How Don Yates'
"Old School Craps"
"Revolutionary Craps"

My Craps Origin Story:
How I got into to the game, almost a half century ago . . .

I had been a high-paid New York music industry exec. that got really burned out doing my job so I quit the music biz and decided to go to law school somewhere on the West Coast. Basically, I was leisurly driving across the country, from New York to anyplace that wasn’t New York. I hadn’t planned to take any time, other than the drive across country, to recover from my old job before starting an even more stressful career. Clearly, that was not too smart.

While driving across Nebraska, on my way to relocate and reestablish my life, I called a flight attendant I knew in Las Vegas. Judy was an American Airlines flight attendant and I originally met her through my ex-wife who was also an AA flight attendant. I had known Judy for years and she often talked about living in Las Vegas (and commuting to work in Dallas) because her husband was in the gaming industry. I wanted to re-connect with Judy and meet her husband so she invited me to stay at their home in Vegas for a while.

Judy and Tito were great people and it was a fun stay but, when it was time to leave, they both sat me down for a talk. They both told me what only a good friend would, that I was too screwed up to start law school right then and they both suggested I take some time to recover from my hectic decade in the New York music industry. I couldn’t argue that logic but asked them how I could possibly stay in Vegas without going through the money I was planning to use during law school.

Tito asked why I didn’t just get a job and stay in Vegas for as long as I needed to. My experience was in music, so I asked him what kind of job I could get in Vegas. He said: “You could deal.” “What’s that?” I asked. I had never actually been to a casino before and knew absolutely nothing about gambling or the gaming industry. But Tito had been a craps dealer in Puerto Rico and was now a Floor man at the Mirage so he obviously knew gaming and knew what he was talking about.

Tito said that if I was going to deal, craps was the only game to learn. The Strip was still mostly mob- controlled and they were splitting tokes table for table. He said a good craps dealer, at a good Strip casino, could make $5,000.00 a week! WOW. He said I could learn craps in just eight (8) weeks and, as a break-in dealer, I would only get minimum wage plus tokes but I could live on that in Vegas. The cost of living there was low at the time and there were a lot of break-in dealers that lived on just what they made dealing. What a concept!!! He said I should rest up and mentally prepare for law school. He was right, so I got the yellow pages and called Frank Schaffer’s Casino Dealers School:

Me: “Is it true that I can learn to deal in just eight weeks?”

Frank: “Yup. Eight weeks of school and I will then help you find a job. In Vegas, it’s not what you know but who you know that counts. I’m a Shift-Supervisor at the Fremont and I can and will get you a job when you graduate. What game do you want to learn?”

Me: “Craps.”

Frank: “Good choice! Hardest game to deal but it’s the best game. If you learn craps, you’ll never be without a job. 21 dealers are a dime-a-dozen but a good craps dealer can write his own ticket.”

So I made an appointment and started dealers’ school that Monday. Today, the casinos want dealers to know all the games, so they can move them around as needed. However, back in the day, you could deal just the one game and I easily learned craps. I was great with numbers and the numbers in craps made perfect sense to me.

The game made sense. It’s reciprocal. It’s balanced. I got it. I got the betting and the different payoffs. Why different numbers paid different amounts. Everything made perfect sense to me so I got the game right away. The school gave every student a 12 X 18 inch board, covered with felt, when they enrolled. We were told to carry that board, and a stack of chips, everywhere so we could practice cutting cheques 24/7.

My twenty-one year old classmates did exactly that. They spent literally hours cutting checks, sizing into stacks of chips, practicing the skills needed to become a good dealer. Practice, practice, practice. They were doing it right. I didn’t practice.

I was in between six-figure jobs, so dealing for minimum wage was just a place-mark for me, not a career. I just needed a year to tide me over while I was recovering from the mental trauma I went through working in New York for a decade. But THEN, it happened. Oh boy, I guess I should have practiced more . . .

I had been in dealer’s school for just three (3) weeks but, when I arrived that Friday afternoon, Frank took me aside and asked: “Do you want a job?” I said: “Now??? I thought this was an eight (8) week course.” “It is”, he said, “but I can see that you know the game and I just got a call from an off-Strip casino that needs a dealer. They asked me if I had anyone that’s ready. YOU’RE ready!”

Well, if this Fremont Casino Shift-Supervisor/craps school owner thinks I’m ready, I guess I’m ready. I asked: “So what do I do?” He said: “Just get some black & whites and go to the Royal Casino on Convention Center Drive, across from the Stardust, tonight at six.”

I quickly learned what “black & whites” were (just plain black pants and a white shirt, the dealers “outfit” at casinos that didn’t provide uniforms), I got some, and showed up at the appointed time, dressed appropriately.

There, in Michael Gaughan’s Royal Inn Hotel coffee shop, I met Joe Slyman. A real-life mobbed-up gambler from Cleveland, who came to Las Vegas when he was in his late 20's. He didn’t own the Royal Inn Hotel but he somehow got a full gaming license from the Gaming Control Board and leased the Royal Casino & coffee shop from the hotel owners. The casino was small, with a one-window cage; maybe 30 slots; five table games; ONE cocktail waitress (for the entire casino) and a really crappy burlesque show that, for some reason, made money so Joe didn’t want to close it.

Joe also happened to run a HUGE sports book that actually generated the most money per square foot in Las Vegas sports book history! This Royal Casino record stands to this day. Go figure. Joe put the burlesque stage behind a thread-bare curtain in the daytime, to hide the stage from the book and then turned the chairs around at night, to hide the book from the burlesque stage, with another worn out curtain. Joe Slyman’s Royal Casino was quite the place.

When I showed up at six, with my black & whites on, I thought Joe would want to give me a table audition. Put me on second or third base during an actual craps game and watch me deal. He didn’t. He met me in the coffee shop. No casino. No craps table. No cheques. No dealing audition. Just Joe, me and a glass of ice water that was sweating more than I was in the Vegas heat, leaking all over the worn out Formica table in the coffee shop. THIS was my entire interview, word for word:

JOE: “OK kid, say a guy has $150 on the line and he comes out on eight and takes double odds -he bets $50 in the field - then throws you $1,000 and says: Give me 780 across; all the hard ways for $100; $ 25 on a horn-high ace/deuce and a 60 dollar three-way eight, hopping. ➢➢➢ How much change do ya give him?”

ME: Without taking a breath I said “$35.00” and I guess that was right because he went on . . .

JOE: “OK, now the next roll is a WINNER eight hard. If you keep him up on all his bets, how much do you pay him?”

ME: “$910.00”

JOE: "Good job kid, you start tonight, at eight!"

Could I do that today? NO WAY. I couldn’t even remember a bet that long, let alone figure out the payout. And I don’t think there are many dealers that ever could have done that but I was young, my mind was razor sharp, math was my forté and I was fresh out of craps school so I could easily pay bets like that in my head.

I used to go to sleep every night, constructing complicated bets and payouts so this was right up my alley. But I’m not bragging about what was, and still is, a fairly useless talent. Many dealers actually learn to pay bets not using any math whatsoever. You can do just fine paying bets by the colors of the cheques. Like an odds bet on the 6 or 8 pays 6 to 5 so if the player bets two greens ($50.00) for odds, you pay $60.00 or two greens and two reds. Or if they bet two reds, you pay them two reds and two whites. See? Zero math needed.

You can actually have NO IDEA how much money you’ve paid out, but be fully confident that you’ve paid the player correctly just by skillfully sizing into the player’s bet, with the right color cheques and you’re good to go.

What I am trying to point out here is not my useless talent, but my luck in getting a job at all, considering how bad I was handling the cheques. The really interesting part of this story is how perfectly my interview played into my particular skill set. It was probably the ONLY kind of interview I could have passed because my table dealing really did suck. And if I never got a job, I wouldn’t be sitting here now, telling you about my rich 43 YEAR history in craps. I thank Joe for that.

So I showed up at eight to start my shift and they put me on second base. During my very first attempt at paying the line, I dropped and scattered at least thirty (30) of the casinos cheques all over the layout, on top of the player’s line, odds and field bets, confusing the players, the stick, the box man and myself as to what cheques were player bets and what were the casino’s cheques I had just dropped. I really should have practiced more. Not a good start, but they weren’t used to getting good dealers at the Royal so the crew was understanding, they helped me sort things out and I got thru the shift, somehow. I dropped lots of these:

Royal Casino Chip


Paul Dottore, who had ties to the Buffalo mob, was the general manager of the casino. Both Paul and Joe were ALWAYS sweating the games. Joe used to actually keep a stick of dice in the freezer so if someone got on a hot-roll, he could bring “cold dice” into the game. And if someone had a really good roll, he would blame the dealers. According to Joe, it was our fault if a player had a good roll. Joe: “Ya shouda done somethin’; dump the dice; hand ‘em off on a seven; make up an excuse and change out the dice.” Basically, according to the Mob-Boss, the good roll was our fault, not just something that sometimes happens.

This casino may have been just fifty yards off the Strip but, the way Paul and Joe ran it, it was a long way from being even close to a Strip casino. Joe Slyman’s Royal Casino was basically just a low-rent ham-and-egg joint with a casino on the side. There was no way he could compete with his on-Strip neighbors, so all we got were the guys that the Strip casinos had long-ago banned from their properties.

The Royal let the sleaziest hustlers come in and fleece the marks they were “teaching” how to play craps. You would see two or three of them every week. They took $100's off their marks (slipping cheques into their pockets while distracting the mark with confusing instructions on what they should bet) and then, when the mark went to the bathroom, they would run out to their cars, taking the stolen cheques with them. They would strategically back into a parking space, so they could jump in their car and peel out of the lot, like rats in a fire drill.

We would see them back the next day, cashing in the stolen cheques at the cage. It was disgusting but we had to keep our mouths shut. Joe was the boss and he knew what was going on and let it happen. He was a bigger crook than the hustlers so Joe welcomed them. They were Joes’ kind of people.


When I first started at the Royal, I was just glad I had a job. But with the bosses sweating the games, blaming the dealers whenever a player had a hot roll, and the stuff he let go on there, the sketchy people that came and went, I was now just looking to get out.

I got a welcome call from Frank Schaffer one day, who told me that Sam Boyd, owner of the casino group that included the California Club and the Fremont downtown, was opening a “new concept casino” – a casino that was going to be for, and cater to, the locals. They were hiring so I jumped at the chance.

In the industry - it would be looked at as a downgrade. I was going from a just off-the-Strip casino, with ten ($10) dollar minimum tables, to dealing a bird-game (25 cent cheques) at a locals joint. But Sam’s Town wasn’t really a “joint”.

Before Sam’s Town, the locals pretty much played in Henderson which was, at the time, a run-down, past-its prime, town. People got beaten up and robbed there every week. It was definitely a dark and dangerous place at two in the morning. And the casinos in Henderson were as run down and past their prime as the town was. But that was where the locals could get free parking, an honest pour and a fair quarter-game so they played there.

So now there is going to be Sam’s Town. A HUGE; new; bright; shiny casino, miles off the Strip way out on the Boulder Highway so clearly not looking for tourists. An actual casino built especially for the Las Vegas locals. First one ever and the locals loved it. They flooded in.

NOTE: The genius of Sam Boyd. He built the very first “locals” casino, realizing there was a market for those gamblers. They lived in Vegas, so couldn’t afford to lose their retirement in a week, by betting a thousand dollars a roll on the Strip, but they loved to play quarter craps, where “$4.00 inside” was a legitimate bet. There are now dozens of locals casinos, and they’re all busy, but Sam Boyd was the first to recognize this market and cater to it.

As big as Sam’s Town was (it had an eight-screen movie theater and a 50 lane bowling alley. You could even buy your ten gallon hat and cowboy boots at the on-property country-western store) it wasn’t big enough to hold all the locals that came. The games were always full, waiting lines to play slots or table games. Nobody had ever cared about the locals before and they appreciated this casino, built especially for them, with good drinks, quarter craps and ‘9 – 6’ video poker! The locals thought they had all died and gone to heaven!

And thanx to Frank Schaffer’s good recommendation, I got a primo deal at Sam’s. Most of the dealers were true first-job break-ins so I was actually the experienced one on the crew. I got to pick the best shift (swing, 8 – 4) and the employee-cafeteria got all the unused food from the casino’s gourmet restaurants after they closed at 11, just in time for my dinner-break. Lobster or prime rib for dinner? I had absolutely no complaints.

I lived in a reasonably priced rented condo in back of the Hilton. But the gated property had multi-million dollar homes and a golf course on it. Jerry Lewis had his home there for more than 20 years so it wasn’t a bad place to live. Working the swing shift was PERFECT for the brutal days of summer, when Vegas was too hot to breathe.

No matter how hot the day was, it was always cool by the time I was driving down the Boulder Highway to Sam’s, at 7:30. Thankfully, Las Vegas was a true 24 hour town back then. It was always cool when I got out at 4 am, so I could go grocery shopping, get a haircut, whatever I wanted to do and still be home before it started to warm up in the morning.

But the quarter-games at Sam’s were, literally, crazy!!! Tables were always packed on swing, eight or nine players to a side. Sometimes the players were two or three deep and the players in back would pass their money to the player in front to place bets for them. Like I said, NUTS. Thank God I had gotten some experience at the Royal because I needed all of that experience to keep up with the craps games at Sam’s.

With 25¢ games (minimum bet was 50¢) some locals would actually bet 50¢ on the pass line, 50¢ on the don’t- pass and order a free drink. For those of you that don’t know, betting like that makes zero money. It is impossible to win a nickel. If you win 50¢ on the pass line you lose 50¢ on the don’t-pass. If you win 50¢ on the don’t-pass, you lose 50¢ on pass line. So you’re just standing there, breaking even but getting free booze. Statistically, one out of 36 rolls (which take about an hour) will be a 12 and you then lose your 50¢ pass line bet but the 12 doesn’t pay on the don’t pass so you literally may lose 50¢ an hour. Not too much to pay for unlimited rounds of free drinks.

Sam’s was definitely busy but it was a fun-busy. The shift flew by, everyone was having a good time, the atmosphere was just so much nicer than at the Royal. Nobody ever sweated the game, you just had to show up and deal. If you just did your job, nobody ever hassled you. And the 24 hour split-tokes at Sam’s were better than the table for table tokes at the Royal. It was a good job.

I really fell in love with craps while I was working at Sam’s. Dealing let me see, literally, tens of thousands of hands play out. Since I had a good mind, and lousy hands, they often had me sit box. The box man is the low- level supervisor of the game. You don’t actually deal when you sit box. You count and drop the money; give cheques to dealers as needed; watch for player cheating; watch for dealer mistakes; either paying a player too much or too little; settle minor disputes; etc., etc.

I loved sitting box because I had nothing to do but watch the players, study them, see their betting strategies, and see what worked for them (very little) and what didn’t. I had a front-row seat to the show, and what a show it was. I couldn’t wait to tweak the strategies I had seen that day and try them out myself so, instead of grocery shopping or haircuts, you were more likely to find me downtown, gambling away yesterdays’ tokes, in an effort to develop some winning ways of my own. And I did.

When I left Sam’s to actually start law school, my new and now life-long love of craps never left me. Since my dealing days ended, I’ve returned to Vegas for gambling/vacations at least six times a year and what’s not to like about doing that? Fully comped trips to stay and play a game I truly love. Those tough quarter games were a long time ago, but they served me well. Thanx Sam. And even thanx to Joe and Paul. You all played a part in letting me form the life that I now live and love. My life really is good and craps is a big part of that.

My Revolutionary Craps Strategy

This revolutionary betting strategy IS my basic strategy, for a warm to getting-hot table. THE table you hope to find yourself on, whenever you’re playing craps. It’s the table of your dreams. I once used this very strategy to parlay one-hundred ($100.00) dollars into a cash-out, a little under an hour later, of over twenty-seven thousand ($27,000.00+) dollars!!! It took two security guards to help carry my checks to the cage that day. A service the casino will gladly provide, and you should hope you will be needing, sometime in the near future.

Now clearly, you won’t find this table every day, or even every trip, but when you do find yourself on THAT table, do you want to be me, collecting $1,400.00 every time an eight rolled, or do you want to be the guy that was actually standing beside me on that very same table that very same time, who was still collecting just seven ($7.00) dollars on his eight when the shooter finally 7’d out?

This is a betting strategy that I developed while sitting box – the manager of the game. As a box man, you basically just sit and watch EVERYTHING. You make sure dealers don’t make mistakes, watch for players trying to cheat, settle any minor disputes, etc., etc. But basically you’re just sitting and watching from this position, so I was able to witness literally tens of thousands of players, both winning and losing. I saw players press their bets, and take them all down, or call them off. I saw what worked (very little) and what didn’t.

Sitting box for a day is something that would advantage any craps player on the planet and I did it for a year!!! So, if the experience was available, I would advise any player to do it but, unfortunately, it’s just not available to a player and you couldn’t purchase this experience for any price. What it really is is a front-row seat to the greatest game in town and you can learn a lot from being there. So you can learn a lot from me, who actually was there.

Now there are as many betting strategies as there are dice players. Literally hundreds, if not thousands, are shown on YouTube and some are much better than others but they ALL have flaws. I can quickly see the flaw in any system, even my own. But the trick here is to develop several betting strategies, each with as few internal flaws as possible, and apply the correct strategy to each of the various conditions you happen to find on a particular table with the actual people that are playing that day. You will learn these systems, as well as how and when to implement each of them. Used properly, you can be sure to lose as little as possible when conditions aren’t favorable and assure yourself that you can and will avail yourself of the maximum profit available when you find yourself on your dream table.


Mind Control

Mind control is where things get interesting. When I was starting out in the 70's, physical dice-control was not a thing. That school of thought only started in the early 2000's, almost thirty (30) years after I began dealing, playing and developing my strategies. And even today, many people still don’t believe physical dice control is even possible. If the casino-owners believed it was a real thing, they would all start banning dice controllers or changing the rules, as they have with Blackjack, to take away their advantage.

But I still don’t know how they explain someone like Howard "Rock ‘n Roller" Newman. Howard partnered with Frank Scoblete and Dom “the Dominator” LoRiggio to form Golden Touch Craps (GTC) in 2002. During Howard’s tenure with GTC, he was included in all the World Record books, with his records including five (5) consecutive days in Tunica, MS where he had rolls of a minimum of at least an hour each day, with much longer rolls other days. His longest over that five (5) days was 86 rolls before he 7'd out. But some people STILL don’t believe in physical dice control. OK. Fine. Don’t believe it. Please don’t believe it.

The strategies I’ve already described may take you from a loser over time to a moderate (possibly a HUGE) winner over time. Good enough. But for those of you that are open to learning new things, things you may not totally understand right now, I present the concept of mind-control.

First, ‘mind-control’ is NOT learning to control someone else’s mind!!! It’s actually learning how to control your own mind, to laser-focus on goals you want to achieve in your life. Or, perhaps to overcome health issues. Or financial issues. Really anything that you’re not happy with in your life, can be made better by focusing your mind (your energy) on making whatever you’re not happy with better. The more you can concentrate on a solution, the better and better the situation you’re concerned about can become.

I got involved with mind control when I discovered Jose Silva in the mid-80's. Silva (1914-1999) was a self-made Mexican-American, with a fourth-grade education, whose insights and experiments into mental functioning and mind control led him to write and sell over thirteen million (13,000,000) books!!!

THAT’s a lot of books for anybody to sell, let alone a guy with just a fourth-grade education. Silva also did revolutionary, ground breaking studies into religions around the world, focusing not on the differences between the religions but rather what each had in common with one another. He also did many studies into ESP and the paranormal. I was fortunate enough to get involved in Jose’s teachings while he was still alive and, after taking the basic Silva Mind Control course, I took several Graduate Seminars that were taught by Jose himself. The Silva Method is basically a self- help and meditation program invented by José Silva who first developed an interest in psychology to see if it could somehow help him increase his children's IQs. He found that this was possible to do by using meditation, where your mind can learn to super-focus and the information obtained in this manner can help you to either learn faster, retain information longer, solve problems or simply rest or relax more. Unfortunately, Jose died (RIP) more than twenty (20) years ago but his mind control seminars are still being taught today. Classes, teaching his methods, are still available.

As Jose taught, mind control can actually be used for many things. To better your life, to help heal yourself and others, even down to simply finding lost objects. Amazing how, when you learn to focus, you can actually “see” where you left those keys and go get them. People even use it to find a good parking spot on a busy day. Simple stuff but still amazing. And (Jose never mentioned this), can you control the dice with mind control? Ask me and I’ll tell you not 100%, but isn’t increasing a roll by 50%, or 25%, or even 5% worth it??? Those increases can turn a bad day at craps into a winning day so I say go for it!!!

I won’t be teaching an entire course on mind control but I’ll teach you enough about it so you can learn how to positively influence a dice table, maybe just a little. Get really good at it and maybe you’ll have a bigger influence than even I do? Who knows??? Try it and see your results. And, if you’re as interested in the subject as I was, I can get you in touch with people that teach the entire Silva Mind Control course, probably in your area, just as Jose designed it in 1977. But let’s get back to controlling the dice using mind control??? Is it far-fetched? Most think so. But it’s no more far-fetched than people claiming they can

physically control the dice today, by practicing a particular dice set and a specific throwing motion. And those folks have thousands of craps players that believe in them. I believe in them, so much that I paid a lot of money to take a course from one of the giants in that field. It’s not the majority of people that believe in it, but that’s actually a good thing. If everyone believed it, or could do it, then craps would stop being a profit-maker for casinos and they would either stop offering the game, or change the rules in some way that would render the dice-controllers helpless.

So let’s put mind control in that same category. SOME people (like you and I???) believe in it, most don’t. Again, that’s a good thing. Let them scoff all they want. We’ll just quietly keep winning with mind control.


Physical Dice Control

Physical dice control iis a fairly new concept. However, I’ve seen slow-motion photography of dice-controllers shooting that show the dice paired together until they actually hit the table and then, with the right spin, the dice hit the alligator wall and softly fall to the table like a shot duck, hardly moving as they land. Was that a 100% controlled throw? Probably not. Even dice controllers eventually seven out. But if the throw keeps the dice perfectly together, in a non- seven configuration for 90% of their journey down the table, that’s 90% more control than your average random-roller has and a 90% improvement is a good enough improvement to get me on board. How ‘bout you???

I’m studying dice control as we speak. Even the best can get better with practice so this is something that you should learn and practice throughout your craps-playing life. But we’ve all got to start somewhere and, no matter how long you’ve been playing craps, starting dice control now is better than never starting at all.

How To Exploit Your Inherent Advantage
Over The Casino

YOU actually have a HUGE built-in advantage over the casino and, since most players don’t recognize the advantage they have, they fail to exploit this advantage. Almost all gamblers are keenly aware of the fact that casinos have built a “house advantage”, or what some call the “house edge”, into every casino game. However, I’ve met very few gamblers that realize that they actually have an advantage over the casino. If you’re unaware of this advantage, you can’t exploit it but when you’re gambling, you have to take advantage of every chance you get to go home a winner. So, when you recognize how you can exploit YOUR edge over the casino, you’ll have a whole new view of the game.

So What Is Revolutionary Craps?

REVOLUTIONARY CRAPSis actually the combining of the first five (5) disciplines/strategies outlined herein, developed over my forty (40+) plus years in craps. This has never been done before, primarily because most of the STRATEGIES were developed by me, personally, so no one actually had the precise tools or methods required to do such a thing but mainly, because there are five (5) unique strategies that actually work well on their own but combining them, in a revolutionary way, has created THE most revolutionary, dynamic, strategy I’ve ever seen, resulting in a game I callREVOLUTIONARY CRAPS.

While nobody can guarantee a positive outcome over time, there are certainly ingenious strategies that can increase the amount you win when you find yourself on a good table and minimize your losses when the dice are cold. Using these optimal strategies can certainly help to balance out the natural swings in your bankroll that are always inherent in a volatile game like craps.

It’s now possible for you to learn all of these strategies, so you will finally have the tools necessary to crush the casinos at their own game. Get in touch today. I’m available for individual (one-on-one) in-person training sessions; individual zoom classes; group lessons (bring your friends, share the costs); we can meet here in Southern California or at your location, when you provide transportation and lodging. Or we can meet in Vegas during one of my many scheduled trips there. Students say the classes have more than paid for themselves in no time with increased winnings. Schedule now.

What Classes Are Available???

II have been teaching craps for more than thirty (30+) years. I have taught people that have never been inside a casino, or even seen a craps table, to people that have been playing craps longer than I have. And, obviously, the class I teach to a newbie is 100% different than the class I would teach to a seasoned craps player. They BOTH have a lot to learn but it’s obviously different stuff!!!

Therefore, each class I teach is actually custom tailored to who I’m teaching and what they specifically want or need to learn. This is NOT as complicated as it may sound. I have various lesson plans, one ready and able to fill almost any need, but we must talk first, let me get to know something about you and your goals and I will have a class the right length for you. A class that will teach you everything you want or need to learn. My rates are not cheap, but they are also super-reasonable, especially compared to other craps courses. And I've not only checked the prices others charge, I've paid those higher prices myself, to learn some things I just wanted to know more about.

I do also teach groups of up to four (4) people. More than four can get crazy and nobody really learns anything but, if you have up to four people, that are all at about the same level in their game and all wanting to learn the same aspect, it’s a great way to save money. Just give me a call and let me know what you have in mind. I’m sure I can design a course/price that will be exactly what you’re looking for.

Best wishes and may all your craps tables be smokin’ hot.

Don Yates

Let's set up your classes so craps becomes a payday for you.


Call: (800) 550-7077

The History Of Gambling In Las Vegas

Gambling actually started in Las Vegas sometime between 1880 and 1900. Historians do not agree on the exact date and it doesn’t really matter much. As the story goes, the California gold rush (1848 to 1884) eventually brought settlement to the Las Vegas area and gambling soon began.

Las Vegas, as a municipality, was actually founded in 1905. Back then, it was really nothing more than just a small town that was established as a stopover for trains traveling between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

The first actual “Hotel-Casino” in Las Vegas was the Golden Gate Hotel Casino, at One Fremont Street!!! The property had been known as the Hotel Nevada and was considered to be prime real estate (it was right across the street from the train station) but, despite its’ prime location, the property (Hotel Nevada and all) was purchased, in 1905, for just $1,750. That’s only $52,304 in 2021 dollars so no one can argue the buyers got quite a bargain. The new owners first opened for business (and gambling) as The Golden Gate Hotel Casino, in 1906. When the first telephones were installed (in 1907) the Golden Gate’s telephone number was “1”. That’s it. ONE!!! Just ask the telephone operator for number one and she connected you to the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino. As many of you know, the Golden Gate is still operating at One Fremont Street today, although their phone number now has ten (10)digits. (702) 385-1906 – NOTE: 1906 is the year they first opened. Cool, huh?

Unfortunately for the Golden Gate, a 1910 nationwide crackdown on gambling all but eradicated gambling from the area. The Golden Gate was obviously too prominent to continue its’ casino operations so it closed them down but, while gambling remained outlawed, there were still a few casinos in the area that continued operating “underground”.

The Hoover Dam project was started in 1931 and that literally changed the face of Las Vegas forever. Building the Hoover Dam brought literally thousands of workers into the town so that was the year that gambling finally came to Las Vegas legally. The timing was certainly not coincidental. Gambling brought an influx of money into the city’s economy and Las Vegas has prospered ever since.

Today, Tommy Hull’s El Rancho Hotel and Casino claims to be the first hotel-casino in the city. However,this claim is obviously not true. TheGoldenGatewasoperatingits’hotelcasinoin 1906!!! But the El Rancho was built on what is now known as the Las Vegas Strip so it can properly claim it was the first “Strip” casino. It was the success of the El Rancho that brought many others to Las Vegas, perhaps the most famous being mobster Bugsy Siegel, who built the Flamingo, which is still operating today.

I’m not sure exactly what the craps games at the Golden Gate Casino looked like in 1906, but what we now refer to as modern-day casino craps in the United States, really began with the legalization of gambling in the territory of Nevada in the 1930s, when casino games as a whole

became popular in America. Casino craps soon became the most preferred game in the American casino world and is still considered to be the premiere game in any casino.

Why Old School Craps?

Old School Craps simply refers to the fact that I started my craps journey in the 70’s (see my Craps Origin Story, elsewhere on this website) and, since that is halfway back to when modern craps originated in the 30’s, I’m definitely “Old School”. However, that doesn’t mean I stopped learning way back then. I refer many times to the fact that, during various stages of my craps journey, I’ve learned something new, and so super-dynamic, it’s changed my entire game.

If you’ve read my craps origin story, you already know how all this started for me. Before anyone can become good at anything, you first have to learn the basics. And learn the basics I did. I have as solid a foundation in craps as is humanly possible. Literally thousands of hours studying the game, thousands more hours dealing the game and then tens of thousands of hours playing the game. My craps foundation is as solid as it gets.

And, I’m not the type to just do a quick-read and consider myself good to go. To be a good lawyer (which I was, now retired) you have to do research. But I didn’t learn to do research as I was learning the law. I had been doing research my entire life. I always researched ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING I ever seriously wanted to learn or know about. So, rather than the law leading me to make a habit of researching a subject, it would be more accurate to say my lifelong research habits actually led me to eventually study law.

A solid foundation, plus years of research into everything, including the long history of dice, from ancient to modern times and, more specifically, the history of modern-day casino craps, from its’ origins as a game the Roman soldiers invented, using the knuckle-bones of a pig as dice and their armor shields as a table. Others believe craps originated from an Arabic dice game called Al Dar, which means “dice” in Arabic, and that merchants brought the game to Europe in the 12TH Century. The most commonly accepted version of the game's creation is that it was invented by Sir William of Tyre in 1125, during the Crusades and named after a castle named “Asart” or “Hazarth.” The game that was later called “Hazard."

What finally became the American version was almost certainly brought to New Orleans by Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville, a wealthy gambler and politician, descended from colonial Louisiana landowners. A flaw in the game had allowed players to exploit the casino until an American dice maker, John H. Winn, also known as the “Father of the Modern Game”, corrected this issue during the 19th Century by introducing the "don't pass" betting option.

Actual casino craps in the United States really began with the legalization of gambling in the territory of Nevada in the 1930’s (see The History Of Gambling in Las Vegas, elsewhere on this website), when casino games as a whole became popular in America. This is why casino craps became one of the most preferred games in the casino world and was considered the premiere game in any casino. I’m fairly certain the very first actual “casino” was the Golden Gate, at # 1 Fremont Street!!! Their telephone number, when they first opened, was “1”. That’s it. Just phone 1. And, as many of you know, the Golden Gate is still operating at 1 Fremont Street, although their phone number now has ten (10) digits.

HOWEVER, all of this knowledge and history will only lead you to one (1) conclusion, the casinos have built an advantage, for themselves, into the game of craps. This means that, depending on the advantage (which is different for every bet), the casino WILL win a certain percentage of your money, over time.

Now craps has some bets with a casino-advantage as low as any in the casino, so it’s a good game to play. The house-edge per roll advantage on a simple pass-line bet is only 0.42%. This means that, if you bet say ten thousand ($10,000.00) dollars, over time, exclusively on the pass line, the casino will win just forty-two ($42.00) dollars from you. And, if you take advantage of the zero house-edge on the free-odds bet, the edge is even lower than that! Not bad. A lot of playing for very little loss.

Not surprisingly, the house-edge on other craps bets goes up from there. The house advantage on place bets, per-roll, is 0.46% on the 6 & 8; 1.11% on the 5 & 9 and 1.67% on the 4 & 10. But that’s actually the good news. The house advantage on some of the prop (proposition) bets is as high as 16.67% on the any seven; the 2, 12 and all ‘hard’ hop (one-roll) bets have a house advantage of 13.89% and the 3, 11 and all ‘easy’ (can be rolled more than one way) hop bets have an advantage of 11.11%. So stay away from all of those.

Basically, all of my research showed that, unless YOU cheat, you’re gonna lose. But even with these sad stats, I did find what I call the “players’ advantage”, which let me make a profit on every single Vegas excursion I took over a forty-year history of playing dice. While I certainly can NOT guarantee you will have the same results, when you sign up for a class you will learn the players’ advantage over the casino and I will teach you the strategies I’ve used to become a consistent winner in Vegas . . . It’s fascinating and it really works!!!