Casino Player Magazine | Strictly Slots Magazine | Casino Gambling Tips


The pitfalls and perils

By Frank Scoblete


In the world of casino playing, there are good players and there are bad players. The good players use the lowest house edge bets at the games they play and keep their betting in an easily handled way with no horrors of worrying about losing their houses, businesses or families. At baccarat they will only bet bank or player but never tie. At blackjack, they will only play real basic strategy—the computer-derived strategy for the play of every players’ hand against the dealers’ upcard.

The bad players play hard-to-beat bets with very high house edges. In craps, such a player will make those outrageous proposition bets of which craps is replete. My mentor, the late Captain of craps from Atlantic City, called these bets crazy crapper bets and many of them have double-digit edges. Players who make those bets are doomed, usually in almost every session.

The good players have a decent chance to beat the casinos on any given session. They are underdogs, yes, but not so under that every time they play, they will be buried way, way under. They have a chance to win enough times in their careers that those careers are not horrible monuments to poor gambling choices.

Now, there is indeed a third class of casino player called the advantage player. This is a player who has mastered the advanced strategies that can give him or her the edge over certain casino games— games such as blackjack (with card counting), craps (with dice control, also called dice influence), and full-pay proper-strategy video poker (note: ones with a slight mathematical edge) and maybe or maybe not some others (such as Pai Gow Poker).

Casinos are aware that such players exist. Sadly, many of these players are not really much threats to the casinos’ coffers. Not because they can’t get the edge over the house if they play properly but many do not play properly and throw their edges away. Poof!

So, let me take a look at some of the goofs would-be casino advantage players might make that can doom them. I’ll select two games, blackjack and craps.

In blackjack, proper bankroll and proper betting sizes are imperative during the course of a player’s advantage-play career. Being underfunded can doom a player. Even with an edge, a blackjack game can have wild swings of fortune. An advantage blackjack player has to be able to withstand the negative streaks—and there will be negative streaks, some amazingly long. These have drained and ultimately doomed many a wishful card counter.

Blackjack players must avoid certain games, such as 6-to-5 games— those being games that only pay 6-to-5 on a winning blackjack. Good rules are important too. They keep you in the game longer and soften some of those wild losing streaks. Players should look to play those games. (Actually, all blackjack players should look to play those games.)

Do not bet too much if you have a somewhat small bankroll. Your edge will be around one percent, maybe a little higher, maybe a little lower, and you can’t put too much stress on your bankroll. It is always best to have more money behind you than less money behind you.

Now, we have craps advantage play. Some gambling experts believe that controlling the dice is nonsense; many casino “authorities” say they believe that such a feat can’t be done.

It can. By a few exceptional players.

My first introduction to dice control came to me in the early 1990s when I played with three of the best dice controllers I ever saw; the Captain, Jimmy P. and the one-and-only Arm, the best I ever saw bar none.

The Captain had a Crew of 22 high-rolling players, but only these three could handle the dice as advantage players.

[Please note: The Captain taught me everything I know about casino playing —proper strategies, money management and most important, sanity. Those were a great almost-decade with these people, just about all World War II veterans. The Captain, Jimmy P. and the Arm are long gone now as are the Crew. Those were the days, the older Atlantic City days of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and a host of other celebrities and, of course, Steve Wynn and the Golden Nugget. But now? No, no more.]

Dice control has the player set the dice in specific ways to hit certain numbers. The throw needs to be totally relaxed and controlled. The bounce off the back wall has to see the dice die as much as possible.

The player has to make bets that can be overcome with his or her throw and this is where most failed dice controllers find their trouble. They go after numbers whose edges they can’t overcome. They also bet proposition bets that they can’t overcome. They go after long shots too. All big mistakes.

The world of the dice controller is loaded with bulbous “BSers”— those individuals who pretend they know the game of craps and actually know very little of worth. These players sell expensive dice control or dice influence courses and offer their students the very worst advice on how to play.

The problem with many dice controllers? They think they are better than they actually are. They grease their own paths to losses.

Both card counters and dice controllers can beat the casinos, but most can’t because they play incorrectly.

All the best in and out of the casinos!


Frank Scoblete’s books are available from, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries and bookstores.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Scroll to Top