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Best of John G. Brokopp

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Grand Victoria Makes Point at Craps

23 November 2003

By John G. Brokopp

The Grand Victoria in Elgin, the lone Chicago-area casino in Illinois to not institute admission charges or cut hours of operation or other services in the wake of the revenue tax hikes, has rocketed to the forefront in yet another category that affects recreational gamblers: The game of craps.

Table games promotions are rare, but the Grand Vic has come up with one for dice players that ranks as the best ever in this market. They'll pay a "shooter" (the person rolling the dice) a bonus of $4,000 for making all six "points" (the four, five six, eight, nine and 10) on the same roll.

To be sure, making all six points isn't an easy feat to accomplish. But at least several dice players have already collected on the bonus. Had they been playing at another casino and pulled it off, all they would have received was their normal winnings and a loud round of applause from their tablemates.

Casinos in other gaming markets around the country, including Detroit, Michigan, and Tunica, Mississippi, have held similar promotions but this is a first around these parts. It quite simply creates enough of an incentive to make Grand Victoria craps the game of choice no matter how big a bankroll you bring to the table.

All that's required to be eligible to collect is to have at least the minimum table bet in play on the Pass Line. Then it's just a matter of getting on a lucky roll, avoiding the dreaded sevens, shooting down those points one by one, and then collecting a fat four grand that you wouldn't have gotten anywhere else.

This promotion struck me as having the potential for being especially intriguing for followers of the school of thought known as "dice control", the belief that shooters can master the ability of physically controlling the roll of the dice through hand and arm movement to decrease the possibility of rolling sevens.

If a practitioner of dice control were to play craps at the Grand Victoria, wouldn't he or she be significantly taking advantage of a monetary edge that is so very rare in the casino industry?

I posed the question to Frank Scoblete, the most popular gambling author in the world and founder of the "Golden Touch Craps" team of dice control experts, currently on tour around the country and recently featured on an A&E television special.

"We've had a lot of feedback and discussion regarding this on our Craps Club site (www.thecrapsclub.com)," Scoblete said. "On a recent trip to Tunica, Mississiipi, I played craps at a casino which has the six-point bonus, the Gold Strike Casino & Hotel. Would you believe that I was just one point away from collecting? Incredibly enough, the point I didn't make was the six (which shares top billing with its sister number, the eight, as the easiest to roll from a probability standpoint)!"

If you're a fan of craps, I'd suggest you pay a visit to the Craps Club site. With more than 500 members nationwide, it provides a wealth of information, observation, updates, and player feedback and discussion. The site has become so popular that the price for membership has been reduced from $9 to just $3 per month. You may also phone 1-866-SET-DICE to sign up.

The six-point $4,000 bonus is not the only reason to make the Grand Victoria your casino of choice for craps. On a recent weekday visit, I discovered an abundance of tables with a $5 minimum bet. That probably changes on weekends and holidays, but with the minimum $10 and $15 games you find most everywhere else, it's really a treat for average players. The casino also has six dice tables, the most of any casino in Illinois.

Couple that fact with the one hundred times odds that the casino is offering and it makes the Grand Vic's craps game the best in the Chicago-area.

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

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