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by Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete is the #1 best-selling gaming author in America. Frank's books and tapes have sold over a million copies. For a free brochure write: Frank Scoblete Enterprises, Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank's website is Befriend Frank on Facebook.

Editor's Note: The following is an excerpt from Scoblete's new book I am a Dice Controller: Inside the World of Advantage-Play Craps. The book is available on

Dice control is now the "in" thing among many craps players - it is talked about, written about, argued over. Some say it can be done, others say that it is a fool's errand. The fact is that dice control can be tested, has been tested, and those tests have shown that some players not only can get an edge over the house in practice at home but they can exploit that edge in real casinos.

It is not difficult to determine whether a shooter is changing the game to favor the player; the SRR (meaning seven-to-rolls ratio) and the software program SmartCraps which measures on-axis control are the two main tests. The normal random SRR is one seven per six rolls on average (1:6), and anyone who can get around 1:6.2 or 1:6.3 now has a slight edge over some bets. As the SRR gets stronger (1:6.7; 1:6.8), the advantage over the house increases. Naturally, you need a significant number of practice rolls - at least 10,000 - in order to establish that the edge belongs to the shooter and is not just the variance of a random game.

SmartCraps measures on-axis performance, a more advanced skill. Unlike the SRR which analyzes rolls based on avoidance of the seven, SmartCraps looks to see if the shooter can go after select numbers; for example, the Captain's 3V set tries to hit a disproportionate number of sixes and eights. In such a case, the SRR is probably irrelevant. One can win money on extremely short rolls by hitting a repeating number. I have been using the 3V for my entire career. On rare - really rare - occasions I will use the Hardway set which shows Hardway numbers all around.

Hardway Sets:

dice sets


Although I am like all dice controllers and love epic rolls, I realize that such epic rolls are not the norm; winning requires hitting those repeating numbers and being able to set the dice a certain way in order to hit specific numbers is the premium skill.

Plenty of dice controllers have passed these tests; just about anyone who works at it can have a winning SRR. Being a good on-axis shooter is harder. SmartCraps shows you clearly where you are in the on-axis realm. Sadly, too many would-be dice controllers think they have on-axis skill and you see these players constantly changing their sets thinking this is helping them win. It isn't. You must pass the SmartCraps tests to see what your skill level is and what dice set you should use.

Dice control skill is real even if controversy surrounds it. Generally those who are critical of dice control remind me of most movie critics - they have never made a movie but they are expert at pontificating. Dice control is real even if most critics have never tried it or, if they have, couldn't master it. In addition, so many players who set the dice and have no skill are confused with real dice controllers. Setting the dice is just setting the dice.

A controlled shooter must do the following:

  • Set the dice in a proper set (usually the Hardway set for most shooters).
  • Properly pick up the dice. The best way is to have three fingers straight across the front of the dice and the thumb equidistant in back of the dice.
  • The dice must be aimed at the landing zone - maybe six to 10 inches from the back wall.
  • A gentle backswing and then a forward swing with the dice released at the end of the forward swing. The release will happen naturally.
  • The dice are released creating a 45-degree angle (can be less for some shooters and for some types of layout material that cause the dice to bounce a lot).
  • The dice should be close together in the air - the hope is to have them look almost as if they are glued.
  • There should be a back spin that causes the dice to slow down when they hit the layout surface.
  • Dice should hit the back wall softly and do the same basic movements as they come to rest.

How many players can actually be successful at this activity? Just about anyone who works at it. Gaining a controlled throw takes dedication, discipline and practice - almost daily practice. Just as major league baseball players take batting practice before almost every game, the skilled dice controller must practice regularly. The saying "you don't practice you won't get it" aptly applies to dice control.

So why aren't the casinos crumbling under the aggregate losses they must be suffering because of such skilled players? Sadly, the overwhelming majority of dice controllers bet improperly on their rolls. In short, they make bets the house edges of which their control can't overcome. They are losers; just like pitchers with blazing fastballs who can't throw strikes.

Note: Smart Craps software is available from

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