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Heavy’s Las Vegas “Vacation”

(Note: for the anal among us, I have corrected a $5 math error from the original postings and added in some minor slot change I picked up as well.   Hence the final numbers differ by forty bucks or so.  On with the show…)

I had the joy of visiting “fabulous” Las Vegas, Nevada in May, along with a couple of hundred of my business associates.  Yep, just another conventioneer hitting town with a lucky shirt and five hundred bucks to play with.  I didn’t waste any time seeking out the action.

It was a $4 cab ride from our off-strip hotel to the Aladdin.   I quickly found the players club desk and got a card - then inquired about any new player comp offers they might have.  Ten points on your card and you get a free watch (big WOW - retail value about .99 cents).  But they did have the WinCards for sale.  For those of you that don’t know, many casinos sell  WinCard player strategy cards in a three-pack for craps, roulette, and blackjack.  They sell these cards for $10 - but the cards come with $15 in casino-play chips.  You can’t cash these babies out, so eventually you have to lose them at the table - but they play and win just like the real thing.  If you play even money bets with these chips they a net value of plus $2.50 - which makes them an instant winner.  By the way, you can take the chips and throw away the WinCards.  Much of the strategy they suggest is wrong, anyway. 

Off to the craps pit.  Playing with a VERY limited bankroll (Will the IRS please send me that $600 back now?), I was intrigued to find an open spot next to stick at table C-10, which (to my delight) was a short table next to a column I could lean against.  Of course, this place is fairly new so the tables are, too.  The felt was VERY soft and the dice landed oh so gently with very little bounce - great for dice setters. 

I stepped up in the midst of a minor positive trend and bought in for $400.  The strategy - bypass the come out roll on every shooter’s first pass.  If a shooter made that first pass I bet the pass line to follow the trend.   If player did not make a pass I waited for two back-to-back don’t pass shooters before getting on the don’ts and playing follow the trend.  After by-passing the come out roll - I played $66 inside with a hit and double regress strategy - $66 to $44 to $22 inside.  At that point I would do single unit presses up to $88 inside, then regress to $44 inside and start two unit pressure up to $110 inside - which didn’t happen often. 

I made around $80 on the first shooter before the seven showed.  Then a little chop settled in, grinding me down a hundred or so.  The dice came to me the first time and I immediately found the sweet spot for my crossed sixes dice set - threw the dice for 25 minutes - making three passes and a $300 plus swing.  

After that there were four consecutive seven outs in a row.   I flirted with some minor don’t action but ended up down for the play.  The shooter got up on the six as a point.  I laid single odds as a hedge and played a $5 DC hoping to improve my position.  Got a five.  Removed the odds and played a third DC.  Got a 10 - which is what I’d been hoping for.  Laid $30 against the ten, but the guy knocked it off three or four rolls later.  That’s not supposed to happen.  Then he picked off the five before sevening out. 

The chop continued grinding me down until the dice got back to me.  Another fine roll with four passes made over 20 minutes.  On the come out roll I hit my world/high-lo bet for a $55 score, pressed it $7 and threw it again for another $110.  Also managed to parlay a $1 hard 8 into a $90 payoff.  Ended up leaving more than I should on the table when the seven showed, though, as I didn’t get that last regression in soon enough. 

After that the next two shooters sevened out.  The rest of my crew was ready to move on to the Monte Carlo so I colored up $240 ahead. 

We walked across the street to the Monte Carlo, dodging the ever-present street-geeks  and porno hustlers .  It was after midnight and the casino’s players desk was closed, so I charted tables a few minutes - found an open slot at one that would work for me, then handed in my drivers license with my $300 buy-in and asked for a players card.  A few minutes later the pit returned my license and told me my card would be waiting for me over at the cashier’s cage when I cashed out.  I took those last four words as a positive affirmation - cashing out is an integral part of winning.

The strategy from the Aladdin had worked well enough, so I continued that play,  bypassing the come out roll the playing the inside numbers on a hit and double regression move - making the bets pay for themselves before pressing.  Two consecutive DP’s were my cue to cross over to the dark side - which didn’t happen in this (very short) session. 

Got started at the tail-end of what had been a good roll - got one hit and one regression - but ended up losing $22 on the first shooter.  I got the dice next - got up on a 10 - which is one of my signature numbers - but sevened out two rolls later - dropping another $44.  The table length was wrong for my set and I couldn’t find the sweet spot.  The next three shooters had similar results - and I found myself down $180 in short order - $30 over my loss limit.  Since I’d done well the previous session, though, I decided to hang in there and shoot one more time.

Paul, one of my business associates on this trip, got the dice next and had an incredible roll.  Now Paul does not know the game that well, and was playing with even less $$$ than me - I think he bought in for $50 and was playing pass line only with no odds - and occasionally placing the six and eight.  Well, Paul had a hell of a roll, making four passes before sevening out.  Then the dice came to me.  I rotated my dice set a quarter turn - fixing them with the crossed sixes up this time.   Then I managed to find my rhythm, scoring on my signature numbers, 8, 9, and 10 - over and over and over.  I think I made five passes that shoot.  When the seven finally showed I had moved from $180 down to $360 up.   It could have been much more - but I stuck with my conservative hit and double regress strategy - incorporating additional regressions as my pressed bets hit certain plateaus. 

At that point I colored up.  Paul told me he was up around $150 and was going to hang in there a few more minutes.  I suggested to him that the streak for the table was likely over, and that he should move on out, but he had the fever.  I walked over to the cage and cashed out - then picked up my player’s card and checked with the host for my average betting level.  I was gone maybe ten minutes.  When I got back to the table Paul had lost all his winnings plus $40 of his original $50 buy in. 

There’s a lesson to be learned there.  When it’s over - it’s over. 

We strolled on over to Wheel of Fortune machines to pick up the other two members of our party.  While waiting for them to play out their coin I put $20 in a quarter wheel machine.  Fourteen bucks into it I hit a 200 coin / $50 pay out and cashed in for an additional $36 win.  When you’re on a streak - it’s hard to lose.

We left the Monte Carlo around 1:30AM Vegas time and headed back to our “off strip” hotel - which happened to be across the street from the Hard Rock.  Everyone else was done for the night, but I felt I had one more session in me - so I walked across the street to check out the action.

The action - such as it was - was all centered around the bar - which is the hub of the casino.  This place is laid out like a wheel - with “spokes” of aisles leading through the table games and slot carousels to the bar area - which is cheek to cheek with very young, very hard-bodied working girls - and those that pursue such pleasure - mostly young businessmen in town looking to pick up a “special” gift to take home to mamma.  Can you spell VD?

Once again, the player’s club desk was closed.  I located the craps pit, watched a couple of tables, then joined in a game that appeared to be trending toward the do side.  Bought in for $300 and handed my drivers license in again - asking the pit to get me a players card.  A few minutes later he handed me one, which I pocketed without inspecting ... which comes into play later. 

Craps at the Hard Rock.  Not exactly your premier gaming experience.  The problems are many.  First of all (1) purple layout coupled with (2) dark grey dice which kept getting lost on the layout - not to mention when they went on the floor which was (3) early and often because this was a very young crowd - experienced at the game and with no clue as to how to toss the bones - which caused me major problems because (4) as everyone knows - I call my bets off every time the dice hit the floor - which meant I (5) rarely had any bets working - which was good because the inexperienced players (6) were having very short random roll shoots as a result of their ineptitude - which could be countered by playing the don’ts except that on their layout (7) the DC box is something like 1” by 4” - and you can’t even get one chip in it - which really doesn’t matter because the dealers (8) do not have a clue as how to pay the don’ts anyway because nobody bets them there because (9) everyone in the crowd is so drugged out and mind-numbed  - which is contributed to in part by the (10) music which blasts away at supersonic levels making it impossible to communicate your wishes (11) like “press” or “take me down” to the dealers because they can’t hear shit and besides they have to (12) spend so much time jacking around with their hair and their body piercings and their chip stacks - trying to get the money right because (13) they don’t use $1 chips in this joint - they use $1 slot tokens that lay on the table and blind you when the (14) strobe lights and spots from over the bar rotate and flash across them so you have to (15) jockey for position at the table to cut down on the glare while some guy (16)  younger than the Florshiem Imperials I am wearing right now bumps butts with you and spills beer in the chip rack which is filled with - get this - PURPLE CHIPS - (17) that have a value of $25 in this “casino” and are easily confused with the red five dollar chips but it didn’t matter a hell of a lot because I was up a whopping $24 and had to get out of that place before I did something socially unacceptable - though with the crowd in this place I figure it would be hard to do. 

Day one total - Plus $660 - including one minor slot hit.

Day 2

I started day two with a bad buffet and $660 bonus bucks in my pocket - my bankroll almost respectable again.  It was a workday for us corporate slaves - delightful sessions where we listened to the same trainers sharing the same information they’ve fed us for the last (fill in the blanks) years.  Lunch was almost as bad as the breakfast - ravioli stuffed with creamed spinach or mashed up peas or maybe it was pond scum.  Dozed through the afternoon sessions, eagerly awaiting the five o’clock whistle.  At five there was an open bar at poolside (104 degrees - no thank you - keep your dry heat) and we had two hours to kill before the dress up / sit down dinner (surf & turf wannabe consisting of a medallion of raw veal and two desert shrimp).  Anyway, we had two hours to kill and my associate, Paul, wanted to go over and check out the Hard Rock.   Despite my initial misgivings about the joint I decide to give it another shot. 

No trouble deciding which of the tables to play at.  There was only one open.  Another co-worker was already at the table and he pronounced the action to be good - tending toward the do side.  I bought in for $300 and repeated the previous day’s strategy - bypassing the come out roll,  then placing the inside numbers at the $66 level, regressing to $44 after the first hit (or if I had doubts about the shooter going immediately to $22 inside) - letting the bets “pay for themselves” before pressing - then incorporating regular regressions afterward. 

This session was better than the previous day’s as the noise level was less - fewer people in the casino and the music wasn’t cranked as high.   We had two fairly decent shooters - which allowed me to press my bets up quickly after my initial bets were "paid for.”   In both cases, though, the seven showed before I managed to regress my press action - and I was only up a few dollars for these two shooters.  The dice came to me next.  I did my usual crossed sixes set and threw to the same area of the table I always do.  However, the dice did not react as they should.  Both dice hit the table and immediately took a hard left - bouncing all the way across the table and hitting the side wall near the $5 table limit sign.  Weird.  So I tried it again - with the exact same result.  What was that about?  I threw some minor action out - $34 inside, high on the six and eight, I believe - and experimented with the toss some more.  Same results.  Seemed to defy the laws of physics to me, but what the heck.  Before I could experiment with different grips and “sweet spots” the seven showed and the dice moved on.  Hard Rock - even the dice were on drugs.

The next three shooters were even worse - back to back to back immediate seven outs - and I dropped close to $200.  Then the dice changed directions.  An Asian kid (actually I think he was Hawaiian) got the dice and started throwing to beat the band.  Naturally … I was on the dark side.  After his fifth inside number showed I placed the six and eight for $12 each.  As he banged out numbers I used an up and out progression - gradually getting more money on - and off the table with one unit presses and regressions at pre-determined levels.  Finally, the shooter made his pass and I switched back to the pass line, following the trend.  Over the next twenty minutes he made four more passes, and I made a $374 swing.  When it was over I was up another $174.  Color me up.  

This time my buddy Paul colored up too.  I guess he wasn’t interested in a repeater of last night’s performance.  Brett - my other friend at the table - decided to hang in there and play a little longer.  Later that night I saw him back at the hotel and, SURPRISE - he said the do trend had continued for another half hour or so after Paul and I left - making him another $500 or so.  Well, it can go either way - but you should never feel guilty about walking away a winner.   

All the hardways for the boys. 

There’s an old chain gang song prisoners in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia used to sing.  Ain’t Goin’ Down to the Well No Mo.’.  It was all about doing a life of crime.  Doing wrong and getting caught and doing time.  Paying the man.  And the price was high and the prisoners learned a lesson.  They’d been to the well once but that spring water came to dear.  They ain’t goin’ down to the well no mo’. 

I headed back across the street for more convention food - this time the veal tar tar and desert shrimp (boiled scorpion) special I spoke of earlier.   Paul and the rest of the gang were headed down to the Monte Carlo - they really liked the slot action there.  But I had a friend from Dallas coming into town for an auto auction, and we’d plan to meet around 8:30 for a little gaming excitement.  I hung around until about 10PM until we finally made cell phone contact - and I found out he was tied up in a reception out at the auction and would not be able to make it.  I decided to go across to the Hard Rock again and catch the free shuttle up to the strip.  Once across the street I wandered on in - and it was downhill from there. 

The atmosphere was much the same as the previous night - only worse.  I caught an empty table that was just opening and stepped up to be first shooter.  This intimidates a lot of players, but guys who feel they can exercise a little control over the dice live for these moments.  It is not unlike the feeling a good BJ card counter gets when he gets in a $5 heads up game with good rules, deep penetration, and no one cares if he ranges his bets from $5 to $500.  I digress.  I got up on a point, made one quick pass, then got up on a second number and sevened out fairly quickly - scoring a couple of hits but ending up a losing shoot overall.  By this time there are four other players at the table - one qualified shooter in the bunch - the rest sevening out in good order.  I contemplated playing the don’ts but the dice came back to me so I stuck with the do’s.  This time I had a decent roll and make a few bucks back - but was still down about a hundred or so for this session.

The dice went quickly around the table until the casino’s comedy club show let out.  Suddenly the casino was wall to wall with young “ladies” and their … escorts … and the table was bumper to bumper.  I got the dice back again and while I was in mid shoot this clown squeezed in between me and the next guy - the table is already packed - knocking me into the stick man.  I politely set the dice down, turned and instructed the gentleman NOT to touch me while I was shooting.  He seemed somewhat offended (I’m being diplomatic here) by my comments and complained to the dealer, who advised him it was common courtesy not to crowd the shooter.  The gentleman left the table - probably to go home and cry to his momma.  The roll continued.   Then - get this - clown number TWO pushes in.   I give up, take my bets and all but single odds down and finish up the shoot - sevening out after another two or three rolls. 

Sooooooo, the dice moved on and clown number TWO - who has yet to place a bet but gets to shoot anyway for some reason I will never understand - could not keep the dice on the table.  The shoot went something like this.  Die down inside.   Die down outside.  Die in the bowl, no roll.  Two craps.  Three craps.   Die down outside.  Die in the money, no roll.  Die down inside.  Both dice outside . . . at which point (since nobody else would say it) I turned to the stick and said, “The correct phrase is ‘Sir, if you can’t keep the dice on the table we’re going to pass them to the next shooter.’”  And then, to my surprise, the stick came out with one of my favorite quotes.  “Amateur night at the casino.” 

Well, to make a long story just a little longer, I counted my chips, discovered I was only down $26 at this point - which was nicely offset by my $24 win the day before - and immediately invoked the “If shooting dice ain’t fun it’s time to run” rule.

By the time I colored up the line had formed for the second seating at the comedy show.  More teenage eye-candy - a see and be seen crowd.  Outside, a limo driver had three working girls cornered, trying to negotiate getting himself done in the back seat in exchange for “taking them anywhere they wanted to go in Vegas.  Hell, we’ll ride around all night if you want to.”  

The line for a cab was about fifty deep - Hard Rock is known for this - and there was no sign of a shuttle.  I bypassed the line, held up a ten dollar bill, caught the eye of a cabbie who had just let a couple out for the late show asked if he was looking for a fare.  A real deal for him since he didn’t have to go to the back of the taxi stand and wait for his turn. 

“Hop in,” he said.  “Where are we going?”

“Not far, my man.  Just up to the Aladdin.” 

I paid the cabbie and headed on upstairs at the Aladdin to chart tables.  It was busier than on Wednesday - there were six tables open - but the only ones I could get a spot at were 14 footers - not my favorite. 

I found a spot next to stick on a five dollar game, bought in for $500 and waited for the shooter to seven out.  Which he didn’t do.  He just kept throwing numbers over and over and over.  Concerned that I was missing the roll of the night, I threw in $66 inside - got one hit and regressed to $44 - and then it was seven out.  Down $23 for shooter one.  It turned out the table was pure chop - P - D - P - D - P - with no long series of passes or don’t passes.  Eventually, I found myself down around $350 when a spot opened up next to stick on table C-10.   

I mentioned the table numbers in an earlier.  For those of you who don’t know how to determine which table number is which (beyond asking someone) - if you position yourself on the opposite side of the table you are interested in - viewing the table from the rear you can see the drop box where all the money lands when the box man pushes it in the slot.  Each drop box is labeled with the table number - so it’s fairly easy to figure out. 

Anyway, I grab my chips and head to C-10, all the while the box on table C-1 complaining that I should color up that red first.  Heading over to the other table - I saw two guys walking toward the spot I wanted.  I picked up the pace, stepped in front of them and said, “Sorry, that space is reserved.”  Stopped them dead in their tracks.  Then one of them looked at the other, shrugged and they walked off. 

I dropped my chips in the rack and was welcomed to the game.   I asked the box if he could get my rating card from the other table and he asked me just to give him my players card and he’d start a new one.  Then he turned to the pit and said “Swordfish.”  My shirt.  Pit critters always put some recognizable characteristic on your rating card so they can remember who is who.  Which is the main reason I wear shirts that stand out in a crowd - this time a swordfish print luau shirt.  I want to be sure I get rated for every nickel I bet. 

Meanwhile, I fumbled through a pocket full of cards looking for the right one - and the stick gal said, “Whoa, what’s that one there?” pointing at one of the cards.  It was the one I had gotten issued in the pit at Hard Rock the previous evening.  She looked at it closer, checking out my name, then said, “Pit Temp?   What the heck kind of name is Pit Temp?   Your parents must have hated you.”

Never missing a beat I said, “It’s an alias.  I work for the government up in Area 51.  My real name is Dirk Thrustmore.”   

Anyway…..I dug out the Aladdin card and they knew my real name then, but for the rest of the night I was Pit Temp to the crew.  They really got into it and had a ton of fun with it.  Fun is good.  It keeps the crew’s mind off the fact that you are winning.

The dice came to me quickly and I was feeling very centered.   Attitude is a major thing for controlled rollers.  Just like a golf pro, you really have to be on your game to make it work.  I’d had great dice setting success at this same spot at the same table the night before, and was feeling dead on.  I bet a $5 world plus a buck each on the high/lo - and promptly threw the twelve.   Collected $55 - pressed the world - high/lo and threw a repeater to collect another $110.  Next I hopped the nines, threw it 5-4 to get up on the point, left the hop bet up and immediately repeated the 5-4. 

            “Good shooting, Pit,” said the stick gal.

             “You think so?” I asked.  I’d rather  throw some numbers in between making passes.”

I came down on the hop and threw out a hard eight and ten for a buck each - working.  Threw the hard eight on the come out and parlayed it.  The eight came back immediately - hard - and I collected another $90 plus my line bet and odds.  

            “You know,” I told the stick gal, “This is just blind, dumb luck.”

            “I’m beginning to wonder,” she said. 

Continued to roll for about 15 minutes, making a total of four passes, digging out of the hole I’d gotten into and finishing up $104 ahead.  I locked up my buy in and a hundred profit, threw the four change out for the boys, then headed back to the hotel and bed.   

Total winnings - day one plus day two:  $906.

Day 3

I left an unnecessary nine o’clock wake up call - unnecessary because my internal clock was still thinking six a.m. Dallas - which meant when I woke up at five a.m. Vegas time I thought I’d overslept an hour.  Well, my flight was not until 11:30, so I took my time getting things sorted out and packed.  By seven I’d finished off all the in-room coffee and had the bags next to the door .

I was not about to have breakfast in our corporate hotel.   Let me refresh your memory regarding the prior days meals.  Day one - boxed lunch (need I say more) and rubber chicken dinner.  Day two - watery powdered eggs, bacon bordering on rancid, and blankets (no pigs) for breakfast.  Pond scum ravioli for lunch.  Veal tar tar and desert shrimp (I still think they boil scorpions) for the formal sit down.  Okay, you get the drift. But I was hungry and thought I might get one more craps session in, so I called the front desk and told them to forget the wake-up call, then headed down for a cab to the Aladdin. 

Hit the craps pit around 7:20 - and discovered there was only one table open - with just three players.  These guys were what I used to refer to as the “DP” crowd.  No, it doesn’t stand for Dr Pepper.  It stands for dead pecker.  You young guys won’t get this.  For the rest of us - Viagra is not just another way to tell the dealer you want a hard six. 

It was table C-9, by the way - not my favorite from earlier sessions - although this, too, was a short table.  I took up a position to the left of stick, bought in for five hundred and watched a while.  The stick man must have had tuna fish and baked beans for dinner the night before - and for my own protection I had to ease back down the table a bit.  The guy straight out on the stick’s right was having a decent roll - strictly a pick them up and throw them like they’re hot kind of guy, but he had a rhythm going and was doing okay.  I got in for a $51 inside move when his point was five - got a hit on the eight, regressed to $34 inside for second hit, then came down to $17 inside.  Two rolls later the seven showed leaving me net plus $18 for the shooter.  This is a good example of why “hit and down” isn’t a bad way to play.  If I’d come down after the second hit I would have had $35 made instead of $18 - almost doubling my profit for that shooter.  Alas, I usually like more action than that.   

The next shooter passed the dice to me.  I placed a $5 world plus a buck each on the high/low, and played five on the line.  Threw the three for a four dollar profit.  Pressed the world-high/low and threw the eight.  Played $48 inside and immediately came back with the seven.  Ouch. 

The dice moved to an elderly gentleman - a tall East Indian who was shooting from the don’ts.  Like me, he was a follow the trend kind of guy - but I was waiting for two decisions before making the move to the don’ts.  He played whatever the last decision was.  And, like most players shooting from the don’ts - he just threw and threw and threw the dice.  I waited until he had thrown a few times, then threw out a $41 no ten plus a $10 DC.  Got up on a no six and came down on the lay against the ten.  Played $5 DC which moved to the five.  Then played a $10 DC, which went to the ten.  Against my better judgement (I’d just come down off that no 10) I decided to lay it for $50.   Maybe five rolls later he knocked it off.   That’s all for me on this shooter.   I placed the eight for $12 and waited - got two hits on the eight before he knocked my six off.  Then he made his pass - the nine. 

This time he switched sides and shot from the do’s.  I got on board for five bucks and he got up on a four.   Where’s that don’t pass bet when you need it?  I went ahead and played $15 odds anyway, and he immediately came back with the four - hard.  Next he rolled the seven on the come out - so I won my line bet plus my no five - which was still sitting up there.  He threw them awhile longer, then sevened out before I could do anything in the line of hit/regress/and down - so I ended up just about even for his roll. 

The next shooter was straight out on the other end - the same guy who was shooting so well when I walked up.  This time he was three rolls and out - costing me another $23 or so.  After him came a pair of newbies who had walked up during the Indian’s roll.  The first one threw the dice off the table first roll.  Second roll he got up on an eight.  I mumbled something about the fact that I’d seen a blind man shoot five eights in a row in Vicksburg , Mississippi.  This kid couldn’t see it, though, and immediately sevened out - costing me $48.  His partner was up next - and this kid had never thrown the dice. I threw out a buck each eleven / twelve - this is one of my superstitions on new (virgin) shooters.  The kid threw the twelve on his first roll, paying me $29.  A minor apology for his buddy’s action.  Then he got up on a nine.  I waited until he’d survived the five count - then threw out some minor action - I think it was $17 inside.  Two rolls later he sevened out with no hits on my numbers. 

The dice came back to me, then, and I was feeling a little more in control.  I threw out my world/high-low bet but the nine showed instead.  This is one of my “signature” numbers so I loaded up max odds and threw $51 inside on the table.  I recall throwing the ten, followed by the eight, then a few trash numbers.  Went ahead and did the full regression to $17 inside and the inside numbers came to life again.  I did single unit presses the first hit, then pressed both the six and eight one unit whenever one would hit after that.  Shot and scored on the nine a few plays later - then got up on an eight the next come out.  I regressed everything to $32 inside - again with single unit pressure on first hit, then pressing the five and nine both on subsequent hits.  The five and nine progressed on up to a quarter each in fairly short order - with no action at all on the six.  Finally threw out a two way hard six and eight for the boys - hit the six hard and followed it a couple of rolls later with the eight - easy.  Going for my third pass I got up on a five.  I usually have good luck throwing a five utilizing the crossed sixes set with the three-two up and the sixes facing down table.  Not to be this time, though.  I scored a couple of hits on the eight and nine - then it was seven-out. 

Checking the clock - it was a little after nine.  I was scheduled on the 10:30 shuttle for the airport.  I counted up - found myself $120 ahead - set the boys up with five on the line and all the hardways for a buck each - colored up and asked for a comp for breakfast. 

Michael, the floor person, asked if I wanted buffet or coffee shop, then suggested “Why not try the Zanzibar Restaurant.  You look like you could use a steak and eggs.” 


Eggs Benedict done to perfection, fresh fruit cocktail, and an extra English Muffin.  Fresh squeezed orange juice and strong black coffee.  The best meal I’d had all week.

Seven session total win - including minor slot action $1017.  

Looking back on what happened on this Vegas trip - I played seven sessions and quit winners six out of seven times - which translates to winning 86% of the time.  That compares favorably with my River Run of last year - where I won 38 out of 46 sessions - resulting in an 83% percent win rate.   Coincidence?   I don’t think so considering that I played virtually the same game on every outing.  Does this win rate fall within the standard variation one would expect for the game?   Probably.  But I don’t think so. 

Strategy played - on both this Vegas trip and the River Run  - By-pass the come out roll the first time you see a shooter.   Play three units on the inside.  Double (two - single unit) or Full (double unit) regression after the first his on any number.  Take the second hit and go “off” or take the second half of the double regression or (depending on table trends) just come on down.  Not pressing bets until they had “paid for themselves” and a profit was locked up.  Then single unit pressure until hitting a pre-determined plateau, where bets were regressed again.  Once I’d seen the shooter the first time I followed the trend.  If he made his pass I bet the pass line.  If the table trended to the dark side - I’d follow the trend after two consecutive seven-out shooters.  If I got whacked by three in a row - invoke the walking rules.

Most of my wins, though, came through my own shooting skills.   Most of the sessions were give and take, up and down, until a streak of passes came together.  Most of these streaks happened when I held the dice.  Which reinforces why many dice setters enjoy a “heads up” game. 

On both outings I set and pretty much adhered to loss limits (I only went over my loss limit one time on this trip - that by $20 or so when I was up to shoot).  I also set and adhered to win objectives - but was open to winning more (or less).  But I always locked up a win at the earliest opportunity. 

Staying at an off-strip non-gambling property, I felt no pressure to play for comps.  I think there’s a valuable lesson in that.  On the one occasion where I realized I was not having fun - I invoked the “If it ain’t fun it’s time to run” rule and moved on into a winning game.  There is no doubt that that is the correct move.

Someone criticized me on one of the forums for not winning more than $300 during one of my 25 minute rolls.  Alas, let us do the math.  If you figure 120 rolls of the dice an hour - you’d expect fifty or so tosses of the bones in 25 minutes.   Winning a single unit on every toss would generate roughly $125.  Two units - $250.   But the fact is, you don’t win on every toss.  There are a hell of a lot of 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 10’s, 11’s, and 12’s that show in any major roll.   Yes, I did press my bets up - but used a conservative, single-unit progression and incorporated frequent regressions to lock up a profit.   A $300 plus swing - which is what I managed in that session - was quite satisfying considering my conservative style of play.  And, unlike a lot of players, I did not leave my profit on the table when the seven showed.

I played much more conservatively both in Vegas and on the River Run than I do on my typical day-trip to the boats.  The reason - in both cases I was playing with a shorter bankroll than I’m comfortable with.  I recall a box man at the Rio last year - commenting on my hit and regress style of play.  He said, “You’re playing with scared money - you can’t win like that.”  At the time I was up around $1200.   But he was absolutely correct about one thing.  I was playing with scared money.  I hate losing a dime to the casinos - which is exactly why I play the way I do.

So what works for me in this game?  The Math Boys accuse me of parroting my friend John Patrick from time to time, but the fact is - John figured it out long ago.  Sufficient bankroll, knowledge of the game, money management and discipline - coupled with a conservative theory, a logical approach to play, and of course - the almighty trend (a.k.a. the streak). 

Will you win every time adopting a conservative strategy and having the discipline to stick with it?  Absolutely not.  But I believe you will increase your  number of wins, and as your willingness to accept a small win grows - so will your bankroll.  It will grow even faster as you develop skill as a shooter.   But the real key to winning consistently at this game - as I have said many times - is just this.  Quit when you’re ahead.  It’s that simple. 

These seven sessions yielded $1017 - a session average of about $145.  Throw in a $30 comp meal just for giggles.  No - it’s not even enough to cover a house payment - but it’s enough to increase my bankroll by $500, make a car payment, and still have enough left over for a night on the town with my bride - and that ain’t all bad, guys. 

It beats the hell out of a long flight home with empty pockets.

Remember guys - ANY win beats ANY loss.

Now get out there and win one for the fat man.


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