Each year we host a Halloween party and 2019 was no different. This will be the 3rd year since introducing playing craps at the party.
Well the Halloween party was a hit. Had 12 people around the table and a couple in the wings that had to watch as there was no more space left. The 3rd shooter went on a hot roll and hit 4 points and multiple numbers. Rolled for about 45 mins and I called the game before he could seven out. The other players where happy winning but really wanted to throw the dice.
We only did one 1 hour session. I gave everyone $160 and dropped the minimum on the props to $1 with $5 min on everything else.
I was so busy dealing that I didn’t get to take any photos. Or videos. My wife is very disappointed that we don’t have any photos. We were just too busy hosting. I should have got one of the kids to take photos.
The winner this year was $726 and got there with a ballsy all in play on the field for the last roll. Last number was 9. He got lucky and jumped the lead. Next behind him was $500ish. I think next session that time boxed to an hour I’ll have to let the roll continue until it naturally ends. Or I need to look into how craps comps are run and do it that way.
Everyone doubled their money at least and were very happy with themselves.
We have a golden arm award and a overall craps winner. Here’s the leader board so far.
2019 Golden Arm – Matthew, Craps Champ – Darren (reclaimed title)
2018 Golden Arm – Scott, Craps Champ – Madonna
2017 Golden Arm – Steve, Craps Chap – Darren
Next year I’ll have someone on the camera with photos and videos. It’s really fun teaching and watching new players embrace the game.
On another more somber note I need to mention my casino comps.
I got some comps sent to me for October and since I’ve been so busy I couldn’t get to casino to validate them and get them added to my players card.
I thought I’d go to casino today on November 1st and get the comps validated, not to play (since I’m still renovating my house – see previous entries about that). You can validate on any table game or machine. I would do my $1 baccarat target 3 play special, get validated to redeem my comps in 5 mins and leave.
Went to the drink machine to get my free softdrink and my card was denied. I thought that was strange and continued to the bacarrat machines, put my card in and $0 and zero points. WTF is going on. Now I’m worried my card is faulty. So I head to the conceirge desk and they check the card and tell me it’s all correct. I have no comps and no credits and I can’t redeem my comps from October because it’s now November 1.
Needless to say I was exasperated with this and asked what’s going on. Since I’ve been away from the casino for over 6 months with no play they cancelled my comps. I was not aware of this little nugget of wisdom, if I did I would have dropped in to play a game machine for 5 mins to keep them valid.
I had $200 comps to spend and they are now all gone. They expired 2 weeks ago in mid October. I was going to take the wife to dinner and drinks and use the points on room at the newly renovated Gold Coast casino.
I tried to sweet talk them to give them back to me but they said it was not possible. I call BS on that. Anything is possible. But I didn’t labour on it with them because I refuse to be the customer from hell and go off on a rant and abuse the casino staff and ask to see manager and all that. They must have to deal with some people that have lost far more than $200 in casino comps.
On the plus side, while I’ve been away the from casino, I’ve been playing baccarat and blackjack on their casino app (using target 3 play method of course – and winning), and I’ve earned enough points to get 2 x $50 gift cards. So that’s at least 2 dinners and drinks.
Oh well I always learn the hard way. It’s the only way I seem to find things out. Just once, I’d like to learn my lessons the easy way.
It’s been a long time since I checked in. 10 months in fact. It’s been one massive year for me so far.
I’m still on my craps journey, just not at the casino this year yet.
It’s a self imposed exile. Here’s why.
I’m renovating our old house to turn it into a rental and have promised myself and the wife, no casino until it’s done. This gives me an incentive and reward to go when I’m done.
That was in January this year, and it’s now mid October. The time is getting away from me.
I’d moved my Craps table to our new house. But it’s been in storage in the garage. Since it’s taking so long for me to complete the renovations and be in two places at the same time, I’m now staying at my old house 4 nights a week to try to get the place finished faster.
Since it’s coming up to party time for our family during Oct, Nov, Dec the wife told me to move the craps table back to our old place. Apparently when I host a Craps night we are just too darn loud.
The first craps get together was for my old boys soccer team breakup which happened in September. Here’s a photo of some of guys getting into Craps.
Then the next session after that I’ll host a work colleague Craps game.
It’s quite amusing because the only thing in the house is literally a Craps table, a BBQ and my tools and paints for the renovations.
Then after that I’ll have to move the table back to my new house for our yearly family Halloween Craps get together.
I’ll have to take some videos of my home table with a game in full swing which I throw onto the podcast in November. I’ll let you know when it’s out.
Should make for some interesting viewing.
You can see how I approach teaching the game to newbies and my dreadful dealing skills.
Now as an extra bonus for you. Here’s a time lapse of my craps table assembly. This was my second time setting up this table, and I’m still tweaking the installation.
I’ve added wheels onto it so I can move it around the space easier.
I need to add in some more nut inserts to make this faster for next time, between the legs and the table top.
The side rails are bolted to the table top – so it’s very strong.
In the end this took 2 hours, and it would have taken 1 hour if I had of had a second person to help.
On another side note I want you to check out 2 great craps podcasts called
1. Casinos Usa
It was our work Christmas party and rather than just stand around and talk rubbish to each other I thought I’d bring out my A1 sized craps layout that I printed for just betting practice on the kitchen table. You can download a PDF of it from my website.
I have a set of dice and stash of old chips that I keep at work. So I quickly had 6 people now learning how to play craps. And several others looking on. I gave everyone $250 dollars and away we went.
It was a good session and they enjoyed it and started to see why I like it so much.
One guy turned $250 into $2050 playing don’t pass with a couple of ballsy all in moves and a $25 hard ten. Truely great to see.
Once that session was done, I packed my gear and escaped from our work Christmas party around 6pm and quickly got to casino 2 mins later. I’m very fortunate it’s only 200 meters away from where I work. Co-incidence, maybe. But I’ll take it for as long as I’m working there.
It’s been so long since I’ve played craps in the casino I’m surprised I knew where the table was.
Half table was open as per usual. And it was packed with 6 players. Looking at the chip racks which were mixed I knew I’d get a spot soon and the regulars had had their fun and gone.
I headed back to work to pickup my bag. And collect some colleagues that said they were keen to hit the craps table with me.
They had settled into drinking the night away. So I grabbed only one who was keen and left the party. Unfortunately he was already drunk and in no condition to gamble. I should have put him in a taxi and sent him home.
Now you aren’t allowed to take back packs into the casino but women can take in large handbags. I consider that an absolute joke. And total discrimination. But if you want to gamble it’s the house rules are the house rules.
So I had to put our back packs into the lockers for $5 each. I don’t mind the $5 and it’s actually one of the safest locker offerings in the city. With several cameras monitoring the area and all the security guards on the payroll.
On returning to the table there were only 4 players now and I slipped in at SL-2. I stuck my drunk work friend in the hook near the dealer out of the way. He had no idea what was going on, but was just happy to watch the theatre of the game.
It’s been a long time in between casino sessions for me. Nearly 4 months. But I wasn’t nervous at all. I used to get very nervous to the point where I would have trouble throwing. I guess that’s a good thing. And showing my increased time at playing the game is starting to overcome any of the nerves.
I started off playing my hybrid play of target 3 play on the pass line and don’t pass (not at same time) and $66 inside WOTCO with $22 inside pressing twice to $110 inside. Then same bet and regress to $22 inside and it’s press and collect from there. So I effectively play 2 seperate games at the same time.
My toss was a bit ordinary but it just felt so good to be back in the action of the game again that I really didn’t care. I was just focusing on hitting the same landing spot and keeping the dice low and slow and trying not to let them split apart to much.
I had one hand with 5 come out rolls before getting on a point.
I still don’t know how to take advantage of the come out game. I need to learn about world or whirl bet. Which I think is made up of the horn and any seven, but I haven’t practiced it and learnt the payouts so have no frame of reference for it… Yet. Anyone got some pointers for me to try?
Here’s my 5 hands
On other shooters I just stuck to my target 3 play and $6 six and eight. You never know when someone will catch a good hand.
Unfortunately I personally had a couple of short PSO hands that made my bankroll suffer. And I didn’t want to stick around longer to dig my way out. So pulled up stumps (cricket reference to finishing the game)
Colour in $251 (-$149) in 1 hour.
I was surprised to note this was my exact colour in amount for my last casino session #47 back in Aug 18.
Fortunately for me my Baccarat results are more profitable than my Craps results.
We just had our annual Halloween party. And this year I was able to use the full table that I’ve talked about in previous podcasts and posts. Photo is below. Last year was just a makeshift half table. See episode 53 for all about that one and some photos.
With space for up to 10 players I was gearing up for a big craps session. We had quite a few new players from last year. And those that played last year were very keen but needed a refresher course.
I am still trying to work out the best way to get new players quickly into the game without completely confusing them with the myriad of bets that they see in front of them. Thinking back 25 years ago to when I first started playing craps I watched others and slowly picked it up that way. But I’m talking about quick ABCs to get started with little pressure. Perhaps you’ve got some ideas for me. If so let me know.
I’m going to instigate a standing Halloween party craps award. There will be 2. Craps champ with highest bankroll and golden arm with longest roll. I’ll get a little wall mounted award board where I can put up the names and show it off each year.
Another very interesting session followed where there were dark siders and passline players. Trying their luck with both sides trying to beat the game.
Each player had $150 of chips which I purposefully set low. I wanted to see if it would naturally end up with a more conservative betting approach than last year, where I gave them $300 each. It was a very different game to last year.
I was once again humbled that my party goers embraced dark side play on their first craps outing. You just don’t see many dark side players in Brisbane.
I explained the higher probability for rolling a seven over the other numbers each roll, and they just worked it out that dark siding would be a good idea.
That is until one of the players got on a monster roll. Over an hour. Banging out the place numbers. They couldn’t seven out. The prop bet players were left scratching their heads, wondering what was going on. Having lost a fair bit of money. Last year it was a horn number fest and they must have thought that’s a common affair and tried to do it again.
I had to call a time out for a drinks and desert break. Of course none of them know about energy draining events (EDE) and not to break the rhythm of the shooter. But I needed food and another couple of beers.
After the break they continued for a few more rolls and then 7 out. It was at that point I knew we had our golden arm winner for the night. They were very happy with themselves.
Someone asked me how I would have bet that hand. I felt a bit bad because I would have made quite a lot. Compared to what everyone else did. Even with a conservative press schedule, it would have left hundreds on the table.
It was then I realised that what they were missing was the benefit of watching what other more seasoned players do at the table. And picking up ideas of different bets to try and what the outcome of those bets are.
So in future even though I’m not going to shoot while I deal, I think it’s best if I deal and play as well. I can then explain the plays as I make them and the others can then play whatever bets they like.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable night. And I can’t wait to get last years and this years winners up on the wall. Then we’ll do it all again next Halloween.
PS For my fancy dress I called myself the dice doctor (if only) and had my eighties hair style back and dressed in scrubs. Definitely you would not want me operating on you. I looked thoroughly dodgey.
Well once again I have to start off by saying that I’ve been stopped from getting to the Casino over the last few weeks by my daily grind of family and work commitments.
They come first. And I come last. Such is life. I know I’m not the only one. I’ve been told it happens to all of us.
However I have not been idle by any means with my Craps Journey.
I have a few photos to share (see below), as I have spent considerable time to put together my Craps Table which was stuck in storage for nearly a year. So now is as good as any to dedicate a podcast episode for how my table came to be.
I’d been looking for a Craps Table for 2 years as soon as I started my Craps Journey, but being in Australia they are rare – in very short supply, and no one is selling them.
The only downside to that is that I don’t have the space, tools, skills or time to build a great table.
Getting one of Big Jeff’s or any other timber masterpiece sent from America to Australia was going to cost me a fortune (or so I thought)
So I found a vendor in China by using the Alibaba network of manufacturers.
Of course this is a risky venture since you are buying a table from a manufacturer in another country that you only can see photos of what they produce (or supposedly produce).
With a lot of trepidation I was chatting with 2 vendors for over 1 month to pick the one that I thought would do the best job and most importantly deliver the table to me in Australia.
I’m not going to reveal the vendor that I ultimately chose, because as you will see they didn’t meet my expectations.
The table I wanted was an 8ft 2.4m table which was 4ft 1.2m wide. All of the tables they had previously built were only 1m wide, but I wanted it to be as wide as possible. I wanted the table to be portable. And by portable I mean, be able to be broken down and moved from room to room or place to place and put back together again. I have many videos on my how to build a craps table page of people building tables that can break down as needed. So I took ideas from them and put in some of my own and gave the vendor my instructions of what I wanted.
The table cost $950USD which I had to electronic money transfer to China. Now that was a 2 hour visit to the bank to make that happen. Which was like pulling teeth. You’d think I was the first person to try to send money to a bank in China from Australia, I was amazed and frustrated at the same time.
One month ticked away and I was eagerly waiting for some photos of my craps table (aka furniture art) from the vendor.
Finally I was rewarded with photos, and it looked impressive. Very clean job and well constructed. Of course what can you really see from a photo. In this case, it turned out, not the stuff I wanted to see.
I should have asked to see the table disassembled and with a clear showing of how to the table bolts back together again. But I didn’t. I was so caught up in getting the table to me.
The next stage after the build was harder than the actual build itself. The shipping.
What a nightmare doing shipping from another country into Australia. They don’t make it easy at all. And if you have anything that is out of the ordinary / large / made of timber, it’s even harder. For never having any prior shipping import / export experience, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
First I had to engage an import broker to help me, since I could see I wasn’t going to be able to get this table into the country on my own. The broker provided me with all the forms, and more money was transferred to the broker to get things started. Lots of paper work then ensued to get the broker what they needed.
The craps table was packed from China in a shipping container with 8 other tables en-route to Sydney, which I thought was ok as it was more likely to get here rather than just on it’s own. But ended up being an issue as they weren’t going to Brisbane, they were bound for Sydney, only my table was coming to Brisbane.
What I’ve come to know is the extortion racket that goes on with importing goods into a country. The whole process is geared towards extracting the maximum amount of money from you at every step. And they know that if you don’t pay it, you don’t get your goods. So you have to pay.
I have mentioned to everyone since having done this import, that I have no idea how any company in Australia can afford to import goods into this country and make a profit. What an absolute joke.
Now for the good part. The container ship went to Sydney first to offload the other tables in the container, and I was extorted further money for that delay. The table then had to be reloaded and sent to Brisbane. However while all this was going on I got a call from Australian Border Force questioning the import of a Casino table. There is actually a TV show in Australia called Border Force where they film the real busts of people importing illegal stuff into the country. I was being questioned as I guess they thought I was going to start up my own Casino.
But it gets even better.
Once the table had made it to Brisbane and been put into quarantine for fumigation (because it’s a timber product) for a few days, it was released and I had 24 hours to get it out of the quarantine facility and to my home. The broker organised for me a delivery truck with a hydrolic lift on the back because of the large size and weight of the table.
The delivery driver shows up at my residential home (not an industrial setting) and says to me where’s my fork lift? He’s on his own and can’t lift the table off the truck. You’ve got to be kidding me. So I helped him drag the table onto the lift and got it down onto grass beside the footpath (sidewalk) outside my house. The table wrapped in a make shift crate of strips of ply wood that the manufacturer in China put together. By the time it was coming off the truck the low quality crate wrapping was falling apart. I should have taken a photo of it coming off the truck.
The truck driver says good luck and packed up and left. So I’m left all alone with a 140kg very large half falling apart crate and a second crate box that has the table legs in it, on my front grass outside of my property. I look up at the sky in defeat and what do I see storm clouds. My heart sinks again because it’s about to rain.
After all this effort, my table will be ruined before I even get it into the house. I had no one to help, no one to call, everyone I knew was at work, and my kids (late teens) and wife were not at home. With no time to spare, I got my large crowbar out, and started inching the crate into the property, like they would have done in the days of no machinery. It wasn’t even inching it was more like centermetering which is even less than inching. I dragged that bloody thing all the way to the side of the house about 20 meters, I needed to get it to my storage shed in the back yard which was about 35 meters away, but I just couldn’t move it any more. I was spent.
The rain was about to drop, in a last ditch effort I got a couple of wooden planks we had lying around and lifted the crate on it’s side and leaned it up against the house, and threw a tarp over it and wedged it upright with the wooden planks as struts. The rain really came down by my table was safe. I was a wreck.
The next day I was fortunate enough to be having some building work happening at the house, and I asked the builders before they started for the day if they would help me move the table into the storage shed. I stripped off the outer crate to reveal the table inside. It wasn’t in pieces as I’d expected. It was one big table all put together with no ability to break it down. What a slap in the face. I was very dissapointed as it wasn’t what I asked for and I knew it going to an effort to make it portable and how little time I have to do that work.
The builders were very impressed with it. Until they tried to lift it! It took 4 of us with great struggle to get it into the storage shed and safely leaning up against the wall. I covered the table again for protection, and that is were it stayed for 10 months until I got the time to cut it up into pieces so I could move it.
All in all, the table took about a month to make it’s way from China to Brisbane and then to my front door.
That is a lot more cost than I thought it would be, when I first put the order in for the table. But once you start you have to keep going. I knew shipping was going to hurt and it did. It’s the unknown costs that got me with this purchase. If I had of purchased a table from the USA it would have cost about the same in the end.
Could I have built this table from scratch and cheaper. Yes. Would it have been as nice. No.
One more little twist to this story is that the Chinese manufacturer that build my table, has since sent me photos of tables they are now building for other people that are exactly what I asked for and designed to be portable. I couldn’t believe it. It’s been months and I still haven’t calmed down yet to respond. There really is nothing I can say that will change anything. So I haven’t replied.
I have grand visions of making Craps great in Australia, one of the ways to do that, is to get more Craps tables in Australia, which exposes more people to the game. I have a placeholder website www.crapstables.com.au ready to go, just need to work out the rest.
And now we are back at the start of this post / podcast and time to share some photos of the rebuild of the table and it’s first use in my soccer break up ‘Mad Saturday’ event. Which is a topic for another post / podcast.