the Most Out of Your Practice Sessions
A woman on her
deathbed called her husband and instructed him to look under their bed and to open the
wooden box he found. He was puzzled to find
three eggs and $7,000 in cash in the box. He
asked his wife what the eggs were for. "Oh
those", she replied, "every time we had bad sex, I put an egg in the
box". Not bad, the husband thought to
himself, after 35 years of marriage. Then he
asked, "But what about the $7,000?" "Oh that", she replied,
"every time I got a dozen eggs I sold them."
instills the right methods for success. Practicing wrong just reinforces our mistakes. That husband obviously had
not been doing it the right way for a
series of articles deals with several ways to get more out of your at-home Practice
Sessions. They include:
for your Practice Session
an ideal Practice-to-Play Ratio
v How to get
the most out of Casino-Session Notes
a Craps-Roll Calculation Program
and Fixing Precision-Shooting Problems
not confuse one with the other.
me tell you a little bit about my own experience. I
was introduced to craps about 24 years ago. When
I first started Precision-Shooting about fourteen years ago, I didnt practice at
let me correct that
didnt practice at home, at all. All of my experimentation and honing of skills
were done right in the casino at live tables using real money. Now THAT is one hell of an expensive way to
perfect your game. I dont want you to
go to the same expense and aggravation.
always figured that with all the different table lengths, felt-surfaces, dice types,
base-materials, and underlays, etc., that it was useless to practice on anything other
than a real casino table. I WAS WRONG!
is just that
practice. It lets you try
out different approaches to the game without exposing your bankroll to risk.
lets you hone your shooting-skills without having to wager even one measly buck. It allows you do so in a low-stress environment,
where you can pause and contemplate what you are doing right, and what you are doing
wrong. It gives you the opportunity
to be wrong without denting your bankroll. All
of these are compelling reasons to do your practicing at home, while you reserve you
bankroll for the in-casino struggles when you are fully prepared.
figure that if I had started out on my Precision-Shooting journey by doing all that
experimenting at home, I would have shaved at least four years off of the
learning curve. More importantly, I would
have saved untold amounts of money too.
needless to say, I practice NOW. It helps me
to continuously fine-tune my game, and resharpen my skills if Ive been away from the
tables for more than a day or two. If I am
playing in a new gaming jurisdiction, I will take a few dice-tosses up in my hotel room
before my first casino session. It grooves in
my motion, steadies my nerves and buoys my confidence.
Im talking about REAL confidence, not false bravado or machismo. It lets me walk into the gaming-arena with the
almost certain knowledge that I will probably be the best shooter there. Of course, its never a certainty, but I
wouldnt want to be one of the players who are betting on the Dont Pass side of
the equation. Im not there to show off
my skills. Im there to make a profit,
and I like doing it quietly.
for your Practice Session
do you usually start practicing? Is it after
work? Do you practice after the dinner-dishes
are done, the kids have gone to bed, and there is nothing good on TV? Thats fine.
While the casino can be supercharged with noise and distractions, you can
use the quiet of your home-sessions to really focus on the mechanical-side of your throw. Later on well factor in ways to replicate
the casino distractions, but for now lets prepare for the mechanical
side of Precision-Shooting.
may be a number of factors that you havent thought of including in your practice
sessions. Heres just a few:
you wear the same shoes to practice in, as the ones you usually wear in the casino? Or do you wear those slippers that your
brother-in-law gave you for Christmas in 1998? The
traction, support and firm-footing that you get on the casino carpeting may be different
than what you get on your painted concrete basement floor.
Now let me ask you how you factor your footwear into your dice-throwing at
home? If you dont think that shoes
makes a difference; then let me mention factor No. 2.
willing to wager a medium-sized coffee from the Java Java Coffee Hut at the Tropicana or
Nickel Nicks at Westward Ho, that your shooting-stance at home is SIGNIFICANTLY
different than the one you use in the casino. At
home, you may have the sweetest throwing-motion on this side of heaven, but when you get
into the casino, that sweetness is harder to duplicate because of the way you have to
stand. Are your feet and body-weight
distributed in exactly the same way as they are at home?
Is there the same side-force against your anchor-leg knee? Is your shooting-posture the same? That leads me to ask, just how you are replicating
your casino-stance at home? That directs us
to factor No. 3.
Im in a betting mood, Ill bet that at some point during your in-casino toss,
you are in contact with the table-rail. In
fact, Im willing to wager that the rail and padded-bolster are integral to your
in-casino throwing-stance. Think about the
way that you lean over it, or use it as a firm base on which to anchor your body. Now let me ask you if you are doing the same thing
at home? Most practice tables dont
have a rail. Yes, I realize that you use the
practice rig to dial-in your throw, and thats a very good thing to practice. But is the throw that you dial-in at home
anything like the throw that you use in the casino? The
dice-grip and arm-position may be close to being the same, but is everything else? If you use the table-rail to any degree while you
are in the casino; then you may want to factor that into your at-home sessions.
Arms, Legs, Feet and Toes
you are shooting the dice in the casino, where exactly are all of your hands, arms, and
legs? Ill assume for the moment that
you have two of each.
pretty sure that one of your hands will be on the dice, but exactly where is the other
one? Is it hanging limply by your side or is
it on your hip? Is it angled across your body
hanging onto the rail or bogarting and protecting your chips? Whatever your answer is, it should be the same
thing that you are doing in your practice sessions.
much weight do you put on your leg that is closest to the table? Does your outside leg remain firmly
planted during the release of the dice, or does it do some sort of bowler or ballerina
move on your follow-through?
you launch the dice in the casino, do your knees give your body any sort of upward lift? How about your toes on your main
planted leg? Do they give you any
sort of basketball-free throw-lift? Now
let me ask you if you are going through the same routine and motions at home?
a major-league baseball pitcher using his patented two-seam, four-finger
off-speed grip. Thats a
grip that takes a lot of practice to perfect, and even more practice-time to throw it with
proper accuracy and consistency. Now, picture
him trying to throw that baseball across home-plate, wearing his slippers as he stands
very relaxed in the concession-booth line. That
stance is completely different from his normal set and stance on the pitching-mound,
especially without his cleats. His grip may
be the same, but all the other full-wind up, total leg and arm extensions just arent
there. Do you think the pitching results will
be different? You can bet on it!
that in mind, you may want to replicate a few more of your actual in-casino motions during
your practice sessions.
dont get me wrong. Any practice can be
good, especially for developing a nice, smooth throw.
The problem that a lot of shooters run into is that that same smoothness and
sweetness is not as easy to replicate in the casino.
You can have a nice smooth release on your practice rig, but when you get in
the casino, that big honkin rail makes you contort your body into positions you
didnt practice from.
of a sudden the geometry of your throw is totally off-kilter and your on-axis throwing
percentage gets hacked up into bloody chunks of randomness.
dont want to discourage you. In fact, I
want to encourage you to keep practicing, but I want you to recognize a few things. First, while we recognize that casino distractions
are usually missing from our home layouts, we fail to recognize and take into account
some of the more basic physical factors that affect our actual mechanical skills.
you are going to practice
then at least practice RIGHT!
our continuing quest to get the most out of our Practice Sessions, Part Two
of this series will take a very close look at a few ways to warm-up. Ill also show you an exercise that will be
enlightening to your game and insightful to your current skill-level. Plus Ill show you how to set ideal
Practice-to-Play ratios to match your current abilities.
the practice rig is where you fine-tune and align your game; the casino is where you make
then, Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables
and in Lfe.