Trip to Australia & New Zealand

Discussion in 'Craps Stories & Trip Reports' started by random_roller, Oct 12, 2019 at 1:24 AM.


  1. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    My wife and I just returned from a bucket list trip to Australia and New Zealand, with brief stops in Hawaii and California. Visiting Australia has been on our bucket list for a long time. We decided to check out New Zealand, too, since we would already be in that part of the world. We wanted to make this trip while both of us were relatively healthy and still in decent physical shape. It was primarily a matter of finding enough time off work in order to make the long flights (and expense) worthwhile. Fortunately, we were able to make things work.

    We had an amazing time on this trip overall. Even if I hadn't stopped by a single casino, I would still feel that way. But you know me, if there is a casino in the area with live table games, I'll stop by and pick up a souvenir $1 chip to add to my collection. Thankfully, there are a few casinos in Australia and New Zealand, though nothing close to the overabundance found in the US. Hopefully everyone has had or will have the opportunity to visit Australia and New Zealand and experience their cultures, attractions, natural wonders and other things at some point. It is well worth enduring the long flights. As a bonus, the currency exchange rate was quite favorable while we were traveling.

    This was a trip of firsts for me: first time visiting Hawaii; first time visiting Australia; first time visiting New Zealand; and, first time on a cruise ship. During this trip, I had the good fortune of meeting another forum member, Night Attack, at his local casino, The Star, in Sydney. We spent several hours shooting dice after he graciously picked up lunch at Fuel, located in the sports bar. The craps dealers all know Night Attack. Definitely let him know if you visit Sydney -- he's a great guy. Many thanks to Night Attack for his hospitality and for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet. I would have liked to have met Morgue, another Aussie forum member, but I hadn't seen him on the forum in a while and completely forgot to PM him. My bad. Perhaps next time I'm in Australia -- Crown will be opening a new casino in Sydney in 2020 or 2021.

    I'll be posting pictures from our trip and additional information about craps in Australia in subsequent posts in this thread.
     
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  2. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and has the largest population of any city in Australia. It is also home to two of the most iconic and recognizable structures in the world: Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Photos taken September 2019.

    Sydney Harbour Bridge 800x600 PNG - Copy.png

    Sydney Opera House 800x600 PNG - Copy.png
     
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  3. yacraps

    yacraps Member

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    Roller did you guys do the Rocks and Manly Beach?
     
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  4. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Roulette (single 0 & double 0 tables readily available) and Baccarat are far more popular than Craps in Australia and New Zealand. There were no live or electronic craps tables in the 3 NZ casinos I visited. Wellington, the country's capital and 2nd most populous city, doesn't even have a casino. I was told by several NZ dealers there are no craps tables in that country. Given New Zealand's small population (4.8M people in 2017), I'm inclined to believe them. If craps wasn't at the casino in Auckland -- home to more than 1/3rd of the country's population -- it's not going to be available in NZ.

    The big casinos in Melbourne and Sydney both have hundreds of live & electronic tables for Roulette and Baccarat, but there is only one (1) craps table in each of these huge facilities. In Melbourne, the craps table is located in the basement near the poker tables, kind of an afterthought location. In Brisbane, the craps table is located in a small side room off the main gaming floor. Live craps tables are open at 12 noon (Sydney) and 6pm (Melbourne) casinos. In Brisbane, the craps table is open on Fridays and Saturdays only beginning at 2pm.

    One very interesting thing to note is tipping dealers and/or making bets for the dealers in a casino is *NOT* permitted in Australia. In fact, it is illegal. Don't feel badly for the dealers, though -- they earn a "living wage".

    Other items of note: There are no bonus bets (e.g., ATS, Fire, Repeater, Sharp Shooter, etc.) on craps tables in Australia. Hop bets are not permitted, either. Payouts on winning Prop Bets are different. For instance: 2/12 pays 33 to 1; 3/11 pays 16 to 1. More on this later.

    Terminology is slightly different at Aussie craps tables. Instead of Pass / Don't Pass, it is Win / Don't Win. I often heard players make a "20 Horn, 10 Doc" bet, which is a $20 Horn and $10 Any 7 bet. No idea of why it's "Doc", other than experienced players the world over don't want to say "7" while at the craps table. I didn't notice any player make a Don't Place bet, which is apparently an option.

    upload_2019-10-12_4-20-56.png

    If you want to read up on Snake Eyes, check out the Wizard of Odds site:
    https://wizardofodds.com/games/snake-eyes/
     
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  5. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    We stayed in a hotel at The Rocks. Our room had a view of The Rocks and a part of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The view from the rooftop deck of the hotel we stayed at:

    Sydney Sunrise Opera House 800x600 PNG - Copy.png

    We took a ferry to Manly Beach (insert your own punch line) but arrived too late in the afternoon; the sun was setting and it was actually a bit cool and windy.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 2:49 AM
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  6. yacraps

    yacraps Member

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    We loved Australia did you fly Qantas?
     
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  7. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Treasury Casino (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) -- This multi-level casino is housed in the former Treasury Building, located on the banks of the Brisbane River near Victoria Bridge. Given the building's history, it should not be surprising there are numerous small gaming rooms scattered throughout the facility. A new casino is under construction as part of the Queen's Wharf development. It is scheduled to open in 2022.

    We flew from Honolulu, Hawaii to Brisbane. This reduced the flight time to Australia from the US to a more manageable @10 hours. Brisbane is a rapidly growing, still relatively affordable (compared with Sydney) city. Unfortunately, we wanted to get to Cairns (gateway to the Great Barrier Reef) as quickly as possible and thus didn't schedule more time to check out Brisbane. Next trip to Australia...

    The craps table in this casino is only open Fridays and Saturdays from 2pm. The 2 is barred on a Don't Win bet. And, yes, water flows down the drain in the reverse direction in the Southern Hemisphere. Interestingly, the Win/Don't Win bet minimum is $10 AUD, but the Place Bets are $5 or $6 AUD minimum depending upon the box number. All middle action is $5 minimum, including Hardways. Only "proper" bet amounts are booked. So no $10 Place 6 is allowed.

    Treasury Casino Brisbane 800x600 PNG - Copy.png
     
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  8. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    We flew on Qantas while in Australia.
     
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  9. Mssthis1

    Mssthis1 Member

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    That makes them approx $6.80 and $3.40 US at current conversion rates. How much hassle and cost was it to covert USD into Aussies and back at the casino?

    Sounds and looks like a fun trip. Australia is a trip I may need to add to my bucket list. The wife wants me to go on a cruise and I enjoy watching the Aussie car races much more than the pussified versions they have here in the states now.
     
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  10. lone irish digit, Oct 12, 2019 at 6:36 AM

    lone irish digit

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    This is Barney

    The LID has made many trips to the Australia especially recent ones with the Mad Professor on the year long world wide casino tour. He made his first trip there about 50 years ago but never left the Kings Cross neighborhood because he was constantly falling in love.
     
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  11. TDVegas

    TDVegas Member

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    Sounds like an awesome trip, random. I've always wanted to visit Australia. I had been asking Night Attack some general questions in relation to cities, lay of the land, time zones, traveling thru the country, etc...as it compares to here.

    Australia is not much smaller than the continental USA....although their cities are all coastal. Small towns inland. There is no Chicago, Denver or Dallas (inland type cities).

    Maybe someday I'll visit.
     
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  12. Dave G Ct

    Dave G Ct Member

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    Great trip!
     
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  13. yacraps

    yacraps Member

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    Nice post.. and pic Roller
     
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  14. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    I didn't exchange money at any of the casinos. I didn't bring much in USD, as this trip wasn't a casino junket; far from it, really. That being said, casinos in the 3 major cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland) are nicely set up for foreign currency transactions with electronic signage indicating the current exchange rate of @15 currencies. Probably a similar setup in several of the other casinos (Brisbane, Cairns, Christchurch). I used a Westpac Bank ATM to withdraw funds in local currency. Since Westpac Bank is an international partner of a US bank I have an account with, there were no ATM fees on either end. My bank charged a 3% fee based upon the converted amount. If you plan on bringing a good amount in USD, converting to local currency at the cashier cage in a casino is definitely worth looking into. Just keep in mind carrying over $X in cash/equivalents triggers reporting requirements.

    We were pretty good at spending down our Australian dollars so there was no need to exchange to another currency before we departed. We kept about $50 AUD ($1 and $2 coins) to use as (additional) tips for the crew onboard Maasdam. We boarded in Sydney and the proceeded to cruise around the 2 New Zealand islands before disembarking in Auckland. The ship left Auckland for New Calendonia and would return to Sydney before proceeding to cruise around Australia, so there would be plenty of opportunity for crew members to spend Australian dollars. In New Zealand, we spent down local currency on Macpac items and Whittaker's chocolates.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 4:57 PM
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  15. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Lol, LID must have run up quite the, uh, tab at some of the establishments in that part of town.
     
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  16. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    Book the trip! Unless you have @3 months to travel around Australia, it's probably better to pick a few locations so you're not repeatedly flying back & forth across a large country. We were in Australia for @3 weeks and barely scratched the surface -- and that was "only" visiting Cairns / Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, and Melbourne / Great Ocean Road. We flew into Brisbane but were there for less than a full day. We had looked into Perth, Adelaide, Tasmania and Darwin but including those places just wasn't realistic given the other areas we wanted to visit. Oh well, gotta save something for the return trip in a few years.

    Since you live in Las Vegas, the summer heat probably won't be an issue, but the humidity will likely be a problem. We were warned summer weather in Cairns is not pleasant, lol. Fortunately, the weather was almost perfect while we were there in early September.

    Also, once you're in Australia, keep in mind it is relatively easy to travel to Singapore, Bali, Hong Kong / Macau, and Phuket. Oh, and New Zealand.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 7:47 PM
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  17. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    During this trip, I stopped by casinos in Australia, New Zealand, and aboard the cruise ship Maasdam -- for research purposes, of course. While conducting this, uh, research, I was able to obtain several nice additions for my casino chip collection, including variants from The Star and Crown.

    Australian & NZ Casino Checks 800x600 PNG - Copy.png
     
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  18. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    One thing to keep in mind when gambling overseas is the currency exchange rate. So a $10 table minimum at an overseas casino might be the equivalent of $11 or $3.33 USD (excluding currency transaction fees). In recent years, I've played various table games at foreign casinos in Canada, Peru, England, and Monaco. Even so, on this trip it took me a while before reality hit that the $5 minimum on some bets was really only @$3.40 USD (Australia) or @$3.15 (in NZ). Guess I stayed in the sun too long while at the beach in Honolulu.

    In an earlier post, I mentioned Australia craps tables offer better payouts on most middle action bets than what is typically offered in the majority of US casinos. There are $0.50 chips to help facilitate this better payout. Craps dealers in Australia require all bets to be made in proper amounts (e.g., $20 horn, not $25; $12 Place 6, not $10), which is something I think US casinos should adopt (but won't). No Hop bets are permitted.

    upload_2019-10-12_22-43-7.png


    Dice Setting -- My observations

    In Sydney (The Star), setting dice means both dice must hit the back wall or a "no roll" will result. The dealers enforced this rule if the game slowed down. If a shooter doesn't set the dice and makes a legitimate effort to hit the back wall, the roll will be allowed even if neither dice hits the back wall. Most players just grabbed the dice and flung them towards the other end.

    In Melbourne (Crown), setting dice means both dice must hit the back wall or a "no roll" will result. The dealers strictly enforced this rule and called "no roll" quite a few times. If a shooter doesn't set the dice and makes a legitimate effort to hit the back wall, the roll will be allowed even if neither dice hits the back wall. Most players just grabbed the dice and flung them towards the other end.

    In Brisbane (Treasury), setting dice means both dice must hit the back wall or a "no roll" will result. The dealers seemingly didn't enforce this rule, but I only saw 1 shooter who was setting and he was pretty quick. If a shooter doesn't set the dice and makes a legitimate effort to hit the back wall, the roll will be allowed even if neither dice hits the back wall. Most players just grabbed the dice and flung them towards the other end.

    Also worth noting -- many shooters (chuckers) consistently threw the dice against the mirror and that *NEVER* drew a rebuke from the dealers. In US casinos, the dice would have been passed after a warning or 2 if that had happened.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 at 12:29 AM
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  19. random_roller

    random_roller Member

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    I would be completely remiss if I didn't mention Night Attack had several very good rolls while we were playing at the craps table. He was able to set the dice quickly and never drew any "heat" from the dealers. I had one pretty good roll and a few stinkers; most of the time I passed. The craps table was up and down that afternoon but in the end I lost a couple or three Aussie Benjamins. Thankfully, I also played Baccarat during this vacation, lol.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 at 12:07 AM
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  20. KokomoJoe4

    KokomoJoe4 Member

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    Great report and pics RR.

    Have never been down under. Would love to get there, but considering how much time you need to make such a get away, it's going to have to wait until retirement.

    RR, can you imagine navigating the continent in a car like BTL did? That had to be an incredible adventure. Road kill wouldn't be a problem if you had LID along for the ride.

    Very nice being able to meet up with Night Attack when in Sydney. He did tell us previously that he was a closet-DI, so no surprise that he had a great roll.
     
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