I am going to share my lessons learned from the last several years of throwing dice. Dice control is something I observed on the craps table over many years, and something I’ve been doing for the last few years.
You know what I’m talking about, the old man who sets them and then tosses them the same way each time. Well, I think there is something to it. There is something about those old-timers getting lucky when they roll the dice.
Let’s go through the concepts!
The first thing you need to understand is setting the dice. The way they are positioned before tossing them is probably the simplest thing you can do in dice control. Anybody can set the dice!
Why set the dice? Wouldn’t you like to have the two dice as far away from producing a 7 as possible? The hardway set will allow you to achieve this. There are many combinations you can set, but in my opinion, this set is the best.
Here is more information on dice sets.
The basics of the hardway set are simple. Just make sure the top numbers match, and the numbers facing you match. The rest will take care of itself.
The goal when you throw the dice is to execute it consistently, resulting in fewer sevens and ultimately reducing the house edge. To help with this, it’s important to have a very consistent setup for each dice roll.
I like to stand square to the table, my waist against the rail and shoulders parallel. I’ll get up on my toes a bit and allow myself to lean over the table. I like to hold the dice directly below my chin, which is pushed out over the table and directly above the pass line. Maybe even slightly past it.
You can experiment with this on your own and figure out what is comfortable for you. The most important part of it is consistency and the ability to throw the dice so they are square with the back wall.
There are several grip techniques used by craps players when throwing the dice. Personally, I have tried quite a few and have found the three finger grip to be the best for me.
This Golden Touch Craps video explains it much better than I can.
A couple of things to keep in mind when using the 3 finger grip
Your hand needs to make a “C” shape, not a “U”.
Your thumb should be lower on the dice than your three fingers in front.
Your index and ring fingers should be there for “support” with slightly less pressure than your middle finger.
Hold the dice lightly, almost as if they’d fall out of your hand if not for your thumb keeping them from “falling off the edge”. Edge being your fingertips.
Throwing Dice Technique
There are several techniques you’ve probably seen on YouTube or from other players in the casino. The best technique by far is the one that allows you to deliver the dice together all the way to the back wall.
Some find “shooting from the deck” works for them, others advocate for a light backswing. But the best dice controllers on the planet typically have a very similar delivery beyond that. You can experiment a bit for yourself.
This video demonstrates the delivery pretty well!
A couple of things to keep in mind when throwing dice.
If your dice are splitting in the air, you are likely pushing with your thumb
If one die is lagging, your fingers are likely uneven in the front or you have more pressure with one side
Don’t put too much backspin on the dice, they need to hit the back wall and too much backspin can cause them to act a bit erratic when they hit the table.
Tips and Tricks on Rolling Dice in Craps
Consistency is king! In order to become consistent, you’ll need to practice. Practice setting the dice, practice gripping. If you don’t have a practice rig setup at home, you can toss them onto a couch or a bed.
You need to focus on getting them to travel through the air together, almost as if they were glued. If you can do that consistently, you’ll eliminate the house edge!
Here are some tips on how to approach the mental aspect of craps, from a former Olympic Athlete.
It is really hard to control the dice, really hard! Even if you set, grip, and throw them perfectly, that back wall is going to win sometimes. You are still rolling the dice, you are still gambling. I’ve personally witnessed some of the best dice controllers on the planet have mediocre rolls.
I’ve also witnessed them having amazing rolls, and on average, definitely better than probability.
Once you master throwing dice, give me a call!
In all seriousness, you really need to bet properly. Even if you are able to beat probability and remove the house edge, you can still lose if your betting sucks. Here is a full post on the best craps betting strategy.
The Sevens to Rolls Ratio and Controlling Dice in Craps
As you practice throwing dice, it will be important to keep track of your rolls. This will tell you whether you actually have an advantage. Sevens to Rolls Ratio, or SRR, is simply the ratio of rolls to the number of sevens tossed.
Probability dictates the 7 will appear once out of every 6 rolls. So by default, a random shooter will have an SRR of 6.0. You can track your rolls by hand, or you can use our free app!
Tips at the Craps Tables
Time is not your friend!
Too many times I’ve gone to the casino and waited for my spot at the table. Then I get the dice and do okay on my first roll. I wait for them to come back around and I have a really good roll.
Instead of leaving, I wait, thinking to myself I had a really good roll and I can do it again. The biggest problem with this however, is you are betting and likely losing money on every other shooter as you wait for the dice to come back.
Then, by the time they get around the table, you’ve been standing there for two hours and are starting to get fatigued. This effects your posture and your overall ability to throw them together.
Very few people can control the dice.
A lot of people try, but very few actually put the time in to practice at home or attend a seminar to learn their technique. Don’t fall into a trap of thinking that everyone at the table who sets their dice and tries to throw them consistently can actually do it.
You also should not overestimate your own ability. Get to know your true advantage, or lack thereof. Track your rolls and practice until you have an advantage.
Dealers are your friends.
Be nice and polite to your dealers and they’ll be the same to you. You should also tip your dealers, most of them make minimum wage and rely on tips as part of their income. Simply placing a bet for them over now and them, piggybacking off of one of your bets, will go a long way!
The dealers want to see the players win. They certainly have to enforce the rules of the game, but do not mistake them enforcing a rule as “bringing heat”. If you don’t hit the back wall, the box will probably let you know. Acknowledge it, apologize and hit the back wall next time!
If you are nice and you end up missing the wall once in a while, they’ll probably ignore it because they know you will correct it.
What’s the first rule of Fight Club?
We don’t talk about Fight Club. If you want to talk about dice control with another player, do it at the restaurant. If you start throwing dice well, and others see you do it a few times, you’ll start to get a crowd.
You have to ignore it, don’t let their expectations that you are going to throw well get into your head. Just play your game!
Get to know your table!
Every craps table reacts a bit differently. Some will bounce more than others. Some will have a larger curve on the back wall. Some have more space between the pass line and wall. You need to find your reference points.
Most tables have a sweet spot. When your dice hit that sweet spot, they bounce a little lighter. Find your landing zone and stick to it. There are no “regulations” that dictate what a craps table size or even shape needs to be. There is definitely some consistency in tables, but they are different from one casino to another.
You’ve got to find what works at each table you play. This includes the grain of the layout. If the grain is facing you, this can cause your dice to bite a bit more when they hit the table. To overcome that, you can toss them with a little less trajectory.
On the other hand, if the grain is facing away from you, they may bounce a bit faster toward the wall. You can increase your arc a bit to account for this.
Good luck at the tables!