Dice control, or rhythm rolling, is a system of holding and throwing the dice in a craps game in a set way to achieve a certain outcome. Under casino rules, craps shooters must rebound the dice off the backboard for the roll to count.
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How to Beat the Odds in Craps
In a typical dice roll, the odds are 1.41% in favor of the house. Dice control, when used correctly, flips the odds back in favor of the shooter. A controlled roll shifts the odds because it eliminates the inward and outward facing numbers as possibilities, increasing the chance of landing only the most favorable combinations.
Imagine that a shooter needs to roll a point number 8. In a regular, non-controlled roll the odds are 8-5 against the shooter. A controlled roll using a lock grip eliminates the numbers 1, 2, 5, and 6. This changes the odds of landing that 8 to 3-2 in favor of the shooter.
How Does Dice Control Work?
Dice control uses three elements: set, grip, and release.
The set is how you place the dice in your hand before rolling. A pair of dice, when placed next to each with the sides touching, will eliminate the inward and outward-facing numbers from coming up in a controlled roll. To keep from shooting craps, the 6 or 1 of either die must be the inward-facing number.
The grip is the manner of holding the dice in your hand to control the spin and increase the odds of landing favorable combinations. The key to good grip is to fake the shake while holding the dice in your palm, in the optimal position for the combination you want.
Each grip has their adherents, but the ‘lock grip’ is the easiest to learn and works pretty well.
Once you have set the dice in your hand, hold them in place with the middle and ring finger, using the index and pinkie to ‘lock’ them. Fake the shake by moving the hand and using the index and pinkie to hit the die against each other to make a clacking sound, as if the dice are moving.
The release is the position of your hand and arm as you release the dice and throw them. The most fool-proof release is to keep your hand and the dice parallel to the table. Let them roll out of your hand with a good amount of spin, and throw with just enough force to hit the back board.
Don’t allow the dice to bounce when you throw them, and don’t throw so hard that they rebound halfway back up the table. You want them to bounce and land close to the backdrop; the key word is ‘control.’
Historical evidence suggests that dice control works, and those who use it swear by the technique. The key to effective dice control is to set the dice in the most advantageous position, and master the proper release position. Practice until you can throw with confidence and consistency.