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    Sunday, August 07, 2022

    Online craps? Sorry, this is a table game that must be experienced live

    I have never considered myself much of a conspiracy theorist. Example: I accepted the movie "JFK" for what it was: a movie, Oliver Stone's imagination notwithstanding.

    The same applies to sports. I don't believe games are rigged for gambling purposes, much as I wonder why the referee in every Notre Dame football game is named Seamus O'Flanagan.

    But I've found one gambling place where I choose not to participate: online craps. Sorry. It's easy enough to roll a seven. Nobody needs the house's help.

    Some things in life need to be experienced live. Craps is one of them. Some of the happiest times of my life have been at a craps table. Friends of mine have pegged other players with the dice for being annoying. One saw the box guy was named Charlie Daniels and started singing "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." (We laughed, he didn't).

    One got so mad at another box guy he threw the dice out the front door of the casino. One likes to sing "We Ain't Got A Barrel of Money" at the table. And one time, at a table in Vegas, Joe Theismann kept rolling sevens and ruining the vibe. The guy next to me whispers, "I wish LT broke his other bleeping leg, too."

    The point: The energy at a craps table when somebody has the dice for a half-hour and keeps making money for everybody else is hard to explain. But very real. And very expensive for the house. The idea that I get hot with electronic dice and suddenly roll a seven?

    Cheaters, cheaters, pumpkin eaters.

    For the uninitiated: Craps is a great way to teach math. Players (and dealers) constantly run numbers in their heads. Otherwise, the game starts with the "point" — the first roll of the dice that ends up as a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10. A roll of a 7 and 11 is a win on the first roll and a 2, 3, or 12 is a loss.

    Once the point number is established, the idea is to roll that number — or as many other numbers as you can — before rolling a seven.

    The rub: It's a lot easier to roll a 7 (the dice can show 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1) than a 12 (6-6 is the only combination possible). There are six ways to make a 7, five ways to make a 6 or 8, four ways to make a 5 or 9, etc.

    I've been at tables where the man or woman with the dice has avoided rolling a seven for an hour. It was four-digit profit for me and more for people who bet more. The house was getting slaughtered. The point is that a human was rolling legitimate dice. There was no computer.

    And so while I see now online sites make all casino games available, I'd recommend avoiding craps. If you need to play it that bad, try it live at Mohegan or Foxwoods.

    Here are this week's best bets:

    Ned Griffen: Alabama (+6 vs. Georgia). "Now that I've finally picked the largest spread of the week correctly (thanks UConn!), I can both turn my focus on overtaking noted fraudsters Mike and Gavin and take my rightful place atop the standings. No, I haven't spent too much time painting in an unventilated room."

    Chuck Banning: Georgia (-6 vs. Alabama). "I should jump on 'Bama here because it's rare when Tide are underdogs, but there's a reason for this ... Georgia is really, really good."

    Vickie Fulkerson: Seahawks (+3 vs. Niners). "Logic says this should be the other way around but, if so, why isn't the spread more than 2.5? I will root for Russell Wilson at home, the Space Needle and vintage Ken Griffey Jr."

    Dave Davis: Niners (-3 at Seahawks). "Not sure when it happened and how it happened so fast. But the Seahawks stink."

    Gavin Keefe: Bills (-2 vs. Patriots). "Rooting for the Bills because one of my college roommates is a season ticket holder. He deserves a happy day after so many miserable ones as a Buffalo fan."

    Mikey D: (Eagles -7 at Jets): OK. We begin with the premise that the Giants and Jets are equally rotten. Which is why this line makes no sense.

    The Eagles came to Met Life Stadium last week as a favorite (-3.5) over the Giants. And lost. Now they come back this week off a loss to play the Jets and are a ... wait for it ... bigger favorite (-7).

    How is that possible?

    John Q. Public will be tempted to bet the Jets for that reason. The line says that wiseguys think the Eagles will roll. So bet Philly with both hands.

    This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro

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