Can large pair of dice raise team morale at Jerry's Nugget?

August 21, 2012 3:00 AM


With team morale at Jerry’s Nugget put to the test after last week’s announcement of filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy, maybe a large pair of dice in a bubble can lift the spirits.

“The dice machine is one of the best I’ve seen,” said Mike Walls, a pit boss at Jerry’s Nugget. “It has all the bets of a normal dice/craps table. You can bet every prop bet that’s on a dice table using the same odds they would pay on the Strip.”

I’ve seen “the big fuzzy” at several locales in Vegas and am fascinated by the size of the dice, the way they are thrown in the air mechanically and the consistency of landing on different numbers. Hydrolics vs. humans. That’s going to be a matchup Vegas casinos will be dealing with in their budgets.

“Dice has been slowing down lately,” Walls said. “When I worked at the Horseshoe we had 10 tables going. The average dice player was in his 60s. Here at Jerry’s we have one craps table and play is slow. Younger people have all these choices to play now.”

Jay Hill, table games manager at Jerry’s, is also an advocate of the hydraulic dice game.

“There are tables sitting idle and more dealers than there are players,” he said. “That has nothing to do with the bankruptcy. We are going to pull out of this fine, just like Station did. We breathed a bit easier when finding out it was Chapter 11.”

Hill said he plans on hiring some dealers, but not due to expansion.

“We have a couple of openings due to people leaving or some not doing the job the way we liked,” Hill said. “Jerry’s is a great place for work and doesn’t usually have much of a turnover rate.”

Jerry’s is going through its slow season now, but help is on the way in the form of the NFL regular season, which begins with the Cowboys and Giants on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the Meadowlands.

“Football is very strong at Jerry’s, especially with parlay cards,” Hill said. “With the crowd comes the overflow to the table games since we’re located close to the race and sports book.”

Which brings us back to “the big fuzzy” that brings a new look for the curious and familiar betting for those who prefer playing good old fashioned craps.

“For somebody who knows the game the payoffs are strong,” Walls said. “If you have a $1 place bet on the 6, it will pay $1.17. It’s fair as far as the way the dice bounces up. What really impressed me about the game were the payoffs.

“A hard way will pay 30-1 just like on a regular craps table,” Walls continued. “The best part of the machine is getting correct payouts for small wagers. Bet $3 on the 6 anywhere you get $3. With the machine you get paid $3.50. Put $1 on the 5, you get $1.50.”

The game also proceeds at a very good pace. Players have a chance to push the button and view a screen in front of them that shows the numbers they have.

“It’s a lot like electronic blackjack,” Walls said. “The mechanical dice game is definitely going to take dealers’ jobs away. But the casinos have to make money and if they feel it can be done with electronic games, then that’s the direction they will go.”

Then Walls made perhaps the most revealing comment in our conversation, one that would probably surprise a lot of people.

“The worst crap players I have ever seen have been crap dealers,” he said. “They know the game, but don’t understand how to play it. They don’t understand the term sucker bet.”