Various Craps Cheating Methods
From the earliest days of craps play, those who have been enticed by the roll of the dice have also looked for ways to beat, bend or cheat the dice into wins and success. Though mathematics, smart betting and some skill can influence the outcome of the dice, craps is a game of chance. Yet, every player knows some chances are more “fair” than others.
Even the classical Roman emperors (Caesar Augustus, Nero, Caligula) who were fans of a craps predecessor dice game were known to try to cheat the game. (Being dice cheaters doesn’t exactly speak well for their integrity as leaders, but history is already clear on that point as well.)
Still, in street craps as well as in bank craps, the official casino version of the game, there are common ways to cheat that have developed over the years. However, casinos particularly have a team of staff at a craps table to watch for any suspicious behavior that might indicate a player is trying to influence his chances to win at craps.
Cheating at craps is, in fact, illegal and there are hefty consequences if you get caught, particularly at a casino. It’s not worth the risk. However, some craps players, regardless of the risk at one time or another have attempted various craps cheating methods to try to win their share back from the house.
Controlling the Dice
One of the most subtle methods of cheating at craps may be debated as a cheat. Some will argue that its about skill with dice, however, controlling the dice by how they are thrown is still seen as a form of cheating at craps. A shooter’s grip of the dice, toss and outcome are supposed to be fast, random and rather spontaneous.
That’s what throwing dice is about. Yet, everyone who has rolled dice more than once realizes that the way you hold the dice, the flick of your wrist and the arc of a toss or fall can all change the way the dice may land.
In craps, dice must be thrown or rolled with some degree of force. They cannot legally be pushed, “trickled” or slid across the table by the shooter. In this case, players who are controlling the dice throw to influence its outcome utilize a series of grips, such as different fingers placed on each die, knuckle grips or holding the dice tightly together before throwing so they don’t bounce off each other so irregularly.
Controlled dice throw may also involve trying to place the dice in a particular arrangement with certain numbers facing up or down before a roll. A player positioning himself in a particular “stance” may also be looking to influence the dice with controlled throwing.
In the original days of street craps, the most popular way to cheat was using some sort of “crooked,” or loaded, dice. Loaded dice are formed with some kind of extra center weight that allows them to consistently fall on certain, clearly advantageous number. This is an attempt to overcome standard probabilities of dice rolls and control the numbers. Other versions of loaded dice have rounded edges, rather than squared off, pointed edges.
These dice are more likely to roll more rather than stop when the edges make contact with the craps table. Typically, loaded dice use some combination of internal weighting and rounded edges. An unsavory player, looking to use crooked dice in a craps game would look for an opportunity to switch the dice in play and replace them with his “adjusted” dice.
Casinos have taken very precise measures to avoid the use of loaded dice in craps games. First, official casino dice are made from hard, translucent red plastic with razor-crisp straight edges. Any internal tampering would show through the translucent material. Additionally, the dice often will be imprinted with a particular serial number unique to that casino or table. The team of craps table staff, particularly the boxman has the explicit job of making sure the dice remain secure, casino standard and without tampering.
Craps Cheat Sheets
Though not the most intensive means of cheating at craps, using a “cheat sheet” is a way players may think they might increase their chance to win by consistently making the right bets. A craps cheat sheet has some form of list with the various possible craps bets and their payout ratios on it. Having or consulting any sort of listing like this or tallying bets is illegal in casinos.
There are plenty of craps bets that are going to cost a player lots of money as unwise bets. There are also a few basic bets which do help lower the house edge on a craps bet. The smarter way to play, rather than bothering with a cheat sheet, is to learn those key bets by playing and use them. Studying the kinds of bets available at a craps table beforehand isn’t illegal and can help a player know what to use and what to avoid around the felt.
Ways To Avoid Accusations of Cheating
The best way to avoid raising suspicion with the craps table personnel is to blend in with the crowd and minimize any slow, deliberate action that seems like an attempt to intentionally arrange the dice into a particular throwing configuration. When picking up the dice, a player’s action is typically smooth and spontaneous. Being overly cautious about the manner in which you pick up, hold or position the dice in your hand before the throw is likely to draw attention to your methods.
Similarly, if the pattern of your dice throw seems rehearsed, or repeats consistently, accusations may arise that you are using a controlled throwing method. Likewise, even though players have a “lucky stance” they try to mimic with each throw, there is an unintentional variance that a person doesn’t control–unless they are trying to control the throw. Creating a scene or trying to get the dice off the table, as an attempt to replace dice in play with loaded dice will get you immediately, and not nicely, escorted from the casino.
Ultimately, your focus at the craps table should be on enjoying the game, not trying to manipulate it. Do your best to blend in with the energy and looseness of the table crowd and fellow players. Freely expressing legitimate, spontaneous hand gestures and facial expressions that match the action of the table like excitement on a hit or disappointment on a miss show the genuine activity of an honest craps player.