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Even MORE Cyber-Questions
Part I

If you are a fan of the Pirate Battle at Treasure Island, you’ll enjoy this story.  A pirate walked into the Battle Bar near the Blackspot Grille, and the bartender said, "Hey, I haven't seen you in a while. What happened, you look terrible!  How did you get that wooden leg?” "Well," said the pirate, "We were in a battle at sea and a cannon ball hit my leg, but the Doc fixed me up and I'm fine, really." "Oh yeah? Well what about that hook? The last time I saw you, you had both hands." "We were in another battle, and we boarded the HMS Britannia.  I was in a sword fight and my hand was cut off, but the Doc fixed me up with the hook, and I feel great, really." "Okay," said the bartender, "what about that eye patch? The last time you were in here you had both eyes." "One day when we were at sea some birds were flying over the ship. I looked up and one of them crapped in my eye." "You're kidding," said the bartender, "you lost an eye just from some bird crap?" "Well no, not quite”, the pirate replied, “I really wasn't used to the hook yet".

There have been a lot of questions that come to me at the tables; in my e-mail, and on Irishsetter’s Discussion Forum.  I thought that I’d put a few of them together for you.


I just returned from Las Vegas for the first time.  One night I was having a great roll, but a player made a strange bet and it threw off my concentration.  He said, “Gimme a $30 Horny Dogs, Heavy Aggie-Doogie”.  The young stickman looked perplexed, but the box-guy said, “You’ve got a bet; shooter, throw the dice.”   I hadn’t heard of that bet before and was trying to figure out what it meant instead of concentrating on what I was doing.  Of course, I threw the 7, and I left the table in disgust.  What kind of bet was that?



One of the neat things about craps is the unique jargon.  Terms like “Big Daddy in the Rice Paddy” for the 12, or “Miami Breakfast, Two White Lines” (of cocaine) for the Hard Six, or “Buckle Buster” for the Hard Ten, are just a couple of examples.  The guy who made that bet while you were shooting, was using some “old” Vegas language.  The translation for “$40 Horny Dogs, Heavy Aggie-Doogie” means, a Horn Bet with $5 on the 11, $10 each on the 2 and 12 (the dogs), and an extra unit ($15) on the 3 (Ace & Duece/1 & 2).  It sounds like both the player AND the box-man were old-timers.



I get a little intimidated when I walk up to an empty table.  Is there any way to make money while Precision-Shooting at a crowded tables?



Yes, but your successful efforts will be diluted by all the other random-shooters at the table.  You have to adopt a very conservative method when other non-Precision-Shooters have the dice.



I am almost fearful to ask for a high-end gourmet restaurant comp.  I want to try it, but I don’t know if I’ll fit in.



If you think that your level of play justifies it; then you should certainly ask for it.  Even if they can’t say yes, they’ll usually provide a comp to an alternative place to eat.   That’s not a bad consolation prize.   Keep asking so that you have more and more encounters with the Pit personnel who have “the power of the pen.”  As they become more familiar with your face, they will provide more and more benefits.  Give it a try, and keep giving it a try.  You owe it to yourself as a reward for all the practice sessions that you have put into improving your skills.  As far as “fitting in” is concerned; DON’T worry about it.  You would be surprised at how many high-rollers have the table-manners of junk-yard dogs, and dress like crazy Uncle Larry.  Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ambiance and the food.



I’ve read different numbers when it comes to the average number-of-rolls per hour at a casino.  Who should I believe?



It’s not a matter of who to believe.  It’s a matter of how busy the table is, and how skilled the dealers are.  

Here’s a rough guide that you can use:

A 1 to 3 player tables generates 150 to 200 rolls per hour.


A sparsely-populated 4 to 7 player table generates 120 to 150 rolls per hour.


A full table with 8 to 12 players generates 90 to 120 rolls per hour.


A packed table with 13 to 19 players generates 60 to 105 rolls per hour.

That is a general guide.  A “hot” table with tons of Prop bets will be s-l-o-w, especially if the dealers have a hard time figuring out the high-edge payoffs.  When the AC-Showboat first opened their Jake’s Betting Parlor section a number of years ago, we were lucky to get 20 to 30 rolls per hour on an average table.


How important are comps to you, and do you figure out what they are worth?  If so, do you add them into your yearly earnings?



I keep track of my comp values, but I keep them separate from my casino earnings. It looks like this will be another very good year on both fronts.

Figuring out value is pretty easy.  The cost of comped-rooms or suites are shown on your Hotel invoice.  Food and show comps are easy because you either get to see the bill when you sign for it, or the cost is usually listed, as is comped or refunded air-fare.   Tickets to “outside” events like rodeos, motorsports, trade shows, sporting events or concerts are also pretty easy to figure out. 

I don’t try to calculate how much a casino reception or party is worth, nor do I do it for casino gifts that we receive.  I just look at that as a perk that is part of an enjoyable casino-experience.  

Comps are very important to me.  I like the high standard of living that the all-comps way-of-life provides.  I like living well, and the comps give me with the same lifestyle that I have at home; only it’s FREE!


How much should I tip when I receive a comp?  What is appropriate or customary?



I tip very well for good service, especially when it is comped.

FOOD- In a nice restaurant, a MINIMUM 15% tip is the least that I will leave.  Most of the places that I frequent treat me really well, and the service and quality of the food mostly warrants a 20% to 25% tip.  If I bring a large group with me, I will frequently tip them even more, especially if the head-chef comes out to speak with me, or the staff is extra attentive.  I also mention to the head-waiter that I want him to take care of the rest of his serving crew as well.

VALET- When I valet park my car, I usually pre-tip the car-jockey, especially if he doesn’t know me.  I also ask that he keep the car “nearby.”  In most cases, they park my vehicles at the front-entrance, as a way of providing some “eye-candy” for the patrons.  That guarantees at least a $5 tip when I return.

SHOWROOM- If they honor my request for a “ringside” table or a booth, then a $20 gratuity to the maitre’d is in order.  If it’s for a hot show, and I am pleased with the arrangements, I will tip more.  I just came back from the big U.S.O. Benefit show at Mandalay Bay the other night.  I tipped heavily because of the great seats, and the large size of my posse.  Most room-captains know me by name, so getting a satisfactory spot isn’t a problem.  DO NOT tip until you are satisfied with your seating arrangement.  You can have it in your hand, but don’t give it if you are not content.

HOUSEKEEPING- I tip the maid EVERY DAY.  It doesn’t have to be a big amount, but some of the suites that I stay in, are positively huge.  If I had to clean up after ME, I’d want a lot of money.  The quality of work they do certainly demands more than the subsistence wage that most resorts pay.

DEALERS- I like good-personality, good-attitude and good service.  If I get that, then I tip very well by placing bets for the dealers.   Mostly, it will be Pass Line bets, backed up with maximum odds.  I also “piggy-back” Place bets for them on my own 6 & 8 Place bets.  When they hit, they collect the profit, but their base bet stays in action, hopefully to hit again and again and again.  After two or three Place bet wins, I will increase their bet by one unit, out of the profit.  If they keep winning, I increase their bet on every other hit, using one unit of profit at a time.   If I bet the Hardways for them; I have them put the bet in my spot so that I control the bet for them.  That way, when it hits, I can press their bets, and have them drop the balance in the toke box.  It’s a good way for them to lock up some tokes while giving them a higher-value shot at higher profit.  Does that philosophy sound familiar?


Do you always walk after 3 losses per table, or 3 losses per day?



No, sometimes I will walk after even ONE loss.  It all depends on how I am feeling about my shooting.  If I toss three quick losers at a table, I take a break or seek greener-felt pastures elsewhere.



Do you ever tip your casino host?  My current host treats me pretty good.  How can I show some thanks?



I don’t tip with money, but I do try to give some nice gifts, especially at the end of a profitable, comp-intensive stay.  While it is part of their job to treat players well, some of them treat you with a genuine respect, warmth and dignity that is usually reserved for close friends and acquaintances.

To show appreciation, I usually send a gift that I think they could use or enjoy, but one that they wouldn’t or couldn’t normally acquire.

Examples from my motorsports-world would include unusual items like a Robby Gordon-autographed Recaro racing-seat office-chair, or a Michael Schumacher-autographed leather business-organizer from Ferrari, all the way to an antique highly-ornamented gum-ball machine designed by Ferdinand Porsche. 

Around holiday time, I will ship in some special fruit from Emerson Fittipaldi’s plantation in Brazil.  He autographs the small wooden crates with whatever reasonable inscription that I ask for.  Or I’ll send some very unique olive oil from Alejandro De Tomaso’s agricultural estate outside of Modena, or a framed water-color painting by Nicki Lauda. 

Your gifts don’t have to be lavish or expensive.  A hand-written note of thanks is always considerate, and is definitely the polite thing to do.  For Canadians who have access to Cuban cigars, a nice Avedon, Quai D’ Orsey  or Por Larraņaga shows a tasteful generosity for a host who smokes.


You talked about sweet spots on the table that you track by way of computer.  I always thought your landing spot was 3" off the back wall, but you stated that it ranges from 20” to the back wall, all the way to 0” at the base of the wall.  Do those longer distances encourage the dice to come off of their axis if they have more than 3” to 5" roll?  What specific factors determine when you do a 20" or a 0" roll?



It ALL depends on the table.  Each table-felt, underlay and base material imparts it’s own influence on the dice, just as the brand and age (in hours) has a lot to do with it as well.  THAT is why I need a computer to keep track of it all.  A small notepad would serve just as well if you only play in a couple of places.  However, if you play in over 200 casinos like I do; then a pad of paper makes it more difficult to instantly update current playing conditions on any of 1042 tables. 

If I haven’t shot at the table before, or it’s been a while since I played there, I will closely watch how the dice react when other people throw them.  You can learn a lot about table-bounce even when random-rollers are tossing them.  When I shoot, I will start out with my standard target that is 3” from the wall.  Depending on the initial results I will then either move the target area, or alter the force that I use to direct the dice.  From then on, it’s a matter of adjusting table position, target area, roll-out area, loft and trajectory, as well as fine-tuning the force of the throw itself.  Adjusting to table conditions comes with experience.  Keep the cost of your learning process at the tables as low as possible.  DO NOT load up your bets until you find your groove.


Your articles stress the pleasures of fine food and the fine dining experience, and I recently got a glimpse into that world.  How do I get MORE of it?



ASK!  Don’t be afraid of rejection, and enjoy the pleasures of food.  Winning money at craps is your objective, but you want to have an over-all enjoyable time.  That is why I advocate that it is a part of Lifestyles of the Precision-Shooter .



You seem to be fascinated with woman.  My wife read some of your articles, and thinks that your jokes are crude, tasteless and rude.  Are you married, and if so, does she play craps?



I am happily divorced.  I have a long-term girlfriend who occasionally plays craps. You can read about her in my The Lady Is A PRO! article.  I am sorry if I offended your wife.  Perhaps my page should come with an appropriate warning and disclaimer.  I understand that I may come across as an abrasive, abusive and offensive pig.   However, that is not ENTIRELY true.  I’m actually a fairly nice person who doesn’t go out his way to offend people.  I am strongly opinionated, but I’m comfortable enough in my own skin that I don’t feel the need to be rude or abusive to draw attention to myself.  Consider that a silk-wrapped apology to your wife.



My wife wants to know how you can stay at all of these resorts, and still maintain a normal life?



Well it all depends on how you define normal.  No, there are not many people who spend up to eight months of the year at gaming-resorts around the world.  However, some people would be offended if you called them “normal”.  We are all individuals who choose our own paths in life.  My path may not be as well-worn as some others, but I can tell you that I am TRULY happy in what I do.  Now THAT is not normal.



How much space is between the dice when they leave your hand AND when they land (no space 1/16" 1/8" 1/4" etc)?



The dice leave my hand together side-by-side. The space between them when they reach their final resting-area, is NOT important. What IS important, is that they both tumble the same number of rotations.



I’ve read the term “flea” on a couple of newsgroup bulletin boards.  What does it mean?



I’ve got to admit that I was surprised when I saw someone using that term, especially when it described someone who was clearly not a “flea” in the Las Vegas definition of the word.  Perhaps regional differences account for that. 

In some parts of this great country, calling someone a “goof” will result in a quick trip to the hospital or the morgue.  I guess jailhouse parlance has crept into our speech.  In Vegas, a “flea” is a nearly-homeless, degenerate-gambler who hustles tip and drinks at the tables.  They pull sweaty, greasy pieces of small bills from their pockets, and favor the Field or high-odds proposition bets in the middle of the table.  They play down to their last welfare dollar, and they are charter members of the one-bath-a-month-whether-I-need-it-or-not club.  Any dealer will tell you that calling someone a flea is a highly uncomplimentary and derisive name.  If in your part of the country it means a well-groomed, polite, low-limit player, then so be it.


I like betting against the dice.  Is there anyway that I could become a Precision-Shooter that specializes in throwing 7-out’s?



Yes, please re-read my Great Time At Terrible Casino article. 



Do you ever come across rude dealers, and how do you handle them?



It all depends on how rude they are.  If they are just a little grumpy, I’ll ignore it most of the time, and try to bring them around with a bet for the crew.  If they continue, I will place a LARGE bet for the crew; then I’ll call it back by saying, “No, on second thought, take that bet down.  I normally bet for the crew, but there’s no way this kind of behavior warrants MY money.  I’ll toke the crews that deserve it.”  There’s a lot more on that subject in my Things I’ve Learned from Dealers  article.




On six of my most recent 7-outs, the 3 and 4 showed while using the 3-V set.  Any comments?



The fact that the 3 is showing on one die, and the 4 is showing on the other; tells you that one dice rotated EXACTLY two more rotations than the other. The straightest throwing-lane will give you the truest roll-out for the dice.  So, if for example, you are in one of the first four positions to the right-side of the stickman, you might draw an imaginary line-extension to the Pass Line and use that as your throwing lane.  The straighter the throw, the more likely the dice will rotate the same number of times.

 Thanks so much for all the great questions, folks.

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

The Mad Professor

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