If Youve Got The Edge; Then Youve Got The POWER To Consistently Win
Back in Heavys mid-April Axis Power Newsletter, he laid out in clear detail how a dice-influencer with even a modest Seven-to-Rolls ratio (SRR) of 7:1, not only has an ~8% edge over the game, but also how that level of player can make predictable, sustainable and on-going money from those talents.
Ø How you bet when you have an advantage like that determines whether or not you will be able to turn that edge into actual earnings.
Determining the specific bets where that opportunity can be profitably and sustainably exploited is up to you. An 8% edge is a HUGE advantage over the house. So why arent more modestly skilled players with an SRR of 7:1 making obscene amounts of money?
Back when blackjack was more of a beatable game, an overall 1% or 2% player-edge was considered extreme. In video poker, a 0.5% to 0.8% perfect-strategy positive-edge is still considered to be the ultimate advantage over the casino. So Ill ask you again: why arent there more modestly skilled players with an SRR of 7:1 (and its attendant 8% edge over the house) making almost-implausible amounts of money?
Once again it comes down to
Ø How you bet when you have an advantage over the casino that determines whether or not you will be able to turn your edge into actual earnings.
Ø How you bet when you DONT have an edge over the house is just as important as far as allowing you to keep the money that your advantage-betting has earned.
Why state the obvious?
Ø It doesnt take a Sevens-to-Rolls Ratio that is out of this world in order to make decent and predictable money from this game; however it does take a level of betting maturity that most players are simply too stubborn or too set in their ways to adopt.
Ø The more you bet on random-rollers and the less effective your own bets are when you are shooting; then the higher your edge over the house has to be.
Let me put it another way
Ø If you have an SRR of 7:1 along with that 8% edge over the house that Heavy talked about; yet you still arent making enough money to make a difference in your lifestyle, then its time to ask yourself, Why NOT?
If youve got the edge; then youve got the power to consistently win.
If youve got the power to consistently win, then you also have the power to consistently profit.
If you are winning on most of your hands but giving most of those winnings back on everyone elses hands, then you are merely swapping dollars back and forth with the casino. That kind of circle-jerk is not what puts take-home dollars in your pocket.
The kind of edge that Heavy wrote about is the kind that advantage-players in any other game would kill for. Perhaps its time to take a serious look at what you are doing with your hard-fought edge and determine just why you arent harvesting the profit that your skill-level should be producing.
If you are still fooling around by wasting your time and money on random-rollers instead of maximizing your own advantage-bets over the house; then you are squandering your talents and pissing away money that should be yours.
Perhaps you subconsciously really dont want to win at all.
Improper betting when you have such a huge edge over the house is a perfect way to ensure that youll hardly ever take home a profit.
Surrendering the edge that your dice-influencing abilities give you, or not even capitalizing on them in the first place; is the mortal sin that casts almost every talented Precision-Shooter into the eternal hellfire of unrealized dreams, aspirations and squandered opportunities.
With Advantage-Play Comes Responsibility
I still smile at the skepticism and disbelief that other accomplished Precision-Shooters often express over the seeming incredulity and near-impossibility of being able to make several hundreds of thousands of dollars off of my own Precision-Shooting while their own dice-influencing skills produce SRRs well beyond that 7:1/8% advantage mark too; yet their game (and their casino earnings) remain stalled at or near the break-even stage of profitability.
How can that be?
Well, if you have an 8% or 10% or 15% or 20% edge over the house, yet you are only making a couple of bucks over the course of a 100-session year; then your shooting is DEFINITELY NOT the problem. Its little wonder that a player like that can look at my earnings and wonder aloud to anyone who will listen just how its possible to make that kind of money especially when their own highly-developed skills are not even producing a fraction of that amount.
With advantage-play comes responsibility.
If you have the edge; then you have to bet it in such a way that you actually capitalize on it. It is your RESPONSIBILITY to bet properly when you have such a huge edge to exploit.
Just why most players choose not to do that is between them and their psychiatrist.
You have to act responsibly as far as NOT surrendering your advantage back to the casino by way of non-validated mid-hand hunches during your own rolls as well as continuing to avoid the tempting gauntlet of non-performing random-shooter wagers too.
Equally, when you have a convincing edge over the house; then you have to bet it in a convincing way too.
If your own advantage-play bets are too tentative and small; then theyll always fall short of the revenue production-rate that they should be generating. As a result, youll continually have a hard time making the necessary bankroll breakthroughs that would allow you to move up to the next logical betting-level. The resultant frustration is often just enough of a distraction to throw many dice-influencers off of their game, and it becomes a self-defeating cycle that is incredibly hard to break out of.
You CAN make good, steady and reliable money with a 7:1 SRR and an 8% edge over the house, but its entirely predicated on the way you bet. Once you realize that, it becomes much easier to understand how others are doing so well with their dice-influencing advantage too.
CAUTION: Falling Brimstone Zone
I often hear from readers who prefer the camaraderie they feel at the crowded tables versus the more reserved, unexciting atmosphere that often overshadows the near-empty ones.
Many players enjoy the community atmosphere of having ten or twelve or fourteen fellow players to share the ups and downs with. While theres certainly nothing wrong with enjoying the social aspects of the casino experience, we have to remain cognizant of the costs and group-dynamics (the herd mentality) which sometimes accompany that sort of communal gambling (where the collective gaming IQ of the group actually appears to decline).
savvy advantage-players now restrict their betting action to only the most qualified of
fellow dicesetters. Though they dont completely reject the social aspect of
the game, theyve come to realize that the cost of indiscriminately betting on or
against most of the other random-shooters (and many of their still-struggling-to-succeed
fellow dicesetters); most times costs them as much or more than the money they can
make off of their own good shooting.
Raising The Sperm-Count On Your Bets
Ø Some advantage-players have even taken to specifically seeking out the lower-population higher-denomination tables in order to get away from aspiring dice-influencers and random-rollers just to reduce the amount of betting-temptation that they put themselves under. Again, its not because theyve suddenly become anti-social its because they cant afford (or no longer want to pay) the high cost of the bet-on-nearly-everybody facet of being at a crowded table with their peers.
Ø The side benefit that they soon discover at the high-dollar tables is that there are usually less last-second bets and fewer omni-present hands, arms and dangling pimp-daddy jewelry than is found at the cheaper layouts. Though this obviously isnt always the case; fewer interruptions and distractions can make a big difference in terms of game-speed, pace and your own shooting-rhythm.
Now before any of you interrupt your angry letter-writing campaign to the government and start directing a few of them towards me; let me say that I am strictly talking about game-flow here and not intentionally casting any aspersions on you or your ancestors if you choose to stay at the lower-cost layouts. Hell, given a choice between an empty $1 table and an equally empty $25 one, you can safely bet your prize-winning cow that my ass will be parked at the cheap one too.
However, at the more expensive layouts
Ø Less players, less last-second bets, less chips on the layout in the critical landing-zone areas and a faster-paced (more rolls per minute) game, translates into more frequent shooting opportunities for you as well as a higher prospect of staying grooved-in from hand to hand.
Guys, you have to judge for yourself how good your dice-influencing skills are, and whether or not it is worth it to raise the sperm-count on your bet-levels and seek out additional shooting opportunities at the high-buck tables.
Again, if you have an exploitable edge over the casino, then you have to ask yourself how you can take maximum advantage of it.
Ø Its important to weigh and compare your actual validated edge over the house versus the amount of money that you would normally spend as far as betting on random-rollers is concerned.
Ø If you have a confirmed edge and you eliminate just one series of bets on random-rollers, but ADD one series of bets on yourself; then it is one more investment that youve made in your own advantage-tossing and one less probable waste of financial-resources on a situation where the house still has the edge.
Ø If you do that at a lower-population table (regardless of the price-point of the minimum-bet); then youve not only made your wagers more effective (by betting more on yourself and less on random-rollers), but youve also made it more efficient as far as utilizing and managing your time by playing at an uncrowded table.
Ø Unfortunately in most gaming destinations, unless you set the alarm for 4 a.m. on a Wednesday morning during the low-season, its pretty hard to get near-empty tables that will stay that way for any extended periods of time.
Ø In the previous four installments of this series, we looked at numerous ways to maximize shooting opportunities at lower-priced tables, and all of them are still incredibly useful; however, moving up to a higher-denomination table even during the busiest times of the day is often the best and most reliable way for you to get the dice more often.
Moving up to a higher-denomination table is a personal choice. Its your time, its your money, and its your dice-influencing edge that you want to take advantage of.
You have to carefully weigh your current skills and your current bankroll against the likely prospect of turning your ability-based bets into sustainable dice-influencing revenue.
Again, its not a matter of arrogantly looking down your nose at lower-priced tables (or the guys who play at them). Rather, its a matter of choosing a lower-population, but higher-priced layout so that you can weave your validated Precision-Shooting magic a little more often and a little more profitably.
Slaying The Hundred-Headed Monster
Discipline is a tough thing to uphold over an entire session, and you have to maintain it no matter what the minimum-bet is set at. If you think its easy to lose a couple of hundred dollars at a $5 layout; then just imagine how easy it is to blow through the same amount at a $25, $50 or $100 table.
When you increase the amount of your base-bets; then you also have to ratchet up your discipline.
As always, its critical that you maintain your self-control any time you are in a casino. If you are having a tough time controlling it at a $5 table, then youll definitely want to do some long and hard soul-searching to figure out whether you have the required gaming-maturity and self-restraint to even consider moving up to the next snack-bracket.
While you are shooting, discipline becomes even more critical so that you dont end up either greedily over-betting your skills or too cautiously under-betting your abilities.
It can be even tougher to maintain your discipline when it comes to dealing with random-rollers.
Its awfully tempting and equally frustrating to stand at a crowded table and not bet on or against everyone else. Heck, you may wonder how a baseball player can sit on the bench as he waits for eight other players to go through the batting-order; yet thats just part of the game. The same applies to a crowded craps table.
You might only get the dice once every forty or fifty-minutes, but its what you do when you have the advantage that really counts, no matter how long it takes between each shooting-round. Waiting and watching (and not betting on every hunch and spurious gambling-thought) is just part of the disciplined advantage-players craps game regardless of the required minimum-bet. Needless to say, high-min tables usually offer a shorter waiting-time and obviously a faster lap-time around its less-populated perimeter.
Dont Make the Game Harder or the House-Edge Higher Than it Needs To Be
Every non-advantage bet that you make diminishes your edge against the house.
Add up all the bets that you make on random-rollers and figure out the total house-edge then multiply it by the number of random-rollers and unqualified dicesetters that you put your hard-earned money on during just one lap around the table. Chances are, your huge 8% or 12% or 20% positive-edge over the house is now a negative number.
Random-betting can turn an advantage-player back into a house-whore in just one circuit around the table.
One of the ways that many skilled dice-influencers have taken to slaying that hundred-headed monster called Discipline/Boredom/Peer-Pressure/Self-Indulgence and Gambling Urge, is to take some of the money that they would have normally bet on random-rollers and unqualified dicesetters at a crowded low-buck layout, and instead, move their betting-action over to the lower-populated higher-denomination table.
Ø Moving from a $5 table to a $10 or $15 one, or going from a $10 to a $25 layout often affords more frequent shooting opportunities as well as providing a built-in high-cost disincentive that may keep you from making all sorts of your usual cheap-table non-advantage wagers.
Ø Increasing the financial penalties that youll have to pay for indulging your gambling urges and random-betting impulses at a $25 or $50 table is often enough of a painful hindrance to break even the most deeply entrenched gambling habits.
Though this idea may sound extreme; consider again just why most players arent able to turn their 7:1 SRR/8% advantage over the house into sustainable profit. Im not saying that moving over to a lower-temptation high-buck table and away from the high-temptation cheaper ones is the only way to solve all of your advantage-play discipline problems in one fell swoop; but its something to think about when your dice-influencing skill and your properly funded bankroll justifies a higher bet-level.
Do Expensive Tables Force You To Become a Better Player?
I have a theory
In Part III of this series and in Shooting From The Donts A Journey of Opportunity Part 5 (in the Sept 04 Newsletter), we talked about the disproportionate number of pro players in the greater Niagara gaming-market (Casino Niagara, Niagara Fallsview Resort, Seneca Niagara, Seneca Allegany, Turning Stone, and Casino Rama, etc).
Ø There are about a dozen players on that particular circuit who make their living or at least supplement their income from dice-influencing to the tune of at least ~$50,000/year strictly from craps.
It occurred to me that perhaps the reason for that might be because at high-minimum-bet places like the Fallsview Resort, aspiring dice-influencers HAVE TO take the game more seriously because of the higher table-minimums. They dont have the luxury of low-cost tables where irresponsible random-bet gambling doesnt have as much of a painful impact.
So, do expensive tables force you to become a better player?
Is it a perform or perish proposition where you either have to shoot well and bet well almost all of the time or face bankroll-extinction much sooner if you dont?
To my mind, I think that high bet-minimums force many astute Precision-Shooters to become better players more quickly. Equally, it probably forces many marginal, undisciplined and improperly financed dice-influencing casualties to the sidelines much sooner.
Do expensive tables that are minimally set at $10 during the slowest times, and $15, $25, $50 and $100 at the busier times force you to more carefully shepherd your bankroll, while you concurrently strive ever harder to improve your shooting and to severely restrict your wagering to only the most solid of betting-opportunities while spurning most of the random-betting temptations that most skilled Precision-Shooters fall prey to at cheaper tables?
You bet your ass it does!
From my observation of skilled players who have made that survival-of-the-fittest transition to the higher-priced tables, the answer is a resounding yes.
Ask yourself whether or not you would make the same stupid R-R bets at a $25 table as you do right now at a $5 table?
If the answer is no; then you probably already know in your heart that the random-bets you are making at the cheap tables arent all that good for you or your bankroll; but the cost of that stupidity isnt high enough or painful enough to make you stop. If you were at a big-buck table, would the higher base-cost of making those same R-R bets cause you to at least pause before you threw your money down on random chance?
Like I said, a few savvy dice-influencers have moved over to the expensive layouts specifically and intentionally to make the cost of random-betting prohibitively high and painful for themselves because it was the only way they were able to wean themselves off of their random-betting addictions.
Coalminer and I had a discussion about this very subject awhile back. For those of you that dont know, Coalminer is a skilled player who is intimately familiar with a number of semi-pros and wanna-bes who frequent those high-dollar tables that we are talking about. In fact, he was instrumental in helping me shape an informal survey that I compiled for fellow pros and near-pros who frequent high-minimum tables.
Heres a heavily edited compilation of what the respondents had to say:
Ø Cheap tables may let you play longer, but the temptation to bet on random-rollers increases. The cheaper the table, the greater the temptation.
Ø Low-priced tables encourage reckless betting and they lull you into making far too many bets on random-rollers. Even though each bet may only be a buck or two or five; they add up so quickly that you can burn through eighty or a hundred bucks before the dice even get to you.
Ø Low-cost tables lull you into a false sense of longevity but expensive ones force you to make BETTER decisions SOONER. You dont have as much wiggle-room and therefore you either sink or swim when it comes to playing in a market where low-minimum tables are always at a premium.
Ø The bigger the crowd at a cheap-priced choppy table, the worse the mood gets as the dice move from player to player. By the time the dice get back to you, you not only have the negativity of the entire table hanging over it like a black cloud you almost always have a deeper bankroll hole to dig yourself out of.
Ø At an uncrowded table you have more control over the mood simply because it is your own frequent shooting that either makes or breaks the atmosphere. Expensive tables dont fill up nearly as fast as the cheaper ones, and they dont stay crowded as long either.
Ø A player in a high bet-minimum market HAS TO become a better player just to survive. If the bet-min is quite high, then naturally a player either has to do well or his bankroll evaporates so fast its all over before you know what hit you. It just makes sense you cant afford to make stupid bets unless you really are stupid.
Coalminer and a few other accomplished players who have spent literally thousands of hours playing and winning on the mid-to-high-end tables, have helped me put together the following synopsis of what it takes to reliably win in jurisdictions or specific casinos where high-cost tables are the norm.
Heres what they had to say:
Ø At places where cheap tables are a quaint and faint memory, players who don't have bottomless bankrolls are forced to become better dice-influencers or they simply have to keep working their day job in order to keep pursuing their casino hobby.
Ø Low-mins encourage sloppy and undisciplined play...or at least cause SLOWER learning. If you are losing at a slower rate, then obviously human nature doesnt register its lessons like it would if the losses were sharper, quicker and left a more painful impression on you and your bankroll.
Ø Slow losing leads to slow learning. Quick losing leads to quick learning.
Ø With high table-limits, you have to GET GOOD or GET GONE. You cant fool around. Let the kids stay busy by looking for the perfect R-R betting system at the bird-game Ill be at the adult table with the pros who understand what it takes to win. You need to have the edge, and once you have that, you need the discipline and a proper stake. Its not complicated, but there are no shortcuts.
Ø The idea is to use part of your winnings to keep moving up to less and less crowded tables. The better you get, the less players youll want to share your session-time with. At a $25 or $50 table, the casino can be packed, but you might only have to deal with three or four other players at the $50 table. For me, thats an ideal situation. I dont want to be the only shooter because I tend to tire out more easily if I am. With three or four other guys at the table, the dice come around every ten or twelve minutes, so I can still stay on the top of my game without cooling off too much or without my shoulder getting sore from non-stop shooting.
Ø With the high-minimums, you are focused on the need to do well on each and every hand rather than dwelling on the anxious urge to gamble on nearly every random-tosser who picks up the dice.
Ø High-minimums force you to become more patient, more observant and less impetuous. That in itself is almost worth the price of having to deal with high bet-minimums. You dont get the luxury of making low-cost mistakes every mistake at a $25 or $50 table costs you real money, and that forces you to become a better player. Only a fool wouldnt learn when the price is that high. Every mistake leaves an impression on your mind AND your wallet.
Ø Seriously-skilled shooters are seeking out the $15, $25, and $50 tables simply because they understand that they can make more reliable money during their own shooting, and not have to worry about squandering it out of boredom or gambling-anxiety on other players. I wish I had learned that lesson years ago; it would have saved me THOUSANDS.
Again, if you add up the total amount of bets that you make on all the R-Rs during just one lap around the table and then compare that to how little you bet on yourself; youll likely see how much you are actually short-changing your own skills versus how much of a good shot at your non-advantage-play bankroll you are actually giving to the casino.
Even if you only make a lowly $6 random-roller wager on the Place-bet 6 and 8; when you multiply that by the ten or twelve players that you venture it on during just one trip around the table, it equates to $120 to $144 in random-wagers.
Now, how much was it that you said you normally bet on yourself?
Is it more or less than you bet on everyone else?
Is your shooting good enough to overcome the house-edge on all of those R-R wagers and still produce a steady profit too?
If you can afford to risk $120 on non-advantage wagers during just one table-cycle; then wouldnt that same money be better spent during the times when the dice are in your hand and you actually HAVE the edge?
Again, high-minimum tables put the dice in your hands more often, and offer a valid opportunity for you to put your money where your advantage is.
When you have the advantage BET IT!
When you dont have the advantage DONT BET!
Most players are often shocked to discover that they can actually AFFORD to move up to a much higher denomination table with exactly the SAME BANKROLL that they are using now, IF they would restrict their betting to validated advantage-play situations only.
Hows that for motivation?
Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables and in Life.
The Mad Professor