Why Did Craps Attract a Bogus Strategy in Controlled Shooting?

Hand Holding Dice at a Craps Table Next to a Question Mark

Craps gives you one of the best chances to beat the casino. It offers multiple bets with low house edges along with “odds,” which don’t carry a house advantage (covered later).

That said, you don’t need a lot of hocus-pocus to have a strong chance at winning with craps. Nevertheless, some con artists decided that this game needs an advantage play method too.

Certain authors swear by a technique called controlled shooting (a.k.a. dice control). They purport that this method can lead to big profits.

However, controlled shooting is nothing but a bunch of lies. I’ll discuss more on this supposed advantage gambling method along with how craps managed to attract such a worthless strategy.

What Is Controlled Shooting?

Real money craps is designed to be a completely random game. It calls on you to toss two plastic cubes down the table.

Casinos prefer that you hit the pyramid-patterned wall on the other side of the table. However, they’re normally fine as long as you make a reasonable effort to hit the wall.

Controlled shooting suggests that you can exercise some degree of control over your tosses. By both holding and tossing the dice in a precise manner, you can allegedly control some of your results.

When gripping the dice, you want to hold them in a way that exposes the desired number combinations while hiding the undesirable ones. For example, you may hold the cubes in a way that hides any combination that produces a seven while exposing the combos you want.

Closeup of Craps Dice on a Craps Table

Learning one or more dice setting grips is the easy part. The most-difficult and time-consuming aspect involves practicing your toss.

The so-called experts advise rigging up a craps table at home if you’re on a budget. Assuming you have the money, though, you can buy a regulation table instead.

From here, you want to practice your toss in a smooth and controlled manner over and over. Ideally, you’ll kiss the dice off the wall so that they barely break apart.

The idea is to reduce the randomness involved with tosses. Assuming you reduce the randomness enough, you’ll be able to throw one or more of the exposed/desired combinations more often.

Why Is This Strategy a Complete Fraud?

The main proponents of dice control are Frank Scoblete and Dominic LoRiggio (a.k.a. The Dominator). These two noted gambling authors have been pushing the idea of controlled shooting for years.

They talk a good game and make dice control seem like it can really work. They compare this technique to a professional basketball player improving their free-throw shooting or a baseball player working on their swing.

This all sounds nice in theory, but it’s complete crap. Scoblete and LoRiggio have never been able to prove beyond a doubt that controlled shooting actually works.

They’re too busy making serious money off the dice control seminars that they hold. Why come out with the truth when you’re earning $1,000 off each seminar participant!?

A fishy aspect about this technique is that there’s too much debate surrounding it. Scoblete and LoRiggio have gone back and forth with gambling experts over the years on dice control.

I can’t offer undeniable proof that this strategy doesn’t work. On the other hand, though, proponents have never shown undeniable proof that it does work.

Perhaps the most-damning piece of evidence against dice control is that the casinos don’t care about it. These are the same casinos that stalk card counters and other legitimate advantage gamblers.

The house doesn’t like to lose. Therefore, casinos have put considerable effort into identifying which advantage play techniques work and ensuring that they stop skilled professionals.

Oddly, though, the house will let supposed craps professionals set and throw dice in any manner. The only time that the dealer or pit boss intervenes is when a player takes too long to set the dice and holds up the game.

Of course, Scoblete has written plenty of stories about how pit bosses have been all over his back. But I’ve yet to see or hear of anybody getting kicked out of the casino because they’re too skilled at tossing dice.

Why Does Craps Lend Itself to a Scammy Strategy?

You can form your own opinion on dice control. But I’ve made up my mind: it’s a completely fake strategy that provides no more advantage than throwing the cubes behind your back and onto the table.

Why, though, does craps, of all games, attract such charlatans? The answer lies in the very nature of this game.

Every other table game is based on decisions. You don’t physically have to do anything other than put your chips in the appropriate betting circle/section with real money blackjack, baccarat, roulette, or Caribbean stud.

Craps stuffers in this regard, though. You’re not only putting your chips on the table, but you also get a chance to roll the dice at some point.

The rolling aspect brings a physical element to gambling that’s not present elsewhere. LoRiggio and Scoblete wisely target craps for this very reason.

Angled View of a Craps Table Top

Again, I can’t show 100% proof that it’s impossible to manipulate dice tosses. I can only offer commonsense explanations on why dice control is a total myth.

Meanwhile, a math whiz can prove that baccarat can’t be truly beaten with any common advantage gambling technique. The best you can do is earn a few pennies per hour with baccarat card counting.

You can’t fake a method for beating other table games. The math will quickly show that you’re lying.

You can, however, fake that craps can be beaten with endless hours of practice. After all, most gamblers who start out with this pursuit will never put in the recommended hours to supposedly master this art.

Even those that do log the hours could have a faulty tossing mechanic or some other made-up crap that proponents used to claim their technique still works.

Real Ways to Improve Your Chances of Winning

I stake my claim that you can’t win long-term profits through controlled shooting. Luckily, though, you can boost your odds of winning through other means.

Make Don’t Pass Line Bets

Craps offers several quality regular bets:

  • Pass line: 1.41% house edge
  • Come: 1.41%
  • Don’t pass line: 1.36%
  • Don’t come: 1.36%

All of these wagers are relatively equal in terms of the roulette house edge. Most players in land-based casinos make pass line and/or come bets.

Both of these wagers rely on the shooter to win. Therefore, the majority of the table likes to back the shooter and feel like a team.

But if you want the absolute best odds of winning, then you should go against the grain with don’t pass line and don’t come bets. They give you a slight edge when compared to pass line gamblers.

Of course, you can still make a pass line or come wager if you want to join the team-like camaraderie. You just won’t have as good of long-term chances.

Back Bets With Odds

Many casinos give you an opportunity to back pass line and don’t pass line bets with odds. The latter refers to a separate wager that doesn’t carry a house edge.

You must start out by placing a regular pass line or don’t pass line bet. Once you do so, you can slide more chips behind the original wager to back them with odds.

Here’s a look at how much the house edge drops based on the size of odds you take:

  • 1x odds: 0.85% for pass line; 0.68% for don’t pass line
  • 2x odds: 0.61% for pass line; 0.46% for don’t pass line
  • 5x odds: 0.33% for pass line; 0.23% for don’t pass line
  • 10x odds: 0.18% for pass line; 0.12% for don’t pass line

Of course, the downside with bigger odds is that you must risk more money. If you back a $5 don’t pass line bet with 10x odds, for example, you’ll need to risk $55 total. But if you have the bankroll and want the action, then your best route for winning involves taking higher odds.

Avoid Prop Bets

Craps is filled with terrible proposition bets. Some of these wagers carry a house edge as high as 16.67%.

You can easily avoid any landmines by simply sticking with pass line, come, don’t pass line, and don’t come bets. These boxes are all clearly marked near the outer portions of the table.

Assuming you want to make a prop bet, then you should consider Place 6 or Place 8. Both of these wagers only carry a 1.52% house edge.

Other than these examples, though, most prop bets are a bigger waste of money than a two-day Frank Scoblete dice-control seminar.

Collect VIP Rewards

Both online and land-based casino gamblers can earn loyalty rewards through VIP programs. You can also look forward to collecting rewards based on your craps play too.

The amount of perks that you receive varies based on the casino, your chosen bets (high house edge = big rewards), and how much you’re betting. Regardless, you should always take advantage of comps when playing craps.

Most online casinos automatically enroll you in their loyalty program when you complete registration. Brick-and-mortar casinos, meanwhile, require that you sign up for a player’s club card. Afterward, you can give your card to the dealer in be rated for rewards.


Don’t waste your time with dice control—it’s completely phony! This technique was invented for the pure sake of enriching the founders.

You can’t beat craps by manipulating dice tosses. The pyramid-shaped wall and long table that you must throw down guarantee it.

However, you can improve your chances of winning by making the right bets, backing these wagers with odds, and cashing in on loyalty rewards. You’ll still face a slight house edge, but at least you won’t waste your time fiddling with dice sets.