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Best of John Grochowski

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Cutting Edge Craps

2 November 2010

During a seminar break a few years ago, I found myself dining with gambling author Frank Scoblete and the craps shooter known as "the Dominator."

I don't remember if it was Frank's Golden Touch Craps seminar, which I attended as a student, or one of several seminars where I served as an instructor in other games. What I do remember is that Dom was agitated.

It seems some of the craps instructors were playing after hours — and making plays not recommended by Golden Touch. They were using the dice control method, all right, but making one-roll bets with high house edges, the kind Scoblete calls "Crazy Crapper" bets.

How can you expect students to stick to the system, Dom wondered, when the instructors were playing something else?

It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but all was explained in Scoblete's latest book, Cutting Edge Craps ($16.95, Triumph Books.) For a select few dice controllers, Scoblete and the Dominator explain, it is possible to gain a larger edge on high-risk, high-reward wagers than by sticking to the bets that carry the lowest house edges against normal shooters.

It's a secret Scoblete has stewed over for years, one he says he is worried about making public. Most players, even most dice controllers, would be shooting themselves in the bankroll by playing this method.

At a basic level, dice control involves depressing the number of 7s just enough to swing the edge on the best bets on the table. With random results sevens come up an average of once per 6 rolls. A shooter who can depress that to once per 6.3 rolls starts to swing the edge toward the player.

The house normally has a 1.52% edge on place bets on 6. Cutting Edge Craps presents a chart that shows a swing to a 3.59% player edge if the shooter can depress 7s to once per 6.5 rolls. On the pass line, depressing the 7s to once in 6.5 rolls would turn the 1.41% house edge around to a 1.6 percent player edge with no odds, 3.3% with single odds, increasing to 4% with double odds, 4.8% with 5x odds, and 5.2% with 10x odds.

Now, there are many craps players who think that's impossible. The requirement that you bounce the dice off the back wall, along with the bounciness and bumps built into the table are all meant to randomize the roll. How can you overcome that?

Well, I've seen it. I know it is possible, though it is a physical skill that requires a ton and a half of practice. Scoblete points out that, as with any physical skill, there will be days you're not on your game. That's why he, Dominator and those they've taught use Scoblete's Five Count on themselves, keeping bets minimal until they know whether they have it going.

I've been taught the method, though I don't keep up with practice and am not particularly good at it. I've seen those who do really work at it, though, and this is possible, believe it or not.

Cutting Edge Craps goes a giant step beyond simply rolling fewer sevens, to those truly elite dice controllers who can keep the dice "on axis" to the extent they raise the frequency of specific numbers, making some odd bets profitable. Betting hard 6 on the hop — meaning the next roll must be 3-3, is a crazy bet for most of us, with a 13.89% house edge. And yet it's part of the Dominator's arsenal.

The key is having your roll analyzed. Are you truly depressing the number of 7s? Are you truly increasing the frequency of 6s, and of hard 6s? Can you do it under casino conditions? Is it something you sustain over long periods, on different casino trips, and not just a lucky roll here or there? Deepnet Technologies offers software called SmartCraps to analyze all that. It's not cheap, but then, when we're talking about shooters with the on-axis control to make Crazy Crapper-type bets profitable, we're talking the elite of the elite.

As always with a Scoblete book, this one is entertaining, filled with fun stories. Toward the end, a chapter on an eventful casino session in which he and Dominator both had big rolls — and the casino reacted. Scoblete is a master at making his first-hand tales jump to life, and if you've spent any time at the craps tables, this one will have you ready to high-five the winners.

I highly recommend Cutting Edge Craps. It as a good read filled with eye-opening material, but I have to raise a caution flag. Most players won't be able to develop the on-axis control to turn crazy bets into sane choices. For most of us, random rollers and dice controllers alike, pass and come with odds, or place bets on 6 or 8, remain the way to go.

If you try the Cutting Edge way without sufficient preparation, without really knowing yourself and your roll, it can hit you right in the wallet.

Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

The Craps Answer Book

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski