Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
November 19th, 2009 at 11:23:33 AM permalink
A while back the History Channel had a show called "Breaking Vegas" which told stories, allegedly real stories, about people who won lots of money against the casinos, mostly in Vegas, either by finding an advantage or by cheating.

Cheating, of course, is unethical and illegal, so I won't be discussing that. But the advantages are intriguing. Specifically I want to talk about dice setting.

The theory is that the movement of the dice is governed by well-known laws of physics, therefore by setting the dice in the hand a certain way and throwing them in a certain manner, you increase the odds that some combinations won't show up, specifically that the number seven won't show up.

The show went on to mention this is a fine skill that takes lots of practice. Fair enough. And it sounds plausible given a little knowledge of basic mechanics, especially as casino dice are supposed to be well-balanced and sharp-cornered. But it also seems too good to be true.

If you search online you'll find lots of people selling books, DVDs and seminars on dice-setting. Now, if I could control dice in such a way as to have a consistent advantage over the house, I woulnd't go around telling everyone. I'd be on the craps tables making money. So either it's possible to beat the house, but not by much and not consistently, or it's not really possible at all, but claiming you can gives you a means of selling snake oil to gullible gamblers.

This could be settled with a controlled experiment. Get a craps table, get some dice-setters, control for variables like table obstacles, bad dice, etc, and have them throw a few thousand times each. Compare the results of how often 7 shows up to either 1) what probability theory says the frequency of sevens should be, and/or 2) what the frequency of sevens thrown by regular people not throwing in any particualr way.

Oh, there's a thirs possibility: dice-setting works well, consistently and with enough advantage, but once you win a little the casinos ban you from even looking in the direction of the craps table.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
odiousgambit
odiousgambit
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
  • Threads: 302
  • Posts: 8343
November 19th, 2009 at 1:15:30 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

A while back the History Channel had a show called "Breaking Vegas" ...
but once you win a little the casinos ban you from even looking in the direction of the craps table.



I remember those programs, they were quite good!

I'm hearing the Casinos do not fear the dice-setter at all, bring it on!
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: ďThanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!Ē She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
boymimbo
boymimbo
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
  • Threads: 17
  • Posts: 5994
November 19th, 2009 at 1:23:47 PM permalink
The Wizard posts such a experiment for dice setting at http://wizardofodds.com/craps/appendix3.html. His results I think are inconclusive.

I absolutely agree (along with Frank Scoblete, who pushes this theory) that it is very possible to influence the roll of dice and it fits greatly into all of the superstition in craps. However, I also think that it's a difficult skill to achieve, requiring a great deal of practice and concentration. First, you have to throw the dice on axis. You have to minimize rotation and spin, and you have to avoid the influence of the back wall and the dice hitting the table. And you have to do this in a casino environment, avoiding chips, money, and all of those other distractions at the table.

Even if you do acquire the skill, I think that it's difficult to ascertain that you have the skill in a real casino environment beyond the scope of natural variance. So dice setting remains in the realm of superstition.

For example, up until recently, the Craps record for the longest number of rolls without Sevening out was held by "the Captain", a dice setter (147 rolls in 2005). This has been eclipsed by a novice "Grandma" who threw 154 times without sevening out last May at the Borgata.

The casino has alot of ways to "back off" dice setters. First, they can simply say "no dice setting" to you. They can insist that both dice always hit the back wall. They can make you pass the dice to the next shooter. They can break your concentration. Still, I think it can and has been done.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
  • Threads: 265
  • Posts: 14463
November 19th, 2009 at 2:55:29 PM permalink
Take the amount of money made in an all day seminar on dice control and it is miniscule to what someone could make by shooting craps all day long if he really could influence the dice. So I just assume that its all hot air or else they would be at the tables making a fortune at it.
Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
November 19th, 2009 at 3:33:21 PM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

The Wizard posts such a experiment for dice setting at http://wizardofodds.com/craps/appendix3.html. His results I think are inconclusive.



The Wizard's results are inconclusive. Also, IIRC, the experiment was done at a casino table. That's fine, but I think a controlled experiment would be better.

Maybe I'll lobby for it at the Mythbusters site. I bet they'd build a dice throwing robot :)

Quote: boymimbo

Even if you do acquire the skill, I think that it's difficult to ascertain that you have the skill in a real casino environment beyond the scope of natural variance. So dice setting remains in the realm of superstition.



I think any reasonable person could tell if he has such a skill. If you do well every time you play craps, and if you're making, say, three or four points in a row consistently before hitting a 7, then you're saying "jump" and the dice are saying "how high?" so to speak.

Quote: boymimbo

For example, up until recently, the Craps record for the longest number of rolls without Sevening out was held by "the Captain", a dice setter (147 rolls in 2005). This has been eclipsed by a novice "Grandma" who threw 154 times without sevening out last May at the Borgata.



I'm not a math expert, but I think if enough events take place, then all outcomes should happen eventually. I mean, if you have millions of craps players each one taking a turn, eventually one, throwing at random, should have a very long roll without hitting seven, even though the probability is very low.

Quote: boymimbo

The casino has alot of ways to "back off" dice setters. First, they can simply say "no dice setting" to you. They can insist that both dice always hit the back wall. They can make you pass the dice to the next shooter. They can break your concentration. Still, I think it can and has been done.



Oh, sure. from what I understand, Nevada casinos can do almost anything they want within their own property. I've read that some palces don't allow much manipulation of the dice. Last trip I did observe a lot of people setting the dice before throwing them, with nary a peep from either stickman or boxman. Of course none of these people had any control over the dice. Their throws were what you'd expect from random throws.

One cracked me up. He bet $50 on a hardways ten and had a come bet riding on ten. On each shot he carefully set the two fives facing up, then he would shake the dice in his hand and throw. He sevened out after three such throws.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
  • Threads: 1337
  • Posts: 22067
November 19th, 2009 at 3:58:08 PM permalink
My position is still the same on dice setting. I think the number of people who can overcome the house edge is very small, and possibly zero. There is probably a lot more money being made selling lessons and books than from skilled throwers taking from the casinos. Iíve seen dice setters several times at the casinos, and the dealers didnít seem to mind at all. A friend of mine deals craps, and says he happily sets the dice to the hard way set (or whatever they use) before pushing the dice to them, as a gesture that the casino is happy to take their action. The only casino in which Iíve seem somebody scolded for setting the dice was at a tub, at the old Boardwalk casino.

Even the skilled throwers claim only a thin reduction in the sevens to rolls ratio. It would several thousand rolls, at least, to have a conclusive test. If anybody really could pass the test, it would be in their best interest to keep a low profile, and the skepticism alive. Once at the MGM somebody said to me that he was a friend of an anonymous dice setter who was doing very well, and was pleased as punch that I was openly skeptical. Then again, Vegas is full people who think they can beat the house, but canít.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
CRSthe3rd
CRSthe3rd
Joined: Nov 19, 2009
  • Threads: 1
  • Posts: 2
November 19th, 2009 at 4:33:02 PM permalink
It takes an experienced dice crew or supervisor one toss of the dice to see a 'slider' or any other uncommon toss of the dice. Taking out the 'boxman' in most casinos certainly helps 'shot takers and 'dirty dealers' but if you're looking at planting yourself at the table for a couple of hours and making a living there; FORGET ABOUT IT!
On another subject; I got even money and the Panthers -3' tonight. Is that a better bet than -3 @ -120? Thanks
Croupier
Croupier
Joined: Nov 15, 2009
  • Threads: 58
  • Posts: 1258
November 20th, 2009 at 3:27:17 AM permalink
A British TV Show called "The Real Hustle: Las Vegas" addresses dice setting in one of its episodes. (The Real Hustle series/season 5 episode 3)

It also has plenty of other interesting gambling related goodies you dont wanna try for yourself in a casino, but is amazing to watch being done.

Look up The Real Hustle on youtube. It will open your eyes.
[This space is intentionally left blank]
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
  • Threads: 178
  • Posts: 10251
November 20th, 2009 at 6:58:46 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

If you search online you'll find lots of people selling books, DVDs and seminars on dice-setting. Now, if I could control dice in such a way as to have a consistent advantage over the house, I woulnd't go around telling everyone. I'd be on the craps tables making money.

Sure, make plenty of money at the craps tables, and you'll soon get marked as a control shooter and won't be able to get near a craps table. So sell those books & DVDs instead.

Of course, there's another reason to sell the books & DVDs. To increase the number of wannabe control shooters. Until the skill is mastered, casinos would welcome those who think they can control the dice every bit as much as they welcome card counters that can't add.

If you're a control shooter, having people who 'look' like control shooters takes some of the spotlight off of you, so you can get longer rolls in before the casino gets suspicious.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
  • Threads: 373
  • Posts: 11413
November 20th, 2009 at 7:43:23 AM permalink
Quote: Croupier

It also has plenty of other interesting gambling related goodies you dont wanna try for yourself in a casino, but is amazing to watch being done.

Look up The Real Hustle on youtube. It will open your eyes.



Thanks for the tip. I'll look it up.

The "Breaking Vegas" show had some eps about cheaters. Things like fixing a BJ deck, past posting and even counterfiting slot machine tokens. I wouldn't try any of that because there's a real chance of winding up in jail.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal

  • Jump to: