Wong on Dice
By Stanford Wong. You can purchase the book by using our secure online order form.
I started studying craps after hearing tales about crapshooters skillful enough to play the game with an edge. I was amazed at the possibility that there were people who could influence the dice enough so that the results of their rolls were nonrandom. I started studying the subject.
One thing I did was to look for potential good shooters at the crap tables of Las Vegas. Occasionally I found crapshooters who set the dice and threw carefully. I watched them closely, and wrote down the results of their tosses. I recorded the results of 487 in-casino tosses of strangers who were using the hardways set and who I thought were throwing the dice carefully; those 487 tosses included 66 sevens. (A glossary at the end of the book defines such terms as "hardways set".) That's a ratio of sevens to tosses of 1:7.4, which was different enough from random to encourage my study of the game.
Wong on Dice is about throwing dice in a manner that achieves outcomes that differ from random. If the dice are tossed in a manner acceptable to the casino, the differences from random will be small. Unless you are as super coordinated as Michael Jordan, you will NOT be able to, for example, throw a 5-6 on demand; even Michael Jordan may not be able to accomplish that feat.
The most you can realistically hope for is to reduce the frequency of certain dice outcomes. You won't be able to call your shots. But you should be able to reduce the frequency of sevens; and if you can do that, you should be able to get an edge at craps.The strategy for beating craps involves tossing the dice, knowing which bets to make, and getting away with it in a casino. You start by arranging the dice the way you want; that's called "setting" the dice and is the easy part. Then you have to throw the dice in such a manner that the result differs from random. That part is difficult to do.
Most people are coordinated enough to get an edge on some of the bets on a dice layout, if they learn the proper technique and practice enough. I say that because I have learned how to do it, and nobody ever accused me of being coordinated. I went out for every sport offered in high school, and was among the first cut except for sports involving long-distance running. If I can learn to toss dice well enough to get an edge, you can too. If you are more coordinated than I am, then your potential is to achieve more control over the dice than I have been able to do.
The fun and satisfaction of learning to control the dice is similar to the feeling of accomplishment one gets from doing well in a sport. You start out thinking that making the dice behave is impossible. Then gradually with practice you improve. You have the same feeling of satisfaction after a good session at the crap tables as you do after a good day on the lanes, court, links, gridiron, or diamond. Going to dinner with friends who have just won money on your dice tosses is like celebrating with teammates after hitting the game-winning home run or tossing the game-winning touchdown pass.
How to Learn to Toss Dice
I recommend personal instruction from a pro. If you want to learn to hit a tennis or golf ball properly, the best plan of action is to get coaching from an expert; and the same is true if you want to learn how to throw dice to produce results that differ from random.
If you were in the slower half of your gym class in learning new skills like I was, you might need six months of practice to get an edge at craps. If you are more coordinated, you can build the necessary skill quicker.
Throwing dice with control requires proper technique and lots of practice of that proper technique. Practicing flawed technique will not give you an edge at casino crap tables; instead it will give you false confidence as you roll random numbers.
Casino Attitude Toward Dice Control
Most dice setters are obvious about what they are doing, making it easy for casino employees to determine that a customer is setting the dice. As of this writing, setting the dice is more than tolerated; it is ignored by casino personnel.
It's easy for casino employees to determine whether a customer is throwing the dice carefully. How you toss the dice generally is ignored, as long as the dice bounce off the table and then off the back wall. Tosses that don't reach the back wall, or that hit it too gently, are frowned upon and tolerated only if they appear to be accidental and infrequent.
Most crapshooters who set the dice and throw carefully generate results that are indistinguishable from random.
A shooter good enough to influence the dice is not attempting to blend in with the masses of chicken feeders who generate random results; rather, he or she is attempting to blend in with the masses of dice setters who generate random results. The ability of a talented crapshooter to make money at craps depends on the existence of masses of crapshooters who set the dice, throw carefully, and then generate random results.
Controlling dice is legal. Crapshooters are expected to throw the dice; that's part of the game. A stick person who does not like the way someone throws the dice can, before the dice stop moving, call "No roll" to void the roll.
The casino has the right to limit who throws. The concern is whether casinos will allow you to continue to toss the dice, and not whether they will arrest you for doing it. You do not want to hear: "Sorry sir; you can bet on the other shooters if you wish, but you can no longer shoot the dice."
Wong on Dice has the information you need to get an edge over casinos at craps. Chapter 2 explains the rules of craps. Chapter 3 discusses playing craps in a casino. Chapter 4, "tossing Dice," explains how to grip and toss the dice, injuries, fatigue, and how to conduct yourself in a casino. Chapter 5 contains tips on practicing dice tossing. Chapter 6 explains how to choose a dice set, how you can get an edge, and how to estimate your sevens-to-rolls ratio. Chapter 7, "Money Management," explains such things as how much of your bankroll to bet, what bets to make, and how much you can expect to win per hour.
Next are the fun-to-read chapters: chapter 8 on the dice challenge of 2004, chapter 9 on Little Joe's skill test, and chapter 10 with interesting things I have observed at crap tables in casinos.
Then come more technical chapters. Chapter 11 explains how to find the SRRs for both the dice set you are using and for other dice sets. You can, for example, gather a sample of tosses using the hardways set, and then figure out from your hardways data what your SRR would have been had you used the 3-V set instead. (The terms SRR, hardways, and 3-V will be defined later.)
Chapter 12 explains minimal setting of the dice. Use it if you want to set dice in a way that attracts minimal attention.
Chapter 13 explains the mathematics of craps, and probably contains more detail than you care to know.
Also included are a glossary and an index.
All the advice in the book is based on mathematics and logic.