I work in a middle-of-the-road Louisiana riverboat casino. I started as a pit clerk (pit boss's bitch, basically) two years ago and restrained myself from advancing in the industry because I thought I could find a job related to the major I graduated in. Nope. I learned enough there to be a supervisor without ever dealing.

They offered a dealer school, and I figured why the hell not. I've been dealing since February. However, I've dealt my own semi-serious private poker game for two years (currently on hiatus after an armed robbery... ugh) and I'm already mostly on every single game my casino offers, including Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, pitch Blackjack, and training on Craps.

I spend an uncomfortable amount of time studying the inner workings and numbers behind gambling games, so I can chime in on those questions, too. Seriously, ask me questions about Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, flipping coins, the LOTTERY... anything. There are so many misconceptions and myths regarding gambling that I couldn't even fit them all into 100 pages of text. The mythology in casino culture is almost as powerful as that of a religion. I want to inform people!

Ask me anything. I'll probably accidentally reveal enough info here to personally identify me. I'll immediately post proof upon request. I'm waiting to see if anyone cares about this before I bother.

Comments: 3221 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

tswpoker11150 karma

How the fuck do you play craps?

Turkeyslam678 karma

Sit at the table and watch it for a long while. Absorb the action and pay attention to specific bets that are on the EDGES of the table. Stay the fuck away from the middle.

The most basic bet in craps, the pass line bet, is the most integral bet in the game. It's super easy. When the hockey-puck-looking-thing shows "off", put a bet on the layout where it says "pass". Now, watch the roll. If the shooter throws a 7 or 11, you just won even money. If they roll 2, 3, or 12, you've just lost. If they've rolled any other possible combination (4/5/6/8/9/10), this exact number needs to be rolled again before 7 hits in order to win. That's it.

Everything else in Craps is simply a proposition bet on outcomes of the roll of a dice. Learn the pass line, understand what it means to take odds on it, and absorb the game and atmosphere outside of that, and you'll probably win more money than anyone else at the table.

mrdelayer222 karma

Slightly better odds on the 'don't pass' line, though your fellow players might judge you.

Turkeyslam582 karma

If you think that 0.03% less of a house edge is worth it at the expense of the entire table thinking you're a fucking prick, do it.

(I love betting the don't pass, especially when I am the shooter)

Turkeyslam553 karma

Okay, guys. I made this thread at 5am to distract me before going to bed. I've been drinking since then and I am intoxicated. I want to get a few hours of rest before I type something on the internet that will get me fired.


This whole response from the Reddit community is super awesome, and as I'm an addict as well, I will eventually answer every single one of you.

Thanks for the fun morning. Actually, fuck you guys, as I should've gone to sleep several hours ago.

Okay, good night. For a few hours.

EDIT: I came back, and stuff. I'm going to keep answering questions here and there until this AMA is long-dead, because I like answering questions. Check back. :)

Turkeyslam30 karma

Okay, I'm back. Time to answer more stuff.

death_by_exile431 karma

Have you ever seen some one win a genuinly life changing (for them) amount of money when they clearly needed it, as in turned their last $100 into $10k because they were about to lose their house? i know this sounds stupid but once i turned $20 into $4k when i just went to the casino for a quick drink with a friend after work! i was about to have my first child and it ment i could suprize my partner so many luxuries for her and the baby, got trip 10's on 3 card poker on first hand and just kept on getting lucky after that.

Turkeyslam834 karma

I have seen it. As much as I genuinely love seeing people win (outside of the selfish reason of getting more tips from winners), I don't like seeing people win life-changing amounts of money. Here's why. Huge wins set mental precedents for gamblers. They see the game as something that at one point saved their asses and made them a ton of money. This kind of crap is what gets people addicted to slot machines, primarily. Everyone's heard of the guy who hit a 5/6/7 figure score on a cheap slot machine. The part you don't often hear, however, is that the average North American casino makes over EIGHTY percent of its revenue through slot play.

Big wins are amazing, however, they may have very substantial and negative consequences.

Talvoren404 karma

I've never seen the appeal for playing slots. That shit is so mind-numbingly boring. "OH YAY I WON HALF OF WHAT JUST PAID TO SPIN THE REEL"

Turkeyslam683 karma

My opinion about slots? Consistent manual labor, where the end outcome is for you to lose all your fucking money.


vapornine36 karma

wow, interesting way of looking at it. Like gambler's crack that keeps em coming back for more...

Turkeyslam45 karma


lurkingshadow386 karma

what game offers the highest and lowest win rates?

Turkeyslam813 karma

With this question, I am going to assume you go to it with OPTIMAL play. AKA, playing it flawlessly, where applicable. The games I can currently think of, in order from best to worst:

1) Poker. No specific advantage, but the house has absolutely no stake in who wins or loses other than cutting out a small percentage for the house in each hand. Hundreds of thousands make a living off of it. Its "gambling" is akin to playing the stock market.

2) Blackjack. With perfect strategy, depending on the game you play, the house edge can get as low as 0.5% or less. With efficient card counting strategies, a novice could turn this into a breakeven or even slightly profitable game. A select few with the mental fortitude, endurance, and bankroll to withstand the swings can make a hefty profit. Anyone can card count. It's fucking overrated. The problem with it is that it's a huge grind... work. It's like clocking in at a job. But for anyone with half a clue who doesn't want to count, blackjack is still a GOOD game. Just don't let the erroneous superstition affect your play. Playing blackjack on hunches while ignoring basic strategy can make this a worse game to play than nearly everything else on this list.

3) Craps, assuming you stay the hell away from anything in the middle. The pass line and don't pass bets have a house edge of 1.4%, however, if you take full odds, you can whittle the house edge down to close to zero if you can afford it. The swings and variance are massive, but the odds are fantastic on the basic bets. The place bets, field bet, etc are about as bad as playing Three Card Poker, while the bets the stick person advertises (the ones in the middle) are basically outright theft.

4) Baccarat. This game is a simulated competition between two sides, akin to a coinflip. I play this game for fun. There are two sides to bet on, banker or player. The drawing rules slightly favor banker, making it the better bet. However, BOTH bets are excellent from a casino standpoint. This is a high roller game for a reason. My best advice for this game is to ignore all of the superstition, all of the trend tracking, and annoyance at the mandatory commission and bet banker 100% of the time. Around a 1% house edge. Hard to beat.

5) Pai Gow Poker/Pai Gow Tiles. The odds aren't as good as the games above, but it involves strategy and utilizing your brain. It's a game for more intelligent people, and rewards setting hands intelligently. At a house edge of 2-3%, the game is not bad at all, considering every hand takes several minutes to play and almost half of hands are pushes. If you milk the casino out of free drinks and comps, you could economically see this game as having an edge for the player. You can lower the house edge substantially by opting to bank hands. Google it, it's worth your time if you play these games. Just stay away from the Fortune side bet or whatever the hell your casino offers. IT IS TERRIBLE.

6) Three Card Poker/Mississippi Stud/Caribbean Stud/Let it Ride/Flop Poker/Texas Hold'em Bonus/Ultimate Texas Hold'em/Crazy 4 Poker/Four Card Poker/sdkjhsdkjfhasdlkfhsadlkfhsdaklufask. These games are called "carnival games" and aren't taken seriously by the casino. They aren't the worst offenders, but their house edges are heavy and nobody wins long-term in any of them. They are a fun diversion, but exist for only that reason: to be a diversion.


EDIT: On a last note, AVOID SIDE BETS wherever possible, unless you know the numbers you're up against and don't care. Nearly every blackjack side bet carries a MASSIVE house edge, especially ones that have longshot payout possibilities. The dragon bonus on Baccarat, the fortune bonus on Pai Gow Poker, the Pair Plus on TCP... they're all really, really bad. Inform yourself before you play.

kinkora90 karma

I am not big on casinos but every time i go to one, the only game I would find interesting is Baccarat. Can't seem to figure out why since I have no inclination towards any gambling games.

Anyway, my point is that, one day when I was at the casino to celebrate a mate's birthday, I found myself at the Baccarat table and I noticed a middle-aged gentlemen who did not look like your average gambler or casino patron. The closest description I can provide is that he looked like a cross between someone going fishing and a professor/scientist. What was interesting about him was, he had 3 sheets of paper in front of him and from what i could tell (he was very protective over what he was scribbling on the paper), one sheet was to keep track of the B/P wins, another was the sort of cards that came out of the shoe and the last was a complex algorithm consisting of,from what i could tell,various statistical calculations.

So, why was I paying attention to him? I began to notice that whenever he placed a bet, he won 9/10 times. I kid you not. I noticed his winning streak and proceed to observe him for close to 2 hours. He was very meticulous in his betting and always refers to his 3 sheets. Out of that 2 hours, he must have bet like 20~30 times at most but he won nearly every single time. I could only recall him losing twice cause one of them he grumbled and cursed at his calculations paper and proceeded to sit for 15 minutes straight just calculating something.

I honestly wanted to approach him and ask him but he looked a lil bit on the grumpy side and did not want to interrupt him in his "calculations" and was waiting for him to finish to talk to him. But when I took a quick break to the toilet, came back and he was gone.

What do you think? Plausible the Baccarat can be gamed statistically and someone found a way around it? Or just one of those superstitious gambling fallacies?

bsblake163 karma

Dealer here in WA. You can count down baccarat, like blackjack, though more complicated. This is only advantageous to do towards the players side dragon bonus bet if that's even offered on the game, and only towards the end of the shoe.

Google player dragon bonus count, I'm sure the info is still out there.

I know the odds of the gaming world, and they are against the player. But big deal. Gambling is a form of entertainment. And to the high roller, money to them doesn't mean the same as money to a Jack In The Box employee. Addiction to anything is serious. Even to love. I hate the serial monogamists.

I've dealt for 6 years, every game. Knowing the game, strategy, etc can improve your chances, but if you know all that, you know that you are still taking a chance.

And after that, id rather be lucky than good. Any day.

Turkeyslam78 karma

The dragon bonus on the player side is probably the only thing a sane person should bother with counting. The main game is countable only in theory. The return is so negligible that you might as well dig through deserted grass fields and hope to find a $20 bill.

The banker side on that bet is so fucking bad, haha.

I'm with you on the luck thing. Even a jackass such as myself who only cares about statistical edges needs a LOT of damned luck.

EDIT: eeeeeh. EZ Baccarat and some of Macau's side bets have some countability. I'm not going into that, though.

vanofjelly46 karma


Turkeyslam112 karma

War would be a perfectly fair game, if not for one thing. The casino kicks your ASS on what happens if there's a tie. If that were not a factor, I'd advocate War as the ideal casino game.

Inittornit30 karma

I always thought roulette (betting only on red/black) gave the house only like a 2% advantage, and is essentially a coin toss like baccarat, is this not true, or are you saying stay away from roulette in reference to betting a specific number?

Turkeyslam98 karma

If you play on a wheel with both 0 and 00 on the board, you are playing at a massive disadvantage.

Bet red OR black: you have 18 ways to win, and 20 ways to lose. 2 out of 38 always lose. Over one roll, this may be insubstantial, but over an entire session, this can be devastating.

Roulette offers close to a 2% edge (2.7%, I believe) on a wheel with one 0, and even less in a European-style Roulette wheel, with an en-prison rule. It basically states that if you bet on an even money proposition and it hits the single zero, you only lose half the money in your bet. A European Roulette table is weird to me, as it is actually a GOOD GAME. :O

Baccarat offers a game where both sides have a house edge of less than 1.5%. If the banker bet charged no commission, it would be a heavily player-advantageous bet. Its drawing rules essentially act second based on what player does. As everyone knows, whoever acts second in a gambling situation has the advantage. I don't really need to go into it. If you need to bet your life savings on an even money proposition, you would be a fool to not go to the Baccarat table, even if a European Roulette wheel is in your vicinity (which it WILL NOT be).

Waldamos25 karma

My dad turned me on to craps and I have tried reading lots on the subject, any chance you know something all the guides don't?

Turkeyslam90 karma

I won't pretend I do. However, the guys at wizardofodds.com and wizardofvegas.com are are basically the premier experts on gambling games on the internet. I highly recommend reading on the game on those sites.

KoreanTerran279 karma

Neat, do I get to be that guy for this IAMA?!


Turkeyslam252 karma

Thanks for asking. :)

My gaming badge: http://imgur.com/vGYKg,rZjcK (anyone who lives in LA can easily identify which casino this is. Do me a solid and be quiet, please :/ )

My living room with custom poker table: http://imgur.com/vGYKg,rZjcK#1

LittleKnown136 karma

You bought a DDR machine for your home?

Turkeyslam263 karma

Close, Pump It Up. Korean game.

Yes, I know. You don't need to say it.

The machine in my home is the image used on an article on Wikipedia:


BillyJackO156 karma

The inside of your house is on Wikipedia? Bold move.

Turkeyslam245 karma

More like stupid move.

I'm a stupid idiot

[deleted]43 karma

Poker and dance machines, 2 of my favourite things. I like your style :P

Turkeyslam31 karma

hah. :D

Reinmaker36 karma

I hope this doesn't turn into a "Google incident" where your employer finds out and fires you.

Also, nice custom table. Do your friends make you deal during your home games? That's just evil.

Turkeyslam79 karma

I'm trying to do this AMA where I can proudly stand proud where my employer sees it. I shared this on Facebook with tons of employers.

I'm not giving away any names or damaging information. Though maybe I might be sent to a few $5 blackjack tables for a while for revealing the fact that my casino isn't Foxwoods or something. :/

EDIT: I just reread what I typed. I'm drunk. I hope I didn't say anything redundant


If I want to count cards at the table, would it be rude to use one of those clicker things umpires use? Or should I ask the dealer to go slower so I can use my fingers?

Turkeyslam45 karma

I love this post. Here, take my upvote.

HotBeefTrauma213 karma

armed robbery

Please elaborate

Turkeyslam378 karma

I used to deal a deep $0.25/$0.50 NLHE game at my house. Average buyins $100, with over a grand on the table many weeks. The game was almost exclusively a bunch of young college kids who were grinders at their local poker games. No shady people whatsoever. However, a month and a half ago, two gunmen, one with a mask, scoped out my house, held one of my friends at gunpoint, and demanded all of our money. They were tipped off by someone (incorrectly, may I add - the gunmen thought they were robbing a damn underground cardroom and not some silly homegame) that there was a lot more money in the game than there actually was. They stole our negligible several hundred bucks, our phones, and my laptop.

We have mostly weeded out the possibility that it was an inside job, despite thinking that was the case for a while. We now think that one of my game's regulars, who plays often in local cardrooms, was followed. Two guys were recently arrested and they REALLY looked like the guys who robbed us (one of them was unmasked). No resolution, but I now once again feel safe living in my own damn home. :/

ShetlandJames209 karma

  1. What's the most you've seen someone win?
  2. What's the most you've seen someone lose?
  3. Has working in the industry changed your opinion on how widespread/legal gambling should be?

Turkeyslam410 karma

I'll answer those in multiple parts, hah.

1A) At my casino, there is a high roller from Texas who confusingly patronizes our casino exclusively on his trips to Louisiana, when there are casinos that cater WAY better to his level of action. I've put in markers and helped with a supervisor and saw this guy win $20,000 in half an hour. He tends to lose or win somewhere around the ballpark of $60,000-$200,000 per trip. This is an extreme anomaly for my casino, however. Unfortunately, we mostly cater to "fleas" (low rollers).

1B) I've SEEN someone cash out comfortably in gray and light blue chips at Harrah's New Orleans ($5,000 and $25,000 chips) playing Craps. Chips higher than that exist. At the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this year, there was a poker cash game that capped at $5,000/$10,000 blind No Limit Hold'em with a $1 million buy-in. This picture was taken by one of the guys who cashed out in this game. These are real chips. 94 of them. Do the math.


It's absolute fucking insanity.

2) Though I haven't personally seen it, the guy mentioned in 1A gets the cake. For what it's worth, I dealt to a guy playing Mini-Baccarat the other day. I beat him for $11,000 in 20 minutes.

3) Sliiiightly. I'm of the libertarian point of view that everyone should be able to do what they want as adults as long as they don't negatively impact the community. However, I like the fact that casino areas are confined to certain areas of the country rather than being universally widespread. There is clearly a demand for this type of entertainment, and prohibition of organized gambling will simply send all of the gambling action to dodgy backroom gambling houses where people get fucking killed. Screw that. State-regulated gambling facilities are a necessary evil in a society that loves to gamble. I'm glad that legal gambling exists.

ShetlandJames123 karma

I agree with you on point 3 in that I believe gambling should exist and I'm of quasi-Libertarian origins myself.

I guess I was asking it in references to gambling addiction. I presume in your work you see a lot of people quite regularly. Do you have any professional (or moral?) obligation to intervene and say "C'mon now, that's enough?" or do your higher-ups tell you to take everything you can get.

Turkeyslam271 karma

Hmm, excellent question.

I absolutely see people's arguments when they call casinos nothing more than huge cesspools of degeneracy. Gambling addiction is a serious thing, and I see it every single damn day where I work. There are some players at my casino who probably clock in more hours per week than most dealers do. As a pit clerk, I straight up accidentally MEMORIZED the player card numbers for a good couple hundred players. This is clearly a sign that these people play too much.

As an employee, I'm paid to provide the entertainment and offer the opportunity to people who choose to gamble. However, I'm one of the rare few at my casino who hasn't been completely desensitized to catastrophic loss. I'm not supposed to, but I have definitely nudged people away from a game if they were getting murdered and didn't realize what they were getting themselves into. I had a "friend" (more of an acquaintance, really), who turned 21 and went straight to the casino. It didn't take even a month of this new-found vice for this kid to become completely addicted to gambling at the casino. One night, he cleared his checking account chasing losses at the Roulette wheel. My human side came in and I nearly demanded that he go to Louisiana State Police and apply for a statewide casino exclusion ban. Guess what? He did. He's way better now, and he thanks me for pushing him to do that.

I'll be honest, I don't feel QUITE the same way when I'm dealing to a player who berates me, blows smoke in my face, and incessantly bitches while losing at a table. I don't feel any sympathy when I take all of their money. I still believe that individuals are at fault if they choose to use their money this way, but I try to do what I can when I see a human being seeking help behind the gambler. It's really the only part that's shitty about working in this industry.

ShetlandJames45 karma

Thanks for the reply.

What weird "for good luck" actions have you seen people do? (IE, always tapping the table 3 times or something)

Turkeyslam196 karma

Am I cheating by saying "everything"? I mean, holy moly. I think it's rarer for me to see a player who does NOT have a superstitious method of play than one who does. People rub the table, swap positions, sit out hands, track trends, study me as a dealer, wait for a dealer to tap me out, monitor supervisors, study number patterns, wait for gut feelings....

IT IS ALL BULLSHIT. These games are all numbers and mathematical variance at play. All of these games exploit human nature to track patterns and seek the ability to get some control over outcomes that are inherently random.

moonedge140 karma

Could you possibly describe the most interesting character your job has made you face?

I always love learning about random cool peeps.

Turkeyslam408 karma

Well, my answer is going to be wildly different from any of my coworkers, mainly due to my rare approach to the whole casino thing.

Two weeks ago, I dealt to a director of table games from a Mississippi casino. DTGs are even higher up than shift managers, and are basically the math gurus who determine the casino's expected profits from offering all of these gambling games. This guy pretended to be a blackjack newbie, asking if he should split on this, double on that... when in reality he knew the answer to everything. He was testing me. When he realized I knew my shit, he asked me what the house edge increase was on a game where the dealer hit on soft 17. I accidentally guessed it EXACTLY right. He offered me a job on the spot. It was the bomb.

I find this nerdy shit more interesting than the "interesting" personalities I encounter on my everyday table game.

Auriee158 karma


Turkeyslam246 karma

I told him .23%. He went for a handshake at that point. I assumed I got it right.

...it could be .22%....

mrdelayer93 karma

Wikipedia says "about 0.2%", so, close enough?

Turkeyslam129 karma


eatsam107 karma

So did you take the job? I suppose not, but was it a good offer?

Turkeyslam155 karma


on both counts

batfan20130 karma


Turkeyslam306 karma

Not as often as you'd think. My biggest threat ever was FUCKING HILARIOUS.

I deal extremely fast for some reason, pulling the third card out of the shoe before the hole card even flips entirely. This regular, an old man who always wears a shitty hat, hates that, and he accused me of pulling these extra cards out of my sleeves or something. He said that if I did it again, he would go over the ropes and beat the shit out of me. The threat was so harmless, and so downright FUNNY, that I couldn't even be bothered by it. I did it again. The old man motioned to come kick my ass. I don't know how else to describe it, but it was one of the most funny events of my blackjack-dealing career.

You can't really get away with threatening to kick a dealer's ass. Casino security is massive. You'd have to attack the dealer at his home or something.

spacexj761 karma

or come and rob you and your buddies one night.. 0_0

Turkeyslam35 karma

fuck off :(

iWaffleStomp95 karma

I hit a Royal Flush on Let it Ride at Diamondjacks in Bossier. Dealer said it was first he dealt in 17 years of dealing. Have you or any other dealers dealt one? Also was betting $20 on each bet... Stupid Aggregate.

Turkeyslam91 karma

I've never dealt Let it Ride, though I know exactly how rare it is. Mississippi Stud is essentially that game in reverse. Five-card-stud hands. In my short stint as a dealer, the best I've done is four of a kind. $1600 for a $5 ante.

The Royal Flush is a RARE hand indeed.

FTFM92 karma

The girlfriend is a blackjack dealer, and it really seems like she is pulling in significantly less due to tip sharing (She's a cute lady). Why the shit do casinos do this, isn't it in their best interest for the dealer to be likeable (for whatever reason) and get more tips? She has zero reason to do anything better other than learn more games to deal as the base pay goes up the more games you've learned. I can't even imagine how horrible this shit is for the high limit dealers that get tipped hundreds and see a couple dollars of it.

Turkeyslam281 karma

I can absolutely relate. There are some casinos in the US that actually let table game dealers keep their own tips. As much as my casino screws me over on tokes, I actually advocate for pooling of tips on games such as Blackjack, Three Card Poker, and so forth (but not necessarily Craps, and certainly not poker).

Here's why: if you are the unlucky dealer who gets stuck on a $5 or $10 Blackjack table all shift long, it's absolutely possible to leave your shift with ZERO in tokes. It's happened to me. It's absolutely fucking brutal. In my casino, all shifts pool over a 14-day period. Graveyard shift would be on welfare if we didn't pool with them, yet they put up with some of the most unpleasant crap (namely, drunk and losing degenerate gamblers who are chasing losses, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT).

I hear you. You spend all shift long, with an excellent personality, collecting tips left and right. All that effort, only to have to pool it with your peers. But in the long run I think it helps us all, as it creates a balance between the lucky and unlucky. I think games that are very top-heavy regarding tips, such as big Baccarat, poker, and maybe Craps, could do better with a dealer- (or team-) takes-all system. But your average everyday table games? Maybe not.

On a last note, a lot of casinos do this as a security measure. If dealers get to keep all their tips on a Blackjack table, that makes them WAY more likely to cheat and steal. When you're the only one on the hook for tips, it becomes so damn enticing to push bettors when they lose or overpay them in hopes that they tip extra. It corrupts the game QUICKLY. Also, it creates animosity among staff if certain dealers make 5x what others make.

Honestly, it's an unpleasant topic, and there's an argument for every side here. I'm not even arguing against you, just giving a devil's advocate opinion here.

abeobass88 karma

What is the best way to coerce pitbosses and what not into hooking up free food, hotel,etc?

Turkeyslam8 karma

At my casino, I'm ashamed to say... flirt with them.


fryingpeanut78 karma

Dealer over in CT here. Have fun learning craps btw. Awesome game to deal but it was a long 3 months. Some advice, learn to listen quick and move fast. Drop cutting is your friend. Anyways what are you tokes like?

Turkeyslam118 karma

Hilariously bad. Averaging $10 an hour for all dealers on all shifts over a two week period. I want to learn craps because I have ADHD and IT IS FUCKING AWESOME. I am so sick of dead games. Craps is consistent awesome action and I want to be a part of it.

I'm already practicing drop cuts. I suck. My presses are also embarrassing. I'm going to the boat tomorrow on my only off day of the week to get some practice on the dealer school craps table. :D

benjaminx60 karma

How much do you gamble yourself? And when you do, what games do you play?

Turkeyslam104 karma

Gambling as a whole? Pretty regularly, actually, as much of a wimp as I am at actually gambling.

My best friend and I invent games all the time and we have little gambling contests where we try to take each others' money. Poker variants, board games, physical challenges, you name it. I love gambling where nobody has a determined edge over the other.

I love limit poker. Especially oddball variants where few know how to play. Badugi is my favorite game of all time. I play these games because the average opponent is an incompetent dipshit airhead. It's near-guaranteed long-term money for someone who knows what they're doing.

If I've been drinking or with friends and stop caring about math and statistics for a change, I'm a huge fan of Baccarat and Pai Gow.

BlueHerringMambo32 karma

Tell us more about the games you invented!

Turkeyslam159 karma

I don't even know where to start. Holy shit.

I guess with this one:

Don't even bother reading this. It's horrible. I'm copypasting it from an email.

to john Hi, great website. My friend and I worked hard on creating a unique and somewhat masochistic game called "Shaftmount" (not the friendliest title, but the game's outcome is often literally the result of a player damaging his own chances of winning rather than an opponent doing it). We spent almost a year tweaking the rules to add playability. The game often ends in organized chaos, but is frequently hilarious.

I apologize if these wording in these rules makes the game sound unnecessarily convoluted. Compared to many other complex card games, Shaftmount's base rules are relatively simple. I can provide a video of the game in action if it helps in your understanding of the game.

The rules are as follows:

Shaftmount Rules

-2 to 4 players -2 decks without jokers (104 cards) -Card ranks: A, K, Q, J, T, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2


(circular formation)

           Player 1     Player 2   Player 3

[down cards] |||||||| |||||||| ||||||||

[up cards] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

(in center) { } deck { } discard pile

(on side) [A][A][A][A][A][A][A][A] (closing sequences - like in Solitare)

  • Shaftmount is a game of penalties, where the objective is to be the last player to accumulate a total of ten penalty points. These points can be marked with poker chips, toothpicks, tallies, etc. A player's current penalty total must be openly visible to all players at all times.

  • The dealer shuffles and deals cards clockwise around the table, starting with the player to his left. The dealer gives cards to each player face-down, poker-style. Each player gets a total of nine cards if there are 2 players in the game, eight cards total if there are 3 players in the game, and seven cards total if 4 players. These are hand-held private cards. After these cards are distributed, the dealer distributes face-up cards for each player, known as player sequences, continuing in the same order. Each of these distributed cards sits separately from the others, as shown in the diagram above. If playing with two players, both players get 4 individual upcards in front of them. If playing with three players, all players get 3 upcards in front of them. If playing with four players, each player gets 2 upcards.

  • At any time, a player may draw cards from the deck into their hand as long as the amount of cards in their hand does not exceed the maximum allowed (9, 8, or 7, depending on the player count).

-If a player's hand contains more than the maximum allowed at any time, and an opponent notices this fact and calls it out, the offender receives one penalty point and may not draw additional cards until they are normally allowed to do so. A player may not conceal cards and must prove the number of cards in his hand when requested. Formally, a player draws a card immediately after making a play, however, this is not mandatory. A player can choose to not draw cards at all.

  • The Ace plays as default trump card for any suit. By default, player sequences close when an Ace of the same suit as a chosen sequence is played over that sequence. On a player's turn, the player is allowed to place down one card from his hand. A player may play either an Ace or any other card on top of any sequence owned by -any- player, including his own, provided that said card is higher in rank and of the same suit of the card the player wishes to play on.

  • When a trump card closes a sequence, the sequence’s “owner” receives one penalty point. The player who plays this trump card must point to or tap the trump card to all players to prove their action and force the opponent to take their penalty point. The “owner” has no obligation to take their penalty point if the trumping isn't proven to them by an opponent.

-This game forces players to remain alert, so that if a player isn't paying attention, his chances of winning diminish. If at any time a player's opponents don't notice a situation that would otherwise result in said player receiving a penalty point, this player is not required to alert his opponents. He can play on as normal without penalty until an opponent announces the situation verbally or by tapping a trump card.

  • When a trump play is announced, the highest card of that sequence (in the beginning of the game, an Ace), is placed face up on the side. It begins a closing sequence used by all players, similar to the closing sequence in Solitare (except that in this game it starts with A, then K, Q, J, etc). The rest of the cards in the initial sequence under this trump card move to the discard pile, face down, with the exception of the very last card in the bottom of the sequence pile. The player owning the discarded sequence has the option of keeping this bottom card sequence where it is, without being discarded, or if he chooses to do so, he can discard it as well. If kept, play resumes as normal, with the kept card being the card to beat. If discarded, the player then draws a card from the deck and places it face up in the open spot. This new card initiates a brand new player sequence, owned by the same player.

  • Any Ace can begin a closing sequence, so that in the long run there can be a total of eight closing sequences (one for each Ace). If any closing sequences already exist (for example, an Ace of Hearts on its own), two trump cards now technically exist for that suit: the next highest card of that suit (in this case, the King of Hearts) and the other Ace of that suit. The player who trumps a sequence has the option of choosing which card he would like to use to trump it. (In the example, he can trump with a King of Hearts, placing the King over the existing Ace, or starting a new and independent closing sequence with the other Ace of Hearts). Either play results in the same effect for his opponent: the opponent takes a penalty for having a trump card played on a sequence owned by them, followed by the opponent being able to choose what to do with their bottom card.

-If a trump card is face-up at the very beginning of the game before any player has acted, this trump card may be moved to create a closing sequence at no consequence to the player. This benefit expires immediately after the first player has acted, until the end of the game.

  • In some cases, after a trump card is played, the next highest trump card may exist on the board. Similarly, if a sequence is fully emptied and a card is drawn from the deck, this newly drawn card may also be a trump card. If the person who played the initial trump card notices any other available plays on the board which may arise as a consequence of his play, he may announce them by tapping on the cards that continue this "domino effect", in order. It is possible for one play to result in several penalties to multiple players.

-If a player who played a trump card has more than one option for a card to continue his "domino effect" (for example, two Queens of Hearts in separate player sequences which now became trump cards after the play of a King of Hearts trump card), he may choose which trump card he would like to designate as the trump card (and subsequently, force the owner of said trump card to receive a penalty point).

-If this player fails to notice any additional available trump plays on the board, or notices that one of his own sequences contains a trump card and he wishes to remain silent about it, any other opponent may tap another trump play existing on the board and penalize the player owning that card. If a continued domino effect remains possible, this new player "takes control" and designates which cards act as trump cards if any duplicates exist. When all players are satisfied that there are no more plays to be made, the player's turn is over.

-There are some situations where a card may exist that is higher in rank than an existing trump card but may not be an available trump card itself. (For example, if two Club closing sequences exist, one showing an Ace and one showing a Jack, a new Queen of Clubs that emerges later does not trump anything until a new King of Clubs is placed over the Ace of Clubs in the closing sequence area).

  • After the first player finishes a play, action rotates clockwise to the next player, who can perform any of the same actions.

  • In the event that no plays, as outlined above, are available on an opponents' sequence, but a self-destructive play is available in one of the player's own card sequences, the player is required to play it. This even applies if the result of the play causes a player to give himself a penalty. This is colloquially referred to as "shafting yourself".

  • If a player truly has no plays available, including self-destructive plays against himself, the player must expose the entirety of his hand to his opponents. After the player's opponents confirm that none of the exposed cards can be used on any player sequence, the player takes all of his cards and discards them into the discard pile. He then takes all the cards in the discard pile, along with all of the remaining cards in the deck, and thoroughly shuffles them together to the satisfaction of his opponents. He then deals himself a full new hand and receives a penalty point as a cost for receiving a new hand. It is the responsibility of the player's opponents to make sure the player applies his penalty. At this point, there are no cards in the discard pile and all of the shuffled cards become part of the remaining deck. This ends the player's turn and the next player acts.

-If, while exposing his hand for this purpose, a players' opponents notice that he does, in fact, have an available play, an opponent can announce the available card and force the opponent to play it. The unobservant (or sneaky) player who exposed his hand would then receive one penalty point, ending his turn. If the available card is a trump card which would otherwise result in a penalty point for that player, the player would end up receiving a total of three penalties: one for missing or deceptively disguising the possible play, one for the penalty that they would have otherwise received for playing the trump card, and a third penalty point due to the severity of the disguised play avoided by the player.

  • If, at any point, the deck runs out of cards, the current player is required to thoroughly shuffle the contents of the discard pile. This now becomes the active deck. If no cards remain in either the deck or discard pile, the game ends. The player with the fewest penalty points wins the game.

  • At any point, if a player has a total of ten penalty points, the player is removed from the game. All of the cards in his hand, as well as all the cards in sequences owned by that player, are emptied into the discard pile. If there is more than one player remaining, play resumes in clockwise order, excluding the player who just lost. Play resumes until one player is left standing.


All of the rules listed above summarize everything required to play a very basic game of Shaftmount. The following rules, however, are usually all put into play as well. These rules provide more options for players and add a new level of complexity to the game's decisions. While he following rules create additional possible plays with cards of rank 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, a player is never required to do any of these plays for any reason. Cards of these ranks are treated like any other card when assessing the possibility of playing any available cards over an existing player sequence.

A) 2 Rule

  • If a player is in a situation where he has no plays available, but they have a 2-rank card of a suit found in one of the player sequence piles, they are allowed to use this 2 as a trump card in a player sequence of the same suit. Prior to this, they must expose the entirety of their hand to the table, proving that there are no other plays available other than trumping with a 2. If a player has more than one card of that rank, he can choose which 2 to use when making the play. Unlike all other trumping situations, when a player trumps a sequence with a 2, the trump card (the 2) also gets discarded along with other cards in the sequence. After making this play, a player is free to draw a card to fill their hand. A player does not need to re-expose his hand again until facing a future situation which calls for re-exposing the player's hand. A player is not required to draw to the maximum number of cards in their hand to make this play. Late in the game, a player may skip drawing additional cards to fill their hand in order to maximize the potential of making this play. However, the "5 rule" (mentioned later) can be used as a defensive tactic by the opponent if a player decides to short-hand to play 2-rank cards.

-Like with the previously mentioned rule about exposing one's full hand to his opponents, all previously mentioned penalties apply if the player does, in fact, have a play available and gets caught.

B) 3 Rule

  • During any turn, instead of playing a card that is higher in suit than another card in an existing sequence, a player may create a brand new player sequence with a 3-rank card. This brand new player sequence belongs to the player that created it, with the player receiving any penalties that may result when a trump card eventually gets played on that sequence. When a trump card is played on this new sequence, no new cards come out to replace it. All cards, except the trump card, are discarded into the discard pile.

C) 4 Rule

  • During any turn, instead of playing a card that is higher in suit than another card in an existing sequence, a player may play a 4 by placing it in the bottom of a sequence of that 4's suit (under all other cards). It is now the "bottom" card of that suit in case a trump card eventually gets played on it. This rule is often utilized if a player wishes to "buy" an extra turn and draw an additional card.

D) 5 rule

  • Whenever a player faces an opponent attempting to play a 2 trump card while following the 2 rule posted above, while having less than the maximum allowed number of cards in their hand, the defending opponent has an option of using a 5-rank card of ANY suit, despite it not being their turn. In defense of their sequence, when the defending player uses a 5-rank card, the player attempting to use the 2 trump card must first draw to the maximum number allowed cards in their hand. If they still do not have any other available plays, they must prove it to the other players, then they can continue to use their 2 trump card. However, after the draw is complete, the opponent draws a card that they are able to play on any other sequence on the board, the opponent must choose a mandatory play to make instead of using the 2 trump card. Either of the two players involved may afterwards draw a card, at their discretion.

E) 6 rule

  • Whenever any player imposes the “4 rule” by playing a 4-rank card, any other opponent may “block” that play by exposing a 6-rank card from their hand. The player who wished to play a 4 may no longer play that specific card, but may attempt the same thing again using a different 4-rank card, provided a sequence of that suit exists on the board somewhere. Any player may then defend against this new play with a different 6-rank card. This “6 rule” can be interpreted as a punishment for the opponent who’s trying to procrastinate on the inevitable outcome of them “shafting themselves”.

May 20

to john Attached is a sample image of how the game looks about five minutes in. This is a two player game. Player hands (the ones crunched up close together) are exposed here just for you to see in the picture. They are normally face down and unseen by opponents for the majority of the game. Note how both players have an ace of spades in their hand. One player can do more damage with their ace than the other, due to the "domino effect" in the rules. Right now the available trump cards are an ace of any suit, a king of hearts, and a queen of clubs.


EDIT: if you're still with me, a video showing how this game plays out is buried within this thread.

JFreeman8330 karma

I have been interested in going to a dealer school, but I am not sure which games I should learn to be easily hirable by a nearby casino. Any tips on getting started?

Turkeyslam53 karma

Blackjack. It's basically the language of casino dealing. It teaches you all the elements you need to move forward to other games. In most casinos, you are absolutely required to deal it before you deal anything else.

[deleted]18 karma


Turkeyslam76 karma

Blackjack or Baccarat is a good place to start. If you're open-minded to analytical perspectives on the game, do yourself a huge favor and read about any game you wish to play on wizardofodds.com before you actually go and play it. They break down every casino game entirely and explain what you're up against.

Poker is a hugely different ballgame, as your opponents are human beings. For that game, I'd recommend reading up over at twoplustwo.com.