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The When, Where, Why, What and How of Signature Numbers
Part One

A guy goes into a tattoo parlor and offers the tattoo artist $1,000 to tattoo a $100 bill on his male-member. The artist agrees, but is curious and asks the man why he wants it. The man replies, "I have my reasons which I would rather not get into."  So, the artist goes ahead and does the job, but all the while he is anxious with curiosity over why this man wants a $100 bill tattooed onto his penis.  So, he asks again.  Finally, the customer consents and offers these three reasons: "First, I like to play with my money.   Second, I like to watch my money grow.   And third, and most importantly, the next time my wife wants to blow $100, she can stay at home to do it."

We all look at money in many different ways. 

Today I want to talk about how to increase the RELIABILITY and PREDICTABILITY of your in-casino betting performance.

As a Precision-Shooter, we have to focus on the winning-numbers that pay the freight.  Otherwise, we are just there to gamble.  It makes no sense for us to have long rolls, but have few paying bets, or to have betting strategies that simply erode our bankroll without taking advantage of our Precision-Shooting skills. That defeats the principal reason that we took up Precision-Shooting in the first place…and that is to make MONEY! 

For that reason, we have to know our “Signature Numbers”.

What are Signature Numbers?

Why do we need to know our Signature Numbers?

How do we use our Signature Numbers?

These are not “meaning of life” type questions.  We are taking practical steps towards building consistency and profitability into our Precision-Shooting craps game.  Signature Numbers help us to get us there and keep us there.

So, what are Signature Numbers?

Signature Numbers are the numbers that we roll MUCH more frequently compared to how they are supposed to roll based on the expected frequency of their appearance.

It simply means that if a “5” is supposed to show up, on average, four times out of thirty-six throws, but with our Precision-Shooting efforts, it shows up, on average, eight times out of thirty-six throws; then “5” is definitely one of our Signature Numbers.

Here then is how frequently certain number are statistically SUPPOSED to roll in 36 tosses of the dice:

2          should roll 1 time out of 36 or 2.77%
          should roll 2 times out of 36 or 5.55%
          should roll 3 times out of 36 or 8.33%
          should roll 4 times out of 36 or 11.11%
          should roll 5 times out of 36 or 13.88%
          should roll 6 times out of 36 or 16.66%
          should roll 5 times out of 36 or 13.88%
          should roll 4 times out of 36 or 11.11%
        should roll 3 times out of 36 or 8.33 %
        should roll 2 times out of 36 or 5.55%
        should roll 1 time out of 36 or 2.77%

Like I said, that is how frequently certain number are statistically supposed to roll in 36 tosses of the dice.  Let me quickly add that within the realm of Precision-Shooting, we are not talking about “standard deviation” here.

Standard Deviation is where the randomness of the dice will prevent “perfect” outcomes.  The dice will not always show up the expected number of times as shown on the 36-expected rolls chart.   It simply means that over an infinite number of tosses, the dice are expected to have outcomes in line with their expected frequency of occurrence as shown on that chart.  That is the simple math part of the game, and that part is undisputed by both players and mathematicians alike.

While I am no scholar when it comes to math, I consider myself adept at understanding the math side of the game and how it fits into the real-world fluctuations and volatility of the game that we love so much.

Sorry to have to get into the whole math thing there.  I hope you’re not feeling light-headed from the experience.  While people will tell you that you don’t have to know about the entire Swiss watch-making industry to enjoy the pleasures and benefits of owning and wearing a Rolex watch, the base-knowledge that you need for craps-survival is more fundamental. 

There is nothing wrong with understanding the basic math that governs this game.  It doesn’t make you a “math-weenie” just because you understand how the numbers actually work, and how you can make those same numbers work for you.  It is from that understanding that we can build a consistently profitable base for this “unbeatable” game.

There are a number of great articles here on Irishsetters site that give you some real-life example of actual throws versus what is expected from random-rollers.  The prime example would be the Real Practice Data area of the site, which was posted by Irishsetter some time ago.   It bears re-reading because of the perspective that it brings to the subject.

You need to know some of these math-basics, so that you can go forward with your Precision-Shooting and make tangible improvements to the profitability of your game. 

Signature Numbers are the number-one way of squeezing MORE profit out of your game, while REDUCING risk to its lowest possible level.

That leads us into the WHY of this whole discussion.

Why do we need to know our Signature Numbers?

In Precision-Shooting, your "Signature Numbers" MUST determine your betting methods, not the other way around.

We would all like to make profit off of every single roll of the dice that leaves our hand, but sadly, that is not the case.

You have to determine your own "signature numbers", then zero in on the best betting methods to extract as much money as possible from the table, while keeping the risk-level as low as possible.   

We determine our "Signature Numbers" on the practice rig, and we validate them in the casino.

In the casino, we match our betting to the expected appearance of our Signature Numbers.  There is always a temptation to have almost EVERY possible outcome covered.  That is the WRONG approach.

Some folks are tempted to Place bet the 5, 6 & 8, and then cover the Field bet.  The “Iron-Cross” method was formulated for a quick hit’n’run strategy, NOT as a daily grind method.  If your dominant Place numbers after the come-out roll, in descending order of frequency are usually: 6, 8, 5, 4 and 9; then the Field is the last place you would want to put your money.

Even though you get a nice payoff when the 4 and 9 hit, your wins on a 6 or 8 Place bet are diluted by the Field-loss offset.  It would be cheaper and much more profitable to bypass the Field, and Place bet that dime directly on your next most dominant number, in this case, the “5”.  If the “4” starts showing up with regularity, a dime there would not only have a more profitable outcome than the Field ($18 payoff instead of $10), but a subsequent appearance of the 5, 6, or 8 wouldn't knock it out.  If the 6 & 8 are your predominant numbers; then you don't want anything diluting their payoff.  Again, we want to max our profit, and minimize our bankroll exposure.

Just as a side note; in some cases if the 4 or 10 is my Pass Line point, I could care less if I EVER hit it.  If I get anywhere from twelve to eighteen hits on the 6 or 8 (bet as twins), and four to eight hits on the 9; then if and when the Pass Line point of 4 is repeated, it's just a happy coincidence.  Sure I like the free-odds payoff on the 4, but buddy, I gotta tell ya, the real profit is already in my rack from that rash of 6's, 8's and 9's.  And yes, before you ask…if I am satisfied with the profit from those Inside Numbers, I will sometimes change my dice-set to hopefully bring out that 4 or 10 Pass Line repeater.

Again, your predominant "Signature Numbers" should dictate what numbers that you cover.

Determining Signature Numbers

From your practice sessions, you should chart the percentage that EVERY number shows up.  Then compare it to the frequency charts that are found elsewhere on Irishsetters excellent site.  From there, using your Sevens-to-Rolls Ratio average, you should be able to determine the relative profit-potential of each bet.  These are the kinds of things that it takes to elevate your game to the next level.  Most players aren’t prepared to spend that kind of commitment to reach that higher “snack bracket”.

Now you can’t use a small sampling of 36 rolls to determine your dominant numbers.  I would suggest that you track your practice sessions over a reasonable period of time.  Remember that some of your sessions will yield better results than some others.  You want to blend the results and chart them over at least several hundred dice-throws.  That will give you a good idea of where your consistent strengths lay. 

On the other hand, all of these dominant-number calculations are done AFTER you have dialed-in your Precision-Shooting throw.  If you are still working on that particular skill-set; then you can delay this Signature Number exercise for a later stage when you have better throwing consistency.  Otherwise you won’t get a true picture of your Signature Numbers because your throwing skills are still in an ever-improving transitional stage.  Trying to hit a moving target is difficult enough for a skilled marksman.  Doing so as a novice just adds frustration to your learning process.

Let’s get back to the main subject.

Initially, in the casino, I would only cover the top one or two dominant or "Signature Numbers" that are not already covered by your Pass Line bet.  I would also strongly recommend a regression on those "Signature Numbers" bets after the first hit.  If they continue to roll in, you will have plenty of time to press them AFTER all of your action has been covered, AND you have already locked in a profit from your roll.

Regardless of your practice-table surface, your throws should be showing some sort of consistency.  If you use the same grip, stance, release, etc.; then the same sorts of numbers SHOULD be showing up when you throw the dice “for-real” in a casino.

Okay, now if you chart every number that you throw and compare it to the chart of expected outcomes (frequency of occurrence) then you should be able to quickly determine your dominant Signature Numbers. 

Remember that we are going to focus in on just the top one or two dominant numbers for our Place betting.  We keep our initial risk as low as possible.  When our betting choice has been vindicated by winning-payoffs; then we can either increase the amount of the Place bet, or we can add our next most dominant Signature Number to our betting mix.

Yes, each craps table is different, but if your Precision-Shooting is consistent; then you should still see an alarming amount of the same numbers over and over and over again.  If not, it is your throwing that is "off", and not the table.

If that is the case, then more at-home practice is required.  Set the dice in your usual set (let's say 3-V).  Take a permanent black marker, and draw one straight and complete stripe around the non-axis faces.  That means on one dice it would be a black continuous stripe on the 3, 1, 4, and 6.  While on the other die, it would be on the 3, 5, 4, and 2.

Now, when the dice are set up and thrown in the 3-V format, you should be seeing each dice fly through the air while showing two continuous side-by-side straight rings of black.  You can use this method to determine when and how one or both dice are going off axis.  You’ll notice either a “release” problem where one of the dice wobbles or goes off-axis almost as soon as it leaves your hand.  Or, it will be a “throw alignment” problem where one of the dice does not land flat and flush with the tabletop.  Those are throwing problems that can be cured through continued careful practice and refinement.

Once you clear up your throwing or alignment problem, THEN, and ONLY THEN, can you return to determining your signature numbers.

How do we use our Signature Numbers?

Your signature numbers determine HOW you bet at the tables when it is your turn to shoot. 

Initially, we restrict our Place betting to cover only the top one or two Signature Numbers that are not already covered by our Pass Line bet.

As the Signature Numbers hit, we lock up a profit.  On subsequent hits, we use a portion of the Signature Number hit-profit to fuel either increased bets on those top one or two Place numbers, OR, if our lower echelon Signature Numbers are also rolling; then we use some of that profit to fuel bets on those new Place numbers.

Let’s take a look at how we got to this point:

First we perfected our grip and throw.

Next, we worked out the kinks of our on-axis throwing.

Then, we were able to chart and determine our Signature Numbers on our home Practice Rig.

Finally, we tried it out in the casino.  Some of our Signature Numbers were validated as being profitable contributors to our bankroll.

The next step is to go back to the Practice Rig, to see if the predominant numbers that we rolled in the casino, still hold true on our home setup.

At this point, we continue to refine both our Precision-Shooting and the attendant betting methods that derive the greatest profit, while exposing our bankroll to the lowest risk.

As you can see, this is a continuous process whereby we focus-in and refine our betting methods to capture as much profit as possible, while minimizing risk.  By tracking our predominant Signature Numbers, we either discard some of our old non-valid betting methods, or we continue to piss money away on weak-paying infrequent hits.  The choice is yours.

That is how determining our Signature Numbers increases the RELIABILITY and PREDICTABILITY of our in-casino betting performance.

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


The Mad Professor

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