Frank Scoblete is one of the most-famous gambling authors of all time. He’s written dozens of gambling books and countless online articles.
Scoblete got his start in the 1980s when he began writing for gambling magazines. Since then, he’s continued to churn out popular gambling books and articles.
Besides his writing, Scoblete is also famous for being a huge proponent of craps dice control (a.k.a. controlled shooting). This alleged advantage-play technique involves holding the dice in a specific manner and throwing them with the same consistency/force.
The idea is that you can influence the results over time by using a practiced dice toss. But this is a controversial topic that’s surrounded by skepticism.
Many have called into question the legitimacy of Scoblete based on his constant support of dice control.
I’m going to discuss this skepticism and whether it’s warranted. I’ll also cover the good points of Scoblete and how he’s helping further the gambling world.
This piece isn’t about bashing Scoblete and questioning his character. Rather, it’s about examining both sides of Scoblete and what the gambling industry thinks of him.
Who Is Frank Scoblete and What Has He Done?
Frank Scoblete is best known as a gambling author who’s written many books, including Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution, Beat the One-Armed Bandits, and Forever Craps. But he got his start as a writer, actor, and teacher.
Scoblete was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1947. He attended St. John’s Prep. school and had offers for both academic and athletic scholarships.
He accepted the latter and studied history, literature, and philosophy in college. Scoblete now has a master’s degree in each subject.
Upon graduating college in 1969, he immediately went to work as a writer and editor. Scoblete would eventually become the publisher of Island Magazine, which was based out of Long Island.
He got into radio at this time with a show called “Frank Scoblete Live!” Healso began working as a high school English teacher in the early 1970s.
In 1975, Scoblete took up acting and co-founded The Other Vic Theatre Company. This acting troupe put on plays at dinner theatres, parties, and resorts.
He acted, directed, and produced over 50 plays with The Other Vic Theatre Company. It was during one of these plays that he found his passion for gambling.
Scoblete was researching a gambling-related role for The Only Game in Town in 1985. He traveled to Atlantic City with his co-star, Alene Paone, to play casino games and get into the mindset of a gambler.
This resulted in him making more frequent trips from New York to Atlantic City. He was not only playing casino games but also becoming interested in gaining an edge.
Scoblete fell in love with gambling enough to where he sold his theater company in 1989 and started writing casino columns for WIN Magazine.
He and Paone became romantical involved not long after they met. She created a publishing house that produced his first book, Beat the Craps the Out of the Casinos.
Paone also shared his penchant for gambling. After she and Scoblete got married in 1993, they spent a large portion of their honeymoon playing blackjack at a Mississippi casino.
Since the release of his first book, Scoblete has only become more widely known in the gambling world. Beyond writing, he’s also been active on the radio and has even appeared in TV documentaries like “What Would You Do If …?” on the Travel Channel.
Scoblete isn’t just a gambling writer either, because he’s turned his passion into becoming an advantage card counter. He also claims to be an advantage dice controller.
The Good Points of Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete has spent three nearly decades as a prominent gambling writer. His master’s degree in literature has helped him become one of the best gambling writers ever.
Scoblete writes in an entertaining style that’s easy to read. He also calls on old stories to help hammer his points home.
He frequently discusses a craps player knowing as “The Captain,” whom he claims was the greatest craps players ever. The Captain has since passed away, but he lives on in many of Scoblete’s online gambling columns.
Scoblete’s current articles can be found on CasinoCityTimes. He writes about many gambling related subjects, but his favorite game to discuss is definitely craps.
In an April 2015 article on CasinoCityTimes, Scoblete rips trend betting while also propping up dice control. Here’s an excerpt:
“Sadly, gamblers are looking for just such magic to turn a negative expectation into a positive one. Dice control can give you an edge over the casino — if you learn how to do it (a physical skill) and bet correctly (which many craps players just can’t bring themselves to do); but charting, tracking, using your intuition and analyzing random history cannot do it.
“A couple of “intuitive” Internet denizens strongly urge that you develop your psychic talents to pick out which tables to play on and which shooters on which to wager. Here is a saying you should memorize: Random is random.”
In a November 2017 column, he recounts some wisdom that The Captain gave him during a talk on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk:
“All life seems to be waiting for this or that; you want to get older, you want to get married, you want to have a job, you want to have a house. For most things we have to wait.
“But with gambling, get-rich-quick seems to be the desire there. So rhythmic rolling is out once a person realizes it takes time and discipline. That might do most players in.”
Scoblete also writes about plenty of other casino games like baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and slots. You can find his articles all over the internet just by googling his name.
The well-known author is famous for his numerous books throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Here are the many books that he’s written:
Armada Strategies for Spanish 21
Beat Blackjack Now! The Easiest Way to Get the Edge
Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos
Bold Card Play
Break the One-Armed Bandits
Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!
Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos
Casino Gambling: Playing Like A Pro in 10 Minutes or Less
Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players
Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker
Get the Edge at Blackjack
Get the Edge at Roulette: How to Predict Where the Ball Will Land
Golden Touch Blackjack
Golden Touch Dice Control
I Am a Card Counter: Insider the World of Advantage-Play Blackjack
Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines
The Baccarat Battle Book
The Captain’s Craps Revolution
The Craps Underground: The Inside Story of How Dice Controllers Are Winning Millions from the Casinos
The Expert’s Guide to Casino Games
The Virgin Kiss and Other Adventures
Twenty-First Century Blackjack
Victory at Video Poker
Overall, Scoblete has penned over two dozen books that revolve around both basic gambling strategy and advantage-play.
As I mentioned before, Scoblete backed up his expertise by becoming a professional card counter in the 1990s. He’s also developed enough mastery of other casino games to justify his status as a gambling expert.
Another thing that the 70-year-old has done includes many interviews and some TV segments. He’s helped to inform the masses on gambling strategy through these media appearances.
The Questionable Side of Frank Scoblete
The biggest controversy surrounding Frank Scoblete is his insistence that players can use dice control to win long-term profits.
If you’re unfamiliar with controlled shooting, this technique involves “setting” the dice and throwing them with the same motion every time.
A common dice set is the V-shape grip. This is often used after making a place 6 or 8 bet, because it hides the 7 and leaves dice combinations open that can form 6/8.
Here’s how the V-shape grip works:
3s form a V (better chance for a 6).
5 and 1 are side by side and exposed (also for 6).
2 and 6 are side by side and exposed (better chance for an 8).
4 and 4 are side by side and exposed (also for 6).
Dice control offers a wide range of sets based on what wager you’re trying to win. But this set along with a place 6 or 8 bet make a good starting point.
The goal of controlled shooting is to slightly alter the odds. After all, you don’t need to control your toss very often to gain an edge over the house.
Dice control experts measure their success by Sevens: Rolls Ratio, or RSR, or the ratio of rolls that produce 7 versus those that don’t.
The regular odds of tossing a 7 are one out of every six throws (6:1 odds). But you want 7 to come up fewer times when it causes you to lose a bet.
Here’s an example involving place 8, where you must roll an 8 before 7 to win:
Place 8 payout is 7:6.
True odds of winning are 6:5
House edge is 1.52%.
You roll 8 five times for every 36 rolls (36:5) on average.
You roll 7 six times for every 36 rolls (36:6) on average.
If you bet $10, your average win would be $11.67.
5 wins x 11.67 = $58.35 in winnings
You lose $10 for every loss.
6 losses x 10 = $60
This leaves you $1.65 in the red.
Here’s what happens if you can slightly alter the odds of tossing an 8:
You roll 8 an average of 5.5 times per 36 rolls.
You bet $10 and earn $11.67 for each win.
5 wins x 11.67 = $64.19 in winnings
You lose $10 for every loss.
6 losses x 10 = $60 in losses
$64.19 – $60 = $4.19 profit
19 / 124.19 (total bets) = 3.37% advantage over casino
After you have your dice set down and understand the goal of controlled shooting, the final piece is to work on your toss. Scoblete explains thatyou want to practice controlled shooting much like a professional athlete would hone their technique.
The more you work on your dice toss, the more likely you are to alter results and collect winnings. But you must first have a place to practice.
Most players can’t afford a regulation-size craps table, nor do they have the space for it. But you can find affordable smaller tables or rig up your own using parts of a regular table like the felt and rubberized back wall.
Scoblete preaches that consistently practicing a soft toss off the back wall reduces the amount of kick-back for the dice. This means less-random results and a higher chance that you’ll roll your desired number(s).
This all sounds good in theory. And it’s a big reason why Scoblete has sold so many books and training seminar spots over the years.
The question is if dice control really works as advertised. Some gambling experts like Dominic LoRiggio, Chris Pawlicki, and Stanford Wong back up Scoblete’s assertion that controlled shooting works.
But it’s hard to believe this when casinos don’t actively ban controlled shooters from casinos. Instead, they merely warn dice setters about taking too long to grip the dice and toss them.
If anything, casinos are merely annoyed with controlled shooters, rather than fearful that they’ll win big profits. I’ve honestly never heard of a player being banned for controlled shooting.
Compare this to card counting, where skilled players are banned on a regular basis. Furthermore, counting is proven to give successful players an advantage.
I should add that Scoblete and LoRiggio run Golden Touch Craps seminars in cities like Atlanta City, Las Vegas, and Memphis. And you must pay $1,595 to attend this two-day dice control class.
The price alone doesn’t condemn Scoblete as taking advantage of people. But I wouldn’t pay nearly $1,600 to learn an advantage-play technique that may or may not work.
What the Doubters Say about Scoblete and Dice Control
Frank Scoblete is adamant that dice control is a legitimate technique that can improve your craps winnings. And he’s doubled down on this statement many times.
The Las Vegas Sun’s Jeff Haney did an interview in 2006 with Scoblete and Wong. And Scoblete made multiple references to how controlled shooting works if you put enough work into the matter.
“With video poker or blackjack, it’s just a matter of statistics. You have to make the right decision at the right time, and you have an edge,” he told Haney.
“With dice control, you create your own edge. Everything has to be functioning perfectly.”
Of course, there are many people who don’t believe that controlled shooting works no matter how perfectly everything is functioning. You can see the skepticism about dice control in a WizardOfVegas forum thread.
One forum member named “MrV” writes:
“There was no Captain of Craps, certainly not as he has described him in other stories: Frank employs a literary device: a cliched “hero of mythic proportions.”
There are no dice setters winning millions from casinos, as he claims.
“No, it’s just a bunch of fairly well written B.S. designed to sell books by instilling false hope in the losers wandering dazed and confused in the casinos.”
Another member named “RonC” praises Scoblete’s writing abilities but isn’t sold on dice control:
“I enjoy Frank’s books. I am highly skeptical of his dice control stuff, but he writes in an easily readable style.
“There is a tendency to rehash stories a bit, so I am not sure if I will read the new one. Maybe if I can get it at a low price.”
Forum users aren’t considered the ultimate authorities on gambling and advantage-play methods. But the general sentiment in this forum thread and others is that dice control doesn’t work.
Gambling expert Michael “The Wizard of Odds” Shackleford experimented with controlled shooting to test its effectiveness. Dice control coach Beau Parker had Shackleford attempt to roll 7s and 11s on the come-out roll.
Shackleford ultimately concluded that the results weren’t much different than random rolls.
Frank Scoblete has had a fine career as a gambling author. And nobody can take away what he’s accomplished through his many books and numerous articles.
But his insistence that dice control works dents his credibility among many. This is especially true when considering that he’s made lots of money selling dice control seminar slots and craps books.
I won’t go so far as to call Scoblete a scammer and claim that he’s willingly taking advantage of gamblers. He may very well believe that it’s possible to toss dice 10 feet across a table, hit a diamond-patterned wall, and produce the desired number.
But I don’t think that controlled shooting does anything. Furthermore, I believe that people are wasting a lot of money by purchasing materials and seminar spots to learn dice control.
Maybe it’s physically possible to avoid rolling a 7 once in a blue moon. But it doesn’t seem remotely possible that anybody could do this consistently within 36-roll spans.
In summary, Scoblete is a good writer who has many credits to his name. But he would do his legacy some good by not pushing controlled shooting any longer.
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