Events / Coaches/Instructors / Free Dice Lessons / Newsletter / Contact / Home


It's More Fun When You Win!



Volume VII : Issue #4

Date April 2007

In This Edition:


A Word From Soft Touch

Anatomy of Dice Setting...

Introductory Craps

Today's Wisdom...

Introductory Craps Part I

A Labor of Love...

Newsletter Archive Links



 Soft Touch Say's


Women Can Play This Game


This month’s edition of our newsletter is dedicated to our brave female craps players venturing away from the slot machines to broaden their gaming horizon.  


Craps has always been considered a man’s game.  This perception has always intimidated women. Our wonderful contributor, Mike from Hawaii, has been gracious enough to share his introduction into how the game operates, just for you. Hopefully, he, along with my male play mates, can work to dispel the misperception that women don’t belong at the craps table.


My introduction to the game of craps was not considered very original.  Like so many women before me and a great many that will come after me, I was asked to toss the dice by a group of men who, at the time, were at their wits end with losing their chips to the casino and searching for a miracle to turn around their misfortune. 


“Nothing like a virgin lady shooter to turn a cold table hot,” claimed the handsome elderly gentleman pulling me into my first craps game at the Gold Coast casino.  My first, most memorable experience at turning five dollars into over a hundred dollars by my just tossing the dice from one end of the table down the opposite end, grabbed my interest and set me off on a course that has me still playing this game seriously for almost ten years and counting.


From that first experience, I began to read and find out all the information I could about the game; how to play it and how to win while playing it.   When I first started to play a real game of craps, I had no clue.  I literally knew nothing about what seemed to be a very complicated game.


Little by little, I gained knowledge and insight into how the game operated.  And, little by little, each session provided lessons to learn from.  Some lessons were easy and gentle and other times, I repeated some lessons over and over again until it became part of my game and helped me become stronger as a player.


Whether it is inside the casino, or in my every day life, this game continues to teach me valuable lessons about focus, perseverance, patience and discipline.


From my view and experience, women have all the abilities they need to play this game.  There is no gender difference when it comes to learning the skills needed to participate.


Women are great dice influencers!  With this being stated, my good friend, Michael Vernon, also known as The Professor, of Playing 4 Keeps has stopped by this month to share his views on the fact that there is a whole lot of dice influencing happening at the tables.  The Professor shares his perspective on the phenomenon occurring at the craps table with dice setting. Or, is it dice control? Or, is what we do at the tables Dice Influencing?  Read for yourself.


So this month is for the more and more women gaining an interest in learning the basics of the game.


Little by little


Soft Touch



PS If you have any suggestions for the new website or newsletter please send them to me at and I'll have a look and see how we can incorporate them into our future plans.


<back to the top>


Anatomy of Dice Setting…


Dice control, dice setting, and dice influencing, to the novice crapshooter, these labels could appear synonymous. Although the terms have been loosely used and tossed about web sites and message boards to explain how a player can have an advantage in a dice game, the three terms do not define the same phenomena.


Dice control is a misnomer. Controlling the outcome of bouncing cubes as a preconceived notion by manipulation is utter nonsense. Anyone touting that ability is of course selling something.


Dice setting is simply taking the dice and prearranging them before shooting them. With two six sided cubes; there are over one thousand “different” ways of arranging the faces. There may be a thousand different opinions as to which arrangement is best.


Now, dice influencing is the most slippery of these tomato seeds. You see, as soon as you enter a game, as soon as you touch the dice, as soon as you have a thought about what you are about to do, you have created an influence.


I am not going into the metaphysical aspects here or the quantum physics. Just make a note regarding the influence of anything; it all begins with your intention as you impart your energy.


Most players take up dice manipulation with the idea of increasing their opportunity. However, they fail to focus on the subtleties of the art. That would be what I call the mechanical aspects necessary in order to develop consistent form. The mechanical aspects I refer to have to do with the shooters physical posture. It is all the movements involved with throwing the dice. As simple as it is, it is not so simple. First of all the practice time needed to develop consistent form is often ignored. Only by practice and careful self-observation does one hone the theory into a physical skill. Thus players with minimal exposure to dice setting go to casinos ill prepared.


If dice setting has a negative reputation, it is not so much the threat that it poses to casinos as is commonly thought. The treat to the game is the fumbling, bumbling, nervous and intimidated player slowing up the game. Gaming is big business and these days the accounting firm expects per hour results from every square inch of real estate in the casino, from the slot machines to the Big Wheel. When the afore mentioned player slows down the bottom line, of course the gaming managers are going to protect their investment and ask that player to adhere to house rules.


Casinos are not selling a product with your satisfaction guaranteed. A casino provides a privilege to those players wishing to gamble in games with odds guaranteed to separate those players from their money. It is the casino’s game and it is played by their rules. Any notion to the contrary, that as a player, you get to complain or explain to the management what is fair or how you interpret the rules, is what the “pit bosses” laugh about on coffee break.


Practice arranging dice sets at home with a pair of casino dice. Train your eyes to see which die can be moved to make the set in the simplest way, verses having to arrange both dice. Train you eyes to recognize axis, faces and how random dice can usually be set quickly with minimal effort. You should not attempt setting dice in a live game until achieving confidence in your ability. How fast is fast when it comes to setting dice? 1-2-3, the dice are set, pick them up and shoot. In less than five seconds it is all over. Not only that, you will move the game faster than the shake-rattle and random roller. No one from the casino’s side is going to bitch on you for setting dice if it is 1-2-3- pickup and shoot.


Once you have mastered arranging the dice, the mechanics of picking them up and the toss are the next steps. I am not going cover grips for picking up the dice. There are books and web sites covering this topic adequately. In short, the shooter decides on a grip that is comfortable and easy to use and of course works.


Understanding the complexity of the muscles and joints involved in tossing dice down the layout will greatly benefit your journey to becoming a skilled and consistent dice shooter. The shoulder joint, elbow joint, wrist joints and finger joints are all involved with the toss. It is in the fine-tuning of these joints, working anatomically, to have your dice flying through the air like matched swans in flight.


If you hope to have any association with the theory for dice setting, which is, keeping the dice on axis, land, hit the back wall on axis and rest on the same desired axis, the dice must start out and maintain that theorized axial position. In other words, you practice tossing dice until they look like mirror images while in flight and until they come to rest.


During your practice sessions, you critique and carefully observe the dice in flight, along with your anatomical movements. Just as any professional athlete practices hours to train for consistency, a dice setter must commit to the same discipline. It is similar to hitting a golf ball off the tee, serving in tennis, shooting from the foul line or pitching a baseball. Tossing dice, precision dice, requires the same hand-eye coordination. Only with practice and an open mind for improvement through change can a person hope to be any more than a random roller with random results.


These adjustments and changes for improvement are observed the moment you pick up the dice and through all movements of your shoulder, arm, wrist and fingers. Subtle shifts in joint rotation greatly affect the flight of your dice. Release and follow through also contribute to the results. Keeping your focus on the landing spot is similar to free style archery. Look to the place where you want the dice to land. Dice trajectory, speed and rotational speed are other considerations as you develop your skill.


It is up to you how much time and scrutiny is to be invested in developing the skill. Dice setting adds another dimension to the fun and thrill of the game. When it works it is a beautiful thing to experience. When it doesn’t, well, at least you cannot be any worse off than random. Perfecting the skill, a player may experience .5% to perhaps 2% advantage over random tossed dice.


Once you understand and master the complexities in the art of shooting dice, adjusting to any table condition or shooting position is simply making the adjustment. You have already invested the time perfecting the skills.


Copyright © 2007 Michael Vernon


Introductory Craps

By Mike in Hawaii


Craps is a rather intimidating game. It should not be. But the Craps layout looks like an encrypted map of downtown Tokyo. It takes an entire staff to run a big Casino Craps table. The players are anything but sedate! Often LOUD, fast, chaotic, and conducted in some foreign language of jargon, many people are reluctant to get too close to whatever is going on over there.


Craps is one of the best Casino games to play! It is certainly in the top three in terms of value. If you just learn a little bit about it. The Craps layout contains some of the very best bets in the Casino and some of the very worst bets the Casino offers. Fortunately they are easy to sort out. Craps is also not that hard to follow if you know who to listen to and what to watch for.


This series of three articles covers the basics of the game of Craps. It is a bit unusual as introductory tutorials go. It skips right past a lot of fiddly math details that usually occupy a lot of space initially and waves off most of the bets on the felt as "something you can look at later." This tutorial is aimed towards establishing a good foundation for a new Craps player quickly.


There are certain critical fundamentals that need to be covered in order to create an informed, sensible player. Often the clutter of initial information takes up so much time, these more important matters are never reached. I also try to explain things in enough detail that even someone who has never been to a Craps table before will understand what they see and be able to follow what is happening immediately.


I include a very simple Craps strategy complete with money management features and the ability to adapt as a table heats up or cools off. That strategy is designed to be a foundation. One which can be improved and enhanced as the new player gains some experience with the game. Even though it is rather minimalist, the strategy touches all the really important bases.


Most of all, it is an attempt to make a perspective new player feel well enough informed to take the plunge and start having fun playing Craps.


In the First Part, I begin with Who's Who on the staff of a Craps table and how to know what is going on from moment to moment. How to throw the dice and fit into the rather chaotic world of a Craps table. The visual and sound cues that enable you to follow the action.


For Part Two, I introduce betting for a "right" better. Also the first part of a simple, but effective, and sensible, Craps system. I want to illustrate how an approach to Craps betting is designed. I start sorting out the critical components of any good Craps strategy.


The last part rounds out the suggested first Craps system, the initial betting patterns and money management rules. This does not try to be an "ultimate" Craps system or any such nonsense. I am aiming at an easy to understand and use Craps system that contains all the basic components of any good approach to Craps.


It is important to avoid what I call the “Ignorance Tax”, those unnecessary extra losses caused by not knowing the games you want to play. But experience is also essential. Everyone has to start somewhere. The purpose here is to help an entire group of people curious about Craps feel confident enough to give it a try, and arm them with a conservative enough strategy to help them avoid paying too much for that experience. Even including some simple Money Management so they have a chance of starting out a winner!


<back to the top>


Today's Wisdom:

On Democracy For The Enlightened

"Unfortunately there is no such thing as democracy for the enlightened. With a system based on one man-one vote, you are bound to have a social disorder designed to pander to the survival fears and tribal psychosis of the masses. By becoming somewhat enlightened you will always be slightly odd, a bit of a weirdo because you've gone beyond the petty neuroses of the collective mind-set. You have to accept that you will never fit anymore. You become what I call a "fringe-dweller." Don't fight it, there're millions of us."

Stuart Wilde - Secrets of Life

 <back to the top>


Introductory Craps - Part 1

By Mike In Hawaii


There are three games in the Casino which offer low house advantage (Vig) and are considered by virtually all experts to be the best games to play for your money. Blackjack requires learning basic strategy and following it carefully in order to qualify as one of the three. Baccarat is easy and quick to learn, but many find it a lot like playing a slot machine, though with better house advantage.


Craps is unique in that it offers on the same felt layout the best and worst bets in a typical Casino. If you stick with the few "best bets", Craps qualifies as one of the very best games to play. However it charges a large "ignorance tax" and the layout is loaded with a staggering array of bets. Fortunately, most of them can be permanently ignored, some of them only make sense to advanced players, and the few that are left, which are good bets, are easy to learn.


Unfortunately Craps is intimidating for the new player. It is noisy and seems chaotic. There is not just one dealer, a craps table has an entire staff to run it. The felt layout looks like a confused minefield of nonsense and numbers. Craps tables accommodate more than a dozen players. It is one of the few Casino games played by a group. Between each roll there seems to be random pandemonium with chips being tossed this way and that amidst coded phrases and signals occasionally punctuated by dice flying through the air, which always seems to generate even more confusion and noise as soon as they land.

The good news is you can easily learn how to fit into this action, make sensible bets and figure out what is going on. First you need to learn the major actors in this play.


Employees at a Craps Table


Typically four Casino employees run a Craps game at a full size Craps table. In the middle sitting down behind a HUGE stack of chips (properly called cheques) is the Boxman. He is kind of the leader of the group. He is the only staff member who sits. The Boxman is the banker. He has to be serious, that is a lot of the Casino's money in front of him. Eagle eyed, constantly watching, making change for dealers, storing excess chips for dealers, and lording over all those chips. He has a battery of mirrors built into the craps table to help him see things from all angles exploiting his low seated viewing angle to see what others cannot. He also considers the dice to be his personal property, and he is extremely protective of them.


Standing opposite him is the Stickman. He is the guy who has the big, long rattan stick with the curve on the end. He moves the dice around, recovering them after every roll, presenting them to the shooter when it is time for him or her to roll the dice again. He is also in charge of the block of bets immediately in front of him, the really bad bets on the table, the proposition bets. And he is noisy! Like a carnival barker, he has special craps patter, and seems to be constantly using it. Cheerleader, ramrod, the verbal engine that moves the craps game along. While the Boxman is grim and silent, the Stickman is always chattering and outgoing.


Finally, there are the important guys for the average player. The two Dealers. There is one dealer on the left side of the table and one dealer on the right side of the table. Both have betting layouts on the felt in front of them which are mirror images of each other. Offering the same array of bets on both ends of the table. Most of the time players interact with their dealers.


When it is your turn to shoot, the Stickman becomes important because he provides you with the dice for you to shoot. The Dealer on your end of the table is always important because only he can place some of the bets for you, he pays off all your winning bets, takes away all your losing bets, exchanges your money for chips when asked, and is the guy you ask for "color" when you cash out of a craps game.



The Two Phases of Craps


come-out Roll & Chasing a Point



Craps is played with a pair of dice. There are 36 possible ways the dice can end up after they are thrown, but what is really important is the total of the tops of the two dice added together. The dice will always total from 2 to 12 inclusive. These 11 numbers, sums of the top faces of the two dice after they have been rolled, is the basis of virtually all betting in Craps.


Craps is played in two phases. Either you are waiting for a come-out Roll, or the shooter is Chasing a Point.


On each end of the table there is a large round flat object called a "Puck" that is manipulated by the two dealers. The Puck says "OFF" on one side and "ON" on the other side. If that big round thing says "OFF", the next roll of the dice will be a come-out Roll. The come-out roll is the first roll of a new "Hand". A new shooter is guaranteed at least one hand. If he is lucky, he may get to "hold the dice" for quite a while, shooting again and again, cycling through quite a few come-out Rolls. Even if the shooter "Craps" on a come-out Roll, and loses that particular hand, he still holds the dice and gets to shoot again.


These rules apply ONLY to a come-out roll:


  1. The shooter will lose immediately if he rolls "Craps". This happens if the sum of the two dice is 2 (Snakeyes), 3 (Crabs) or 12 (Boxcars).

  2. The shooter will win immediately if he rolls a "Natural". This happens if the sum of the two dice is 7 or 11 (Yo).

  3. Otherwise the shooter "Sets a Point". The point he sets is whatever is showing on the dice.


If the shooter sets a point, that hand of craps enters the second phase, chasing a point. Now the rules change. The dealer will turn the puck over so it reads "ON" and place it behind one of the "point number" boxes on the layout. Point numbers are 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10. All the numbers that do not win or lose immediately on the come-out roll.


If a shooter rolls a 5 on the come-out roll, then his point is 5. The puck is flipped over to read "ON" and the dealer moves the puck behind the FIVE box on the layout so everyone can remember that the established or working point is 5. Now the 7 becomes the boogie man. While the 7 is a Natural and an automatic win on the come-out Roll, it becomes sudden death when chasing a point! Also known as a "Seven Out".


When Chasing a Point these are the rules:


  1. If the shooter rolls a 7, he Seven's Out and loses. Also he has to pass the dice to the next shooter.

  2. If the shooter rolls his point a second time, he "Makes his Point" and wins. He also gets to shoot again.

  3. If he rolls anything else, nothing happens. He just keeps rolling.


The one thing that can cause a shooter to have to pass the dice is to Seven Out when he is trying to make a point. Then dice pass to the next shooter counterclockwise around the table. That is why it is called "Sevening Out". Since the shooter does not have to pass the dice when he Craps on the come-out roll, it is not correct to refer to that as "Crapping Out".


Special Notes for the Shooter


There is one special betting rule for the shooter. The shooter must make a pass line bet. This is the only mandatory bet at the craps table! To throw the dice, you must make at least a minimum pass line bet. You are betting "right" on yourself. For everyone else at the table, all bets are optional. Of course the Casino greatly prefers everyone to be making some kind of bet all the time when taking up room at a busy craps table.


A shooter gets to throw the dice, again and again, until he Sevens Out. Then he has to pass the dice to his left. If it is your turn to shoot, you can simply look at the Stickman when he presents you with dice and say "Pass" if you are not ready or willing to shoot. The Stickman will simply move the dice to the next person on your left around the table. If you decide to take your turn and shoot the dice, the Stickman will shove five dice in front of you with his stick. You get to pick any two dice to shoot with. Move your lucky pair of dice to one side. He will then scoop up the remaining three.


There is one major rule for handling dice at a Craps table. Use one hand only! You should only touch, pickup, manipulate or throw the dice with one hand. Never use two hands. Never move the dice from hand to hand. After your first roll, if you get to roll again, the Stickman will recover and return the same two dice to you when it is time for you to shoot again. Do not worry if he does not give the dice to you immediately. There is usually a bit of a delay while the all bets are being adjusted.


The Boxman is very protective of HIS dice. Never take the dice out of the line of sight of the Boxman. If you throw the dice and one accidentally goes off the table, it is not a big deal. The errant die will have to be recovered and then very carefully examined by the Boxman, but this is routine.


Throwing the dice is not difficult. Pick a landing spot at the opposite end of the table about 1 foot short of the end wall of the table. Toss the dice with a smooth motion for that landing spot, trying to hit the felt surface and then gently bounce the dice off the little vertical wall at the far end of the table.


The Casino wants you to toss the dice in a nice arc through the air and they want you to bounce the dice off the far end of the table. They do not like weak short throws, but you do not need to try to hit the security guard over at the Blackjack table either! However, they certainly do not want you sliding the dice across the felt surface.


Pick the dice up with one hand and, with a sweeping motion of your arm, toss them to the opposite end of the table. Letting them fly through the air with an easy arc. If a throw comes up a bit short and does not hit the far end of the table, it is frequently no big deal. Often the Stickman will be happy enough with the throw. He may ask you to throw a bit harder next time.


If you really botch the throw, he will probably yell "No Roll!" and ask you to toss the dice again. Of course everyone appreciates good throws that do not delay the game, but everyone has to get used to throwing the dice at a real table somehow. After the first few throws, it should become a lot easier to "meet specifications", keeping the dice on the table, getting a reasonable arc and bouncing off the far end. Besides, you spend a lot more time watching and betting on other shooters than shooting the dice yourself.


Listen to the Stickman!


Remember I said the Stickman was noisy? He is like a play-by-play sports announcer and tells you a lot about what is going on. He announces the result of each throw, usually with clever annotations and banter such as:


SEVEN! Pay the line, take the don't. (if a come-out Roll)

SEVEN! Out, Pay the Don't, take the line (if Chasing a Point)

New Shooter Coming Out (if the previous shooter has Sevened Out and the dice have been passed)

Shooter Coming Out (if the same shooter is about to start another hand with a new come-out roll)

Four, the point is Four, Four is the Point (if the shooter on a come-out roll just set a point of four)

Three! Craps, Take the line, Pay the Don't (if a come-out Roll)

Eight the hardway, hard Eight (if the shooter rolls an eight as two fours, 4 + 4, on the two dice)

So you see, if you listen to the Stickman, he will help you keep track of what is going on, though it may take a little time to get used to all his jargon and fancy banter.


He also has a lot to say about "recommended" proposition bets. He is like a used car salesman pushing his prop bets. They are all high house advantage bets and many are the worst bets in the Casino! That part of his line of talk should be regarded as "commercials" for the lousy bets on the table. These horrible bets include "Big Red" and "The Horn".


Review so Far


  1. It is the sum of the top faces of the two dice that counts in Craps, the numbers from 2 to 12 inclusive.

  2. Always handle dice with just one hand. The Boxman will be watching closely. Don't let him bother you, he is always that way.

  3. When you throw the dice, try to gently hit the little vertical wall at the far end of the table.

  4. The Stickman manipulates the dice and announces the results of each roll.

  5. The Dealer at your end of the table pays all winning bets, collects all losing bets and has to place some of your bets for you. He also takes your cash and converts it to chips, and the reverse, "Colors up" your winnings when you are ready to leave.

  6. A shooter is either "Coming Out" (nothing to do with closets), or trying to "Make a Point".


<back to the top>



 A labor of love and a dedication to the Dice and Gaming Community,

 Dice Setter Newsletter comes to you monthly, free of charge.

Help keep the dice tumbling. Your generous donation is much appreciated.

Keep the "Boys On-Line" with a Toke!


Click the Pay Pal Button to Contribute with Your Financial Support.



Dice Setter Newsletter Thanks You!




<back to the top>


PLEASE: If you have any comments or ideas for future issues, feel free to email me at  and as always, I'm looking for contributors with a fresh perspective.


Good Luck!



Click Here to View Our Newsletter Archive


Dice Newsletter™ is published by It is intended to be informational and entertaining. Do not consider the information a guarantee for supplementing or replacing income. Casino games are adult entertainment, games to be played and enjoyed. It is the intention of the publisher to provide information so the reader may play with more enjoyment. Opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the publisher. Winning is a goal and not a guarantee.


Play Responsibly


© 2007 All Rights Reserved , No Reproduction Without Prior Written Consent

& A Link Back to DiceSetter.Com Please Email for more information.




<back to the top>




Dice Coach & InstructorsNewsletter / Contact / Home

© Copyright 2001 - 2024, All Rights Reserved,, No Reproduction Allowed Without Prior Written Approval.

Online Since February 2001

Designed by