The long history of Craps is filled with legends, myths, and stories. As with most games of chance, certain rituals and superstitions have evolved, many of which are as much a part of the game now as the rules that determine payouts.
For example, the habit of blowing on the dice for good luck is still quite prevalent today, even though the ritual has a murky past. The practice may have got its start in the wilder days of gambling, when cheats would coat one side of each die with a sticky substance that could be activated by contact with warm, moist air. Blowing on the dice allowed them to cause the side opposite from the adhesive to show face up. It must have looked like the act of blowing on the dice was causing the “good luck” (which it was), so this became a fad that “stuck” much longer than its source.
Others believe that blowing on dice is a remnant of private games played in back alleys. The dice would roll in the dirt, so the shooter would have to blow on them to clean off the bits of soil that clung to their faces. Which version is true? It really doesn’t matter much. What’s important is that such superstitions are still part of the game.
Following are some of the more common and colorful beliefs about Craps that exist today. Whatever the reason they have come to be, most should be taken with a grain of salt.
Bad Language – Never say “seven” out loud at the table; it is bad luck. Instead just say “it” or else use a code word such as “Big Red” or “Skinny Dugan” or “Sweet.” The latter is a reference to “Sweet 16” for a combination of 1 and 6.
Dice Control – When a shooter take time to set the faces of the dice before the throw, back him up with a bet (because he may be a mechanic).
Flying Dice – When the dice are thrown off the table, take all bets down; a seven will show on the next roll.
Lady Luck – When a woman shoots for the very first time, bet on her because she will always throw a long string of profitable numbers. (Also known as a “hot virgin.”)
Psychic Power – If a sufficient number of players at the table believe a certain number will come up, it will come up on the next roll.
Bad Boys – First time male players are thought to be unlucky when shooting the dice; other player may be seen holding back from betting.
Cold Dice – Never be the first player at a table or the only player; the dice are not yet warmed up and need to be played awhile.
Hands Up – The roll will be jinxed if the dice strike anyone’s hand when thrown. For this reason, a member of the crew may call out “Watch your hands!” prior to each roll.
Let It Be – When a shooter is hot, it is bad luck to talk to him/her. It is even worse to touch a shooter on a good roll. If things are going well, just let it be.
No Thanks – It is bad luck to receive dice that have a total of 7 showing face up. The dealers on the crew know this. Any shooter offered dice showing a 7 should refuse them, and shame on the stickman for the breach of etiquette.
Bet Right – The more “wrong bettors” there are at the table, betting against the shooter on Don’t Pass or Don’t Come, the more likely a Seven Out will be. Of course, if this were really true, everyone would bet wrong, hoping for a 7 to show.