One of the questions that often bothers players is whether casinos can use loaded dice in craps to cheat. While the short answer is “No, they do not”, this topic deserves more attention. There are several reasons why you should not doubt the integrity of the dice used by casino employees in craps.
Like many other casino games, craps gives the house a certain edge that guarantees the casino a win in the long run. Due to having an advantage over the players, the casino does not need to rely on cheating to beat the gamblers. That is why you do not have to worry about being tricked by the casino while playing the dice game.
In addition to not needing a cheating method to beat the players, casinos also do not interfere with the dice in craps to avoid giving players some edge. While loaded dice can give the casino some advantage, they can also tilt the scales in favour of the player. The last thing a casino would want to do is give craps fans an extra edge over the house and improve their winning chances. That is yet another reason why casinos do not use loaded dice in craps.
Even though it is very unlikely to come across a casino that uses loaded dice, it is still useful to be aware of how you can actually take advantage of such a situation. To learn more about the dice used in craps and how you can benefit from changes in their design, you should continue reading.
The Use of Dice in Craps
If you are visiting a brick-and-mortar casino, you will notice that most table games will not allow you to touch any of the items on the table. Since players are not allowed to touch cards, often there are specific signals they would have to give the dealer, indicating the action they would like to take. The wheel on roulette tables is also spun by the dealer who is also launching the ball into the spinning wheel.
As you can see, the casino makes sure that players cannot interfere with table games in any way. However, this is not the case with craps as players are the ones handling the dice. This indicates that the casino does not worry about the outcome of the roll of the dice, even if they are handled by a regular player. If there was any way to control the dice, the casino would not have allowed you to roll it yourself.
One thing to know about dice is that their design suggests that the value of 7 is expected to appear more times than any other value. If you wonder why, that is due to the fact that there are more combinations of numbers that can roll 7, than any other value. If you take a look at the dice, you will notice that a 7 can appear when one rolls 1-6, 2-5, or 3-4, as well as 6-1, 5-2, or 4-3. The next most common numbers to appear are 6 and 8, which can appear only in five ways. Next numbers have even fewer ways to appear, with 11 having only two possible ways to be rolled out – by landing 6-5 or 5-6.
The reason why the number of ways the dice can roll a certain value is important is to help you understand that there is no reason for the casino to use loaded dice in craps. In the long run, the casino will always win without using any cheating methods.
Ensuring the Fairness of Dice Used in Craps
Before dice are used in real craps play, casinos must ensure the dice will always roll out a fair result. To do that, the dice pass a series of tests, guaranteeing their integrity and fairness. When being manufactured, dice must be weighed and balanced to promise a fair and random result on every roll. Poorly designed dice can cause unbiased results as certain sides of the die may appear more often due to certain circumstances related to the faulty design.
Each gaming board has its guidelines for dice testing but they all follow similar inspection requirements imposed by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission – the body governing gambling activities in Atlantic City. Casino dice must be stored in safety until the casino tables open for business. However, before they are used in any of the games, the boxperson must test the integrity of the dice.
Visual inspection is the first and most basic test that is conducted to ensure that there is nothing unusual about the dice design. The boxperson checks whether all opposing sides of a die would equal 7, with every side of a die required to have the casino’s name, logo and a serial number on it. If all of these requirements are met, the boxperson continues with a further visual inspection, making sure there are no visible defects on any side of a die.
After the visual inspection is complete, the boxperson uses a handful of tools to further ensure there is nothing incorrect with the design of the casino dice. To be certain that each side of a die is the same correct size, the boxperson uses an electronic micrometre, ensuring the accuracy of the measurements. The die is inserted into a balancing calliper to be weighted properly. Thanks to this tool, the boxperson weights all dice sides, making sure there are no loaded dice or floaters.
The edges of the dice are also checked to make sure they are square, with the boxperson using a steel set square for that purpose. Meanwhile, to check if any type of metal has been integrated into the dice, the person doing the inspection uses a simple magnet.
Reasons Casinos Do Not Use Loaded Dice in Craps
Simply claiming casinos do not use loaded dice may not be enough so we will give you a few reasons why this is rarely something casinos would do. If you take into consideration the grounds of casinos ensuring the integrity of craps dice, you will learn that there is more to lose than to win when interfering with casino dice design.
Winning odds of the casino
One of the main reasons why casinos do not use loaded dice in craps is the fact that there is no need to cheat to beat the player. Thanks to the house edge on each bet on craps, in the long run, the casino will always win, with no need to cheat to gain profit. If the casino uses loaded dice, that would affect the odds mathematics, which may even indicate the casino losing more times in the long run.
Loaded dice can work against the casino
If the dice in craps have been modified in some way, some sides of a die would appear more often. As the roll of the dice would not be random, the inclination of certain numbers to appear more often would change the house edge on certain bets. While the modified dice can sometimes work in favour of the casino, in other cases can give a bigger advantage to the player.
If we take for example corrupted dice, designed to have the 6-1 combination appear more often, rolling 7 more often than it would usually do on a random basis. That would mean players making the pass/come line bet would win more often on the come out roll. This would indicate more short rolls, with more point seven outs than usual as well.
If players fail to notice the trend, those who make place bets or opt for the pass and come betting options will repeatedly suffer losses, bringing the casino a huge fortune. However, experienced craps players can quickly notice the unusual trend and will adjust their bets to make use of the modified dice in craps.
How to Make Use of Loaded Dice in Craps
As we covered above, there is no reason for a casino to use loaded dice in craps as that can actually lower the house’s winning odds in the long run. That said, if you happen to come across a craps game where the results of most dice rolls seem suspiciously similar, you might need to know how to take advantage of the situation.
Let us take for example the loaded dice that will have the 6-1 combination appear more often. In that case, the optimal way to play craps will be to take the following steps:
Bet on the “Don’t” side of craps
If the dice will often roll 7 due to being loaded, you should go easy on the Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets as this will minimise the risk levels of losing when the dice roll 7 or 11. Meanwhile, you can benefit from making a bigger bet when a point is established on your Don’t Pass bet or when Don’t Come switches to a number.
Choose Lay bets
When a point has been established, you can make bigger Lay bets on the point or another number that is less likely to appear in the game. If the dice are loaded, you can monitor the game for a few rounds to notice the trend of which numbers will appear less frequently.
Pay attention to all trends
Rigged dice will not only increase the number of times a certain combination appears but will also change the odds of others numbers rolling. If you are careful, you will be able to notice all of the trends in the game that had its odds changed. That way, you will be able to easily determine the right move on Don’t Pass/Come or Lay bets.
Make Hop bets
Typically, players are not advised to make Hop bets due to their extremely high house edge. However, if the dice are loaded and you have noticed that the combination of 6-1 is appearing on continuous rolls, you can make use of Hop bets by betting on all options containing one of the numbers.
Place a Horn bet
This is another type of craps bet that is not recommended to be done under usual circumstances. Just like Hop bets, this one has a way too high house edge, making it an option to typically avoid. However, when you know that 6s and 1s appear more frequently due to the changes in the dice, the chances of the dice rolling 1-1 and 1-2 consequently or having 6-6 follow a combination of 5-6 are drastically increased. In such a case, the balance will be tilted to the players’ advantage.
Play Any 7 or Hop the 7
Take into consideration that the bets mentioned above are still better options than this one, even if the dice are loaded. A typical craps game with dice with no irregularities will give the option of playing/hopping the 7 a house edge of 16.7%. Even if the dice tend to roll 7s more often than usual, it is still a very high house advantage to overcome, making this type of bet extremely risky. That said, if you think luck is on your side and you can make use of the loaded dice, you can choose to make this type of bet occasionally.
Why Would Players Doubt the Integrity of Craps Dice?
As we have discussed, casinos have no real reason to interfere with the design of dice in craps as this can actually give players a bigger advantage and lower the casino’s potential for long-term wins. In that case, you may be wondering why the worry of casinos using loaded dice is a common concern among players.
One thing that gets players fooled is craps being a game with many trends. On average, the design of the dice must indicate that a 7 would appear once in every six rolls. However, the key phrases to remember in this case are “on average” and “in the long run”. That means that no results are 100% guaranteed and cannot be predicted. Often, you may find craps tables that have entered a hot streak with no 7s to be seen for multiple rounds.
If you happen to play on a craps table where a trend has made you go through your entire bankroll in just a few minutes, it is natural to doubt the integrity of the dice. However, trends are extremely common in craps and have nothing to do with the design of the dice or any cheating methods used by the casino.
Another legit reason why you may believe a craps table may use loaded dice is that some manufacturers may indeed design dice with some imperfections. That said, you may notice that dice are replaced with new ones every 4 to 8 hours. Moreover, every new die is inspected by the boxperson before being used in the game.
However, a visual inspection can sometimes be inefficient, with small imperfections being almost invisible to the naked eye. If the casino has any doubts about the integrity of the dice used in the game, however, they are instantly replaced with new dice. After all, the casino cannot risk lowering its long-term winning odds or its reputation, for that matter, for a pair of dice with a faulty design.
Closing Thoughts on Legitimacy of Craps Dice
So, are there casinos that use loaded dice in craps? The answer would be “No”, at least not on purpose. While there have been a few cases of small casinos that mainly cater to tourists using loaded dice, there have not been any major casinos using such cheating methods in craps. The main reason for that is that dice with an altered design can actually cause a loss of money for the casino in the long run.
However, it is possible for some dice to have been manufactured with minor imperfections that can cause some sides of a die to appear more often. Whether it is due to simple luck or the design of the dice, it is important to be able to quickly spot trends and act accordingly to make the most of the game before the casino switches the dice. That said, keep in mind that craps tables with loaded dice are not easy to find as they bring casinos no real long-term profit.