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When To Take Your Show On The Road
A Roundtable Discussion 

The following question was posed to the roundtable: How long should (a player) practice before attempting to set the dice in a real casino setting?
 
Heavy

I think it is much more important initially to practice your set and pick-up and grip than the toss itself.  Why?  The biggest problem dice setters usually face is heat due to the fact that they take too long to set the dice.  You have to be completely comfortable with where the various numbers are on the dice.  The six is opposite the one.  If the three is on top the four is on the bottom.  If the five is on one side the two is on the other.  
 
Eventually you'll want to know specifically what set to use to maximize your chances of throwing a particular number.  In the beginning, though, all you need to know is one set that favors the seven - I'd recommend the hardway set with the 6-1 on axis on both dice.  And you need to know one set that reduces the incidence of the seven - and I'd recommend the crossed sixes for that one.  All you need to know to find the crossed sixes quickly is that the 2-5 is on the sides of one die, and the 3-4 is on the sides of the other.  
 
Practice locating the proper axis quickly, setting, gripping and picking up the dice.  Then work on delivery.  
 
Simply the act of setting the dice should improve your shooting skills.  The delivery itself, keeping the dice on axis, getting the loft and thrust correct, takes a lot more time to perfect - if it can be perfected at all.  The end result there is a moving target - you are never really where you want to be.  
 
Finally, be cautious with your betting when undertaking dice setting.  Regardless of your level of skill - you still need to utilize good money management and discipline skills.  Incorporate frequent regressions, and don't be afraid to turn your bets off when you get that "seven" feeling.

Billy

There are alot of factors that are to be considered before answering this question.

If someone is playing and can afford to play recreationally, it doesn't matter how often they practice their shooting. 90% of my practice has come in the casino. Don't get me wrong, it was expensive but I was playing anyway and I can afford to play when I want to. It wasn't until recently that I had a (practice) rig at home to practice on. Now I shoot at home everyday and my results are better when I do it for real.

If you are learning this skill to try and supplement your income then I would recommend alot of practice at home and a very conservative start to actual casino play. It isn't easy to learn and so many things work against you that turning a profit is very difficult.

Inexperienced players are very vulnerable. You need to learn the whole game first. If you have a strong game then precision shooting can help you win. If your game has holes, my belief is that trying to be a precision shooter will expose those weaknesses to a higher degree. Not only will you have emotional issues but you will have to be able to deal with all of the distractions and countermeasures the casino has in place. Concentrating in the casino environment is not like the rec room.

If you are going to Vegas next week and you are going to play while you're there then try it, but don't count on your shooting to buy the plane ticket home, buy the round trip ticket, you'll probably need it. The casinos have made alot of money beating players, they do it every day. They are professionals at the job of getting into your wallet and have ways to do it that you haven't thought of. They are there because they know you brought money with you...they want it. If you cant afford the lessons from the pros in Vegas or AC then practice a long time at home, and be careful when you first start.

Pablo

"Getting to know the dice" is essential to becoming a dice setter.  Before you take your show "on the road" you should be able to quickly set the dice.  A consistent set AND a consistent throw is important in the beginning.
 
I see so many people who take the time to set the dice and then simply fling them down the table.  Why bother.
 
Understanding  the "quick sets" makes it easy and allows you to quickly set the dice once they are passed to you.  Quick sets use the axis as the basis for the sets, not the faces, and it is the way to start.
 
After you can quickly set the dice you’re ready for the casinos.  If possible, make your first sessions at the tables short sessions.  I found it was best to find a table with a few other shooters at the table.  This way you get a chance to shoot and then relax and regroup for a few minutes BEFORE the dice return to you.  Trying to think about your set, grip and throw all at the same time is a bit much if you are the only one at the table.
 
Practice, practice, practice, and log your throws until you can achieve some consistency.  Then take your show on the road.  If a casino is close by, give it a go.  If the initial results are good continue, otherwise change tables, casinos or go home and practice some more.  Remember to keep notes on each session.
 
For those of us who don’t have a casino close by, the hours of practice can far exceed the time at the "real" tables.
 
Dice Doctor

Since I recently "took my show on the road" I will add that the quantity and quality of your practice is going to determine when you become proficient at this skill.  

Taking my cue from the golf world, I practice much more than I play, even here in Vegas. My practice sessions look as much like an in-casino session as possible. I include interruptions, loud music, and long breaks between tosses. When you get on an extended roll in live play, the interval between tosses often lengthens as players pack the table and begin the vast array of bets. And payoffs have to be made. Of course, you are going to have the individual at the other end arguing over a $3.00 bet (past posted by the way).

I try to include all of these things in some of my sessions. I break my practice into different aspects of the game and spend 20 or 30 minutes focusing on that aspect (i.e betting strategy, grip, stance, dice sets, table position...on and on). I try to make practice fun and include games or challenges for myself. I admit, I am the anomaly, I like to practice.

So, take your new swing with you every time you go and work on it at home as much as you possibly can. Tell the wife and kids to annoy the crap out of you, let them play under your feet and rock the house with their annoying music. Ask her (wife or girlfriend or boyfriend) to dance naked in the room (remember the cocktail waitresses are barely dressed).

Walk your talk every time you toch a set of dice. Oh, BTW, carry a set of new dice with you everywhere. Let them become a part of your tactile world. They are an extension of your fingers. Learn to think with your finger tips and feel the dice as if they are alive.

And practice till you puke!

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