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Cheap Craps Guide Part - 1


 
As a man was walking, a dirty and shabby looking bum asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner.  The man took out two dollars and asked, "If I give you this money, will you take it and buy whiskey?"


"No, I stopped drinking years ago," the bum said.  "Then will you use it to gamble?” the man asked.


"I don't gamble anymore, I need everything I can get just to stay alive", replied the bum.  The stranger asked, “Then will you spend the money on green fees at a golf course?”   "Are you NUTS! I haven't played golf in twenty years!"


The man said, "Well, I'm not going to give you two dollars...instead, I'm going to take you to my house for a terrific dinner cooked by my wife."

The bum was astounded. "Won't your wife be furious with you for doing that?  I know I'm dirty, and I probably smell pretty bad."


The man replied, "That's OK!!  I just want her to see what a man looks like if he gives up drinking, gambling and golf!!"

 


Benefits of Cheap Craps
I’ve long talked about the benefits of playing craps at low-limit tables.
Low bankroll exposure, low “entry-fee” Pass Line or Place bets, and low-level multi-stage regressions or progressions are just a few of the benefits.


At the same time, low-minimum tables usually have a maximum-bet allowance which satisfies all but the highest of “press” moves in the event that your shooting gets grooved-in and starts to throw off innumerable repeaters.

 


Drawbacks of Cheap Craps
Cheap tables generally tend to be busier than their high-buck brothers, but they are also a perfect place to try out or perfect your game in a real, live casino environment.


In addition, in a multi-table pit where several tables are open, the lowest-limit table tends to get short-shrift in the comp-ratings game.  Floor Supervisors tend to rate all players lower than their actual bets would warrant. 


The culprit is the perception that people at a low-min table are low-stakes players, and therefore don’t “deserve” to be rated as high or as frequently.   This phenomenon varies from shift to shift, casino to casino, and is also geographically-dependant.


On the other hand, sometimes the exact opposite occurs. 


In some cases, the “largest player” in terms of rail-bankroll and bet-size, will actually be rated much higher.  That is because the size of his bets so clearly outstrip those of the other players.   If he is a steady “toker”; then the increase in comp-ratings can be anywhere from 20% to 40% higher than his action would normally warrant.

Another drawback however, is that cheap tables may not always be open, or the cut-rate limits may not be available in the lowest-denomination that you are looking for at the time you are actually looking for it.

 


Finding Cheap Tables
Most casinos gauge and set their table-limits by the amount of action or the number of players that are currently on the game, and the volume they expect as the gaming-day progresses.  At other more competitive joints, you will possibly find the cheapest-limits available 24-hours a day.


You also may have to search out the cheap tables, and be prepared to juggle your schedule to get the least crowded conditions.  That means that “off-hour” play is the norm, rather than the exception when looking for low-buck, frequent shooting opportunities, together with decent comp-ratings.

 


Cheap Tables Validate Your Talent

Here’s the reason for “taking your show on the road” to a low-limit table.
Even if you practice endlessly at home, you still need the challenge and proof of real-game exposure.  You may be a craps-wizard at home, but find that your real-world casino-game falls seriously short. 
On the other hand, you may find the casino environment and layout is more accommodating of your success, and actually corroborates your Precision-Shooting skill-set.


Either way, cheap tables provide the opportunity to validate your skill, or to point up the fact that more refined at-home practice is required. All of that can be accomplished while you are in the “cheap seats” minimizing bankroll-risk.


So let’s take a look at these low-priced games.

 


QUARTER Craps

Playing solo at the 25-cent level is probably the ultimate cheap way to realistically fine-tune your game.  While it is not often that you will be the only player at one of these tables, it actually isn’t that rare either. 


Eldorado Casino– Way out in lovely downtown Henderson , NV , this place offers either a quarter game during “off” hours, or a $1 game during busier times.  The “Eldo” is part of the Boyd Group of casinos along with Sam’s Town, Stardust, California , and the Fremont Hotel. 


To take fullest advantage of their 10x-Odds, you have to bet at least $1 on the line.  The table is open 24-hours on the weekend, but if there is insufficient action during the week, you can expect it to close around 3 am and reopen at 10 or 11 am .  The best times to find their quarter game is during the day from mid-afternoon to early evening.


I’ve never received any heat for Precision-Shooting at these tables.


Joker's Wild – Also located in Henderson , this small gaming-house also belongs to the Boyd Group stable. You will find a 25-cent minimum during early hours, but they’ll raise it to a 50-cent game at most other times.  In both cases, you can use 10x odds with either limit.  That’s the good part. 


The bad part is that the tables close at 1 am . during the week.   On the weekends, they sometimes relent with a 3 am closing.  Table-max is $500 at both Joker’s Wild and Eldorado.  Again, I have never received any heat for Precision-Shooting at these tables.


Las Vegas Club – I’ve written extensively about this casino in my Walking with a Vegas Ghost - Part V article, as well as my piece entitled, Making Adjustments in Craps…and in Life.


I like playing at the LV Club.  You’ll only find the 25-cent tables on Tuesday through Thursday, from 2 am . to 9 am .  Otherwise, expect to find $1 or $2 tables.  If you play at the 25-cent level; then your max-bet is set at $25.   That’s right, they have a 25-buck max if you are a quarter player.


On the other hand, they will allow you to exceed that level right up to their normal $200-max if all of your base bets  (PL and Come) are at least $1 or $2.  A pretty fair deal if you ask me.


These tables take some careful metering of throwing energy and dice-trajectory.  They vary the thickness of their felt-underlay from two layers of used felt, all the way up to eight layers of felt plus one layer of 3/8th inch high-density foam.


Once you dial-in these tables, they produce the sweetest grapes on the Downtown LV vine.


Hacienda Hotel-Casino – Literally in the middle of nowhere, you will find this recently rebuild hotel located just outside of Boulder City , near the Boulder Dam.
As you can see, their craps table is a land-barge.  It’s an 18-footer that offers a 25-cent game at most hours.  Surprisingly, it is usually open 24-hours a day, and both their buffet and coffee-shop are unexpectedly good.
I rarely take the drive out to this table simply because there are better alternatives closer-by.  On the other hand, if you are doing the Dam-tour thing; then The Hacienda is close enough to warrant a closer low-limit look.
 
 
Edgewater Hotel-Casino – For this quarter game, you’ll have to drive out to
Laughlin , NV , which is on the banks of the Colorado River .  You can read all about it in my Laughlin Table Report - Part II article.


There are multiple free daily shuttles out to Laughlin, which include a free buffet if the 90-minute desert drive doesn’t appeal to you.


Their 25-cent tables are always crowded, but the upside is that there are a couple of very skilled Precision-Shooters who make their homes in nearby Bullhead,
Arizona .  They frequent all of the tables in Laughlin, and their apostles cut their dice-setting teeth at cheap tables like the Edgewater’s.


At busier times, they crank the limits to either 50-cents or even $1.   Dicesetters receive NO heat here at all, but they like to move the dice quickly to grind out up to 150 rolls per hour.

 


DOLLAR Craps
For me, a one-dollar table is the ultimate celebration of free-enterprise and entrepreneurial-opportunity in the gaming business. 


While the mega-toilet Strip hotels set their tables at an industry-standard $5 mark, the smaller houses show some price-point flexibility to attract enough market-share to sustain viability.


Simply stated, if you don’t have volcanoes, dolphins or fountains; then cheap tables will still bring in the tourists.  At the top of the $1 heap I would have to favor my first selection.


Sahara Hotel-Casino – Twenty-four hours a day, you’ll find one-dollar minimums and 5x-Odds.  It’s a large, decent casino with skilled, but slightly jaded dealers.  Their three tables provide a reliable rolling surface and a good chance for a profitable hand. 


I can’t tell you the number of times when the patient wait for the dice to come around to my shooting-position has paid off in handsome dividends at the Sahara . 
The only caution I would add is that the Pass Line can get jammed up with chips along with corresponding stacks of Odds bets.  It makes for a bit of a mine-field for precise and successful dice targeting and roll-out.


They book great bands into the Casbar Lounge and you can hear them clearly from the tables.  However, be forewarned, the bar that is right beside the craps tables is head-office to a large number of hookers who call this place “home”, so don’t let that distract your concentration.


Boulder Station – Being out on the Boulder Highway “strip” pretty much guarantees a low-limit table.  As you’ll see shortly, the Boulder Strip is home to several low-buck operations.


Of all the Station Corporation casinos, Boulder Station is near the bottom end of the quality-scale, but it is near the top in terms of good roll-quality tables.  With 10x Odds, you should only expect solo-shooting opportunities in the off-off-hours. 


Even in the high-action hours during the day, the proficient dealers keep the dice moving quickly.  There are a couple of very talented shooters who frequent this place, and with a $1 minimum bet, it can make for some frenzied action when the table heats up.


El Cortez – You used to be able to find a sweet 25-cent game here, but alas it is no more. However, both of their tables will always book a one-dollar bet right around the clock. 


Top off your $1 Pass Line Precision-Shooting bets with 10x Odds, especially if your throwing is grooved-in on their long, but non-bouncy tables. I have covered the playing conditions in this particular gambling-den even further in my Master of ALL…Well…Slave to SOME! article.


You can expect to find a hard and worn felt surface, and very few qualified shooters. There are a ton of note-book toting system players, and even more long-pre-throw-ritual random-rollers, so you’ll want to carefully avoid exposing your bankroll to the whims of random luck.  Smiles are as rare as long rolls at this smoky enclave.
Unfortunately, El Cortez players are also known for their lack of hygiene, and their lengthy and recent criminal records, so don’t be flashing tasty rolls of cash to the hungry masses.


It’s not unusual to see freshly released inmates from the nearby Clark County Detention Center wearing their institutional-issued clothing.  As well, you’ll see many day-pass psychiatric patients from the nearby mental hospital at the tables with the plastic ID-tags still on their wrists, and the “house-arrest” radius-restriction warning-devices strapped to their ankles.  All in all, it makes for interesting “play mates” in the craps pit.


Nevada Palace – I have a full report on these one-dollar 10x-Odds tables in my “Mini-Table Craps Tour with the Vegas Ghost –Part V" Here’s a sneak peek of their type of excellent mini-tub table.
 
Westward Ho – I’m not a huge “HO” fan. 
They have one table which is set at a one-dollar minimum and a one-hundred dollar maximum.  With only 2x-Odds allowed, I don’t play here very often, but if I am in the area, I will occasionally give it a try. 


You are unlikely to find any skilled setters here.  Instead, you’ll find a steady stream of tourists who are just passing through on a tire-kicking, daiquiri-tasting tour of the Strip. 


Golden Gate – This place has some very tough $1 tables.   They can handle twenty-four players at each of their two land-barges.  By the way, the rumor is true.  If you stand at the end of one of their tables, you can actually see the curvature of the earth as you gaze down at the horizon that forms at the far end of the table.


I chronicled this casino in several articles including the piece entitled,  Long Tables = Po$$ibilitie$ - Part III.   At busier times, you should expect them to jack up the minimums to either $2 or $3, with 5x-Odds.


My conventional throwing techniques don’t work very well here, but my “Long-Ranger” grip and throw has generated sufficient cash to keep me coming back on a semi-regular basis.  If I am staying Downtown, I’ll usually schedule at least one quick hit’ n’ run session here each day.

 


Silverton – Located south of Mandalay Bay , this is the former Boomtown Casino.  Silverton provides ample shooting opportunities because the tables are rarely full.  They only have one craps table, but it is always set at $1 with 2x-Odds, so you can try out your Precision-Shooting pretty much unimpeded.


I’ve never been hassled for Precision-Shooting, and the crew is anxious to please anyone who tokes.  They have an extremely generous match-play program here.  You can pick up a “bonus sheet” everyday that you are in Las Vegas .   It contains multiple even-money match-play coupons as well as 2-for-1’s on any Field bets, and a ton of free food offers.  You have to sign-up for their free Players Club card to pick them up.


Barley’s Brew Pub & Casino – I’ll have a full report on these $1 tables in an upcoming “Mini-Tub Tour” article.   You can look forward to seeing that info in Irishsetter’s excellent monthly Dicesetter.com e-newsletter. 


Fiesta
Henderson – The former Reserve Hotel-Casino is now in the Stations Casino fold, although they use a separate rating-system from the Stations Boarding Pass player’s card data-base.  You can read about which Players Cards are useable at any other casinos in my Casino Credit Update - Part III article.


You won’t always find the Fiesta tables set at $1.  They sometimes crank up the minimum bet to $2, $3 or even $5 during “happy hour”, and then lower it back to a buck after they roll up the sidewalks in
Henderson at 11 pm .


Playing conditions are fairly good, but I prefer a shoot ‘n’ scoot strategy, especially if the tables are more than half full.  It can take a painfully long time for the dice to cycle the table, even in choppy conditions.


Jerry’s Nugget – At this North Las Vegas grind-joint, you’ll find one table with a  $1 minimum allowable bet. 


I’ll tell you right now that they DO NOT like winners here.  


They have nothing against dice-setters, but they can’t stand to lose “their” money to anyone.  Believe me when I tell you that they actually take it personally. 


I make one quick “hit ‘n’ run” session here about once every two or three days when I am in town.  I don’t wear out my welcome, and again, they have never hassled my shooting.   They offer 2x-Odds, as well as an excellent comped Prime Rib dinner for fairly low qualified-play.

Casino Royale – I left my other favorite $1 casino for the last.  I generally only play at their $1 sit-down Crapshoot table, and I usually avoid the other two always-crowded 20-player main tables. 


The whole Casino Royale subject is covered quite well in my Mad Professor's Mini Tub Tour - Part II article.


Oh, and don’t forget that CR also offers 100x-Odds even on $1 flat bets.   That’s right, 100x-Odds are available on their two main tables. On the $1 Crapshoot tables, you’ll have to be satisfied with 10x-Odds.

 

 If you want to read more about the 100x-Odds subject and what it means to your game, I would invite you to read my, The Ground Zero of Opportunity article.


In “Part Two” of this series, we’ll take a look at more $1 tables, and talk about the huge number of casinos that offer $2 games.  Each provides some excellent low-cost Precision-Shooting opportunities.


Until then

Good Luck and Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.

The Mad Professor




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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 23, 2008 4:13 PM.

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