What Las Vegas jargon names "whales" is in fact the creme of the high rollers species. They are a handful of people that in some opinions don't exceed 500 individuals in the world. Las Vegas hoteliers are nuts about them; some claim four or five of those whales bet much more than the rest of the thousands customers they receive daily. No wonder they are suspected of going as far as selling their first born child to get one of those whales into their gaming area.
Five tips to recognise a whale
* the size of the bet: $50,000 is the low end; Australian tycoon Kerry Packer likes to play seven blackjack hands at one time; his top bet was $375,000;
* the line of credit: 4 to 5 million dollars for one weekend; a fortune for us ordinary earthlings, pocket money for a "whale";
* the treat: whales get all the freebies from the hotel they play: fine dining, luxury accommodations, private jet transportation, expensive gifts... often the US visa for the Asian high rollers;
* the escort: it usually includes bodyguards, beautiful gals and close friends; Las Vegas history saved for the record a legendary tale in which the Saudi Prince Adnan Khashoggi dropped for a bet at Stardust with an entourage of a dozen people;
* the generosity: whether they win or loose, everybody's happy as long as they play; "whales" don't spare tips & gifts.
While the "whales" number just a few hundreds in the world, the amounts they can afford to lose are purely impressive; that is why hoteliers pay specially trained staff for "whales hunting". The Asians form a big part of this exclusivist market, about 80 %. The bottom line is to keep them coming in, at the same rate, after nine eleven.
Unfortunately, Las Vegas seems to be experiencing a decrease in whale strands these days. One reason, that all hoteliers agree about, is they don't get as much privacy in Las Vegas casinos as they would normally get in other gaming destinations of the world. While hotel owners in Las Vegas await their VIP saloons approved, the "whales" gamble in Macau, Monaco or Australia.
Knowledgeable gamblers and even most novice craps players know that the proposition box at the center of the craps game contains bad bets. Even so, the promise of high 30 for 1 and 15 for 1 payoffs advertised on the felt entices many players. On a hot craps game, the proposition box is usually as jammed up with bets as the pass line and place bets.
Despite the aggressive house advantage on all proposition bets, the fact remains that for many people they are fun to play. First-time players at the craps table are always curious about the proposition bets. The horn bet sounds so mysterious and people want to know just what the “hardway” is.
How to play proposition bets and grasping what they actually pay are not easy aspects of learning craps. Game procedures restrict players from accessing the proposition box, and players must have their bets set up through the dealers. A player generally communicates to the dealer on the stick position which bet he or she wants and then tosses the chips to the dealer. Players can also tell their dealer on the inside position that they want a proposition bet, and then that dealer will get it set up with the stick dealer.
The most popular proposition bets are the hardways and then the horn bet. Hardways refer to the four, six, eight, or ten rolling as a perfect pair. For example, a hard six is the roll of three and three as opposed to the roll of four and two. A hardway bet wins when the dice roll this perfect pair combination. The bet will lose when the number rolls as a non-pair or the seven rolls. Other rolls do not affect the hardway bets.
Hard six and hard eight pay 10 for 1 and hard four and hard ten pay 8 for 1. Note that the statement is 10 for 1 and not 10 to 1. This means that for the 10 units that you win, you give up 1 unit to the house. Typically, a winner with $1 on the hard six, for example, will be paid $9 and left up on the bet for $1. The concept of giving up the original bet for the payoff often bothers new players who are expecting to get another dollar.
During come out rolls, hardway bets are automatically shut off, meaning that they are not in action until a point number is marked. Players have the option of turning their hardway bets on during come out rolls.
Horn bets, unlike hardways, are one-roll bets. A one-roll bet will either win or lose on the next roll of the dice. Because of the one shot nature of one-roll bets, they mostly have the high 30 for 1 or 15 for 1 payoffs.
The horn bet combines the numbers two, three, eleven, and twelve into one bet that is a four way split. A $4 minimum is required on a horn bet in order to place $1 on each part of the horn. If, on the next roll, one of the horn numbers wins, then the portion of the bet on that number will be paid. For example, on a roll of twelve, the $1 on the twelve won 30 for 1, or $29. However, the other three parts of the horn lost, which means $3 must be subtracted from the payoff. The result is then that the player receives $26 and still has a $4 horn up for the next roll.
Players seem to pursue proposition bets simply for the thrill of hitting the long shot. Many people who are doing well with the friendlier bets on the pass or don’t pass can fritter away winnings in the proposition box by keeping all the hardways in action or always betting horns on the come out.
The experience of playing the proposition box ranges from fun to frustrating, but it is always expensive. Good gamblers resist the temptation.