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Working the Green Felt Makes for Good Stories and Good Times

Author: Mark Pilarski

Dear Mark: I loved your column last week on simultaneously betting the Pass and Don’t Pass line thinking you have uncovered the mother lode of Craps systems. My bother-in-law also thought unlimited pushes betting both ways was a fool-proof system. I think the dealers were getting so annoyed with him that every time 12 rolled, they purposely made reference to him losing one bet and pushing another by insultingly yelling something like, “Hey buddy, guess what you got? A whole lot of shhhhh, CRAP.” Besides, it didn’t get him a whole lot in comps either. Anyhow, I cut out your column and sent it to him. Kenny L.

You didn’t say where the verbal slap down occurred, Kenny, but if it happened at Lake Tahoe, I’d bet dollars to donuts the dealer on the stick was named Chuck Schaffer, Mike Dean, or Bartholomew. If truth be told, I can’t believe they paid me to manage the game when these guys dealt. If I were sitting the box that night and saw those three dealers on the schedule, I’d have done it for free, knowing the comradery of the game made for Comedy Central on steroids. They were good at pushing the dice, pushing my supervisory position to the limit, and pushing social decor better than any other crew I ever worked with.

Being a tad more tactful when I held the rattan rake in hand, my favorite boxcar call for embarrassing a player like your brother-in-law was something similar, like, “12 craps, it’s crap unless you’re betting on it.”

I also stated that some casinos, but not all, would reluctantly dole out goodies for that type of play. But, a semi-awake pit boss would easily catch your brother-in-law’s scheme, and it would be up to the house whether he was comp-worthy or not.

Dear Mark: In the last couple of years, I have spent time working on my own NFL game day predictions. However, to now, most of my play has been pretend, since my understanding is that you can only place bets on teams in Las Vegas. Is there a legal way to place bets on NFL games without being in Las Vegas? David

Of the tens of billions of dollars wagered on sports each year, only two percent of the action is legal. The remaining 98% is wagered with a bookie working out of his car to keep his overhead down or online through websites overseas.

The four states where some form of betting on NFL games is lawful are Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana. A future possibility is New Jersey, where a referendum in November will ask New Jersey voters whether they want the state constitution amended to allow for sports betting. However, even if voters approve a nonbinding referendum that seeks to legalize sports betting, another step will be required before sports betting is allowed there. That step would be to overturn or repeal a 1992 federal law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Most who try their hand in sports betting know of Nevada, but Delaware, Oregon and Montana. Huh? Because they offered some form of legal sports betting before 1992 by tying it into a state lottery or a fantasy game they operated, they were grandfathered in.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: “Most losers don’t mind taking advice from the better players as long as it doesn’t conflict with how they think the game should be played.” –VP Pappy, Poker Think