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Raising Your Consciousness and Fattening Your Wallet
Part II

 Before we begin, I want to tell you that this series of articles is one of the most complicated that I have ever assembled.  The reasons will be clear when you start reading about the whole thought-process that a number of professional players, including myself, have been using to improve their game.

It was difficult to write because it meant casting abstract ideas down onto paper.  That is a task that is not only easier said than done; but it is a task best left to professional writers, as opposed to professional craps players. 

Just because someone is good at what they do, does NOT mean that they would be good at teaching it or even explaining it to someone else.

It is with that caveat and disclaimer that I invite you into the professional craps players mind.  Thankfully, I was able to tap into someone else’s brain to help me on this project.   Otherwise, I would be in a solo battle of wits against an unarmed man!

In the Part I of this article, we discussed a couple of important points: 

       Most people have a hard time being patient, especially true of Precision-Shooters, because they can hardly wait until the dice come to them for their next shooting opportunity. 

       You should be noticing what trends are developing as each shooter gets the dice. 

       When the dice turn “cold”, they usually stay cold for quite a while.  When the dice are “hot”, the trend never seems to last anywhere near long enough.  

       It is the ability to recognize when you are in the beginning, middle, or end of one of these trends that will make you all kinds of money, regardless of your own dice-shooting ability. 

       However, the trend is usually “choppy”.  This is when neither the “Do” or the “Don’t” players are making much headway with or against the trend.  That is probably the riskiest time to jump into the betting pool, because both sides seem to get chopped up equally well by the casino. 

       If the “chop” is hammering just about everyone, then stick to the sidelines. 

       There is long-term benefit in raising your consciousness.  Simply, it is the meticulousness, carefulness and preciseness in which you observe and understand the game, and then it is how you integrate that into your own mental-processing of what is happening at the table, and exactly what you should do about it. 

We define “raising our consciousness” to mean the gaining of a greater understanding about the ebb and flow of the game to such a high level, that the whole process and the whole game actually becomes a part of you.   There is essentially no separation between you, your mind, your body, your soul and the game as it unfolds in the casino.

Let me also state right here and now that we are not talking about your mental shooting “zone”.  That’s a completely separate subject.  This is more about understanding the flow of the game on an almost sub-conscious level.

So how do we go about raising our consciousness and fattening our wallet when we are at the craps table?

This brings us back to my friend, “Al”.  He’s an excellent Precision-Shooter who considers himself to be a “purist” of the game.  By that, he means that: 

       He doesn’t get caught up in any complicated betting methods.  He doesn’t hedge his bets; he mostly stays away from the center-of-the-table Proposition box; and he always takes full Odds during his own rolls. 

       He principally bets on himself or other qualified Precision-Shooters.   

       He very sparingly bets on or against random-rollers. 

       He has been utilizing this approach for the past two years that he has been using craps as his sole source of income.

       He will select one to three random-rollers (rarely more) each two-hour session, where he will either bet with or against them using his “trend & clump” betting method. 

       He has the patience of Jobe when it comes to waiting for the dice to return to his shooting position.

So I asked him how he came about his whole craps strategy.   He answered that it wasn’t so much a “strategy” as it was a craps “philosophy”.

He explained that he had been playing craps sporadically for about five years.  He was “down-sized” in a corporate shake-up, and he took a very lucrative early retirement buy-out.  His house and car had been paid for, his kid’s college funds were secure, and his wife of 22 years, was heavily involved with a local hospital’s volunteer program.

It was then that he started visiting the local casinos more often.  At first, he just watched a lot of the action, trying to decipher what the trends of the tables were.   After a while of doing this day in, and day out, he discovered that he could “chart” the expected ebb and flow of the game in his head.  He discarded his number-charting notepad, and proceeded to look for “clumps” of number-types.

Yeah, I know, it may sound a little weird to you, but his explanation brought further clarification.  He said that the whole “trending thing”, was a lot more than knowing if the dice were currently trending either hot or cold.  The “whole lot more” meant that he could actually visualize a bar-graph in his head, of where the trend had been, where the trend was now, and where the trend was likely to go in the near term.

He explained that just because the trend is warm, does not mean that any number that you bet is more likely to hit.  “A table can be flame-hot without the shooter repeating his Pass Line number.  There are a lot of trends that are found “within” some hands that cannot be ignored”, he explained.

“Trend betting” is one way to get a little action going at the table, but to Al, “betting the trends” does not necessarily mean betting on the Pass or Don’t Pass line.  Instead, if the trend is “positive”, he’ll bet on the most likely numbers that are appearing and may continue to appear occur before a 7-Out.  Likewise, if the trend is “negative”, he’ll bet on the numbers that are least likely to show up before a 7-Out “winner”.

I responded to everything that he was saying, by asking, “Can you tell what numbers are likely to roll?”  “No”, was his quick response.  “The actual numbers have to be seen in “groupings” or clusters or “clumps”, and not as individual numbers with the exception of the “7” of course.”

If the Outside numbers of 4 and/or 10 are appearing more frequently than expected, he’ll make a table-minimum Place bet on both.  At that Point, he may leave them up for two or three more rolls to see if the trend is continuing.  If there are no further bites, he calls them “off”.

Keep in mind that this type of betting is NOT a huge money maker.  However, it keeps your head in the game, while it sharpens your acuity of what the random-numbers are indicating by their trends.

Are you with me so far?  If not, hang in there because it should all become clear very shortly.

“Okay, there are principally three “groupings” of numbers and a fourth “solo” number which is the “7”.  The main group is the Inside Numbers of 5, 6, 8, & 9.  The second group is the Outside Numbers of 4 & 10.  Finally, there are the C & E Numbers of 2, 3, 11, & 12.   Of course the “7” has it’s own special place right at the top of the clump-heap.”

So far, this is pretty straight-forward stuff. 

Now we have to look at how all those numbers ebb and flow during the game.  This is the spot where we pretty much have to leave “planet Earth”, and rendezvous with the cosmic dust that constitutes the rest of our universe.  Feel free to dose off for Al’s natural cure to insomnia.

These three “groupings” or clumps, present betting opportunities, which MAY be profitable.  They won’t always be profitable, because we are doing all of this in a casino after all.  We know that our own Precision-Shooting will not always generate a profit every time that we pick up the dice, so we can pretty much expect even less when others do so. 

Our objective with Precision-Shooting is to engineer the “house-edge” into a “player-edge”.  That edge will vary from player to player and from hand to hand.   When it comes to betting on random-rollers, the exercise becomes riskier and much more speculative.

When we have raised our consciousness to the level where we gain a whole new perspective on the game, it does not mean that we will choose right or bet correctly every time.  It simply means that several positive-indicators are pointing us in a certain direction.  It is at that point where we may choose to book a small wager.

A win or loss at this point does not either make or break our bankroll.  Instead, we use these small bets to sharpen our knowledge of the “flow” of the game. 

The noted author Lyle Stuart often talks about an almost Zen-like state of mind where you can see the natural progression of the numbers as they are rolled.  He attributed this to spending so many years leaning on the rails of a craps table, while other people tried to tied his knowledge to some kind of paranormal brain activity. 

In reality, it’s just a matter of opening your mind to what is happening, and not getting bogged down in what everyone else is doing at the table.  I suppose it’s sort of a “mind-game” where you are trying to “guess” what “types” of number will roll next.  Instead of thinking, “A 6 is gonna roll”, you start thinking in “bet types” such as Outside numbers, Inside numbers, C & E numbers and so on.

When you switch your thinking over to the “trending-clumps”, you are better positioned to take advantage of them when all the indicators are present.  It also trains you to stay out of the betting-pool until everything is trending in your favor.  Getting burned by betting too early is an educational wake-up call that the hardest-headed of us are reluctant to learn.  Hey, it’s your money.  Why insist on making it the casinos money so quickly?

Okay, let’s cut to the chase, and talk about how all of this is supposed to work.

Let me begin by asking you this.  How many times have you “sensed” a 7-Out coming on?  Many times, right!

Now, let me ask you what you did about it.  If you called all of your bets “off”, that would be a good start.  If you threw out a bet on “Big Red” or a Hopping 3-way Seven, that MIGHT be a good answer, only if it (the 7-Out) hit.  If you laid $41 (or $21) against the 4 or 10; then that’s an even better answer.  In any of those cases, a subsequent 7-Out would either save you money, or make you some.  The no-cost answer is to turn your bets “off”.  The high cost answer would be the high-vig Big Red bet.

Al uses similar methods, but he uses “event horizons” to determine how he will bet on a random-roller, and for how long he will leave any bet exposed.

Here’s his reasoning.

The more frequently a number should statistically appear; the longer he can “afford” to leave it on the table.  The reverse is also true of harder to hit numbers.

I’ll give you a couple of quick examples that I’m sure you can relate to. 

If someone throws three craps numbers (2, 3 or 12) in a row; Al might decide to make one, and only one, “Any Craps” bet for the lowest amount of money possible, which is usually $1.  While it’s true that “gamblers” would probably bet sooner and with more money, Al’s thinking is that it might be worth a tiny wager, but not much more.  If it hits, he’ll make a single unit press on that bet.   No, he won’t parlay it, because that would mean that he bypassed a “profit” opportunity for a “gambling” opportunity.  His approach may take some of the “fun” out of the game, but it also puts a lot more “profit” back into the game.

If you are in the casino for entertainment, feel free to ignore this method.  If you are there for profit, you might want to consider it for future use.

With Al’s approach, if a player is throwing a rash of two or three 9’s, Al would ensure that he had a bet on the 9 and its “sister” number of 5.  If the 9 or 5 decide to go on an extended holiday for two or three rolls; then Al simply turns the bets off, and they stay off until they start showing up again or a 7-Out clears everyone else’s bets from the table.

Al favors the Inside number bets, but for limited time-exposure and limited hit-potential.  He’ll leave his $22 Inside bet up for one or possibly two hits, then he’ll call the bets “off”.  Similarly, if his $22 Inside bet hasn’t gotten a bite after two or three rolls; he’ll call the bets “off”.

Al’s approach may sound similar to other ultra-conservative betting methods, and they are.  The big difference with Al’s approach is that over a two-hour session, he’ll only bet on one to three random-rollers.  If someone does get on a hot roll, he’ll also be there, but he builds his bets using the profits generated by his initial small wins.  He guards his bankroll as if he was in a dark crack-smokers alley on the bad side of town.

That means that over a two-hour session, there may be about twenty random-rollers who get their hands on the dice…and Al will only bet on one, or two or possibly three of them. 

The reasoning is clear.  Random-rollers represent more bankroll-risk than bankroll-opportunities.  When the risk outweighs the return, it puts a whole new face on the definition of gambling, and it forces you to answer the question of what you are really doing in a casino in the first place.

For him, if the trend is not going one particular way, or the clumps of numbers are not showing anything discernable; then Al sticks to the sidelines while the dice rotate around the table.

Without a bet on either the Pass Line or Don’t Pass line, Al has the betting-strategy flexibility to wager on what the numbers are indicating, rather than hoping for a flukey Pass Line repeater.  It also reduces the amount of bankroll exposure to Place or Lay numbers and bets that he can control.

It’s important to remember that Al is not betting on a whim or a “feeling” that a certain clump of numbers is predominating.  No, he is simply looking at the trend of the table in general, and the trend of certain number-groups in particular.  When the time is right, he jumps in for a low-cost, low time-exposure, low-risk wager.

I asked him, “Since you only bet on a couple of shooters each session, don’t you miss out on a lot of opportunities while you are waiting for all these planets and stars and numbers to line up?” 

His answer was simple and direct. 

“Sure I sometimes miss the boat on a few shooters, but I save a pile of money all the other times.  Let’s face it.  I am there to shoot the dice.  Any money that I make from random-rollers is just icing on the cake, but let’s agree here and now, that you cannot rely on random-rollers to pay the freight of playing craps full-time.  To make a living from this game, you have to have your Precision-Shooting dialed in, and you have to generate sufficient income to afford you the luxury of being able to spend so much time at the tables.”

I couldn’t disagree with anything that he said.  Al and I sat down and compared our “random-roller” notes.

I wanted to determine just how much he earns off of random-rollers.  Al’s 3.8% figure ($3,619) of his total income was pretty close to my own 4.4% ($17,150) mark.  Neither of those figures is anything to write home about. 

You certainly couldn’t live off of either amount, and it shows again that almost ALL that time spent at the tables with random-rollers is not likely to be a very productive or profitably-consistent period. 

It also points up the fact that to make consistent money from this game, Precision-Shooting is the ONLY way to go.  However, at a busy table, determining trends and number-clumps does kill time without unduly jeopardizing your bankroll.

You and I have not even come close to finishing this whole “raising your consciousness” topic yet.  It may not be the sexiest of subjects, but if you want to get into the head of a few professional craps players, then this is the place, and this is the series of articles.

In Part III we’ll look at:

       How to better use the “down time” between your own shooting opportunities.

       Why a random-rollers throw can help you determine how the dice and the table should react to your own particular Precision-Shooting style.

       How to prepare for and visualize your throw well before it is your turn.

       Choosing alternative dice-target areas based on others players expected bet-positions.

       “Zoning-out” negativity and game delays through the use of lyric-less music.

       Breathing in tempo with your game plan and shooting-style.

       And as they say…much, much more!

Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.

Sincerely,

The Mad Professor

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