Calling His Shots & Betting On It

How Craps Legend Dominic LoRiggio Puts Gambling & Winning into his Own Hands

Close your eyes for a second and imagine the ultimate rush. Are you racing the Toronto Indy? Are you perched at 30,000 feet ready to skydive out of a perfectly fine airplane? Maybe you’re ‘all-in’ at the World Series of Poker with pocket aces? For Dominic LoRiggio, a professional gambler for more than 40 years now, the best adrenaline rush comes from holding and controlling the dice on a lengthy roll, working spectators into a frenzy and beating the ‘craps’ out of the casinos.

Sports fans have all seen the footage of Babe Ruth calling his shot. It was a legendary moment in baseball. He pointed his bat at the centre field fence, as if to suggest a home run was coming. He then proceeded to belt out a long and massive round tripper. Well, in his heyday, the ‘Dominator’ could call his craps roll too. In fact, his exploits are just as epic as the great Yankee icon’s were.

“Yes, I was that good. They had it right, it’s all on film,” LoRiggio answered, when asked of this amazing ability to call out precise numbers and hit them on demand, as portrayed in the documentary series Breaking Vegas, in an episode titled The Man with the Golden Arm. The show lauds him as the “world’s #1 dice controller” and a shooter with the “Midas touch.”

A Master of Craps

The casinos know just how good he is too. LoRiggio has been banned from playing his games of choice, blackjack and craps, in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi and from three-quarters of all casinos in Las Vegas. With his betting options limited, LoRiggio turned to giving private lessons and nationwide seminars on the subject in the hopes of helping beginners and recreational gamblers become winning players. He has even written a few casino-related reality television shows for A&E and the Travel Channel.

One of the producers and a few of the camera crew, they just didn’t believe what I could do with dice control. So we filmed it. I said, ‘Okay, what number do you want me to throw?’ Somebody yelled out for a five, they wanted it to come 3 and 2, and bang. I hit the three-two. Then they wanted a nine to come 5 and 4. Well, I did that four times in a row and then I just stopped. They still couldn’t believe it.

With that kind of skill, it’s no wonder LoRiggio is considered the world’s greatest dice controller and ranked among the all-time ten best gamblers.

Practice & Proper Betting

LoRiggio has already provided Team Maple two very simple tips to drastically reduce the casino’s edge at the craps table:

The Throw:

  • Set the Dice (place them together tight and match the desired corresponding numbers)
  • Toss them at a 45 degree angle
  • Put some backspin on the dice to create centripetal force and keep them on axis
  • Try to hit the same spot every time
  • You will begin to see repeating numbers (which is what you want)

The Betting:

  • Don’t play just the 6 and 8, which has a negative edge of about 1.5%
  • Become a ‘come’ bettor to increase your odds of winning
  • On come bets, the next roll could be a 7 or 11, which are both winners
  • If a seven isn’t rolled, take odds on the new point bet
  • The casino edge will drop to .87% with 1x odds and to .5% with 2x odds

The Five Count Rule

Once you feel comfortable with your craps throw and have started placing come bets, it’s on to the next step. LoRiggio says the next step to bettering your odds is to learn and incorporate the ‘Five Count Rule.’ Essentially, it’s a betting strategy designed to eliminate random rollers at the table. You have been practicing, right? Why would you want to bet on others who haven’t been working on their game?

You can’t beat craps with any mathematical system because the casino advantage is built into it. The only way to beat the game is by controlling the dice, so you want to remove random dice throwers, people who are just picking the dice up and whipping them, from the equation. The five count provides a way to eliminate shooters. By just waiting five rolls basically, we’ve been able to eliminate more than half of all the random shooters from the table.

LoRiggio’s website, goldentouchcraps.com, a leading authority on the game of craps, had a professor at Boston University put the five count rule to the test by running it through 500 billion simulated rolls. It proved, that by utilizing the five count, a dice controller can remove 57% of random shooters from play.

“So, you’re not making a bet on 57% of the shooters at the table and therefore your money is only at risk 43% of the time. That’s phenomenal,” he said.

Who Has Control?

Consider this: Craps is the only game in the world where the casino gives so much power to the player, the dice.

“They’re essentially saying, ‘here’s the dice, put them in your hands and try to beat me.’ As a blackjack card counter, or even as a poker player, you may know you have an edge based on your holdings or your skill but you have no control of that next card to come off the deck. The dealer does. That one card can change the whole game. You may have a strong hand but it can become extremely weak with one flip of a card. In craps, the casino gives you the dice, lets you roll and, as long as you follow the rules of the game, you can beat the game. There isn’t another game in the casino that gives you that big of an edge, especially when you are a dice controller,” he said.

Practice is paramount of course. LoRiggio isn’t the luckiest gambler in the casino. But, he just might be the hardest working. He has devoted his life to dice control and has spent hours and hours tirelessly tossing the dice, using different spins and angles, in an effort to hone his skills. But he truly believes anyone, by just following these simple steps, can learn to throw a winning craps roll.

“If you work on your throw, become a come bettor and observe the five count rule, even if you’ve never played craps before, it’s going to make the game more fun and more profitable,” he said.

The question is; do you want to be a random roller or a high roller?

Derrick Oliver

Derrick Oliver

Derrick Oliver Dewan is the founder of High Roller Radio and has interviewed a number of the world's top poker players and gamblers. A former radio and television broadcaster, Derrick was brand manager for Poker Pro Canada magazine and has written for a variety of publications, including the Toronto Star & Windsor Life.

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