Gambling, Craps and the Politics of Sex
I hate to point out the obvious but maybe there’s a lesson or two to be learned from the blatant sexual terminology in the casino game of craps.
Can you think of any other game in the world that has so many sexual innuendos? Why do you think that is? Do you think there’s any connection between gambling and sex?
Let’s take a look at the craps table first and the most obvious bets.
The most popular bet in craps is a “pass” or “don’t pass” bet. The second main bet is a “come” or a “don’t come” bet, a mirror image of the pass line bets. You can always play “the Field” or “lay” odds on your don’t bets. You can play the “proposition” bets or the “hard ways,” make a “horn” bet or an “any craps.” There are two buttons, the Off and On buttons and the “buy” button. And finally you have—the puck itself.
The dealer is a “stickperson” and the “boxperson” oversees the game to make sure everybody is getting paid off on their bets properly.
That’s enough to give you the idea that craps sounds like an X-rated version of The Dating Game on a TV quiz show. Because craps officially began in World War II, the back alley Army language that went with it had only one thing on its mind when they rolled the bones. That language came with the game, intact.
The old saying is that sex sells anything and it certainly has been used to promote gambling and casinos. It encourages gentlemen and rowdies to dig deep into their pockets, whip out their wallets, pull out their wad, wag it in front of everybody’s nose and toss it wantonly onto the battlefield of chance. Especially if there is a girl within 40 miles. That seems to add gas to the fire.
Wagging your wallet in front of all the other wagging wallets is a totally “political” move, isn’t it?
It’s the old game of One Upmanship. The old game of My Wad is Bigger than Your Dinky Little Wad, Mister Peanut and don’t never forget it. The child’s game of mine is Bigger than yours means I am bigger and better than you. I’m stronger and more powerful than you. I beat you. I won. I can turn you into pulp fiction anytime I want. I can squeeze your little head. I won before you even shake the dice, dip ship. Go back to kindergarten where you belong. This is a He-Man’s game.
They aren’t playing the game of craps, are they? They’re playing King of the Jungle, King of the Mountain. Craps is just an excuse so they can play their game and prove their manhood once again.
It’s the old bully’s game now in a slightly different disguise. It’s the big shot’s game. The Game of Infantile Paralysis. For now it is being played out under the veneer of craps and casino games in general but it is a multi-headed monster that can take on all sizes and shapes. Got any problems? The monster will customize and form fit to your every specification.
“Veneer” is a perfect word for this. It means, to conceal (as a defect of character) under a superficial and deceptive attractiveness.
Everybody does that anyway, don’t we? We all put on our masks of diplomatic smiles, our Mr. /Ms. Wonderful best feet forward, the “social graces” so we can get along smoothly in a world that is larger than ourselves. In reality, however, Dr. Jekyll, we all have our unspoken dialogues and rants raging on, our “hidden agendas” and ruthless “diatribes,” our prolonged discourses of bitter and abusive speech, ironical and satirical criticism, our claws and our fangs.
Precious few have learned to cut the anchor of their mind and sail through the world transparently. They are your saints; the rest is the ship of fools.
We all played the ego’s main game of comparison and contrast when we were what? Three, four, five years old? When our will, our egos, ids and superegos were conquering the world so we could claim our victory over the illusion of all power and fear. Gain our sovereign command over the entire animal kingdom. Achieve our destiny of stewardship.
The only problem is that some folks got stuck back there forever and never grew up. My car is faster than your car. My kids are smarter than yours. My bombs are bigger than your bombs. Double dog dare me to prove it? I’ll show you…
That is the “politics” of the craps table. Not always, but usually that is the game beyond the game. In this instance we are taking the definition of “politic” to mean “artful and often dishonest practices,” hiding behind a superficial and deceptive attractiveness.
Here’s the deception:
The gentleman in question and the rowdy in particular artfully pull out their swag to make a pass line bet.
It is a cheap ego boosting pump thinly disguised to show the opposite sex how much money they have to toss away, hoping and praying that it might get them laid that night or for the rest of their lives. That’s the gamble. That’s what is really going down. They are fishing. They’ve got their bobber out and their wiggle worm on the hook. They are pulling every trick in their book to get a nibble. Any bites? No, not yet. I can set here all day though. I got too much time on my hands. Wiggle waggle. Don’t have a clue what to do with myself. Nothing else to do anyways, I guess. Wiggle. Wiggle. Think I might change plugs. Whip out my old Zara Spook. That gets um every time. They won’t know what hit um. Wiggle jiggle.
Life is a crapshoot and then you have fishing.
Unlike any other game, craps is unique in that “the sexual game” is right up front, out in the open for everybody to see, for everybody to yell, “YO! Dude, put my dime on a come bet, six the hard ways, horn-high and a lay bet for that sweet little 16 at the end of the table. How was I to know she was 94, officer?
It all depends on why you are gambling. But it pays to know consciously whether you are there for the show and the girl (or the guys for all you ladies) or the cash. It pays dividends to know if you are playing politics or craps. It pays to see through ego’s game and get on with the real “business” of being a professional gambler who knows the real score and is there to make real money and have real fun.