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Dice Sets and Grips

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.

The Man In Black

Does anyone here use a dice set not shown on Irishsetter's page? Anyone care to share...

May the dice be with you, always...


If you're talking about axial sets - there are basically only six different sets. Now - there are a ton of different combinations of the dice on the various sets. MANY more than the 36 most folks come up with. In fact - if you look at all the permutations of the various sets on each axis - I think the number is somewhere around 1152 (I'm doing this from memory so don't hold my feet to the fire) different possible sets. Two guys who can give you the exact number - Lineaway and Sharpshooter. I've seen it in posts form both of these guys.

I use the crossed sixes primarily - but vary the set depending on the point I'm shooting for. I may have the 5-4 up is I'm shooting the nine - or the 3-2 up if I'm shooting the 5 - or the 5-3 for the 8 - or the 2-4 for the six - but my dominant is always the crossed sixes.


I see that Heavy has left this to the two ghosts Lineaway and Sharpshooter. Here is some of my theory.

Vertical Axis = the horizontal planes of the die.
Horizontal Axis = the vertical planes of the die.

Fact: There are 36 ways to throw a set of die. That is 6 sides times 6 sides of the die or 36.

When you go about creating a fixed set what you are doing is eliminating 2 of the vertical sides on each die. The vertical planes of each die are fixed as to be the outer left and right and the inner left and right. So if the die are thrown without rolling over onto their vertical planes you will never see the numbers you have fixed on the horizontal axis.

This would give 4 x 4 possible combinations or 16 permutations of the die in a fixed set. Theoretically it would make no difference what you set on the horizontal axis. The horizontal axis of a single die can have only 6 possible positions. That would be 2-5, 1-6, or 3-4,. Therefore 3 x 3 = 9 on the vertical axis and 4 x 4 on the horizontal, giving you 144 different possible outcomes when all 9 types of vertical axis are used.

Most vertical sets are created by not duplicating the vertical planes on both the left and right die. This is what I’m concerned about here This improves the chances of not rolling a 7 to some small degree.

In other words left and right die verticle would not be 2-5 --&-- 2- 5 or 1-6 --&-- 1-6 or 3-4 --&-- 3-4. The vertical sets would be 3-4 --&-- 1- 6 or 3-4 --&-- 5-2 or 5-2 --&-- 1-6. That would be 3 x 16 or 48 different possibilities, 16 per set, for all three different horizontal axis sets.

When you throw on a horizontal axis you are eliminating 20 of the possible 36 combinations of the two die with a single set gaining a small edge on the seven. From 6 possible you will bring it down to 2 possible ways in 16. Because of the vertical axis you get 16 possible combinations were 2 are 7s. 6/36= 16% where =2/16=12.5%, a 3.5% improvement. This can be the difference between a good and average roll.

To take this a little further each of the three sets mentioned above 3-4 --&-- 1-6 or 3-4 --&-- 5-2 or 5-2 --&-- 1-6 produce differing amounts of each the point numbers

My explanation my seem a bit theoretical, and as Heavy said there may be many more possibilities if you can also control the horizontal axis (you set a hard eight and get a hard eight) but I believe that is difficult enough to just keep the dice on a vertical axis and is the primary benefit of a set. If I have left a gapping hole in my theory please fill it in.



By my calculation - you are correct.

My Craps recording program will record/display all axis sets both during the pre set and the resulting post set, (also indicating if you rolled off axis or stayed on axis).

It all still boils down to six basic axis sets - the face sets are simply sub sets of those major categories.

Just my thoughts...


Can anybody interpret this into something a little simpler? I got lost trying to follow the whole thing.

I typically use 2 different sets. On the comeout I just heave the dice down the table because ugly rolls for me = naturals. After the point, I've preferred the flying V with the 6, 2 in back but have been pleased with the crossed 6's. If I'm thinking correctly, if the dice stay on the horizontal axis there are only 2 ways per set to roll the 7? Where does this vertical axis come in? I'm really new to the whole setting and controlled roll thing. Before I came across this site and some others, I just set the hard 6 out of superstition and threw them gently not really thinking there was an edge to be had.

Thanks for the help.

The Man In Black

TO: heavy -&- Engineer

My aplogies. I meant to ask, "Is there anyone who uses a different grip than on Irishsetter's page?". I am aware of the numbers on the sets, but thanks anyway. I am experimenting with different grips.

May the dice be with you, always...


Grips -

Well - this is one of those "depends on where I'm standing" answers. Neither of my grips is pictured.

When next to stick I'm a stacker. One die on top of the other. Shooting right handed, it's thumb on lower left side of stack. Middle finger on lower right side of stack. Forefinger on top of stack at beginning of toss. Ring finger and pinkie curled behind the stack and supporting it.

When straight out I place the dice side-by-side. Middle finger and ring finger on the front of the dice - one on each die. Ring finger and forefinger on each side. The thumb supports from the rear - splitting both dice.

There's one other set that few players use or talk about. That's the one where the shooter places the dice one in front of the other instead of side by side. I've seen a few guys toss them like this - but have never tried it myself. I'd be curious to hear from anyone who does so with any success.

The Man In Black

TO: heavy

I have tried the grip where you place the dice one in front of the other. I have had a little success, but never really got into that throwing style.


Here is a mix of grips you might want to try, since the diagonally held dice grip is so hard to pick up.

Stack the die one on top of the other, then use the three finger diagonal grip by using your thumb on one corner covering two die, and your three fingers on the other corner.

Pick up the die twisting your hand palm down and wrist back to make the toss with the die horizontally to the surface of the table.

The Man In Black

TO: Engineer

The DIAGONAL GRIP is not that difficult to master. Below is the way I do it, so grab a pair of dice:

1. Using you right hand (or left), place the dice next to each other.

2. Using your middle finger and thumb, grab the dice at the center where the two dice meet. The dice should be flat on the table at this point, and the grip should look like the 2 Fingered Front and Back grip on Irishsetter's page.

3. Now take your index finger and pinkie finger and place them on the outer sides of the dice. Squeeze the dice together tightly.

4. Pick the dice up a few inches off the table. Now, with your index finger and pinkie finger still squeezing the dice, first take your middle finger and rearrange it onto the diagonal edge of the dice. Now rearrange your thumb to the bottom diagonal edge of the dice.

5. Finally, with your middle finger and thumb gripping the edges firmly, rearrange your index finger and pinkie finger to the top diagonal edge of the dice.

Sounds like it takes a while, but it is quick to pick up on.


Man in Black   After you grip the dice diagonally, do you to toss them with palm up or palm down?

The Man In Black

TO: Dylanfreak

I can do both. Tossing the dice underhanded gives you a lot of foward spin. Try throwing them underhanded and have your target be at least a foot away from the back wall and you'll see what I am talking about.

To get a lot of back spin, toss the dice overhanded and flick your wrist a little bit. You should feel the tip of your fingers come off the edges of the dice sharply.



Your stacked method is what first got me interested in dicesetting since I was able to make it work on my desktop right away, but now that I have a practice table I'm resigning myself to a side- by-side dice throw because I can't get the stack set to work from any real casino distance. I would very much enjoy seeing your stack grip added to the Irishsetter's pictures if that's possible. Also, although the subject is passed about dicesets, I suspect that the face combinations are important since I believe that perfectly parallel throws are possible and that the 16 face possibilities of any given set can be very often reduced to four possible results with perfect throws. For example, the all-sevens set with the 1-6, 1-6 axes is not possible if we rotate one die so that the axes are 1-6, 6-1. I'm sure that all you guys know this or you wouldn't even mention the all-sevens set but would just refer to the 1-6, 1-6 and 1-6, 6-1 axes indiscriminately. Thus, although we have the six basic axial sets, we might conceivably add six others if they were somehow useful, though I don't know how they could be (maybe that's why you guys don't bother mentioning them). If it's not worth discussion, then I'll assume that's what's happening.


Heavy----Using that grip  *middlefinger-ring finger front and *thumb back* with dice side-by-side , approximately how many times do the dice rotate after leaving your fingers until they land on the table? I`m curious about this because I have been practicing with this grip since corresponding with Linaway and am getting good results thowing from about 14 ft (end of table)---

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