Bay Area gamblers who can’t wait for a trip to Nevada to roll the dice in a craps game can get similar action from card-based craps games being played at some larger Indian casinos.
Red Hawk Casino near Placerville is the latest to offer a card-based craps game.
The casino added two live card-craps tables to its mix of table games in response to feedback management received from players who requested the game, Red Hawk said in a statement.
In addition to standard wagering, the Red Hawk craps tables have a bonus feature that offers additional payout opportunities for the player.
To play craps, which supposedly has existed since the Crusades, two dice are rolled; players bet against the casino on a single outcome or a series of rolls. Players can wager against each other in a version called street craps.
The rolling of dice, multiple ways to bet and fast action often draw large crowds in Nevada casinos.
Casinos in California, however, can’t use dice in betting because a banked game (one in which the house, or casino, is the bank) in which dice determine the outcome is illegal. The state Division of Gambling Control determined in 2004 that craps games based on cards are legal.
Card-based craps games are similar, but there are variations between clubs, like Red Hawk’s bonus feature.
Here’s how the game works at Cache Creek Casino Resort:
The craps table and layout are the same as that of a Nevada casino. There are two dice, one red and one blue. There’s also a deck of 36 cards, and the cards are imprinted with each possible combination a roll of two dice could produce.
Imprinted on the table in front of the stickman, one of the four house workers who manage the game, are two boxes, red and blue.
The cards are shuffled automatically, the player rolls the dice and the high dice — red or blue — determines which of two cards, each placed in the red and blue box, gets turned over. That card determines the number outcome. All the regular rules of craps — betting the field, making place and come bets, etc. — stay the same.
At Cache Creek this week, the players were lively, there were a few onlookers getting the hang of the game and the stickman would have done a Nevada counterpart proud, calling and encouraging: “Yo,” “No field five,” “Snake eyes” and “Hard six,” among others.
Spokesman Doug Elmets of Thunder Valley Casino near Sacramento said it will offer both the card version of craps and a card version of roulette once its expansion is completed in mid-2010.
Two places for card craps
Cache Creek Casino Resort
Where: 14455 Highway 16, Brooks
Phone: (800) 452-8181, (530) 796-3118
Red Hawk Casino
Where: 1 Red Hawk Parkway, Placerville
Phone: (888) 573-3495