Cheating Device Spot Light - Capped Dice

An expose on "Capped" dice. What does it mean? Did it really work?

10/9/20223 min read

Capped Dice

Capping dice is act of adding a chemical or a compound to the surface of a die. This compound must be difficult to detect during casual observation and should, of course, provide an advantage to the dice cheat. There are three types of “caps” used to gaff dice. One, a substance is added to the die with the hope that the die’s coefficient of restitution (make it bounce) will increase. The second cap is intended to create a transparent sticky surface. Painting – rough up surface with Collodion. The roughed surface is meant to “grab” the layout and force it’s opposite to appear face up more often. The final capped dice gaff is to increase the weight on one surface to coax it’s opposing side to appear more often.

The real problem for the cheat using capped dice is that they just don’t feel right. An experienced dice person can detect them by touch and feel.

Bounce Cap - One claimed method for creating this type of educated die is; first cut off 1/8 of an inch from a straight die. Rubber is then added to the cut off portion of the altered cube. By shaving off a thin slice of the die and adding an equal amount of compound, the size and shape of the cube will remain true. In other words, this die will not be detectable using a micrometer. The treatment is intended to increase the bounce generated on one side of a treated die. Best results are found on a hard tightly covered surface, such as a craps table in a casino or a pool table. The old cheating catalogs suggest rounded corner dice for best rubberized die cap results. The old Dice Detective, Mickey MacDougal, did not give a lot of credence to the effectiveness of this gaff means “the more the spotlight is put on methods of cheating that are never used, the less chance the gamester’s real means of swindling will be detected”. I tend to agree with the Dice Detective once again. Side note: most serious game protection professionals rarely find themselves in disagreement with Mr. MacDougall.

Sticky Cap or Dice Gripper - The sticky cap has been used effectively in dice games. The idea is that the sticky sides grab the layout and turn over while the untreated, polished side slide down the layout. This gaff is created by adding an invisible chemical to the sides of the dice a cheat wishes to roll. Sticky capped dice favor the sides treated. The chemical makes the treated surfaces sticky. Not so sticky that it will gather dirt during play but enough to roughen up the surface and impact the roll results. Once again, a hard-playing surface is the more effective with these cubes. Early versions of this chemical discolored the dice, making the gaff visible during play. Later versions were improved correcting this failing. Most, if not all, of the old cheating catalogs advertise this gaff.

Bees Wax or Honey Dice - Another method for controlling the outcome of a die roll is to add bee’s wax to one or more of the die’s surfaces. The wax is transparent and can be applied while the dice are in play. The wax “holds” on to the table surface and make the opposite number more likely to appear face up. The jury is out on whether this gaff will “get the money”. The cheat must act quickly when using this gaff, it wears off rapidly.

Weight Cap - Transparent casino dice weighted with an “invisible” cap have obvious advantage over dice drilled and loaded with weight. When a die leaves a craps table in any casino and is returned or whenever a craps boxman chooses he/she can visually inspect a die. This is done specifically to look at the pips to see that they are uniform in depth. This is one of the greatest concerns for the dice cheat using loads. Traditional loads are visible, the weight cap is not. Since the weight cannot be seen, dice capped for weight are a preferred alternative to loads. Self-proclaimed dice cheat John Soares wrote in his excellent book “Loaded Dice” about using capped dice in a Northern Nevada casino to “get the money”. He claimed that he and his team won over $100K using dice capped for weight back in the 1970’s. On the same side of the debate but the other side of the table, as mentioned earlier, the Dice Detective believed strongly in the usefulness of weight capped dice.