I'd only seen the game played in the movie Casino. But since Rashad called himself Craps God 2001, I agreed to be his disciple. When we got there, a man attached to a portable oxygen tank tossed the dice first.
"Ten the hard way," the dealer said.
"Yessss. I'm gon' buy me a new truck!" the old man said between hacking coughs. The crowd, a mix of hookers and church folk, stomped and hollered. The hard way means betting on the number to come out identically split on both dice. It did, and the new-truck owner doubled his $200 bet.
Meanwhile, Rashad broke down the table dramatics and explained different players' strategies.
When it was my turn to throw the square bones, I spit on my palms and said, "Give me $40 on ten the hard way," swearing that I'd walk away if I lost $100. After 30 minutes of running Rashad's three-hitter-quitter play (pulling my chips off the table after three consecutive wins, then reentering the game after somebody else rolled a 7 or 11), I did leave the table—with more than $300.
Next: The art of palm reading