Like most boys, I had a dog when I was younger. He was a great dog. The kind any young kid would want to have around. He was a spunky, adventurous, and rambunctious ole golden retriever that loved kids and had a playful but gentle way around them. We called him Tucker. One thing we loved to do was to take ole’ Tucker out to the bird ranch to hunt pheasants.
Now, we never took the time to teach the poor feller how to hunt birds up proper, but he had a natural instinct. He’d bound around, sniffing into bush after bush. He’d dash this way and that and I gotta tell you he’d sure spook up the birds. Of course most the time he was a half mile away and another ridge line over doing it, but heck, we’d see some birds come flying over our way occasionally and knew the good ole boy was out doing his best (or worst from the birds point of view I suppose).
So what does ole Tucker have to do with influencing the dice? Well, I wonder sometimes if my road to dice influencing success is like that good ole dog out bird hunting. Running about, sniffing my way around this craps table and that, hoping to scare up a monster hand. Going at the game with spunk and exuberance, but perhaps a little short on the proper training/approach to getting the job done right.
So, what got you interested in dice setting? Did a friend introduce you to the idea? Did you stumble across a book or advertisement for influencing the dice? Did you see someone doing it at a table and think “hmmm, maybe that person knows something I don’t”.
How did I get interested in the idea of dice influencing? It started out one day playing at a table and watching an older and more experienced gent at a craps table handle the dice. He was standing at the table right next to me so it was easy for me to notice that he was twisting and rolling the dice into an interesting pattern. Each time he got the dice, he’d maneuver the 3’s into a “V” shaped alignment. I made a comment something like “ah, V for Victory, right?” The guy simply grunted a non-committal “uh-huh”. Of course he was setting the classic Hard Six Flying-V, but back then I knew nothing about dice pre-sets and just figured he had a superstition or something (ahh, yes, those were the good ‘ole days).
Anyway, I figured what the heck; I could have a superstition too. So I decided a cool thing to do would be to set the dice with the aces up, the snake-eyes. Nope, I didn’t know jack about proper axial relationships or any of the other D.I. mumbo-jumbo. I just knew that the snake-eyes looked cool and that’s how I was gonna set up the dice from then on.
Once you’ve decided you want to set the dice a certain way, what is the next logical step? Yes, of course, I didn’t want to ruin this nice set up by hucking the dice down the table. It just seemed to make sense that I should toss ‘em easy and try to keep them from bouncing around too much down there at the other end of the table. Maybe with less bouncin’ and rollin’ those dice would be kind and less likely to land on a seven-out.
That was the beginning of my dice setting journey. Oh, I didn’t know it at the time. Nor did I know that I would shortly discover that there was a whole “world” of like minded folks that had already taken the plunge long ago. Heck, I didn’t even entertain the thought that I would soon be spending many late nights in my basement tossing cubes into a felt and rubber lined box. But, to paraphrase the immortal Buckaroo Bonsai, "there I was, and here I am."
However you became interested in dice influencing, you’re on the track now (Why else would you be subscribing to this newsletter?) Some of you will keep at this and make dice influencing part of you gaming experience. Some will even become extremely skilled at the controlled toss. Some of you will decide this “sport” is not for you, that it’s too much work for the amount of time you spend in a casino. Maybe you’re not sure this stuff works. Maybe you’re simply still undecided. All of these are O.K. The decision to become a Dice Influencer is something like converting to a religion. Either you convert to it or you don’t. Neither choice is good nor bad, it simply is a choice. And like religion, if you only approach Dice Influencing half-assed, the effort will leave you feeling a bit empty and unfulfilled.
How does one go about learning to be a Dice Influencer? Even now, I don’t know if there is a single comprehensive answer to that question. In fact I believe that the answer is unique to every individual. But there are certainly some common elements and basic skills/practices that we all start with.
Like I said, “and here I am”. My choice was to give Dice Influencing a try. I thought I’d take stab at writing a few articles over the next little bit that explore some of the trials and errors I’ve had while trying to teach this dog to hunt. Like many of you, I haven’t been at this Dice Influencing thing all that long, and I don’t have all the answers. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some “puppy” tips and insights. Maybe we’ll even get to share in a success story or two along the way.
Until next time, keep your toss straight and your rack full.