Craps Dice Control: Can You Control What You Roll?

Craps Dice Control: Can You Control What You Roll?

Craps dice control is an alleged skill where the person rolling the dice – known as The Shooter – can “set” the dice in a certain way before throwing them, and by so doing, cause them to roll whichever number they want. But how can you control the dice, if at all?

How To Control The Dice In Casino Craps

There are three main methods to craps dice control: Grip, Throw, and Set, as explained below.

1. The Grip

This is how you hold the dice.

To control the dice in casino craps, first grip them between the thumb and forefinger. This will allow you to hold the two dice together tightly, while at the same time showing the dealers that you aren’t trying to shave or replace, or otherwise manipulate or cheat the dice.

2. The Throw

Many craps players will just cup the dice, shake them in their fist, and then throw them wildly down the table where they hit the pyramid-foam padding on the other side. The dice will then bounce around wildly before coming to a stop.

But a player who practices dice control in craps will first grip the dice correctly, and then gently throw them in an arc (a parabolic toss). This causes the dice to sail in a curve from the Shooter’s grip to the other side of the craps table, where they will come to a more gentle stop.

This way, they are more likely to come to rest displaying the number that the Shooter wanted to roll.

They will still hit the pyramid-foam backing of the craps table, which is a requirement for a legitimate throw in the game of craps.

3. The Set

Craps dice setting is a method practiced by craps players in order to roll certain numbers more frequently, or to avoid certain numbers – like the dreaded 7 after the Point has been established. There are several popular ways to set dice in craps, described below.

How To Set The Dice In Craps: Popular Dice Control Sets

The practice of dice setting is designed to reduce the house edge on craps bets, creating situations where the Shooter rolls numbers to their advantage, before crapping out.

1. The Hardways Set (How to set dice to avoid a 7)

Hardways Dice Set for 4 and 4

Primarily designed to avoid the 7, this is often the most popular Set with novice players.

As the name suggests, this Set is designed to match two “hardways” on the dice.

For example, in the image above, we have the 4 and 4 which is known as the 8 Set. But this can also be 5 and 5, which will be known as the 10 Set, 3 and 3 which is the 6 Set, and 2 and 2 which is the 4 Set.

2. The 3-V Set (How to set dice to roll a 6 or 8)

The 3-V Set for Casino Craps

The 3V Set is where you set the dice with a 3 and a 3 in a way which makes the “V” shape, as in the image above.

This is used mostly for rolling 6’s and 8’s.

3. The 2-V Set (How to set dice to roll a 4 or 10)

The 2-V Set for Casino Craps

This is where you set the dice as 2 and 2 in a way which forms a “V” shape, as in the photo above. This Set is used for rolling 4’s and 10’s.

4. The All-7 Set (How to set dice to roll a 7)

One of the All-7 Sets for Casino Craps

This is used especially for the come out roll, and is designed to roll a 7. There are four possible Sets, which are: 2–5, 5–2, 4–3 and 5–2. One such example is above.

5. The Crossed 6’s Set (How to set dice to roll a 12)

The Crossed-6 Set for Casino Craps

Usually used for come out rolls, this Set can roll 10’s, 4’s, 5’s and 9’s, as well as a few craps hits.

It is known as the Crossed 6 Set because the 6 and 6 on the dice are set in a crossed way, as shown in the image.

6. The Straight 6’s Set (How to set dice to avoid a 7)

The Straight-6 Set for Casino Craps

This is a Set designed to avoid a 7 by blocking at least one of the dice from rolling the 6. It is called the Straight 6 Set because the dice are set parallel.

What Are The Best Dice Control Sets?

If you want to make the game of casino craps even more fun than it is already, you can try to practice dice control, and see how this works out for yourself. This being the case, then I’d recommend the Hardways Set for the game in progress, and the All-7’s Set and the Crossed-6s Set on the come out roll.

Don’t forget, there are many other craps strategies that you can implement.

Is Craps Dice Control Cheating?

Dice control in casino craps is NOT cheating, because the human Shooter is NOT altering the dice in any way, or using some mechanical device to control the dice. However, some casinos may frown on this practice, similar to the skill of counting cards in blackjack.

That said, most casinos will let you try dice control in craps, because it is not considered to be an actual skill.

Craps dice control cannot be verified as a skill because casino craps is an “independent” game, as opposed to blackjack, which is a “dependent” game (at least on those games which use a pre-shuffled deck, or decks, of cards).

What are Dependent or Independent Games?

All casino games are divided into two groups: “dependent games” and “independent games.” These are mathematical terms related to the probability of an event happening.

Dependent Games:

Games like blackjack are called dependent games because the value of the cards which are yet to be dealt from the deck(s) of cards, are directly dependent on which cards have already been dealt (and therefore are no longer available in the deck).

This is the reason why card counting is considered a skill. By keeping track of which cards have already been dealt, the card counter is able to more accurately anticipate which cards are still left to play.

Some casinos use a continuous shuffling machines however, which would make the game independent.

Independent Games:

Casino dice games like craps are called independent games because each throw of the dice is mathematically and probabilistically independent of any and all other throws.

This means that no matter what numbers the dice have rolled in the past, NONE of this has ANY bearing on what number the dice will roll NOW.

This is similar to roulette, in that each new spin is it’s own event which has no bearing on whatever happened before.

Is Dice Control Legal?

Yes, craps dice control is legal. Do casinos like to see you do it? Not necessarily. But not because they are afraid of your skills as a dice control specialist.

Instead, it’s because some players try to introduce shaved or weighted dice into the game, all of which are illegal.

And sometimes cheaters will also try to use outside devices to control the dice. For example, smudging the dice with a tiny bit of magnetic resin, and then using a magnet (usually in the hands or pockets of an accomplice on the other side of the table) to alter the randomness of the dice roll. Again, this is illegal.

Is Craps Dice Control Actually Effective?

Casinos will stop you from playing blackjack in their casinos if they think you are truly a good card counter. And that’s because card-counting in blackjack is a known skill.

But casinos will let you try dice control – and that should answer all your questions about this.

So the simple answer is: No. Dice control is a myth.

Dice control may appear to work in the short-term. But that’s just probability at work. Anomalies will occur in everything, regardless of the overall percentages, house edge, and general probabilities.

But, over time, all events will roughly equate to their probabilistic expectations, and the math of the game will prevail.

The casino works on this percentage 24/7. But the dice player will only play a few hours. So, the casino will experience millions of events, while the player will see – at best – only a few hundred. And that’s just the facts, folks.

Tips For Craps Dice Control

While the math of the game still rules, craps players who practice dice control will say that the trick is to KISS it. Meaning: Keep It Simple, Stupid.

By this they mean that the less complicated it is to make it, the easier it will be to do. But, realistically, there is no real science behind dice control. It is generally acknowledged as being a myth.

So until next time – best of luck to all!

Lead image credit: Netfalls Remy Musser/Shutterstock