Mastering the Physicality of Dice
Control: Everything You Need to Know
Craps is the most epic casino game out there. Learn dice control to boost your odds of winning at the table.
Are you crazy for craps?
Itís easy to get caught up in the thrill of the game because the craps
table is the most exciting table in the casino, and everyone wants a
winning streak. However, becoming the king of craps takes some work. If
you want to walk in like you own the place (and play accordingly),
youíll need to learn about dice control.
Craps offers tons of fun, excitement and pretty good odds for those who play it well, especially those who take on the role of the shooter. If you want to be a part of that crowd, youíre going to need to learn how to shoot dice like a real professional. Knowing the basic elements of dice control is an essential part of this.
Dice control refers to a precise tossing of the dice. It does not entail any cheating or ďthrowingĒ the game, but rather it refers to standing, setting the dice and rolling them, in the same manner, each time you toss them.
Why is this important? By using a controlled roll rather than a random one, you can bring down the house edge and increase your chances of winning big for the table. Dice control is not a guaranteed win, but it can increase your odds of winning.
When you throw your dice, youíll want to stand as close as possible to the back wall. That allows you to throw with ease rather than with force, leaving less room for your dice to randomize as they hit the back wall and bounce. You donít want to throw them hard either, as this can cause you to lose control.
Standing as close as possible to the backboard means youíll occupy one of four positions: stick right one (SR1), stick right two (SR2), stick left one (SL1) or stick left two (SL2). Right-handed people will want to throw from the left side while lefties will want to toss from the right.
That allows you to employ a natural, pendulum swing for throwing the dice. It also puts your hand as close as possible to the back wall as you release the dice, maximizing your control. Your non-throwing hand can rest on the table.
Caption: Before you set out to conquer the craps table, make sure you know where to stand for optimum control.
Scanning and setting the dice refers to arranging your dice in a specific manner before you throw them. When done correctly, this can increase the chance of certain numbers showing and decrease the likelihood of the dreaded seven. Keep in mind that it isnít possible to control where you land. However, you can influence the statistical likelihood of getting the numbers you want.
When youíre first starting out with dice-setting, itís a good idea to use a simple set that is easy to arrange and decreases your chances of rolling a seven. The ďhard wayĒ set is a perfect example because this set will not produce a seven if the dice rotate a single time from their original position. Youíll only get a seven if the dice rotate more than once or ďdouble pitch.Ē
The hard way set is easy to remember because it displays the same two numbers on every side when you put the dice together. An example would be to have two twos together on one side, two threes on another, etc.
Remember that the most important part of a dice set is the two numbers facing each other on the inside of the dice. So, to make the hard way set quickly, get ahold of the six value and the one value. Place the six to the left facing outward, and the one to the right facing outward.
Youíll get a 6/1 on the inside as well but will see it better if you arrange it this way. Once youíve got your 6/1 on the inside, rotate one of the dies vertically until both numbers facing up match each other. It doesnít matter which two numbers face upward if the six and the one stay together as your axis.
Caption: The hard way set will be easy to make when you locate the six and the one on the face of the dice quickly.
The hard way set is even supported with a study by technical researchers in Poland, which shows that the numbers which face downward on the dice have a higher probability of coming up during a roll. Since the hard way set always has double numbers facing down (none of which can result in a seven), youíre that much less likely to roll one. Itís good to know that there are other sets to use like the 3V set and the sevens set. You should learn how they work, but make sure you master this one before progressing.
Once youíve set your dice, you need to pick them up and grip them correctly. Even if you set them perfectly, it wonít matter if you donít handle them well. The objective of a flawless grip and pickup is to keep your dice held together firmly. If one die falls into a different position, this will affect your throw and could render your set useless.
So, whatís the best way to do this? A three-finger grip works especially well. This specific grip allows you the flexibility to move your hand for the pendulum swing while keeping the dice aligned together tightly.
The three-finger grip involves four fingers: your thumb, index finger, middle finger and ring finger. With the three-finger grip, your thumb and middle finger do the work of gripping the dice right down the middle of the crack between them.
The ring and index fingers are on either side of the middle finger and act as a guide and stabilizer for your grip. These three fingers together must lie on the same horizontal plane, perfectly straight across. Once youíve set your dice properly, move your hand to the table with your thumb out loosely and the other three fingers held together.
Itís a good idea to tap your fingers a few times on the table to ensure you get that perfect line across. Then, either swoop down from overhead or come from across the table to position your hand around the dice for pickup. You should grip them lightly but
However, should they split apart as you pick them up, set them down on the table again and push them closed.
Tossing, Spinning and Bouncing
How can you toss your dice with optimal control? As you lift them for the throw, keep them level with the table. Lift them up vertically and ignore the impulse to skew your hand to any angle. Once youíve lifted them, take aim at the back wall. Bring your hand back in a pendulum swing before gently releasing them toward the back wall. Here, itís critical not to put too much force into your throw, as you can lose control of the dice.
Putting a spin on your dice can help you out in the long run, as it will aid in keeping your dice tight together in the air and help to break them when they do hit the table. It will also dispel some kinetic energy, allowing you more control.
You also want to do everything in your power to minimize the bounce once your dice hit the table from the back wall. That means you donít want to hit at an angle ó itís better if the dice hit flat on their faces because this absorbs their kinetic energy. You also want to make gentle movements. The softer your movements, the more control you have. Thatís the key to upping your odds.
Once youíve practiced at home, you can move on to the casino to play some real craps. However, make sure youíre well-versed in the etiquette of craps before you decide to hit the tables, though. Keep in mind that the road to perfect dice control is a long one ó it will take months or even years of practice to become a master.
You wonít see results right away, but you will see them with time. If you put the work in, youíll become proficient at something few people know how to do. Itís worth it, too, so grab your dice and get rolling.
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