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Getting the Edge at Craps: Part Two7 June 2007
I Just Don't Know
There are still gambling experts who are sitting astride the fence when it comes to the possibility that some craps shooters can actually influence the dice to make the game favorable to them. Some have discarded their full skepticism, but they are not yet ready for a complete conversion. One such is the famous Wizard of Odds, Michael Shackelford (www.wizardofodds.com). "I was skeptical of controlled shooting until Stanford Wong endorsed it. My skepticism cost me $1800 on an even money bet that Wong and one of his ringers could not roll under 79.5 sevens in 500 rolls. The expected number in a fair game is 83.33 and the probability of shooting 79 or less is 32.66 percent. The final result was 74 sevens, the probability of rolling that few or less in a fair game is 14.41 percent. Then again, if it can be done why don't you hear of people making millions doing it? My position has changed from that of a skeptic to being on the fence."
Show Me the Money!
Usually the first question that pops up has to do with the amount of money the dice controller can make. Are there any controllers who have won millions?
States Howard Rock 'n Roller, one of the top controllers, "We know that some controllers such as the Captain and his partner the Arm have each won millions. The Lee brothers have won millions. There are some others. But not everyone can bet large amounts and be calm shooting. Dice control is as much a mental skill as a physical skill and the amount of money at risk on each and every roll, if it worries you, can take away your skill by taking away your composure. You have to bet within your mental means."
There are dice controllers who are red-chip players and there are dice controllers who are betting in the thousands on each and every roll. That is a personal choice.
The Lee Brothers, Tony and Larry Lee, "two proud Koreans," are the only full-time professional dice controllers that I have met. They make their sole living from craps and they play all over the country with a five-person team. In 2004, they averaged about $500,000 each at the game. I wrote extensively about them in my book The Craps Underground. The other dice controllers I am familiar with play as a sideline, although many play several times a week.
Getting the Edge
Getting the edge over the casino in craps is made up of three elements:
1. A controlled throw
A controlled throw is made up of 8 distinct elements: the set, the stance, the grab, the grip, the throw, the backspin, the bounce and the landing after hitting the back wall. To have a true controlled throw, each and every aspect of these 8 elements must be developed. There are numerous dice sets that can be created with two six-sided dice, three of the best are the Hardways set (4:4, 2:2, 5:5, and 3:3 on the faces with 6:1 on the ends), the 3V set (3:3, 5:1, 6:2 and 4:4 on the faces, with 5:1 or 6:2 on the ends), and the Any Seven set for come-out or don't rolls (with 4:3, 5:2, 4:3, 5:2 on the faces and 6:1 on the ends).
The best place to stand is as close to the stick person as possible: stick left one, stick left two or stick right one, stick right two. The farther away from the back wall that you are, the more difficult it is to control the outcome of your roll. The more power you must apply to your dice to get to the back wall, the more energy those dice have to lose before they calm down.
When the stick person pushes over the dice to you, you set them and then you must grab them so that they remain together with no splits. Your grip should be equal on both dice, usually with three fingers on front and the thumb in the middle of the back - equally touching both dice.
Once you have a proper grip, the dynamic area of dice control presents itself - you must throw the dice. A gentle throw is best. You want your dice to have a backspin so that they land and break and with one bounce hitting the back wall and landing as close together as you can get them. The less energy they have as they hit that back wall, the better chance you have of offsetting the randomizing effects of the rubber pyramids.
Once you have created a controlled throw, you have to decide how to bet. Many dice controllers, with decent skill levels, fall flat on their faces when they have to bet on themselves. They make bets their skill can't overcome! Most dice controllers cannot beat the high house edges on the bets in the center of the table, the field, or even the placing of the 5 and 9 and 4 and 10. The best bets for dice controllers are usually Pass with odds, Come with odds, and the placing of the 6 and 8. In venues where you can buy the 4 and 10 for $25 and pay the $1 vig on wins only, and in venues where you can buy the 5 and 9 for $30, paying the $1 vig on wins only, these bets become attractive as the house edge is near that of placing the 6 and 8.
Finally, with random rollers at the table, you can lose all of your edge and then some, if you persist in betting the same amounts of money on them as you do on yourself. For example, if you bet $100 by placing the 6 and 8 on yourself and on others, you can never win at the game if you play with more than three random rollers at your table. Let us say that you are able to get a 5 percent edge on your throw. You bet $100 on yourself by placing the 6 and 8. Since the house has a 1.5 percent edge on these bets, you win $3.50. Now, you bet on a random roller. You lose $1.50 on the first one, $1.50 on the second, and $1.50 on the third. You are now down one dollar. With each subsequent random roller, you go down for $1.50 more. Bet this way and your edge quickly disappears and you become just another loser.
To have any chance of beating the game of craps, you can't let the random shooters beat you. It doesn't matter that random rollers occasionally have winning rolls; the movement on your money if you bet on them is downwards. To have a chance of winning, you must eliminate as many random rollers from your game as you can and also reduce the amount of money you bet on those upon whom you bet to the barest minimum.
A good controlled shooter must know how much to bet on himself, as well as which bets to make, and how much to bet on random rollers. States Dominator, "I use the 5-Count, a shooter selection technique, to eliminate about 57 percent of the random rollers at the table. On the ones I bet, I generally bet one-tenth to one-twentieth less on them than I do on myself. In this way, I keep the hit on my bankroll low when I have to play the random game. I always use Come betting on random rollers because this is a low-house edge bet. However, extremely low placements of the 6 and 8 are also okay on random rollers."
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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