A posse of 7 neighborhood boys ranging from 10 – 14 years of age gather behind a house in the alley when the leader of the pack pulls out from the back pocket of his rolled up torn jeans, two dice. Playing for cigarettes, baseball cards and dad’s girlie magazines the boys are in it to win it. Their school girl crushes look on like excited cheerleaders but are quickly dismissed by the gang’s tough guy shouting “boys only keep out”!
It’s street craps and a single shooter throws the dice throughout the session. Much more straightforward in rules from casino craps, it is where street hustlers are born. The proverbial game gets in the blood and as the boys reach their late teens not much has changed. The meeting place is in the same spot and the only thing different here is the stakes have raised to include 40 oz. beers. Mom waits at the door with a broom and dad with his belt as each one was given the lecture on gambling at one time or another. After promising not to go shoot craps again, one by one they slip out the back door when their parents have fallen fast asleep.
It’s game that follows them directly into adulthood and straight to the craps table at the casino and on their laptop at home.
Is Craps Over Sensationalized?
Craps always had the notoriety of thrilling fervor that not a single other table game or street game can hold a candle to. Men with hot women draped on their arm stroll into a casino in fine threads and a pinky ring that stands out with every roll of the dice, but not until his lady luck blows on the dice.
We can’t help but be reminded of great film scenes that show this more elegant side including:
Diamonds are Forever – Starring Sean Connery as James Bond, it is the only film where he joins the craps table in Las Vegas. Debonair in his tuxedo, there is a sexy seductress next to him with the plunging down-to-there neckline joins in on the action. His aggressive style not only wins himself $65,000 but wins the girl, the first in a series of leading ladies in Bond films.
Big Town – The movie featured Matt Dillion who plays a character from Chicago who discovers he has a natural talent for shooting craps. So, he does what any gambler with this talent would do, he moves to Las Vegas. There is a fair number of scenes at the tables as he joins forces as a pawn for two high roller professional gamblers.
And street craps:
A Bronx Tale – Probably one of the best motion pictures featuring backroom craps with the talents of Sonny played Chazz Palminteri and Robert Di Nero father of neighborhood kid “C” who Italian mob leader takes under his wing. Character Eddie Mush got his name because he was a degenerate gambler who was known for having no luck and everything he touched to turned to mush. One memorable scene takes place in the middle of a craps game:
Mush: I’m betting on Sonny.
Sonny: I don’t want your money touching mine.
Mush: What, it’s counterfeit? My money’s no good no more? Why?
Sonny: Because you’re a f*****g jinx, that’s why! Put him in the bathroom! Get him out of here! Get in there, you f******g loser mutt! Leave him in there!
It is scenes like from these blockbuster hits that generate the anxious curiosity of the audience of men and yes even woman to head for the nearest craps table or kids to make a beeline to their secret hideout with a set of dice in hand.
It is not a game for the meek quiet type players, but then again maybe it pulls them out of their shell. For one it is the noisiest table in the room with lots of aggressive cheering and jeering going on. Sitting on the other side of the casino floor, you can still hear the rambunctious crowd. These are no nonsense gamblers that don’t shy away from a good time, celebrating a great win or letting you know they don’t have the patience of a saint with newbies. It is certainly not a game you learn while standing at the table nor can you just wing it. Before you know it your upstairs in your hotel room watching tutorials on how to play. If still confused, waiting until the early morning hours to find an empty table and friendly looking dealer who has the patience to walk you through it, is your best option.
Learn Craps the Easy Way
Explaining and clarifying the classic standard rules is far more complicated and once learned, playing and mastering it is a much easier task. A good place to start that isn’t quite as intimidating is an online craps guide. Sure, it may not have the allure of a live crowd but it is a perfect place to master and hone your skills. Another advantage is practicing in free mode. It won’t cost a thing to play except maybe a bruised ego until you get your game down pat. Get the goods on the tips and the odds from the professionals in the business.
Once your confidence has kicked in and you feel like a craps genius ready to join the ranks of a wild crowd, looking back on those slot machines with the spinning reels may suddenly seem as boring as watching paint dry!