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Volume 10 : Issue 2

March / April  2010

In This Edition:


A Word From Soft Touch

From the Editor...

Bias Dice Survey Results...

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Dice Setter Survey Part I

Today's Wisdom...

A Labor of Love...

Newsletter Archive Links


Happy Spring all you craps players!

I would like to thank all the readers for their participation in the dice survey. And, I would also like to thank Ed for the countless hours he put in to create a format that made it easy for all our site visitors to read.  I found the comments and feedback very enlightening.  Dice Setter Survey
For several months I have received various e-mails regarding where I stand with the biased dice issue. I am hard pressed to give people an answer and instead send them over to blogs or message boards more familiar with the issue. I know that at some point I will take a stand. What I can say now is that it is not part of my gaming reality. Yet, far be it for me to remove it from another player's gaming reality. I will be publishing my view on the web site and let the readers know via email when I am ready to share my insight.
In general, the survey indicated that about 60% of those who participated believed the casinos were not utilizing biased dice. The remaining 40 percent of bias believers could be significant, yet some of those who believed in the bias are missing the entire picture and blame their losses on evil casinos using them without any regard to other contributing factors for their loss. If that is the only thing a player can attribute their losses to then they need to give up the game altogether.  The game is so complex and has so many energetic variables creating trends impacting it along with this issue.
One lingering question I have always had with this issue is that, to me, it seems that should the casinos knowingly introduce a different bias into the game for short term gain, how in the long run would it serve them, since the best odds over the long term are built in their favor to begin with without introducing bias? And, if anything comes out of all of this, I hope it is that the casinos will take a closer look at their dice measuring capabilities.
It is all about a player's gaming reality.

Soft Touch 

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Dear Ed, Part I and Part II…


Ross's Question Part I: Ever heard of this? Dice that are square within tolerances, however each die is a different weight. It appears to upset the normal probabilities of the dice, much less mess up good shooters. In Illinois, there are no regulations governing dice so it would appear that there are some games being played, Does this make any sense to you? It seems like simple physics would indicate this is a problem.


Ed Answers Part I:

Ross, Yes, I get plenty of bad dice alerts and most of them are from players that frequent  Indian casinos, but I do get some about L.V. too.


I am short on time and will get back to your question in detail. But think of this in the meantime. If the dice are weighted to upset normal probability, then does it not figure the dice must bias? If you owned a casino, what would you want to have “fixed”, so your “funny dice” would be bias and upset normal probabilities?


Ross's Question Part II: It would be my opinion that with individual die total weight that is different it would randomize the dice more, especially with a shooter who has some influence. It's basic Newtonian physics.  To answer your question Ed, if I was a casino, I would want to foil any shooter that can influence the dice with more random results which the different density dice offer. The shooter would rarely get a matched pair of dice, therefore random results.  A STD dice weighs .31 oz or 8.8 grams.


Ed Answers Part II:


  1. Oddly enough, dice are not regulated as far I know, even in Nevada. A couple of years ago when this topic was really being pressed by a Dice subscriber living in Las Vegas, I shared the email with a mathematician that I rely on for stats, probabilities, odds, out-comes and gambling research. During his research, he discovered that contrary to what dice players all seem to believe as truth, casino dice are not regulated. Just the same, they are spot on accurate, and there is a good reason, but before I get there…

    One reason casinos are so guarded with the dice, numbered in sets of 5 to 6 dice, is to prohibit cheating by the players. Ever wonder why the boxman will carefully check and spin a die between his fingering after that die has left the game? He is making sure the returned die is a casino die. For around $200 you can purchase loaded dice to favor the out come of your choosing. By the way, you can purchase the exact same dice casinos use from a US dice manufacture, Midwest Gaming Supply. Of course you cannot purchase dice with a casino's logo and you may have to buy a lot them to qualify your order, or you can go to Dice Coach and purchase regulation, casino grade, matched sticks of dice. Side note, if you have not seen the movie “Yonkers Joe”, watch it some time.


  1. If weighted dice upset the normal probabilities, then what probabilities are replacing normal? Physics aside, there are only 36 possible outcomes. What outcome would be most desirable for a casino? Even with randomly weighted dice, how would the outcome guarantee the casino better results than true dice already do? I agree the shooter would rarely get random results. But what results would be dominant? You cannot have “more random results” than the “random results” with fair dice. Loads, inevitably have to favor some outcome other than random. It‘s not physics, it’s probability. Just as dice setters attempt to shift the odds by manipulating the dice, the intention with biased dice is to shift the probability. Weighted dice select for a certain result and the dice setter attempts to do the same thing.


  1. Okay, say in a mix of six dice all weighted differently, there would be 15 different possible combinations for paired dice. Think about this, and I’ll come back to my question of favoring which numbers?


  1. With 6 sevens out of 36, the house maintains their advantage over the player no matter how they bet.


  1. If for example, the dice were weighted heavy for more 7’s, the game would be so short, even a compulsive gambler with a large bankroll would have to eventually figure out that something was very wrong. (Not to mention by making the correct bets, this actually favors the player, not the casino. See #7.)


  1. Having dice favoring more sevens would not be advantageous for the casino in the long run. Once players became aware of it, they would either stop playing, (I would hope) or simple take advantage of the situation.


  1. The game can only end on a seven, so if there are 15 possible pairs of dice and not all pairs are favoring the seven, then the bias seven pair” would have to be slipped in and out of the game. Or does the casino just let the shooter roll five’s and nine’s until a seven eventually shows up? Okay, the box man runs the game and can do whatever the hell he wants with the dice. The players will bitch at him when he switches out the dice, but he’s got tough skin and could care less. But, after the players notice how the seven-out shows up shortly after the dice are switched, duh, who will keep playing that game?


  1. Long answers to get to your question… “No it does make any sense to me for a casino to cheat with crooked dice.” Other gaming experts and math experts  that I have conferred with regarding bent crap games agree. This also includes conversations with Table Gaming Managers and Floor Supervisors. The casinos already have a built in, guaranteed advantage with fair dice. They do not have to mess with it by trying to make it better. Crooked dice are designed to change random results by favoring another outcome other than random. Casinos depend on random probability for their bottom line. Crooked dice are for crooked players, not crooked casinos.


  1. With all the websites, forums, and communication technologies, how long do you think it would take to ruin a casino’s creditability with stories about crooked dice?  (True or not?)


  1. The reason casinos use fair dice is because fair dice provide the best outcome, fair dice favors the house odds…. And that is something that they can count on, without doubt or defamation. On top of that, they already created an additional advantage over the player, and yet every dice player willing accepts it as part of the game.... and not cheating. It is called the House Odds!


  1. If your are in doubt about the game being fair, don’t play dice... you can't lose.


Thanks Ross for your question.

Ed Jones


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Dice Setter Biased Dice Survey

The results of our survey asking the questions, "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?" have been posted at Dice Setter Survey table of contents. You can read for yourself how the individuals responding to the questions feel about the game.


It is our intention to share the information as a way of allowing readers to be informed of other players opinions. It is not our intention to take the side of alter dice, biased dice or otherwise unfair dice, suspected of being used in a game.


When you understand how the math of the game already makes for a huge advantage for anyone banking a craps game, their is no reason to have to tweak an already good thing. Consider that casinos are regulated and stand to risk the loss of their licenses for cheating, it simply does not make sense for them to gamble on the risk of being closed down. Casinos are not in the business of gambling in the true sense of the word. They are invested in a known outcome. All they need is a steady stream of willing customers in order to make profit.

 Gambling Defined

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Results of The Dice Setter Survey Part I

1. How long have you been playing Craps?  
Less than one year 3.10%
1 to 3 years 11.70
4 to 7 years 18.7%
8 to 10 years 15.00%
More than 10 years 51.50%
2. How long have you been a dice setter?  
Less than one year 28.7%
1to 3 years 33.4%
4 to 7 years 24.35%
8-10 years 6.45%
More than 10 years 7.10%
3. How do you rank your dice setting skills?  
0 not a dice setter 9.00%
1 22.95%
2 27.05%
3 24.95%
4 9.85%
5 Expert Master 6.20%
4. What is your win rate to sessions played?  
9 wins out 10 sessions 2.00%
8 wins out 10 sessions 6.55%
7 wins out 10 sessions 28.65%
6 wins out 10 sessions 15.30%
5 wins out 10 sessions 26.40%
 Less than 5wins out 10 sessions 21.10%
5. How many times in a year do you play?  
6 times a year 31.05%
12 times a year 14.60%
25 times a year 24.45%
50 times a year 22.80%
More than 100 times a year 7.10%
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6. Where do you like to play Craps?  
Las Vegas  
Atlantic City  
Indian Casinos  
Boat Casinos  
Internationally 4.00%
7. What is your usual buy-in?  
$100 to $200 23.95%
$200 to $500 46.50%
$500 to $1000 19.30%
$1000 to $5000 9.25%
$5000 to $10,000 1.00%
More than $10,000 0.00%
8. What is your favorite casino?  
If you can think of the name of a casino in Las Vegas, it was on the list as well as local favorites for the players responding to this question. No single casino stood out as a crowd favorite.
9. What is your base unit bet?
$5 35.40%
$10 44.25%
$15 6.85%
$25 8.25%
$50 1.10%
$100 4.15%
$500 or more 0.00%
10. On average, how many bets do you have in action when you play craps?
1 bet 4.10%
2 bets 11.10%
3 bets 32.30%
4 bets 31.50%
5 bets 9.25%
6 bets 6.75%
7 bets 3.00%
8 or more bets 2.00%

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Today's Wisdom:


The pupil must develop a new sense of, more accurately, a new alertness of all his senses, which will enable him to avoid dangerous thrusts as though he could feel them coming. Once he has mastered this art of evasion, he no longer needs to watch with undivided attention the movement of his opponent, or even of several opponents at once. Rather, he sees and feels what is going to happen and at that same moment he has already avoided its effect without there being "a hair's breadth" between perceiving and avoiding. This, then, is what counts: a lightning reaction which has no further need of conscious observation. In this respect at least the pupil makes himself independent of all conscious purpose. And that is a great gain.  

                                                           Eugen Herrigel - Zen In The Art Of Archery



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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!



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