Craps 101 comes out winning with fundamentals

Feb 5, 2008 12:24 AM

Michael Skaff, professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of Detroit Mercy has written one of the best books ever on the game of craps. Titled Craps 101: Fundamentals and Strategies for All Players (114 pages, paperbound, $15.95), it is wonderfully illustrated, well-indexed and packed with situations, questions and detailed answers.

Dr. Skaff clearly explains how to make bets, which should be made and why. His more than 30 years of experience make this a must-have for beginners, those with some experience and people who teach or manage the game.

Skaff does not claim his book will make you a winner. What he has done is to break the game down into small segments. The beginner can learn to play at his or her own pace with an understanding of the rules, odds and (on a limited budget) avoiding the bad bets.

With 10 major sections covering an introduction to the table, how to play, probability, odds, the house advantage, odds bets, place bets, good, bad and ugly bets, playing strategies and money management. The book also covers case studies of betting and play strategies. The well-priced and well-paced book has some of the best color illustrations you’ll ever see. This is a standout work on the game.

There are also four valuable pages where Skaff explains the differences between regular craps and the variation of the Crapless Craps. The differences include the table layout.

Harold Vogel, an expert on investment topics and considered a top entertainment industry analyst, has updated his classic Entertainment Industry Economics: A Guide for Financial Analysis). The seventh edition is a $55 hardbound and just off the press. It details with numbers and analyzes the never-ending fight for the consumer’s discretionary income and who’s gaining in the fight for the entertainment dollar.

This is a book for the big pockets guys, with millions to invest.

There’s gaming and wagering to consider, including where it’s legal; whether it’s racetracks, lotteries or Indian reservations. This section covers 40 pages, showing with charts, tables, graphs, growth patterns in millions and dollars spent by visitors. The book also covers square footage by category; gross handle and revenues in the U.S. in billions from 1985 to 2005 along with the gaming win in Atlantic City and Nevada from 1975 to 2005.

Following that, there’s a fascinating section on the growth of sports, performing arts and culture and amusement and theme parks.

Whether you are interested in buying stocks, purchasing a team or advising on a loan, the book is a solid reference source to trends and patterns. It is an excellent background from a man who knows the business, its risks and rewards.

Any item reviewed here is available from Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club). The store’s website is

You may order there using MasterCard, VISA or Discover (no CODs please) or by phoning the store any day except Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time at 1-800-522-1777. Orders usually are shipped the next working day.

The store, now in its 40th year, is located at off Charleston at 630 S. 11th St., Las Vegas 89101. You may view the store’s complete array of books, videos and software via the website or request for a hard copy of the catalog mailed free and first class.

Related Articles: 
Stick to the best craps bets
The proper etiquette of prop bets in craps
Get a grip on craps 
Table smarts essential to master craps 
You can become a craps expert (really!) 
Pass line remains foundation of craps bets