Why Casino Craps Can’t Be Beaten
[Editor’s Note: The following in-depth treatment of dice setting in craps is written by the author of Blackjack for Blood, one of the all-time classic how-to blackjack books, still relevant and popular more than 30 years since it was first published. Bryce Carlson is one of the most successful pro blackjack players active in the game today and in this post, he focuses his keen attention on the controversy of controlling the outcome of tossing dice on the crap table.]
Blackjack, especially winning blackjack, is a game for introverts — a little OCD and a touch of Asperger’s wouldn’t hurt, either. It just takes a special person to sit at the tables for endless hours, counting down the game, all the while mesmerized by the circus of whirling cards and dancing chips. Yeah, it takes a special person, and it’s not for everyone.
So, it’s not surprising that many people prefer craps. The variety of bets, the boisterous comradery, the sense of team success when a point is made, and the shared commiseration when the shooter 7s out, all make for a really fun game. The problem is they can also make for a really expensive game, too. This problem has led many researchers — some legit, some not — to try to develop winning strategies for craps based on dice control, just as researchers have developed winning strategies for blackjack based on card counting.
Now, all this research has resulted in a number of supposedly winning craps systems that are sold in books and videos, and in pricey weekend seminars available wherever casino craps is played. But do any of these systems actually work? Well — spoiler alert — the answer is no, they don’t.
But why? Why don’t they work? They all involve setting the dice in special ways, then throwing them in a specific, practiced toss that, if done correctly, should definitely yield an edge for the shooter. So, what’s the problem? The problem, as revealed by slow-motion videos of dice “pros” in action, is that the inevitable slightly uneven release of the dice that occurs with every toss, compounded by contact with the back-wall pyramids, cause the dice to chaotically twist and spin to such a degree that randomness cannot be overcome, even with the most practiced throw. The precision necessary is way beyond any human capability, and the required contact with the back-wall pyramids ensures a random result. So, there you have it, and if you’re willing to take my word for it, you can now set this article aside and head back to the blackjack tables. But if it’s proof you want, and if you’re willing to dive deep, then take a deep breath and read on …
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