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Best of Larry Edell

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The Secrets of Chuck-A-Luck

12 August 2006

Pssst... Wanna know a secret?

How about the secrets of the dice game Chuck-A-Luck?

Chuck-A-Luck (also called Bird Cage) is becoming popular once again, and several casinos have a chuck-a-luck game, but it is usually found in the slot machine area rather than with the table games. Long ago, along with Hazard, it was the forerunner of craps.

You may see a large dice "Bird Cage" with a handle on the side filled with three large dice. The "dealer" will announce to onlookers "The Best game there is - Three winners and three losers - Bet Just $1 - Easiest money you'll ever make!" Sounds like a good 50/50 proposition, but it's a little more complicated than that.

Wanna know the secrets that dice pros use to play Chuck-A-Luck?

Let's find out!

Underneath the large wire Chuck-A-Luck cage is a layout vaguely reminiscent of a craps game. It is usually green, with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 printed on top. You place $1 on any of the numbers and if your number appears on any one die, you get even money. If your number appears on two dice, you get 2:1 ($2). If it appears on all three dice, you get 3:1 ($3). The game begins when all six numbers have a bet placed on them.

Although on the surface this looks pretty good, let's look at what is really happening here.

If two 2s and one 3 are thrown, the bank pays $2 to whoever bet on the 2 and $1 to whoever bet on the 3. Those who bet the 1, 4, 5 and 6 all lose. In this case there are two winners and four losers. So the "house" takes in $6 and pays out $3.

Now let's say the dealer rolls three fours. Whoever bet on the four wins $3, but all five other bettors lose $1.

The dealer's original claim of three winners and three losers is true, but only applies if all three dice are different. If he rolls, for example, 2, 3, 4 then three people will win $1 each and three people will lose $1 each.

If you figure out the casino edge for this game it is about 7%, which is not so good compared to other casino games. Plus, there is no strategy involved, it is purely a game of luck.

If you see Bird Cage or Chuck-A-Luck at a County Fair, beware of cheating. Watch out for a setup where the bottom of the cage is less than one inch from the supporting box. This could signify a foot-operated magnet that the "dealer" uses to alter the outcome so he wins more and you win less. You don't have to worry about this in casinos because the 7% house edge is more than enough for them.

So, even though this dice game might be a lot of fun to play, a regular craps game might provide a little more profit.

Pssst... Now you know the secrets of playing Chuck-A-Luck!

The Crapshooter © 2006 by Larry Edell

You can get a FREE issue of The Crapshooter newsletter, the only newsletter devoted exclusively to craps! Just send two first class stamps to The Crapshooter, PO Box 421440, San Diego CA 92142, or you can subscribe at http://www.TheCrapshooter.com. You'll also receive a FREE catalog and a special FREE offer!

Larry Edell

If you would like a free copy of "The Crapshooter", the only newsletter devoted exclusively to casino craps, just send a stamped envelope to The Crapshooter, Dept. RGT., Box 421440, San Diego CA 92142. We'll also send info on our books "Make Your Living Playing Craps" and, "Tina Trapp's Guide to Craps", as well as a free catalog, and a special free offer!

Purchase Larry's book, "Make Your Living Playing Craps" available online here.

Larry Edell Websites:

www.TheCrapShooter.com
Larry Edell
If you would like a free copy of "The Crapshooter", the only newsletter devoted exclusively to casino craps, just send a stamped envelope to The Crapshooter, Dept. RGT., Box 421440, San Diego CA 92142. We'll also send info on our books "Make Your Living Playing Craps" and, "Tina Trapp's Guide to Craps", as well as a free catalog, and a special free offer!

Purchase Larry's book, "Make Your Living Playing Craps" available online here.

Larry Edell Websites:

www.TheCrapShooter.com