Not all boxmen are men of character and sterling qualities. Many of them are hard-bitten and mean. They sit dourly at the table, sneer, and take secret delight in the losses the players suffer. Unlike the dealers, they don’t get tokes, so if the players win, all they get out of it is a trip to the pit boss to explain away the loss at their craps table.
Most boxmen don’t like their jobs. Many are older men who have nowhere to go in the casino. They sit all day at the tables, watching dice fly across the layout, watching money and chips change hands till their eyes get blurry and their brains get razzled. I pay little attention to boxmen, unless they’re superfriendly, which is not often, or unless they’re rude and annoying, which is the case more often than not.
If a player is having a hot shoot, the boxman often makes it his business to interfere by continually examining the dice and slowing up the game any way he can. Or he may annoy the player shooting the dice by suggesting that he throw them in a different manner.
Some years back I was playing craps with a client at a Strip hotel-casino, showing him the fine points of the game. I had been standing at the table but not betting, and my friend, when it was his turn to throw the dice, quickly sevened out. I was about to pass up the dice when he suggested that I throw them for luck.
He made a substantial line bet for me, and I shook the dice, then threw them in my own fashion, which is to fling them high and watch them bounce off the far wall after coming down from a height of three or four feet above the table.
The first three numbers I rolled were craps, which lost money for my friend. Then I got a really hot hand. Once I got started the numbers poured out of the dice.