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Master of ALL…Well…Slave to SOME!

It seems that the more I write, the more questions I receive on a regular basis.  While answering some questions with my articles, they tend to create all kinds of newer ones. 

An e-mail this week made me stop, because I really had to think about the answer.  Simply put, the reader wanted to know which tables or which casinos I had not yet mastered.

At first, I thought, “wouldn’t it be easier if I listed the casinos where my Precision-Shooting has been successful?”   That list would be lengthy and remarkable, just like my…! 

However, the list of places where my success has been spotty, or where I have encountered difficulty, or where profit has eluded me, is somewhat shorter, but possibly more enlightening.

To that end, here are some of the most difficult tables or casinos that I have yet to fully master:

Golden Gate, Las Vegas

These two land-barge-sized 24-player tables are not only the most difficult to win on, I also find them uncomfortable because of their “deck” height.  That is the height that the actual felt-surface is at, which, on these tables has been altered from the norm.  Total net profit derived from this casino since 1991 is $25.

El Cortez, Las Vegas

Again, size does matter.   While the two tables here are large, these ones are beatable.  What I have a problem with is the general dirtiness of the place.  Their $1 chips are so dirty that they stick together like a half-melted roll of Lifesaver candies.  The chips were once white in color.  If you look closely at a newly-scratched or damaged chip, you can see traces of their former glory.  A lot of players have taken to rubbing the chips against the rough table surface to clean off some of the brown gooey stuff.   Folks, it’s brown, it’s sticky, it smells, and it’s definitely NOT chocolate.  The dice take on the same brackish patina after even a short time in play.  On several occasions, I have seen the box-man use his fingernails to scrape the build-up off of the white dice-pips so that the stickman can make the dice-calls with a greater degree of accuracy.  THAT’S how dirty the place is, and it makes Precision-Shooting VERY difficult! Total net profit derived from this casino since 1990 is $2,760.

Casino Niagara, Ontario, Canada

High table minimums of at least $10 or $15, and extreme crowds at their seven tables are not what make this place so hard to win at.  It’s their table under-lays, or in this case, their LACK of table under-lays.  This casino has the liveliest surface of any that I have come across. Total net profit derived from this casino since 1999 is $71,960, but don’t let that figure fool you.  Every single one of those dollars was hard-fought, and hard-won on their dice-bouncing-as-an-Olympic-sport tables.

Boardwalk Casino, Las Vegas

Their half or “tub”-style table that is manned by two dealers CAN be VERY profitable IF they allow you set their “mini” dice.  If they won’t let you set, then forget about it altogether. Total net profit derived from this casino since 1997 is $7,340.

Avi Casino, Laughlin

This Mohave Tribe casino is located on a reservation about 12 miles from the other ten casinos in Laughlin, Nevada.   The word "avi" means “money” in the Pipa Aha Macav language.  They were obviously thinking of taking YOUR money, and keeping THEIR money when they came up with that name! They sometimes institute a “no dice-setting-with-short-throws” rule.   However, it is unevenly applied and policed.  In fact, depending on the Pit Boss on duty at the time, the policy may extend only to individual players.  The last time that I was there, I was having tremendous success, and they didn’t hassle me one bit.  On the other hand, over the course of the two days that I was there, three players were unceremoniously banned from shooting.  I was there for each occasion, and I can tell you that these three guys had next to no dice-shooting skill at all!  Then what was the reasoning?  It seems that if both dice don’t hit the back-wall of the table for two rolls in a row, without warning, they pass the dice to the next player in line.  If it happens to the same player twice in one day, YOU ARE OUTTA HERE!  Again, the policy is haphazardly applied at the whim of the Pit Boss or the Box-man, and totally without warning! Total net profit derived from this casino since 2000 is $16,130.

Rio Casino, Las Vegas

Okay, this one I’m going to attribute to LUCK, unless and until I am proven otherwise.  I have played many sessions at this house in the past eight years.  My biggest winning session was $150.  I could live with that, were it not for the fact that it usually takes me so long to get into a groove on their tables, that I am almost always coming from behind.  Most of my play here has been of the marathon “grind” kind.  A quick calculation of my play-history shows that my average hourly rate of earnings at the Rio is LESS THAN $6 per hour!   If I was making ceramic soap dishes to vend at a flea-market, or selling anti-itch powder door-to-door, that would be considered great money, but for real-world living, it’s not very impressive.  Total net profit derived from this casino since 1993 is $930.

Copa Casino, Gulfport, Mississippi

This former cruise-ship-turned-permanently-moored-wharf-queen has some very affordable table minimums.   For some reason, my shooting here has never even approached the success I have had in other nearby places.  I have always had good fortune at the two Grand Casinos and Casino Magics, in addition to Beau Rivage, Imperial Palace, Lady Luck, Isle of Capri, Boomtown and the other great casinos in the Biloxi, Gulfport, Bay St. Louis, and New Orleans area. Total net profit derived from this one casino since 1996 is actually a LOSS of $200.

Showboat, Atlantic City

Despite the great treatment, satisfactory restaurants and acceptable accommodations, this property is the lowest profit-generator of all Atlantic City casinos for me.  My amount of play here is about equal in time to all the other A/C houses with the exception of Caesars, Taj Mahal and Bally’s Park Place, where my period at the tables has been approximately triple that of the remainder.  With that in mind, my profit has been about one-fiftieth of the next lowest-contender, The Claridge. I have no explanation of WHY that is.  I have played A/C since the Resorts Casino was the only game in town.  For the purpose of this list, I have only included my Precision-Shooting history in A/C.  Total net profit derived from this casino since 1990 is $710.

Lady Luck Casino, Las Vegas

By combining long tables with an assortment of different-sized, different-colored, different-aged, and different-style (A & B pip arrangement) dice, this casino makes Precision-Shooting very difficult.  On the other hand, the mix-and-match dice policy has only been in effect since last summer.  The tables have proven to be VERY beatable, IF a proper set of dice are used. Total net profit derived from this casino since 1991 is $21,550.

Speedway Casino, Las Vegas

Even frequent Vegas visitors may not have been to this out-of-the-way casino in North Las Vegas.  The one table here is definitely beatable, but the Clan of the Pit Bears do not like winners, and they will make that fact known to successful dice-setters in no uncertain terms. Total net profit derived from this casino since 1998 is $5,070.

Riviera Casino, Las Vegas

What I said about the Ramada-Speedway Casino goes double at this Vegas landmark.  Every time I have shot here in the past two years, the Pit Boss has gotten on the phone and carried on a play-by-play with some unseen entity on the other end.  On the last three occasions, they have even positioned a floor-man on either side of me in the aisle, while one, two or even three of them lean over the dealers shoulders at each end of the table to see the set, grip, launch, touch-down, bounce and final resting place of the dice on each of my rolls.  Some of them actually make notes on a clipboard, while their boss relays the same information by way of the telephone.  Geez, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say that they may not like me very much.  Needless to say, I don’t give them as much action as I used to, and I no longer use my Player’s Card when I buy-in for somewhat smaller amounts of money than I formerly did. Total net profit derived from this casino since 1990 is $173,100.

Bonanza Casino, Reno

Again, the tables here are beatable, but the PLAYERS aren’t!  Let me explain.  The players here are generally degenerate gamblers who populate the back-alleys of Reno’s soft-underbelly in their cardboard condos.  Not everyone who plays here is like that, but the hard-core customer of the Bonanza seems to strictly adhere to a one-bath-per-month-whether-I-need-it-or not policy.  If you buy-in for more than $20, all heads will turn.  If you buy in for $100, all heads will SPIN!  Anything over that amount pretty well guarantees that a group of down-on-their-luck players will follow you out to the parking lot, asking for, and then demanding some cash hand-outs. Experiencing this phenomenon several times has made me feel like the Pied-Piper-of-Pass-Line-Paupers.  Total net profit derived from this casino since 1999 is $805.

Western Casino, Las Vegas

Once again, what I said for the Bonanza of Reno, goes double for this downtown casino located on Freemont Street, but far, far, FAR away from the Freemont Street Experience in more ways than one. The mental patients, parolees, escapees and other sordid fringe-inhabitants who play here are generally harmless if you are armed.  If you feign the same tombstones-in-the-eyes look of other slack-jawed players, you will usually not find any trouble that a broken beer bottle won’t cure.  This is not a place where you want to flash a fat, tasty bankroll or even a clean pair of socks. Mercifully, I am told that they have removed the lone surviving craps table from this joint, so now the homeless will have to find another equally fine place to sleep under. Total net profit derived from this casino since 1994 is $2,250.

Well, that’s the list of difficult places and the stories behind them.  I may not have mastered every table that I’ve played at, and of course, that simply isn’t the goal.  The objective is to make money, and I clearly understand that some tables at some casinos may not be as profitable as others.   I have not become obsessed with beating them, nor am I a slave to that whole idea.   But believe it or not, I still have fun trying at some of the worst places on this list.

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

By:  The Mad Professor

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