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The Lowdown on "Crapless Craps"

21 June 2000

We get letters...

Ross from Evergreen Park, Ill. writes via e-mail:

"...On (our) second visit to Tunica, Mississippi this summer I started to play the 'crapless' dice game. I don't know if you are familiar with this game. I played on this type of table a couple of years ago in Vegas and I was not impressed with the make up of it. This time before I put any money down on the table I watched for a short time to see what it was all about....I found out that the way to make money is to bet the extreme outside, 2-3-11-12....Where in this gaming area can I find this fabulous game? I have been playing craps for a long time and this is by far the best game in the casino."

"Crapless Craps", a gimmicky variation of the traditional casino dice game, was the brainchild of the famous Las Vegas-based gambler, innovator, and casino-hotel owner and operator, Bob Stupak. He introduced the game in his "maverick" casino, Vegas World, some years ago. The game never really picked up steam among the gambling clientele and today may be found only in a limited number of areas, Tunica, Mississippi being one of them.

In traditional casino craps, the "point" numbers are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. On the "comeout" roll of the dice, gamblers lose their pass line bets if the shooter rolls "craps" 2, 3, or 12. Gamblers win their pass line bets if the shooter rolls a "natural" 7 or 11.

In "crapless craps", the numbers 2, 3, 11, and 12 are "point" numbers and are included as such on the felt layout. The only number that isn't a point is the seven. On the "comeout" roll in crapless craps, a seven is a natural winner for pass line bettors. Every other number that is rolled becomes the point.

In crapless craps, therefore, pass line bettors don't lose on a comeout 2, 3, or 12. They don't win on a comeout 11. The only other difference is that in crapless craps there is no "don't pass" and "don't come" wagering, a fact which eliminates the minority of craps players who bet against the dice.

In traditional and crapless craps, odds bets pay 2-1 on the four and ten, 3-2 on the five and nine, and 6-5 on the six and eight. In crapless craps, the additional point numbers of two and twelve pay 6-1 for odds bets, while the three and eleven each pay 3-1.

There are indeed rewards for players of crapless craps, especially when the outside numbers are rolled. But there is a price to pay when they aren't. Remember that there is only one way to roll a two ("snake eyes") and only one way to roll a 12 ("boxcars") out of 36 possible combinations of the dice. There are only two ways to roll a three and only two ways to roll an eleven. On the other hand, there are SIX ways to roll a loser seven.

Crapless craps contributes a new dimension of gambling to the game, but I'm not sure it's worth it. Is it better to lose your pass line bet on a 2, 3, or 12 comeout roll, or take a hefty risk by making an additional odds wager on those numbers as a point, then attempting to buck tall odds that the number will repeat before the seven is rolled? Is it better to make a comeout "11" a point rather than win even money on it as a natural? I'm inclined to say "no" to both questions.

The Stratosphere Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is the only place on "The Strip" where you can play the game, which comes as no surprise since Bob Stupak, the inventor of the game, was the original investor and developer of the property.

I'm glad you and your wife had fun playing the game in Tunica, but unfortunately you won't find it at any riverboat casino destination in the Chicago-area, Northwest Indiana, or the Quad Cities. If enough people like yourself inquire about it, however, perhaps somebody will look into it.

Short-term results playing crapless craps may be rewarding, but over the long haul the odds are likely to catch up with you. Even though I've never exercised it, the absence of a "don't" wagering option at crapless craps also works to the casino's advantage.

The bottom line is this: Crapless craps players give up some of the freedoms and rewards of the traditional game in exchange for the opportunity to gamble on greater risks. It's a matter of preference, but give me the real game anytime.


For more information about craps, we recommend:

Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win! by Frank Scoblete
The Captain's Craps Revolution! by Frank Scoblete
Sharpshooter Craps Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Craps! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
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.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

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.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp