The Greatest Craps Roll Ever!

The Night a New Jersey Granny had the Golden Touch

It’s the stuff of legends. And, it’s hard to comprehend. How in the world did she manage it? In craps, the average number of dice rolls before ‘sevening out’ is eight. That’s it. Eight rolls of the dice before it’s the next players turn. Well, on a cool Sunday evening in Atlantic City more than a decade ago, an American woman did the unthinkable and smashed the record by holding her throw for more than four hours, making it the greatest craps roll ever. The funny thing is, she went to the casino to play the slots and poker.

Her Records

The longest craps roll.

The most successive dice rolls without ‘sevening out.

Patricia DeMauro, a New Jersey grandmother, certainly had Lady Luck on her side that fateful night when the stars aligned. The gambling Gods were smiling down on her with heaps good fortune. Are you ready for this? She rolled the dice a staggering 154 consecutive times without crapping out, a feat so remarkable it bears repeating. She rolled the dice 154 times in a row! It took her a staggering four hours and 18 minutes. She broke two world records in the process.’ The crazy part? She had no idea what she was doing.

It was March 23rd, 2009, when DeMauro and a friend planned a night out at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. She parked herself in front of the Benny slot machines while her friend tested his skills at three-card poker. As the evening wore on, she had enough of the one-armed bandits and decided to visit the poker room to check in on her friend. He was losing. So, on a whim, the pair decided to hit the craps table, a game she had only played once before and had no knowledge of, and the rest they say is history.

What are the Odds?

In a word — unfathomable. According to Thomas Cover, a statistics professor at the Stanford University, the odds of DeMauro’s unlikely feat have been pegged at 1 in 1.56 trillion. Yes, that’s trillion with a ’T.’ The longest of long shots. She was more likely to get struck by lightening (one in a million) or winning the lottery (about one in a 100 million, depending on the game).

The feat is slightly less miraculous according to mathematics professor Stewart Ethier, who calculated the odds for, a leading authority on the game, at 1 in 5.59 billion. That’s billion with a ‘B.’ Even still, her hand was monstrous. So monstrous, the website boasts that DeMauro “stands alone and above all craps shooters who have ever played in a casino.”

Craps is widely hailed as the planet’s most played and most popular dice game. It’s a game of chance, not skill, although some so-called ‘advantage players’ may contest that argument by suggesting there is a skill element to the toss. Let’s be real though, once the dice are airborne there’s no telling how they will bounce or carom off the back wall.

Rules of the Game

Craps begins with the initial ’come out’ roll, where the player establishes the ‘point,’ which is any other number than 2, 3, 7, 11 and 12. Important to note, on the very first roll a 7 or 11 wins. So, when the point is being set, 7’s are a good thing. After setting the point, players must roll that number again before hitting a seven. Once the point has been set 7’s are bad.

If a player throws a seven before the point, the turn ends and a new game begins. In the meantime, you can bet on all other number combinations. If you’ve got chips on the number 10 and the players throws a 10 you’re a winner.

If you’re looking to learn more about Craps, check out my article “Holy Craps!”

Possible Dice Combinations

The odds of rolling a seven is one in six, making it the most commonly landed upon number at the craps table. There are 36 possible combinations you can get with two dice. Six of them add up to 7 while 30 of those combinations add up to either 6, 5, 4, 3, or 2. That means there are 30 ways you can roll a number other than seven and six ways you can roll a seven. One in six translates into odds of 5 to 1.

There’s no telling how many sevens DeMauro rolled in her legendary run but the fact is she only rolled them when she was trying to set the point. Remember, that’s a win. The only losing seven came at the 4 hour 18 minute mark, on her 154th roll. Simply incredible.

“I couldn’t keep,” she said afterwards to reporters, who by now had caught wind of her exploits. “There were all these terms I didn’t know and people were yelling.”

DeMauro began rolling at 8:13 p.m. She’d rub her hands together for luck, pick up the dice and let’em fly. And,  she hit every possible combination. A hard eight here, snake eyes there, she was just having fun. She’d toss the toss, the dealer would retrieve them, and with the chips rattling at a frantic pace she just kept on rolling. As time wore on, it was evident that something special was happening. Other casino goers and casino staff began to watch. She was living the dream, a true high roller in action.

Other Legendary Rolls

There have been iconic rolls at the craps table, where the odds have been astronomical against. According to Frank Scoblete, the previous best roll was 118 numbers. This was accomplished in 1989 by Stanley Fujitake at a casino in Las Vegas. His luck lasted for three hours and six minutes. Scoblete is a craps expert and author of close to 30 books on the subject, including Golden Touch Craps, Golden Touch Dice Revolution and Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos. He says the highest number of successive dice rolls was 147, thrown by a man operating under the pseudonym the ‘Captain’ in 2005.

As for DeMauro’s time at the table there is no word on how much she won, but it’s likely that it was hundreds of thousands of dollars. If she made expert bets, it would have been in the millions.

The average number of rolls before ‘sevening out’ is eight. She tossed those dice for close to 20 times the average. At the conservative odds of 5.59 billion, that means she would have won the lottery (a million to one) more than 1,500 times.

Holy craps, she should buy a ticket.

Derrick Oliver

Derrick Oliver

Derrick Oliver Dewan is the founder of High Roller Radio, and has interviewed a number of the world’s top poker players including Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer and Barbara Enright. A former, long-time radio and television broadcaster, Derrick has always had a passion for all things gambling (and darts too). He has even played at the World Series of Poker and other cash games all around the world.

To see more of Derrick is up to on a day-to-day basis, go follow him on Twitter @HighRollerRadio


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