If you go to a casino, chances are one game stands out above the rest in terms of excitement, shouting, celebrations, and general good times – the craps table. When a hot roll is going, players congregate around it, cheering on the winners, clapping for another win, and generally having a good time as they rake in more chips with each winning roll.
Gamblers practiced rolling dice as a gambling game for centuries. Players enjoy the excitement of hoping to land on winning numbers and avoid “sevening out.” Good rolls can last several minutes and award players a large stack of chips. However, really good rolls can last even longer, with players at the table scoring big on toss after a toss of those dice.
Some craps rolls have some of the longest winning streaks ever recorded at the dice table. Here are some of the most famous rolls in history.
How to Play Craps-Simple Guide
Those new to the game of craps may need a refresher before checking out these massive runs at the table. With so many options for bettors, the table may appear intimidating. However, only a few bets have the best odds and give the player the best chance of winning.
The “Pass Line” is one of them. A player who bets on the Pass Line is craps betting against the shooter. A roll, for example, may begin with a new shooter. A bet of at least $5 on the Pass Line is permitted. The bet is lost if the shooter rolls two, three, or twelve on the first roll, known as the come-out roll. However, a 7 or 11 on the come-out roll is an even money win.
If the shooter rolls a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10, this is the Point. Players can then place additional bets, such as “Odds”, on the initial Pass Line bet. The shooter placed this multiple of the bet behind the Pass Line. Because the player is paid the true odds of rolling that number, this is one of the best bets in the casino:
- 6 to 5 on the 6 and 8
- 3 to 2 on the 5 and 9
- 2 to 1 on the 4 and 10
The shooter then rolls until one of two things happens: the point number is reached, or the shooter rolls a 7, in which case all bets on the shooter are lost. During a roll, players can also make other wagers, such as on the “Came Bar,” which functions similarly to a “Pass Line” wager but in the middle of a roll already in progress. Players can also “place” bets on the following numbers: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10.
If the shooter continues to roll without hitting a 7, a player with a few numbers working can win more. Six, many rolls don’t last long because there are more ways to make a 7 than any other number. A player has a 1/6 chance of rolling a 7 because there are 36 possible combinations on the dice, which equates to a 16.67% chance of rolling a 7.
Every 8.5 rolls, a player can expect to roll a 7. Rolls can be even shorter, and extended dice rolls that hit multiple point numbers are rare.
Atlantic City Star
Who says you need a large bankroll to win big at the casino? Patricia Demauro of New Jersey and a friend went to the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City in May 2009 with only a $100 gambling bankroll. The gambling grandmother walked up to the live craps evolution, not knowing what would happen next.
Demauro rolled 154 times for 25-point numbers over four hours and 18 minutes. As with most of the rolls, the crowds and number of bettors at the table grew. According to reports, casino security began to closely monitor the proceedings at the table.
Her streak of luck broke Stanley Fujitake’s 20-year record in Las Vegas (more on that roll below). According to Casino.org, the odds of such an incredible roll are 1 in 1.56 trillion. However, Demauro’s exact winnings remain unknown. Neither she nor the casino ever revealed her winnings, but it’s safe to say they were a large multiple of the original $100. Some say she made six figures, but the exact figure is unknown.
No doubt the other players at the table were ecstatic, like the dealers, who undoubtedly received massive tip donations that night. When Demaruo’s streak ended, the Borgata staff rewarded her with a well-deserved champagne toast.
Stanly Fujitake and the California Casino
Hawaiian gamblers are catered to at the California Casino in downtown Las Vegas, which even charters flights in for those from the Aloha State. Boyd Gaming owns the property with Hawaiian decor and dealers dressed in tropical shirts. Stanley Fujitake, an Oahu native, was a regular dice player at the casino when he walked up to the craps table around midnight on May 28, 1989.
Fujitake bet $5 on the pass line and began shooting, becoming a Las Vegas legend. Fujitake continued tossing the dice for the next three hours as the crowd gathered around the table grew. Even the dealers at the table were taken aback by what they witnessed, and they struggled to keep up with bets at the tables as more players began to crowd into every available seat.
Guido Metzger was working in the casino that night and later rose to become the director of casino operations for Boyd Gaming’s downtown properties. He described some of what happened that night in a 2014 issue of the Boyd Buzz company newsletter.
“They were having difficulty keeping up with the chip payouts that night,” Metzger said. “My table was deserted.” However, at least 30 to 40 people were attempting to place bets at his table. They couldn’t get enough fills to the table and had to start issuing scrip [casino credit] because there weren’t enough people going to the cage and cashing in their chips.”
Fujitake had rolled the dice 118 times for 18 pass line winners when this hot roll ended. He had begun his betting at the table minimum and eventually increased his bet to the table maximum of $1,000 when his run ended. He won around $30,000 that night, while others won even more. California paid out approximately $750,000 in total to table players.
The casino dubbed Fujitake “The Golden Arm,” His incredible roll is commemorated inside a glass trophy case. The shooter’s hand, which held the winning dice, was cast in bronze. Small golden plaques now display the names of players who have rolled for an hour or more and become members of the Golden Arm Club. The club adds one new player on average every month.
High Roller Rolling
Big bettors can sometimes win massive sums of money, as happened in June 2011 when a man walked into the Tropicana in Atlantic City to play some high-stakes craps. The property was known for allowing nosebleed-level gambling, exactly what occurred at the dice table.
The wealthy dice player wagered $100,000 per toss and won $5.3 million after about six hours. Despite the massive loss, the property’s accepting supersized wagers remained unchanged.
“That’s just how it goes sometimes; if you bet more, you can win more,” Tropicana CEO Tony Rodio said at the time, according to ABC News. “We will not change our strategy of offering the most aggressive and highest table game limits in the Atlantic City market.” We’ll take action if someone wants to take the shot.”
Following the massive win, the casino requested that the player return for another round of high-stakes gambling. The staff certainly benefited from his massive run at the dice table, regardless of whether he returned. Before leaving, the player left a $150,000 tip for the dealer.
Archie Karas Crushes … and Crashes
Professional gambler Archie Karas’s “The Run” is a Las Vegas legend. A regular poker player in the Los Angeles area, the Greek-American claimed to have won millions while going broke at other times. He’d been on a major losing streak at the L.A. poker tables in 1992. Karas decided to drive to Las Vegas with his last $50 to see if his luck would change.
His poker run went well, as he parlayed his $50 into a $10,000 loan and then went on a massive run to bring that total up to $17 million through poker and billiards. Karas was always willing to bet large sums and raise the stakes as necessary.
Karas turned to the craps table at Binion’s Horseshoe after his high-stakes poker action dried up. Karas, on the other hand, was limited to $100,000 per roll on the Pass Line and $300,000 on the Come Bar. Karas, on the other hand, was not permitted to place any odds bets.
Regardless, he continued to shine at the tables. According to legend, Karas was winning millions at the craps table and travelling much of it in cash in his car, carrying a gun to defend himself and his winnings. Karas had won $40 million by the end of his winning streak. However, the winnings would not last.
The run ended in 1995 when he lost $11 million at craps, a few million more at poker, and then $17 million at the baccarat tables. Karas returned to the tables with his last $12 million. He returned to the Horseshoe to play craps and baccarat for $300,000 per bet. Karas felt what most gamblers do at a casino this time – the house edge. His winnings were quickly depleted, resulting in an unprecedented gambling rise and fall.
“You have to understand something,” Karas told Cigar Aficionado. “Money has no meaning for me. It means nothing to me. I’ve had everything I could ever want in terms of material possessions. Everything. Money cannot buy the things I desire: health, freedom, love, and happiness. I’m not concerned with money, so I’m not afraid. I don’t mind if I misplace it.”
Breaking the Bank
John Scarne describes one of the largest craps rolls and wins he’s ever seen in his classic book Scarne’s Complete Guide to Gambling. The run of luck occurred in 1947 at the 86 Club in Miami and is known as the “Unfinished Hand.” The table maximum was $1,000, and several high rollers were present one night.
He described the group as “racketeers,” At 2 a.m., a car dealer from Detroit began rolling dice. In this underground casino, he threw for an hour and a half before something strange happened.
“… The casino owners, Charley Thomas and Jack Friedlander walked over to the dice tables and announced, ‘Gentlemen, that’s all for tonight.’ “The bank is insolvent.” In those 90 minutes, the operators lost $300,000, or nearly $3.8 million in today’s dollars.