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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.

Trajectory Question


Here in the Southwest we make trails of river rock away from roof-drain spouts, etc., so that flood rains will have a place to flow without eroding a path through the ground, but sometimes critters will cover up the rocks with dirt, etc., and then the rock has to be dug out and reset after cleaning the area. I was doing this for a customer and found that it was easier and faster to toss the rocks into place from where I had pulled them back, and it gave me an opportunity to explore toss mechanics on an ugly scale. I found that if I tossed the rocks with a high trajectory so that they fell down nearly vertically, the rocks would bounce randomly out of place even with good backspin. (The Mad Professor wrote something similar about vertically dropping the dice.) I also found that if I tossed the rocks at a low angle, they would skip like a stone on a pond over any other rocks even with good backspin. (In contrast, Yuri's book recommends the lowest angle of throw possible to reduce dice velocity.) However, when I tossed the rocks at about a 45 degree angle (?) with good backspin, the rocks very often planted in place or jumped very little. This was the dead-cat bounce at an ugly scale. Have any of you decided anything similar about the dice? such that the lowest possible angle is not necessarily the best? Or, is there some other factor that makes the lowest possible angle of throw the best for the dice?

Mad Professor

I read recently on this board where someone from Jerry Patterson's class said that altering grips and throws on different tables was a pretty ridiculous idea.

My thoughts are that the one grip, one toss, one target approach has limited appeal to me. It probably works great for others, but it doesn't do a thing for my bankroll.

All I can tell you is that if you use the same grip, same toss and same target area on every table that you play at; then your AVERAGE SRR will almost never get beyond 12:1. Notice that I said AVERAGE. Of course you will have exceptional hands, but when you average everything out, you'll find that the SRR suffers from the "one trick pony" approach to Precision-Shooting.

The reason?

Let me ask you this. Is the ground where you chuck those rocks always the same? Is it the same soil composition, same moisture, same shape and type of stones from the same river-bed? Probably not, right? Oh, do you always throw the rocks from the same distance or does it vary, the same as it does at the craps tables?

Okay, just as soil conditions vary from place to place, so do table conditions. What works perfectly on a "sponge-rubber underlay" table will be a disaster on a "felt-over-plywood" table. What causes the dice to "splatter and scatter" from the end of the table may be perfect from stick-left on the very same table. If you are willing to chart each tables sweet-spot for what works for YOU, then you are definitely on to something great.

Oh, by the way, your thirty-five degree to forty-five degree angle toss with a hint of backspin that touches down on the DP- line where the "Field" curved-line intersects the DP-line on a "felt-over-plywood" table may be just the ticket you are looking for.


To Mad P:  Those are the SPECIFIC DETAILS that we seek.

8 Questions:

1. How do I determine a 45 degree angle...obviously this is a 45 degree curve or arc (as opposed to 2 lines that intersect at 45%)?

I want to accurately practice at varying degree.

2. To Irish setter (or other computer sophisticated readers): Please draw a diagram which shows curves at varies degrees from 10 degrees to 90 degrees. Is this already on the web? By looking at the curve I can approximate what degree I'm practicing and make adjustments.

3. If this is not feasible, shouldn't I be able to get the same information by purchasing a compass, and setting the degrees and drawing arcs?

To Mad P:

4. For your normal grip and toss (not the Long Ranger toss), I made the assumption that you tossed the dice at the lowest degree possible and the lowest height possible . Is that incorrect?

5. And how are you tracking your sweet spots since you gave up the hand held computer?

6. The "hint of back spin" defined:

If I toss the dice (standing on the right hand side of the stick person, inline 6, with the 2's facing down the table, and my right thumb on the 4) perfectly with a "hint of back spin", they should land (completely flat--Is that correct that I want a completely flat landing? and) on the two 5's? (1/4 turn) or should they land on the two 6's (1/2 turn), or more?

7. I looked at Irish setters Craps layout on the "How to Play" section. I don't see where the field has a curved line. I know that all layouts are not exactly the same, so I will assume that the spot where the field line touches the Don't pass line, that's closest to the stick person, is the spot spoken of in your comments last paragraph?

8. I need to learn the skill of making adjustments for a successful roll. I assume you make varies (grip, trajectory, landing spot, etc.) adjustments for each table to avoid: a. splatter and scatter and b. have the dice roll to the end of the table with very little bounce back.

Is this assumption correct or do you look at other results of the dice after they leave your hands, to determine which adjustments to make?


I tend to prefer a lower angle of impact myself than 45 degrees... personal choice.

Stu one way to work on your angle of impact is to get a piece of 1 x 6 about 12 inches long. Drill a small hole in it half way down the length and at about the 5 inch mark width-wise. Now get a metal hanger. Bend it so the hook is straight and the part that you would hang your shirt is shaped like a diamond. You can guesstimate the angle you wish the dice to hit your target. (45 degrees is one half of vertical. Now move the hanger device so that if you throw the dice through it, your dice will impact your target at the correct angle you desire. Because it is bendable, you can tweak it as you desire. You won't believe how well this device also assists in your throw height and distance consistency....


Irishsetter: I just finished my practice for tonight, and the 45 degree angle rarely worked for me, although it is possible to roll them into the bottom rubber. The half-as-high-as-forward throw worked more consistently.


With all due respect, I was not saying that you should alter the length of your toss because of different length tables, or possibly lowering your thumb on the three finger front grip depending on the bouncy-ness of the table you might be at, but I do believe, and this is my opinion only, that to go from a three finger front palms down toss to a underhand toss is too difficult to do. Your muscle memory that you have gained during your practice has to switch and this is almost impossible to do. IMHO, learn one way and then change the velocity of your backspin or the length of your toss depending on table conditions.


Dominator: I just finished my practice for the night (a good night with the all-sevens set: SSR of 5.25 and a slop-seven (1+6) ratio of 3/16 instead of the random 1/3 usually expected), but my right hand became unusable towards the end because it became swollen from the blood rushing to it. I couldn't hold the dice correctly, so I had to experiment with changing my grip, and I finally had to switch to my left hand, but I experimented with the grip there, too. However, like you mentioned, I didn't change to an entirely new style of grip or throw that I have not practiced with at all, and I'd be very reluctant to do so at a live table.


Removed at the request of the poster.


Aparadim: I followed your thinking perfectly, and I like the simple method you use to get the 45 degree angle since our bodies can judge when we are raising our hand at the same speed as we are moving it forward, and I imagine that we could approximate other standard angles in the same way. For example, we could approximate a 30 degree angle by raising our hand half as much as our forward distance before release. I'll leave it to the draftsmen to figure out how to approximate finer angles, but your method gives us a way to be aware of our angles and seek consistency in whatever angles we choose. The Mad Professor would have us change our angles and backspins to accomodate different conditions, and that makes more sense to me than losing money, but a consistent and natural way to judge and feel our angles is essential. I was with you, Aparadim, all the way except on one point that I am not qualified by experience to say is true, but I hope that if the forward velocity and backspin velocity are equal, then hitting at a 45 degree angle will allow both forces to balance and make a dead-cat bounce more probable when landing near the base of the rubber. I'll be practicing, and I assume that I'll see extraordinary throwing to learn from at the Vegas PARR class.


I don't have a clue what the hell aparadim just said - but I bet I agree with it. I might even be about to say the same thing. I'm just not sure.

Trajectory. First of all -let's talk about what you cant do. You can't throw the dice on a zero degree angle. Why? You get accused of sliding the dice. You have to get them up so they tumble over. Rules, you know. Second - you can't throw them at a ninety degree angle. Why? Because they keep landing back in your hand. So it's logical that you need to split the difference to get them down the table in a legal (off the wall) roll.

Now let's talk about energy. I'm of the opinion there is an optimum amount of energy to expend in tossing the dice. So let's assume we have three equal tosses but they're going off at different angles. Toss #1 is at 45 degrees. You toss the dice - they reach the apex of the arc halfway downt he table - hit the strike zone just short of the wall and bounce gently against the flat part of the rubber and rock back on axis. Good toss. Now let's repeat that toss at a 60 degree angle expending the same energy. Well - the dice hit the money they roll funny. You come up short and plow through the line bets - knocked off axis and without hitting the wall. The box would lecture you about it but the dice turned up seven out so he could care less. Okay - next roll goes off at a 30 degree angle. Less arc but the dice plow straight into the rubber pyramids without hitting the table first and are knocked totally off axis. Why? Too much energy exerted to get the dice there on a 30 degree angle.

At least that's the way the non-scientific mind sees it. With that said - I think an angle of 35 - 55 degrees will suffice. The higher the degree of the angle the greater the possibility of affecting the dead cat move - but that's an entirely different roll. On that one we have to have a conversation about back- spin. Or the minimization thereof - to effectively do the deal.


Thank you. I won't give up on the higher angles right away. I've hit that dead-cat bounce accidentally too many times in practice, so I know it's both posible and what I want. I've done some close up work learning how the dice behave, and it's a very subtle thing to actually keep dice on axis, and a dead-cat bounce would make that a lot easier.


I thought the height of the arc should be small. But with a 45 degree throw, near the halfway to your landing zone, the height of the arc should be approximately half the length between you and the landing zone. Right? If that is, wouldn't the height of the arc a bit too high depending where you're standing? Maybe I got my physics down wrong...


Removed at the request of the poster.


To Aparadim:

Great answer. What is the formula that you used to figure the 2.5 feet? With that formula, I can figure most of it myself, except, if I don't shoot off the table, and my release is 6" off the table, but the landing is obviously on the table, I must alter something to achieve the 45 degree angle.

I like your thinking but I do get confused with your "physics" communication. I have the Yuri book, if there is something in there that you can use to explain the formula please include the page number, with a brief explanation.

Thanks for the help.


Removed at the request of the poster.


Aparadim is so right on on why the 45 degree angle is the best to try to attain. It does give you the best chance to have a soft landing. Ray, as far as you hand problem is concerned, I am assuming that you might have difficulty in that hand because of an illness. I think Dr Peg, mentioned about the balls to grip to strengthen the hand and also something to take. Maybe she will see this and say it again. My suggestion is when your hand feels numb to take a break. To try to be able to throw with both hands is something IMHO would be to difficult to master. Left brain, right brain thing. My suggestion is to practice with the grip that is the most comfortable for you and when the pain comes to just take a break. See you in Vegas.


Thanks aparadim:

Those posts contain the formulas used in the Yuri book. It's good to be able to do further research.

I admire your knowledge, and all of your articles appear very complicated. The probable complication and long length, creates a perpetual procrastination to read them.

However, if that knowledge will make me more money at the table, I must break that procrastination.

Thanks again.

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