Craps is a popular game at casinos, but it’s also one that gives the house an edge over the players. No amount of wishful thinking will make this fact go away, so the only logical action is to resort to cheating (at least that’s what some people think). Just keep in mind that getting caught could result in banishment from the casino, arrest, and even time in jail.
Despite my bold claims in the previous paragraphs, I do not advise or support cheating at craps. Everything contained in this article is meant to be approached with a sense of humour and regarded as a piece of harmless entertainment. Unless you want to spend some time behind bars or pay a hefty fine (or both), do not try the tactics discussed below.
Picture yourself standing at the craps table. A crowd of excited players have gathered around, and it’s your turn to serve as the shooter. You can feel the dice clattering in your hand as you prepare to toss them, and the anticipation is thick enough to spread on a sandwich. You release the dice in a smooth motion, sending them hurtling down the table towards the back wall. Everyone crowds around, intent on seeing the outcome of the roll. Snake eyes! You’ve just crapped out.
How do you avoid this rather disappointing scenario? By cheating, of course. The odds are all in favour of the casino, so the only way to consistently come out a winner is to ignore the rules and throw caution to the wind. If you’re foolish enough to choose this course of action, the following are some of the most popular cheating methods.
Cheat Sheets for Craps – While examining the types of bets offered at the craps table isn’t illegal, carrying a cheat sheet is prohibited. This is defined as a piece of paper with the various odds for each possible bet, as well as their payout percentage. I’m not sure why casinos care about this, as every possible wager is slanted in their favour to begin with. Maybe they just don’t want a bunch of people standing around the craps table with their faces buried in a piece of paper.
While it may be considered cheating, carrying one of these sheets doesn’t provide much of an advantage. It does nothing to influence the trajectory of the dice, so you can only hope to minimize your losses by choosing bets that offer less of an edge for the casino.
If you want to skip the cheat sheet, just memorize the following craps bets with the lowest house edge:
Loaded Dice – This method of cheating gets its name from the small weight loaded into the die. When rolled, the weight ensures that the die will land on a certain number. In the days before the proliferation of casinos, this tactic was popular in games of street craps. Of course, getting caught cheating in a back alley could result in a beating or worse.
Some loaded dice may also have rounded edges instead of being pointed. Once again, this is meant to influence the outcome of any roll.
Casinos take numerous steps to avoid loaded dice. For example, each casino die is red and can be seen inside of, which makes the presence of a weight easy to spot. The edges are always pointed, and each die also has a serial number that’s unique to the casino. When dice are thrown off the table and retrieved, it’s common policy to immediately examine them to ensure that a switch hasn’t been made. In most cases, the dice will be replaced with a new set just to be safe.
Stealing Chips – The most straightforward and crude method of cheating is to steal chips when nobody is looking. Unfortunately for would-be cheaters, someone is almost always looking in a casino, whether it’s the employees on the floor or the people monitoring events through the network of security cameras in the ceiling.
If you want to give this a try, the best option is to cause some sort of distraction. Perhaps an accomplice could fake a seizure. Everyone would turn in their direction for a few seconds, giving you enough time to scoop up as many chips as possible. Afterwards, you would need to cash them in and get out of the casino as soon as possible. If the people manning the cameras for your table weren’t distracted, though, expect to be grabbed by security and handed over to the police.
Some punters swear by dice control, while others view it as nothing more than a myth. While it isn’t illegal, there are some who still view it as cheating, and casinos always retain the right to ask you to leave if they think you’re gaining an advantage over them.
The objective of dice control is to position the dice in a specific way in your hand before rolling them. You also have to be careful during the roll, as striking the back wall too hard will result in an undesirable randomizing effect. If done properly, proponents of the technique claim they can roll an unusual length of time without crapping out.
Now that you know how to cheat at craps, you have a couple of options in front of you. The first option is to chuckle in amazement that anyone would be stupid enough to try and cheat the casinos. The second option is to try and cheat the casinos. If you choose the former, then you’re likely to have a fun and potentially profitable visit. The latter will offer an even larger possible payday, but there’s also the risk of humiliation, incarceration, and even a punch in the nose. I suggest you think carefully about the best course of action.