The different kinds of craps players

(from the dealers’ perspective)

The Professional Player

The Professional Player is mythical. With inquiry to three casino professionalswith a combined tenure in the Las Vegas and Reno craps community of over 100 years,there is no knowledge of any living professional gambler who makes or ever madea living by playing craps. These professionals worked as dealers, boxmen, and infloor management positions across several casinos. The closest thing to a professionalwas a legend named System Smitty, a character who ran ads in the Los Angeles newspapersand convinced players to come to Las Vegas and have him play their bank on the crapstables for a split on the winnings. Whether this legend is alive and well or deceasedis unknown as of this writing. If you know of a professional who makes a livingplaying the game of craps, please let us know.

The System Player

There are hundreds and probably thousands of so-called System players. It is difficultto generalize this subject because of the pitfalls that these players fall into.Most System players do not exercise a consistent regimen in applying their convictions.Many sway between applying their method to the Pass Line and the Don’t Pass Line.The temptation of the proposition wagers also sways them from a consistent patternin their gaming. By definition, one would think that a true System player wouldfocus on a consistent pattern of results on the dice, but usually they don’t. Itis almost impossible in a casino to maintain a consistent positioning of wagersat the craps table because of distractions. There’s the need to relieve oneself,and the interruptions and distractions of the cocktail waitresses. Most importantlythere is just the sheer complexity of maintaining all wagers integral to the systemand if the player can not keep track of the positioning of the wagers (and takingor laying the appropriate odds on flat bets), the dealer will often miss servicingthe player’s system requirement.

Most systems fall into these categories:

  • Martingdale (Doubling up to catch up)
  • Iron Cross (Place 5, 6 and 8 and play The Field)
  • Place and Press all Numbers (includes Buy Bets on 4 and 10)
  • Press Come Bets (sweeten some Point numbers or all Numbers after a win)
  • Power Press 6 and/or 8
  • Any combination of wagering that involves Full Press on proposition bets

It is interesting to note that very little is written about systems that reducethe house edge by using the Free Odds that are providedby the casinos — single odds, double odds, 5X, 10x, 20x and 100x odds.

Tourist/Recreational Player

These are the folks that play for fun, with little expectation of winning. Theyusually have very little knowledge about the game or have a very simple method ofplay that they might believe to be a system. What they really have is just a methodof play, as most folks who fall into this category do not have a working knowledgeof the percentages of the game nor related House Edge. Often, their wagers fallinto The Field and into the Big 6 and 8 corner box. Often they will place a wageron the Pass Line after a point has already been established. In addition, becausethey are often caught up in the spirit of the game they will not hesitate to throwwagers into the proposition box hoping for a hardway hit or a score on the 7 or11 on the come out roll. Many of these players also believe in covering the AnyCraps or Craps/11 (C and E) wagers on the come out roll believing that they arebuying insurance.

The Grinder

A Grinder is a player who consistently makes the same bet over and over withoutupping the bet size, even when winning. Some Grinders might even position a complexpattern of betting using odds or combining line bets with proposition bets. Butbecause they never press up their bets they are usually at the mercy of the tableodds which over time grind the Grinder down into an overall loss. Dealers do notlike grinders because they are just taking up space at the table and are almostalways losers unless there is an incredible streak on the dice. And even then, theGrinder will not win much money. Many Grinders place a consistent pattern of comebets and never take odds.

The Logger

A Logger is a rare breed, uncommonly seen. This is the player who takes a most academicapproach and who logs the results of the dice over a period of time, often makingnotes with pen and paper before making a wager of any kind. Of course, doing sois a waste of time — what was thrown in the past has no bearing on what will bethrown in the future.

The Degenerate

These are players who have been trying to beat the craps table, usually for manyyears, and who have tried dozens and dozens of methods and systems all for naught.In fact, many craps dealers at the dice tables of the world are degenerate,some having to work two jobs and who still find time to play craps in what littlespare time they might have. You can find them in the casino break rooms sleepingon their breaks. Some of them actually have friends wake them up on their cellularphones or carry mini-alarm clocks with them to use during their breaks.

The Stroker

A Stroker is a player who intentionally or unintentionally jerks the dealers around.Often this is done by throwing out late bets or by pulling tricks like throwinga 100 bill on the Field at the last second and then asking for change when a non-fieldnumber rolls. Other Stroker techniques including mumbling bets so that the dealercan not hear and “barber poling their bets (betting multiple denominations of chipsat once) so the dealers have to work to break down the bet for payoff. Some Strokersactually work in teams at each end of the table, one betting the pass line and theother betting the don’t pass line to jack up comps and to get free drinks.

The Flea

This is a term used by casino workers to describe degenerate gamblers who usuallydon’t have the wherewithal to gamble in the first place. They are usually unkemptcomplainers who constantly lose and who are always looking for a free handout. Theyare the ones who are always hanging around the tables and the slot machines lookingfor a free drink. And they NEVER tip the dealers OR the cocktail waitresses. Pagelast edited: 2006-01-20 10:06:32