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Best of Mark Pilarski

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Craps game gobbledygook

27 May 2005

Dear Mark, After reading your column about the slang names given for hole cards in poker, I remembered an article you ran several years ago about the calls dealers make at craps. Could you please reprint that article as I found it quite interesting? Rick S.

It was back in the '90s, Rick, when I wrote that column on craps table lingo, and yet I still get queries like yours to reprint those colorful calls made by a stickperson with a rattan rake in hand, yelling out mumbo-jumbo beyond recognition. Here are those calls, plus some new ones sent in by readers and dealers alike since it last appeared.

We're coming out, Rick, new selection, new direction; you roll 'em, I'll tole 'em.

TWO: "Craps," "eyeballs," "two aces," "rats eyes," "snake eyes," "push the don't," "eleven in a shoe store," "twice in the rice," "two craps two, two bad boys from Illinois," "two crap aces," "aces in both places," "a spot and a dot," "dimples."

THREE: "Craps," "ace-deuce," "three craps, ace caught a deuce, no use," "divorce roll, come up single," "winner on the dark side," "three craps three, the indicator," "crap and a half, flip side 'O Yo," "small ace deuce, can't produce," "the other side of eleven's tummy" (here's an example of an old-time craps dealer, Judd, who invents a call that made its way across Nevada to a carpet joint that I've worked in. It doesn't make sense, like many of the calls, so your confusion is fitting), "three craps, the middle," "two-one, son of a gun."

FOUR: "Double deuce," "Little Joe," "little Joe from Kokomo," "hit us in the tu tu," "ace trey, the easy way," "two spots and two dots."

FIVE: "After five, the field's alive," "thirty-two juice roll" (OJ's jersey number), "little Phoebe," "fiver, fiver, racetrack driver," "we got the fever," "five fever," "five, no field five."

SIX: "Big Red, catch'em in the corner," "like a blue chip stock," "pair-o-treys, waiter's roll," "the national average," "sixie from Dixie."

SEVEN: "Seven out, line away," "grab the money," "five two, you're all through," "six ace, end of the race," "front line winner, back line skinner," "six one, you're all done," "four-three, woe is me," "seven's a bruiser, the front line's a loser," "six-ace, you lost the race," "six-ace, in your face," "up pops the devil," "Benny Blue, you're all through," "one roll, no butter" (a seven rolled right after making the point), "three-four, now we're poor," "three-four, we've lost the war."

EIGHT: "A square pair, like mom and dad," "Ozzie and Harriet," "Donnie and Marie," "the windows," "eighter from Decatur."

NINE: "Center field," "center of the garden," "ocean liner niner," "Nina from Pasadena," "Nina Niner, wine and dine her," "What shot Jesse James? A forty-five."

TEN: "Puppy paws," "pair-a-roses," "pair of sunflowers," "the big one on the end," "fifty-five to stay alive," "two stars from mars," "sixty-four, out the door."

ELEVEN: "Yo 'leven," "yo levine the dancing queen," "six five, no jive," "it's not my eleven, it's yo eleven."

TWELVE: "Craps," "boxcars," "atomic craps," "a whole lot of crap," "craps to the max," "12 craps, it's crap unless you're betting on it," "all the spots we got," "all the spots and all the dots," "all the crap there is," "outstanding in your field," "triple dipple, in the lucky ducky," "midnight," "double saw on boxcars," "Crappus Maximus."

Sure enough, every good hand comes to a turnabout when the seven wields its ugly face. So, Rick, cinco dos (7), adios.

Gambling quote of the week: "Researchers have discovered that rats are very similar to humans in many ways, except they are not stupid enough to purchase lottery tickets." —Dave Barry

Recent Articles
Best of Mark Pilarski
Mark Pilarski

As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.
Mark Pilarski
As a recognized authority on casino gambling, Mark Pilarski survived 18 years in the casino trenches, working for seven different casinos. Mark now writes a nationally syndicated gambling column, is a university lecturer, author, reviewer and contributing editor for numerous gaming periodicals, and is the creator of the best-selling, award-winning audiocassette series on casino gambling, Hooked on Winning.