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Where Are The Successful Precision-Shooters?


Many times I am asked, just exactly who and where all of the successful Precision-Shooters are.  Some readers write in to ask what a pro looks and dresses like, and how to become a professional craps player.  Sometimes I receive an e-mail question like this:

 “Hey Mad Professor, I hear you say that there are about a hundred successful Precision-Shooters out there that are making a decent living off of this game.  When I read the Discussion Forums and Message Boards, there doesn’t seem to be that many successful ones.  So, MP, where are they and who are they?”

Those are good questions, and the answers are sometimes simpler than most people think. 

Let’s approach the “Where are they?” question first.

Most are based in Nevada, but there are a good number in Atlantic City and Mississippi.  There are a much smaller number of them in Canada and the northern states of New York, Michigan, plus the northern and central Midwest, all the way down to Louisiana.  There are probably a few more in some of the more non-traditional locales around the nation and around the world.  There is also a small number of professional Precision-Shooters who literally travel the globe as they earn their living from this great game.

For the most part, almost all of these players are not out there waving flags and shouting about their success from every rooftop or website.  In fact, for the most part, I would say that at least 80%, and probably 90% of the successful Precision-Shooters are not even on the Internet.   The ones that are e-wired, rarely show themselves and remain as lurkers on the popular dice-setting sites.  There are about 30 professional-players who sometimes lurk (but never post) that I personally know about. 

As far as the, “Who are they?” question, I will say this:

Most successful Precision-Shooters use craps as their sole source of income and they consider it to be their “job”.  There is a certain unease that these players have about openly discussing what it is that they do.  Most of them are even reluctant to acknowledge that playing craps is actually their income-producing occupation amongst extended-family and acquaintances.  To admit so, seems to have a certain social stigma attached to it, in addition to the IRS reporting-cloud ramifications.

For the most part, a majority of successful Precision-Shooters consider it part of their job to shield what it is that they actually do for a living.  They too want to protect the golden goose that lays all those profitable golden eggs.  I can certainly understand that position.

You can’t really blame them for wanting to keep a good thing to themselves.  It makes sense that the casinos regard consistent “skill-based” winning on ANY game to be a threat to their own livelihood.  

Correctly, most successful shooters want to protect and guard their income-stream from casino interference or even banishment.  You have to remember that professional players have no union, no pension, no 401k, no company medical insurance or paid vacation.  They aren’t provided with a company car, first-class airfare or a corporate credit-card.  Their craps profit has to handle those expenses as well as covering their monthly nut, while still inflating their playing-bankroll and their “rainy-day” retirement nest-egg on an ongoing basis.

The successful Precision-Shooter has to cover all of those travel, accommodation and food costs either out his own winnings or through casino comps that accrue to his Players Card account. So professional Precision-Shooters feel the NEED to protect what it is they are doing.

Now don’t get me wrong.  Making consistent money from an “unbeatable” game is a load of fun, and the first urge is to shout about your success.  However, maturity and self-preservation usually temper that exuberance.  For most pro-players that reach that consistent profit-point, maintaining that income-stream is of absolute importance when you don’t have a regular corporate gig paycheck to fall back on.

I’ll tell you this about most of the really good professional craps players.  They keep a V-E-R-Y low-profile at the tables.  They do not “call their shots”; and they almost never make “Hop” bets.  The reason for that should be clear, but I’ll explain it anyway.  Hop bets are usually considered “sucker” bets by the casino.  They have a high house-edge and of course for random-rolling bettors; they usually lose.  Now if a highly-skilled Precision-Shooter comes along and consistently hits those Hop bets, you shift the focus from dealer-booked and paid bets, to ones that are booked and pay-directed by the boxman.

While most of us think of box-men as glorified dealers or as lower-rung floor supervisors; their integral role for maintaining “game security and integrity” is crucial for the casino corporations.  A skilled Precision-Shooter that is a consistent hop-bet-winner, actually increases the focus on his possible dice-shooting “ability”.  While it may reinforce your ego to be recognized this way by casino employees, it will sooner or later have a negative effect on the entire game as a whole, and eventually on your own ability to play in particular.  Don’t let your precision-shooting success shoot you in the foot!

Where and when are you most likely to see a professional Precision-Shooter?

Simply, they are right there in the casinos, and thankfully the really good ones usually go unnoticed.

They play during the low-traffic off-hours to afford themselves more shooting opportunities, or they’ll simply walk into a crowded dice pit, and wait for their turn with the dice.  A lot of them use a hit’n’run strategy to generate one good profitable hand, then they “scoot with the loot”.

I can tell you this with a certainty…they ALL arrange and set the dice VERY quickly…and almost unnoticeably.  Let me say that again.  They ALL arrange and set the dice VERY quickly…and almost unnoticeably.

Let’s think about that for a second.  When the dice are in the middle of the table, they are looking at the upward dice-faces, as well as the side-faces.  As the dice are being stick-handled towards them, the professional is already pre-arranging the dice first in his mind and then with his fingers as he sweeps them closer to his playing position.  It is done so quickly and nonchalantly that hardly anyone notices.  There is no fumbling or searching or endless flipping.  To most casual observers it appears that no real intentional set has been made at all.  It all looks totally natural.  The game speed is maintained and there is nothing “unusual” about any of his movements.

You have to think in terms of other professionals in other pursuits.  They almost always make their moves look so easy and effortless.   All the huge effort actually goes into the endless practice sessions and preparation before the event.  That is why they are the professionals, and that is HOW they make it look so easy.  Practice, practice, practice…oh, and then practice some more!

What do these professional players look like?

They look like “ordinary” people.  They look like you and I.  Just normal guys and girls who are there to play craps.  They don’t look like a “hired gun from outta state”.  They don’t have “tombstones” in their eyes, and they certainly aren’t the surly, cantankerous, grizzled-up old sea-dogs that are there to waste their pension checks.   Neither do they look like drunk young pups who have a hard time keeping the dice on the table.  They just look like ordinary players.

Professional Precision-Shooters smile when they throw frequent winning Pass-Line numbers, and they toke the dealers fairly well.  A lot of them have that look of “I can’t believe how lucky I am” grin on their face.  In fact, you’ll hear them say those exact same words, or words to that effect, quite frequently.   You’ll never hear them talk about “skill” or “sweet-spots” or SRR’s or different dice sets and grips at the tables.  While they are at the tables, they’ll tell you that it’s a game of “luck”…”even a trained monkey could throw the dice…there’s no skill to it…I just can’t believe how LUCKY I get sometimes!”  “Hooo-boy these dice are HOT tonight.”   Do you see where I’m going with this thought?

Even if someone comments on the pro-shooters dice-setting skills, the professional passes off the compliment with a kind thank-you, but adds that he’s just having a lucky roll.  The professional player is usually satisfied with steady small to moderate wins, and keeps a VERY short-leash on loss-limits.  While they will sometimes have mega-hands which result in outstanding treasures; the reliability of steady earnings is what really drives the main thrust of their income.

What’s the difference between a “professional gambler” and a “professional craps player”?

Some others have suggested that professional “gamblers” have more than one game that they specialize in.  While that may be the case with “gamblers”, it fortunately isn’t usually the case with the guys who make dependable money from craps. 

Gamblers “gamble”, while most professional craps players use their skill to master this one game, and they are usually satisfied with the life-changing profits that craps can generate.  They engineer as much risk out of craps as possible, and they profit from the reversal of house-edge into player-advantage. 

Yes, there are some players who like the challenge and risk of other games, but they usually fall into the “action-junkie” semi-professional gambler category. 

An “action-junkie” likes the “chase” and the “gamble” of various games of chance.  They like the thrill that comes from having their bankroll at constant risk.  Those guys like to bet on virtually anything and everything.   From professional and college football, baccarat, basketball, roulette, baseball, slot machines, soccer, keno, water-polo, Pai-Gow, golf, horse-racing, Caribbean Stud, tennis, Sic-Bo, billiards, Let It Ride, backgammon, darts, Super Pan, poker, cricket, Red Dog, pole-vaulting, blackjack and even chess, the “action-junkie” kind of semi-professional gambler will bet on almost anything.  Hell, they are probably willing to bet how many worms are under a particular rock. 

THAT IS NOT what professional Precision-Shooting is all about. 

We remove as much of the “gamble” as possible out of the game.   We are not in the casino to merely get our rocks off on the betting process.  If you like the “chase” or thrill or the “risk of living on the edge” more than you like the consistent profit that Precision-Shooting can give you; then there is a good chance that you still lack the discipline and mind-set to join the professional ranks and the consistent profit that goes with it.

So what does it take to join those professional ranks?

Again, you have to look at almost any other profession where the challenge to reach the top is difficult.  If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  That remains true for nearly any accomplishment that is worth achieving and it certainly holds true for Precision-Shooting.

If you are prepared to dedicate the necessary time, effort and energy to improving your game to the point where it becomes consistently profitable; then you can make the decision at that time whether or not you want to try to reach the next level and go “professional”.  And that’s a subject we’ll cover shortly.

Until then my friends, Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.


The Mad Professor 

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