Craps Craps cheating and advantage play as casinos see it


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A precursor of the English game of HazardMraps was first played here in America as a street game among the shooter, one or more players betting on the shooter, and one or more players fading their action* As the game grew in popularity and worked its way into the gambling houses, operators introduced a one-way version where you could only bet the dice to win* Over a hundred years ago, a dicemaker by the name of John Winn was the first to bank the game, and allow players to bet either side, win or lose, and take a cut from both sides. This innovation, perhaps the most important development in the early game, proved to be the seed for casino craps.

The early casino version was typically spread on a one-man dice tub. The ace-deuce was barred on the don't pass, and a variety of unusual proposKons were occasionally offered* Examples include: ’favorites’ (a one-roll bet on 2-4-6-8-10-12), 'over eight and under six’ (each paying two to one), and ’doubles' (a one-roll bet on the hard 4, 6, 8, and 10).

Today, the core structure of the game remains unchanged* Minor variations can be seen in the peripheral bets, and handling of certain bets* Depending on the club, the player can now take double, triple, 5x, 10)Hand, occasionally, even lOOx odds! Some jurisdictions have eliminated the big 6 & 8* The ’put bet’ (a pass line bet, with odds, made after the point has been established) has been recently revived. In many clubs, the commission on buy bets is collected only after you hit your first bet. It's also common to see “No Call Bets" plainly printed on the layout* Sometimes the rule is enforced,

sometimes call bets are merely tolerated, and sometimes they are simply accepted as an integral part of the game.

Esthetically, some change is apparent. Modern dice and layouts are now available colors. You may even see the occasional electronic display board sitting in front of the boxman to indicate the number of passes made (^Hjn of the times), or other new propositon bets.

History indicates that the game is relatively safe aside from the occasional^^^Br (dice slider), past p^Ser, and proposition^^™.-. The classic scams involving crooked dice have all but faded away, and are rare. Since player skill docs not appear to be a factor, and I refer to

the controversy surrounding 'dice setters', the game doesn’t lend itself

From a game protection standpoint, there are certain facets of the game that can mal<^| challenging to watch from surveillance. First, in many existing systems, from a single, wide-angle overhead camera, it can be difficult to read the dice. Second, it can be difficult to read bets due to a lack of depth perception, and a jam-up crap game is essentially one large table loaded u^^Hick^^^^^^Hixty tt^featy individual bets are not uncommon). Third, perhaps the difficulty of

interpreting call bets, or any bets booked by verbal confirmation! I have always contended that if you can’t hear what is being said on a dice table, you can’^^^^^^^H

With these observations in mind, p^^^Bon’t sections on itfdbked dice and

switches. Chances are you will never run into cheaters^^^^^^^^H9l£witgE|^^^^^^^^^^^H or later, you will run into some player bettin^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Hr. If you know ^Iay is

not, then there can never be any reason to sweat the money, never any reason to doubt the actii^BThe same holds true for many other scamS* Look past the familiarize yourseli

with many of the most successful scams in the histoi^Bf the gam* This is a big step toward developing confidence in your ability to supervise and just doing time, and b^^^Mssutn^fl^H

the game will take care of itself. Also, your knowledge and understanding c^^^^^Bossible can go a long way to presenting the game in a manner that reassures your customers that game integrity is paramount.


Modern casino dice are made frc^« cellulose acetate (formally material that provides excellent clarity, hardness, and dimensional stability. Although there arc numerous options regarding the tffiir, finish, edge, and spotting, the industry staple is the 3/4" sized die, razor-edged with flush spots, i^Ether a sand or polish fiftiA-

The manufacturing process for casino dice varies li£ccSt*frS>m one company to another. Star%® with the raw material (sheets, rods, or £«&£$), a diamond cutter assembly is used to cut and reduce an oversized cube to about larger than the end product. Spots ar#l}$lkdi to abcBt017 in depth and filled with an epoxy paint. The die is then scalped, cul^diujto about .002" larger

than the end product. Monograms (the casino logo and serial number) are now added with a hot stamping machine, followed by another scalping, or lapping process, to smooth out the logo. Finally, a very fine polishing compound creates the transparent or polish finish, granite powder or similar used to create a dull or sand finish. The dice are 'miked' with a micrometer, wrapped, and are ready to go.

At one time, the small^^^^Hzes of 5/,8" and 11/16" were commonplace, concave spotting was occasionally used, and the turned edge (also called a feathered edge), ring spot, and the very pretty birds eye spot were popular options.

j^Harly dice a simple lettering of the casino name or initials on one side was the norm, since this service was offered free of charge by the manufacturers. Intricate custom logos with special fonts, multiple colors, and reflective surfaces were to follow.

One or more sides of the dices may be protected with $Otne combination of casino name, LvatyftCand serial number. At a minimum, you will find tfiHasino name or serial number on one At a maximum, you willHil a casino logoH the deuce, jurisdictional logo around the ace, and a serial number on the si^^^^fditional protection, one may opt for a letter key (stamped under the spot), or glow-spot (only seen^^^^ftraviokt light). Traditionally, prior to the shift, the pit manager will often mark the identification consisting of a

small r punch.

Even hidden marks have been employed in ths past, but are little known today. One boss used to order his^Se with the ace spot drilled one siz^^^^Hfo a casual onlooker it went unnoticed, but he could walk up to the the game arHnStantly identify the oversized spot. Other clubs have altered |htir logos with hidden keys. For example, aHre time tl^fcacsars Palace logo was modified: the L in the word split horizontally a^^Hhe middle. This was done intentionally, and, like the

oversized spot, it provided a small layer of protection against any cheater looking to duplicate the logo on his gaffed dice,

Precision Dice?

manufacturer advertises their dice to be perfect cubes to within 1/10,000 of an inch. You’ll often see this precision expressed along the lines of "equal to l/20th the thickness of a single human hair”.f|wo questjjpm come up all the time in this regard. How accurate are these tolerances? And, arjsnjanufacturing tolerances regulated by law?

As it turns out, not many casino dice mike to witdwl 1/uMBHF^X)005TJ. This is an exaggerated precision that turns out to be more of a sales pitch than a reality. A discrepancy of a few ten-thousandths can often be seen when miking the same die on the sixJfeijKJksat different positions, such as the center versus slightly offcenter. A more accurate description may be said to be tolerances to within 2/10,000" to 5/10,000". Any precision dial micrometer with tolerances in 1/10,000" will prove these claims.

If you want to see how temperamental this kinjjl of precision can be, take a new die out of the wrapper, mike it, and then hold it tightly in your clo»Ad hand fo^^^^^^Bute. NdW mike it again. It’s likely that you will see a discrepancy of heat created by^^^^^^Hill cause

the die to expand. With a dial micrometer, w&Jtch what happens1 next. It may take a few minutes, but the die will eventually contract back to its original

In 1994,1 received a letter from a gentleman that I think you might find inee^^^L It pe&d as follows:

Dear Steve:

I bought a set of your protection video* have very much. However, I wanted

to point out an error number 4. Wherein it was ice were to be within 1/10,000.

I had occasion some years ago to be in^^^^^mrfgn uncanceled die oydfi ABC Casino cra^Bble. Because I was skeptical of the way examined by three ettpcrts.

To make a very long story W, which I was told wastaaaktt

affect the outcome of a game. It the die was intentionally manufactured^^^^M

specif cations. The enclosed when I tried to get

Commission to enforce a fair crap game.



The office of the Attorney General, Gaming Division, responded:

Dear Mr. L,

As you may now know, there are no technical standards pf&ently adopted Gaming

Commission regulation defining the exact dimm^Ato which a die must conform. Tb&vfprc, there is no basis for the Board or its agents to take particular legal action inhere the allegation oj^^^^^&iice in play is predicated on an inspection by an independent testing lab selected by you which found an alleged discrepancy of 30/10,000 off. As to the specific die in your possession there would i’^B way for Board agents to prove the chain of custody and control even if the variance would be sufficient according to the tests they do make to determine ifitjjs square...

I assure you that the public has every reason to be confident that gaming ht Lat Vegas (aid all of Nevada) is conducted honestly ...

The letter was signed by the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, Gaming I Division.


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In my opinion, it's unlikely that this die was£ft3#4^aha|gf manufactured to cheat anyone for \ three reasons: (1) purposely cut or shaved dice are available in a range of strengths generally starting with 5/1,000" off, almost twice as strong as the alleged discrepancy;^) when dice are purposely cut 5/1000” off, it’s almost a necessity to include a bevel on one or more sides to help the die work, and there was no mention of any bevel in Mr. L s letter; and (3), I’ve never heard olgEryone intentionally manufacturing a die with only ft/1,000" (equal to 30/10,000”) off, without a bevel, to cheat anyone.

If you have ever wondered whether the manufacturing specifications of dice makers are mandated by law, they are not. Many jurisidictions, however, do require that certain tolerances are met in regard to the physical characteristics of dice. In New Jersey, for example, nine different standards must be met (rule 19:46-1.15) :

1. Be a perfect cube no smaller than 0.750” on any side; no larger than 0.775” on any side.

2. Be transparent and made exclusively of cellulose except for the spots and monograms.

3. Sides which must be perfectly flat; the spots must be flush with the area surrounding them.

4. The edges and comers must be perfectly square and form 90-degree angles.

5. The texture and finish must be identical on all sides.

6. The weight must be evenly distributed throughout the cube.

7. The spots must be white, circular, and all equal in diameter.

8. Opposite sides must total seven. All spots drilled to the same depth with

an accuracy tolerance of .0004". The spotting compound must be equal in weight to the cellulose removed.

9. The dice must be stamped with the name or trade name of the casino licensee.

The bottom line: in jurisdictions without regulations that set forth an acceptable range o tolerances or standards, it can be difficult to state when a die is legally acceptable, or when it shoul be deemed a cheating device.

Other Variances

I was first exposed to the following controversy during my very early days of dealing craps. Sc have hypothesized that the dice may be naturally biased due to the weight of the spotting compo (an epoxy resin) being different from that of the cellulose removed from drilling the spots. If, in the compound weighed more, you would expect more aces, deuces, and threes; if it weighed less would expect more high numbers. Is there any chance that a bias exists?


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According to most dicemakers, there is a bias. The epoxy paint is lighter, t>fct only slightly so. It’s possible to prove this fact by taking a new casino die right out of the wrapper and spinning it on a quality balancer. flWt look for the same side to be facing up. The die will not rock, as if loaded, because the discrepancy is so miniscule, but its tendencies will tell the tale.

It makes you wonder if this bias could have any connection to the modern crap game in which we bar two sixes—barring two aces could, theoretically, reduce the casino edge on the don't pass, don't come, and other wagers as well. According to many early catalogs and sales brochures, barring ace-deuce on the don't pass, and then later ace-ace, were the favorite options right up to the early 1960s, and then, for some reason, barring two sixes became the norm.

You may run across dice where the logo, serial number, or even the spots have an abnormal protrusion or roughness. These discrepancies may cause a catching or tripping effect. Are these manufacturing variances? Probably, but how these flaws given the lapping and scalping

processes has always been a mystery to me. Poor workmanship, perhaps?

If you’re wondering if such small manufacturing variances can have any real impact on the game, I'm not sure that anyone can answer that question. There's no proof that these variances will impact the game, and there’s no proof that they won’t.

In summary, like all casino equipment, casino dice are not perfect, nor should we expect a perfect cube. An almost perfect cube will get the job done.


Scams involving crooked dice are rare and they haven't posed a threat to the industry in decades. There may be many reasons for the attrition of these scams. Consider the following* The modern casino die, with its flush spot and polished finish, is not an easy die to load effectively and deceptively. The mirrors running around the inside of the table rail add some protection against misspotted dice, and some dice switches, depending on position. The advantages derived from scams with percentage dice scams are tenuous. The 24/7 surveillance coverage is everywhere. The hustlers who once specialized in this work are gone, and scamming with crooked dice has become a dying art, literally. Perhaps one last possibility exists, and that is that these scams are still around, but nobody’s catching them, or even knows that they exist.

Over the past 30 years, as an industry, one can document a handful of instances where crooked dice were discovered, apparently switched into play from the outside. In each case, weight (loaded dice) was used. I can document, however, significantly more cases where crooked dice were used and never discovered! A combination of inside collusion and crooked dice known as tops (explained shortly), proved to be an unbeatable combination. These scams are rare, but they are not extinct.

Learning to protect your game starts widi the dice, so you would think that a basic understanding of the various kinds of crooked dice would be a prerequisite for working in the dice pit. It is not! And


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I couldn’t disagree more. -With dice/and theiritruene^at'di^ery'Heart'o£'the game’s performance^^ makes perfect sense for all dice pit personnel to; have abasicworking knowledge of how dice are made, how biases can^i^t, and how dice are gaffed;'^ -

"So, heregoeis^, .Crooked dice aregenerallydesigneatoaccomplish one‘of twogoals/td either fpass of^mssout??Passers?fw6r the 'do'fahtioh^pass line, come bets;place- bets)' and will produce more numbers and-passes. Missbuts favor the don’t' action (aph’t pass, don’t come, lay bets)' and will produce !mor|jnissouts. Rooked dice may also be designed to beat a'specific) bet,suchas the field' bet$jf|

, s Gaffed dice are oftenfmlassifieafas!. inside! work (loaded !fdice; magnetic dice); outsidelwork (shapes, edge work, and surface work), and niisspotted di^(pps and double^humt^Kdice)^It'sfeven; easier to think of ejooked dice" infterrhsfpf||i^gfire'or gaffed dice that worktall; the time,1 suclfyass misspots and magnetic dice, and ’percentage dice’, or'g^ed diSm^geherke^ohly a small advantage for cheaters. Let’s start with the best' known example of- this work; loaded dice; or. 'weight';^
One or more spots,can beilo^^TOit^^mw^^ra^s^latinUm, amalgamfi;tut^^m|lead, or,^MM There are even references toPae^Cai^^ig^^hCTei!the^pots?m~e packed with calomel powdenglu^aS^ water. The mixture isfallowed rofs^up? theh they spotting compound isXadded.i1Tt'smm^^tir^ffl premise, butTs^pecf:' would prove to be unpractical.’, ;

HKwdicejmakers acknowledge; tne^diffichltyl of loading the flushfsp'ot'. Generally, the spots'must^l She drilled deeper than that of the manufacturer tofe . make room for the,weight. This may provide an easjf tell with the polished firiishTmd(pf6^essively(fc

harder with the darker shades of'cellulose.. But

there are options for the dicemakers. They may load the inside spots, avoiding the edge spots completely, as those are more readily detected by a passing glance. They may load only those spots best concealed by the dies natural spotting, such as a corner of a die where the three spots come together. They may even use a red refracting lacquer which can give the illusion of shallowness when the drilled spots are painted before the metallic discs are dropped in. Or they may drill all spots to the same depth, slightly deeper than the manufacturer (likely to go undetected by anyone but another dicemaker), and just go with a very light load.

The strongest possible weight is known as a 'dead ace', and favors the ace. With the ace facing]] up, the twelve lowermost spots on the die are loaded. With weight this strong; the die may actually! feel heavier to the casual player, and the'Stickman may. feel the weight as he drags the dice across the layout. The dice may even make more noise,(depending on the hardness of; the table. Hustlers used to jokingly warn, "Don’t drop this die on your foot, or they'll have to amputate it."-

A: common passing combination is to load one die, to favor 3-5 and the other to favor.i3-5-6.J This pair will roll more totals of 6,8, 9/?i0,*arid 11.

A common missing combination is tp;load one die to favor the ace and the other 2-6, producing more craps and sevens, You might assume that the craps and sevens tend to cancel each other out. Well, they do and they don't. To a pass line bettor they do, but only on the come-out roll. After a i point is established, the craps have no effect, but when the seven shows, the line bettors are dead.

These dice are designed to provide the cheaters with an edge, but there are no guarantees.
When a dies side is cut or sanded down, but remains flat, they are called ’flats’...’Shaving one side reduces the surface area of the four connecting sides, thus making the die more likely to fall on the shaved side or the opposite side.

Flats are sold by the crooked gambling houses I in a range of strengths from 5/1000’’ (known as;5s); to 40/1000” off (40s). The 5s and 10s are considered light [to mild; the 15s, 20s, and 25s are considered medium, and the 30s and 40s are strong. A die with .040” off will take on a more rectangular shape and can be very obvious. A die with only .005” or .010” 'off can be difficult to detect by eye.'The photo (Fig. 4) depicts a favorable alignment that aids detection, but when the dice are thrown normally, the random alignment is not Fig. 4 - Drugstorefiats, "40“s always so convenient.

help the dice cooperate.

The most'common flats are the six-acp flats', a missing combination that will roll more totals of 1-1, 6-6, and 1-6. Passing-combinations are also possible. With a 3-4 flat and 5 2 flat, you fan expect more totals of 5,6,8, and 9.

You may be wondering what the impact is pfa die altered by only 5m066" or 10/1000". The i^nly'test I've ever come across forhowjthese dice impact true frequencies canljbe found ini(Sraps|

Wmxdures Manual (Paul Spencer, 1984), an exquisite manual prepared for Resorts International, AdanticiGity; Paul /conducted the test back in d9,74 for his own personal knowledge, and later added his conclusions to the manual. The test consisted of 10,800 rolls with15/8" sixi-ace flats with 10/1000" off. The results did indicate slightly more 1^6 combinations) but fewer total sevens due to the reduced 5-2 and 4-^c6rnbinationsi Ij^^S indicated slightly more,craps, almost two extra craps per hour. These dice also produced more fours' arid 'tens^^yer sixes and eights.

The edge from these gaffed dice is small. No wonder that stories are commonplace of oldtimers taking the flats off the game and putting the squares.bac^because^the gaffed dice weren't winning.


One or more sides can be beveled to help the, dice , roll oflF certain numbers, so if the five side is beveled, one would expect fewer times that the two will show. 'Bevels’ are very often used in combination with weight and flats to get. bettter results.' ,

Either a two-way bevel (the direction is relevant) or a four-way bevel can help the dice roll more predictably. On a six-ace flat; a bevel on the deuce will help the die roll off the five, minimizing] the number of elevens rolled. You may even see a light bevel on the two, three, four, and five sides.

PfOn a weighted die favoring the ace, you may run into a bevel on the six side.

The bevel can be light, medium, or strong.

The dice are rubbed on a piece of fine grit sandpaper sitting on top of a contoured bevel block (Fig. 7). I've watched dicemakers do this work, and it only takes seconds.



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Edge Work

With.'cucfedge', or gglant edge' rk, the fair edges are cut at 45 ^angles, and the gaffed edges are' cut at 60° angles; , This can be done by hand or withfajaice cutter. When the edges of {certain numbers are, cut at(different angles, the die’s normal tripping and ;sUding action ^may,; he affected.

of the older; operators contend that afturned; edge (or feather edge) makes for a more durable^e.gThey may be right, as the razoredge is prone to nicks and cuts; Although rare today, if the edge is turned, itfgoestwithout saying thatfall edges should he machine cut, orpandedi at uniform angles.

With trip edge', or 'raised edge', work, a raised ridge -can be found on certain edges.KPhis method doessriot-require special equipment. The heat and force of rubbing-the edgelforcefully across the layout, in on^pirectioh tinly* tends to stretch the side. Mildly hot irons have also'been used for a rubbing surface as the heat facilitates the process. I've seen husders take a large nail and forcefully rub the edge as if pushing it out and over the ace side. This will create a burr that can be felt when the thumb rubs off the sides.

Surface Work
Bevelbloc^oftnr^different strengths
Fig. 8 - Cut edge work
There are many methods of altering a dies surface, yet the 9' ^P edge work effectiveness of these angles is highly questionable. If the goal

is to create a Sticky or nonsliding surface, a quick drying solution of nitrated cellulose carnbe used (collodion paste). If the goal is to create a slippery surface, everything from zinc stearate, powders and teflon sprays may cut down on the resistance. Husders have also altered the- degree of sand finish, leaving some sides coarser than others. In another method, the monograms are left unpolished with the hopes of creating a tripping bias, and this is called raised monograms'.

Methods also exist for gaffing the dice during play. Check out the following excerpts that were: culled from a few crooked gambling catalogs of the 1940s and 1950s.


Well this is some of the best information I've come into in a while. I'm following with interest. Keep it up. I'm still yet to see anything to convince me crap can be beaten under normal circumstances.

Dicesetter Im interested to know your comments on all of this.


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Now let’s look at some examples of sure-fire gaffed dice.
Another way to gaff the dice is to alter the spotting. These dice are most commonly known as tops', misspots', or, simply, 'Ts'. The work consists of each die showing only three numbers, each wim a duplicate on the opposite side. Don’t assume that a die with only three numbers is amateurish. Quite the contrary, as these gaffed dice are preferred by the pros. They'll win the money in a hurry, once you' know how they are used. Just remember, one can only see three sides of a die at one time, unless they are reflected in a mirror.

The three most popular passing combinations are a pair of 2-3-6s, that only roll 4, and 12; a pair of l-4-5s that only roll 2,5, 6,8,9, and 10; and a pair of 4-5-6s that only roll 8,9,10, ll, and 12. The last combination is the favorite for cheating the field, and will only produce one losing roll, the 8, called ’snowballs'.

The missing combinations are called 'splitters'. They can seven out, but they can’t make certain points. The 1-3-5 and 2-4-6 pair are 'even splitters' as they only roll odd numbers and can’t make the points 4,6,8, and 10.

The 1-4-5 and 2-3-6 pair are 'odd splitters', as they only roll even numbers and the seven, and can’t make the points of 5 or 9.

The 1-2-3 and 4-5-6 are 'high/low splitters', or 'field splitters'. They only roll middle numbers (from 5 to 9) and they cannot make the points of 4 or 10.

Here are the most common misspot combinations summarized in table form:

2-3-6 6? 2-3-6 1-4-5 6> 1-4-5 4-5-6 & 4-5-6

1-3-5 S’ 2-4-6 1-4-5 & 2-3-6 1-2-3 S’ 4-5-6

4, 5, 6, 8, 9,12

2, 5,6, 8, 9,10 8,9,10,11,12

3, 5, 7, 9, j 3,4,6,7,8,10,11

5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Only one combination will roll all points and eleven, with no craps and no sevens, and that’s 3-4-5 and 1-5-6, called the '4 to 11’. But something's wrong with this combination. The spotting is] .obviously incorrect, and one may detect the 3-4 or the 1-6 sides showing from the same vantage point.j For one or two rolls only, do you think that you would spot the discrepancy?

What’s important to remember is that any scenario is possible. There s a combination for every scam.


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A subtler version of misspots is the double-number die. On a double-deuce, Cor example, there are duplicate twos, no five, and the rest of the die is spotted normally. It looks legitimate from all sides when one of the double numbers is facing up.
Magnetic Dice

Commonly called ’mag dice' or 'juice dice', cobalt powder or discs are inserted into the spots before filling and painting the dice. The cobalt is then magnetically charged, aligning the polarity to favor various combinations. It’s possible to control mag dice through a casino craps table with permanent magnets. These can be hidden by the players in their pockets pocketbooks, or even in specially designed belts and vests. Eve] portable electromagnetic systems are a possibility, althoud concealment would require some ingenuity. In one hmo|

case, the magnet was built into a wheelchair, powered hy car Fig. 10 - Magnetic loads oj cobalt powder batteries hidden in the base of the chair, and moved under the bejore jilling in spots

comer of the table.

'Pulling (controlling) mag dice can he tricky. With electromagnetic systems, the operator must manipulate the magnetic fields in a way to control them, yet coax the dice to roll naturally. Its an art, and requires more expertise than just hitting a hidden on / off switch. 'With permanent magnets, the
Other Variations
alleged to create a vacuum effect), and. to even more esoteric variations. hottwnatdy,most vatiat
crooked dice have little practical application to casino scams, hot one last glimpse into the las variety of crooked dice, let's look at a few pages from some crooked gambling supply bouse
Hundreds of these companies existed right up to the eady 1960s, -when fedetallaws dosed d Today, crooked gambling equipment is not as readily available, hut various gaffs can stiff be
underground sources.


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Transparent Weight Sets

All of the trans]>arent weights shown on this page are manufactured under U. S. Government Patent No.

222740$. See page 18 for explanation. (

For your convenience in ordering, we offer the following Transparent Weight Sets. All of our weight is GUARANTEED AGAINST DEFECTS IN MATERIAL AND WORKMANSHIP UNTIL COMPLETELY WORN OUT.


Ace and Six-Deuce Missers No. 100

Strongest weight combination possible. The two cubes weighted to favor Ace and Six-Deuce bring up points 3 and 7 and are by far the best missing set for general purposes. A pair of Fairs with counter-sunk spots to exactly match is included.

Ace-Deuce and Ace-Five Missers No. 102

Similar to the above, except that this set goes out with a 5-2 Seven instead of 6-1. Perfect for Bar Bets. Fairs included. Will not miss as good as Set No. 100.

Four-Five-Six Passers No. 107

Favors points 8, 9, 10, and 11 more often than ordinarily. Very few craps. One matched pair of fairs included with set. THE STRONGEST PASSING COMBINATION.

Ace, Six-Deuce and Four-Deuce No. 110

A popular and handy all-around set. The Ace and 6-2, when used together, make the strongest possible missing combination. The 6-2 stays in the game all the time, and by switching in the 4-2 “splitter” (sometimes called the “buster”) you have a passing combination favoring points 4, 6, 8 and 10. The weighted Dice bear a secret mark of identification, thus avoiding the possibility of mix-ups. One pair of matched fairs included in set. Complete instructions supplied.

Ace-Deuce, Ace-Five and Trey-Five No. 112

Another practical 3-Dice Set. Same as above except that the missers favor all craps with a 5-2 Seven out. The 1-5 cube stays in the game at all times, and when used with the 3-5 Splitter, forms an ideal passing combination favoring points 4, 6, 8, and 10. Weights carry secret mark. Instructions and Fairs with each order. Will not miss as fast as Set No. 110.


Set No. 100, 102, or 107
Two platinum weights with fair pair $21,25

Two gold weights with fair pair 17.25

Two amalgam weights with fair pair 8.25

Set No. 110 or 112

Three platinum weights with fair pair $31.25

Three gold weights with fair pair 25,25

Three amalgam weights with fair pair 11.75
Platinum costs +he same as gold when you consider the scrap value as explained on page 25.

See Inside Back Cover “How to Order Dice.”


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WEbster 9-3515 / CHICAGO /
All our Shaped Percentage Dice are accurately machine cut and represent a degree of perfection that will please the most critical. Regularly supplied 5-10-15-20-30 and 40 thousandths off. Always state strength desired when ordering.

No. 250-A. Favor 1-6 (Missers—Show crap and seven) Per Pair $2.50

No. 250-B. Favor 3-4 and 2-5 (Passers—show 5, 6, 8 & 9) ..... . .Per Pair 2.50


No. 255-A. Favor 1-6 Per Pair $3.00

No. 255-B. Favor 3-4 and 2-5 . .Per Pair 3.00


No. 260-A. Favor 1-6 ... .v.-S . . > . • - - • -.. .-.Per Pair $3.50

No. 260-B. Favor 3-4 and 2-5 Per Pair 3.50

In addition to the above, we offer three dice sets consisting of two dice to favor 6-1 for Missers and one. dice to favor 4-3. Using a 4-3 with either of the 6-1 dice will give a passing combination to show 4-5-9 and 10.
No. 250-C. Three Dice Flat Set ... Per Set $3.75

No. 255-C. Three Dice .Shape Set Per Set 4.50

No. 260-C. Three Dice Suction Shape Set - - Per Set 5.25

These dice are made to favor 6-1 and 5-2 so that they will show the following missing, combinations, 2, 3, and a 7 either with 6-1 or 5-2.
No. 700. Two Way Flats—always specify strength desired Per Pair $3.00


No. 600. Invisible Shapes any size or color, caliper perfect Per Pair $3.00

The newest and most amazing development in dice work ever offered'. Exclusive with K. C. Card Co. These dice can be cut open or burned, and nothing can be found, yet they will perform like mild weights. Made in inch or larger and in flush spot only. Red or green transparent. Set consists of two', weighted dice with pair to match. NOTE: MUST BE %o INCH OR LARGER.

No. 400. Cabalistic Transparent Weight, Favor Ace and 2-6,
with pair .Per Set $7.50

No. 400-A. Favor Aces only, with pair Per Set 7.50

No. 400-B. Favor A-2, with pair . • • Per Set - 7.50


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TRIP Dice, sometimes called Slick Dice, are simply an elaboration of the old style Roughed and Buffed Dice, the theory being that any roughness on certain sides of the dice will cause it to roll over in action until it strikes a smooth side when the dice will slide to a stop. Trip Dice are made in several popular styles and combinations and will give satisfactory results only to operators who continually replace their dice for the life of this type of work is very limited and after a few hours play the work is worn down until it is no longer effective.

Trip Dice are made in sharp or turned edge only. It is also important that Trip Dice be used on a proper surface, the most satisfactory being our Rubber Back Canvas listed on page 11. Trip Dice show better results in the polished finish.
A popular style Trip Dice showing a good percentage when new in either missouts or passers. Dice caliper perfect and are made with sharp or turned edge only; any size
or color.

No. 10F181. Raised Edge Trip Missouts, any combination Per Pair $1.50

No. 10F182. Raised Edge Trip Passers, any combination Per Pair 1.50
This is another type of edge work slightly different from the raised edge work above and one that will stand for closer inspection, giving the operator about the percentage of 5/1000 flats. Dice caliper perfect, sharp or turned edge only. Made in any size or color.

No. 10F183. Cut Edge Trip Missouts, any

combination Per Pair $1.50
Another variation of the turned edge, preferred by some. This work is very mild, but in combination with a slightly raised spot, the percentage is considerably increased while new. No extra charge for this work. Made in any size or color.
No. 10F184. Saw Edge Trip Missouts, any combination Per Pair $2.00

No. 10F186. Saw Edge Trip Passers, any combination Per Pair 2.00

This is one of the popular examples of Trip Work and because of its construction is somewhat less subject to wear. Sharp, Turned or Slightly Rounded edge. Made in
any size or color.

No. 10F187. Raised Spot Trip Missouts, any combination Per Pair $2.00

No. 10F188. Raised Spot Trip Passers, any combination Per Pair 2.00


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Dice switches are like card switches, the methods are endless. Some switches are extremely difficult and take dedicated practice—sometimes years. A flawless, one-handed switch is a sight to see, and without question, is one of the most impressive moves in all gambling sleight-of-hand. These are the switches you'll only find in the repertoire of the professional dice mechanic. For the less skilled, the techniques are likely to consist of hand-to-hand transfers, superfluous gestures, or switches where cash or checks are used as a prop. The dice crew always plays a big role, and they will turn and provide cover at the moment the switch occurs. When the turns do their job, a switch can come from any position on the game, despite the inside mirrors,

Slang is replete and colorful in this world. Legitimate dice are squares', gaffed dice are called 'baloneys', a dice switch is a gypsy’, and switching dice into the game is to 'kick them in'; the argot, however, often depends on the locale.

Here a few of the most common techniques.

Palm Switch

The 'palm switch' is the purest, most difficult switch around. In the hands of a pro, there is absolutely nothing to see. It appears that the dice are simply picked up and tossed. There's no get ready, no fumbling, just an instant switch.

The mechanic starts with the gaffed dice locked in the palm, and this is not always easy to do without the hand looking like a starfish. Some pros have been doing the move for so long, they have developed a pocket in the palm, enabling them to open their fingers wide with the hand perfeedy flat, yet still secure the dice.

The easiest way to get the dice into the palm position is to palm them while in the pocket. Or, with checks in hand, the mechanic reaches into the pocket and retrieves the gaffed dice, which can then be pushed into the opposite palm under the pretense of playing with the checks. The dice may also be palmed from a special clip that holds the dice behind the tail of an open shirt or jacket (Fig. 11). These clips allow the mechanic to both retrieve and ditch the dice without having to reach in and out of the pockets.

With the gaffed dice palmed, the squares are picked up at the fingertips. The hand moves left for the backswing, and then right for the tossing action. The palmed dice^ the gafled ones, are released.

As the hand comes back, the squares are palmed, ready to switch again (Figs. 12 to IS). The description



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sounds simple enough, but the move is not easy to do expertly. With a pro, there is nothing to see, and no discernible tells or breaks in rhythm.
The palm switch may also occur while toying with the dice.

Its common for a player to throw the dice against the inner rubber once or twice before tossing them, and the switch can occur during this action. Or, the dice may be lifted just an inch off the table and dropped, but only the gaffed dice are dropped as the squares are palmed. Either way, it only takes a second.
Fig. 12 - Crooked dice palmed
Fig. 13-Squares picked up at fingertips

Thumb Switch
The 'thumb switch’ is another classic one-handed switch preferred by the pros. The gaffed dice start concealed in the fingers. The squares are picked up and secured into the crotch of the thumb and first finger. In the tossing action, the gaffed dice are released with the fingers spread to show an apparendy clean hand. As the hand comes back to the rail, the squares fall from thumbpalm to fingerpalm, ready to be switched again (Figs. 16 to 18).
Fig. 16 - Ready
Fig. 17 - Moving into thumb palm
Fig. 18 - Thumb switch
No-Spill Switch
This next move was designed by husders who never wanted to experience the unpleasantries of spilling, or accidentally dropping or tossing more than two dice. The gaffed dice start in the palm position. The squares are picked up by the fingertips and moved into a fingerpalm (Fig. 19). The fingers wrap around the dice and hold on tight. In this position, its impossible to spill. As the hand makes a tossing



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action, the gaffed dice come flying out of the palm. In fact, they’re the only dice that can fall from the palm i®hM position.

The hand must stay in a semi-closed position during the toss, so the technique doesn’t look as clean or as natural ast either the palm or thumb switch. But if the hand comes back quickly to snap the fingers, the action emulates thousands of craps7shooters. The native is practical, very, deceptive,’ and!’ takes little practice.
Money Switch
There are many switches where cash in the hand is uSed for'cover, and the following move is, perhaps,Thef'mbst.comr^n. The mechanic stands to the left of the stick, and the gaffed dice are hidden under the money. The shooter makesffcv:^!^^tipmbe^;^n.d picks up the squares with the right hand (Fig.'&O). When it's time; to switch/ the right hand comes to the left hand/igrabs tne/casn, and. gestures to the propositions! as the left hand begins shaking the gaffed dice (Figs. 21 and 22). The left hand canjtiow./toss/the dice cleanly|||
Fig.21 - Grabbing the cash
Fig. 22! - Gesturing to the prop bets
Another way to end this particular sequence, is for the right hand to grab the cash;;ancl'thr6w it towards the boxman, diverting the focus of attention, Either way, the technique is perfect choice for gutsy amateurs with plenty of turns. ,

Here’s another example of a switch using money as a prop. The. left hand rests qver the table rail fairly close to the layout with the gaffed dice hiding behind the money. As the dice come to the shooter, the right hand slaps the layout, once or twice, not, only a common gesture but a subtle way of saying, "Look, the hand is empty." The right hand now appears to pick up the dice and drop them under the guise of a preparatory roll. What actually happens is that the squares are palmed as the gaffed dice are dropped. With both hands fairly close together, the illusion is good: The gaffed dice



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are tossed down the table with the right hand, while the squares remained palmed. This leaves the left hand clean, so the money can be thrown in for change. The technique allows both hands to be seen as open, one at a time, first the throwing hand, and then the money hand.

Jacket Switch

A giant inside pocket, called a 'web', can be used to facilitate a very deceptive switch that enables both hands to be shown empty after the toss. This pocket, secured to the inside of the jacket and tucked into the pants with the back sewn together so nothing can fall out, provides the means for disposing the squares.

With the gaffed dice palmed in the right hand, the squares are picked up and shaken up high near the chin. During this upward movement (Fig. 24), the fingers remain frozen and lightly graze the inside of the jacket. Its at this instant that the squares are thrown behind the jacket and into the web (Fig. 25). When the technique is perfected, the move even looks good in slow motion. All that's left is to cleanly shoot the baloneys down the table. Both hands are empty! Once the dice are thrown into the web, they can be retrieved by leaning up against the table with crossed arms as one hand reaches inside the jacket.
Fig.24 - Moving hand up for throw Fig. 25 - Squares going into jacket Fig. 26 - Ready to toss with clean hand
One-Die Switches

In some scams, only one die may be switched. Here are the basic mechanics.

A gaffed die hides in fingerpalm position. As the squares are picked up, the uppermost die gets locked into a thumbpalm, and its the two lowermost dice that are tossed. The move is identical to the thumb switch, only with a single die. The techniques may also begin with the single die in plam position, and now the fingers appear open during the pickup.

One of the most unusual techniques I have ever come across employs a diabolical gaff. Six checks are glued together and the inside is gutted. An undrilled check is glued to the top to create a shell just large enough to conceal one die inside.

Openly holding a stack of checks in the left hand, the empty right hand takes a few checks and makes a bet on the pass line. The bet actually consists of the shell, gaffed die inside, and a few legitimate



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checks on the bottom. The cheater picks up the squares, palms one in the crotch of the thumb, and now appears to reduce his bet. As his hand couches the checks, the shell is moved slighdy forward, spilling the gaffed die as the other square is dropped to the layout. The shell is placed back in the left hand with the other checks, during which the single die (the square) falls into the shell. The checks are openly held in the hand, and there is nothing to see. The dice are tossed down the table with no risk of flashing or spilling (Figs. 28 to 30).
Fig. 27 - Dice shell
The mechanic started with some checks in his left hand and an empty right hand, and this is exacdy what you see when the move is finished. It's an incredible technique employing a little-known gaff. It would fool anyone not in the know, including many knowledgeable dice men.
Other Techniques
There are dozens of other techniques possible. Many employ a fake transfer where the gaffed dice start out in the right hand, the squares are picked up with the left hand and apparendy placed in the right (a fake), and the right hand immediately shakes the dice to draw attention to this hand. Some mechanics may use a partner, perhaps a guy/girl combination. As the shooter leans over to pick up the dice, they are slid over to his friend and switched in the process. There are even techniques where the hand is placed flat on top of the dice and rattled on the layout with the fingers spread wide open. You can see the dice shaking between the fingers, but its too late, the dice have already been switched.

For another variation, I’ve seen a hustler snap the squares right up his sleeve. Starting with the gaffed dice in palm position, he picked up the squares with the same hand, and his middle finger propelled the squares up the sleeve as the hand was lifted high and shaken. The dice were tossed across the body (like a Frisbee) to keep the squares from falling out. After the toss, the hand dropped to the side, and



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the squares dropped into the palm, ready to go again.

Even mechanical holdout machines, as typically used in card games, have been used to switch dice.

After a switch, the mechanic may choose to hand off the squares to a partner standing close behind; he can later feed the dice back to the mechanic when needed. If a mechanic plans to keep the gaffed dice in play indefinitely, he may employ a cleanup man. A cup of coffee or glass of cola may rest on the shelf below the table level. Immediately following the switch, the squares are dropped into the drink, and picked up by the cleanup man who exits the property promptly.

If the plan is to switch the squares back into play, after a roll or two, the shooter may hide them under the money, in a pocket, keep them palmed in one hand resting on the rail, or go back to the dice ^lip. There are more than a few options.


From the 1930s to 1960s, it was not uncommon for the occasional casino operator to 'go for the money' (cheat the public). The easiest way to do this was to put down some percentage dice at the beginning of a shift. A bowl of light six-ace flats, for example, would increase the operators percentage against all who bet the dice to win, which is a majority of the public.

For a more predictable outcome, professional dice mechanics were occasionally employed. They might work the stick, sit box, or pose as players. It was their job to 'put all the fires out'.

Sometimes, a club ran 'flat and employed bustout crews. The crew was comprised of one dice mechanic working the stick and numerous shills. These crews would usually bust out with misspots. The stickman wore a special apron with five inside pockets holding two pairs of passers, two pairs qf missouts, and one pair of field splitters. Sometimes a shill held the gaffed dice in different ? pockets and would feed them to the stickman as needed. The stickman would move the dice to the center of the table, rake them in towards himself then pick them up and switch them while throwing] them to his shill. Shills on each side of the stickman would lean foward to make bets providing cover| for the switch. The other shills would knowingly pick up the misspots and throw them down the table. Teamwork was essential.

I If a player walked up and started betting the field, field splitters were kicked in (1-2-3 and 4-5-6), as this combination produced only one winning roll. If a right bettor started firing away, a pair of missouts > were used, perhaps a pair of l-2-3s on the comeout roll. There was no way to make a natural, and if j the shill came out on a point, the splitters were switched in to guarantee the seven-out. There was a combination for every situation, and the players didn't have a chance.

These clubs would often enforce some very interesing procedural anti-cheat rules. If you wanted to shoot the dice, you had to put the heel of your palm on the layout with your fingers spread out. As soon as the stick pushed the dice into your hand, you had to pick them up and shoot them—you couldn’t -set the dice or play with them. This would obviously protect the game from the dice mechanics, or a


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ontrolled dice shot artist who needed to first set the dice, but it also ensured a safer game for the bustout crew to ply their trade. The sucker was never given the opportunity to look over the dice should any suspicion arise. I'm told that when this procedure was enforced, and the players were conditioned, the sdckman would occasionally push a pair of tops right into the suckers hand! No kidding.

Those days are gone forever, but much can be learned from the thinking and angles behind these scams. If you can cheat a player betting the field, you can cheat the casino betting the field. This holds true for betting the pass, don't pass, come, don't come, place bets, and proposition bets. Craps is unique in this aspect. It all depends on which side of the table you're rooting for.

Casino Logos and Serial Numbers
The first step in any scam where crooked dice will be switched into play is matching up the casino dice, known as 'matching up the craps’. The best cheaters are equipped with cases full of dice in every style and gaff imaginable (Fig. 31), so it’s easy to match up a die’s size, color, spotting, edge, and finish. But how does a crew deal with the casino logo and serial number? How do they get around these safety measures?

If the scam involves switching in some percentage dice, either weights or shapes, then either the serial number or one or more logos have to be duplicated.

First the serial number. After identifying the font style and size of the serial number by sight—usually done at the beginning of the shift—an identical stamp is constructed for duplicating this serial number. This is done by selecting the appropriate typeface from a large variety of font styles and sizes commonly used by cheaters specializing in this work. It’s standard equipment and there aren't as many variations as you might think. The individual letter stamps are put together and secured in a custom-built, portable hot stamping machine that plugs into a car lighter (Fig. 32). To duplicate a seri; number's color, the appropriate color of foil is laid over the die before hot stamping it. Once the stam is heated, a matching serial number can then be impressed onto the gaffed dice. The gaffed dice ai cooled, polished, and ready to go. The entire process takes about thirty minutes. Or, the font styl size, and color can be telephoned to a crew member at home or in a. hotel room, who matches u the craps with some very common, commercially available equipment.