Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of John Grochowski
Following supersititions17 September 2015
Still, I’m happy to adapt to local custom – when in Rome, and all that. So when I travel to the craps tables, I never even think of saying the word “seven” out loud. I don’t really believe that speaking its name will make the losing rolls come, and I don’t even flinch when some dark side bettor roars, “Come on, seven!” If they want to bet against the shooter and root for their bets to win, so be it.
But me, if I must mention the number at all, I’ll use El Diablo or Big Red or just “the devil.” Seven was He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named long before Lord Voldemort, and far be it from me to speak what others regard as a cursed word.
I’ve never actually seen a fight break out at a craps table over someone uttering the forbidden word, though I have heard angry words exchanged. In one extreme case, a 20-something man who had been asking for advice, trying to get a grasp on the game, was heard to practically whisper, “Please, no seven.”
That’s just what the grizzled veteran next to him didn’t want to hear. He immediately asked to take down his place bets on 6 and 8, and growled at the younger player, “Don’t say that word!” When the next roll turned out to be an 8, meaning the bet would have won if still in action, the old-timer railed about how the kid had cost him his bet.
I felt embarrassed for the veteran and bad for the youngster, who didn’t need such a rude introduction to local custom.
Just as I don’t speak of the devil seven by name, if I’m shooting and the dice fly off the table, I’ll immediately bark the instruction “Same dice!” Do I believe allowing different dice into the game will quickly result in a loser seven? No, and I know many of those around me don’t really believe it either. But it’s become part of the lore of the game, and why upset those who think I’m tempting fate by accepting any other than my original dice.
This does happen to me from time to time, especially when I’m on a good roll. Try as I might to let the dice just kiss the back wall softly at the end of their downward arc, sometimes the adrenaline flows and there’ll be a roll when the downward arc ends somewhere past the end of the table. That’s not ideal for building my table comrades’ confidence in the shooter, and I’m certainly not going to undermine that confidence further by accepting substitute dice.
Here’s another that’s universal, as far as I can tell. Never, never, never let your hands wander over the rail when the shooter is about to roll. Should the dice hit your hands, one of those diabolical sevens is sure to follow – or so it goes according to craps lore.
I’m pretty confident that when someone utters “seven,” a shooter accepts different dice after the originals fly off the table, or when the dice hit someone’s errant hands, the next roll will be a seven about one time in six. That’s because six of the 36 possible two-dice combinations total seven, not because of any supernatural intervention. But hey, why tempt fate, or irritate the believers?
Look for John Grochowski on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of John Grochowski