I’m not sure when it happened really. One day I decided I needed to better understand the game of craps if I was going to keep playing it.
Just like about 80% of the people who play the game, I had been playing without really understanding the concepts. About the only thing I knew about the game, was what I had learned from playing some casino software simulation on my home computer. I’d originally bought the software to practice counting cards for blackjack.
The software had several casino games like slots, roulette, and poker. And it had a craps game. The craps simulation is fun. It comes with a “Hint” mode that would recommend what bet to make. I bet you can’t guess what the hint always was? Either bet the PL or DP and two come bets or two DC. Funny thing was that even in the sim, using its hints; I’d have more losing sessions then winning ones.
After playing around with the sim for a bit it seemed like the best strategy was to bet a DP and follow that with a come bet or two. In fact the very first time I played the game of craps in a casino, that’s how I played. It was amazing how well that strategy worked. I seemed to toss a lot of point then seven-out, giving me a double winner of the DP and the come. (Just shows, any strategy can work some of the time).
Anyways, at some point I decided it was time to get a better handle on this game, so I did what many people do when they want to get information on something; I headed off to my local library. I live in a small town and our library carries a total of about 15 books. You usually have to knock on your neighbor’s door if you want to check out one of them. Just kidding, but it is a small library and they didn’t have any books on the game of craps.
Next, check out the internet bookstores and see what there is to be found. Searched on “craps” and got the usual listing of books; “Be a craps master in 10 days”, “Joe's never fail craps strategies”, “Craps for ding-dongs”, etc. etc. As I perused the list, trying to decide which of the many books might actually have some meaningful information, a couple of book titles jumped out at me.
The first was “How to control the dice”, the second was “Dice Control for Casino Craps”. I’m thinking, “This is interesting”. I’d stumbled across some books that were written about ways to throw the dice to ones advantage. This was amazing. Here were books on a subject that I was playing with in my head and didn’t even know that there was already a language and school of thought, let alone publications.
Well, I forgot all about the reason I was looking for a craps book (to learn the game. BIG mistake, I’ll discuss that mistake later on) and started reading the information on these books. Time for a choice. Which book should I get? In the end I bought Sharpshooters book. The title “Gambling Disciples of God” in Yuri's book, just seemed a little too weird for me. (I did end up getting Yuri’s book later on, but that’s another story).
When SS’s book arrived I was all over it. I think I read the entire book in one evening. The stuff written there just seemed to make sense. Set the dice a certain way, grip them a certain way, toss them a certain way, and achieve a certain result. Sounds simple, sounds like it ought to work.
Some folks simply can’t see how this could possible be done and don’t give Dice Influencing a second thought. Others think that maybe it can work and maybe they’ll give it a try (the “what can it hurt” group).
I suppose I had a pre-disposition to believe in the concept of Dice Influencing from the get-go. From the moment I read SharpShooters book, I was hooked and jumped into the whole dice influencing research phase with both feet. Oh, it’s not like I went out and bought a real full scale craps table to practice on in my living room (I wish).
I’m much too cheap to do that. Heck, I couldn’t even bring myself to spring for both dice control books to start. It’s not that I can’t afford them both, like I said, I’m just too cheap to lay out serious money until I’ve done my research and as they say “drunk the Kool-aid”.
After reading through the book, I realized I’m going to have to practice a bit to see if I can really influence the dice. I’m gonna need some equipment; some dice. Where do you get dice? Casino Dice? The internet of course. You can find anything and everything on the www.
Well you can find anything, but everything has a price. The cheap side of me just won’t let me spring for the price of a stick of dice. So, where’s the next place to look? Why not check the world’s largest flea-market. I point my browser over to EBay and search for casino dice.
After some searching and choosing through the many pages of the query results, I pick up 3 pairs of used Las Vegas Hard Rock Casino dice, each pair in a different color. Very cool. (I still have these dice and carry ‘em around as a good luck charm).
Now, remember, I’m new to all this stuff. I still haven’t found Dicesetter.com or AxisPowerCraps or any other craps boards. I’m unaware that used casino dice aren’t the best selection for my Dice Influence practice. I’m just excited to give this a trial with the best tools I have available.
I’ve read the book, I’ve got the basic idea behind Dice Influencing; the purpose of the axial sets, the idea of the on-axis toss, use of proper grip, hitting the proper landing zone. Now, I’ve got some dice. The only thing left is to find somewhere to toss the dice.
There are plans for a practice table in the book, but I don’t think I want or need to go to that much effort at this point. For now I figure any ole box will do. I searched around the garage and basement a bit and found the box my printer came in, an old cardboard box.
The box is about 2 feet wide and about a foot deep. I took and cut off one of the wide sides and lay the box down on the remaining wide side. The bottom of the box becomes my “back wall”. The remaining wide side becomes my “table” and the short sides perform as the side walls. About a simple as you can get.
Cool, I have some dice, I have a box. Let’s get tossin’ and that’s just what I did for about 3 nights. I quickly discovered two things about using a cardboard box as a practice table. First, the dice tend to slide, not roll, when they hit and second the dice edges where digging the hell out of the cardboard. Hmm, cardboard, not such a good idea. Time to upgrade this toss box.
Look back to the opening sentence. The plan had started out as learning the game of craps. I’d forgotten all about that. I was now going to learn the game of Dice Influencing.
Notice that I word this like there are two separate games, a game of craps and a game of Dice Influencing. I believe that they are separate activities. Yes, they directly influence and impact each other. You need to have knowledge and skill in both to make this work. But, it is easy to get caught up with one without heed to the other. I focused on learning one without the other to my detriment. But that’s another story.
In the next article I’ll discuss how my practice rig evolved and how I began tracking my rolls.
What have I learned since those early beginnings? What advice would I give to someone just starting? If I could go back in time, with what I know now, and do things differently to get the most effect, here is the advice I would give myself:
- Buy Heavy’s Axis Power Craps manual first. Of all the Dice Influence manuals I’ve read, his is the easiest to read and does the best at explaining the primary points. If after you’ve read that, you want the others, fine, get them. They do add some points and compliment the information. (I personally prefer Yuri’s to Sharpshooter's)
- Buy your dice from Heavy. His sticks of 6 die is the best deal on new dice. You’re going to need those new dice for truer results and you will go though all 3 pairs in short order. I would recommend a stick of red and a stick of green to give you six pairs and allow you to mix colors for tracking purposes.
- Build a simple box to start with (out of wood, not cardboard). It is worth the effort and even if you are not that handy with the tools, it can be a simple process with the major cuts done at your local hardware store (i.e. Lowes, Home Depot, etc)
Until next time, keep your toss straight and your rack full.