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Strategy # 22

Heavy's Playbook


Let's take my bankroll first. On an overnighter to the boats I'll usually play four sessions. Sometimes more if I'm doing a hit and run routine. Or if I'm working a grind I may just play two. But total hours played will range from 8 to 16. I shoot for an average session of 2 hours or less - I have that diabetic thing working so I can't stand as long as I used to, plus I have to grab a light snack every few hours. Other than that, though, I don't let the clock dictate whether I end a session or not.


That is contingent on what's happening at the tables. My typical buy in is $700 with a $350 loss limit. So most of the time I'm taking along $1500 - $3000. Lately, thanks to the Treasury Department (huge tax bill) and the pitiful performance of the stock market (dwindling dividends) I've been playing a little lighter - but for my action the above numbers are about where they should be. With a $350 loss limit - should I lose 4 sessions back to back the most I would lose is $1400 - so the $1500 number gives me some minor cushion. Some people ask why I buy in for $700 when my loss limit is $350 - why not just buy in for $350.


The answer is this - I work the comps game as hard as I can, and count comps as part of my overall win. A player buying in for $700 gets rated better than a player buying in for $350 - as the floor person records your initial buy in on the players rating card, and the casino assumes that you buy in for what you are willing to lose. The other reason is psychological. I talk from time to time about the mental side of the game - and I think it is very important. For that reason, I do not want to walk away from a table after throwing my "last chip" in. Yes, the $350 loss is the same, regardless of how much I buy in for - but there is a psychological advantage to walking away with chips in your pocket.

From the old playbook - I generally approach a table with the intent of playing the do side. Occasionally I will start out on the dark side. Whichever way I choose to start out, I make that decision before entering the casino. Once there I spend a few minutes charting for a table that is running the way I want to bet.

Charting is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the casino. It does not mean endless hours watching the game before joining in. It simply means you want to look at the table and evaluate what the current trend is. Doesn't mean the trend will continue - the old saying is "you can't tell what's ahead by looking in the rear view mirror."

But if you walk up to the table and six out of seven players are on the don'ts it should tell you something. If you ask the dealer how it's going and he says "save your money," then you should damned well listen to him. And if you stand there and watch the shooter throw five yo's back-to-back then maybe you should throw out a horn high eleven and get in the game. When I chart I look for six things.

1. The current do/don't trend at the table.
2. Qualified shooters / guys who have demonstrated that they can make a pass and throw inside #'s / skilled dice setters.
3. Repeating numbers.
4. Read the other players / how they are betting / quantity and denomination of chips in rack.
5. Dealer attitude.
6. An open spot at my preferred shooting zones.

Okay, I'm in the game. I prefer to have seen a shooter throw the dice one hand before betting - and will often pass on a shooter until I've seen him handle the dice. My basic play is as follows:

1. By-pass the come out roll the first time I see the shooter.
2. After point is established place $66 inside
3. Leave $66 inside working until 1 hit OR 3 rolls of the dice.
4. If $66 inside hits, immediately regress to $22 inside. If no hit in 3 rolls of dice, "turn my bets off."
5. Next hit on inside number collects $7 and locks up a $6 profit. Depending on whether or not I have judged the shooter to be qualified or not - I will either take my bets on down or go with the same bet. If down - I have a $28 profit locked up for that shooter. If I stay up - at that point I am guaranteed a $6 win.
6. If I turned my bets off in step 4 - I leave them off a minimum of two rolls (getting past the mythical 5 count). I do not turn them on until the shooter has thrown an inside number. At that pont I turn them back on and give the shooter two more shots at throwing an inside number. No repeaters - take me down. If I get a repeater - it's same bet.
7. I want at least two hits at the $22 inside level before I begin to press my bets. Then I press single units until I get to a predetermined level - usually $66 - $88 inside - before taking a second regression - this time down to $44 inside. At that point I take two unit pressure up to the $110 inside level - then regress to $44 inside again.
8. If and when the shooter makes his pass - I will get on the pass line with him and continue the same strategy in hopes of catching a streak of passes
9. If the shooter does NOT make his pass -then I continue the same strategy from step one - until we have two consecutive shooters fail to make their pass - which is my cue to switch to the don't pass - and (hopefully) follow the trend.
10. When switching to the don'ts in step 9, my first bet is usually a $15 DP. I do not hedge at this level. Once the point is established I follow up with a $10 DC. If the seven shows I have a $5 profit - the difference on the DC and DP bets. Once the bet travels I have a total of $25 in don't action working for me. If either point is a four or ten I lay single odds on that bet. I seldom lay odds on the five and nine - though I will if the table is such that it might sink the Titanic. I never lay odds on the six and eight and frequently do a minor hedge by either placing them for one unit or throwing a buck on the hardway. If my DC bet gets knocked off I will replace it once - laying single odds on the DP bet as an additional hedge until the DC travels. If the DC bet gets knocked off a second time then I'll wait for a decision on the DP bet before placing another bet on that shooter.
11. I continue to play the DP/DC as long as shooters are going seven out. However, if a player makes a pass then I revert to step one - bypassing the come out roll and place betting the inside numbers.
12. If - in this transition move from the do side to the don't side - the table changes directions again - that is the next player makes his pass - then I've lost three in a row and it's time to go. A clear sign of a choppy table, and that will kill you.

All of the above are designed to position the player to follow the trend and take advantage of any streaks that develop. About the only thing I did not cover is the transition move from the do side to the don't side when it occurs in mid-decision. About the only time you find yourself faced with this is when you are on the dark side and suddenly a shooter comes to life. In these situations - say I have a DP on the 9 and a DC on the 4 with $25 total action - I will place the six and eight for 12 each.

On the first hit on either number I regress to $6 each for one more hit. On each subsequent hit I use an up and out progression - pressing the first hit - then placing the number adjacent to the number that hit with the second hit - and continue to press to the $44 inside level before regressing to $22 inside and starting the same progression I outlined in steps 5 - 7. I never take down a don't bet. Once it's up it stays up.

Okay, that's the way I play 90% of the time. However, there are occasions when I'm in a dark side kind of mood. I've posted this play many times. It's a tad on the high risk side but I still like it.

1. $25 DP - hop the sevens for a buck each plus a buck yo as a hedge.
2. If the $25 DP travels - lay single odds on the 4/10, go bare on the 5/9, minor hedge the 6/8.
3. If the 7 showed on the come out parlay the hop bet and replace the $25 DP.
4. If the 7 shows again you collect $75 on the hop bet, locking up a small profit for the series OR (and this is gutsy) press your hop bet to $10 each OR (this is even ballsier) parlay the hop to $25 each.
5. If the seven repeats again you're either $150 and down or $375 and down.
6. This is basically a one bet strategy for me - when playing at the $25 level I don't follow up with a DC. Just stick with the one bet. Have you ever seen a shooter throw three, four, or five sevens in a row?

I know a guy in Vegas who plays the above strategy all the time and does quite well on it - but his final play is even riskier - going to the next level and parlaying to a $300 hop sevens for a $1500 pay off. Very high risk - but he does quite well with it.

The key to my personal play is following the trend, locking up a win early, and making each bet "pay for itself" before pressing. Last of all - my strategy varies somewhat when I'm the shooter, as I have a high degree of confidence in my ability to influence the dice. Therefore, I bet my signature numbers, which are basically the 8 thru 12 plus the hard 8 and 10.

I always parlay the first hit on hardways, press the first hit on 11's and 12's. My press and regress action is the same when I'm shooting as outlined above. And of course, you absolutely MUST remember your money management and discipline moves - I'm a HUGE fan of the hit and run strategy, locking up a small win ($100 plus) early and moving on.

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