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



As we emerge from the primordial ooze of the random-roller swamp, and set foot on the dry land of Precision-Shooting, Signature-Numbers determine whether we will walk upright, directly into the profit-zone; or if we’ll endlessly crawl around blindly sniffing and grubbing for a few edible crumbs as the reward for all of our evolutionary “advancement”. 

Just as in evolution, there are natural occurrences that bend, shape, interrupt, change and redirect our progress.  Likewise, our dicesetting evolution is not a straight-line progression.   Rather, it is organic in its development, and the growth-curve often meanders way off course.

As Precision-Shooters, we are always trying to improve the various advantage-play aspects of our game, and to keep our forward progress on-track.

We determine what our power-numbers are, and how much better they are over “random”.  Then, based on our evolving skills, those Signature-Numbers are used to largely determine the strength and validity of the bets that we SHOULD be making, instead of the hunch, superstition, and premonition betting that currently pervades the thought-process of the bets that we ARE making. 

Gamblers, (as opposed to advantage-play Precision-Shooters) all too often hitch their bankroll-wagon to “hope” and “fear” instead of relying on the solid foundation of an ever-improving skill-set. 

Signature-Numbers help us make the shift from being mere gamblers, into being bona-fide advantage-players.

In a nutshell, the whole idea is to determine which S-N’s are most dominant, and then fully exploit them through betting-methods that are carefully tailored to our current dice-shooting skills.

The Biggest Complaint That I Hear…

…from aspiring Precision-Shooters, is that, when their game is “on”, they can rake in tons of money; yet when their shooting is “off”, they can’t buy a win to save their lives. 

The frustration of good wins that are offset by equal or larger bad losses is caused by the volatility that marks the trail of a dicesetters evolving progress.  Although we’ve already covered the multi-stages of development you’ll go through on your way to consistent profitability in my How Good Is Your Precision Shooting? article; it is worth taking a fresh view at the entire subject from a slightly different perspective.

Reducing Volatility

There are two schools of thought, in terms of how to reduce the whip-saw volatility that your bankroll goes through in the early to mid-stages of dice-setting evolution and development.

The first one teaches that you bet small at the beginning of a hand, and if things start to look good, you simply press your bets every second or third hit.  In fact, some players look for just one hit on any of their bets before calling everything “Off” or down.

This method works best when you are just starting out and when steady rolling is more of a dream than a reality.  It certainly minimizes risk, and it also minimizes stress, since your money is at risk for a very short period of time. Another big plus is that the amount of money at risk is pretty much as low as you can go and still be able to say that you are in fact, still wagering to any significant degree.

The other school of thought, holds that an initial large wager on your Top Three or Four Signature Numbers, followed by a steep regression (which locks in a quick guaranteed profit), followed by conservative pressing (IF the hand continues beyond a roll or two) will get the job done with minimal risk and a high degree of success.

In either case, the central idea is to reduce volatility, yet lock up an early profit. 

My preference is the steep regression route; but ONLY when your shooting has become consistent enough for you to determine an actual and tangible advantage with your most dominant Signature Numbers.  Until that point, a low and slow betting method probably best suits nearly everyone’s needs. 

Again, I want you to keep in mind that Precision-Shooting is an evolutionary process where “overnight success” rarely happens, nor does profit become consistently sustainable right away. Rather, the process is slow, frustrating, and sometimes agonizing…but through this series of articles, I’m trying to make it as painless and inexpensive as possible.

I’ll remind you again. 

       You need to establish consistency with your shooting BEFORE you can expect any consistency with your profit.

       You have to continually adjust and re-evaluate your betting-methods to best suit your ever-changing skills.

MORE About Reduced Volatility

A casual observer would quickly point out that a quick 7-Out before you have a chance to regress your bets (and lock in a profit) will spell a quick and substantial loss for any Place-bets that you’ve wagered on your Top Three or Four Signature-Numbers. 

That is correct.

However, I want to show you how Steep Regressions actually REDUCE volatility even when you factor those quick-Outs into the calculation.

Before I begin, I’ll quickly add that all of this assumes that you have done your homework, and you have established and confirmed that you indeed do have a substantial dominance over the house-edge with your Signature Numbers.   If you haven’t put in the effort, nor established this most basic of baseline valuations; then all is for naught, and your losses will most certainly be equal to or greater than a random-rollers chances in the same situation. 

PLEASE do not take that advice lightly. 

It is YOUR money that we are talking about, and I’m trying to help you KEEP IT, not WASTE IT.

Further to that, I want to add that Regression-betting DOES NOT reduce house-edge (your Precision-Shooting takes care of that).  Rather, Regression-betting reduces volatility by lessening the unpredictability, and moderating the whiplash of up-and-down wins and losses.  In other words, it flattens out the revenue-curve so that you reach profit much faster, and with much more frequency.  Likewise, your losses are lower, and they occur less frequently.

Here’s why:

The Dollars-Risked versus the Rolls-Needed-For-Profit is lower with Regression-betting when compared against Flat-betting.

Let me explain that a little further.

If you make same-bet, no-press, no-regression Place-wager flat-bets on the Inside Numbers (5, 6, 8, and 9), it will take at least three hits on any of them BEFORE they are NEARLY paid for.

Now assuming that your tossing skills are still improving, and your current SRR is in the 6.5:1 range, you MAY get to the break-even point on a lot of hands with the flat-bets I just mentioned; but in most cases, you’ll have a hard time breaking into profitability with them simply because an SRR of 6.5:1 may not be enough for sustained profit when using the flat-bet method.

The reason it falls short, is because, just as you are about to break through that profit-barrier, your Place-bets and your PL-bets are unceremoniously swept away by a 7-Out at the most crucial pre-profit point.  Remember that your SRR includes all numbers, not just Box-numbers, so careful consideration has to be given to how many of the bets that you make most often will be hit BEFORE your average 6.5-rolls-before-the-7-shows-up will get paid.

Here’s the simple math. 

The flat-bettor (on a $5 table) will need to have $22 Place-bet on the Inside Numbers for at least four rolls before reaching profit.  So four rolls times $22 equals $88 worth of exposure.  Yes, you can only lose $22 at any given time, but you need at least four “kicks at the can” before you can expect any net-profit.  That means that your money needs to be exposed to a 7-Out for at least four paying-hits before you reach the profit zone.

If on the other hand, you decide to do a Steep Regression bet, you could START with $88 Inside ($24 each on the 6 & 8, and $20 each on the 5 & 9), and only need ONE HIT before hitting the profit zone.  One roll versus four rolls can mean a big difference to an up and coming dicesetter.  While $88 is a lot more money than the twenty-two bucks that the flat-bettor has out there; we are only looking for ONE hit (not four) before we reach profit and immediately regress our Inside action down to $22. 

One roll versus four rolls to reach profitability really shows its true value to the Precision-Shooter who is still ironing out the kinks in his throwing; yet is skilled enough and knowledgeable enough to know where his current strengths and opportunities lay.

With “flat” betting you actually need be MORE skilled than someone using regression-betting.

       Simply put, by using a Steep Regression on your top three or four Signature-Numbers, it means that you don't need as many paying-rolls before you are into a profit.  That not only holds a lot of attraction to ever-improving dicesetters, but to seasoned pro’s as well.

Let me add a slightly different point of view for a Place-bet converted into a Come-bet approach to the game.

       If you combine a Steep Regression on your Place-bets and combine it with a table-minimum Come-bet with escalating-Odds (where you steadily increase the amount of Odds on your traveled Come-bets as your hand progresses), and, 

       The Odds money that you cap your Come-bets with is actually paid for by your Place-bet "winnings" and does not come from your chip rail, and, 

       Your steadily increased Odds amounts are fueled by income that is generated by each subsequent hit on the previous Come-bet, then,

       You can safely build up your bets on the Signature Numbers that are strongest during your current hand, without requiring you to add any money that hasn’t already been earned by this particular hand.

       By employing a Steep Regression, and locking in an early profit, yet using the steady flow of income off of your current bets to fuel additional Odds on the Come-numbers that are CURRENTLY hitting; you severely limit your losses, yet the steam from each subsequent Come-bet hit fuels bigger wins by way of those escalating Odds.

Back on Track

This brings us right back on center with the whole concept, and the entire reason behind this entire series.  That is, you have to determine what your Signature Numbers actually are, BEFORE you start making wagers all over the layout.  Once you determine WHAT they are, you can decide WHEN to bet on them, and HOW to take maximum advantage of them when they are hitting.

Remember, we are trying to bring some precision to our BETTING as well as to our SHOOTING.

This article completes the The When, Where, Why, What... series, but it doesn’t mean that we are finished with Signature Numbers.  In the future, we’ll be looking at exactly how you can gauge the strength of your dominant numbers to determine WHAT PORTION your bankroll can affordably and SAFELY be wagered on them.  Until then,

Good Luck & Good Skill at those tables…and in Life.

The Mad Professor

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