The Controversy of Dice Control
If there is one indisputable truth about gambling, it is that every system has a flaw that can used to your advantage – the trick is finding what that is. As it happens, the answer is usually hidden in the element that is central to the game. Whatever decides the outcome is the element that you need to control and with Craps, the destiny unrolls with the dice.
Rumour has it that by introducing a certain technique in the way you are holding and rolling the dice, you can make sure that the desired combination of numbers lands on the Craps table. The crucial part of Dice Control is Dice Setting, which deals with the mannerism of holding dice before throwing them.
According to the followers of Dice Control principle, there are two things one will have to perfect before joining the Craps table:
- Dice Sets
- Dice Grips
Dice setting is obviously the way one sets the dice before rolling them. The most common sets are represented in the table below, and which one the players will use depends on the end result they are trying to achieve.
|All 7s||Adjusting the dice so that each face side gives a total of 7|
|Hard Way||Hard totals on all face sides (hard 10, hard 8 …)|
|3 V||Combination forming a V shape, set as a pair of 3 forming a V on top and 6+2 on the side|
|2 V||2s forming a V on top and 1-3, 4-6, 1-4, 3-6 on the side|
|6-5/5-4||6+5 on top and 5+4 on the side|
|Straight 6s||6+6 on top and 2+2 on the side|
|Crossed 6s||6+6 on top – one placed vertically and the other horizontally|
|6-5/4-4||6+5 on the top and 4+4 on the side|
|6-4/5-6||6+4 on the top and 5+6 on the side|
|6-5/5-6||6+5 on the top and 5+6 on the side|
Those who thought that tossing the dice is all one needs to do at this point are only partially right. What you have to do next is to make sure that your dice stay on the axis when you roll them. In other words, you should imagine that there is a metal wire that is cutting through your dice, keeping them in a fixed joint position. If you are able to roll with that notion on your mind, you should eventually be able to reduce the number of possible pip combinations from 36 to 12. The idea here is to try to stay on the axis every single time, making sure that the final result is one of the pip combinations that you have pre-set.
Another important thing to remember is that each of the dice set should be adjusted to the Shooter’s skills and the pip total that they need to land. For example, the All 7s set is suitable for beginners and should be used for Come Out roll – the first roll tossed in Craps – whereas the Hard Way can be used by the players of the same level, but works best for all the rolls after the Come Out, due to the combinations of numbers that would be optimal for that stage of the game.
If you reached the intermediate level and need a 6 or an 8, you will want to use 3V set while more advanced players will set the dice on 6-5/5-6, Crossed 6s and Straight 6s.
The way you hold your dices has a lot to do with whether or not you will be able to pull off the throw without going off the axis. This is the matter of your personal preference as well as figuring out which Dice Grip provides the best result with the minimum friction while staying on the axis at the same time.
The only way to find the optimal Dice Grip is to test all of the below-listed techniques and see which one provides you with the most hits – you will discover that the best grip is the one that’s the least awkward to pull off, since it is merely impossible to roll or slide the dice if your Dice Grip feels insecure.
Some of the most popular ways to hold the dice are:
- Ice Tong grip (holding the dice horizontally at the sides with your thumb on one side and index and middle finger on the other)
- Stacked grip (same approach, only with vertically positioned dice)
- Five Finger grip (where the players hold one side of the dice with their thumb and the other side with all four fingers)
- Three Finger Front grip ( same as the previous method, only with 3 fingers)
- Three Finger Front Diagonal grip (same as the Three Finger Front, with dice being held askew)
- 2 Finger Pincer grip (works like a counterpart of Three Finger Front Grip, but with index and ring fingers removed)
- 2 Finger Front Diagonal grip (dice are being held at an angle, with middle finger and thumb
on the sides)
Deciding on the grip and how to set the dice is only an intro to another phase of developing your Craps skills, which is practising. Consider it a sports discipline and make sure to do it daily. As you progress, you will also notice your signature numbers emerging, which are the dice pips that you yourself are most likely to land.
It should also be mentioned that sliding the dice, or tossing it in a way that will not actually roll them, but simply slide both or one of them across the surface of the table is an action that can get you in a lot of trouble with the casino authorities.
In a brick and mortar venues, Stickman is always watching the Shooter closely and for the sliding to work, you will have to be a magician, otherwise, the casino staff will escort you to the main exit.
When you are feeling confident enough to joint the actual table, make sure to find the right table position and, if possible, go for the shorter table. The best place to stand if you are a right-handed “pitcher” is left from the Stickman while the left-handed players will do best to choose the position on the Stickman’s right. The closest you get to the Back Wall, the less likely will the dice scatter and therefore, the less randomness you can expect.
Online Craps Strategy
What happens when you are not able to control any of the above-explained factors and you are restricted from making any physical contact with the dice?
Fortunately, even with online or Live Dealer Craps variant, there are a few aspects (betting wise) that you can influence since they rely entirely on odds.
- #1 Make Pass Line your first bet – the house edge here is only 1.4% and you either stand a chance of winning or waiting for a new roll when the point is established.
- #2 Always go with the Odds bet – free Odds bet has literally 0% house edge and if the casino allows it, do not be afraid of doubling the amount.
- #3 Place two Come bets after the first Pass Line bet and increase your odds with three simultaneous bets
- #4 Stay clear from the Proposition bets as the house edge is almost 14%
- #5 Avoid Big 6, 8, Hard 4 and Hard 10 – payout for 6 and 8 before 7 can only bring 1 to 1 payout which is not worth the house edge of 9%. Hard 10 has an even higher edge ( 11% ) and even though the payout is 7 to 1, the risk level exceeds the probability of actually landing this total.
The ethical side of Dice manipulation
The downside of the above-described techniques is that there’s no definite proof of their reliability and they carry too much risk for the player if executed poorly. On the other side, there is a moral objection to using Dice Setting and Dice Grips to your advantage – even if you are not overly sensitive about swindling a casino, there is still a higher moral code we should all abide by, and in this case, it concerns your fellow players.
This also brings up the question of the purity of the game itself. Any player is entitled to the most transparent and cleanest gameplay that the casino can provide so affecting the outcome of what is supposed to be a game of chance and luck is tainting the very nature of Craps.
One way to avoid that would be to play at Live Casino tables that are streamed live from studios around the world; the Dice are rolled by the Dealers, with the clear shot of their hands so there is virtually no room for any Dice sliding. Alternatively, Craps is also available in video form and casinos such as 32Red offer Craps in both real money and demo mode for those who would like to see just how much they are in favour of the gods, before submitting actual bets.