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Best of Frank Scoblete

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The language of craps

24 October 2012

All gambling games have their special languages. For example, in blackjack you can hit, double down, split and stand. You can even insure a hand. In roulette, you have “inside” bets and “outside” bets. Some roulette games even have a concept called “surrender.” In Pai Gow you have “lop lop” hands – you don’t want those as they are almost sure losers.

But no game comes with so many special names, nicknames and phrases as does craps. Just look at the craps layout and you will see so many symbols and numbers and you know this: each and every one has a special name and many have very special nicknames. Some of these nicknames are good and some are bad.

So let’s take a closer look at the language of craps, some of which can be very suggestive if you are the suggestive type. Indeed, craps could be considered the "X-rated" game if you look into its language. Craps sounds like what it is – a game that plumbs the depths of human depravity. Just kidding.

The basic game starts off with a bet on the pass line – not quite the scrawny man at the bar saying to a hottie, “Hi, my name is Tim. Do you like math?” – or a don’t pass line said to the 35th woman a man has dated this month, as in: “Sorry, go away, I am not ready to make a commitment. I prefer to live in my mother’s basement.”

When a shooter’s “point” is established, there’s the “odds” bet. By the way, many craps players are themselves odd, so most do love the odds. You have “place bets,” fairly boringly named, but you also have “hardways” bets, which are composed of the “post holes,” meaning 2:2; the hard 6, which is 3:3; the 4:4, known as the “weeper”; and finally the “Big Ben,” the hard 10 or 5:5.

Ladies, as you can see, craps is predominantly a man’s game (90-95 percent of the players are male) and you must understand that the sexual humor and puns are all from the male’s viewpoint. So don’t read on if you are easily offended. Then again, this is the new age of liberation so I’m guessing no woman will stop reading this.

We have “come” bets; I don’t even have to go into the meaning of this, do I? Seriously, why name a bet that can be dragged into the mud with very little imagination? Drunk men at craps tables have been heard shouting, “I’m coming!” as they throw their chips on that bet. Then they yuk it up as if they've said something funny.

What about the bet called the “don’t come,” I mean this is getting really salacious in content, isn’t it? Some clever folks, who practice the rhythm method of birth control, are quite fond of that bet!

There are many bets that have been described as Crazy Crapper bets by my mentor, the late and legendary Captain (see my book "Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!"). These bets are so awful that only crazy people would make them. But go to a craps table and you will see so many players making these bets you might feel you are in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest." (I know, I know, saying someone is crazy is no longer politically correct. But naming bad bets something such as “Bets That Are Not So Good” just doesn’t have that ring to it.)

Chew on this as a bet? The horn! Imagine what that means in the tortured mind of those who should be heavily sedated? “I like the horn!” says one fellow. People would definitely look suspiciously at him.

How’s one step even better: “Horn high 12.” Yikes! That’s worse than Big Ben. How about taking a “whirl”? Now to get scatological – what about any craps? “Sir,” says the dealer, “would you like to have any craps?”

You also have nicknames which do not render themselves readily to filth, such as “midnight” and “freight train” and “boxcars” (the 12), or “snake eyes” (the 2). The “triad” is the 3; the 11 goes by the famous term from Rocky, “yo” as in “Yo, Adrian, I did it!” This quote is not to be confused with any quotes from the collected works of William Shakespeare. (Just as an aside, how come our movie quotes are so dull compared to the quotes from the great Bard of Avon?)

The big name in the game is the devil, which is the number seven. If you are in the point cycle of the game, where the shooting is looking to make his point before rolling a seven, neither the dealers nor the “rightside” players will ever say the word seven because that will bring bad luck. Some players might say, “I hope the devil doesn’t jump up,” or something similar but the only players who might ever say seven are the “don’t” players, nefariously nicknamed “darksiders” for their desire for the shooter to fail. Rightside players usually dislike, if not hate, darkside players, and they give ominous stares when a darksider enters a game.

Darkside players have been called various names by rightside players such as the “devil’s disciples,” “weasels” and “cretins.” However, these names seem to have no effect on the darksider.

If you are betting that the seven will show on the very next roll, this is called the “any seven,” or “big red.” The bet is one of the worst bets in the casino, worse than almost all slot machines, and a player’s bankroll will go into the big red if he constantly makes it.

Craps is a great game to play, no doubt about that, and it comes with a wonderful language of its own.
Recent Articles
Best of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players

> More Books By Frank Scoblete