Sharpshooter Craps

  • In Vancouver, BC they recently reintroduced a craps table to the downtown casino (yeah!!). While the other Vancouver area casinos do offer a Fire bet, this one offers a a variant of the SharpShooter bet as outlined on Craps Side bets).
  • Dice control in casino craps is a controversial theory where proponents claim that individuals can learn to carefully toss the dice so as to influence the outcome. A small but dedicated community of dice shooters claim proof of dice influencing in casino conditions. The concept of such precision shooting claims to elevate craps from a random game of chance to a sport, like.

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Introduction by Jerry Patterson

With the development of the PARR Zone, Dr. Heller (now deceased) left an incredible legacy to craps dice controllers.

This article is the first of three articles whichJerry Patterson is an internationally known gaming author, player, and instructor and has written five gambling books. The two most popular are 'Casino Gambling: A Winner’s Guide to Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat and Casino Poker 'and 'Blackjack: A Winner’s Handbook.' Jerry's website is www.sharpshootercraps.com will be incorporated, with acknowledgement, into the new book – Winning Dice Control Techniques: Shooting Craps from the Zone by Jerry Patterson and Sharpshooter.

What Role does the Zone play in Dice Control? The Zone’s role is just as important as the muscle memory skills of setting, gripping, picking up and throwing the dice with control. The objective of dice control is to avoid the losing 7 in the point cycle. With the Zone, you can maintain muscle memory consistency and keep on rolling the same way every time you pick up the dice. It’s this consistency that leads to the long hands with stacks of chips pushed your way on roll after roll.

Power Visualization:

To make The Power Zone® more powerful and effective, it’s important that you utilize proper visualization techniques. The latest research on brain activity shows that when a person vividly imagines an activity, the same parts of his brain will fire up that fire up when he is actually involved in the actual activity. In short, his brain is fooled into believing that what is being imagined is really happening.

However, to achieve this effect, you must use Experiential Visualization (EV). This means putting yourself in the picture! Think of some sport or activity that you enjoy. For my example, let’s say it’s golf. After you read this statement, I want you to close your eyes and imagine you are watching yourself swinging a club. See yourself at a distance of fifteen to fifty feet away. It’s almost as if you are watching someone else. Please close your eyes and visualize this image.

This time, when you close your eyes, put yourself in the picture. Feel the club in your hands. Look down past your stomach and see your feet firmly planted in the grass. Sense your body bent over a bit and your legs spread apart. Feel your arms beginning to bring the club back – then pause – then going down toward the ball. Hear the sound the club head makes as it comes in contact with the ball and feel the contact through the shaft of your club. Now close your eyes and imagine this activity in the detail I have just outlined.

Most of you will notice a distinct difference in your two experiences. With the first visualization, you probably had a sense of detachment and casual interest. With the second method, you should notice much more intensity. You might even experience some muscle movement that matches your visualization. With practice, you will be able to notice these subtle changes. Anyway, it’s the second type of visualization you will be using for your PARR Zone®. Soon you will know why it’s called Power Visualization.

Here is an experiment I want you to try. Read the instructions first. Then, close your eyes and follow the instructions. When you close your eyes, I want you to see a yellow lemon sitting on a kitchen counter or table. See it as clearly as you can – including the little dimples in the skin. If it helps, get a real lemon and hold it in your hand. Study how it looks and feels. Then, close your eyes and see it on the kitchen counter or a table.

In your mind’s eye, take a sharp knife and slowly cut the lemon in half. As you cut it, feel the juice dripping onto your fingers and smell the pungent aroma of the fresh lemon. After you have finished cutting the lemon in half, put the knife down and lift half of the lemon to your mouth. Take a bite and feel the juice in your mouth. Allow yourself to feel the tart flavor in your mouth.

OK, what did you notice? Most of you will have found that you swallowed or salivated or, perhaps, both. Some of you will have tasted the lemon or at least got a sense of bitterness in your mouth. If you need to, repeat the experiment making sure you are feeling the lemon in your hand instead of watching from across the room.

For those of you who responded by salivating and swallowing, you might ask, “What does it mean?” It means that your brain told your body to have a full physiological response to a fantasy. Salivation, swallowing and the taste of the lemon are physical responses to what you were visualizing. That’s why learning to use Power Visualization will dramatically increase your performance at the dice table and in life, too.

2. Calm Conditioning

The primary purpose of Calm Conditioning is to have the ability to call upon a sense of calm whenever you need it. Think of being calm as the preparation for everything that follows. By creating a calm state of mind, you make it easier to program your brain for success.

Begin by writing down two or three places you already associate with being calm. For example, you might choose a beautiful stream, the beach, the mountains or any other place that you associate with being calm, relaxed and unburdened. One of my favorite calm places is Maui – at sunset – watching the sky change colors.

After you have written down your choices, you need to list the characteristics of your calm place that most remind you of your calm place. I will use the beach for our working example, but you need to pick what suits you best. Following might be what you would list for the characteristics of the beach.

  1. The sound of the waves as they crash down
  1. The smell of salt air
  1. The feeling of the warm salty sea breeze on your body
  1. The sound of birds flying overhead
  1. The blue sky – with patches of fluffy white clouds
  1. The blue green of the water
Sharpshooter Craps
  1. The diamond-like sparkle of the waves as they crest
  1. Your favorite description

The next step is simple. Find a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed for ten to fifteen minutes. This could be a favorite chair or any other quiet place. Begin by taking in a slow deep breath through your nose, while silently counting to four. Then, hold your breath for another count of four, and then exhale through your mouth for another count of four. The last step is to not breathe for another count of four.

Repeat the same process only, this time, with your eyes closed. After completing the second set of four count breaths, add your Power Visualization using one of your calm places. (Again, I will use the beach as the working example.) Remember, you must put yourself in the picture and this will take practice.

You might begin by hearing the sound of the ocean and the sound of the birds overhead. Now, feel the sand under your body (assuming you are recumbent on the beach). Looking out, see the blue sky and the fluffy, white clouds. Look at the diamond-like sparkles on the crest of each wave. Feel the warm air – relaxing you completely while you smell the salt air.

Continue experiencing each aspect of the beach, even if it means repeating each aspect several times. Also, continue to breathe slowly and deeply. You will find yourself becoming more relaxed as the minutes tick by. When you feel calm and have a very clear image of being on the beach, create a code word for your special place. Mine is simple: I use the words Maui and Calm. Your code word could be anything, including the word Calm itself.

What if your mind jumps around so that you have trouble concentrating? Here is a powerful trick that will help you break this habit. Hum! That right – hum. The moment you find yourself mentally wandering or obsessing about something, begin to hum. You could hum Mary Had a Little Lamb, Anchors Away, The Marine Corps Hymn or Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. It doesn’t matter what you choose to hum as long as it is simple and you know the tune.

As soon as you have hummed for a few seconds, your mind will be ready to reset. Go back to your Power Visualization and keep focused as long as you can. If your mind starts to wander, hum again. After a few days’ practice, you will notice your ability to stay with your Power Visualization is increasing while your mind jumble is decreasing. This will help you in many areas of your life.

Either way, once you feel yourself becoming calm and relaxed, circle the thumb and index finger of your non (dice) throwing hand while you silently think your code word. Make sure that you repeat this procedure two or three times each practice session. You are creating what is called a Post Hypnotic Cue or Anchor. Within a short time, just circling your thumb and index finger, breathing slowly, while saying the code word, will produce a calm state of mind and body.

Bonus

For the first few weeks it’s important that you practice the process three times each day. Each practice session should last about five minutes. After you begin to feel more comfortable with Calm Conditioning, begin to practice it in Real World Conditions such as while you are in traffic, at work or during any stressful situation.

Keep in mind, it’s easier to change your mind about jumping off a mountain before you jump than when you’re halfway down! This means that the sooner you recognize you are becoming stressed, the easier it is for you to switch to your calm state. If you wait until you are blown out of the water, it will be much more difficult to get into a state of calmness.

Also, remember the four count breathing method. It not only enhances the effects of your calm conditioning, it’s a natural aid to shooting controlled dice. I will cover this in more detail later in this training manual.

Please avoid falling into the trap best described by Paul Watzlawick, Ph.D. He said, “There’s no such thing as piano playing. I know because I myself tried it once and nothing good came of it.”

1) List two or three places that you associate with these places.

a) Write out the characteristics you associate with these places.

b) It doesn’t matter if these are places you have visited or merely imagined visiting.

2) Find a comfortable place where you will be undisturbed for ten to fifteen minutes.

a) It’s not a good idea to practice in bed, just prior to going to sleep unless going to sleep is your goal.

3) Begin with the Four Count – Four Breath Method and your eyes open.

a) Repeat the process with your eyes closed.

4) Add in your Power Visualization using one of your calm images.

a) Put yourself in the picture and experience it fully.

b) Repeat the key characteristics as if they are actually happening: “I hear the sound of the waves crashing down and feel the warm sea breeze across my body. I see the sparkle of the sun bouncing off the waves, etc.”

c) Continue experiencing each aspect of your calm space.

5) As you find yourself relaxing and becoming calm, circle the thumb and index finger of your non (dice) throwing hand and silently repeat to yourself your code word (Calm or a name you give to your calm place).

6) Practice the complete procedure three to five times a day until it begins to occur easily and you become more comfortable with the process.

a) Begin to practice Calm Conditioning in real world situations.

7) Optional: If your mind tends to jump around, practice The Hum as I explained above.

a) Also, practice Calm Conditioning as soon as you begin to feel stressful or anxious. Don’t wait until your system is on fire to take action. The sooner you act, the better your results.

Go here for the next in this series: The Zone – Level 2 Training Program

Coming next month: The Zone – Level 3 Training Program

For more information on the Zone and on the Sharpshooter/PARR Dice Control Course, go to Sharpshootercraps.com

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.

Craps Fire Bet

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)

Sharpshooter Craps

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:

Sharpshooter Craps Video

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

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

Frank Scoblete Sharpshooter Craps Video

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.

Sharpshooter Craps Bet

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.

Next Shooter Craps

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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