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The River of Consistency Leads to Lake Profit

Okay, the analogy is lame, but the concept is sound and proven!

Consistency does lead to profit.

Not too long ago I met up with some friends at Sunset Station in Las Vegas.    Joey T. is a long-time gambler who has played craps for most of his life.  A little over a year ago, he converted from being a simple dice-setter with an inconsistent throw to a Precision-Shooter with a plan.  What convinced him to change, was seeing my girlfriend and I literally clean-out the boxman’s chip stacks at the Barbary Coast Casino in late 1999.

In the ensuing year, Joey T. actually rented table time at a downtown Las Vegas dealers’ school and honed his skill.  He figures he spent about $3,000 on those and other related expenses to learn his craft, and he figures that it was money very well spent.

There was only one problem with Joey’s progress.  His rolling was not consistent.  When we got together at Sunset Station in south Las Vegas (Henderson), he showed me his problem, where we got on a table with a couple of other players. 

Over a period of three hours, we each got to shoot the dice quite a few times.  Some of his hands were outstanding, where he’d roll at least 20 times.  His other shooting excursions were dismal.  He’d establish a Point, and then roll one or two more times and immediately seven-out.  Some hands would begin with long strings of seven or eight Come-Out winners, while other hands would be prefaced with five or six craps interspersed with offsetting Yo’s. 

You could see the frustration on his face.  Even when he started to get on a good streak, he was hesitant to jump in all the way for fear of the doom-and-gloom 7-out showing it’s truly ugly and hideous head.

Some hands would end with wild applause and cheering after hitting multiple ‘inside numbers” time and time again.  While other hands would end to the sound of those loud and painful groans usually only heard in an elephant killing-field.

Here we have a grown man almost reduced to tears because of his anger at defeat, his disappointment at the failed effort, and his still eager yearning to improve; all wrapped into one very unhappy, frustrated and baffled soul.  His ego and confidence had been battered to the point where others at the table would be making tons of money off of his “great” shooting, and he’d still be in mourning and lamenting the humiliation and huge losses from his previous prematurely shortened roll.  We joined some friends for an excellent seafood dinner at Costa Del Sol and he asked what could be done to improve.

I told him that his betting methods needed more improvement than his actual dice-throwing.

Part of the allure of craps, is the variety of ways a player can spread money around the table.

Everyone knows what they should have done after a roll is over.  While hindsight is 20/20, the viewer actually has to open his eyes without looking through ‘rose-colored glasses”, or at the patina of a   woulda, shoulda, coulda  negative picture.   For random-rollers, it’s anyone’s guess what might be thrown on the next roll.   With Precision-Shooters, it moves from guess-work to the field of scientific deduction and revised probabilities.  It takes a little of the detective work of Sherlock Holmes, combined with the inquisitiveness and reasoning of Dr. Watson.  

Joey always started each hand the same way.  He would bet $10 on the Pass Line, back it up with double odds, and Place bet the all remaining numbers for $25 and $30 each.  With an average exposure on $160 per hand, it would sometimes take just one bad roll to wipe out several previous hands profit.

I took Joey T.’s betting methods and turned them upside down, much to his shock, amazement and disbelief.  I showed him that some of the most dreaded, highest vig and hated bets at the craps table, while not everyone’s friend, could be his BEST friend at the table.  In doing so, I helped him set strategies that would best balance his objective for winning, against his stomach for losing.

The trade-off, as always involves probabilities and amounts. No matter how money is allocated with this type of play, all the chips on all the Place numbers go down when the seven appears.

Joey bet $10 on the Pass Line with $20 odds, when the Point is six or eight, so the likelihood he'll win $34 on any throw is 13.9 percent.  The first thing I had him do was to reduce his Pass Line flat bet; then bet some high-edge Props on his Come-Out roll not so much to hedge his flat bet, but more for their profit potential. 

I also had him increase his Odds bets to the maximum allowable, which was 10x at Sunset Station.  The fourth thing that I had him do was to wait for three rolls after the Point was established before Place betting any numbers.  He fought me on this one, but I convinced him that if he was on a hot roll, the Place opportunity would still be there on subsequent throws, and if he quickly sevened-out, he was saving a ton of money.

The fifth improvement was the only change that had anything to do with his actual Precision-Throwing technique.  Joey felt that he “needed” to throw the dice at a spot where the Pass Line curved around at the “hook” of the table.  Unfortunately, player’s chips were usually in that target area, and even if the dice didn’t hit the chips, Joey was altering his throw to avoid them when they were nearby.  This was throwing off his consistency in a big way.  To help him out, I showed him a new stance that gave him a new “target” without having to alter his actual throwing technique.  The new target was not in a “busy” table area, and Joey’s same fluid throw was no longer handicapped by obstructions.

When we returned to the tables, Joey T. and the rest of the players were rewarded with nine great hands from him that ranged from 19 throws on his first attempt to 34 throws on his last opportunity.  There wasn’t a bad hand that issued from Joey for the rest of the night.  

While I was away trekking through the rainforests of the Brazilian Amazon, I received an e-mail from him.  He reported that since our outing at Sunset Station, he has had his share of bad rolls, but by altering his betting methods and shooting stance like I suggested, he has brought the consistency of his game to a much higher level. He wrote to thank me on behalf of his wife, because he has just bought her a new Audi All-Road station-wagon with the profits that consistency has awarded.

The river of consistency really does leads to a lake of profit.  

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

By:  The Mad Professor 

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