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Get the Edge at Craps
by Chris Pawlicki
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The author, nicknamed The Sharpshooter, has a background in math and physics and applies several of those principles in regard to how to hold the dice and how to launch them in a casino. There are sections of his work devoted to 'the grip' and the delivery; how to practice‹how to form a 'team' of people who single-handedly can create a hot table. The book contains a section on 'muscle memory' and explains how to select, master and apply a new delivery technique in under a month. It takes you from the basics to more advanced concepts and includes a history of the evolution of the game; how the table is designed. There's advice on how to get personal lessons after you've read the book as well.
Read a review of Get the Edge at Craps
Club USA Casino Craps
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Related Links
Sharpshooter CrapsThe official site for Jerry Patterson and the Sharpshooter's Dice Control courses. Since 1996, Sharpshooter and Patterson have been perfecting their techniques and they provide details of what's involved. The site provides craps strategy, a free newsletter, a bookstore and practice tables.

The Second Key to Precision Dice Control

The Second Key Is the Apex Dice-Strike.

Your objective is to have the dice strike the back wall at the apex of the second or third (for very long tables) trajectory. Refer back to Figure 1 in theChris PawlickiChris Pawlicki (AKA Sharpshooter) has an engineering background which he has put to good use in his dice control research. He and Jerry Patterson created the "dice control revolution" with the development of the first dice control course in 1996. He published his own book, How to Control the Dice in 2002, and launched in 2003.  Chris's website is  previous article.  As the dice ascend towards the apex of their trajectory, something very interesting occurs; the horizontal component of motion stays constant, however the vertical component diminishes (because of gravity) until the dice reach the peak and stop climbing altogether. At this moment, the vertical forces are zeroed out and only the horizontal component of force is present (See Figure 2 below). The net force and kinetic energy on the dice is at a minimum at this crucial point because most of the energy is being “stored” as potential energy. From Newton’s third law of mechanics; for every action (force) on a body, there is an opposed, equal reaction.

What does all this mean?

By gently striking the back wall at the apex of the second or third trajectory, when the forces and kinetic energy are at their minimum, the reaction force that the back wall will impart upon the dice is also at the minimum. Picture the dice just floating in and "kissing" the back wall, they will instantly be repelled with minimal reaction force. The dice will then have less opportunity to A) compress the rubber to create a spring-board effect and B) to pivot about the pyramid's pinnacle and conform to a skew angle. So striking the back wall at the top of the parabola will greatly reduce the pyramidal baffling effect.

Remember that the dice should enter the back wall perpendicularly and repel perpendicularly or the initial set relationship will be destroyed.

An Alternative to the 45-Degree Launch/Apex Dice-Strike

Another approach that has some merit is an open-handed forward rolling on-axis throw. If you were around during WW-II, you might remember that this is what soldiers gambling behind the army barracks refer to as the “blanket roll”. This is fine if there are no betting chips sprinkled about the throwing surface (person running the blanket game hung on to all the cash that was wagered). But, for live in-casino play, there are usually chips stacked everywhere. As soon as one die strikes a chip, it will either stop or get knocked off axis, which kills your control. If this is your delivery of choice, you will have to operate at empty or near empty tables. Throw the dice just hard enough to “toddle up” to the continuous rubber bumper, just under the pyramids, and stop.

An effective hybrid approach is to launch the dice in such a way as to create a series of 45 degree parabolas, starting with a smaller first trajectory and have the dice dampen out on successive arcs so that by the time the dice reach the back wall, they just encounter the rubber bumper at the bottom, then come to rest. You would probably use a gentle back-hand release. There are two considerations: 1) the dice will bounce and react with the table multiple times. If the dice are slightly off axis, this alignment error will be magnified more and more after each bounce. 2) The chances of creating an alignment error are greater because of the possible interaction with betting chips on the layout (see above). So keep these considerations in mind if you want to experiment with this style of delivery.


The 45-degree launch angle coupled with the shortest throwing distance is the key to increasing your control and reducing excess energy. The apex dice-strike is critical for maintaining your soft landing with minimal random "splatter"; thusly creating your edge over the house. Both of these systems are easy to learn and very manageable during live in-casino play.

Happy Hunting,

The Sharpshooter

Sharpshooter is co-authoring a new book with Jerry Patterson called Winning Dice Control Techniques – Shooting Craps from the Zone. This book is a work in progress and is being published on our website as new segments are written. 

Visit for more information including subscribing to a Free Newsletter containing articles from the new book.

You can purchase autographed copies of Sharpshooter’s Best Selling first book, Get the Edge at Craps – How to Control the Dice, from Jerry Patterson’s Nevada office for $12 including Shipping & Handling (retail price is $15). Call (800) 257-7130. 

In the Sharpshooter/PARR Dice Control Course we can work with you to optimize your toss or teach you one of our proven delivery systems. You can also experiment with the expert-level Sharpshooter fingertip release or the simpler, but very effective “Fish Mouth” release.

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