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How Craps Works


Can You Cheat at Craps?

Loaded Dice

The original big cheating technique for all dice games involved dice that were weighted (loaded) or misshapen by sanding or shaving off slivers, causing them to land on certain numbers more often than they would normally. Most casinos now have their own dice with their name stamped on them. The dice may also be numbered. Before dice are put on a table, their numbers are checked to ensure that they are the casino's dice. That doesn't mean loaded dice never enter the game anymore -- dealers and other casino employees are constantly watching when dice leave the table or some other diversion is created. The best protection a casino can have for loaded dice is to have transparent dice.

Past Posting

Probably the most common type of cheating at craps is past posting. Past posting is positioning a bet on the table after the dice have landed. In 2001, a gambler was sentenced to seven to 25 years in prison for past posting. He would ask dealers for change right when the dice were rolled, and then as he got his change (after the dice had stopped) he would drop chips on the winning spot on the table. Using this technique, the man had won about $86,000 from the casino.

Casinos are always on the lookout for past posters, so make sure you're not doing anything that could look like it. For example, if your chips are knocked over by the dice, let the dealer restack them. If you ever do have to touch your chips when they're on the layout, make sure you hold your hands palm up so the dealers (and the casino cameras) see that you're not placing more chips on the table.

Honest Cheating: Rhythmic or Controlled Rolling

Although controlled shooting (described previously in Strategies the Winners Use) is not necessarily cheating, casinos don't like it. They expect the dice to shake freely in the shooter's hand to ensure a random roll. It's not unheard of for rhythmic rollers to be banished from casinos.

For more information on craps, other casino games, and related topics, check out the links on the Lots More Information page. To access the HowStuffWorks Craps Glossary, go to the next page.