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The Mad Professor's Shooting Bible
Part X


Each Table Determines The Kind of Toss That It NEEDS

Any time that I buy-in at a table that I haven't played on before (or one that has just been re-covered with new felt); I need to quickly determine what type of throw will work best on it.

That means that I want to find out the most appropriate way to get the dice to do what I really want them to do…as opposed to producing a more randomized sort of outcome.

However, you don’t have to get all silly about trying to find the right combination to deal with a particular table.  It doesn’t mean that you should radically switch from right-handed shooting to left-footed tossing, but it does mean that you want to quickly determine just how much forward-momentum and descent-energy the table will absorb, in addition to ascertaining how much trajectory and spin you have to add or subtract from your usual “base toss”.

Your “Base Toss”

A base-toss is your normal bread-and-butter toss that works for you most of the time on most tables.  It is the one you have carefully developed and refined on your home practice-rig and then validated on the real-world casino tables.

Your base-toss is the one you are the most familiar with, and therefore the one that you understand the best when it comes to making adjustments to it.  You know (or at least you SHOULD KNOW) how it will react if you add a little more spin or a little less trajectory.  You should know how it will react on hard layouts as well as the bouncy ones…and you should know (or at least eventually learn) what kind of adjustments are appropriate and which ones actually make it worse depending on the type of layout you are trying to conquer.

If I try to use the exact same toss (with the same release-angle, trajectory, spin and force) on a bouncy, trampoline-type table as I use on a rock-hard, no-rebound layout; well, I shouldn’t really expect any kind of consistency with my results then should I.

Dice-influencing is not nearly so simple.

On the other hand, my practice-sessions that are liberally interspersed with real-world casino-engagements have taught me that a little less release-angle here and a little less backspin there or perhaps just adding a little more distance, trajectory and descent-angle to my base-throw; is all that I need to accommodate, match and ultimately triumph over almost every conceivable layout on this globe.

One Size Does Not Fit All

If you are of the mind that one type of unaltered toss will successfully work on each and every table that you’ll encounter, then read no further and go back to believing in the fairy-tales, fictional yarns and whimsical fantasies that are spun by guys who don’t have the first clue about how to make money at the craps tables…because there’s certainly nothing more for you here.

If you are of sound and relatively sober mind, then read on.

Determining What It Needs…QUICKLY

To find out the type of throw that will work best on an unknown table, my first toss will be thrown in such a way and to such a target that the outcome should be fairly predictable.  Again, it is centered around my base-throw that works consistently on most layouts. 

       That means that the dice should hit at or near the spot that I targeted and that they should bounce and hit the backwall based on the force, the trajectory and the spin that I threw them with, and the outcome should at least be on-axis.  If it isn't, then hopefully the reason will be evident.


       Those "toss-reactions" that I am watching for, as well as the actual outcome, will tell me if I am close to giving the table the input that it needs to give me the results that I want; or whether a significant correction is required.


       For example, on almost every 12-foot or 14-foot table that I haven't played on before; an SR-1, 2, or 3 position will see me using a Low, Slow & Easy Toss with a little bit of backspin to a target that is about 6 to 8-inches from the backwall.

Depending on what the dice do on their initial landing and run-in (or bounce) to the backwall, as well as the amount of rebound energy they get off of the backwall, along with how true and straight their rollback is...and what their final outcome is; all indicate how much or how little I need to adjust my second throw to get a straight-tracking, even-landing, low-energy, even-rollout result on that particular layout.

You might want to re-read that paragraph two or three more times because it tells you everything you need to know about how I gauge and react to the feedback that the table is telling me about each and every throw that I make on it.

Armed with that instant feedback telemetry, I toss out throw Number Two.

       Depending on what happens on this roll (again, not just based on the final outcome, but also what the dice did to end up the way that they did), I may ratchet down the velocity (speed), but increase the amount of backspin while maintaining the same target-area; or I may move the target-area a bit closer to the backwall, but lower the trajectory even further. Alternatively, the table may indicate that it requires a modest amount of forward-spin as well as a landing-zone retreat to 10 or 12-inches further from the wall.


       I can’t tell you exactly how to recalibrate your throw to match every table surface that you’ll run into.  You have to do some of that work yourself.  However, I can tell you about the process that you have to go through to figure it out.  Your toss-motion and throwing-dynamics are yours and yours alone. 


       This profit-seeking process is all about helping YOU adapt YOUR throw to overcome each of the tables that you’ll come across.  Obviously laziness is not an asset when it comes to figuring out how to master various layouts, but the time and effort that you expend figuring these things out now, will be far out-paced by the resultant profit-reward during your subsequent casino-sessions.


Based on the third outcome (and again, by keenly observing what the dice were doing on their way to that actual end-result), I'll make more adjustments (if necessary) to my fourth throw and my fifth throw and my sixth throw…and so it goes for every successive throw after that too. 

       The dice are simply reacting to the way you are throwing them on that particular table. 


       They can only do what you direct them to do. 


       They give feedback to your toss-dynamic directions, but you have to understand how each element of your input is affecting their outcome.


       They will tell you what they need more of or less of if you simply take the time to observe what they are doing and why they are doing it.


I’ll quickly mention again that each one of the adjustments that we are talking about is SUBTLE.  There is absolutely no need to drastically, dramatically or  significantly change the way you throw on most layouts.  Most tables only require a bit of fine-tuning and tweaking, and DO NOT call for radical departures from your already-proven base-toss.

Listen To What The Dice Are Telling You

Now obviously those two dice in your hand are inanimate objects, but if you look at what they are doing based on what YOU are doing to them when you toss them to the other end of the table, you take on a better understanding of what they are telling you based on the outcomes that they are giving you. 

       They will indicate what they need in terms of the adjustments, alterations and corrections that you’ll have to make to YOUR input, in order to get them to do your on-axis, primary-face bidding more often.


       Each new throw gives you vital information about how the dice are reacting to the way you are throwing them.


       If the feedback is positive, then zero-in even closer to perfecting that toss.


       If the feedback tells you that the table requires something entirely different, then use your collective knowledge and experience to make refined changes that will bring the results more in line with what you want. 


       Again, micro-changes and delicate adjustments often bring HUGE improvements to your results.  There is absolutely no need to make all kinds of goofy and extreme changes to your standard go-to toss unless it was fundamentally flawed in the first place.


       Each new throw should bring you one step closer to fully understanding what that table needs in terms of delivering up consistent on-axis, primary-face outcomes. 


       You have to have your antennae up and fully tuned to gauge how each change is affecting the outcome.  Precision-Shooting is not a fire-and-forget sort of pursuit.  Rather, you have to be a keen observer of the obvious…and sometimes the not-so-obvious. 

       If you make numerous wholesale changes to your toss and it still doesn’t work, it could be that one or two of the minor elements that would have given you much better results are subtly hidden and lost within all of the unnecessary major toss-modifications that you made.


       You have to know your base-toss well enough and intimately enough to quickly reconcile what the die are doing with each new fine-tuned modification that you make on this table compared to what they usually do when you tweak them like that on a better-behaved layout or on your practice-rig at home.


       As a rule-of-thumb, most tables usually only require MINOR adjustments to either forward-speed, spin-rate and trajectory in order to get the dice to consistently do what you want them to do.


Just as a quick side-note; I guess you can see now why I am such a big fan of keeping detailed and up-to-date Table Notes on each layout that I come across.  See Shooting Bible One and S-B Two for details.

       Using a standard baseline-evaluation throw (like my standard L, S & E Toss) on the first throw of the first hand of the first session on a first-time layout, quickly determines how the table will react to the throw that I know best. That way, I am able to adopt my throw to that particular table much quicker than if I was trying to get each and every layout to surrender and submit to one universal "it's-gotta-be-MY-WAY" type of throw.

By understanding how your normal "go-to" toss reacts on every felt-type, table-length and player-position; you can make adjustments much more quickly…much more accurately...and of course, much more profitably.

Each Toss GIVES You Feedback, But You Have To Be Listening

Each toss that you make on a strange new table (or even the ones you think you are most familiar with), will give you the seeds of information that can make your very next toss even better than the one you just threw. 

You just have to listen to what the dice are trying so desperately to tell you.  Getting them to do what you want them to do is a matter of paying attention to that feedback, and then making the appropriate minor-corrections and toss-adjustments in response.

By working backwards from the RESULTS (the faces that the dice are ending up on) and by observing what they are doing on their way to getting to those results; you’ll be better able to determine what modifications need to be made.

By first figuring out which results you will most likely get from a given set (based on the way that YOU throw them); you can then determine how to precisely tailor that dice-set (for example: a 1/4 forward-rotation for the right-dice, plus 1/2 rotation backward and 1/4-face sideways inward-flop for the left-dice) to achieve more "desirable" and much more PROFITABLE outcomes!

There is software that is available on this site to assist you in that endeavor…I would strongly suggest that you use it.  It offers an excellent way to become instantly conversant with each of those set-permutations.

Having that kind of knowledge not only ramps up the speed at which you can adapt from table-to-table, but it also ramps-up your ability to generate a far higher percentage of on-axis, primary-face outcomes (sourced directly from the basic dice-set you are using now) from session-to-session, week-to-week and month-after-month.

If you don’t know all of the permutations that each of your dice-sets contain (and the way to make instantaneous adjustments to them to respond to what the table and the dice are telling you); then you won’t even be able to make the smallest of transpositional changes that are often the only thing that separates you from consistently predictable results. 

In other words, sometimes your base-toss is perfectly suitable for a particular table and you only need to make minor transpositional changes to your base dice-set in order to turn a seemingly erratic table into a exceedingly predictable and profitable one…but you have to know each of your dice-sets backwards, forwards and inside out.

We’re going to talk about this in much greater detail in the next five chapters of the Shooting Bible series, but suffice it to say that each permutation contained within all of your basic dice-sets should be second-nature to you.   If they aren’t, then it’s going to be incredibly difficult for you to transpose those unintended outcomes into ones that are more bettably actionable until you do.

Improving Primary-Face Results

All of the skills required to improve on-axis results are essentially the same as those required to boost primary-face results. They're just a little more finely tuned.

       The more you can keep the dice on-axis, the more primary-face outcomes you'll get.


       To increase that percentage beyond the expected 4-out-of-16 (25%) on-axis probabilities that you'd normally get if both dice stayed on-axis 100% of the time, you have to improve your rotational-control.


Rotational-control is the amount of positive guidance and influence you have on the rotating faces of the dice as they move towards the far end of the table.  If you can keep them on-axis and exert additional facial-control on the way each die rotates in relation to the other; then you’ll have exerted a certain amount of rotational-control.  The more rotational-control you exert, the more manageable and exploitable your on-axis results become.

       That means you have to take the same skills that allow you to keep the dice on-axis, and improve upon it little by little (often roll-by-roll and inch-by-inch) until both dice are not only staying on-axis a shockingly high percentage of the time, but also maintaining their rotational-equilibrium on the four primary-faces that you first set them on.

You can liken this idea to accidentally throwing a Dead Cat Bounce-type of outcome (see Shooting Bible 4 for a full discussion of the DCB)

       If you've ever tossed the dice and they just landed and stuck without any further roll or bounce; then you've thrown a DCB.


       If you can do that "by accident", then an adequately skilled and practiced player can do it by intention.


       To get that outcome, the player has to figure out HOW he did it in the first place...and then keep doing the same things on each and every subsequent toss.

The same thing goes for trying to throw primary-face hits.

There is a balance between grip-alignment, finger-pressure, release vector, dice velocity, spin, apogee, landing-trajectory and forward-velocity which permits roll-after-roll consistency on a particular table.

There probably is some other way to build up to that kind of consistency (other than the myriad ways that we've covered in all of my articles including the “inch-by-inch” method that we are going to discuss again in a moment)...but frankly I haven't discovered, created or stolen it yet.

This inch-by-inch, roll-by-roll approach is for advanced dice-influencers who want to ratchet-up their game to the level beyond the next.

This isn't easy. It is going to be draining, frustrating, and possibly even depressing...however the steadily produceable results that you’ll get will more than make up for all of the aggravating effort that went into propagating them.

The following exercise has a tendency to separate a lot of wheat from the chaff. 

       The players who can't be bothered to do it will save themselves all of that practice-session hassle, aggravation and frustration that you are about to go through, while the ones that perfect their toss in this manner will be rewarded with an on-axis, primary-face consistency that they had long believed was merely an urban dicesetters myth and legend.


The Inch-by-Inch, Roll-by-Roll  Process

A deliberate and calculated approach during your practice-sessions today can pay huge dividends in the casino tomorrow.

       It all starts with the ultra-short throwing distances that we discussed in Shooting-Bible - Part 9 (go back and review it now if you are not absolutely certain about what it is I’m talking about) and then g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y lengthening out the throwing-gap between you and your target-area.


       This method is most effective in quickly finding the root cause of most off-axis and/or on-axis double-pitch problems that you haven’t been able to solve using some of the more traditional grip, release, trajectory, spin, apogee/toss-height and energy/force correction-methods that are commonly talked about.


       When you cure your on-axis problems from a short distance and the same problem re-appears when you stretch out the gap; then you simply go back to the previous backwall-proximity that afforded the perfect outcomes and build on it from there.


       It may feel like you’re going back to elementary school in having to build your success one toss and one inch at a time, but just as you have to crawl before you walk…you also have to shoot correctly before you can shoot for consistent results.


       If you throw the dice from a short distance and get it perfect; then it’s only a matter of l-e-n-g-t-h-e-n-i-n-g out your toss one inch at a time. Did you notice that I didn’t say one-foot or one-yard or one-metre at a time?  One-inch or a couple of inches at a time lets you work your way up to all kinds of eventual throwing distances that are far beyond the not-always-available SL-1 or SR-1 table-positions that many players restrict themselves to now.


       That way, the crap between your ears about “Oh I can’t throw properly on the mini-tubs ‘cause they’re too short…or on the twenty-four foot land-barges ‘cause they’re too long…or from any straight-out position on 16-footers ‘cause it’s too far”…NEVER BECOMES AN ISSUE AGAIN!

In other words:

HOW you learn to de-randomize the dice is sometimes just as important as WHAT you learn.

HOW you built up your on-axis practice-session skills will play a big role in not only determining HOW MUCH you retain; but more importantly, HOW MUCH and HOW FREQUENTLY and HOW EFFECTIVELY those skills can be applied to real-world opportunities.

I'll just add that when I'm talking about starting out with short throwing distances, I am talking about starting out with throwing distances as short as a foot or two.

       From that distance, a skilled dice-influencer should be keeping the dice on-axis and on their primary-faces a shockingly high percentage of the time.


       When you get near-perfect 100% on-axis, primary-face outcomes from that distance...THEN and ONLY THEN do you start to increase your throwing distance by an inch or two at a time.


When your on-axis, primary-face percentage eventually starts to fall off; then you SHORTEN your throwing distance back to the point where you were getting near-perfect 100% on-axis, primary-face outcomes...and you start the whole process over again.

THAT my friends is how I get such a high percentage of on-axis, primary-face outcomes on all sorts of tables in all kinds of casinos…and you can too.  You just have to put the time and patient effort into building your consistency one-inch and one toss at a time.

Oh, by the way, it’s also a good idea to intersperse some of your normal practice and dice-tracking sessions from the usual conventional distances in amongst these “short-distance” sessions. That effort won’t be counterproductive. In fact, you'll likely see an almost immediate improvement to your traditional throwing-distance game because of it.

As If Those Benefits Aren’t Enough…

One of the additional benefits of using short practice distances to de-bug your toss, is that you should be able to see exactly WHERE and WHY the dice are going off-axis when they do, because they are in such close proximity to you and to each other.

While this exercise is not the cure-all for every dice-setting problem; what it does demonstrate to most who use it, is that tosses that start out wrong...won't miraculously cure themselves in mid-flight.  That also applies equally to splaying, wobbling, splattering and sidal-popping problems.

When you start with a strong basic-toss foundation that is built upon this inch-by-inch and toss-by-toss process; you end up with a reliable throw that is far easier to successfully adjust and fine-tune when you take your Precision-Shooting show on the road…no matter what kind of table you run into.

Let’s get to some of the questions that came out of that initial inch-by-inch, toss-by-toss S-B 9 article out of the way…

"Are we constrained to merely observing the results and trying to figure out what we did right when primary-faces turn up?"

You do have to observe the results (and especially HOW they ended up the way they did), but it certainly shouldn’t constrain you.  To the contrary, those types of keen observations will actually liberate you and accelerate your profit-objectives.

An on-axis, primary-face outcome tells the dice-influencer that he did everything right…or perhaps it was just a happy accident.  Part of your job is to objectively determine which of those it was. If you want to get more on-axis, primary-face outcomes; then you have to toss the dice in a near-similar manner as often as possible. 

I can also tell you that “accidental” primary-face outcomes will often provided enlightenment as to what you can do to get the dice to do the same thing again and again by intentionally throwing them exactly the same way on each subsequent toss.  Again though, you can’t get silly about the whole process.  Common sense, not common stupidity should rule your decisions.

In other words, serendipity may not be a scientific approach, but happenstance, accident and being in the right place at the right time and observing unexpected results, causatum, reactions and consequences have historically led to some of the most earth-shaking and completely unexpected discoveries known to mankind. 

       By way of example in the dicesetting context, I’ll again mention the unintended Dead-Cat Bounce result when it happens by accident. 


       The astute player simply has to replicate the same toss-dynamics on his very next throw in order to get those very same results by intent.


       From that point forward, and with additional practice, that particular throwing technique becomes part of his dice-throwing arsenal.

Astute observation of the just-rolled result tells us if we should toss the next throw exactly the same way as the one we just threw, or whether it needs a subtle adjustment to achieve a more desirable outcome.

And so it is with “accidental” primary-face outcomes too.  Observed-results don't constrain us; rather, they open up the possibility of making each new toss as good or even better than the previous one.

"Is seeking to increase our primary-hit percentage a realistic goal; or do we pursue increased axial integrity and expect that improved primary percentages will follow as a natural result of our increasing skill?"

Primary-hit percentages are obviously closely tied to our on-axis percentage. As our on-axis percentage increases; then our primary-face outcomes will inevitably increase too.

       If we can increase the appearance-rate of our primary-face outcomes compared to our non-primary on-axis results; then obviously our skills become that much more predictable and so too, that much more BETTABLE.


       As a dice-influencers skill increases, so too does his ability to control the rotational-variance between the two die.

For example, if you can get a double-pitch problem under control; then you've taken a HUGE step towards increased rotational-variance control too.

Seeking to increase your primary-hit percentage is not only a realistic goal, but is also directly tied to curing some of our most common and fundamental grip and release defects too.

       If you cure an off-axis problem, then you'll obviously be getting more on-axis results.


       More on-axis results will tend to give you more primary-face results too, but they're usually only in proportion to the O/A increase.


       However, when you cure an on-axis problem (like a double-pitch), then you usually end up with significantly more primary-face outcomes too.

Obviously we’ve only really started to scratch the surface of axial and facial control, but it’s a precursor of what we’ll be covering in the next five chapters of this series.

In the meantime, it is CRITICAL that you remember that…

Depending on what the dice do on their initial landing and run-in (or bounce) to the backwall, as well as the amount of rebound energy they get off of the backwall, along with how true and straight their rollback is...and what their final outcome is; ALL indicate how much or how little you need to adjust your next throw to get a straight-tracking, even-landing, low-energy, even-rollout result on that particular layout. 

Good Luck and Good Skill at the tables…and in Life.

The Mad Professor

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