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Craps Dice Control, Fact or Fiction?

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 6th August 2013 3:37pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 18


Dice control... the ability to sharp shoot any two numbers on a casino craps table at will. Progenitors of this phenomenon state that by diligently applying sports-like mechanics, one can control the result of craps dice. They believe that with dedication and practice applied to setting, aiming, tossing and dispersing dice energy, that you can beat the game of casino craps. But you'll have to buy their books and videos to learn how.

I'm constantly amazed at what human beings can do - splitting vegetables with a playing card at 20 paces, or Olympic level ping pong rally, sub-zero archery, blindfolded billiards, competitive eating and creative finance. But can humans really train themselves to set and toss dice with reliable results? Even with the rubber diamond plate at the far end of the table? I'm skeptical.

Craps Dice Control

Here's how it works. The shooter stands as close to the stick man as possible, the shortest possible toss distance. They set the dice in specific ways for specific numbers. They toss the dice using a practiced pendulum toss technique with controlled rotation and bullseye accuracy, designed to maximize energy absorption into the felt and minimize bounce against the rubber diamond wall.

Here's noted gambling author/publisher Frank Scoblete and his pal Dominator demonstrating the basics of Dice Control. There are seven other videos in the series should you wish to explore more.

I tried to learn dice sharpshooting a few years ago, working on the motion, setting dice and perfecting the pendulum to get the dice to land consistently in a top hat, ten feet away. That part is easy... but something told me that controlling the ricochet off of the rubber was impossible.

So, is craps sharpshooting a true casino advantage technique or a publishing scam by Frank Scoblete?

Tagged: craps   dice control   gambling   fact or fiction   


Comments & Discussion:

There was a really great, in-depth story done about Scoblete and Golden Touch a few years back. I couldn't dig it up but I think MiddleClassBuzz was the one who found it. I'll check with him.

I've never taken a class, nor spent any money on classes on this subject. It's often debated and sometimes a polarizing subject. What I can say personally is that a subtle bias can be created without having to produce an obvious, "perfect" throw that you see some people doing at the tables and getting scrutiny.

Oddly enough, my wife and I were at the Rio shooting dice about 4 years ago when a group of people jump in that must have just gotten out of a class. After a few minutes the Dominator showed up and was pressing the flesh with those people and they treated him like a celebrity. I recognized him from that Breaking Vegas episode and it was somewhat of a surreal experience.

The group took turns shooting (one guy had a lights out roll), and when the Dominator said he was heading out the group quickly colored up, hit the cage, and walked out the front to the cab line. Never saw the Dominator shoot...I imagine he makes more doing the seminars than playing judging by how he was worshipped by the students.

Funniest part about that afternoon was the pit boss talking to the dealers after they left. He knew they were part of a class, what "sets" the beginners get taught, and how they usually don't give the students much grief because they typically lose just like the next guy.

I've always wanted the Wizard of Odds to tackle this subject. It seems studies have been done to prove or disprove every method of beating the odds, except for this. I feel like it would not be too hard. Have a random shooter and a professional shooter roll, alternating, at the same tablein same spot for say, 1,000 rolls. I would love to see what the empirical evidence shows.

btw- there's a golden touch seminar happening around VIMFP weekend. i don't believe in that pendulum swing.

I played a few years on Christmas Eve at Monte Carlo with a precision shooter. Dude was lights out, I wish I would have been more agressive. I bought in for $200 and after 45 minutes had $1600 in the reil, he would have continued but a drunken girl shoved her way into the table and wouldn't give him the space he needed to throw. It was a magical night as I played for another couple of hours with some great people from Wisconsin and cashed for $2500. I'm still not sure that people can consistantly control the dice but sometimes they can get in a rhythm.

Hmmm, this requires comment... after getting that spot right next to the stickman (good luck - especially on a hot table) it can be done. If you throw the same set, the same way, to the same spot every time, and keep getting to throw without hitting big red, you have the definition of a hot roll. You need the right set, one that works for you. If you're hitting the rubber in the same spot and not getting big red (refered by me as "X" - not big red) Theoretically you should keep going until the rubber wears or the dice edge dull, or (OR) as happens to me -you make a bad throw, and hit X.

We had Stanford Wong on Gambling With an Edge talking about his book Wong on Dice. You can listen to the podcast here. http://www.richardmunchkin.com/2011/10/gambling-with-edge-guest-stanford-wong.html

This Thursday we will again be discussing dice control with Frank B. You can hear the show live at 7pm in Las Vegas on KLAV which is 1230 on the am dial. The show is in itunes or on stitcher the next day.

I've made a few posts on dice control. I believe it might be possible, but the casinos will bar anyone who starts winning money at it.

One of our most interesting shows was with a gambler named KC who believed he could control the dice, won a million dollars, and then lost almost all of it back. You can listen to that episode here. http://www.richardmunchkin.com/2011/12/gambling-with-edge-guest-kc.html

I play and I've spent hours thinking about the question. You can put me in the impossible camp thanks to the triangle backing. Single millimeter differences will create different spin, and nobody is accurate enough to hit the same spot to that degree of precision.

I wonder what the psychology (not physiology) is behind a dice mechanic's roll.

He (or she) thinks the training makes him golden after a few good throws and the confidence becomes infectious and self-fulfilling, causing more good throws.

I then wonder what he thinks when the dice go cold. Bad luck? Bad skill? Bad table conditions? Or just the gambler's non-emotional knowledge that craps is a fickle mistress.

Disclaimer: I'm a cards guy.

OK, I found that article. It was published in Harper's in 2008. It's only available for free on the author's website without the great photos that accompanied it in the magazine.

Anyway, enjoy:

Close to impossibility, but attainable for a few. The chances of a middle school basketball player making the NBA is a good analogy. A slow, uncoordinated middle school basketball player with no vertical.

As for the pendulum swing, there is a strong possibility that true advantage players abandoned this method in the mid 2000s and evolved into less identifiable practices...

I don't think Olympic ping-pong or getting to the NBA are good examples, as those are both activities that a huge number of people practice. Getting good at dice control? You won't even hear of this "sport" except in rarified circles, and half the people there will tell you it's impossible (usually without knowing anything about it).

Craps has a 1.4% house edge; hefty for casino games, but when it comes to de-randomizing the dice, that's only a tiny margin. Dice controllers don't need to make the exact same pitch, throw after throw. They just need to overcome that 1.4%.

It's easy to imagine that a 1mm difference in contact with the backing will send dice into chaos; it's also easy to imagine that, if both dice are in sub-millimeter correlation, there's a correlation between what the two dice will do regardless of where the contact is. What's right? Who knows? I've never seen anyone do an exhaustive study.

That doesn't mean there's not hucksters, and Scoblete always struck me as that type. I think he's pretty much said that he's not that great a shooter, so ok, maybe he's not selling himself like that. But his gambling philosophy in general seems to be decidedly non-mathematical. Most progressive systems are excellent at dumping all of your profit at infinity; unless you get that hour-long roll, you'll be losing money all night.

Should you try it? I think it's a bit like splitting vegetables with playing cards, combined with the mathematical investigation of Wizard of Odds, combined with the meticulous record-keeping of a card counter. If you've got the time and discipline to make this a serious hobby for a year, go for it.

Setting is based on miniscule % benefit, not unlike the +.6 % of some card counter systems. If one can hit a 7 on the come out even 1 more time than random out of, say 8 rolls, that is still a significant benefit.
The only way to totally master the technique would be to have a craps table at home and practice 1000's of hours for months. And then one would have to be so circumspect and hope the house doesn't decide to back you off as one would have to bet large to cover all the time spent learning.
I know someone who saw Dominic the Dominator throw for almost an hour in AC several years ago.

Just to comment on one of the comments, Wizard of Odds has tackled some research on dice setting. http://wizardofodds.com/games/craps/appendix/3/

My personal belief is it doesn't work, although I see nothing wrong with 'setting' the dice regularly after a throw as I also believe it can't hurt.

I have seen guys in Mississippi (primarily Tunica) use “dice control” and did pretty damn good.

I never have paid for any “dice control” training, but I do not just pick up the dice and throw. Not every turn with the dice ended up with exceptional results; in fact, point-7’s have occurred. But I feel that any advantage that I can gain over the casino is worth trying. Some casinos have let me know that they do not tolerate ‘dice controllers’. Thus that is the main reason I have not been in Paris for over 3 years.

I have heard of some Dominator stories and how he interacts with others. But since I was not present to see for myself, I will not comment on any details.

Fucking A this thread makes me want to go to the casino.

On random dice, a 7-out will roll 1/6 of the time. Get that to 1 in 6.5 or even 6.25 and you've swung the odds in your favor tremendously. However, that is far from guaranteeing hour-long rolls on a regular basis. Stories of such are generally a combination of anecdotal evidence and selective memory and are probably meaningless.

I believe that it can be done, however a) very few people could possibly do it (just like most people could never be a PGA golfer despite unlimited practice), b) it would take multiple thousands of hours of precise practice (similar to the 10,000 hours made famous in the Malcolm Gladwell book Outliers) and c) very, very few people would dedicate that much time to an obscure hobby, even a potentially profitable one. The combination of the 3 makes me believe there are less than 10 people in the world who are successfully making a living by playing real craps in casinos. Anyone who is spending time teaching seminars or writing books is definitely NOT among them.

I have taken the class from GTC. The pendulum IMO is the best way to go. I have been throwing for about 2 years off and on. What I seen in the videos of "The 8 Physical Principles of Dice Control" are different from what GTC teaches. The videos show the bend and throw from the elbow and the class in a straight arm and throw from the shoulder. My questions were never answered in the class about wrist movement and are the dice going to leave at a 45 degree angle. Still a lot of open ends. The class is entertaining. I am going my own study on the pendulum and building my own throwing device. I have seen a throwing device by AHigh and it was right on with the dice set. It is on YouTube and everything is visible. Still not convinced this can be done consistently. I have notice there are no videos out here that show what a Pendulum swing in dice should look like or when the dice exit. Any Comments?

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