When playing craps games, you’re required to toss the dice down the table and towards the wall. You don’t actually have to hit the wall every time, but you’re expected to make a reasonable attempt at doing so.
Casinos enforce these rules, because they don’t want advantage gamblers beating them. By requiring players to bounce dice off of a textured backwall, casinos presumably accomplish their goal of thwarting advantage players.
However, controlled shooting (a.k.a. dice control) is a proposed method of circumventing the house edge. Controlled shooting sees you grip and toss dice the same way every time, in hopes of producing desired results.
Of course, you have no chance to consistently roll the numbers you want. But dice control at least offers the promise of producing desired numbers once in a while.
The big catch, though, is that controlled shooting doesn’t come naturally. Even Dominic LoRiggio (a.k.a. The Dominator), who’s known in some circles as the craps GOAT, worked for countless hours to perfect his toss.
LoRiggio and certain other gambling experts contend that you can pull off dice control with enough work. That said, I’ll discuss how this technique works along with tips for perfecting it.
How Does Controlled Shooting Work?
Dice control begins with the way that you grip the dice (a.k.a. setting). The goal is to hold the dice in a manner that exposes the number combinations you want while hiding those you don’t.
I’ll get more into this concept later on. But an easy example is when you grip the dice in a way that hides combinations that produced seven.
Working on your release and toss is the next step. You want to roll the dice in a consistent manner so that you have a better chance of tossing desired numbers.
Most controlled shooters measure their success rate through the Sevens to Rolls Ratio (SRR). This term refers to the ratio of rolls that result in seven versus those that don’t.
If you play craps without any skill, your average SRR will eventually work out to 6:1.
The aim is to practice enough to the point where you can alter your SRR ratio over time. Assuming your SRR improves to just 6.3:1, then you’ll have an edge on casinos.
You must devote hours to practicing your toss in order to make this happen. Some craps players rig homemade tables so that they have a cheap practice area. Others actually purchase real casino tables and store them somewhere in their house or garage. Of course, craps tables cost quite a bit and take up a 12×14 area.
Once you have the equipment, you can proceed to pouring hours into the matter. Professionals like LoRiggio and Frank Scoblete suggest that you practice a few hours daily over the course of several months.
Hard work doesn’t guarantee that you’ll become an expert controlled shooter. However, it does improve your chances of becoming profitable.
Tips for Improving Your Dice Control
Understanding how dice control works and that you must practice for hours is a great start. But you’re not going to win if you’re practicing the wrong habits.
Therefore, you want to know the correct techniques before beginning on a dice-control control journey. Here are some tips that can get you started in the right direction.
Develop the Right Grip
Craps players have developed a large number of grips over the years. However, you really need only concern yourself with one of them in the beginning: the “blanket roll.”
This grip is fairly easy to use and works great. The blanket roll calls on you to hold the dice in a V shape with the threes facing up. You want to use this grip after the come out roll, when a point number has been established.
As you probably know, your goal after the come out roll is to toss the point number before seven. The blanket roll hides sevens combinations and makes this objective more possible.
Use the Proper Release
You probably release the dice without thinking under normal circumstances. Controlled shooting, however, requires you to put more thought into the matter.
First off, you should let the dice roll out of your fingers in a soft manner. The last thing you want is a backhanded throw that sends the bones flying towards the wall. More velocity increases the chance of randomness, which is your enemy in this matter.
You also need to keep your hands and arm low upon releasing the dice.
The idea here is to avoid swinging your hand upward and sending the dice on a longer path towards the wall. Instead, you want them moving towards the backstop in a soft and controlled motion.
Toss With Consistency From the Same Spot
Continuing off the last point, you also need to roll the dice with the same consistency every time. This means using the same tossing motion and arm speed.
Likewise, you want to perform your tosses from the same spot of the table. By always standing in the same spot, you’ll develop even more consistency.
Yet one more thing to keep in mind here involves leaning over the table as far as you can during the throw. This action reduces the distance that the dice must travel before hitting the wall.
Keep Your Hands Dry
Dice control can be an emotional affair in the casino. After all, you have other people around the table and money on the line.
This pressure may cause you to sweat once, especially when you’re not doing very well. A sweaty hand makes it more difficult to continue tossing dice the same way that you need to every time.
Practice and success help you avoid this problem. Until then, you should hide a small container of chalk dust in your pocket and use it from time to time to keep your fingers/palm dry.
Don’t Give Away Your Controlled Shooting
Dice controllers aren’t harassed by casinos to the extent that blackjack card counters are. Furthermore, nothing about controlled shooting is illegal.
Therefore, you should work on gripping and tossing the bones in a natural manner. You’ll still be using controlled shooting, but you won’t be taking 30 seconds to load up and toss every time.
Should You Ultimately Pursue Dice Control?
You can see that dice control requires lots of effort. That said, you don’t want to jump into this advantage play technique lightly. Instead, weigh the pros and cons to decide if controlled shooting is worth your time. Only then will you know if it’s worth trying to develop this technique.
One advantage to dice control is that it’s largely allowed. As long as you aren’t slowing down the game, you’ll be allowed to set the dice and line up for your toss.
Again, you want to ultimately disguise your controlled shooting if you’re successful. But in the beginning, you may take your time (a reasonable amount of time) without the casino harassing you.
Another benefit is that dice control is a fun way to make money through gambling. Unlike card counting, you’re actually using a physical skill that can be practiced.
One more advantage is that dice control is a fairly cheap way to get into advantage play. Compared to counting, where you’re called on to bet hundreds of dollars during a favorable count, controlled shooting only requires making small wagers.
Of course, you can pump up your bets at any time. But the best course in the beginning is to place small wagers until you can win in a casino environment.
The one downside to controlled shooting beyond the intense practice is its debatable success. Dice control hasn’t produced any verifiable success stories (e.g. MIT Blackjack Team) beyond the self-proclaimed exploits of LoRiggio, Scoblete, and several other authors and experts.
Therefore, you need faith that controlled shooting can ultimately work. As long as you believe that dice can be manipulated to some extent, then you may enjoy controlled shooting.
Dice control seems impossible. After all, you need to toss the dice down the table in an effort to hit the backstop. But you can improve your chances of being a winning controlled shooter with the right tips.
First off, you need the correct grip based on the situation. If you’re trying to avoid tossing a seven, for example, then a classic blanket roll should do the trick.
Next, you need to focus on releasing the dice properly. The goal is to release the dice softly and close to level with the tabletop. Of course, thinking about this feat and pulling it off are two different things. Proper practice is necessary in order to develop a consistent tossing motion.
Finally, you don’t want to make it too obvious that you’re a dice controller. Casinos will be more apt to ban you if they’re losing heavily.
Before you set out on this journey, you really need to decide if controlled shooting is worth the effort. Provided you think so, then the tips presented here will help you get better.