CASINO SCHOOL

 

 

    Choosing the school to attend was first.  There were only two operating at the time and one, Casino Schools, Inc. (CSI), had come to me, so that is why I went with them. The other school was the Atlantic Community College.  They had a branch called the Casino Career Institute.  There, they taught everything from dealing, to how to fix slot machines, to upper casino and hotel management.  CSI only taught how to deal the games.

    The second phase was choosing what game I wanted to deal.  At the time, four games were being permitted in the casinos that were being offered for instruction.  They were: craps, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.  I knew some blackjack dealers, so that seemed appealing to me.  When I had first approached the school's booth at Stockton, I talked with the two ladies running it.  I asked them about the different games and for their advice about which would be best to learn.  They told me that blackjack dealers were a dime a dozen and that although craps was a tougher game and cost more money to learn, it was much easier to get a job dealing since they were in more demand.  With that in mind, Big Lew and I made the decision to take craps as our primary game.  But Big Lew never followed it through.

    A primary game was the game which one learned first.  There were both advantages and drawbacks to which game you choose as your primary.  One only took the primary game once. Every other learned after that became a secondary game.  The difference between the two was in class time and cost.  For example, if one took the blackjack course, as their primary game, the cost was $550 along with an eight-week class for the total of 160 hours of instruction as was required by law.  If one had already taken another game as the primary and blackjack was going to be their secondary game, the law required only 80 hours of instruction or, fours weeks at twenty hours per week. The cost was also much lower, averaging around $350.  Craps worked almost the same way.  If that was to be ones primary game the cost back then was $950 and required twelve weeks of instruction for a total of 240 hours.  However, if one took it as a secondary game the cost was around $650 and only required eight weeks, or 160 hours, of learning.  No matter how I looked at it, it was a safer bet that I would get a job with a craps license easier than with one for blackjack.

 

    The first day of class fell on January 2, 1984, at 8 am.  The first thing to do, upon arrival at the school, was to fill out forms and make a payment.  After that we were directed to wait in the dealer's lounge.  Every casino had a dealer's lounge and the school was trying to create a casino like atmosphere.  From there we were divided into classes and, depending on which game we were taking, were brought to a classroom. 

    Inside that room we were given more forms to fill out and instructed on the policies of the school.  We were also told that the group was going to be divided, so if we had a preference to which instructor we wanted we had to write it down or one would be assigned to us.  I overheard some guys dressed in Playboy security guard uniforms talking about one instructor being the best in the business.  They told each one to put him down.  I also wanted the best, so I put his name down on my questionnaire as well.  We were informed that the licensing procedure took several months, so we should get started on that immediately.  After all the preliminaries were taken care of the school dismissed us early giving us full credit for five hours towards our instruction.  I took advantage of the time allotted and preceded to take care of filing for a license.

    I awoke the next morning looking forward to my first day of real instruction.  I learned the previous day my teacher would be Bobby Jones, the best in the business.  Arriving at the school a little early, I hung around the dealer's lounge and had some coffee.  After a short while a lady came in and informed us on which classroom to proceed to.

    The room was nice.  It consisted of a teacher's desk and two craps tables.  The walls were paneled with a pleasant color, as was the rest of the school.  The tables were along side each other facing opposite directions as they did in a casino.  There were about 16 or 18 students in our class, so we were split up between each table.

    Bobby started with a role call and told us we had to sign in to get credit for the hours put in.  We were also to write down how many hours we were there.  This was also to model how the casinos were run. Then he started by telling us about himself.

    Bobby Jones worked in Las Vegas as a dealer, Boxman, and Floorman for several years before going to Atlantic City to open Resort's International.  He also opened a couple of other joints before going into teaching.  We could tell we were with one of the best.  Teaching two classes a week gave him the same pay as a casino supervisor except he had Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, as well as holidays, off.  This was unheard of in the casino business.  He also told us to get used to working such days.

    He taught us our main function; the handling of the checks. Checks are what every uneducated gambler calls chips.  Chips are what the dealer gives a player at a roulette table.  Checks were just that, checks.  They were checks payable to the bearer by the casino (bank) printed on them.  He taught us how handle them and told us the first half hour of every class would be devoted to practicing how to cut and drop cut them.  Cutting checks was the primary mechanical function of the craps dealer.  Drop cutting was a process of being able to snap down a particular number of checks when holding a handful.  Cutting checks was a process of drop cutting and then placing the same number of checks in any number of equal piles next to the original drop cut by sizing into them.  Sizing into checks was the same as cutting except one did not drop cut the first stack.  Rather, they approached a stack and just sized into it.  That was the most common way of paying bets in any game.  Craps dealers were the masters of that.  They had the best hands in the casino because of constantly repeating that.  You could always tell whom the craps dealer was on the other games by watching how he paid the bets.

    The big lesson was on the dice.  Bobby showed us a pair and pointed out that each of the opposite sides always added up to seven.  So the other side of the one was the six and the other side of the two was the five and naturally the alternate side of the three was the four.  This information would be important in dealing the game.  Right away someone in the class asked him if the dice were fixed.  Bobby was quick to respond, "There are six ways to roll a seven, more combinations than any other number on the dice.  With odds like that we don't have to fix the dice."  Whenever he referred to the house he would say "we" or "us".  As dealers we would be removed from gambling by state law, so we were the house.

 

    When I first went to casino school I had no idea how to play craps.  I had seen Guido play the game but still had no clue as to how it went.  Luckily for me, playing the game and dealing it were two entirely different things.  We were told the twelve-week course was just the basics and we really would not learn how to deal the game until we were working in a casino.  As time went on I was able to get a pretty good grasp of what I had to do.  I do not intend to teach you how to play craps, but I will mention the basic ways the players bet and how the game was dealt.  Bare with me, it is a little complicated.

    Each player could bet anything they wished.  They could bet that the shooter makes his pass or does not make his pass.  They could bet that he comes or that he does not come, or that he comes the hard way. They could buy and lay, put money on a horn, go around the world or even bet that the shooter is just going to crap.

    If all that sounds suggestive to you, it is supposed to.  Making passes, cums, cumming hard or soft, betting whorens, making a buy or taking a lay, it is basically about prostitution.  It is a very psychological game.  Standing in front of one can make any man get an erection.  That is part of what makes the craps player one of the lowest forms of being on earth.  The sad part is that he plays and does not understand where the excitement keeps coming from.

    The fundamental way to play was to bet either the pass or don't pass line.  But one did not have to bet either of those lines to play. However, if you wanted to shoot the dice you had to bet one of them.  They were the lines, which determined the point, and the shooter had to show an interest in the point.  The only time I have ever seen the house wave that rule was when Governor Brown, the former governor of Kentucky, was throwing the dice.  He came to Trump Plaza once a year because his wife, whose name escapes me but who everyone told me was a hostess on Good Morning America, was a former Miss. America and had to come for the shows.  Governor Brown had a real ego.  He had to have his own table, but never tipped.  That only tied up a table capable of making tips for the dealers.  But since he was such a sap they would let him shoot from the Don't Come.  When you are betting $5,000 to $10,000 on each roll they let you do what you wanted, especially if you are like Brown and loosing over $150,000 in one night.  I had no idea governors made that kind of money.  It must be good to be the king.

    The pass and don't pass lines could only be bet before the come out roll.  If the player bet the pass line they were looking for a 7 or an 11 to win on the come out roll.  If the shooter threw the 2, 3, or 12 it was considered a crap and the pass line lost.  (One thing Bobby taught us was that a player never lost, he just didn't win.)  The Don't Pass line was the exact opposite with the exception that they did not win if the 12 rolled.  That was considered a push and that line neither won nor lost.  That was what the house told everyone was his or her only advantage over them betting that line.  Some people thought they were betting the "don't pass bar" because on the layout it is written, "Don't Pass, Bar 12," and the 12 was in the form of the dice.  If a natural did not roll on the come out roll then that number became the point.  Those numbers were the 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.  If a point was established then the shooter had to repeat that number before throwing the seven in order to win.  If the seven rolled before the point, that was considered a seven out and the pass line lost while the Don't Pass line won.

    As stated before, the pass and don't pass could only be bet before the come out roll.  However, if a player came to a game which was already out on a point he could get his own point by betting either the come or the don't come.  Those were the same rules that applied to the pass and the Don't Pass only they were bet after the come out roll.  The reason a person would want to do that was so they could play the odds.

    Odds were a bet the casino allowed a player to make on top of his original bet.  The pass and don't pass, as well as the come and the Don't Come, paid even money.  If the player was betting the pass or the come lines then he would take the odds.  If he were playing the Don't Pass or the Don't Come then he would lay the odds.  That was the only way to get the true odds without having to pay a juice.  But before I explain how the juice worked, let me show you the advantages and disadvantages to playing the pass or the Don't Pass.

    The first thing you must understand are the odds.  There are 36 combinations on the dice, the most common of which is the seven.  There are six of those.  The next frequent combination is the 6 and the 8, each having five.  For example, the 6 can be made by the dice landing with one showing a 1 and the other showing the 5, or the other could show the 1 while the one shows the 5.  It can also come 2-4, 4-2 or 3-3.  Next are the 5 and 9.  Each has four combinations; 1-4, 2-3, 4-1, 3-2; 3-6, 6-3, 4-5, 5-4.  After that comes the 4 and the 10.  Each has three ways of being made; 1-3, 3-1, 2-2; 4-6, 6-4, 5-5.  Then come the 3 and 11.  Each of these has two ways of rolling; 1-2, 2-1, 5-6, 6-5.  Last are the 2 and the 12.  There is only one way each of those can be made; 1-1 or 6-6.  Now lets apply this to the come out roll.

    If you were betting the pass line then on the come out roll you could win by throwing the 7 or the 11.  That gave you eight ways to win on the first roll.  You know that the only way to lose was to throw the 2, 3, or 12.  Those only made up four combinations.  That gave you a 2 to 1 edge of winning over losing.  However, subtract the eight combinations of winning from the 36 total combinations and you will find that we are left with 28 other combinations.  This gave the house a 3.5 to 1 edge that you would not win on the come out roll.  Four of those could make you lose on the first roll.  The 24 remaining combinations would establish your point.  Once that was established, the only numbers that counted were your point and the seven.  Everything else was now neutral.  Say your point was the 4 or 10.  We have learned that there are only three ways of making either of those numbers.  Compare that with the six ways of making the 7 and you will be quick to find out that the odds are 2 to 1 in favor of your losing. Likewise, you can see that the 5 and 9 and the 6 and 8 were 3 to 2 and 6 to 5 in favor of your losing.  So why would anyone bet the pass line?  It was all psychological.  The house had everyone believing that to bet the Pass line was going with yourself while betting the Don't Pass was going against.  Still, you had the option.

    Some people did not like to play the lines.  They would rather bet for or against one of the six non-natural numbers.  Betting for the number was easier than betting against it.  That was called a place bet.  In order for someone to make that bet a shooter had to be out on a point.  The bet would be in units of $5 on the 4, 5, 9, and 10 and in units of $6 on the 6 and 8.  That reason being because of the way the odds were paid.  Your bet said that the number you were on would roll before the seven out.  If you bet on the 4 or 10 the odds were 9 to 5.  We have learned earlier that the 4 and 10 each have three ways to win.  Put that beside the six ways the 7 could roll and we see the true odds of 2 to 1.  However, the casinos would only give 9 to 5 because that was just the kind of guys they were.  Likewise, the 5 and 9 are really 6 to 4 or 3 to 2, but they were given 7 to 5.  The same went with the 6 and 8 whose true odds were 6 to 5 but which were paid only 7 to 6.  Just another example of how good a bet the casino really had.

    Now the casinos were not without total feelings.  They would let you play the numbers and take the true odds.  That, however, required the payment of a juice.  The juice, also referred to as the vigorish or the chop, was the percentage (5%) that the player had to pay for the privilege of having the true odds.  This was known as buying the number.  (Remember, when Las Vegas was starting out in the 20's and 30's and the girls back then were referred to as numbers.)  For a player to do that the bet must have been at least $20.  That way the house could collect its one-dollar.  It was a good bet on the 4 or 10, but not really worth it on the other four numbers unless the bet reached in the hundreds of dollars.  If you took down the buy bet the juice was refunded to you.  If you won or lost though, you lost the juice as well.  It was just another way of the casino getting you to bet more money on a bet which you were already in the disadvantage for having.  There was one way, however, to get a bet taking the true odds without having to pay the juice.

    Back to the Pass and Come lines.  As stated above, people liked to play the Pass and Don't Pass line so they could take the odds.  That bet was free and did not cost a juice.  And, unlike the Pass and Come bet, odds could be placed and removed at will.  The Pass and Come were different.  Those were considered contract bets.  Once you had entered into that and a point had been given to the bet it could not be removed for any reason (unless the house wanted you removed from the casino).  The reason for that was simple; it was a good bet for the house and they did not want to lose their shot at the money.  The amount of odds one could place "behind" (in the case of the Pass line) or "on" (in the case of the Come line) the bet was usually up to two or three times the original bet.  That all depended on the joint.  In any case, if the bet won and you had odds placed, you were paid according to the true odds.  The house would always tell the player that was the only bet which they had no advantage over.  That was total bull.  Any time you made a bet where the odds were against you it was to the house's advantage.

    Betting against a number was a little more difficult. The easy way was to bet the Don't Pass and hope for none of those eight combinations, which would cause you to lose, to roll on the come out.  Then you had the best bet in the house.  If one of the 28 combinations which did not include the 7 or 11 should roll on the come out, three would let you win instantly, one would be a push and the other 24 would put you at an advantage to win since your point would in essence become the 7. Logically this was the best bet in the house. Psychologically, though, the player, especially the shooter, was lead to believe they did not believe in themselves if they bet that line.  Most of the players who bet it never threw the dice and very rarely played any of the numbers.  Also, that type of player was usually a cigar smoking grump - a one time die-hard do player disillusioned by the magic after taking a heavy betting one night.

    Unlike the pass line, the player could remove a Don't Pass bet once the point had been established.  That also had a simple reason being that once the point had been established the Don't player had the advantage over the house.  The house would love to get out of that contract.  The Don't player could also increase his bet once the point had been established, not by taking odds, but rather, by laying them. Although that seems like a safe bet, you will find out later how disastrous that could turn out. Those odds cost nothing to play, which was different from the bet against a number on which a person had no don't bet and had to pay a juice for laying.

    That brings us to the other way a player could bet against a number.  Like the buy bet the player had to pay a juice. Only, instead of buying a number he laid it.  (I could see the sick bucks from the 30's right now saying "Hey dealer I want to lay that number," and getting a laugh out of it.)  Also, rather than paying 5% of what the bet was, they paid 5% of what the bet would win.  For that the bet had to win a minimum of $20.  Much like the buy bet, they never got paid the true odds because if they won $20 they were only receiving $19 since the juice had to be paid for winning.  The casino would get you any way they could.

    Another way they got you was through their one-roll bets.  These were the worst.  They either won or lost on the next roll.  They were what everyone in the biz referred to as the prop (proposition) and sucker bets. Besides the long shot prop bets was an even money one roll bet known as the field.  The field was the biggest sucker's bet in the casino.  Let me show you how it worked.  First, the player would look at the field and ask the dealers how it was played.  The dealer would simply respond, "If any of those numbers roll, you get paid.  If the 2 or 12 rolls, your get paid double what you bet."  The sucker, I mean the player, would then look at the numbers in the field.  They were the 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 12.  He or she then realized that the amount of numbers in the field were seven.  The  5, 6, 7 and 8 were the only four not in the field.  They then concluded that there were seven numbers on which to win and only four with which to lose - almost 2 to 1 in their favor.  Not bad, only to them it seemed like a safe bet.  You have no idea how many times I have heard my friends argue with me to no end about that fact.  To find out how it worked we have to go back to our 36 dice combinations.  The 2 could only be made one way, the 3 only two, and the 4 only three.  The 9 had four ways, the 10 had three, the 11 only two and the 12 had only one way of being made.  If we add up all the combinations on those numbers it would look like this;  1+2+3+4+3+2+1=16.  Now take the four numbers not in the field.  The 5 had four combinations, the 6 had five, the 7 had six and the 8 had five ways of being made.  When we add that together we have 4+5+6+5=20. Out of 36 possible combinations there were 16 ways to win and 20 ways to lose.  Now tell me the field was a good bet.

    Other one roll bets were located in the center of the table.  They made up the bottom half of the prop bets.  They were the any seven, the any crap, the 2, the 3, the 11 and the 12.  Let us go right in order.  The seven had 6 out of 36 combinations, or a 6 to 1 chance of rolling; the house gave 4 to 1.  Next was the any crap.  This bet contracted that if any of the three crap numbers should roll on the next throw you got paid 7 to 1.  Well, with only one way to make either the 2 or the 12 and only two ways to make the 3, that really gave you 4 out of 36 or a 9 to 1 chance of rolling.  (Catching on yet?)  It is obvious that with only one way to roll either the 2 or the 12 that put their odds at 36 to 1.  The house would give only 30 to 1 and you were very lucky if it hit.  Last were the 3 and the 11.  Each of those had 2 out of 36 ways to roll giving them odds at 18 to 1.  The house gave the player 15 to 1.

    The top half of the prop bets were the Hardways.  These bets only worked when the shooter was out on his point.  There were four Hardway bets.  Those stayed up until either the number came easy or the seven out rolled.  For example, if the 4 rolled 1-3 or 3-1 it was considered an easy or soft 4 and the bet lost just as it would if one of the seven out combinations rolled.  The 4 and the 10 both had three ways of rolling.  If you eliminate the 2-2 and the 5-5 combinations you are left with the other two.  Add that to the six ways of throwing a 7 and you have eight ways to lose and only one way to win.  The house on the other hand only gave 7 to 1.  With the 6 and 8 you eliminate the 3-3 and the 4-4 to be left with four combinations.  Add that to the six ways of making the 7 and you get ten ways to lose to the one way to win.  The house paid 9 to 1.  Typical.

    So there you have it.  Every bet a player could make.  With up to eight players on each end giving the stickperson up to 16 prop bets to look after you are probably wondering how the dealers kept track of everything and dealt the game.  What that all boiled down to was procedure.

 

    Procedure was how everything in the casinos was run.  You could not even sneeze without following procedure.  Some were state laws, most were house rules.  The first procedure the dealer followed was when signing in.  Once on the game there were two sets of procedures that the dealer had to adhere to.  One was pertaining to the stick position, the other to the base position.

    The game itself was played on a table 14, 16, or 18 feet in length.  Each craps table consisted of a crew of four dealers, one to two Boxpersons, and a Floorperson.  Three dealers ran the game while the fourth was on break sending another on break every twenty minutes. When a dealer returned from break he tapped in on the stick (first base).  When we tapped in on a game we had to tap the dealer, to be relieved, on the shoulder.  When that dealer had completed his or her work they would instruct the on-coming dealer about the shooter or other players and maybe mention who was tipping or who was winning and stiffing.  They then clapped their hands together and showed them, palms up, to the supervisor and surveillance camera.  This was to prove that we were not taking anything such as money off the game.  The other dealer entering the game would clap his hands and turn them palms up to show that they were not taking anything on the game such as loaded dice.  There was a lot of suspicion in the casinos and no one was above conjecture.  If it was the stickperson being tapped off, he would go to the dealer on the other side of the table who had been in the longest (usually no more than an hour) and tap them out.  That dealer went on break for twenty minutes and returned, rested, to begin his next hour of work.

    The stickperson was the showman of the game.  When the game was dead the dice were in the bowl placed at the center of the table.  When someone opened the game and placed his bet on one of the two lines, the stickperson dumped the dice out of the bowl and stirred them with the stick.  While doing that they would advertise what was going on, "Coming out, crap checks, yo bets, world bets, any sevens, get them in now, we're coming out."

    "Coming out", told everyone on the game that it was the Cum Out roll.  The rest of the junk he was yelling was to advertise the prop bets.  If a player wanted such a foolish bet he would throw it to the stickperson.  The stickperson would then verbally book the bet and place it in accordance with where the player was standing on the game. After ample time had been given for such bets to be made, the stick would send out the dice (usually five) to the shooter for him to pick two.  Without taking his eyes off the two dice picked, he would snatch the remaining dice into the hand not holding the stick and return them to the bowl, which was, by then, under him against the mirrored wall.  Never did the stickperson take his eyes off the two dice when they were not in the center of the game.  After the shooter releases the dice, the stick would continue to watch their hand to insure no switch had occurred and then would turn to the falling dice.  When both dice came to a complete stop the call was made and the base dealers were instructed what to do, "Winner seven, winner.  Take the don'ts pay the line, all working bets get action, return the odds, pay behind," or, "Three crap three.  Line away, pay the don'ts, good in the field," or "Six easy six.  No field six, mark the six. The point is six."  Once the dice had been returned to the center of the game he had to turn them over to expose the bottoms of each to make sure it was the opposite of what was on top and the two added up to seven.  The stick would than take down any losing prop bets and instruct the base dealers to pay the winning ones starting with the side the dice landed on and going from the eighth position to the first.  Stickpersons would place the stick in front of the winning player and state how much they won.  We were also in charge of watching the base dealer on the side that the dice had landed.  After all of that had been taken care of we would start the entire procedure over again.  If the number called was a point then the speech before the next roll was somewhat different, "The point is six, we're out on six.  Now is the time to make field, place, and come bets.  Get your Hardways in now, 7 to 1 and 9 to 1 on the Hardways.  Craps and yos each and every roll.  Make your bets now."  This procedure was followed "each and every roll" until the seven out rolled.  When that occurred, we would say what we had to, but once the dice had been returned to the center of the table we would dump the bowl and start mixing up the dice (particularly after a duke) so no one could follow which dice were just used, while going back into the come-out speech.  If everyone walked away and the game went dead, the stickperson would put all five dice in the bowl, place that in the center of the table, and lay down the stick.

    Base dealers had a different responsibility.  They tapped in and out much like the stickperson only they followed a procedure unlike them.  One thing they did which could not be done from first base was take in money and give out checks.  From there he became two things; a bookie and a runner.  He was the bookie when the player called out the bet. He became the runner when he took the money and placed it on that bet either taking or paying it depending on the outcome.  And he did that all according to procedure.

    There was a five-step procedure that was followed from the base position.  It went as follows:  1) down behind the number, 2) pay or take the field, 3) move any new Don't Come bets behind the number, 4) place or pay all Come bets, and 5) pay all place bets.  That was the procedure for when the game had a point.  On the come-out roll it was a little different.  For that, the dealer took the losing line, paid or barred the winning line, took or paid any field bets, returned all odds placed on the Come bets, locked up all the Come bets and then paid any Don't Come or lay bets.  And that was only if the winner-seven rolled.  If one of the other natural numbers rolled he did the same thing only he did not touch the Come and Don't Come bets.  If on the come-out roll a point was established the dealer would put the puck on that number, lock up any Don't Come or lay bets on that number, pay or take the field bets, pay any Come bets on the number (flat only, not the odds), and then ask the players what they wanted to do with any remaining place bets.  Sound like fun?  I'm not done yet.  If the point was established then the five-step procedure, which was drilled into every craps student, was followed.  "Down behind the number, meant if there were any Don't Come or lay bets behind the number just called those bets lost.  As I said before - the house wants their money first.  The second bet the house had a chance of winning from the start was the field bet.  That was the second step to follow, "take or pay the field".  The third step in the procedure, "move new Don't Come bets behind the number", was a neutral act.  The house was not winning any money, but at the same time they were not paying any out.  Remember, paying money was the last thing they wanted to do.  Now the fourth step, "place or pay all Come bets", was still not a full committal by the house to pay what they had lost.  Come bets were handled according to order (position) from 1 to 8.  If the player had no Come bet on that number the bet was moved onto it.  If they had no new Come bet, but had a Come bet on the number just thrown, then the bet was removed, placed in the Come according to position, and paid.  If the player had a flat bet on the number called equal to that in the Come then it was paid the amount due next to the new bet.  That is what was known as being "off and on".  Now for the difficult part.  If a person had a Come bet already on the number called and a bet in the Come which was not equal to that of their existing flat bet on the number, then the Come bet on the number was taken out, placed in the Come along side the new Come bet, and paid the proper amount due.  The new Come bet was then taken and placed on that number.  Not until all that had been done would the house finally pay the bets they surely lost.  Step five, "pay all place bets", was just that.  All place and buy bets were paid in the same order as the Come bets.  Only hitch was, when the bet was paid the player would tell the dealer to either leave it the same way or change it.  All changes had to be done before the next bet could be paid.  And last, but certainly not in the least, if the stickperson had any winning prop bets which needed to be paid on their end, he would instruct them on who and how much to pay.  Then everyone would start making new bets before the next roll which had to be booked. Sound like a lot of fun?  Keep in mind that starting salary for a dealer is now below minimum wage.

    I know the above sounds like a real pain in the ass, and it often was, but a jammer could handle it with no problem.  The procedure also came in handy on a jammed-up game.  When the dealer and everyone watching the dealer followed it, it made for catching any mistakes much easier.  Still, it was a lot of work to be doing for the house at only $3.75 an hour when they were expecting no mistakes from you.  It makes you kind of wonder why anyone would want to put themselves through everything we have discussed thus far.  The answer was because of the toke rate.

    The toke rate was what had every poor sap wanting to be a casino dealer.  It was the amount of tips shared by each dealer according to how much money was collected in ratio to how many hours were worked.  All tips were pulled and shared equally.  For example, when I worked for the Trump Plaza, before it became a flea joint, we could gross $300,000 in tips per week.  If the total amount of hours worked by everyone that week was 24,000 that would translate into a $12.50 per hour toke rate.  And just think, if we had better management we could have been making more.  The casino next door, Caesar's Boardwalk Regency, could gross the same in tokes as we could except they kept their dealing hours down.  They could average 18,000 or 19,000 hours per week.  Put that 19,000 hours into the same $300,000 and you come up with a $15.78 per hour toke rate.  So it was not the $30 a day the casino gave us but rather the $100 a day the players did.  Not a bad paycheck when you add the two together and multiply that by five.

 
 
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Dedication

Behind These Eyes

Chapter  1 - OVERTURE

Chapter  2 - IN THE BEGINNING

Chapter  3 - MY FIRST SHOT

Chapter  4 - CHAD AND THE DEALER

Chapter  5 - THE DECISION TO DEAL

Chapter  6 - LICENSE TO STEAL

Chapter  7 - CASINO SCHOOL

Chapter  8 - SPRING '84

Chapter  9 - GETTING IN--THE AUDITION

Chapter 10 - BREAKING IN

Chapter 11 - LEARNING THE BIZ

Chapter 12 - SHOOTING DICE: THE HOOK

Chapter 13 - THE CITY, THE CASINOS, AND THE MOB

Chapter 14 - THE MOVE TO GET OUT

Chapter 15 - FIRED BY THE MAFIA

Chapter 16 - ALONG COMES MARY

Chapter 17 - THE TROP

Chapter 18 - OUTSIDE THE BIZ

Chapter 19 - BACK IN THE BIZ--ANOTHER AUDITION

Chapter 20 - THE BIRTH OF NICOLE

Chapter 21 - TRUMP: THE ART OF THE STEAL

Chapter 22 - PREVIEWS OF THINGS TO COME

Chapter 23 - THE BREAK-UP

Chapter 24 - THE NUT HOUSE

Chapter 25 - RECOVERY

Chapter 26 - PARENTAL ALIENATION

Chapter 27 - FIRED FROM TRUMP

Chapter 28 - I FIGHT FOR NICOLE

Chapter 29 - THE RUN-A-ROUND

Chapter 30 - THROWING IN THE TOWEL

Chapter 31 - WHAT NOW

GLOSSARY