Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution - Tuesday 7th of February 2006

The mathematics of craps has been well established, unchanging since the first cry of "Yo-leven" or "Winner winner, chicken dinner." Roll two six-sided dice, and six of the 36 possible combinations total 7. Bet the pass line, and the house will keep an average of $1.41 for every $100 wagered.

But what if the shooter could exert a little control over the combinations that turned up on the dice? Not enough control to roll numbers at will, mind you, but just enough so that loser 7s turned up not once per 6 rolls, but once per 7 or so? Wouldn't that cut into the 1.41 percent house edge, or even swing the house edge in favor of the player?

Yes, it would. And dice control has become one of the hottest topics in gaming, with the Golden Touch seminars run by Frank Scoblete, "The Dominator" and their crew blazing a trail. Now Scoblete and Dominator have described their methods in book form, in Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution ($16.95, Research Services Unlimited).

I've taken the Golden Touch course, and I'll admit to having been skeptical. I'm not alone in this. Every gaming writer and analyst who explores dice control starts off as a skeptic. Fellow author and friend Dr. Henry Tamburin writes in his foreword to Golden Touch Dice Control Revolution that it took years for Scoblete to convince him.

He's been convinced. So has another friend, Dr. Don Catlin, a math professor at the University of Massachusetts and author of The Lottery Book: The Truth Behind the Numbers. Jean Scott, the Queen of Comps, and author of The Frugal Gambler? She's been convinced. So have I. A controlled roll can change the odds of the game.

That doesn't mean it's easy. Controlled rolling is hard work, a physical skill that must be practiced. Scoblete and Dominator do a terrific job in the book, describing dice sets, rolling techniques, betting strategies and handling money. Their book is a fun, interesting read, and it'll tell you what you need to know to attack the problem of controlled shooting. But putting it into practice is then up to the reader/player.

When I came out of the Golden Touch seminar, I didn't come out as a controlled roller. My roll tended to be too flat, the dice bounced too much, randomizing the result. But I came out understanding the principles, knowing where the work needed to be done. That's where Golden Touch Dice Revolution will take the interested craps player. After that, it's a matter of practice, practice, practice.

* * * *

While we're on the subject of craps and dice control, Scoblete is hosting World Craps Championship July 22 and 23 in Las Vegas. An entry fee of $395 includes all events - a come-out championship, no seven championship, 6 and 8 championship and more - along with an awards buffet dinner with trophies and cash prizes on the final night.

The tournament is open to those who have taken the Golden Touch course, and to yearlong members of the Craps Club online. To join the Craps Club and/or to enter, call Fred at (800) 944-0406.

* * * *

Once again, I've fallen far behind on my casino reading list. I blame the Global Gaming Expo. I have such a good time each fall exploring all the new wrinkles in the casino industry that my reading material is heavily weighted toward product brochures for a while.

I'm slowly digging my way out, so in the next few weeks I'm going to come back to books, software and other products every so often.

One of the recent arrivals is the 2006 edition of Steve Bourie's American Casino Guide ($16.95, Casino Vacations). In the interest of full disclosure, I do write for the Guide, with an article on Chicago casinos and another on choosing a video poker game. I do not receive royalties, however, so my recommendation is not based on hope of a larger check.

The largest section of the Guide lists every casino in the United States, with address, phone numbers, Web site, amenities, dining options, casino size, game options, even cash back rate on the slot club where available. Look up the Orleans in Las Vegas, for example, and it'll tell you there are 1,828 rooms with nightly prices ranging from $39-$159, 58 suites from $199 to $1,499, along with nine restaurants, with one open 24 hours, special features including a 70-lane bowing center, 18-screen movie theater and Kids Tyme child care, and much more.

Beyond that, it's a great resource for articles on the basics of gambling, with writers including Jean Scott, Max Rubin, Bob Dancer, Henry Tamburin and more.

In the back are more than 100 pages of coupons, good for car discounts, reduced room rates, meals and more. Las Vegas is well represented, of course, but there's a sprinkling of coupons from around the country. Grand Victoria in Elgin offers 2-for-1 meals at its buffet, Buckinghams or Vixen's Den, while Majestic Star in Gary offers $5 in promotional cash for $10 in play.

Bourie's Guide is a resource I use constantly throughout the year, and it's one casino travelers should have at their fingertips.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Beat the Odds" tips Saturdays at 6:20 a.m., 2:50 p.m. and 7:41 p.m. and Sundays at 8:20 a.m., 2:50 p.m. and 10:42 p.m. on WBBM-AM, News Radio 780 in Chicago, streaming online at www.wbbm780.com

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