In his book Forever Craps, Frank Scoblete compares the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot with “rhythmic rollers” in craps. If you hadn’t read his book, and if you’re a reasonably modern intellectual, you’d think he was debunking the concept of rhythmic rolling. You’d be mistaken, though.

In the 2nd paragraph of the chapter on becoming a rhythmic roller in craps, Scoblete explains that there’s an “element of truth” to the legends about the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. He points out that for every person who believes in such things, there are dozens or more who dismiss the existence of these creatures.

But the Loch Ness Monster has been thoroughly debunked. Many of the photographs used as evidence of its existence have been proven to be fake. And surely modern technology could find a supposedly large critter these days—especially after 1500 years of supposed existence? In fact, in 2003, the BBC aimed 600 sonar beams through the lake. They went from shoreline to shoreline and from top to bottom and found nothing.

Bigfoot is an even bigger hoax, and we know it’s a hoax, because we know who created it. Michael Wallace has stated in multiple interviews that his father, Ray L. Wallace, started the legend in 1958. He created fake 16-inch feet to wear so he could create footprints.

I’m not sure that the best way to start a chapter on the realism of rhythmic rolling in craps is to compare it to the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, but obviously, I wasn’t consulted about that chapter (or any other chapter, for that matter.) Nonetheless, it’s clear from a close reading of the book that Scoblete believes it’s possible. I’m skeptical, but I want to share what I’ve learned here so that—if you’re up for the task—you can become a rhythmic roller, too.

Can You Really Turn Craps into a Positive Expectation Game through Dice Control?

The casino has a clear mathematical edge in the game of craps partially because it’s a game of independent trials. Every roll of the dice has the same probabilities as every other roll of the dice. The probabilities don’t change based on previous results. That’s what “independent trials” means.

Some craps players use betting systems that approach the game as if it were a game of “dependent trials,” or a game where what happened on previous rolls somehow affects your subsequent rolls. An example would be a craps player who notices that a shooter is hot, so he starts betting with that shooter.

In most cases, this is just an example of random variance, but if Scoblete’s right, it could also mean that you’re at a table with someone who has some skill at throwing the dice. He seems to believe that some people just naturally are able to get better results from the dice because of an innate talent that they have. He also believes that some people are able to influence the outcomes of the dice because they’ve learned it as a skill.

He compares throwing the dice in craps to pitching in baseball. I’ve also seen dice control compared to throwing darts. You might or might not throw a bullseye on your next throw of the darts, and you might or might not throw a strike on your next pitch. But some pitchers and some darts throwers are better than others. You don’t have a certain outcome, but you do have an outcome where the probabilities have changed.

Most rhythmic rollers only need to reduce the number of times they roll a 7 to change the probabilities of the game. Some of them are also able to increase the appearance of other numbers. (The first would lead to the latter, actually, although you see the difference, too.)

Scoblete goes on to explain that not everyone has what it takes to become a baseball pitcher. Similarly, not everyone who wants to learn to control the dice will be able to become a rhythmic roller. In fact, if it were easy to control the dice, the casinos would change the rules of the game.

But influencing the outcomes of the dice isn’t a foregone conclusion at all. You have to throw the dice all the way to the end of the table, and they must hit the foam rubber pyramids at that end of the table, too. These measures act as a physical means of providing more randomization in your results.

He shares several anecdotal stories about people who have supposed to have achieved results with rhythmic rolling. The most interesting of these is a character he calls “Sharpshooter.” He visits the casinos at least once a week, and he documents his play. He claims that his statistics put him at 99.9% certainty that he’s adjusting the odds enough to make a difference. He also makes slow motion videos of his throws.

The most interesting thing, though, to me, about Sharpshooter’s anecdote, is that he has half a craps table set up in his dining room so that he can practice. He practices for 45 minutes a day. (I know from my experience juggling that you don’t need hours of practice time per day—but you do need consistent daily practice for shorter periods of time.

The Math of Rhythmic Rolling

Most people who know anything about craps know that, on average, you’ll see a certain number of results for every 36 rolls of the dice at the craps table. You’ll see the following totals the following average number of times:

  • 7 – 6 times (1/6 of the time)
  • 6 – 5 times (5/36 of the time)
  • 8 – 5 times (5/36 of the time)
  • 5 – 4 times (1/9 of the time)
  • 9 – 4 times (1/9 of the time)
  • 4 – 3 times (1/12 of the time)
  • 10 – 3 times (1/12 of the time)
  • 3 – 2 times (1/18 of the time)
  • 11 – 2 times (1/18 of the time)
  • 2 – once (1/36 of the time)
  • 12 – once (1/36 of the time)

The book discusses the ratio of 7s to rolls. During the come out roll, a skilled shooter is trying to roll a 7 more often than normal—more often than 1/6 of the time. If he succeeds at that, he changes the probability. The greater his degree of success, the better his edge over the house becomes. (This is assuming he’s a right bettor, of course.) During the rolls to make a point, the skilled shooter is trying to roll a 7 LESS often than normal. He wants to improve his chances of rolling the point without 7ing out. According to him, a skilled shooter can get the ratio down from 1/6 to 1/8.

But even a shooter who has reduced this ratio to 1/7 can get an edge over the casino, because the other numbers must come up more often to compensate. In fact, with that kind of ratio, you have an edge over the house of 8.33%. The break-even point is 1/6.143. You don’t need to control the outcome. You just need to be able to influence the outcome enough to change the odds of the game.

I’ve never seen a casino take countermeasures against a craps shooter in the same way they take countermeasures against card counters at the blackjack table. But Scoblete has anecdotes about that to share, too. He claims to have seen stickmen holding the stick out to screw up the arc of the dice when he throws them. He says the boxman would yell at him if the dice didn’t hit the back wall.

He also claims that many casinos no longer allow craps players to use his betting system called “the Supersystem.” (I’m more skeptical of this claim than any other claim he makes.) Now let’s talk about how to actually pull off this minor miracle of advantage play at the craps table.


The 3 Keys to Succeeding at “Rhythmic Rolling”

The 3 principles Scoblete says you must learn follow:

  • You have to set the dice and shoot from a specific spot.
  • You have to deliver the dice consistently.
  • You have to avoid overconfidence.

I read repeatedly about how to set the dice with the 3s set into a pyramid. He also said to put your thumb at the base of the pyramid and your index and Johnny Cash finger at the top of the pyramid. He has his own favorite place to play, but I don’t think it matters—you just need to pick a spot an learn how to shoot from there.

As far as delivering the dice consistently, you want to hit the back wall and land without bouncing around much. Your goal is for the dice to stay together as they fly through the air. With the dice set like this, your goal is for the hardway 6 to come up more often than usual.

Finally, even if you can pull dice setting off, your control isn’t really control at all—it’s just influence. You shouldn’t bet big based on the idea that you’ve got his totally under control, because you don’t.

Setting the Dice

When you set the dice in the manner described above, all the adjoining dice faces are set on either a total of 6 or a total of 8. Those are the most common results besides the 7.

You’ll have the 4, 4 on the bottom. On the sides, you’ll have the 6, 2, the 2, 6, and the 5, 3, and the 3, 5. If you’re setting the dice correctly, you won’t have a total of 7 anywhere.

Rolling the Dice

When you’re throwing the dice, your goal is to gently toss them to the point right where the wall on the craps table curves. You don’t want a lot of bouncing around—that’s what the casino wants, but that’s NOT what you want. You also want the dice to stay together as they fly through the air.

If you can keep even one of the 2 dice to land on 3 a higher percentage of the time, you’re golden. That reduces the probability of rolling a 10, but more importantly, it reduces the probability of getting a 4. Since a 7 comes up often when you roll a 3, 4, getting a 3 more often on one of the dice reduces that probability.

You can find multiple ways of doing a controlled throw with the dice, though. One is precision rolling. This is when you throw the dice so that they tumble forward but not to either side. You also want the dice to bounce straight back after they hit the wall. Stacked rolling is another technique. Shooters who do this are trying to keep one of the dice on top of the other die so that the top die stops the motion of the bottom die.

Lobbing the dice is the final technique he describes. Your goal is to throw the dice lightly enough that they land at the bottom of the pyramid and land on the number you’ve set. No matter how good a shooter is at rolling, he’s not going to succeed at any of these techniques 100% of the time. Players’ chips are in the way, for one thing. Sometimes the stickman gets in the way, too.


I’ll admit that the idea of rhythmic rolling in craps is intriguing. After all, poker is also a game of chance with a skill element. That’s how players can get an edge and play poker professionally.

Whether it’s practically possible or not—that’s another question. I haven’t tried it. Even if I did try and fail, that wouldn’t be proof that it’s impossible. I’m a notoriously slow learner; just ask my guitar teacher.

Is this an advantage technique you want to try to learn? I can’t answer that for you, but I will say this…If you do learn how to do this rhythmic rolling thing, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a message in the comments about your experiences related to this.

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