Diceless Dice Game!

I heard about this game a few years back, but hadn’t experienced it first hand until this past Labor Day weekend.

Craps played with cards instead of dice!

I was visiting my sister in California and we decided to go and check this game out at one of the local Indian Casinos. In California, the gaming laws allow for cards only, you can’t use dice or spin a roulette wheel with a ball. Everything must be determined with cards.

Roulette played with cards was equally interesting, but I’ll save that one for another day.

Anyway, here is how it works.

They use 6 decks of cards; each deck has 36 cards (consisting of the 36 different combinations of the dice). Each card has the image of one of those combinations (i.e. 6 + 5, 3 + 2, etc.). They are all shuffled and put into a machine that continuously shuffles all of the 216 cards.

There is no need for a stickman, so the game is dealt with 2 dealers and a boxman, the boxman handles the cards and the proposition bets.

The table layout is exactly the same as a regular craps table with the exception of two boxes above the proposition bets; one is marked blue the other is marked red.

Prior to the deal, the “shooter” chooses which color box will be used (similar to choosing 2 of the 5 dice offered prior to rolling). That color is then used until that “shooter” sevens out.

Three cards are dealt, one is burned, one is placed in the red box, and the other is placed in the blue box. Whichever color box the “shooter” has chosen is the card that is exposed and thus the “roll of the dice”.

All bets and payouts are the same as a regular craps game.

Now here is my take on the game.

The most obvious observation is the lack of excitement and emotion that normally surrounds the craps table; it doesn’t have the same feel and excitement of a regular dice game. There is something about rolling the dice and calling for a number that makes the game of craps what it is.

Also, even though they do a good job of shuffling the 216 cards, the total randomness of the roll of the dice is not there.

I know the odds are still the same, but much like the computer generated numbers in online craps, the total randomness is gone, hence numbers are slightly more likely to act according to the odds.

I believe this may be the perfect game for the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bettor. The number 7 is more likely to come up on schedule.

And most “Don’t” bettors don’t throw the dice anyway, and seldom cheer or celebrate at the table.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, betting against the shooter is just as good of a play as betting with the shooter, it just doesn’t happen to be my way of playing the game.

So for me, this is one game I will put in the column; just not one of my games.

Know your play. Know your way.