I just got this little gem of a game for Christmas and I enjoy it quite a bit. I love tactical games and this certainly falls into that category.
As others have mentioned, there is large amount of skill in this game, but also a fair amount of luck. Obviously, rolling 5's and 6's makes it much easier to score, especially if you roll them at the right time.
I play much better now than my first few games -- it's amazing the tactical possibilities that become apparent to you after you get some experience under your belt. I don't mind luck in a game -- but it's not fun to get hosed by some die rolls.
There are MANY, MANY ways to take some of the luck out of the game, but to do so without inherently changing the game becomes somewhat of a challenge.
So, how about this:
Create 2 identical sets of cards with an even distribution of numbers. Each player shuffles his cards and discards two of them out of play. Each player draws 2 cards for a starting hand. After you play a card, you draw another card. Having two cards allows you some interesting decisions about when to most strategically play your cards. Also, if you get a bad run of cards, you know that you have good cards on the way. This certainly mitigates the luck factor quite a bit, but also still allows for random numbers each turn, and forces you to deal with a possible bad run of numbers.
Plus, with 2 discarded cards at the beginning, you are never quite sure what cards remain in your deck or your opponent's deck. Now the largest disparity in total pips would be 10 (two 1's being discarded and two 6's), which is highly unlikely, More often than not, the difference between pips will be very small.
Another added benefit, if you aren't playing with the optional timing rules, is that you no longer have to remember to move the time marker after every 2 moves (the part I most dislike about the game).
Of course, you could elect to not play with 2 cards in your hand, and just draw and play. Both decks should be reshuffled for overtime (with orignal discarded cards put back in and 2 new cards discarded).
This could lead to card counting,however, which could be an undesirable effect for some people. Knowing that an opponent is out of 3's for instance, could alter the way you move and position your players.