That Time We Learned About Burning the Dice in Craps

We’ve played craps a time or two during our innumerable Las Vegas outings, but until recently had never heard the term “burning the dice.”

A helpful yet surly floor supervisor at one of our favorite casinos shared that “burning the dice” is a method cheaters use, so it’s not permitted.

“Burning the dice” is when a player rubs the dice against the table felt repeatedly in an attempt to dull the corners and influence the roll.

dice hard six

Players should take care to avoid friction with the felt, as well as casino management.

Casinos are always on the lookout for cheaters, of course, so there are a number of rules and procedures to prevent tampering with the dice or making rolls less random, the way Mother Nature intended.

Longtime followers of this blog will recall we compiled a list of 11 Casino Dice Security Measures to Keep Players From Cheating. It was the one time we did “research” and “took notes.”

Security steps include the serial numbers on dice, making dice translucent, backfilling the pips, canceling used dice and the aforementioned sharp corners.

Dice pips drilling filling

The dots on dice are pips. When they’re drilled, they’re filled back in (backfilled) to ensure perfect balance.

Here’s a fun game. Whenever you see an advertisement for a casino, make sure to notice whether the dice have rounded or sharp corners. If the corners are rounded, you know somebody slipped up, as dice with rounded corners are never used in casinos.

Dice with rounded corners are typically used in board games and for other non-gambling purposes.

Once you start noticing dice corners, you can’t not see them!

Even bigtime movies get casino dice wrong. Check out this still from the popular documentary starring Bruce Willis, “Armageddon.”

Armageddon dice

We trust this prop person never worked in Hollywood again.

We call “no roll” on that one! Landing on an asteroid to divert it from a collision course with Earth is a lot more believable than a casino using dice with rounded corners.

Now, you know.

Knowing what “burning the dice” is will win you a bar bet someday, or at least help you avoid the wrath of a casino pit boss.

Note: Yes, we know a pit boss is different from a floor supervisor. We honestly didn’t expect you to read this far.

7 thoughts on “That Time We Learned About Burning the Dice in Craps

  1. Jeff in OKC

    Golly, Scott, I thought “helpful yet surly” was a requirement to be a floor supervisor? Like they take a half day out of the 4 day sensitivity training to give floor supervisors “HyS” refreshers every 2 years.

  2. kellypops

    i get it but id be curious to know how much of an advantage does a rounded corner on one dice (die?) really give you. and if so, how? and is it statistically significant?

  3. Charles E Miller

    I’m learning. This is useful information. I someone trying this at a casino over of 26 convective rolls. I thought he was just showboat player. I didn’t know he was trying to cheat

  4. Neonglowy

    You gave me a scare. Feeling bereft at the loss of Vegas4Visitors, I came looking for VV the other night and got weird msgs saying no server found, no server found, no server found. I thought I’d lost you, too, so I’m extremely happy to find VV back where you belong. All that said,”a pit boss is different than a floor supervisor,” made me twitch. a little. It’s different from, only and always different from. “Than” indicates comparison; bigger than, softer than…but different is or is not. It’s not a comparison unless you’re comparing “those are more different than those are.” Sorry. I am glad you’re here. 🙂


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