By Jerry Patterson
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Is it possible to get an edge over the casino - an actual measurable statistical advantage? That's what this report is all about. Let's start with craps and dice control (Ref: Casino Gambling, Chapters 10 & 11). Using Dice Control and/or betting on another shooter with Dice Control skills, the advantage is achievable and measurable.
Get out a pair of dice and hold them in your hands. Do that now and then come back here and continue reading (if you don't have a pair, I suggest picking one up from the drugstore or casino next time you go). Put the two fives on top with the 1s pointing to the left. Now look on the inside faces - open up the two fives. What do you see? A six on the left die and a one on the right die - the seven.
Now look at the two outside faces - the left face and the right face. You see the other 1 and the other six - another seven. In setting the dice in this way, we are putting two of the sevens out of the way - one on the inside and one on the outside. I know, I know, they may not stay there as the dice fly through the air, but as you learn to control the dice and keep them more or less together through their orbit, the chances of these two sevens coming up are minimized. Not eliminated, minimized.
In Chapter 11 of Casino Gambling we developed the calculations for deriving the player advantage. And we showed that just one controlled throw out of every 43 rolls of the dice would eliminate the house edge and yield a break-even game. So, it's not that difficult to attain an advantage. The set I showed you above we call the hard way set because the pairs show on all four sides: 5,5; 4,4; 3,3; and 2,2. This is a good set to use when you get some experience in executing the controlled throw, but not when you are first starting out as a rhythm roller. Use the Quick Set shown on page 130.
Here is what to remember about the Quick Set: the dealer will never push the dice back to you with a seven on top - this is considered extremely impolite and is just never done. But the dice may come back to you with a seven on the side. Notice this when the stick man pushes the dice back to you prior to your throw. If you see the seven on the side, simply rotate either die a quarter turn to take off the seven. That's all. Try it now with your two die - set a one and six on the side with a 3 and 2 on top. Rotate the right die a quarter turn to take off the seven. What do you see? You should see a 3, 1 on top and a 1, 2 facing you - the seven is gone and the chances of throwing a losing seven thereby minimized.
To summarize, the first lesson in advantage craps is setting the dice. Or at least understanding how the set affects the outcome. Do you need to set the dice to gain an advantage? No you don't. But setting will achieve the highest advantage possible.
Finding and exploiting other rhythm rollers
[email protected] wrote about his experience of using the data in Casino Gambling to find another rhythm roller. He turned a 20-unit buy-in into 340 units in 36 minutes. How did he do it? By using the techniques described in Casino Gambling and scouting for other rhythm rollers.
Here are the questions to ask yourself as you observe other shooters at the craps table: Question 1: Does the shooter set the dice? Question 2: Does the shooter shake the dice in his hand before throwing? Question 3: Does the shooter throw the dice the same way each time; i.e., is his form the same, or nearly the same, on each throw? Notice the rhythm of the throw.
For Question 1, you would like to see the set, but this isn't mandatory. For Question 2, if the shooter shakes the dice, his throw will probably be random; watch his form carefully and you will know. For Question 3, if the shooter throws the dice with no apparent form, it is obviously a random throw.
You want to see the same release, and you want to see some elevation on the launch (not too much, visualize about 45 degrees and you will have it).
After the launch as the dice come down out of orbit, you want to see the dice landing approximately the same distance before the back wall each time. If the dice are skipping down the table or if the shooter is "feeding the chickens" as we call it, you are looking at a random throw (visualize a farmer's wife with a box of feed in her left hand and her right hand reaching in and scattering feed in a repetitive movement - that's "feed the chickens" - a random throw). Make it a habit of studying the other shooters and you will find one which delivers an advantage.
One more point, even if you get the right answers to these three questions, you may not get an advantage hand; i.e. a hand of greater than six rolls.
One reason is that the shooter may not be setting and inadvertently picked up the dice with a seven on the side yielding a higher chance of throwing the seven.
Another reason may be a random outcome of a controlled throw. The dice will bounce after landing. The key words here are **altering the natural outcome of the dice.** This will not happen on every roll, not even for a skilled rhythm roller like me or my teammates. But you will find shooters like Mike did that will hold the dice for 36 minutes and deliver some fantastic profits on a long hand.
To end this lesson, let me ask you a question. Would you rather put your money, or increase your bet on a shooter who throws at random, or one with at least a modicum of control? Every crap shooter wants the long hand. This is what it's all about. You have a better chance of realizing this goal with a controlled thrower. So evaluate the other shooters. Increase your bet if you see control; decrease your bet if you see random. In your next casino session, make it a point of studying the other shooters. Bet with those that show some control. Lay off or make a table minimum bet only on those that "feed the chickens."
Jerry Patterson is the author of two best selling books: Blackjack - A Winner's Handbook and Casino Gambling.