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Best of John Marchel

Gaming Guru

 

Rolling Them Bones

5 February 2011

Casino dice are very different from dice used in games like monopoly and backgammon. To begin with, casino dice are much larger, about 3/4 to an inch square on all sides and the edges are very sharp and pointed and are manufactured to very high standards. They are made from special plastic and machined to a tolerance of 1/5,000 of an inch. That is less than 1/17 thickness of a human hair.



Today's dice are normally imprinted with three different items: a casino's logo, the casino's name and most will have a coded serial number on them. Most dice are red and transparent so you can see through them. Casinos want to be able to detect if someone had loaded them or altered them in someway. However, one simple way to "load" dice is to round the corners, just a little, thereby causing the dice to roll over on to a specific number.



It's the responsibility of the boxman, the casino supervisor sitting at the craps table, to look at any dice that have fallen or been thrown off the table. He or she is checking for any chips, defects or imperfections. Most importantly the boxman will make certain, by looking at the coded serial number, that they are the same dice that had been rolled at that particular table.



Craps is a truly American game developed in the 1800s on the riverboats of Middle America. It's a derivative of an old English three-die game called Hazard. In that game three dice were dropped through a wooden or tin horn, which was like two funnels joined at the tip. (By the way, this is were the Old West term "tinhorn gambler" comes from.) The object of the game was to arrive at a number ranging from three to 18. The best payout was $180 for a one-dollar bet. However, the true odds were 1 to 216, thereby making it a very profitable game for the house.

Today's two-die Craps game places the odds at 1 to 36, which is a "little" better than Hazard. Modern casinos promote craps as they do no other gambling game and for good reason. Even though it has the best player odds of any game in the casino, 1.4 percent on the pass line and 0.8 percent with odds, it nevertheless contains a great number of sucker or long shot bets that attract many players. Those long shot bets are what helps increase the house's win average at craps.



Many casinos offer free introduction lessons during the day to help bring new players to the game. I suggest you take them and try your hand at rolling them bones.


Bet You Didn't know



Most casino dice require 14 different operations to manufacture them.



To check for loaded dice, drop them into a glass of water. A loaded die will tend to turn with the loaded side down while descending through the fluid. A fair die will fall with little rotation.



There are a total of 42 dots on a pair of dice.



In most casinos the average life of a pair of dice is only about eight hours.



The stickman at craps will continually turn the dice over with his stick. He does this to ensure that each die is correctly numbered from 1 to 6 and that foreign or crooked dice have not been introduced into the game.


Craps was first introduced to the Monte Carlo casino in Monaco in 1949, 93 years after the casino first opened.


Recent Articles
Best of John Marchel
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel