Craps

Returning from dinner at the casino’s Romanza restaurant (which I thought would be appropriate since it’s the name of Andrea Bocelli’s finest album), we walked through acres of gaming tables, since casinos are built to route you through gambling, no matter what your route. It was a mediocre dinner, but finished with a dessert and bottle of champagne “comped” by the casino (and following a nice Pio Cesare at dinner), so we were in a good mood.

The Lovely Maria (TLM) asked to find some low-minimum tables so she could gamble the next day. (When there are hundreds, never mind thousands, of dollars on the table, and she loses, she tends to throw herself across the felt and scream, “NO, you can’t take it!!”) I suggested we play some craps, so that I could teach her the game I’ve been trying to teach her for 25 years, one more time.

We join two other players, I cash $300, and we’re off. Our two colleagues quickly crap out, and it’s TLM’s turn to throw the dice. She wins on three consecutive throws, and it’s starting to get interesting.

TLM: Why did I win on a 7, and then on an 11? Which is it?
ME: Both.
TLM: Why?
ME: They are both winning numbers on your first roll.
TLM: Why?
ME: Throw the dice.

On the fourth throw, one die heads for the other end of the table, but one traces a parabola, soars over the right side of the table, lands on the floor 30 feet away and rolls under a blackjack table. There is a momentary silence, then the pit boss takes off to retrieve the die. TLM is presented with new dice.

TLM: They’ll let me roll again?
ME: Of course
TLM: You don’t lose when the dice go off the table?
ME: Throw the dice.

She rolls a 6, and three rolls later makes her 6. It only takes her four rolls to make her 8 after that. I’m betting for her and me, and we’re doing great.

On her next roll, both dice hit the far wall, but one shoots up and skitters along the rim of the table, over a man’s chips. “No roll,” says the dealer. TLM again receives new dice. As she prepares to roll, the man next to her steps back.

TLM: What are you doing?
MAN: Getting out of your way.
TLM: Am I doing better than you did?
MAN: Good point. Throw the dice.

She begins to shake the dice in both her hands while still clutching her purse.

PIT BOSS: You have to use just one hand.
TLM: Why?
PIT BOSS: Because, like a magician can pull a rabbit out of a hat, we want to make sure you don’t pull something else out of that purse.
TLM: What does he mean by that?
ME: Throw the dice.

Then she rolls her new number, a 4. Beside the usual bets, I bet on a “hard 4” for me and for the dealers (which they prefer to tips).

TLM rolls five times, hitting a variety of numbers, then rolls a 1 and 3. “Winner” says the dealer nearest us.

TLM: Was that a hard four?
ME: No, that’s called an “easy four,” because it’s easier to do that than to roll two-2s.
DEALER: I don’t know, she’s been trying awfully hard.
TLM: Was that sarcastic?
ME: No just a statement of fact. Throw the dice.

TLM finally craps out, I have modest luck, and we leave only $50 down, my fault, since she was a couple of hundred up.

She’s playing blackjack today.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to Craps

  1. Jim Powell says:

    This had me in histeric I had a very similar experience in Reno a few years back with my better half. You dont get decent craps tables in London – they are always empty and playing with a few people just isn’t fun.

    If my wife had made the dice jump off the table one more time or consistently took ages to choose her dice I swear they’d have lynched the Brits. She won on box cars too despite me telling her a zillion times not to waste her money. I felt very small and of course she walked away after that..amateurs aye get all the luck.

  2. Alan Weiss says:

    I’ve belonged to the Palm Beach Club in London for over 20 years. The gambling is nice, but never very exciting, and people get all upset if you don’t play blackjack according to their “rules” and odds.

  3. Dave Gardner says:

    Great fun to read this story, Alan.

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