Craps Stick Calls
Heather - We are joined by…
Jon - Hi my name is John Hollins. I am all the way up north in sunny Edmonson Alberta. And I am really thankful that Heather invited me on this show.
H - Thank you for being on. I really appreciate it. You have a lot of years of experience. You want to tell people a little bit more about that? And about yourself?
Jon - Yeah sure. I am deceptively old. And I first started in casinos in 1986. The casino I worked in, they kinda only trained you in one game at a time. I learned roulette.
So I did roulette for a year. And then when I was...a year afterwards they said Okay John do you want train for dice? So I learned Craps. So eventually I was in the industry for 19 years. And I dealt Craps for 19 years. I worked in 4 different countries. About 15 different ships. I worked on daily gambling ships which were kinda crazy. And accidentally worked for an illegal casino one time in Israel. That was sweet. I loved Craps. And I loved dealing it. And I would travel everywhere. At the time I didn’t have responsibilities and commitments. Hey I need to go with it..that’s kind of cool. I spent a lot of time dealing Craps.
H - Well thank you so much for joining us and for sharing your experiences and everything. I gotta get you to tell the story about the illegal casino thing. That’s on my ToDo
list someday. Don’t know if it will be today but I need to hear that one day.
Jon - yep.
H - The first thing...well the only thing we are going to be talking about today is Crap stick calls. Now we have had a couple people ask this question about Craps stick calls and there are so many different Crap stick calls out there that you can do. So what I did was put a post out on FB and Twitter. We got some of you guys to tell us some craps stick calls that you have either used or have heard on the table. For example, “There’s ketchup in the mayo” which means that there is a $5 chip in the stack of $1 chips. Another example is if the dice are tossed off the table, “Line drive to deep right field! Going back to the wall and itttt’sss GGGOOOONNNEEE!!!!!” *** Hard 10, girl’s best friend!
Five, five, no field five.
Niner, Niner… What a lovely va…neer finish on this table rail!
Hard 4, it’s little but it came hard.
Bow wow ‘Yo’ yippie ‘Yo’ yippie yay!
Can you throw a niner in this Casina?
Keep ‘em on the table, Mabel.**
Heather - Let’s go into normal stick calls. So real quick...We got everyone back...fantastic. So up on the screen you can see the come out roll for stick calls. Now we are going to show two images. And both of the images, you will be able to find on our website, when we put the article up for this video. So these will be there and you can print them out for yourself to use at home. With the come out rolls. These are basically like very very basic basic stick calls. If a two rolls for example, 2 craps 2, line away, pay the don’ts, double the field. And these stick calls, basically tell the dealer, especially break in dealers, newbee dealers, like what to do. You take the line away, you pay the don’ts, you double the field. So that way it really helps break in dealers figure out, these are the actions I need to take, this is the order I need to take them in. This is what I need to do. Before we go on, do you want to add anything Jon to come out rolls or what we see on the screen?
Jon - I know when, when you first start you kind of learn, really the basic calls. Okay. And when I trained it was really busy, and they kind of told you…”Okay, what ever you do, just be loud so people can hear you.” And just call the number, make sure it’s the right number. And then you start off and you do what wins and what loses and hopefully in some kind of progressive order. Okay, this wins, this loses. And then as you see and you progress, you listen to what the calls and you try to fill in...because this is kinda like the table sticks really to call it. And then the rest of the time is trying to fill that dead air with other things. And the more experienced you get, you add more filler. If you want to call it that. To make it more exciting.
H - To make it more fun. Entertaining.
J - Yep
H - So next up after the come out roll, you do what happens when the point is established. So once the point is established, now you have a whole new list of stick calls that you need to do. Because of course, when the point is established, it’s going to be different. Seven is going to be different on a point of established versus a come out roll. Two different things. Your going to be doing way two different things. So that’s why we have what to do when a point is established. So for example, if a three rolls, “3 Craps 3, take the come, single the field.” Again, it’s telling the dealer what to do. Now, again, we are going to have these on the website so that way they are accessible to you. You can have them. You can save them for yourself. You can print them out. You can use them when you are learning. This will be available to you on our website when we post the article, which will be soon.
And now, let us go to what people are saying in social media as well as Jon what have you experienced as far as fun, funny, interesting, weird, wakey type of stick calls that you have heard?
J - Do you want me to show you some? I mean, for me…
H - Yeah definitely show us. Like give us an example.
J - For me, thinking back about how I...oh by the way...before I jump into this speal. I left casinos 15 years ago, so I haven’t actually haven’t dealt for 15 years. I had a family and kids and I just wanted...so I haven’t actually been on a table in 15 years. But I took...I haven’t written anything down. This is all stuff that is in my head. For me, when I was on stick, it was kinda like..have you ever listened to a horse race? And like they are telling you what’s going on. That’s how...I wasn’t trying to mimic a ya know….but I was always trying to have something going. So less dead air. I was always trying to say something. So, say for instance it’s come out roll, something like…
*** ”Coming out natural times 7 - 11 come out roll.”
“O - U - T, O - U - T you get two but I get three.”
“Don’t be shy, stack them high.”
“Press change, rearrange, looking for a natural 7 - 11.”
“Grip’em and Rip’em ohum.”
”Front line, winner, winner. Backline skinner.”
“Don’ts away, fronts to pay.”
“Come’n up, were go’n again.”
“Natural time, 7 - 11. Up and add’em. Here we go.”**
Jon - Ya know! Always get this excitement, and build this excitement up. So, I dont’ know, then obviously points established and stuff like that. That was kinda how I did it. It was just like, hey let’s just get this really excited.
Heather - So what would you do when you would come up with it? Would you use stuff you heard in other casinos or that other dealers had told you about? Or would you actually sit down and rime stuff out and try to think of really good ones. Or would it just come to you at the top of your head one night and then you just kept using it?
Jon - A lot of it...it’s just like everybody else. I think one of the things about Craps is when you get on there, I was the same as, like what you showed there. I came on the stick and I was like, No field 5. You know. And that was it. I was just done. You know and then you listen to other peoples calls and your like, oh that’s kind of a cool one. It’s kind of like a shared script that, you know...in Britain or whatever in Canada you kinda of all seen the same calls. Sometimes you get them kinda localized where...there was one and it was called...like 12 came in. “12 crap come, killer, come away come another day. They think it’s all over, it is now.” And I was like a reference to the world cup in England. It makes no sense to anyone else, right? When they 7 out after 12, they’d be like. Oh it is now, and then people would be like ohh. But I think it’s kinda like a shared script. Like I added some, and a lot of it, to be honest, I made up. I never used to write it down, or go...I should say this. Some of them I heard from other people. Some I made up. Some I remembered. A lot of them...to be honest I often hear this. “What is your favorite craps calls? It’s all the spontaneous ones. I loved all the spontaneous wit and humour that would come out of it. So those are my favorite ones.
H - So Jon do you have a story about a stick call? Anything that was funny or stood out or anything memorable? The one I think of is...I know a craps dealer who would use these stick calls. One of them would be like, code word for short sticking, if there was a hot chick on the table. They would use it to short stick. It was something like that? Do you have anything funny?
Jon - I remember one time I was on stick and my friend was dealing, his name was Baz and he was a super cool guy. Anyway we’re dealing away and he had glasses on, the dice are in the air and they are coming down and his lens just dropped out of his glasses, so he couldn’t grab it. And as soon as he landed, he couldn’t see the dice. He was looking around. That’s off the top of my head. Yeah the one with like the coded one...the S - E...do you call them S - E’s? Over in like Brittan. H - S- D
Jon - S D dice. There was a lot of those. But the only problem with doing that, and this coded thing is somebody else, or another dealer who knew exactly what you were talking about. Would be like. They do that to me.
H - That would be a problem. That would definitely be a problem if they knew that.
J - It’s weird there’s a lot of calls that...from Brittan anyway...for me there would be a lot of British slang words or British swear words and in Canada nobody knew it. It didn’t matter. Nobody even cared. But then sometimes British people would come up and go, “I know what that means.” Oh it’s all fun.
H - Cool, right on. So, there are some...now do you ever use the nicknames. For example, box cars or little richard, or Joey, or any of those?
Jon - Oh yeah. It would be like “4. 4. Field roll 4. Little Joe from Idaho” ...you know. Or “Little Billy from Piccadilly” . And all that kind of stuff. Yeah, so we always use... Some of those now didn’t age well. Some of those calls. Right. So some of them you have to kind of...so if I were still dealing now you’d have to slightly edit them now.
H - Like which ones?
Jon - Well I remember one time a friend on mine was on stick, this was years ago, and we were on a cruise ship, and he just sound like… “12 crap midnights, double a bubble, here comes trouble.” Something like that. And this guy on the table complained, and he said I think that’s racist because you called it midnight. So we were like, what? No. Okay. So he kinda got in trouble by it. So some of them now you can’t say.
H - You don’t want to say anything racist, that would not be good.
Jon - Me personally, I never liked...there was a lot of vulgar calls. And I never liked to use them. I am about innuendos but some of them were just vulgar.
H - I know some of them were like vulgar towards women, because I have heard those calls. You know. But it’s...the game of Craps….it’s a sexual game, you have the Come. You know. There are so many different parts of the game where it’s like sexual by nature. That ’s just part of it. You know.
Jon - Yeah and you know...there was one where we used to call 10 the big dick. “10 on 10 Big Dick, the Boston Dangler” Or instead it would be ‘One Eye in the Sky’ or ‘Morning Glory’. You know that kind of stuff. It was all kind of reference to you know a body part.
H - Yeah! And I think we have one here. I just put it up. So that’s one, “Roll a hard 8, any hard 8” . That’s a sexual term. Another one, I know I have another one here. This one. “Nina, Nina what a lovely va…nere finish on this rail.” And it was for...that broke out when we had a business at a ladies 50th birthday and she was drunk and her girl pals were laughing for a while. I know some of them...oh here’s another one. “Hard 4. It’s little, but it came hard” . Like that’s another one.
Jon - I obviously have an accent, I am from Wales originally, so there’s a...you know I think there’s a lot about inflection and how you say things. I could say...4 came hard and 4 came easy and it sounded completely different to...people come up to me...I had managers come up to me and go, “What did you just say?” I’m like...that’s not what I heard. I can tell you what I said.
H - It’s like, well it’s a loud casino. I’m sure you heard a lot of stuff, you know.
Jon - I didn’t...what are you trying to say? What did I say?
H - I can’t help what you heard. It’s not my problem.
Jon - Yeah. It’s not the mouth it came out of it’s the mind that goes into right?
H - So what are some other stick calls that you have heard?
Jon - Well you know...there’s “90 to 9 feel fine, field time, need a 9” . That’s a regular one. “Yo 11, field the come” , “Book bets, Bobcats, 12 caps” , “Come away, come another day” , “Double a bubble, comes in trouble” .
H - Oh my gosh that’s fast.
Joh - I used to deal in... back home and there’s a lot of Chinese gamblers and they used to play the horn and the center action bets and they didn’t like 3 crap because they would get paid less. So they would call it, no good 3. And then Chinese, lap, sap, sam. So that became a call. “3 Crap, lap, sap, sam” . It became a thing, right? Or “No field five. In behind. Down behind. Comes too.” And so it is, “Ocho, easy way. Field don’t pay. The red gets fed, In Behind. Down Behind. Comes too.” All that counts too. It was all like, how do you throw it in that. The “Ocho, easy way”. So they are resulted from ones I suppose.
H - Cool. Okay. So, if you guys are watching in the comments, in the live chat, people are putting some of their craps stick calls in there so if you want to take a look go for it. If you're watching this in the replay, go ahead and put your craps stick call in the comments so that way we can gather a whole bunch of stick calls all in one place. So people can see what other people use. Now before we end this live stream, is there anything else you want to add to stick calls, the different stick calls that you have heard? Or anything else you might want to tell people, when it comes to Craps stick calls?
Jon - To be honest, I have always found...functionally you just have to call the number and announce winners and losers. And that’s really the base level. But being on stick is more than that. It depends on how you say it. The inflection and enthusiasm. It’s supposed to be an exciting game. Instead of saying the same calls over and over. Like, “8 out, 8 out 8’s” , “Mike and mike they look alike square peg.” etc. All these different things, right. And do this running commentary. You just need to be enthusiastic, right! You're the one that’s trying to build the atmosphere of the game, and the pace of the game. That’s how I feel. I have know some dealers where the game just dies when they came on the stick. You see the players and they are like oh man boring. I remember one time I spent an entire shift on stick. The boss was like Jon can you stay on stick? Ok, I’ll do it. But I need to drink, I can’t talk without a drink. So literally I had a glass of water on the rail.
H - I thought you were going to say whiskey.
J - No that’s a different story. But, yeah. I’m drinking water and putting it down, and then make calls. That’s what I think is the most important part of the game. You are there to make this game exciting. The calls are good. And it’s the witty stuff. That’s all great, but I’ve seen people be monotone...9 in the 9 in time (mono tone). Winner, winner. It’s like Sherman in Office Space.
H - And the stick call....the stick man, he really keeps the game moving. He is the flow of the game. If he is talk-a-tive and excited and happy and has some good stick calls, and he is moving the dice. You could really get the game going with a good stickman. Like you were saying if you have some stickmen where they are slow and boring it affects the whole table.
Jon - It’s kind of like an unconscious acceptance by the players and the dealers, when they are on stick they like ok….it’s the only game where you don’t have control the pace of the game...the guy on the stick does. When you go on, they come on to you...well this is how Jon is going to deal it this way and at this speed and I’m going to say these things. Or Heather you're’ going to do all these things. And they come to this. Eventually the casino will get known for, like this is a fast paced game. The dealers are good and do a lot of stuff. I just think there’s a lot of subtly in being on stick apart of saying some cool calls. It’s definitely an art form.
H - As a stick man you do not run over your dealers. If you run over your base dealers they are going to be so mad at you. You gotta watch them. You gotta make sure dice go out at a good time when they are ready. Not when they are in the middle and their hands are still in the middle of the table. There’s so much to think about being a Craps dealer. I don’t think players realize that.
J - Oh for sure. A lot of times...where...especially land based casinos here...like I said I worked a lot of cruise ships so you getting...I am sure it is the same as Vegas where you get a lot of traffic where you don’t see them that much...maybe once then never. On the land based casinos like here you get used to the players who know all of the bets and some of that. So then, you know that that dealer is good so you're on one base, and I know that you're going to be good and do all these things so you can pay out quickly. You can move those dice quicker right! Because they are like oh my Heather’s got this totally under control, she knows exactly what these guys are going to do. Back of the bets and all that kind of stuff. Then you need to increase the pace of the game.
H - Yeah, that makes sense. We have one from Nashvillin... ”Line drive to deep right field, going back to the wall and it’s gone!!!” And then the “no roll” when the dice are tossed off the table. I like that one. We got one from CasinodealerJay, that you very much for the superchat, “10 perfect 10, my girlfriend…er ex girlfriend… for some reason she stopped dating men…” Oh my I love that! And then Jay also ask can both of you talk about your first shift on stick? Oh goodness! Do you remember Jon?
J - Oh I definitely remember mine. We talked about it.
H - You definitely remember.
J - Jay, sorry...Heather you go first.
H - I was nervous as hell. I ran over the base dealer which is why I know don’t run over the base dealer because they get mad at you. I probably did everything you could possibly do wrong. But I was loud. I was plenty loud. You could definitely hear me. I think like the next table over could hear me. They were like it’s ok you don’t have to be that loud. But hey you could hear me. I would be so worried about doing something in particular that I would forget to do something else and then people would be like...you gotta do your job. EEEEK! There's so much to do! I guess I could say my first time on the stick I freaked out. I think that would be fair.
J - I remember that my first day...my training was...I came to work 2 hours early for 5 days while I was training. I came into work and there was a list of where everybody was and my name was on Craps. I was like on my gosh. I had cold sweats. I don’t know if I can do this. So I remember I had to walk upstairs and I turn right and the Craps table is in the corner. I remember walking upstairs, I was panic sweating and I come upstairs and I turn right and I looked and I couldn’t see the table. It was full of people around it. The only casino with a craps table within 200 Miles. If you wanted to play craps you had to play it here. And they had a gate around the stick person so they had room. So as I’m walking up...it was like dead man walking...Oh my. So I’m walking up...Austin stood up and was like “GET ON THE STICK”. I was like (nervous). So I get on the stick. I’ve got it and I’m just petrified. And he comes to me and said...just call the right number. They were evil people… Just call the right number and shout loud. So all I kept thinking of was...I’ve got to call the right number. For some reason...Jay knows this...I kept clearing my throat every roll, every single roll. And I throw it up and I clear my throat, and then the players are like.. why is he doing that? Have his stop doing that. And then the dealer were like Jon buddy why do you do that? The more they kept saying the more I couldn’t stop. I was so nervous. Call it 5 easy 5. 9 H -A-R-D. I was a mess. To be honest, I don’t remember pretty much the rest of the night. It was terrifying. I think I came off the end of the shift a sweaty mess.
H - You probably came off and said “Thank God I am still alive.”
J - Do I have to do this again tomorrow? So yeah it was a terrifying experience. That was 1987. That was 33 years ago. And I still remember how I felt walking the...dead man walking. What am I going to do?
H - It’s terrifying! It is so completely terrifying!
J - The thing is you gradually get over the fear and in a weird cruel way they were trying to make you concentrate on something else apart from the game. You know apart from being nerve trance. Focus on, shout and say the right number. And then after a while it kinda got less and less intimidating and I started enjoying being on stick. Oh man this is alive. You can interact with the players. And then it became really enjoyable.
H - Yeah. I completely agree. I think management realizes how terrifying it can feel to be on the game. And that’s part of their job is to make you feel a little more comfortable as a dealer. When you're a break-in dealer and you have never been on the table before it’s so scary.
J - You know, one point because we are talking about Craps and stick calls. There is this I think people have when it comes to stick calls...everyone has a million and one calls. Or they have heard a million and one calls and everyone is on the Pass Line. But it’s so much more difficult when the brain.. like the dome pass. And your like...you know I used to...I’d be there and keep this running commentary you know like they roll an 8 and it points 9, I’d be like… ”Points a 9, rise and shine, shake a 9.” But it becomes so much more difficult and harder when on the dome pass...and the dealer is like, “I’m stumped now.”
H - And again just so you guys know, reading your comments in the chat you guys have some funny stories. If you can while you are watching this check out the chat. Check out what people are saying. There are some funny stories in there. Especially one about short sticking. So before we go, before we end this, I just want to give out a quick announcement really fast and then if we can let’s tell one or two craps stories to end this, and then that will be the live stream. Jon what is a crazy story on Craps that you remember that you would like to share?
J - Okay so...this is probably new to Jay too...I first worked on cruise ships when I was 21. I went out to work on a cruise ship. And it was this ship that was connected with Disney. Disney didn’t have a cruise ship at the time but they used to do 3 - 4 day cruises. 4 Days in Disney and 3 days on the ship or vice versa. It was kinda like a fun casino. So anyways, so I’m there 21 years old and I’m on stick and this more experienced person would say...he’s 5-6 years older than me. He’s on stick and I’m on base and when it was in the day time they’d run it through the pit. We were not the dice crew thru and thru. So this gentleman comes up, I’m with his wife and they buy in for like $1000 or whatever it was. And the guy says, do you mind if my wife pushes the dice like this? Like...when you pass them to me can she just push them like that? I feel it’s lucky to hit my odds. I was like...it’s a cruise ship, it’s dead, it’s one guy, so I said sure. She’s not picking it up, she’s like nudging them. So he’s doing that and he’s tipping and he was a really nice guy and so was his wife, and we are playing away. Gradually he’s on the back wall and gradually as the game is getting busier he kinda comes closer and closer to be standing by me. He was great when he was rolling the dice but when once he started with other players. He was getting late bets. And then he was throwing and knocking my sticks over. And I was getting mader and mader. Stop doing that. I was getting so mad. Then about after an hour...so the new guy comes off to take him off the stick and then take me off. He mimes over, he’s blind. I’ve been dealing to a blind guy for like an hour. I said oh my I’m going straight to hell.
H - Oh my gosh he was blind.
J - He was so nice but I just didn’t know. He didn’t have glasses on or anything. He was so nice and I was such a jerk.
H - That’s awesome! My story I have told this before. I am sure you have heard this plenty of times. We had a guy, a high roller crap on the Craps table. When the smell got so bad they finally comped him a free jogging suit. We stopped the game, held the game for him. He went, he cleaned up. Put on the free jogging suit, came back and finished playing. I felt bad for the janitor. Because the janitor had to go and sweep up the Shit turd into the...yeah. So we had a guy crap on the Craps table. And it was a high roller.
Jon thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and your experience, and I hope we can have you on again in the future.
Jon - Sure! It was a lot of fun. Maybe I’ll tell you how I accidently worked for the illegal casino.
H - Yeah we gotta hear that story one day. I’ll have you come back on for Casino Stories. You and Jay.
J - Sounds good.