Diagonal Grip Questions
Please remember! These
are archives! The Dice Setter message board was shut down. What is
published here are just a few of the threads documenting the early days of dice
setting strategies and opinions written by the pioneers of dice influencing.
While I'm not yet ready to reliquish the title of "point-seven artist,"
practice has been going better lately. Let's say I'm now "guardedly optimistic."
An extra hearty thank you to Peg for the grip exercise. I love it.
I especially love it because I had switched to the diagonal grip recently, and had
immediate success. Which, in hindsight, should have made me a little suspicious, or, at
least, guardedly optimistic. Because then it all went to hell.
I realized now that I switched because the diagonal grip "allowed" me to be a
little lazier...the grip felt more natural, and I on some level thought I didn't need to
be as careful about my finger placement. Well, we all know that's not true...
The point of all this: A shameless attempt to benefit from the trial and error of others.
Any fans of the diagonal grip out there? How far down do you drop your thumb? Do your
three fingers (or just middle finger) have just their tips resting against the dice, or do
you level the dice against the pads of your fingers? I of course know our mileage will
And how do you minimize spin? When I first played with the grip, I got gobs of beautiful
spin. The dice flew together like magic. When they landed, well, it was a different story.
Thanks for bearing with my ramblings.
My dearest niece,
You have found the good and bad things of that grip.
#1 The good, Feels good in your hand because you are on the edge of the dice. You will have
more control over where the dice land because of the edge gripping also. Because it tends
to promote rotation the dice will stay on axis easier.
#2 The bad, Much less rotational control. What you have gained in control of your toss, in
respect to landing zone and axis control ,you have lost in being able to control the
For me its a bad trade. If you perhaps had more tactile sense than I have, I might guess
that you could adjust the grip to further rotational control but I cant. Its hard for me to
roll the dice up on edge and then try to adjust the placement of my thumb. If revs is what
you want then this grip is for you.
When I first started setting I tried the diagonal grip to reduce friction from the
finger pads. As I became more skilled I found that it was not the best grip for me.
But, if you toss 'em like Yuri writes in his book, from the deck and not
from the air I think you may be able to develop this toss.
Billy is right about the rotational factor. Now you have to find just
the right amount of rotation without over doing it. Try the off the deck delivery and let
us know how you fare.
Sound like you are at about the same stage with this thing that I am. I agree with DiceDoc
about off the table delivery. Besides the much publicized benefits (level dice, easier
line up with back wall, etc
) It does seem to slow down the revs. Something else I do
that helps me control the spin I developed because of something I do wrong.
When I first started experimenting with the diagonal, everyone said you should press the
front of the dice with your fingers to tilt them forward, and then put the thumb on the
lower back diagonal surface. Well, I just couldnt make my fingers do it right. The
dice kept sliding out from under. So, I reversed it. I pushed back with the thumb first
and then added the fingers after the back tilt.
What this did was give me a sort of measuring stick for how deep to place the thumb. What
I do now is start by pushing the thumb down on the dice first before the tilt, and measure
how far down my thumbnail goes below the dice. For me it works like this: The deeper my
thumb goes, the less spin I put on the dice. I dont know if that makes sense to
anyone else, but it works for me.
Something else you mentioned about the depth of the fingers that I saw DiceDoc discuss on
another thread somewhere. The ring finger seems to cause more problems with dice going off
axis--at least for me. What I discovered was that when I put my fingers on the dice
naturally, I had a tendency to place the ring finger to deep.
I kept getting a wobble in the right die (when shooting right-handed) and couldnt
make it stop until I experimented with raising the ring finger up a bit after I set. This
seemed to work and I dont have that problem any more. Which leaves more time to work
on my 47 other problems.
Dont know if any of this will help you, but thats the way its happening
for meat least for now.
Kelly I experimented with the different grips on Irish`s grips page and most felt
uncomfortable to me after using each for about a thousand tosses----Some , the perfect
grip , I just could never make heads nor tails----I settled on the Diagonal because it
felt comfortable to me and I could get good backspin and the dice remained on axis more
often. I had an easy time picking up the dice off the table with this grip and had some
good rolls from the end of the table with this grip and of course some bad rolls. I then
began shooting from right of stick because everyone said to shoot from the shortest
distance to the backwall. When I did shoot from stick right, I just couldn't get the
diagonal grip to work for me from that shorter distance, plus I wanted a grip that would
give me a softer landing from the shorter distance. Thus I started using the ice tong or
two finger grip (middle finger and thumb) from stick right and stick left . If I ever
shoot from the end of the table again, I will use the diagonal grip ---lately I only play
from SR or SL
Do we really want backspin? Doesn't the knuckleball effect work better? I was talking
to a physicist the other day about dice throwing and he said "with spin you get
tilting." In other words, the spin causes the horizontal axis to tilt and hit the
felt at a very slight angle causing collision followed by sideways inertia. The no spin
knuckleball would not create any tilt and, thus, keep the dice on-axis after they hit the
Rookie--- It makes sense ---But try this ---shoot the dice using the Hardways set (
1..6 1..6 axis ) 432 times with the diagonal grip, the grip with ultimate backspin and
then toss them 432 times holding them side by side or stacked and tossing them like you
are tossing ice out of a cup while you are holding it (ultimate knckleball toss)----Add up
on/off axis for both ways and report to us your results----
I'm a BIG fan of the diagonal grip. Thrown from the deck, it's pretty easy to control
backspin, and the fact that you have very little flesh touching the dice assists in a
I used to throw it from straight out only, but I've found it to be a consistent grip for
any position, WITH ONE CAVIAT:
Do not use a wrist flick to impart backspin. Backspin, or lack of backspin for some grips,
should be a natural result of your throwing motion.
Much to mull over...
While I admit I was lured by the beautiful, dice-stick-together spin the diagonal grip
allows, and now realize there's more to it than that, I think I will practice with it a
little longer. I don't seem to have trouble with my thumb placement, except perhaps for
finding optimal thumb "depth." Using Irish's method of adjusting my fingertips
against the table to ensure they're straight is really helpful in managing that pesky ring
finger. Using the table method of thumb placement is still awkward, partly because it's
unfamiliar and partly because Irish's hands are just shaped differently than mine. Good
I have played with shooting from the table, but it really hurts my back. Dice Doc, is this
something that you experience? Will it just be a matter of getting the muscles used to it?
My first Vegas trip I had fears that I had somehow damaged my left kidney, the ache was so
severe--then I realized I had been contorting from stick right at the craps table for
hours on end! My first craps "injury."
My problem with the "Sharpshooter" three-finger grip, and perhaps you can help
me with this, Billy, is that I have to grip it too tightly to keep the dice from falling
out of my hands. And in order to keep my grip tight enough, I lock my wrist and end up
"straight-arming" the dice down the table. It doesn't feel natural, and my hand
tires more easily. Would dropping my fingers down toward the middle of the dice help with
Sorry so long. I really appreciate everyone's input--great stuff.
I'm trying to picture holding the dice too hard. As you know because of my baseball playing
and coaching I will relate things to that sport. Pitchers will have problems when they
squeeze the ball just as golfers will make bad shots when they squeeze the club. It seems
to me that in all of these endeavors the player wants to relax and hold their particular
instrument with care and loose enough to ALLOW that instrument to work in its own way
without forcing the issue. When the pressure gets to any player they tend to tighten up and
not relax, this translates into forcing the shot. When any of these players forces the
shot (squeezing the club, ball, bat dice) the result isn't as good. The ball
doesn't move the
dice dont turn over the club or bat has no wrist affect.
As much as we've shot together I don't see the straight arm thing that you
describe, I do
see you being too mechanical sometimes read squeezing?) .and maybe too quick with the
shot. I don't think that other than more friction holding the dice deeper will prevent the
squeezing too much, it will only give the fingers more surface area to grip,
alter the rotation.
You may not realize that I grip the dice much deeper than most because I cant feel them
any other way. This presents other friction problems that have to be dealt with (note the
two finger grip). For me it's easier dealing with the friction problems than loosing the
feel of the dice. Having the "feel" of the dice is important just remember that
when you change your grip and feel, you will change other things that you may not have
thought about. It can be overcome.
Thanks, Uncle B. I've been revisiting the three-finger grip as I sit at my desk--if I
hold on too lightly, the fall out of my hand (um, duh). Afraid of dropping them, I clench
them. Especially at a table, where I get a little nervous still.
I'll work on it. Ideally, I would like to become adept at both grips--another arrow in my
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