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Longest Craps Roll

Dear Mark,
In a May 15, 2001 column in Casino Guide online, you wrote the longest roll without a seven being rolled was 3 hours, 6 minutes. I was at the Golden Phoenix in Reno, NV this weekend, and the roll lasted 3 hours, 10 minutes without a seven.

Since I watched the first hour of the roll, I only scored $2200 off a $100 buy-in, playing only place and come bets with max odds. However, those who were betting the table max ($500 plus 3-4-5 odds) by the end of the third hour scored $3500 on a couple points, totaling about $15,000 for the roll.

It was funny to watch the casino reload the table with chips four times, as they didn't have enough originally on the table to keep paying everyone. Perhaps the best part was this was not a "high-roller" table. Everyone there started betting the table $5 minimums. Nice to see the little guy get a break. Chris C.

Craps offers players gambling immortality if ever a "long roll" should happen when they are bellied up to a crap table. Your roll, Chris, might even get you a mention in the figurative Craps Hall of Fame, and it certainly is worthy of mention in this column, especially since you made some Ka-ching.

Breaking the bank, where jittery pit bosses keep calling for chip refills, does not necessarily drape everyone with gaming glory. Your good fortune leads me to this important point: A long, extended roll doesn't necessarily boost you from nada to nirvana. It is the "quality" of the roll that dictates whether you will have a celestial moment. If your numbers are rolling, your game is spread out on the layout (example: additional come bets with odds), and you are progressively betting more, you are looking at the potential for the roll of a lifetime. Otherwise, the experience is nothing more than a tantalizing also-ran, that first-class stimulant for the imagination.

The longest roll I was ever involved with was 73 no-seven throws, but it was simulated on a home computer while I was watching an episode of Seinfeld.

Though I have participated in many 30-minute rolls, I have once witnessed a run of the dice that lasted just under an hour and a half.

For those wanting to know, before your undocumented score (no disrespect; I just hadn't heard about it until you wrote me), the hottest hand of all time belonged to Stanley Fujitake of Honolulu. Stanley held the dice for three hours and six minutes at the California Hotel and Casino before cinco dos, adios (the 7) appeared.

If anyone of you was ever involved in a killer hand, or, if you have met unusual characters or witnessed strange occurrences, preferably in a casino, I would love to hear from you.

Dear Mark,
How does a casino decide where to put the different slot machines on the casino floor? Danny B.

Finding a home for each one-armed bandit is called "slot mix". Slot mix is casino nomenclature describing the physical placement of machines on the casino floor. Slot management places its machines strategically to maximize customer appeal and potential casino earnings.

Slot mix is composed of five basic variables: floor location, coin denominations, payoff schedules, casino advantage and payoff frequency.

These variables can be blended into the casino floor in infinite variations, with no two casinos doing it exactly the same, but all striving to separate you from your hard-earned money.