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The Following responses are from Dice Setter Newsletter subscribers replying to a question about if they feel comfortable with the fairness of casino dice. The answers selected below did not exactly pertain to our question below, but we felt that since the effort was made, we would still publish their comments. They have been selected from our February Survey. Dice Setter Wants to Know...


"Have you played craps in a casino and felt that the dice used in the game were altered or otherwise not fair dice? Do you think casinos cheat at the dice table?"

Table Conditions and Other Replies


My input is about tables, not dice. I recently played several sessions over a weekend stay at a casino in West Virginia.  The craps tables were scattered throughout the casino's floor plan.   In one section, I played a table that was very 'live'.  The dice bounced pretty wildly, and I had to alter my throw to try to tame the bounciness. Next, I migrated to a different table-games area, and found a couple tables on which the dice rolled in a much more 'true' fashion.  I was finally able to make a little money at that point, so I never returned to the other table-games section of that casino.


At times when I haven't being doing well they let the dice go while at other times when I seem to have something going they bring the dice in to change and say that the need to rotate the dice. When the dice goes off the table and I'm doing well they say the need to change the dice because it went off the table. They seem to hold up the game on good rolls to check the dice but when its all good in their favor they let game go on.


Probably not the dice but the tables.  Also, they wanted our arms not to pass the midpoint of the tables.


With in the past 6 to 9 months I have found that shooting them bones has been more of a challenge to be a consistent shooter as in years past. I don't think it is so much as the casino's are altering the dice, but more so the Craps table construction has been changing subtlety. The tables have seemed to of gotten lighter in my experience when I accidently leaned on a table at Caesars Palace a little too heavily and the darn table nearly flipped over. Years past you could sort of lean on the table quite a bit with your elbows and the tables didn't tend to move so easily as they do today. The lighter material being used in the shooting deck has added a bit more spring to the dice when they land, and I have taken notice that the diamond cushioning around the playing field is now being made from a poly-propylene based material giving a greater kick back when the dice come in contact with it.


I was playing at Harvey's in Lake Tahoe sometime between January- March of 09. I had already gotten 4 point numbers a win for the fire bet.  I was setting the three V. During this time I got a different dice because I could no longer set it. I was confused at first, felt embarrassed about the situation and trudged on, within a few tosses I seven-ed out. Later, as I reminisced on what took place, it upset me that the casino, mainly the supervisor would put this dice into play. I was not throwing the dice that good; I think I was just getting lucky. I'm not sure how long I had the dice, people high fived me, got a generous round of clapping, but I had only bought in for 100.00 and was playing the minimum, nickels. As I was winning I graduated up on the place numbers, 5,6,8 and 9. I only won approximately 250 dollars. I have lost much more than I have won, believe me I'm a long ways from being a good dice setter/player. This left me with a sour taste in my mouth and I haven't visited Harvey's for a while. That has been my only experience where I felt cheated. There have been numerous times where the supervisor has Low Browed me down, not really saying anything, but feeling the heat I eventually left the table. That�s my experience.


I usually play at the Showboat in AC approx every two months or so. There are two crap tables that are back to back on the mail floor  that are near the cages and one table that is facing at the end.. Since approx 2006, it seems that the two tables that are back to back is like it is full of 7's and I can not get a run on them, although one time I was setting for all sevens and had about a 15 number roll. I could not get anything going on the two.   Now the end table is open approx. 10 PM on weekends and I can do a little better on it. I don't know if it is the dice at the tables or is it the felt and what is under it. Don't know if this helps or not? Please let me know what you come up with. Been hearing about shaved dice but I can't feel any difference and also that the commission lets them use them.


I play at the same casino every day. I have often wondered why everyone at the table 7 outs before the third roll. I myself try to set and throw the dice the same every time. I consider myself a good dice player. I had an 18 throw roll no point the other day. I regularly throw 6 to 10 rolls each time I throw with a couple of points thrown in. I have had more than one half hour to forty five minute roll. But other times I cannot roll at all. I roll out immediately. On my practice table at home I rarely roll out. My conclusion is since they mic the new dice each time before the put them in play, the dice are mostly the same size. But weight and shape can be subtle and not noticeable. The table could also be altered ever so slightly to allow the roll to be more random. Therefore I believe there is a sweet spot on the table that if you hit it each time you can roll for ever. I have not been able to rationalize why a good table turns bad and a bad table turns good all of a sudden. I have played on all sizes of tables with bounce and no bounce and there are some tables I cannot win on no matter what I do. So I stay away from those casinos. So the answer to your question do I think the casino's manipulate the game. Yes I do. Are they supposed too? No they are not. But there is no other reasonable conclusion. 


I have not experienced the dice being taken out of the game and then changed.  I also believe the casinos I go to all use 3/4 inch die. There are a lot of things they do thought:  some stickman hassles you verbally as a controlled thrower.  When you get a long run going sometimes the guys in suits start to get the dealers talking about nothing and laughing and slowing down the dice being returned.  Another game is to pass a seven up to you, then take them back and fix it and apologies, breaks the rhythm.  None of these actions ever are done when a random thrower is throwing.


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I have found that the dice can almost stop with time and then roll or drop to a different number. I always thought it was an adjusted surface of the felt. I have seen the die stop in motion and drop in favor of making the most chips on the table at the time the cast of the dice is made. In fact one of the moves I make is to study how tight the surface of the green felt feels to my hand. I will place my hand flat on the surface and check the tightness or how loose the felt feels is. If its feels different and I am bumping heads and getting no where I will leave. I have wondered if there is the sudden powerful gust of air that is unnoticeable to me could make a die do the sometimes strange things in final split moment before the dice sets the number. There are a lot of my friends that think sometimes there are different results than expected, that is favorable to the table. I always change my game from positive to negative or negative to positive, and watch how it�s turning. If I still can't change my results I will change my game and Hop Sevens (3 ways) or I will hit the other table or most of the time leave. I have often felt that sometimes things just don't look right. 


I have noticed a few years back that one casino (Fitzgerald's) in downtown LV had altered the table by placing some extra foam rubber or similar material under the lay down at both ends of the table.  This made the dice extremely jumpy and they flew off the table a lot.  Needless to say, I left that casino and played elsewhere. I just returned from LV two weeks ago and I stopped by the Fitz to see if the tables were still bouncy.  I noticed the worn ridge where the foam used to stop (near the pass line) but was not sure I could detect the presence of the foam.  Did not play there because there were better places to spend my time. I know this is not what you were specifically looking for but I thought you might like to know.


I live in San Diego where we have numerous Indian Casinos that have came up with all different ways to play Craps BUT it's in conjunction with cards A-6. California laws prohibit the use of dice as the outcome of any game.. If you ever come down to Sunny Sandy Eggo, you'll get a kick on how crazy they play Indian Style Craps.. More specifically, BARONA IMHO has the closest thing to Vegas style. You do roll two dice, but the out come is different because the dealer has cards A's -6 laid randomly out in front of him Before you roll. - Each card is put in front of a silk screened dices of 1-6. So if you roll a 2 and 5, it may actually equal a 4 and 6.. Etc...  It's all the same outcome... More Cold than Hot rolls.. Don�t betters seem to make out better, but watch out for that 30+ minute roll who's as Hot as the Sun...


Some tables seem more bouncy or dead, some dice tend to not want to stay together, or wobble.  Some sets work better on one table and not another.  Then when it is all said and done,   how you toss will make a difference, some days you make no mistakes, and then others you toss them off the table.  I would think if they could get away with it they would try.  There has been time you toss real good but when you change tables you can't toss at all.  No I do not drink when I play, don�t like to go to the restroom, when playing.   Don't know if this helps in your survey, I feel like they do sometimes.  What about the color, red better than blue?


I have been a Crap Shooter over a 40 year time span, and the Dice have gone through a change that is in favor of the House over the last few years. It would be nice to know what the Laws of Miss, Nevada and N.J. say Now about the Weight ETC of the Dice and if the Casinos have ask for a change in that Makeup. I have never seen so many Seven and Out as I have in the last few years. Please post those Laws, and if you can highlight the changes.


Twice. I was at Mohegan Sun, last August, close to Labor day. In the is It Hilton, whatever the hotel is down there, they had left hand dice. I sort of noticed it as they were passing the dice to the player on my right as I was stick left, on the end of the table. When I got them I think I was having difficulty with the flying-v set. That's when I realized it. But I said something, the stickman and the box acted like they did not know what I was talking about. Don't remember if I asked for new dice. They asked me to explain it, at that point I chose not to. But another player knew what I was talking about, and explained it to them. Meanwhile they had qualified me as a shooter from the West Coast (evidently hard ways there are always off on the come out, and when I was calling them off they were surprised}.


So when the shift manager (?) came over, the pit boss made some off-hand remark re: my comment to SM. At which point he took a look, acknowledged what I had said, examined the nine dice, Took out another set, and realized or said that they all were like that. He was very polite about it, unlike the stick. The pit now was impressed by me, and I not now liking the attention I had received was about to color up. ($100.00 bankroll, Wasn't really working w/ a loss limit/win limit). Was up$20-30. So they invited me to come back later on, etc, but I didn't know what to think and went back to Foxwoods. Overall my throws were hot, but I played too long most of the rest of my stay and ended up way out there in the losses.


The second time, I was in a Las Vegas Casino, maybe Stratosphere of late, and I don't remember the other (four or five months ago), maybe a Station Casino. Now I know "new dice" feel different. But in my experience, not lighter. But each of these two times, I had the distinct impression that the dice were lighter. Yes do try & warm-up, before I go to the tables, be it either prax. Throws in the hotel on the floor, or finger and hand stretches in the bathrooms. So I don't think it was unfamiliarity.


Sorry for the long-windedness. And what's with the forum, you closed it? I get "maintenance mode" message when I try to log in. Yes, been studying on my own. Loved Yuri's book. Friend made the table, but a little to heavy to move, though it fits the bldg's billiard table perfectly. Also I get accustomed to heat, coz new bldg manger hassles me if I use it and they installed closed-circuit TV. Both my neck & back spine surgeries were successful, but prax on floor can cause me swelling. Can you plug me back in?


I seem to have the best luck shooting from the end.  Actually I have a spot from every table I prefer. 1 of the casinos has an extra layer of felt under the layout according to a dealer friend I know that works there.  I very seldom play there because I don't seem to be able to do any good.  I'm a pretty small unit size player.  $5.00 on the pass line, then $6.00 on the 6 and 8 until either one hits twice then I press it to $12.00 and on up every 2 wins as long as the roll continues. When I throw, I'll place $5.00 on the 5 and 9 also as I seem to hit them both a lot.  I haven't played since New Years Eve because our weather has been terrible with snow and cold.  I'm in Council Bluffs, Iowa next to OMAHA, NE.  Council Bluffs has 4 Casinos.  2 riverboats (1 HARRAHS & 1 AMERISTAR boat) and a large land based HORSESHOE also owned by HARRAHS. Horseshoe allows 100 times odds but I don't ever see anyone playing it.  All 3 have a fire bet.   4 numbers pay 25-1, 5 pays 250-1 and 6 pays 1000-1.   I've hit 5 a few times but can't get the sixth one. Most of the time I don't play it because it�s just another sucker bet.  I do enjoy your newsletters.


The diamond rubber has the bottom 1/4 inch of rubber removed so the cove is flush with the table. The razor sharp dice are chanced during or after a good roll. Interference by the stickman, including restricting your line of sight. Roaming ringers in the game used to obstruct your drop zone. Most unknown by the crew, but When they are know, the dumb crew won't bother to pay them their wins. Trampoline type table tops. And last but not least, having someone grab your arm during a good roll. Add the usual slow up arguments by the crew and new made up rules by the boxman and then who Has time to worry about the dice.


In response to survey: I don�t play enough in the various casinos across the USA to know what goes on in the casinos. My play is mostly in Vegas, Reno and Tahoe at the major casinos and I would assume they are on the level as far as the dice are concerned. I don�t know how much difference there is in the size of the dice or how the various surfaces affect the game. I do know that I have to really keep an eye on the crew as they BS with players and lose focus and either forget to pay you, not payoff correctly or not cash you out correctly which has happened to me a couple of times and then it becomes a I did/he didn�t have a bet or that many chips to cash in. Pit Bosses tend to go with their crew even though in a couple of instances they have sided with me.  I stay away from off the wall casinos or those casinos situated way out in the boonies. I hope that this helps.


I don�t know about the dice, but our large casino just outside of town changed the craps tables surfaces (all 3) to really hard surfaces that the dice bounce crazy on. From the time they changed it, there is very little winning going on at that table. Even trying the techniques for "bouncy" tables don�t really work-they just randomly pitch once they strike that surface.


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I don't know if they fix the dice but I have noticed sometimes that the sound of the dice hitting the board is different and when that occurs they seem to bounce funny. I never win on those hollow sounding tables.

I do feel that the house uses shills because I have noticed on many different gambling trips that when a really good roll is on some idiot squeezes his way onto the already full table with the permission of the pit and throws money in while the shooter is rolling or puts their hand out so the dice hit them or even yells out he is playing or laying against the shooter which I have found for whatever reason the shooter proceeds to seven out.


I have also noticed that when the pit becomes confrontational with a player or shooter no good comes from that either. I have also noticed that if you set the dice and are not making a play for the dealers they just shove the dice at you, knowing you want them a certain way, and lots of times a seven will show, again maybe just me but that's always bad for me.


I think if a Casino did tamper with the dice they would have too much to lose in terms of being in business (could you imagine the fines, lawsuits etc...) and it would not benefit them in any way because there are far more losers than winners


Was playing at a Native American casino in Chelan, WA. We were playing the don't pass, and don't come all night. We were the only two doing so and were only playing $3 with minimum odds bets on the don't comes.  Even with the small bets we were making, we ended up walking away with close to $500 between the two of us, which for us was quite a haul.  Twice, the dice were changed in the middle of a shooter's roll, very odd to us, even as novice as we were. And we were the only winners for the time we were there, about 3 hours. Should we have been concerned when the dice were exchanged in the middle of a roll?


I have never actually experienced dice that have been altered but have felt I have been unfairly treated when I'm having a long roll. Casinos, slow down the flow of the game, or speed it up, sometimes stopping the game all together for little irritating causes. If a player did similar things the casino would first warn; then pass the dice to the next in line. I have also had a pit boss order me a drink that was completely 100% alcohol (tequila) which I borrowed a cigarette and dropped it in and then set the glass down. Two years ago a boxman and crew systematically hassled me, used the stickman to hit my back just B4 I rolled, complain no matter where I threw the dice that it was not acceptable. (even when I threw them in the corner mixing bowl areas) My solution is taking my play elsewhere. Practice Advantage Craps! Besides lovemaking and singing in the shower, there aren't many human activities where there is a greater difference between a person's self-delusional ability and actual ability; than in CRAPS.


I have not detected altered dice but there is another concern that I have.  Nearly half of the crap tables that I see now have an altered top that has a layer of foam or other bouncy material that gives an extra spring to the dice when they hit the table. This has the effect of negating the skill of the shooter in terms of their ability to gain any advantage from experience, practice, dice setting, and dice influencing tosses. This has seriously changed the way that I approach the game.  I see a future in which all tables will eventually be so altered. The casinos really fear an advantage player who has taken the time to understand the game and to acquire some skill. I would not be surprised if casinos were altering the dice also. Apparently they do not want the players to have any chance of a win. The next step for the casinos appears to be to take the patron's money at the door and then let them inside to play the games for a while!       Happy Shooting,  


I haven't played lately due to health reasons, however in the mid 90's I was playing a lot. Usually 8 to 12 hours a day sometimes for as long as two weeks. I have never seen dice switching nor have I ever suspected any casino or particular table. I have experienced heat (two guards standing behind me) and been given the bum's rush (the dealers trying to speed the game up so you don't have the time to place all your bets) when I was hot for an extended time. The casinos have too much to lose if they did switching. Hope this helps.


I'm not afraid of unfair dice.  However unfair dealers I believe are an issue.  I've witnessed a number of times where the # rolled was not what was called.  One game at Excalibur did exactly this.  It was early morning, just 2 players at the end of my table, me and another player.  The dice were rolled, it was an 8 and the stick called 7 out.  The point was 8 by the way.  So we were all excited. We both just erupted, and our dealer just said it is what he called, he didn't see it.  How can we both be seeing things?  And I don't drink while I gamble.  Pretty much got up at that moment and left.  It�s bad enough when the dice are against you, but when the dealers are too, the gambler has little chance.  I've also seen dealers short change people and they have no idea.  I'm sure this happens more than dealers would want to admit.


I play crap in three different casinos, Horseshoe Indiana, French Lick and Belterra.  I have quit shooting at Horseshoe Indiana because I rarely see a run there.  See a lot of point and out rolls.  The other two casinos I have had some decent rolls and the difference I think is the table padding.  Horseshoe the landing surface for the dice is really hard where the other two casinos landing area are much softer.  At the Horseshoe Indiana it sounds like the dice are landing in a tin cup. Don�t know that this makes a difference but I am inclined to think it does. If possible I would appreciate a reply to this email.


I don't know if it was the dice or the man but one time in Sahara in Las Vegas I had an unusual incident. I met a guy who could throw any combination you wanted to see.


To both questions, I don't really know. I believe that any casino has too much to lose, either in their gaming license or p.r. since the word would get out not to play at any of the casinos that don't treat their players. If their is cheating of any kind, I would imagine it would be for their high rollers, but still they have way too much too lose, besides they have the best of it anyway. The edge is always with the house. If you start winning way to much, they'll just close the table on you anyway. Just my thoughts on your questions.


In the last 18 months I have had poor results in the following casinos in Vegas.  Rio, Paris, Bally's and Harrah�s.  In prior years I have had very good success at those casinos.  Invariably one table would be hot!  Especially at the Rio......one table would always be hot and I mean hot.  I don't remember when they added the fire bet, but it was at least 5 years ago and maybe a lot more, (the years tend to go by very fast) I would hit the fire bet at least once each trip and most trips several times.  I have never hit six numbers, but I have hit 5 on numerous occasions.  In the last 18 months I have hit four numbers only once, and that was a very short roll.....I made very little money.  I would roll a number and then repeat it.......I probably rolled a total of 12 times.

I use to have good luck at TI, but I must be in a slump....I can't even do well their.  In the past 18 months, I have not seen what I call a Hot Table anywhere.  The dealers are not nearly as friendly as they use to be!


Well, I'm going back to find my old karma Feb. 26, 27 and 28th.   I use to tell everyone that I have never been to Vegas for three days and not hit at least one fire bet.  I sure can't say that anymore. 


I do enjoy your monthly news letter. One of these days I plan to go to one of your classes.


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It's good to hear from you, especially inquiring about a craps issue.  It's not often the "illuminati" or "intelligentsia" of a field bother to inquire as to how things are going in our lives. However, in this field of study, I've not felt "talked down to."  In many fields the journalists are brutally condescending, but in this one it's like a mutual-benefit society.  We are all learning together. (Except that the smarter ones get to charge the beginners for knowledge.   When compared to the price of learning at a casino craps table, though, it's a bargain.)  Truly, I'm glad to be asked these craps questions

I'll tell what I think and then what I know, starting with what I know.  I play mostly in Missouri, and mostly at a casino a few miles away in Boonville.  It's an Isle of Capri casino. 


About the dice--I have watched the crew spin new dice on axis many times in order to see just how balanced they are, and am not impressed.  Normally as least two out of the five in a set will backspin about 180 degrees instead of slowing to a stop.  I asked what would make the casino reject a set of dice and was told that it's never happened!  Maybe this is to create an illusion of fairness.  Don't know.


At the same time, I've never noticed any difference in size, texture, or color within a die-lot number (printed on each one).  The Boonville casino may switch from smooth to brushed-finished dice from time to time, but within a set they are uniform in every way obvious to the touch and eye.  In short, there appears to be imperfection in the balance only.  Without uniformity guidelines, these imperfect dice will likely continue being used.


In conclusion, on the dice issue, what I "think" or conclude, has to be carefully weighed.  One friend told me that he had a friend who worked in Vegas for many years and that they purposely used "mis-out" dice at times to cash in on large crowds of players, like on weekends. (This is another word for "crooked" dice.)  While this sounds attractive, I'm not buying into it--yet.


Indeed, there seems to be no way for the local player here to win on weekends.  Some conclude it's because the casino uses different dice then.  It makes business sense to use a HIGHER PERCENTAGE DICE at times when players are abundant and then to use a lower percentage dice when only regulars are at the table.  Personally, I know that as a "local" I have a harder time, too, on weekends, but I think it's because the players are distracted easier by more drinking, flirting, sassy dealers, etc. I SUSPECT that the above is true, and that the casinos know the potential productivity of dice by their lot number.


Do I think casinos cheat at the dice tables?  There's no reason to believe that.  I'll catch Hell for saying that from my friend, Jim, but while they will use dice that are imperfect in weight distribution, they are very close.  What is cheating?  Is dice-setting cheating?  It all depends on if they take UNFAIR advantage of the player.  I'm not sure they do intentionally, except for the "percentage dice" comment previous.


Many local players are chapped that the "Isle" is cracking down on players not hitting the back wall.  After a couple nights a couple months ago where they lost a lot of money, they got tough on that, but are still pretty nice to me.


Personally, it's no more cheating for me to try to de-randomize dice than it is for the casino to ask that I hit both dice off the back wall.  It's part of the game we have to deal with--like soft and hard tables, long and short tables, and smooth and rough dice.  We adjust! 


      Here's what I do to keep my focus:


     1.)  Since I want to limit my distractions, I keep from being dogged by table personnel by BEING NICE TO THEM.  I know it's a hard thing, but I'm hardly ever called down for ANYTHING at the table.  I try to be liked, mention often that I'm trying to hit the wall with both dice, and they seem to overlook imperfect throws.  I want it to be O.K. with them if I win a bunch of money, too.  The last thing would want is to be distracted by a dealer on the 20th point of a monster roll!


    2)  I give the box man something to do besides watch me set and throw the dice.  I can throw a bet (small) on the hardways that only he can reach, on the come out, throw him three dollars for the "three-way red," or throw him a chip for the dealers.  I like to keep him busy.  At times you can just compliment him on his tie, watch, girlfriend, etc. (careful on the gf part)


    3)  Constantly evaluate the last throw by asking these questions:


    �Did I correct that little thing that was wrong before?" 

     "What was right with that last toss?" 

     �What was wrong, if anything with that last toss?" 

     "Am I dealing the fear of throwing a seven so that I don't change my toss subconsciously?"


The only time I was unhappy with a casino, was in Nevada.  There was a small one, near the border, that would NOT let me set the dice.  I should have refused to play.  For the most part, especially in one Kansas City and one St. Louis casino, you get a fair game in Missouri.  With 10x and 20x odds, there is a chance to hit fast on a few points thrown.  That's better than Vegas, my friend.


Let me tell you something from my prospective, one of working inside casinos for more than ten years and playing in them for more than 20. You touched on it 100% when you said that you had asked the craps crew when they were balancing the dice if they had ever rejected a set of dice and their answer was no. You see, the reality of the situation is that in many casinos, but especially in these little, �river boat� or hometown casinos, you have inexperienced staff who know little about gambling and even less about the ins and outs of things like craps.


In regards to the Boonville casino, I helped �open� that casino, my fourth with the Isle of Capri, and we hired 90% of all the employees locally and the 10% that we did bring in to help train the other 90% have all left and gone to other properties since its opening in 2001. This is something the Isle does, like I said it was my fourth casino and we have done all four the same way. (Except the one we took over from another casino, the employees were already there and only had to be re-trained to do things the way our company does them).


Bottom line is this, you have a new casino with new employees who were trained by people who are no longer there who are just �going through the motions� of what they were taught back in 2001 and they really don�t know anything. They don�t get updated training, they don�t have out side input so they only do things the same way they always have. My point to this is that, in my opinion, the staff at most of these river boat casinos wouldn�t know a crooked dice if the saw one!!! and as far as balancing the dice, yes I agree with you Anthony, I think they are just �going through the motions� and really don�t know what they are doing.


I'm not sure if this is cheating, but I've seen dice that are just a little chipped at the corners.


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