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Old 04-16-2003, 03:44 PM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Ess Eff
Posts: 2,129
Craps and boxcars: Did lightning just strike? Twice? In a row?

So I returned from Vegas a couple weeks ago. While playing craps there, I witnessed something which, to this day, seems impossible. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it.

The setup:

Playing at a crowded craps table. One guy in particular is a bit of a high roller. Maybe he cashed in for about 2-300 and he's betting about $30 on the passline with a multitude of other bets. This guy is definitely the veteran at the table. He knows what he's doing--odds, pressing, generally staying out of the middle except for the occasional hards.

The play:

On (seemingly) a whim, he throws down $30 on boxcars. That's a one time bet people, 30 to 1 odds! Dealers make some noise, I give the guy a "good luck". The dice are thrown, they hit the wall, and BANG! boxcars comes up. Holy Shyte! That's $900!

The kicker:

He says, (you guessed it) parlay it! I, and undoubtedly everyone else there, thinks this guy is nuts and he's probably just some crazy gambling addict. Needless to say, just about everyone in a 10 foot radius is watching this next roll.

The finish:

Do I really need to finish the story? Boxcars AGAIN! My jaw drops and the table erupts in much the same way a stadium does after a game-winning-buzzer-beating half court shot. Dealers stack him up a shitload of chips (900x30)and the guy walks away.

Now I didn't follow him, but I did watch him and it didn't seem that he was gonna be stopped by any casino personnel.

The GQ:

What did I see here? A guy who got really lucky or a cheater? I mean for all I know he could have been dropping thousands of dollars all week on boxcars only to have them come up when I was looking.

Anyone care to explain?

crucial alcohol induced memory lapse: I can't remeber if he was shooting or if someone else was.
Old 04-16-2003, 04:21 PM
Robot Mod in Beta Testing
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 21,555
If I did my math right, the odds of throwing 2 sets of double sixes in a row is 1 in 1296. I've never been to vegas, but if there's one throw a minute then it would come up every 21 hours or so on average. Of course that requires everyone who throws boxcars the first time to also take the chance on the second throw. If 90 percent of gamblers thought that was too risky (I have no idea what the actual percentage is) then it would only come up every 10 days or so. So the guy was lucky, but it wasn't the type of thing that you would only see every 10 years or anything. Hang around for a couple of weeks and you'll likely see it again.
Old 04-16-2003, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Great Blue Yonder
Posts: 307
Maybe it was a setup.
Old 04-16-2003, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 539
I've spent many hours leaning on the craps table, and I can't say I've seen anything like that. It would make me suspicious, too.

However, consider this - whenever I go out for a night of craps, I usually "play tough" like you describe. That is, passline with odds (or the don't side) come bets, and stay away from the middle. But I also allow myself one $5 hop bet* per night (maybe two if I'm really lucky, or last more than 4 hours). Occasionally, that hop bet hits, and I look like a dice guru to everyone at the table, just like you saw. More often, however, it just gets swept away.

There have been times when other players are so amazed at my play that they want to ask me how I knew. I must confess, I just got lucky. It could be that the guy you saw parlays that 12 just once a night, and you caught his lucky night.

(*for the craps un-aware, a hop bet is a one roll wager on a specific outcome of the dice, called in advance. You say something like "I want fifty five on the hop for a nickle" meaning you are betting $5 that the next roll is 5 and 5. When it hits, it's a beautiful thing)
Old 04-16-2003, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Baltimore, MD, US
Posts: 1,042
MY dad's seen some crazy stuff at casinos (Once, his dealer actually counted cards for him and helped him get out of a big hole. Didn't get caught either). Is it possible that this guy worked for the casino and the dice was fixed? How did he act? Cool, like he knew what he was doing? Did he flip out?

It could've been a big publicity act.
Old 04-17-2003, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: alabama
Posts: 1,966
Sure it canbe done.. it is not such a huge thing. You have two dice which can end up on 1-6 each. So more times than not the total number rolled "curve" is going to hover around 6-8.
In my youth I played a game called "Battletech" at a national convention, where I rolled 3 sets of Box cars in a row.

The table having 30 to 1 for a roll of boxcars should indicated while it is not impossible it was one hell of a long shot.

Now if 6 dice were used and he rolled all 6's twice in a row I would be amazed. but two dice twice in a row. Impressive and lucky yes. a miracle by no means.
Old 04-17-2003, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Earth, 3rd planet in Sol,
Posts: 762
Too bad you can't remember if he threw the dice himself. It might make a difference.

I once read about a guy who bought his own craps table and practiced throwing dice on it for years as a kind of hobby after work and such.

His technique, as far as I can remember, involved holding one die with his index finger wrapped around it, and the other one below it in his hand. With the upper die, he would face up the number he wanted and then in his throw the die would spin, but not tumble, leaving that number up when it landed. (And of course the rule is it has to hit the back wall of the craps table, right?) Can't recall much about the technique for the lower die, sorry...

After years of practice he put it to use, and after being checked out by the casino for cheating was allowed to clean up the table and that, as they say, was that.

Apologies that I have no cite for that, it was in a book from long ago. I just thought I would mention it, though, since I believe it is possible that someone could achieve that level of skill given time and the right circumstances.
Old 04-17-2003, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 11,783
My (perhaps naive) understanding is that running a casino is so lucrative that those who do so would not risk losing their license by engaging in any funny business. So if you saw this, it was probably legitimate.

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