This question was asked over at Heavy’s Power Axis Craps forum recently. So I thought I would participate with my own. Feel free to share your story with me, and post a comment below.
My story is not as elaborate as how others found their way to become craps fans.
It was 1992 in Brisbane Australia and I’d just finished high school and turned 18. My family had no history or interest in gambling at all. They never went Casino or played pokies. Just lotto occasionally. However I was always keen to give it a go. I was a geek and a nerd, so enjoyed the maths of gambling.
At that time, we only had one casino available to me which was 1 hour drive away at Gold Coast called Jupiters Casino.
In Australia, 18 is the legal age to go to night clubs, pubs, etc and I remember driving down to Jupiters casino with 3 of my friends to try out the casino and night clubs on the Gold Coast strip.
We were all very green and it was an eye opening experience. There was also a night club that we enjoyed going to at the top level of the casino so we would gamble a bit and then hit the club for drinks and attempts to get with the ladies. I look back on those days fondly and can laugh at it now.
Over many Saturday night trips we played most games in the casino. None of them grabbed me at all, except for Craps.
In fact I liked it so much I can remember spending hours playing with just $50, no other game allowed me to do that.
Until recently I hadn’t played another casino game, that’s how much I enjoyed it.
After I grew out of the night club scene, I would visit the casino every couple of years and always come away even or with a small profit just from dark side don’t pass (DP) line bets. Never would I bet anything else.
In all those years not one other type of bet. How’s that for discipline (or stupidity)? 20 years of the same bet. I didn’t know it at the time but I was a dark side player. I just knew it was better to back the 7 based on the math and my limited in-game experience.
Finally one night in 2015, my wife and I took our close friends to the Brisbane Treasury Casino for a night out. My friend had never played craps before and after a short intro from me, was betting all over the prop bets and winning like crazy. I stuck with my base bet DP. End of the night he’s up over $500 and I’m up $20.
I was pissed off. After 20 years playing the game, and I get my ass whipped by my friend who’s never played before.
So after that fateful night, that’s when I started looking online for how to properly play and understand craps.
I am amazed and thankful that there is such a niche of knowledge around just this one game of dice.
Of course in no time, I found dicesetter.com and read through every article on there. What an awesome resource.
Which of course lead me to the various names in the Craps scene, including Heavy and all the others.
Since I’m in the web business I thought I’d track my progress with my new found hobby and I created a website/blog and podcast and my craps journey began.
I’m pleased to say this is the first hobby in my life that pays me to do it. And so far just 2 years in, and I’m only still just getting started with so much more to accomplish.
Casino : Treasury Brisbane
$300 buy in
12ft half table
At last showed up and there was a spot at the craps table.
Player at SO and SL-1
I moved into SL-3 spot.
I have yet to see a really cold table but today was the day.
Those 2 guys were shocking with the dice.
I tried to get them to play dark side with me but they wouldn’t have it.
They kept putting up $22 inside or $32 across. Only to lose it all on PSO or PPSO
I was doing $10 DP and $6 six and eight.
So the casino was bleeding me dry at $2 a hand. Nice. I can do this all day long.
The dealers were commenting on it, how it’s a stupid bet. Proof says otherwise.
I would also do a $20 DP and $22 inside on my own until I have warmed up.
And box says it’s a crazy bet and the stick was complaining they don’t know what to call. To encourage the table, as I’m betting for and against myself.
The box is telling me to just bet DP and lay odds and then take a hard way to hedge if it’s an even number.
I guess he sees a lot of craps play and he is the most senior dealer. I will admit that he is an excellent dealer and knows the table and bets backwards. Which is why he is in the senior position.
I’d like to see him play though.
Some chump shows up and I make some room for him at SL-3 and he says he doesn’t need it and just wants to make one bet.
I don’t know what he’s talking about and he then proceeds to throw $50 on the table and call out “on the horn”. It’s a bet, I hear from the dealers. He’s not even standing at the table. It was over before it began. Never seen that before.
The other 2 players burned through their buyin in about 40 mins.
Finally on my own again and moved to SL-1
At last a spot I can shoot from with confidence.
I was having a hard time at SL-3 and was slowly grinding down.
At SL-1 though I had a much better time.
Shot a 28 hand and then a 14 hand and got my money back and more then it was time to go back to work.
I was getting in a zone, so I was upset to leave when I had the table all to myself and also leaving the dealers to stand around there looking at each other with nothing to do. I really hate that.
Colour in $376 (+$76) in 1 hour.
Casino : Treasury Brisbane
Another week, another full half craps table. I refuse to squeeze in, so 5 players per half on a 12 ft table is all they can take.
I learned that judging by player chips I can sort of tell if anyone is going to tank and leave the table. The trouble is the regulars (like me) come in on Friday afternoon and they have a bad habit of going to the ATM and getting more money. So they leave a couple of dollars in the rack and disappear for 5 mins, and come back with more.
So if the table is full then I give it up for the week and go and play some mini baccarat.
I’ve also given up on the live dealers for mini baccarat as on Friday afternoon the casino switches $10 min to $25 min, but I’m not up to that level yet.
This leaves me with the $1 mini baccarat computer game. Not as good, but ok. I refuse to play online casinos, for various reasons I won’t go into here.
For today played for an hour with $200 buy in and coloured in for $290.
I play the target 3 play system and have been quite impressed with it.
After 9 sessions (no losing sessions yet) $1,400 has become $1,832.50 which is 30.89% ROI
Which compared to my 1.79% ROI for Craps makes me think I’m playing the wrong game. But baccarat is as boring as watching paint dry and I’ll only play it when I have to.
Last week I did have a chance to play some Craps.
$200 buy in.
Half table right side.
Set for 3V
Lost some on the other regular random rollers. Then got the dice. And pulled out a nice 21 hand. Went in slow with just $6 six and eight and then went out and up from there.
6, 5, 6H
8, 4H, 6, 5, 3, 11, 8
11, 7, 6, 6H
6, 3, 7
Ran out of time as per usual.
Coloured out $228 (+$28) in 45mins
Casino : Treasury Brisbane
$150 buy in
12ft half table
Finally showed up and the craps table was open with just one player on it, he was at SL1.
I don’t like SL3 and SL2 was to close to him. So I took SO on the left side.
Only had $150 on me today as I didn’t have time to get more from my hidden casino stash before I left the house this morning. My nearly adult kids are dying to find my hidden stash of $100 notes.
Haven’t played with a small bankroll for a long time, so this was a challenge.
It really made me think how I was going to approach the betting. I had to be careful not to over bet.
Took it easy with the one hit can’t miss play on others.
Did a $22 inside on my first roll. And $44 inside on second roll. Then regressed to $6 six and eight after 2 hits. And built up and out from there.
Had a 20 hand and a 9 hand respectively. Not bad. Suited my bet play.
More players joined after my first hand. And one newbie went on a roll.
I had spread out to all numbers and he’d made his second point.
I said to make my bets working on the come out, but no one heard me. The box man looked over at me and the dice were in the air about to touch the table. I started to repeat my call to be on. But stopped half way as the dice had settled.
The box man was reaching for the on lammer to put on my chips.
The dice had settled on seven. The box instructed to clear my bets.
I said to Steve the box, couldn’t he give me that one. But he said no, he had the on button in his hand, however he hadn’t even acknowledged the bet verbally. Like they usually do. That’s a bet. Sort of thing.
Oh well no point fighting them about it.
I sat the rest of his hand out. It was a real shame as he hit quite a few inside numbers that would have been nice.
Made some room and coaxed more players that were watching to join in. I always do my part to bring in fresh blood to try to keep the table running.
The box said that it doesn’t matter. Because management make the decision to keep the table on other factors. But I know that if the table is packed as much as possible. Then the table should stay. I do know that for 7 years they abandoned the craps table. And made a bit of noise and marketing about it when they brought the table back out of storage. Who knows. If it’s not a slot it’s just a method of allowing more slots. More table games allows them more slots. They know where their bread and butter comes from.
Just played smart craps today, and after 45 mins realised my time was up. I was happy to get my craps fix in at last. Until next week.
Colour in $210 (+$60) in 45 mins.
Casino : Treasury Brisbane
Showed up at the casino for my normal Friday session at around 12:30pm (the table opens at 12pm) and all the regulars were there with the half table full. No spots.
Looks like they were totally settled in so rather than wait for someone to leave and not get any action in my limited 1 hour window, I headed to the mini baccarat computer terminals. They are spread around the casino and even on different floors. All connected up to a centralised live dealer.
I chose one that allowed me to keep an eye on the table, just in case any spots opened up. It was a live dealer $10 min type of computer terminal. They have $1 min fully computer generated mini baccarat. But this live terminal was the only one that would let me spy on the craps table.
So I fed in $200 and got started with the target 3 play system, I’m quite fond of. After around 10 mins I’m up $30 and notice that my last bet on player won, but I didn’t actually get paid.
This has happened in the past when I was betting $5 and didn’t realise the min bet for player or banker bet was $10 in the instructions in the help section of the game rules.
So I thought ok, I’ll try again. Player won again and another missed payout. WTF is going on. I tried a third time and player won again and no payout.
Looked at the instructions and sure enough the bastards had changed the min player and banker bet mid shoe to $25 min. So my bets were void. I can understand a change of limit in between shoes. But in the middle is just wrong.
In total disgust. Coloured up and out of that machine on principle. I’ll have a chat to the dealers and pit bosses about that next week.
Went to find a $1 mini baccarat machine to keep going.
Found one at the other end of the casino.
Put in my ticket of $230 and started at $5 min target 3 play bet. There is a hand dealt every 30 seconds, which is a good speed.
I just bet player only and followed the progressions and regressions as needed by the play. It so simple that I was actually playing craps on my phone at the same time. Got up to $440 and my time was getting close to finishing. Finished off with a couple of losing bets in the cycle. Didn’t have time to leave on an upswing.
Will pickup the next game at that same position of (-$35) and continue on.
Colour up $405 (+$205)
Now what really cheesed me off is that I went back to the Craps table and there was only 2 players. It was 1:30pm. So I think I just need to go at 1:30pm which gives the regulars time to let their chips drain away and leave. Will try again next week.
$380 buy in
12ft half table
Finally after 3 weeks of not being able to get on the table I showed up and there was a spot. I was happy.
The last couple of weeks, the USS Ronald Regan was docked in the port of Brisbane, giving thousands of American sailors some well earned shore leave, and I haven’t been able to get a spot at the craps table. It’s been packed.
Only had to wait a few mins before I got the dice.
I needed to tip toe in to test the water and warm up.
The table was touted as cold by the other players.
Smashed out a 33 hand straight out of the gate.
5, 9, 6, 9, 4, 6, 8, 8, 6, 9, 12, 5
7, 5, 8, 4, 2, 5
8, 9, 8
7, 7, 7, 7, 8, 4, 11, 8
6, 9, 9, 7
Only started with a $6 six and eight. Had everything covered and doing well. The 4 come out 7s in a row was very popular and profitable among the punters.
Started with my DP 3 play and after I got to level 3 switched to pass line and backed myself. Had $50 in PL on last pass for the six and the 7 out came.
Certainly turned the tide for the others at the table.
Next hand was PSO but I had kept bets low on my second attempt luckily before I ratchet up to the $66 inside WOTCO play.
I never got to the third hand.
What was nice was a fellow dark sider at the table. First time I’ve seen him. Very young must have been early 20s.
He was doing DP with laying odds and DC and laying place numbers all over the place. And putting money on the doctor. He was constantly shouting himself in the foot and at one point ran out of money and didn’t want to continue shooting.
I offered to take over since he was having a decent hand and I had the numbers all covered. But the other players wouldn’t have it. They put money on the PL for him. And refused to put it on the DP which he wanted to continue with. 2 rolls later seven out. Jeez. Was still a good role.
Very enjoyable session.
Coloured out $482 (+$102) in 1 hour
Casino : Treasury Brisbane
$300 buy in
Target 3 Play
Well I was surprised again this week to show up and the craps was in table in full swing. Not as busy as last week. But 12ft half table was full.
I refuse to squeeze in between players. No matter that I only get 1 hour and 1 opportunity to play each week. It cramps my throw and I’m there to play live what I practice.
The other players were regulars. With 2 newbies. I knew the new players wouldn’t last long based on their chip count in the rail. But I’ve learned my lesson in the past that waiting around for a spot to open up is not worth my time since I only have 1 hour.
From my recent finding of $1 min computer baccarat machines, I thought that was perfect to get some live practice in. So found a machine near the craps table that I could keep an eye on the table.
Inserted $300 and realised immediately that I’d made a mistake, I was on the live play machine which is actually $10 min. Damn. Oh well I’m in now, I played it anyway.
Did the target 3 play system, which I like because it suits my method of play. Bet player only with varying bet levels depending on what progressive / regressive level you are on. Basically capitalising on doubles.
Played for 30 mins not even sitting in the chair and hardly paying attention to it. Kept looking in between hands every 30 seconds to get a spot at the craps table.
At 30 mins of basically doing my emails while playing, I got crabby because there were still no Craps spots, and I also come the casino to get away from doing work for a bit.
Coloured up $370 (+$70) and went to Craps table to chat to dealers.
Finally at 45 mins a spot opened up and I saddled up to table and went to buy in and realised I had no cash!. My money was on a slip of paper receipt from the mini baccarat. Double damn.
I gave up. With just 15 mins left. It wasn’t meant to be today. Told everyone see you next week. The dealers seemed to be actually disappointed for me, because they know I only get a short time. They know to look after the regulars. Of course compared to them I’m a small fish. But I’ve pumped over $10K through the table in the last year. Still sitting at 1% profit. My aim is to get to 10%
Forgot to mention that I also get my parking validated after 30mins play with my silver level casino membership which is $50 value. Yes it costs $50 to park in the city near the casino for 3 hours.
By Yuri 1998
This book has been on my todo reading list for a long time.
I usually only buy books if they are digital so I can carry them with me and I can re-read them on my phone anytime / anywhere.
Unfortunately this one is print only so had to wait for it to get shipped to me in Australia from Amazon USA.
It’s 160 pages which to my surprise had a lot of supporting math around the fundamentals of dice influence.
The sort of math that makes your head spin and eyes glaze over. Unless you are a math geek. Of which I am not. But once was. So I appreciated Yuri explaining the math of the throw (including diagrams). Not just betting probabilities that most books and websites have.
Essentially this book takes you through from beginning to end with dice influence and covers all the aspects of the throw (set, stance, grip, toss). He includes some variants of each to allow you to find what works for you.
I’d heard of the Yuri grip before (it probably has other names since people have been throwing dice for a long time). I’ve seen people throw it on YouTube videos and claim it’s the Yuri grip. I’ve read about it on Heavy’s Axis Power Craps forums.
It’s always hard to explain in print even with photos (which are included in the book) how to approach and set and throw the dice in a certain way.
However I believe Yuri gives enough information to allow you to enter your practice sessions with confidence that you are throwing the way he explains.
And therein lies the key. You can’t just read a book, no matter how good it is. You have to implement and scientifically trial the approach and throws until you master it. Which of course takes a long time and lots of practice. Systematically trialing the different sets, grips, stance, and toss.
Of course nothing beats one on one tuition and learning from someone that has already taken the time to master the throw. However if you are not able to find or have a teacher available in your neck of the woods, then the next best teaching tool is video. Which is why video is so important for Craps students.
Now this book was printed in 1998, so I appreciate it is what it is. And there are no online resources to support it. However in 2017 as I write this, I feel a short video from Yuri (or one of the teachers that have worked it out) put online and referenced in the book would really complete this book and the concepts that he goes to great lengths to explain in print.
I know that adding a video then makes it a mini course not just a book. But if this book was converted to an Amazon Kindle digital download and also adding a video inside it, it would really set this book apart from any other. It would also allow the price to increase from $20. But it would be worth it.
Overall I think a must for any dice influencer to have in their Craps library.
Casino : Treasury Brisbane
$400 buy in
Well I was shocked to walk in on Friday and not only was the craps table open. But it had 4 staff on it. And both side were open.
In over 1 1/2 years I’ve not seen it open on both sides.
It was a real nice feeling to be playing on a full table. Lots of chances for my dark side play.
Some guy was in SL1 just watching. So I immediately moved to that spot and asked him politely to move.
The other side was packed and one of the regulars was in the middle of a good hand.
Waited and bought in after he made a point.
Got a couple of hits and covered my outlay before he SO.
Went dark on everyone else including myself until I warm up.
Points of interest for me.
1) Some chump threw in money in the middle of a hand and I actually said out loud “who just bought in, in the middle of the hand?”. I shocked myself. The box man was as surprised as me. But they want the money so don’t care when it gets put down.
He lasted 5 mins and was gone. What a goose.
2) I layed my first number to hedge my DP. No longer a lay virgin.
Lay 10 for $50 and dealer asked me for $1. Kept it up for the CO then brought it back down for $51. Nice
3) Lay odds on 4 and 10 DP. Times 2 odds. Dealers helped me position my chips to the left of the original DP.
4) $44 inside working on CO ( of course the dealers just love this move ). They don’t like the move to regress to $6 six and eight 2 throws later.
5) all the players and dealers commented when I got the dice and bet DP. They said dark side shooters are the best shooters. They loaded up. First roll 11. I lose. They win. Everyone laughed including me.
I reloaded with a bigger DP and made them eat their words.
Felt good doing the moves and twisting with the table.
I only got 1 hand in today and it was shockingly bad. 5 throws only.
Still made money on it cause I DP with a $6 six and eight. I knew I was as tight as fish due to lots of yard work had stuffed my throwing shoulder.
But even with a bad throw had a great time. One of my most enjoyable sessions. Just the betting rhythm I was in and reading the table and the players.
Coloured out $482 (+$82) in 1 hour
Something different this week.
Took the family for some time away and travelled through the week to Cairns in far North Queensland at the top of Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest. Such a beautiful place. 2 hour plane flight from home. But never got around to it. Costs a fortune of course. Upsets me that I can go to New Zealand much cheaper than see my own country.
One of my bucket list items was to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. So just had to do it. Here’s a snap from going through the fish. What a good feeling. Reaching out to touch them.
I know why people travel the world to snorkel and dive now. Truly magnificent.
Cairns has a casino but no craps. I went into the casino to check it out. It’s very nice. But had the family with me so no time to play. Didn’t even have time to get a $5 chip as a momento of my travels. Next time.
Back to reality in Brisbane…
Showed up at my usual time at the casino and craps table was closed again. Jeez
Sought out the pit boss again and asked if it’s finally been cut. He said no, they have 2 dealers sick so they can’t open the table.
So it appears that not only do we only have one table that is only open during small windows that we only have a few dealers that can work the table. I’ve counted 6 so far but they have to juggle their shifts around because through the week they deal other games as well.
Perhaps I should become a craps dealer to help them out. Second thought no thanks. It’s a very hard job. I’ve got a mate of mine who was a craps dealer on a cruise ship. Now if I was younger with no family that cruise ship lifestyle doesn’t sound to bad.
Anyway I thought I’ll get some mini baccarat in instead.
I found a computer terminal that had 2 x roulette a sic bo and a mini baccarat running on it.
Could not believe it but it was a $1 machine. Must be my lucky day. All the rest of the terminals I’ve seen have been $10 min.
Had some emails to catch up on so did that in between hands as well as play mini baccarat. The target 3 play is quite simple once you’ve practiced it and there is 30 seconds between hands. And I only bet banker in this session. Just need to keep track of bet size not where to bet.
It’s great to sit down and play instead of standing.
Played for 15 mins and cashed out $120.50 (+$20.50) 20% very nice.
The 50c came from banker 6 hand which pays 1:2 instead of commission on each banker hand.
I’ll put this $1 mini baccarat into my rotation now when the craps table is not available and get my baccarat skills up without risking much money at all. Fantastic.