December 10, 2023
Best Bets Today

Best Bets Today



In his weekly column, Mike Holden explains how Dave Jones’ similarity with a one-armed, retired RAF engineer may have Championship referees nervously officiating Sheffield Wednesday games in the future…


Confessions of a Dice dealer…


About 10-15 years ago, in a previous life, I used to be a Dice dealer at a Salford casino.


To those who have never encountered the pleasure, the British version of Craps is the most sophisticated game to have ever graced a gaming floor and a winning streak on the Dice table is the ultimate chance-based gambling experience to be had. The rules are complicated for the beginner, but well worth the investment for the enjoyment of being involved in a game when a big crowd gathers.


Much like an English football match, the atmosphere around the table can be frenzied and the action chaotic. In a lenient house, a fast-moving game can be achieved by giving punters the benefit of the doubt on most disputed calls. The faster the game, the more games you can squeeze in on a shift. The more games you squeeze in, the more money the house wins according to the laws of probability. It’s all about turnover.


Occasionally, though, punters will take the piss. When their funds start to run low, they get desperate and will try to claim all sorts of bets they never had. Their success at such moments generally depends on catching dealers not doing their jobs properly.


Dice dealers, much like referees (Best Bets Today), tend to be smart arses by their very nature. It takes a croupier of real substance to become a Dice dealer. With every roll that the puck is on point, fractional odds have to be calculated on all kind of random amounts (what does £67 pay at 7/5, anyone?) and chips paid out with the nimblest of fingers. Each punter must be dealt within approximately two seconds.


The game is merciless on anyone who doesn’t have it by the bollocks, and unforgiving punters, like football managers, will destroy any dealer who displays even the slightest hint of uncertainty or insecurity. All of which explains why Dice dealers tend to behave like smart-arses. When you get on top of a job that’s so demanding, in the midst of punters who dream of reducing you to tears, it’s inevitable you will develop an arrogant streak whenever you get behind that table.