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Dice Control: Fact or Fiction?17 August 2006
The big thing in gambling these days is the discussion about whether it is possible to exercise some influence or control over the dice when shooting. Internet discussion groups have heated arguments about this controversy, and various gaming authors have taken one side or the other on the topic.
The first modern player to look into this phenomenon was the Captain of craps, the legendary Atlantic City player, who in the late 1970s and early 1980s called controlled shooting "rhythmic rolling." He gave detailed descriptions of how he thought such a skill would look and to what extent it could change the game of craps to favor the player.
And, of course, he practiced what he preached and I wrote about many of his ideas in my earliest books and articles.
It was the Captain's belief that some shooters had the ability to alter the nature of a craps game by their careful throws. He was a lucky man, as well as a brilliant man, because one of his crew was the rhythmic roller known as the Arm, perhaps the most devastating dice controller who ever lived. So he was able to see first hand (three or four days a week!) just what wins the Arm could accomplish.
I have written extensively about the Arm and the Captain in my new book, The Craps Underground: The Inside Story of How Dice Controllers are Winning Millions from the Casinos! This book also has the stories and adventures of most of the greatest dice controllers currently playing in the casinos across the country. I have also been lucky in my life since I have gotten to play with both the Arm and the Captain from the mid-1980s to the present (the Arm retired several years ago due to her severe arthritis). The octogenarian Captain is still playing as of this writing.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, very few players knew about rhythmic rolling and fewer still practiced it. Now the concept has exploded and with that explosion has come schools to teach the technique, players who proclaim to all and sundry that they have mastered the technique, and loads of controversy about how to bet with the technique.
As with any skill-based activity, too many self-proclaimed dice controllers, incessantly working the Internet chat rooms and discussion groups trolling for students to take their cut-rate courses, have muddied the waters of whether dice control actually works. Except for the Lee Brothers, the Golden Touch Craps crew led by Dominator, some GTC students, the Captain, the Arm, Jimmy P. and several lone wolves who have not allowed me to write about them, the rest of the self-proclaimed would-be dice controllers leave a lot to be desired - chiefly, they can't control the dice! How do I know this? I have seen them.
But my evidence is not, thankfully, merely anecdotal; other researchers have tested some others of the self-proclaimed dice controllers to see if these men and women could, in fact, alter the game of craps to favor them.
The self-proclaimed dice controllers, perhaps imbibing a few too many libations, gave themselves over to two mathematicians on two different occasions recently to have their throws analyzed. Michael Shackleford, known as the Wizard of Odds, tested a few and Stanford Wong tested some of the same few as well. What both researchers discovered about their self-proclaimed dice controllers can be put simply: Not one of the self-proclaimed dice controllers could shoot well enough to change the game to favor the players. They all failed.
The self-proclaimed dice controllers were, in fact, merely random shooters like most other craps players. What made them appear different were their careful dice sets and their endless blather and bluster, but when the chips were down, they couldn't perform. They lacked the skills.
By contrast, Dominator, Sharpshooter and I did an A&E special where we took on three casinos for real money with the cameras rolling at all times, from buy-in to color-up and cash out at the cage. There were three other self-proclaimed dice controllers with us in this show (at least two of whom have been recently tested by Wong and Shackleford). My group wound up winning about $3,000; the members of the other group, each and every one, lost. One group could control the dice; the other group failed.
To make matters worse, most of the self-proclaimed Internet dice controllers not only can't control the dice, they can't control their gamblers' nature as they recommend awful high-house-edge bets; such bets that even good dice controllers would find almost impossible to beat.
Dominator just recently did a Travel Channel show where he was challenged to shoot the dice on camera again. What did he do? On the come-out, he set for the seven and hit it three times in a row. He then established a point and made the point. He established another point and made that too. He established a third point and hit it also. Then he placed a number, said he would hit it right back, and he did. That was it for the scene. Now, Dominator is a skilled dice controller. He did his feats on camera, one take, with some 50 people watching him. (Dominator, Stickman, and other Golden Touch Craps dice control instructors, including me, are currently in the midst of a big test of our skills. When it's finished, I'll write about it.)
The combination of no skills on the part of self-proclaimed dice controllers and their deathly poor betting advice are a deadly combination indeed. Talented dice controllers, who can actually change the nature of the game, rarely recommend high-house-edge bets. Even with dice control, beating the game of craps is not an easy task. Without dice-control (or with the non-skills of the self-proclaimers) beating craps is impossible.
Self-proclaimed Internet dice controllers can easily hoodwink the general public; after all, if a self-proclaimed Internet "expert" praises his skills enough on the free discussion boards day after day, week after week, month after month, some poor souls are going to believe him - and pay him to teach them his non-existent skills.
There is a good rule of thumb for quickly judging whether a craps "expert" or would-be dice controllers have at least some of the goods - check out their betting advice. If they recommend making bets with high house edges - anything over, say, five percent, then you are dealing with someone who really has little grasp of the game and no grasp of the real strength of dice control.
In the big controversy about dice control the operant words are - caveat emptor.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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