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My First "Real" Craps Experience

My First "Real" Craps Experience - A True Account - I Swear! - Of My First Trip to Vegas

I'm 44 now. One of the things that I regret in life is that I did Craps Stories, first craps experience not get to Vegas when I was a lot younger and could have gotten into a lot more trouble. Though I have always enjoyed playing cards with the guys, I just never got out there.

When they first got river boat gambling in Shreveport, LA back in the early to mid nineties, the wife and I went over a couple of times since it is only a two to three hour trip from Dallas - depending on who is doing the driving. To start with those boats are small cramped and noisy. I had purchased a book on how to play blackjack and another on video poker, so.that is what I played when we got there. The wife loves the slots, so she took off and left me to my own devices.

I could hear the craps tables. All of the screaming and yelling could be heard all over the Horseshoe boat. But, I could not figure out the layout on the board and there really wasn't a place to get in anyway, so I passed them by. We actually made money that trip. Broke even at the Horseshoe. Hit a hot streak at the Isle of Capri at blackjack and came home with an extra $300. Not bad for a $5 bettor!

A few years later, in February of 1997, we went to Lake Tahoe with a bunch of friends. I believe that there were 20 of us that year. I spent the days skiing and the nights partying and gambling. The wife skied a little and tore it up at roulette! But that is another story. At night I got ripped and played blackjack with no success. A number of my friends were playing craps with my wife. I walked over, she said she was tired, gave me her chips and went up to the room. So.there I was. Drunk, a drink in my hand, chips in the other, standing at a craps table with no idea of how to play. My friends, very experienced gamblers, tried to teach me the game. However, vodka martinis stood between their well intentioned advice and my ability to comprehend. Faster than you can say bring me another of a flavor I haven't tried yet, I was out of chips.

I went back to what I knew well, losing at blackjack. I did play monopoly slots later, but, did not stray near the craps table again that trip.

That summer we made out to Vegas for the first time. Stayed at the MGM. We have been out at least once a year since and I still consider the MGM one of my favorites. In the first place, you gotta love any place that will let you ride around a lazy river in an inner tube with a drink in your hand. Second, I've always had good luck there just as I've always gotten hammered at Ceasar's.

We went out with my Wife's family. I know what you're thinking, but we actually had a good time. Saw George Carlin and the Blue Man Group and won money! What? Someone left Vegas with more than they came with? Say it ain't so! Hey, it happens almost half the time to me.

The first night, we played video poker, slots and a little blackjack. The $5 dollar tables by front doors where I like to play and listen to the bands playing on the stage above the bar there were full, so we found $10 table back towards the show room and the front desk. We check out the craps tables, but I the place was packed and I couldn't find a space at the rail of a $5 table. The wife tried to talk me into playing for higher stakes, but I resisted. Hell, I wasn't going to play for any more than the minimum at a game I hadn't played before.

That night for the most part, we cancelled each other out at blackjack. She was up a couple hundred, I was down the same. Towards the end of the evening, I hit a hot streak and we finished the night up two fifty. Not bad. I know it doesn't seem like much to a lot of you, but for a low limit bettor which I was at the time, not bad.

Next morning we got up, ate breakfast and hit the pool. After a few Heinnikens floating around in the tube - Hey! What's that? - Hell, it was five o'clock somewhere and I was on vacation. So get off my back, will ya! - we went back up to the room and showered. Met the wife's family at the buffet. Not bad. I've had better, but overall, O.K.

After lunch, we walked thru the casino towards the sports book in the back to place a bet on the ponies. Almost as if by fate, we walked right past a $5 craps table just opening up. What the hell, I thought. Let's give this a try.

The wife rolled the dice first, established a point and immediately sevened out. I had not even had a chance to learn the rules yet. I had made a pass line bet and then it was over. Then they were sliding the dice towards me. I plunked another $5 on the pass line, as instructed by my better half, and selected a pair of dice.

I let them fly for the first time! I made a point and was immediately asked what I thought was a strange question.

Ya want odds on that?

Odds? Huh? I thought I just had to roll the same number over again before I rolled a seven and then they would pay me. Right?

No, says the wife, you are allowed to add to your bet and this will somehow increase the payoff and make the odds better.

O.K., fine, I'll take your word for it and I threw $10 more dollars on the table. I reached for the dice.

Wait! Aren't you going to make a come bet?

Say what?

Don't you want more than one number to win on?

I don't know, but if you say so. I threw another $5 on the table. Now, I reached for the dice again. No one said anything this time, so I figured it was probably safe to throw the dice. Now, the first time, on of the dice did not hit the other end of the table and I was admonished to throw the dice harder so that both dice hit the end of the table. Throw them harder I did. In fact, I threw them harder enough that one of them hit the cushion at the end of the table and then shot 10 feet into the air and flew off the table.

They retrieved the errant die and made me cast them again. Only, not so hard this time. O.K. my bad. I threw them again and made another point and the previous sequence of events repeated themselves with my wife instructing me on where to place how many chips. I kept rolling. Pretty soon they were giving chips back to me! What a country!

I kept rolling. After a while I noticed that they were no longer handing me just $5 red chips but also $25 green chips. Hmmm! Alright. I can handle this. I rolled again. With every roll my wife would scream and they were handing me more chips. Other people showed up and they started screaming and yelling too.

Well this went on for a while. I can't tell you how long. All I can say for sure is that when I finally rolled seven, everyone at the table clapped and my wife gave me a big kiss! Then, I made one of the smartest decisions I've ever made in a casino; we colored up and left!

Starting out with a $5 bet, I left the table with $365! My wife, sigh!, I really don't know. She never tells me exactly how much she wins because when she does she like to go buy purses, watches or jewelry. So I never really know and I don't push it. There's a lesson for some of you in there somewhere. Let's just say she was betting more than I was and had a few chips of a color that I did not. And she was very pleased. Now, a happy spouse on a vacation where I get to gamble and party with no complaints, that is priceless!

I did not play craps again that trip. And I really don't know why not. All I do know is that when we got back to Dallas one of the first things I did was buy a book on craps and learn the rules and strategies for the game. And I haven't had a roll like that since. Maybe ignorance is bliss.

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