Mad Professor's Mini-Table Craps Tour with the Vegas Ghost- Part VII
is where the craps pit used to be here at Circus Circus, said Mel, the Vegas
you look up, you can imagine how much sweat dripped down from those Romanian high-wire
artists. The oldest daughter who worked the
tight-rope, sweated the worst. From a
distance, this girl was beautiful, I mean, she had a killer body, but up close, her
moustache was even bigger than her grandfathers. That
hirsute beauty had more hair on her chest than I did!
I finally got her to start shaving that chinchilla off of her face, but by then they had closed in the ceiling, and you had to go up the escalator if you wanted to catch her sweaty little act.
Yep, Mels mouth was at full throttle as we made our way through the candyland-for-adults known as the Circus Circus Hotel-Casino.
How Do You Do It?
Hey MP, how is it that you conquered these mini-tables so well? They look so easy, yet they are just as hard,
maybe even harder than normal-length tables to beat.
Ive seen some real catastrophes on them. Im talking huge disasters where they had to
bring in the Red Cross to serve coffee to the survivors.
How do you do it? How do you
move from place to place and do so well at most of these mini-tubs?
Mels questions were valid. We had played at five different mini-tub casinos, and we were headed for what I hoped would be another excellent session.
Beside the obvious reply about mastering Precision-Shooting on smaller tables, my answer was a bit more complicated than his question.
obvious answer is that I avoid disasters by keeping my losses to an absolute minimum.
Now this may
sound like simple stuff, but its probably the hardest thing to master
least it was for me. While I hate to lose
money, I understand that I cant win everywhere that I play, nor can I win every
session that I play.
What I can
control is HOW MUCH I lose. Sometimes my
dice-shooting is absolutely terrible. If
its not clicking, I move on to another table or another casino, or I take a break
from the gaming-action to regroup. Why stay
and toss good money down the drain on bad throws?
Oh sure, my
ego usually says, Stay and
You can beat this table
Youre the master
Just a few more hands
is all it will take to turn this loss into a win.
In most cases, that self-deceiving talk can turn into a bankroll disaster.
Like I said,
I HATE losing money. While a little loss may
be tolerable once in awhile; bigger or more frequent losses quickly become altogether
intolerable and insupportable.
Precision-Shooting wont always carry the day and rake in the profit for you. We all have our off days. On a day like that, you have to be sure that you
dont get your ass handed to you by the casino.
Just because your shooting may be far less than perfect on any given day; it
doesnt mean that you have to let the casino shoot down your bankroll into an empty
Hey, if you
have a higher tolerance for losses, then you are always welcome to stay and play. The casinos will love you for that. Its what they are counting on from most
players. They understand that in the heat of
action, most players will lose more than would have previously admitted they were willing
to squander. When ego, greed, fear and
adrenalin are mixed together in a casino-context, the resulting cocktail is both
intoxicating and highly volatile.
So let me ask
you this; are you there to win or to be entertained?
If you are there for entertainment, then enjoy yourself as your
losses become greater and greater. If you
equate entertainment with losing, then a casino is a perfect place for you and your
I play for
profit. While not every session can be a
winning one, it is how you handle the losing ones which determine your overall
profit-consistency as a Precision-Shooter. Reduce
your losses to an absolute minimum, and your wins dont have to be nearly as large to
result in an overall profit.
It all sounds
so easy, but players find that that is one of the hardest aspects of gaming to come to
grips with. I struggled with those same
demons for more than a decade. I may be a
slow-learner, but once Ive grasped the lesson, I make sure that I apply it at every
If you want
more insight into this whole subject, I wrote an entire series of articles entitled,
Win For Losing, which
covers it all quite nicely.
small loss into a huge loss just cant be all that much fun. It reminds me of the joke about the guy who keeps
hitting his thumb with a hammer. His friend
asks him why he is doing it, and he replies
cause it feels so good when
losses turn into disasters are pretty much the same thing.
The only good part about a huge loss is the feeling of relief when you
finally stop playing. That is when feelings
of regret and remorse have a tendency to creep in. If
you want to avoid those feelings, simply cut your losses short. Like our friend advises, When it aint
fun, its time to run.
Seek, Expect and Embrace Success
second part of my answer to Mels question is that I seek, expect and embrace
seek success with my Precision-Shooting, by carefully noting HOW I do
well, WHERE I do well, and WHY I do well. If
you want to read more on that subject, I would invite you to read my
Professor's Shooting Bible Part I and
Part II articles.
Expect to Win
fully expect to win when I step up to the table. Im not only HOPING that Ill have a
good session; I am actually EXPECTING to win.
keep my win-goals reasonable enough so that I can reach them 19-out-of-20 times. Some people look at that win-ratio and think to
themselves, There is NO WAY that anyone can do that. However, they will quickly admit that at some
point in their own casino-sessions, that they are usually up by anywhere from 10% to 30%
at any one time. Despite that level of
profit, most people will also admit that most of their sessions end in a loss.
is no mystery or secret as to how I accomplish such a high win-to-loss ratio. The answer is simple. Once I have a 10% or 15% profit; I lock it up, and
I play with the excess. If, and hopefully
when I garner another 10% or 15% in winnings, I also lock that up. John Patrick advises the same thing. The concept is SIMPLE, but its the doing
that is HARD!
you want to read more on this subject, I would invite you to take a look at
The River of
Consistency Leads to Lake Profit and
How Much Commitment
Are You Willing To Spend? or my
Reflect Motivations articles. The reading is free, but the cost of not applying
the advice can be pretty expensive.
Dont say that a high 80% to
95% win-ratio cant be done; just admit that most people arent willing to do it.
Some players look at settling for small profits as irritating and annoying. They prefer the action of gambling.
you want to GAMBLE, then keep on playing back any wins that come your way. But if you want to WIN, then be satisfied with
those small, conservative profits. They have
an irritating way of increasingly becoming BIG wins, and an annoying way of building up
your bankroll. It may not be as exciting as
gambling all of your money away, but it sure is a lot more satisfying.
embrace success by not taking my good skills and good fortune for
dont piss my money away, especially after a good and profitable session. A lot of people like the cleansing, cathartic
effect of LOSING. My soul, while rumored to
be quite gray, is clean enough that I dont need to lose money to feel repentant, nor
do I seek salvation by feeling unworthy of my winnings.
respect the value of the money that I win, and I simply refuse to give it back. On the same note, I dont delude myself into
thinking that Im playing with their money.
The most dangerous session is the
one you play AFTER youve had a good win.
is when you feel like superman, or at least somewhat bulletproof with your abilities. These are dangerous times, because you ego is
dulling your otherwise keen senses that usually defend and protect your bankroll.
your guard is down, your money is exposed to the biggest weapon the casino has in trying
to take your money. It isnt the
it is YOU.
The Skyrise Casino in C-2
and I were heading for the mini-table that now makes its home in the rear-most satellite
gaming area of Circus Circus known as the Skyrise Casino.
As you can
see, its a bit of a trip from the main entrance to the rear portion of the complex. You have to go through the Main Casino, past the
West Casino, through the Promenade Casino, and into the Skyrise Casino before finally
reaching the one mini-tub. While this table
is usually only open on the weekends, the trip is well worth it.
Hand #1 and
chance with the dice was decent enough, but definitely lacking in both beauty and
longevity. When I threw them, they were
hitting the right target, but they were traveling with way too much forward speed.
I was getting
some lucky outcomes, which allowed me to regress my Inside Place bets, and lock-up a
guaranteed profit. My rolling improved
marginally along the way, and it took ten or twelve more tosses until my Pass-Line Point
PL-Point roll was about the same, and I had pressed up the 8 and 9. I managed to collect once more from each of those
increased bets, but the 7 showed up all too soon.
I counted the
chips in my rail to figure out my profit-status. Mel
gave me one of those what-are-you-complaining-about looks, even though I
hadnt said anything. I had made a
little over $80, which didnt seem like much, considering the amount of throws that I
had made. On the other hand, $80 was a lot of
money considering that my rolling was definitely not dialed-in anywhere close to what I
Mel passed on
shooting the dice. He said, Id
rather win ugly on your tossing, than lose pretty on my own throws. The table was still empty, save for the two of us. I knew what he meant and I nodded my head in
agreement as I reached for the dice for my second hand.
opportunity with the dice proved to be a bit more profitable. However, the dice still werent leaving my
hand smoothly or with any kind of grace.
to me that perhaps my hands were not as clean as they should be. However, I didnt have any of those
Handi-Wipes that the casino freely supplies to slot players. The table started to fill up quite nicely during
this particular hand, as I hit three Hard-6s in the span of eight rolls. As soon as I 7ed Out, I parked a chip in my
rail to save my spot, and told Mel I was heading to the nearest washroom to give my hands
a thorough washing.
here usually stays dead until one intrepid soul has the courage to step up and start the
game. Because it is so remote from the other
three larger craps tables in the Main Casino, it takes much longer for word to filter out
that the mini-tub is actually open for business.
never encountered any heat from the Pitbulls, and the crew is appreciative and
accommodating to any players who toke (tip). The
table-minimum is usually set at $3, although on holiday weekends it does rise to the $5
mark. While the chip-rail is laid out to
accommodate 10 players, only 8 can comfortably gather round it.
Since it is
not within easy sight, the table doesnt fill up as fast as it would if there were
neighboring craps tables. However, there are
plenty of tourists who find the friendlier mini-dimensions and the here-before-unheard of
jargon of the stickmans calls enough to draw them near for a closer look.
mostly curious about the mini-game, and CC keeps plenty of how-to-play brochures handy. I too like to encourage new players to try it out. While salty old veterans tend to hate new blood
coming into their game, I think the long-term health of the game is dependant
upon introducing new players to craps. While
some bitter losers-for-life begrudge and resent the interlopers and newbies, I welcome
them with open arms and readily answer their
no hurry to see craps go the casino-extinct route of Faro, Brag, Grand Hazard, and
Chuck-a-Luck (where the term Tinhorn Gambler originally comes from). I want to see the game at least maintain
its current status in the casino hierarchy, and not slip any further in popularity
(leading to less and less tables).
3 thru 5
returned to the now-full table, I was surprised that the dice were only three shooters
away from my spot. I asked Mel if everyone
had passed on shooting the dice. He gave me
one of those, Are you a complete idiot, or cant you see that
everyones chip rail is almost empty kind of looks.
Right on cue
the current shooter 7ed-Out, and the next player passed the dice. Mel did likewise, and the stickman/dealer raised
his eyebrow in my direction, with a downward glance at the table to suggest a line bet if
I wanted to shoot.
As it turned
out, my clean hands helped to release the dice a little smoother than previously, but the
cubes were no longer landing flat. I
re-angled my elbow a bit higher, but that didnt help as much as it usually does. I figured that my hand was angled and aimed too
far into the near corner instead of directly at the back wall. To get a better 90-degree angle, I bent my wrist a
bit more sideways towards my elbow. This
flattened and squared-up the landing angle, but the dice still exhibited undue
I managed a
few Pass-Line winners, but this time the outside numbers started rolling in. I Placed the 4 and 10 and quickly worked them up
to the $50 buy-level. The profit picture was
improving, but Ive got to tell you that my frustration was also building. I KNEW that I could throw better, especially on
this table, but it just wasnt occurring in anything that looked consistent. I was glad to take the money, but I wondered how
long my luck was going to hold out.
Fish in a Barrel
dice on a small tub-sized table IS NOT like shooting fish in a barrel. While the table dimensions are definitely smaller,
the dynamics of the dice are still the same. That
means that if you throw the same way that you do on a regular-length table; then the dice
have to do the same things, and go through the same motions and behaviors as
they do on a regular table. However, it means
that they have to do all of those motions and behaviors in a much smaller and
with Minimal Roll-Out
key to mini-table consistency is to land the dice with minimal roll-out once they touch
down. Weve covered many of the aspects
of my best Precision-Shooting methods in the first six
Mad Professor's Mini Tub Tour -
the dice are landing, then rolling out too much or too hard; your results will be random. Now Ill take all the luck as I can,
especially at a craps table. But lets
face it, if the dice are spewing and splattering all over the place, it isnt
Precision-Shooting that is keeping you in the game
its sheer luck.
would rather not have to rely on that cagey lady named Luck to smile upon me
when Im playing. Id rather
engineer as much risk out of the game, and put as much skill into the game
as possible. That is what Precision-Shooting
is all about
and a little luck doesnt hurt either.
6 thru 8
sixth hand was similar to my fifth one. I
made a couple of passes. The profit was okay,
but it wasnt outstanding, and my shooting was still fairly ugly. Although the dice were now staying on axis more
and more, they still wobbled in the air like lopsided beach balls.
avoided betting on the other five remaining players at the table. The longest R-R hand lasted just eight rolls. I could also see Mels growing frustration. While he was making a tiny net profit on almost
every shooter, it was always just barely enough to cover the amount of money that he had
on the table.
would press his Place bets just in time to see the dealer call a 7-Out. He said, This game is as frustrating as
bingo! I replied that there was a
nice comfortable Keno Lounge just to the side of the entrance back in the main casino, if
he was so inclined. He gave me his patented,
So many assholes, so few bullets look, as he passed the dice to me once
collect any profit on my next hand, but I felt like I was improving as far as a nice
consistent landing was concerned. I wanted to
take a break to do some thinking about putting it all together. I knew that if I stayed at the table, I would be
distracted even though I wasnt betting on the other players. Mels constant comments were already
diverting my train of thought as I tried to reflect upon what I was doing right and what I
was doing wrong.
I went for a
short walk through the Promenade Shops area of the CC complex.
to the Back Wall Guarantees Nothing
closeness of the back wall in relation to your shooting-position demands a very low-energy
toss. You gauge, control, and input as much
or as little backspin as required to maintain on-axis travel, and to slow dice movement
upon impact to an absolute minimum.
proximity of the back wall can be a help or it can be a hindrance depending on how far the
dice have to travel to disperse all of their energy before coming to a full and complete
have to be a keen observer to determine how much to recalibrate each throw compared to the
outcome of your previous toss. Simply put, if
the dice just did what you wanted them to do; then throw them EXACTLY the same way again. If the dice did not do what you wanted them to do;
then recalibrate your next throw to achieve the desired effect.
a mini-table, the arc of your throw is usually either higher or lower, and almost never
the same as it is on a regular table. Again,
we are looking for the dice to travel along a trajectory and land on a specific spot
before coming to rest. The relationship between the swing of our hand, your release-point,
your target-area and the amount of force in which you launch the dice is different from
table to table, especially on the small ones.
adjustments are difficult for some people, and they were certainly proving difficult for
me on this day. I reviewed all of those
things in my mind.
felt that I had to assemble and organize my game-focus before I returned to the tables. We explored the idea of preparing yourself for
victory in my Discipline, Character & Consistency
set of articles.
isnt enough to just hope that my game-focus would appear as soon as I stepped
up to take the dice. It is critical to
quiet your mind and focus your game-plan, your discipline, and your skill-set
before you are even near the dice.
Join Mel and I next time as we
continue our Mini-Tub Tour of Las Vegas. Until
Good Luck & Good Skill at those
and in Life.
The Mad Professor