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Different Strokes For Different Folks In The Casino

What’s your style in the casino?

By Frank Scoblete

Casino gamblers have their own styles, too. In fact, every table game player approaches the games in his or her own unique way.

 Two icons of the 1950s and 60s were Sugar Ray Robinson, my pick for the greatest fighter of all time, and Elvis Presley, every teenage girl’s dream singer. These two men had unique styles—from how they dressed, to how they combed their hair, to how they walked, where they lived, and with whom they associated.

They were two different men with two distinct styles. Yet, they both shared a love for pink Cadillacs. Those cars said something to people about them, something they wanted everyone to know. The cars said they could and should be noticed. Check out me in my pink Cadillac; this is who I am.

In fact, everyone has a style. It seems that everyone desires others to know something about them, and what better way to do this than by exhibiting yourself? You don’t have to be a celebrity to want some eyes upon you. Even if some individuals claim they don’t care what other people think about them, they go out of their way to let all those “other people” know they don’t care what those people think. That’s their style – the “I don’t care” style!

Casino gamblers have their own styles, too. In fact, every table game player approaches the games in his or her own unique way.

Go to a craps table and watch the shooters throw the dice. Just about all of them have unique ways of doing it. Some set the dice in different configurations; some shake the dice; some talk to the dice; some yell at the dice; some stack the dice one upon the other; some cup the dice; some do all of the above.

Some shooters loft the dice high into the air, while others throw fast line drives where the dice will bounce all over the table after they hit the back wall. For as many shooters as there are, there are almost as many ways to shoot.

Dice throwing styles are truly individual things. While very few dice shooters can alter the probabilities of the game, still these shooters feel good about how they throw and how they look to the other players when they are throwing. Style and craps “go together like a horse and carriage.”

How people place their bet at craps can also signal their stylistic sensibilities. Some players will wait until the shooter has the dice, at the precise moment when the table is full of quiet anticipation, and then they will flip, spin or loft their bets onto the layout shouting, “Give me a yo!” or “The hard six!” or “A horn high twelve!”, or call out any of the innumerable wagers of that game.

This style certainly irritates other players, since you aren’t supposed to make bets when the shooter has the dice, but doing so brings quite a bit of attention to the bettor—and that seems to be what these players want.

The high roller room baccarat players have unique ways of dealing and looking at their cards. Often the players will bend their cards; often they will squeeze them together so they can only see a slight coloration on the corners. They might throw or flip their cards down or into the center of the table when they know what those cards are. Some will mumble incoherent mantras as they deal, or look at the cards.

Blackjack players using hand signals at four-, six- and eight-deck games might use their index finger or middle finger or pinky to indicate they want a hit. Some will spread their index and middle fingers to have the dealer split their pairs. Some will scratch their fingers on the layout; some will pound their fingers when asking for a hit.

In single- and double-deck games where players can hold the cards, some will scratch long and hard for a hit; others will subtly indicate that they want another card. Some players will throw down their blackjacks as if the cards are red hot; others will coolly turn them over in a nonchalant way, as if getting a blackjack is no big deal.

At roulette, some players will only bet from the top of the layout down to the bottom; they won’t bet lower to higher. Others will only bet lower to higher. Some players will only bet when the dealer is just about to say, “No more bets.” Some players love to bet in slow motion; some bet as if they are on super fast forward. Some love to call out the number and the color just as the dealer is doing so.

You can even see a wealth of styles by simply watching people walk around the casinos. Some people strut; some walk tentatively; some flaunt (what they believe is) their sexiness; and others are actually shy about the fact that they will be challenging Lady Luck. Some players are intense; some are relaxed. Many young men will imitate the styles they see in television commercials, giving their own particular spin to them. Young women will do this as well. Some players enjoy walking around holding drinks.

There’s little doubt that if you study people in the casinos, you will see that all of them have a certain way about them. They have style. So what’s yours?


Frank Scoblete’s newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines, which features advantage-play slots; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win, which comes with a DVD showing controlled throws. Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players and Beat Blackjack Now are all available from, at your favorite bookstore, or by mail order by calling 1-866-SET-DICE. You can also call that number for a free brochure.


 Different Strokes For Different Folks In The Casino.


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