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Getting the Edge at Craps: Part Three14 June 2007
The History of Modern Dice Control
While dice control has been practiced and written about for centuries, the modern game of casino craps has eliminated the traditional controlled rolls such as the blanket roll and the helicopter shot. In 1991, I published the book Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win! This book was written in 1989 and 1990. Beat the Craps recounts the adventures of the Captain and his Crew of high rollers in Atlantic City, including the greatest dice controller of all time, a woman known as the Arm. These adventures took place from 1978 through 1990.
The Captain used the term "rhythmic rollers" to describe players who were changing the game by their controlled throws. In Beat the Craps and its follow-up book The Captain's Craps Revolution (1993), the Captain described the controlled throw that most controlled shooters now use - the soft roll that touches down at the end of the table and dies upon contact with the back wall. I wrote many articles in this time period discussing the "rhythmic roll" and how to beat the game of craps using that and the Captain's 5-Count.
In the mid-1990s, controversial gaming author Jerry Patterson created seminars - the Patterson Advanced Rhythm Roll - and marketed them to players. Sharpshooter soon joined him and between the two of them, they developed the PARR course still more. Unfortunately, the PARR course was mostly lectures with very little hands-on practice.
Sharpshooter and I developed a professional and friendly relationship during the mid-1990s. Get the Edge at Craps: How to Control the Dice, Sharpshooter's groundbreaking book on dice control, was published as a part of my "Get the Edge" series and ushered in Golden Touch Craps.
Although I had been playing with the Captain and the Arm since 1986, I never taught seminars in dice control. However, when researching my book The Craps Underground, I met Dominator, Mr. Finesse, and with author Bill Burton, an old friend, and some former PARR instructors we created an intense two-day, heavily hands-on seminar called Golden Touch Craps, which debuted in 2002. In it, we teach the Captain's method of dice control and his betting strategies. This is the course that Wong, Catlin and other well-known authors have taken.
Of course, there are now many dice control schools in the market, some good, some okay, and some horrendous, so caveat emptor applies when thinking of getting instruction in the technique. Dice control, while easy to write about, is not easy to master. It takes about six months for most disciplined players to really learn it. It takes some players even longer. So deciding to become a dice controller is not something that should be lightly taken. The magic bullets in dice control are hard work and almost daily practice. And a pinch of fanaticism. As dice controller Jeannie Chan said, "You have to be a little crazy to do this."
In Wong on Dice, Stanford Wong gives a description of what it feels like to learn the technique, "…I have learned how to do it, and nobody ever accused me of being coordinated. If I can learn to toss dice well enough to get an edge, you can too. If you are more coordinated than I am, then your potential is to achieve more control over the dice than I have been able to do. The fun and satisfaction of learning to control the dice is similar to the feeling of accomplishment one gets from learning to bowl or play tennis or golf. You start out thinking that putting the ball where you want is impossible, and that making the dice behave is impossible. Then gradually with practice you improve. You have the same feeling of satisfaction after a good day at the crap tables as you do after a good day on the lanes, links, or court."
If the "unknown shooter" mentioned in this article can have rolls of 89, 60, 57, 55, 52, 43, 37, 37, 35, 34, 34, 29, 29, 28, 27, 27, 26, 26, 26 and over two dozen rolls in the low twenties in 2004 in 68 days in the casinos, it can't all be luck…or can it?
The Father and Mother of Modern Dice Control
The Captain's throw is the model of the modern controlled throw. The Captain used to have a Crew of 22 high rollers who played with him in Atlantic City from 1978 to the mid-1990s. The youngest member of the Crew was "Satch," now an excellent shooter in his own right and a teacher with Golden Touch Craps. Here are his reflections of the Captain and the Arm:
"The Captain is the second best shooter I have seen. His throw is effortless, his concentration is complete and his knowledge of the game of craps is extensive. His development of the controlled throw has enabled the rest of us to have a good shot at taking money off the craps table instead of leaving it there! The Captain is low key in his temperament and style but was always gracious to new players, as I was when I first joined him.
"When the dice were running cold, The Arm would make her appearance at the table. Being a woman and a controlled thrower made her the perfect secret weapon for the Captain and the crew. Her grip and delivery were very unorthodox but she was able to turn a cold table into a hot one in short order. Although she is retired from active play, The Arm remains a legend in Atlantic City and is the best shooter I ever saw."
In July of 2005, the Captain set what we believe is the world's record for the longest throw - 147 numbers before he sevened out. You can read about this remarkable throw by going to this link: http://www.goldentouchcraps.com/captainrolls147.shtml
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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