Help me learn to play craps!!
July 17, 2008 6:55 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find a craps table felt tablecloth in/around Dallas, Texas by Friday?

We're taking a girls trip to vegas and in an effort to not embarrass ourselves we would like a brush up on our gambling skills. We're not playing for money or anything, just for fun.

posted by nataliecay to Shopping (9 answers total)
You can pick up large quantities of felt at any fabric store. Looks like there are several Jo-Ann Fabric stores in Dallas.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:18 AM on July 17, 2008

You can pick up large quantities of felt at any fabric store.

The problem with that is that craps has a complicated layout of bets on the table, unlike say a poker table which is just a normal table covered with felt. I would suggest buying an actual craps table covering. I don't know anything about Dallas, Texas, but look around for a store that sells board games and/or poker chips, that's where I've usually seen them.

The only other equipment you need is a pair of dice and something to represent money, but at least one of you will need to know the rules of craps well enough to pay off bets. The game itself is relatively complicated as far as table games go, and some of the weirder bets make things even more confusing. I would suggest buying a book or printing out directions from the internet so that you can consult the rules as you play.

Also, although craps is not a skill game like blackjack or video poker, the "best" strategy for craps is to stick to the simplest bets (e.g. the Pass line). Most of the more complicated betting types are classic "sucker bets" that have extremely unfavorable odds for the player. A detailed analysis of the odds can be found here. With that said, all possible strategies for craps will lose money in the long run, so if you are just playing for fun you can bet however you want.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:40 AM on July 17, 2008

Our local Brunswick pool table retailer carries all sorts of casino game supplies. I see there's a a similar type store with locations in Dallas.
posted by dchase at 7:51 AM on July 17, 2008

Also, craps is the most fun, most social game at the casino, and you will easily learn the rules, etiquette and others' strategy from just standing around a table watching others.
posted by milestogo at 7:53 AM on July 17, 2008

I don't have any specific leads for you, but my best guess is to find a local billiards supply company and give them a call. Looks like there are several, mostly in either Highland Park or Addison.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:54 AM on July 17, 2008

You can go to Bodog's site and play craps for play money without registering at all. That will give you a feel for the game a bit. Seconding the wikipedia page, it details the different types of bets and rules well.
posted by thewalledcity at 8:49 AM on July 17, 2008

Actually, what helped me learn a bunch of the Vegas games was a copy of Hoyle Casino for the PC. Sounds cheesy, but: it's fun, addictive, has pretty great manuals and rules are explained clearly for all games and it's cheap too (19 clams). You can brush up on all the table games and not have to register or lose your shirt at an online gambling site (you can lose it in Vegas instead *wink*)
posted by MeetCleaverTheatre at 9:09 AM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I watched a video when I was first learning craps, and it was really helpful. Plus, it was hosted by James Coburn. I found that being able to see the table/dice on the screen was far more helpful than just reading about it.

Also seconding the playing online, or, if you have a video game system, see if the video store has some sort of casino game for rent. I remember playing Vegas Dream on the original Nintendo for hours on end as a kid and learning quite a bit on roulette; I'm sure they've improved since then.

And also, watching the game in the casino, and asking the dealers for help (which is part of their job) is the best way to go about it. Just try to do it at a less crowded/non-peak time, like during the day or really late at night.

"best" strategy for craps is to stick to the simplest bets (e.g. the Pass line).
Well, backing your pass line bet with "odds" bets is the best bet in the casino, as it pays out the true odds of hitting it. So the higher the odds allowed at a particular table, the closer you can get the payout to 50/50.

Oh man, I leave for vegas tomorrow morning, and this is only getting me more excited. There is nothing in this world more fun than an extended hot run at a craps table; the kind where strangers are hugging you, and they give you a big round of applause when you're done shooting.
posted by scottymacten at 9:40 AM on July 17, 2008

In case you don't find a felt:

Many casinos in Vegas host craps training sessions. Even without an organized training session, most casinos would be happy to teach you how to give them money. Ask the concierge wherever you're staying that your group would like to learn how to play craps. Depending on where you're staying and how big your bankroll, they'll generally be very accommodating.

Too, craps is a very social game. If you find a fun looking group at a table, just ask some players and get some tips.
posted by GPF at 2:05 PM on July 17, 2008

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