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Craps - Rolling the Dice

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Photo Courtesy (Nevada Casino History)

Sahara Las Vegas Memorabilia

Photo Courtesy (Nevada Casino History)

Most everybody has heard the phrase "shooting dice," and it doesn't take much imagination to see a player tossing a pair of dice on a board game. However, actually physically shooting the dice on a casino crap game is a little tougher than you might think.

Players are generally intimidated about approaching and learning the game of craps, but once you get the basics down, the game is easier to play than Monopoly or chess. Honest! The only difference is that you are risking your money in the form of chips.

Obviously the house has the edge at craps, but like all casino games, we accept the challenge and gamble. Still, it's best if we know how to play the games before we bet our money.

Choose a Spot at the Table

When a craps table is crowded, all you need is a place to squeeze your arm in to make a bet, but a game with six or eight players is usually just right to get the spot you want. No matter where you squeeze in you will always be shooting the dice from your end of the table past the stickman and into the other end.

New shooters are chosen in a clockwise fashion around the table. To be eligible to shoot you have to have a pass line bet or don't pass bet. Although the stickman controls the dice, the inside dealer will offer you a choice of dice and let your shoot when the stickman tells him to. Choose two, and use only one hand on the dice, your shooting hand.

You might want to choose the side of the stickman that allows you to use either your right or left hand. Players on the long side of the table usually want to shake the dice and throw them sidearm - releasing them with their palm up. If you shoot righthanded from the stickman's left side you will be tossing them backhanded and releasing them with your palm down. The dice must tumble and hit the back wall of the table. If a die goes on the floor the roll is "no dice" and you try again.

Try Several Shooting Styles

Every craps player will find a style of shooting that they like best, sometimes dictated not by comfort, but by how good a hand they rolled and whether they made money on their turn,?p>

If you stand on the short side of the table you will face the longest distance and can't shoot the dice sidearm. In this case you will be shooting the dice in one of two manners, either lobbing them up and towards the table end, or giving the dice a short, backhanded toss.

Backhanded Toss

If you toss the dice backhanded, you will need to bend over the edge of the table and get your hand close to the felt. Then, shake the dice with your palm down and flick them out palm down towards the other end of the table. Try to keep them down the middle and out of the dealer's chip stacks. According to the dealers, hitting them with the dice is bad luck!

The Lob

Some players shoot the dice from the long end and lob them down the table. They may bend a bit at the waist, but the tossing of the dice is more of a flick upward of the wrist so the dice actually form a rainbow and land at the far end of the table and bounce to the wall.

If you lob the dice, make sure they don't go too high. Dealers will tell you to keep them below their eye-level. Holding the dice for the lob is done either randomly under the curved fingers or between the thumb and a finger.

Dice Control

Some players prefer to set the dice on certain numbers and hold them between their thumb and index or middle finger, or even between their index and pinky to keep the dice together on a certain number. And, some of these shooters maintain that they are actually able to control the dice and make money through their efforts. Whether or not dice control works is still up to debate, but several long-time players swear by their efforts.

One such player is Frank Scoblete, the author of Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution Buy Direct. His book details how to set the dice, stand and deliver them in a lob, and how to get more comps for your play. Your results may vary.

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