I was at the casino recently playing craps in a game where a guy threw the number seven about a dozen times without the point ever being made. Of course I was happy to be enjoying his luck until he starting telling us that he had the skill of willing the number seven. Of course, two hours later, he was broke. Now I don’t think there is such a thing as willing the numbers, but it got me wondering if there was any skill involved in throwing dice?
The dice though have no idea who is throwing them. I will match any six-year old onopoly Jr. player against your crapped-out clairvoyant in producing losing (and winning) numbers, with the happy casino always maintaining its house edge. BUT, –there’s always a but–my answer above is based on honest dice, and on a legitimate game.
Are there any other kinds? Well, yes, shocking as that may be. A skillful and crooked player, or an underground illegitimate casino, can introduce gaffed dice on the game. One example would be the use of “tops,” dice that have certain numbers omitted. Instead of the six distinct numbers 1-6, each die has only three different numbers, each smiling twice from opposite sides of its die. These defective dice work like this: One die sports the numbers 1, 3 and 5, while the other shows 2, 4, and 6. This foul pair cannot roll the numbers 4, 6, 8, and 10 but the can roll 7s all night long.
Another example would be two dice that have only the numbers 2, 3, and 6 on them. This set will roll 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9, but it would be
impossible to seven-out. The sucker player just doesn’t catch on because only three sides of a die are visible at any given time. Yet another example would be the player who has developed skill at sliding one or both of them bones across the table. But any box person not napping on the game would yell out “NO ROLL,” and mentally mark the slider for close observation. Then there are loaded dice, also known as weights, that you can buy at any magic shop. Loaded dice are “percentage dice,” since they do not win as often as tops do, but they do tilt the odds in the cheat’s favor. In the years that I boxed a crap game, I never caught gaffed dice on the table. To introduce them, the cheats would have had to match the color and shade of the house dice, imprint the casino’s name and logo on them, and, usually, match a three-digit number engraved on them. Even working the late swing shift, I was never sleepy enough to have missed such painstaking artwork.