Craps, the Hawaiian way!

May 6, 2003 5:41 AM

It has been my good fortune to work in casinos frequented by craps players from the 50th state; when they arrive the craps tables are the busiest that we see all year. It is always refreshing to deal to people that take the game seriously. I’m sure not all residents of Hawaii are knowledgeable about the game, but the ones that come in on junkets are.

When someone comes down to the dealer’s room and says; "The Hawaiians are here!" it is a warning to all dealers to bring their "A" game with them when they come back from break.

So, what characterizes the Hawaiian style of play? Light up the tiki torches and I’ll list some Island guidelines:

”¡ Belly up to the game en masse, at least four or five per end. Try to fill up the game so not to be bothered by beginners or unsophisticated players.

”¡ Take out markers and try to win enough to pay them off before you leave the table. When not able to accomplish this, then pay off those markers if you win on the next game.

”¡ Bet the proposition bets for dollars or nickels and press or parlay them when they win.

”¡ Bet the pass line and take full odds. Increase the line bet when it wins.

”¡ Make place bets on the six and eight, buy bets on the four and ten and sometimes place the five and the nine. Always press until it changes color and then press it occasionally after that.

”¡ When wanting to play an even more aggressive game, make two or three come bets and take full odds on them. Increase the flat bets after winning two or three come bets with odds.

”¡ Toke the dealers enough to keep them attentive, toke more when they prove they have become familiar with your betting patterns and can anticipate your bets.

”¡ Follow the game rules and respect the dealers and supervisors. Don’t accept overpayments but always know what your bets pay and insist on correct payoffs.

The Hawaiian style of pressing place bets is unusual and while dealers often see other players utilize them, we seldom deal to an entire table of players pressing like this. They tend to follow a philosophy that I believe in: start out small and press aggressively.

Fore instance: Point of five, bet $96 dollars across. Roll of four, press four and ten to $25 and buy. Roll of nine; press the five and nine to $25. Roll of six; drop the dealer $3 and press six and eight to $30 each.

Then: Roll of four, press to $75. Roll of nine, press five and nine to $35. Roll of eight; drop the dealer a green check and press six and eight to $60 each.

Then: Roll of four; press to $100. Roll of nine; drop the dealer a dollar so he can more easily press the nine to $50 and give you the $35 bet for change. Roll of six; press the six and eight $30 each.

Then: Roll of four, press to $150, $200 or $300. Roll of nine, press the nine and five to $75. Roll of six, press the six and eight $30 each.

Another example: Point of five, bet $54 dollars across. Roll of four, buy the four for $25. Roll of nine, drop a dollar, press to $25. Roll of six, drop $4 and press to $30.

While I usually advise players to avoid the prop bets because of the high house percentage, many sophisticated gamblers embrace them because they feel they risk chump change and have a chance to get big payoffs. They bet C and E’s, high-lows or horn bets on the come-out roll and press (double) or parlay (increase bet by the amount of the payoff) when they win. Once the shooter has come-out on a point, they bet the hard point or all they hardways and parlay them when they win. It never ceases to amaze me how often they are successful in turning dollars or nickels into something that will get the attention of the suits.

Even though they haven’t found the secret of gambling, they play in such a fashion as to give themselves a chance to win big on a long roll. When you play like that it doesn’t take much of a hand to pay off those markers.

(Dale S. Yeazel is the author of "Precision Crap Dealing" and "Dealing Mini-Baccarat." They are E-books on CD-Rom available at Gamblers Book Shop and Gamblers General Store in Las Vegas.)