experince to this is changing between left and right handed wheels, where the numbers on the layout switch sides. Was a killer at first.

FleaStiff Apr 27, 2010

Okay... which dealer is First Base and which dealer is Third Base? Is this in reference to the Box or the Stick?

I understand that there is a certain sequence and that it always starts with Take the Losing Bets. But even when paying all the PassLine Bets do casinos have a sequence and is it true that different players have to paid off with different hands?

Nareed Apr 27, 2010

"No disrespect to any USMC members reading this, in fact, I see what you folks are talking about. I may fail in the end, but I know I took the hard game first to make my mark."

Hell no! We all hope you make it so we may try a little game called "Dealer/Player Collusion"(TM) very soon. Past posting ought to be a cinch! :P

Seriously, I hope you do make it and I'm sure most of the other members hope so too. I also enjoy reading about the details of dealer school.

appistappis Apr 27, 2010

fleastiff, there are two answers...some casinos call the rotation stick then 1st base then 2nd base........others do it stick then 2nd base then 3rd base.

appistappis Apr 27, 2010

also, the reason I told azduffman to learn the stickcalls first is because every payoff follows the order of the stick call.....and you always pay with your outside hand from the boxman's when in first base you pay with right hand, when in 2nd base you pay with left hand.

RaleighCraps Apr 27, 2010

No offense to the other bloggers here, as I like reading most all of them, but your blog is the first one I look for, hoping to see more of your dealer school experience.

If I may ask a couple of questions,


When a number is rolled, I think you pay off Come Bets first, and I believe that you pay off from your nearest player around to the player closest to the stick.

After the Come bets are paid, you pay the Place bets in the opposite direction, closest to the stick first around to the player next to you.

Field bet is paid last. Is this right ?


In craps, aren't you encouraged to pay out using BOTH hands? I assume the larger denomination cheques are required to go in a specific hand? Is it the hand closest to the boxman?


Since you have said you have dealt a lot of BJ, and I believe BJ pays from dealer's right to left around the table, so that means 2nd base is to the boxman's right, and 3rd base is to the boxman's left ?

Keep these blogs coming!!

appistappis Apr 27, 2010

raleigh, almost everything you said above is incorrect.

AZDuffman Apr 27, 2010

@ Any questions on "positions." There is no "1st Base" unless you consider "stick" first base. We do not, we call it stick. Second is to boxman's right and third is to his left. To remember look at the field bet, "2" is the side second is on and "12" is "1 + 2 = 3rd." Like that or not, that is the numeonic we got. I'll do payouts when we have learned all bets (see next entry) and I'm not up at midnight posting since I wake up for day job about seven. Keep up the feedback as it motivates me to post more!

Posted by AZDuffman
Apr 25, 2010

It's the units, stupid

It is not in dispute that craps is about the hardest game to deal in the casino. Someone here mentioned Pai Gow Tiles is harder, but I consider that an Asian-Specialty game that is not yet mainstream in the USA. So for general purposes, lets say craps is the hardest mainstream casino game to deal. For those who doubt this, for our "opening classes" craps dealers have time only to learn craps while BJ players will also learn Roulette. Poker dealers *could* learn another game but as we all know, poker is a kind of seperate-entity in the casino, like Saturn once was at GM, where employees don't cross over.

One reason that craps is preceived to be harder to deal than it is might be so many payouts which those dealers figure out with the speed of the latest Intel chip. One secret is calculating "units" and not "dollars." An example from class. I am with a fellow student calculating a 3:2 free-odds payout on a point-5.

Him : "OK, we are at 3:2, he bet $10 so half of $10 is $5, multiply bY 1.5, no, wait, multiply $10 by 1.5 because we are at 3:2, right?"

Me: "Hold it, you are overthinking it."

"How so?"
"How many cheques are there?"
"Two $5 chips."
"Forget the value, how many cheques are there?"
"If you are payig 3:2 odds, how much do you pay on 2?"

(A pause while he thinks if it is a tick question.)

"Yup. Don't count dollars when you can count cheques on a simple bet."

Some people are confused because craps seems to be one of the few places in the casino where dealers can use (some) jugement on payoffs. Lets take another free-odds bet, a 6-point paying 6:5 with $25 bet.

You can pay off in a green ($25) and a red ($5)

OR a green and five whites ($1 each)

OR a six reds

OR five reds and five whites.

What happens when you pay each?

The guy with the green and a red will be more likely to play his remaining red(s) and rathole the green.
The guy with the green and five whites will more likely waste your time needing cheque-change.
The guy with six reds will likely keep betting.
The guy with five reds and five whites will likely keep betting AND bet a "white for the boys."

Each player got the correct payout, but which was "right?"

And as a dealer you must be able to do this for up to eight players on each and every roll.


FleaStiff Apr 25, 2010

Thanks, I think I'm beginning to understand just what has been meant by units all this time.

As to decision to be made in paying off, I imagine some depends on what you have as "working stacks" already in your hands and what you have to obtain with other hand moves that may have to be proved to the boxman.

I have noticed that dealers who do five whites as a CW approaches with the drink tray are generally good dealers.

At Isle of Capri in Biloxi one dealer kept paying off in dirty chips, probably intentionally.

appistappis Apr 25, 2010

a good dealer will deal to the rack, not the player standing behind will note weak dealers when a player has 35 whites in his rack.

One thing you will pick up on is the difference, whether it be dealers, boxes or floors.....some use units and keys while others (me) just do the math.

DJTeddyBear Apr 26, 2010

I know you didn't want to start this debate....

Pai Gow Tiles is harder to determine who won and who lost. It is far easier to pay.

In craps, figureing out who won and who lost is the easy part.

I don't play the Dark Side partially because doing the math backwards is too much for this little brain.

appistappis Apr 26, 2010

well, I deal both me on this one.

boymimbo Apr 28, 2010

The good dealers are the ones who pay you in the chips appropriate to their rack. You keep the whites somewhat low unless you you know he plays middle bets all of the time. If I get paid $14 for the $12 6 and 8 I don't want to have 16 whites after it pays four times.

You pay reds, exchanging for greens when there are a pile of reds in the stack and you see the player start to stockpile reds.

Posted by AZDuffman
Apr 21, 2010

More Dealing

Just got back from day 3 of craps dealer school. The hard thing about learning and teaching this game is every new concept leads to a dozen things that are beyond that days lesson plan, keeping it hard to stay on topic. Good news is much today. After three days I finally got the basic drop-cut motion down. I need loads more practice, but after watching five people do it I got my hands to mostly move right. Cool.

We got to play some basic craps with the instructors showing how a good stickman will make a game exciting. We were limited to pass/don't pass and field bets only. I was even told to take my odds bet off. I sort of knew they didn't tell us that but I couldn't resist and thought it might help their lesson. I was quietly told and quietly took it back, people who didn't know what it was didn't even notice. One guy was told to take a come bet down as well.

Believe in dice control or not, I used the "Rosebud" grip and set the sixes on top. I was one of only two people to make my point and the instructor, who acted as stickman, said, "Thanks for throwing all those hard fours" as sort of a joke as he was "tapped out. He has been in casinos for almost 20 years, so I'm sure he noticed my set and throw. Free chance to try it, why not.

If anyone out there is thinking of dealing anything, I definately say know how to play your game first. Unbelievable correlation I see there so far.


appistappis Apr 22, 2010

hi, I have been dealing craps for many many years and I love this blog for some reason.

p.s. tiles is harder to learn than craps

FleaStiff Apr 23, 2010

So you had not actually thrown any hard fours but he realized from the manner in which you had set the dice that hard four was your intended result?

"know how to play your game first" ... I am shocked at the number of people in Vegas who clearly know little to nothing about the various games in a casino and don't particularly seem interested in learning.

AZDuffman Apr 24, 2010

@Fleastiff: On second thoght it might have been another student. My brain gets fried after it all. But this is spot on. Last night we were practicing and I did the same throw. Head instructor looks at me setting and putting the Rosebud grip on. He shook his head and gave me a look you had to see. I don't think he was upset, more just wondered if I believed in dice control or was fooling around.

AZDuffman Apr 24, 2010


Thanks for the feedback, it makes me want to keep going. More will be on my main blog after I pass an audition, hopefully as a resource for people who are considering dealing.

@Fleastiff--yup, people don't know. For BJ and carnival games it is one thing to not know how to play, the rules can be explained in a day of class. But for craps you can take a week to learn to PLAY. Then you need to really understand the mentality of a craps player to effectively deal it.

More updates probably tomorrow, folks. Much to catch up on after working/class all week!

appistappis Apr 24, 2010

azduffman...good luck with will be glad you took craps one day when your buddies are all complaining about another dreadful day of blackjack. Craps in much easier to survive the eight hour toil everyday......beginner tip..LEARN THE STICK CALLS FIRST.....everything you do follows the order of the call.

when you are on your table test and they are throwing everything at you, you will just calmly follow the voice in your head.

Posted by AZDuffman
Apr 19, 2010

Finally, we are assigned our games

I know I wasn't going to update until the weekend, but dealer school gets you so wired that sleep is impossible until you unwind, so an update.

Name by name they call out the games we will learn. I get craps, which was my first request. To try craps first gos both with and against advice I have read and heard. First task is, big suprise, cutting cheques. But we are told flat out, "This isn't blackjack. You now drop-cut like so. God gave you two hands, he did so because he knew people would deal craps someday." OK, I embelished the last part, but the point is clearly made.

After a break most of us skipped the top instructor gave an option to change our minds if we had second thoughts. 1-2 people did and were quickly replaced. Again it was made clear that craps is the hardest game to learn and takes much effort. So from this point forward we are all all-in.

The night was Craps 101. For those who know the game it was more a review, for those who didn't some struggled. 99% was stuff I knew at least a little of but good to review. My bigger struggle was to not ask an advanced question and get labled a smart-ass. People did ask advanced questions and were told, "We'll get to that." I backed off somewhat since the advanced questions confused the newbies. Better to ask on break.

Poker students were sent home and I suspect I know why. As a seperate entity poker dealers will learn no other games and don't need the time so why not give instructors already working 14 hour days a break. I walked by BJ and was glad I picked craps. Dealing Monte Carlo Nights doesn't qualify me as an instructor, but it does mean I'd be really, really bored.

Time for sleep and start another 14 hour day of my own tomorrow.


FleaStiff Apr 21, 2010

Very sensible of you to bite your tongue ... help out classmates privately if you wish or perhaps some sort of practice group, but avoid the smartass tag. That's good!

Craps seems like fun to learn. I'd love to find out just what the difference is between "drop cutting" cheques and "sizing into" a bet with a stack of cheques in your hand. It takes longer to learn craps than any other game and I would assume that makes you more valuable to the casino. Fewer trainees will stick it out.

I wonder how dealers survive rotations wherein their inside and outside hands change.

FleaStiff Apr 21, 2010

With my lack of math skills I could never be a craps dealer. I can't remember the Keys people use to know how much odds should be allowed or how much a payoff should be. And breakage would utterly throw me for a loop. I can remember things like 'only even amounts on an odd number' but it takes me a week to remember it and two weeks to apply it. And probably a week more to get it done correctly!

AZDuffman Apr 21, 2010

When you size in you place your chips next to the winning bet and slide your index finger across the small pile and let that guide you to "size" from a stack of up to 20 in your hand. Think of an even-money BJ payoff.

Drop-cutting is hard to explain even in person so if anyone else here can do better than this feel free. When you drop cut you hold a stack in your hand and slide your index finger up the stack to the number of chips then your thumb kicks out the desired number of cheques. Craps dealers must be able to do this for say paying even money on a pass-line bet and then paying the free odds.

Craps dealers must be able to size and drop cut with both hands.