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Get the Edge at Craps
by Chris Pawlicki
Book Picture
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.

SharpShooter's Dice Control Book an Interesting Read

In summary, this book professes to lay out a course of study for its readers who want to become winners at the game of craps by providing some element of control over the way they throw the dice. DoesNick ChristensonNick Christenson is widely regarded as one of the best gambling book reviewers publishing today. He is a contributor for Poker Player magazine, and has published in Full-Tilt and Gambling Times. He is also the editor of the very funny 'Casino Death Watch,' which chronicles the comings and goings of casinos in Las Vegas. He is an avid poker and blackjack player.  Nick's website is www.jetcafe.org/~npc/  this work? The only response I can give to this question is that I don't have any first-hand knowledge of whether it works or not. Regardless, dice control has become such a hot issue lately, so I feel it is important to review this book.

The first thing I must say is that at the very least the amount of effort the author states is required to become an advantage craps player seems plausible. That is, these techniques are not something that one can learn in an afternoon. Sharpshooter (a pseudonym, obviously) advises the reader that hundreds of hours of practice will be required in order to erase the house edge. In fact, I find the author's descriptions of practice methods, throwing techniques, and the mechanics of dice motion to be quite reasonable and believable.

Despite the fact that most of the mathematical calculations in this book look correct, at least at first glance, there are many places where I think the author doesn't properly consider some of the important mathematical issues. Frankly, given the edge that the author claims a good shooter should have over the house, often in excess of 5%, I don't understand why the author isn't a multi-millionaire, even given the issue of handling casino heat. This edge is so great that advantage players of other games (such as blackjack or video poker) would sacrifice limbs for it. Why does the author want to increase his edge enough to be able to justify place and buy bets of the outside numbers? Why not just load up on placing the 6 and 8, bets with which the shooter ostensibly has a much greater edge? I'm only scratching the surface here. A great deal of math work remains to be done to find optimal betting techniques under these circumstances.

So, will this book do for craps what Beat the Dealer did for the game of blackjack? I don't think so, not by a long shot. First, as the author acknowledges, a shooter's edge will vary from table to table, from casino to casino, and hundreds to thousands of rolls will be necessary on a particular table before enough information is available to accurately calculate a player's true edge. Acquiring this information can be difficult, which would make advantage craps difficult to simulate at best. Further, the physical skills required to become an advantage player are considerable. Almost certainly they're beyond the patience of the typical casino enthusiast, and it's entirely possible that they may be beyond most people's physical capabilities as well. Finally, if armies of winning dice players descend on the world's casinos, effective countermeasures will be just too easy to implement.

Despite these reservations, I found Get the Edge at Craps to be an interesting book. While I don't know for a fact that these techniques may be employed to gain an advantage over the house, much of what the book describes does seem plausible. However, outside of technique, this book just scratches the surface of what would be possible for advantage players. If it is postulated that the game can be beaten, a great deal of work remains to be done to determine the best way to accomplish this. Also on the plus side, even if they don't work for a given player, at least the techniques described in this book won't hurt one's chances at the game, in contrast to the multitude of other silly systems that fill the pages of gambling literature.

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