Craps Shooting

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The version of Craps played at most casinos allows players to handle the dice. But there is more to “shooting” than just tossing a couple of small cubes down the table. Observe the Craps players for a number of rolls and it will soon become obvious that there are as many styles of shooting as there are shooters. What’s more, some approaches appear to yield better results than others.

Controlling the Dice – Shooting involves three aspects of handling “the bones”: how the dice are aligned, how they are gripped and how they are delivered. The shooter has control over all three of these and, through practice, should be able to have some control not only over how the dice land but also what total appears on their faces. Most of the time, the object is to avoid throwing a 7 after the Point has been established.

Setting the Dice – Experienced Craps players will position the faces of the dice so that a desired combination of pips shows as the starting position before the throw. Although novice dice setters pay attention only to which faces appear uppermost, veterans take into account the position of every face, setting them in a certain way before throwing. For example, a shooter may arrange the dice so that a total of 7 is displayed on each surface when the dice are pressed together. As a countermeasure, many casinos require the shooter to shake the dice in one hand until they make an audible sound (the “cackle”) before throwing to discourage “mechanics” who can allegedly set the dice to come up any number they choose.

The Flying V – This is a popular version of Dice Setting in which the 3-pips are positioned facing up to form a “V” shape. Those who use this technique allege that it reduces the chances of rolling a 7.

The Lock Grip – The shooter cradles the dice in the nook of the middle and ring finger and cocks his/her thumb behind them. This grip will allow shaking of the dice to produce a sound (the “cackle”), like they are being randomized, even though the faces do not move from wherever they have been set. Some casinos do not allow this method of holding the dice.

The Rhythm Roll – Over time, Craps players develop a consistent method of holding and tossing the dice—a so-called “rhythm”—that they can use to duplicate rolls and bounces on virtually every throw. Learning to control the cart-wheeling dice as they spin is rather easy, but getting them to hit and bounce off the far wall the same way each time is much more difficult.

Sliding the Dice – This simple technique requires little skill. The shooter sets the dice for the desired total and then pushes them down the length of the table so that they never roll over. The faces that were showing at the beginning of the throw will still be showing when the dice come to a stop. For obvious reasons, dice sliding is banned in almost all casinos.

The Blanket Toss – Resting the dice on the tips of the middle and ring finger, they are held in position by the thumb. An underhand release is employed, with the palm facing up. This cases the dice to spin in the air instead of on the surface of the table. They eventually land and come to a halt after a practised set of revolutions. Popular during World War II, this rolling technique suited Craps played on blankets but not modern tables where contact with the far wall is required.

The Whip Shot – By flicking the wrist when throwing the dice, the shooter causes them to spin like tops rather than rolling end over end. Anyone skilled in this technique can supposedly toss any number at will. Not surprisingly, most casinos ban throws where the dice do not roll.

The Greek Shot – The shooter launches the dice ride so that one rides atop the other all the way to the wall and they hit simultaneously. The uppermost die supposedly locks the bottom one in place so that the face that was placed upward originally will show when the dice come to rest.

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