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The first dice controllers: The Captain, the Arm and Jimmy P.14 October 2010
I am a strong advocate of dice control, the ability of some players through skill and training to influence the dice, reduce the house edge, and get the edge over some bets at the game of craps.
I learned about this in the late 1980s from the Captain, an Atlantic City legend, who first developed a method for shooting the dice with control in the modern casino where the back wall is lined with foam rubber pyramids to randomize the game.
Along with his friends Jimmy P. and the Arm, the Captain made a fortune playing craps from the late 1970s to 2008, when he retired at the age of 87.
Although Atlantic City is not allowed to ban players, these three had Tropworld (now Tropicana) so upset at their wins that the Trop executives sent out a flier announcing the trio's substantial wins and how good they were at beating the game. Indeed, Tropworld told the Captain and his mates that he was not welcomed even though they couldn't ban him and that he and his trio would no longer get any comps -- which were in the tens of thousands of dollars.
The problem Tropworld had -- but didn't realize that they had for some unknown reason -- was the fact that the Captain had a crew of 22 monstrously high rollers, who were not dice controllers but "wild and crazy" gamblers who were losing far more than Jimmy P., the Arm or the Captain were winning. When the Captain decided to switch casinos, his high-rolling crew moved with him.
With the exception of Satch, now a dice control instructor in Golden Touch Craps, and me, the Captain's crew are all gone to that craps game in the sky. The Captain is still alive at this writing but his days of playing are over. Unfortunately, he is quite infirm now.
The Arm was the greatest dice controller I have ever seen, even better than the greatest dice controllers playing today. She had a unique throw and a consistency that was amazing. She had the uncanny ability to hit the same number over and over again. In those days, we did not count the actual number of rolls before a seven out, we only counted the time the roll took. Sadly I'll never know how many numbers she hit on her greatest rolls, but she did have many that went over the hour mark.
I wrote about the Captain and the Arm beginning in 1990. And boy did I take a beating from skeptical craps players, other gambling writers, casino executives and even some dealers.
I felt like John the Baptist "crying out in the wilderness" when I wrote about this technique for beating the game. Except for a small group of players, dice control was considered ridiculous and I was considered if not an outright scammer, a complete dolt for believing in it and writing about it.
Times have changed. Now there are many gambling writers who have witnessed the success of the Golden Touch dice control shooters and have seen just how effective this technique can be in the hands of a skillful player. Many different schools have opened up that teach their versions of dice control. Some of these schools are indeed teaching a competent throw; some of these schools, run by bloated windbags, are cut-rate and totally incompetent. Golden Touch teaches the throw based on the Captain's throw, a technique that can be learned and executed with practice and discipline.
Even the casinos have seen some of the good dice controllers beat them. Indeed some of the casinos have reacted -- that is, totally overreacted -- to this new phenomenon that has hit their tables. They have harassed and even banned some of the better players.
That is a shame for a couple of reasons. I am guessing that only about 10% of the people who attempt dice control get good enough to beat the casinos. Is that because the throw is so hard to master? Not at all. Just about anyone with time, discipline and patience can develop a good enough throw to overcome the low house-edge bets at the game.
Sadly, an overwhelming majority of would-be dice controllers just can't stop making the worst bets at the game of craps, bets even a decent amount of skill can't overcome. Other dice controllers, those with the hearts of gamblers, just can't get themselves to practice on a regular basis to get their skill level into the competent range. They want everything to come easy. It isn't going to happen.
So casinos that have reacted proactively have hurt their bottom lines the way Tropworld hurt its bottom line. Many shooters who try to look like dice controllers at a table are not really capable of winning in the long run.
In fact, when players see a dice controller have an amazing session, those players don't walk away with their wins never to play again. Instead they play more and more in order to duplicate such an experience. Indeed, good dice controllers might even be considered a new kind of shill for the casinos, inspiring the losing lost to play the game even more than they would normally have.
Yes, the three we have to thank for this dice control revolution in the game of craps are the one and only Captain, his first mate Jimmy P. and the amazing woman known as the Arm. We won't see their like again.
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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