If you've ever been to a craps table, you've probably heard these words. They are spoken nearly every time one or more dice exit the table boundaries and hit the gaming floor. Those magic dice -- the ones that won't stay on the table -- are lucky, of course. Next thing you know, three or four people are digging around underneath the adjacent Pai Gow table in search of the lucky little bastard.
This is just one of many quirky superstitions at the craps table. In this post, I'll introduce you to as many as I have heard of or seen personally. Leave your own superstitions in a comment because no self-respecting craps player can play the game without at least one superstition. That's how it works.
If you're new to craps, I recommend checking out my Craps 101 page for some background. This post is written with the assumption that you know your way around a craps table. Or you've been to one. Or you've seen one. Anyway, let's get to this before a new stick man gets in here.
Grab a cocktail while the button is OFF! Let's get started.
Nearly all superstitions at the craps table involve avoiding bad luck, not bringing good luck. In fact, I can only think of a couple things at a craps table that people believe will bring good luck. Mostly, it's a fight to avoid the bad voodoo. Here are a bunch of examples:
- At the outset we talked about dice going off the table. That's a common one. Anytime one or more dice leave the table on a good roll, the shooter will often call for same dice. Because those pesky new ones bring sevens. We don't want sevens.
- Another big one is a dealer or stick man change in the middle of a roll. You never want to see the stick man go away when things are going well. Inevitably, the new stick man is a cooler on the dice. And coolers suck. Except when they're full of beer.
- Someone says "seven." Don't ever say seven at a craps table. Why do you think they developed a new word for eleven ("yo")? Because it sounds like seven. Why do you think nobody calls me Kevin at the table? Because they don't know my name.
- Somebody buys in during a good roll when the button is ON. This is one that actually does bother me, but not for superstitious reasons. It's because it slows the damn game down and slowing down the game is annoying (and, well, also bad luck).
- Speaking of slowing the game down, another one that always brings a seven on the next roll is when there's a disagreement between a player and dealer. Never fails. Except when it does.
- You know how cocktail waitresses are one of the best parts about playing in Vegas? Well they're bad luck too -- at least when they approach a hot shooter. Keep them away from the shooter until the button is OFF. They might as well be serving 7 and 7.
- New players that are dudes are generally bad luck too. The opposite is true for new ladies at the table, however. Isn't that a convenient effing superstition if I've ever heard one before.
- Whenever the dealers screw up in general -- that's a big red flag to pull your bets down. Especially the case if the stick man pushes the dice to the wrong person (or pushes them to the right person with a 7 showing on the dice).
- Watch out for the casino trying to cool things down by stopping the game to refill the table's supply of chips. Because GOD FORBID the employees in the casino do their jobs.
- When the dice hit someone's hands who are reaching out to get a last second bet on the table, that roll is guaranteed to be a 7 out. Keep your hands back if you want to keep them. Or something.
- Short rolls are always scary too. This means that you shot the dice and they didn't both get to the end of the table. This is especially so if you've been shooting well and you change your style or throw it wrong just once.
- Dice hitting a chip stack on the other end of the table pretty much guarantees a 7. Try to avoid throwing at big stacks of chips wherever possible, unless you want a 7. Because, science.
- Bad vibes, man. If the dealers don't want to be there and the players are equally disinterested, the vibe isn't there. Bad vibes = bad dice.