Mad Professor's Mini-Table Craps Tour with the Vegas Ghost- Part IX
Vegas Ghost was in a rare mood as we made our way to the next mini-table target. He had just hung up the phone from talking to the
current Mrs. Vegas Ghost. She is wife
number-four or is it five? Well, lets
just say that she is Mels wife-du-jour.
Anyway, she was obviously annoyed at discovering that Mel had yet one more
young lady-friend on the side. She had
implied that perhaps it was time for her to get a little somethin
somethin goin on.
sardonically, Mel asked, Do you know what the difference between a wife and a
girlfriend is? When I shook my
head, he replied, About 45 pounds!
I gave a little smile that stayed on my face for a thoughtful moment, then
said, Ill bet your wife is about to find out the difference between a
husband and a boyfriend. He relied
with a curious, What?, and wasnt pleased with my disdainful
answer when I said, Oh, about 45 minutes!
He sulked in
silence until we parked and walked into:
Casino & Brewing Company
Where Is It?
casino is situated out in Henderson, and is located
inside the Green Valley Town Center at the corner of Sunset Road and Mountain Vista
Avenue. Dont let the fact that it is
located in a shopping plaza turn you off from checking it out. Its about a 10-minute drive from the
southern end of the Strip, and as youll see in a moment, their mini-tub table is
well worth the small effort to get there.
Casino & Brew Pub is part of the Station Casinos family of gaming operations. Unfortunately, the standard Boarding Station
players-card is not currently useable there, but comps are nonetheless quite easy to come
What Is It
Henderson is the fastest growing city in the United States, it still has a laid-back and
relaxed feel to it. The locals seem to go to
sleep early and rise even earlier. Perhaps
that is a sign of industriousness, or more likely they are keen to get up early just to
see how much the population has grown overnight, or more so, to see how much their
property value has risen in 24 hours. Housing
prices in Henderson are rising faster than the water-level in the Titanics Grand
ever there was a stereotypical example of cookie-cutter curva-linear neighborhood designs;
then Henderson would top the list. Nearly
every house, every roofline, every yard, and every street looks virtually the same. Dont get me wrong, this is a clean,
well-maintained little city, but it looks as if the automaton Stepford Wives designed and
furnished it all. The saccharin sameness of
Marley-tiled roofs and white-stuccoed exterior walls is close to nauseating. Fortunately, Barleys gaming opportunities
are FAR from sickening, so lets move on to that.
soon as you walk in, you know that you are no longer in Las Vegas. In fact, if Kansas had dice tables, then you,
Dorothy and Toto would feel right at home. While
there is a smattering of neon and the constant clank, plink and ringing of slot machines,
it has the feel of a tarted-up neighborhood bar that would be right at home in Topeka,
Lawrence, Wichita or Leavenworth.
fact, Barleys reminds me of the (non-craps) mini-casinos in Blackhawk, Central City and
Cripple Creek, Colorado. It is small, vibrant
and upscale in a non-fussy, but still yuppified style.
The fact that it just happens to have some gambling going on doesnt
detract from the comfortable surroundings, it just adds to them. Okay, so it has A LOT of gambling going on, but it
does so in a tranquil, more genteel, less garish and less Vega$, sort
I dont dress like a tourist, Mel and I seemed to stand out like two hired
gunslingers who came to clean up the town, or perhaps they thought we came to CORRUPT the
town. In either case, everyone knew that we
werent typical Hendersonians.
Mel doesnt live that far away from this particular casino, he rarely stops in, and
he DEFINITELY does not look like a regular guy, unless you are talking about one of the
regular guys that central casting would send over for Martin Scorseses latest mob
film. I, on the other hand, do stop in here
on a fairly recurring basis. Its not
often enough to be recognized by all of the regulars, but its more than often enough
for the table-crew to ALWAYS remember me, no matter how long its been since my last
craps table is full of locals who play each and everyday, and don't take a hankerin' to
any strangers who want to muscle in on the fine dice-action in these here parts of lovely
Greater Metropolitan Henderson (population 175,000, and growing by 15% this year, and a
compounded rate that is closer to 25%). You
would think that with that level of growth, new faces would be a common occurrence. However, the railbirds at Barleys carefully
regard and study any new players. I guess
they figure that a good lookin new guy in town might make their women-folk swoon too
the other hand, amongst the locals are a handful of astute players who know what they are
doing with both the dice and their betting-methods.
Ill make a rough estimate, and say that there are perhaps a dozen or
so Precision-Shooting guys from Henderson and environs, who frequent the southern-tier
casinos (Sunset Station, Rancho-Henderson, Jokers Wild, Barleys, Hyatt Regency LLV,
Ritz-Carleton LLV, Green Valley Ranch, Railroad Pass, Eldorado, Terribles, Hacienda,
Silverton, etc.), and MAKE A LIVING from playing craps.
Some are ultra-grinders and some are highly-skilled Precision-Shooters.
more time that you spend with the same dicesetting players, the quicker it becomes clear
just who has true Precision-Shooting talent, and who is hoping against hope that the dice
will randomly turn lucky for them. You can
certainly determine the skilled ones from the talentless ones in
fairly short order.
a typical mini-tub that accommodates 8 to 10 players.
Ill also add that the table can fill up to overflow capacity during
prime hours, but empties out rather nicely past 10 or 11 pm. While they dont actually roll up the
sidewalks after 11 oclock in Henderson, youll notice a marked downturn in the
action, along with most everyone elses energy level.
doesn't take any time to win over Barleys dice-crew with the lowliest of tokes. Remember, this is a $1 table, and tokes are rare
enough to elicit grand praise and sincere acknowledgement from the dealer. The local town-folk are easily won over by anyone
whose dice-hand lasts longer than the standard 6-rolls on this mini-table.
sense of it is that long hands dont occur here too often, and both the players and
management are relieved when it does happen because it eliminates the suspicion that the
game is somehow rigged. While the game is
totally on the up-and-up, chronic losers will always find ways to rationalize their
losses, even if it means suggesting that the game is fixed.
the good rolls do come along, the Pitbulls point and say, See we DO have long
hands here, just like every other casino! While
the local players say, Yeah, we see it, but we never see it OFTEN enough! Still though, its sufficient for the players
to keep coming back, and for the casino to continue staffing the game.
$1 table is kept in fairly acceptable condition, and for the accomplished dicesetter, it
is definitely a beatable layout. Even for a
skilled Precision-Shooter who hasnt tried it before, it usually only takes three or
perhaps four tosses to acclimate himself with the bounce and roll characteristics of this
is important to remember that on most small tables, the more backspin that you add, the
higher the dice will leap on their initial bounce. With the short toss-distance, this hop may put
them about halfway up the pyramid-wall. That
results in a random-roll which IS NOT the objective of our game-plan.
I am not dialed-in to the throwing distance, Ill intentionally throw the dice in a
higher arc and with a little more backspin than I know is necessary. Ill pay close attention to the way the dice
hit the layout, and whether they stay on axis or not.
Thereafter, I can make rescinding adjustments that gradually reduce and
diminish my throwing-energy and backspin. That move, helps to decrease dice roll-out to an
Your Own On-Axis Consistency
keep this simple:
the dice to end up on the same axis as when you first set them, is how we initially reduce
the expected outcome of 7s from 1-in-6, down to 1-in-8.
means that instead of seeing the 7 occur 16.6% of the time, we should only see it 12.5% of
the time during our point-cycle. This 4.1%
difference is significant in a low-vig game like craps.
However, for me, it is still not enough.
I see any amount of dice roll-out (further travel once they touch down), I
want it to be IN A STRAIGHT LINE. That line
can be forward or backwards, as long as it is STRAIGHT!
going to tell you HOW I manage to end up with such a high repeatability of
primary-face outcomes. The
primary faces are the four surfaces or aspects that you initially set the dice on. We set them this way because we HOPE that they
will somehow end up the same way when they stop at the other end of the table.
tries to eliminate the HOPE, wish and prayer part of that equation, and bring it
more in line with a MOST-LIKELY-to-happen set of circumstances. So how do I do that?
the dice travel through the air side-by-side on the same plane and rotate at the same
speed, then they should both hit the felt at the same time with the same speed and still
they touch down, any sideways (non-straight) dice-travel means that they didnt land
square and will probably travel an unequal number of rotations before coming
to a stop.
you are LUCKY, one dice MAY end up having exactly 4, 8, 12, 16, or 20 MORE rotations than
its counterpart, and result in one of the same primary-faces that you first set them on. Is it possible?
Yes. Is it likely? No! Will
you be able to do that consistently? I
sincerely doubt it!
the likelihood of double-pitching to a 7-Out increases exponentially
when the dice travel on-axis in anything other than a straight line. This happens simply because one dice will
have one or more full or partial rotations than the other one. If they each travel different distances, they are
much less likely to end up on the primary-faces that you first set them to.
that event, most dicesetters whose roll-out is not consistently straight, WILL NOT
progress much past the 8:1 SRR mark.
adjust for this unequal number of rotations, some shooters will use a quarter or half-turn
adjustment to the dice-face before shooting. While
this partially compensates for the immediate problem, you can see that it does not fully
address the unequal number of rotations dilemma. So
once again, even if you have the smoothest and prettiest of throws, you will have a tough
time surpassing the 8:1 SRR mark using this correction method.
the quarter-turn or half-turn adjustment is a valid quick-fix IF you cant get them
to roll straight on a particular table, it artificially impairs your long-term consistency
and profitability goals. It does this, simply
because it keeps you in the percentage toss skill- category, and prevents your
advancement into the precision grouping.
While there is PLENTY of money to be made at the percentage-toss
level, you may find that your skill-predictability and therefore, your
profit-predictability remains erratic and somewhat unreliable.
only way that I know how to get past the SRR 8:1 benchmark is to practice and perfect
straight (or equal number rotation) roll-outs, or to eliminate roll-outs altogether
with a Dead Cat Bounce type of throw (MPs Shooting Bible Part
bought-in, the dice were close to make their way around to my position. Just as the dice were 7-ing Out with the guy to my
right-side, I asked Mel if he was going to dump his girlfriend to placate his wife. He hesitated just a little too long before
answering, so I knew that his response was posing a mental struggle for him. Even though his wife is close to 40 years younger
than he is, Mel is always prowling for new pelts to decorate his trophy wall.
sure whether he was still searching for an answer, looking for a rationalization, or
trying to pass a gallstone; but when dealer sent the dice to my position, I told him to
hold his answer. I figured that if it was
taking him that much time to find the appropriate response, then it could certainly wait
until after I finished making some money.
The dice left
my hand like a couple of wounded ducks on my first toss, but I quickly mended my ways, and
they were back to flying in side-by-side formation on their next release.
the 4 as my PL-Point. For the next 38 rolls,
I tried my darndest to repeat that 4. Oh, I
threw just about every other number under the craps-sun, but it wasnt until the 39th
try that I finally brought it in. My
tablemates dropped their usual reserved suburban gentility and roared with approval at my
shooting and at their own new found winnings.
was having a great (and VERY profitable) time, but to show my apparent
frustration during that hand, I kept saying, Wheres that damn 4. In actual fact, I couldnt have cared less
whether I ever repeated it or not. I had the
entire Place-board covered with bets, and I was moderately pressing them every few hits. On the other hand, I did kind of want a Winner,
Hard-4 to be called because there was an increasing pile of dealer-bets on the
Hardways, especially the Point-Number. Although
I managed to hit the H-10 four times, and the H-6 and H-8 three times each, that H-4
eluded me, even when the 3-1 easy-way PL-winner was called.
was grooved-in on my next Come-Out, and I managed to make a couple of bucks. Now when I say a couple of bucks, I literally
mean a couple of bucks. I think I netted $12
during a C-O sequence that saw me keep a few too many dollars in action on the Prop area,
and not enough raked-in profit for my rail.
PL-Point was another 4. There was a
collective, Here we go again from everyone at the table, including the
dealer and Floor Supervisor. I was able to
repeat hits on all of my Place-bets several more times, but the second-coming of the 4 was
not to be.
Though I had
not regressed any of my bets during this hand, I was very satisfied that I had collected
enough money in my rack, to more than quintuply offset the amount that actively remained
on the table when 7 finally decided to show up.
the dice, but indicated that he had an answer to my question about the
wife-and/or-girlfriend dilemma. I told him
that whatever his answer was, there was definitely a need to dilute it with alcohol. He agreed, so we made our way to the outdoor patio
area of the brew-pub.
Cold Beer and
summarize this section in one sentence:
The beer was
great, and Mel was insufferable.
I ordered a
Sunset variant of their Red Rock lager. This
is an unfiltered red version that is made from a nutty Munich-roasted malt
from Bavaria and yields a decent rendition of Oktoberfest beer.
Mel ordered a
Blue Diamond made from Two-Row Malted Pale that originates in the central part of
Nebraska, before being roasted somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.
Ghost had taken the time to cooper up what Im sure he thought was a reasonable and
logical response, so I felt obligated to listen to his reply. However, the nearby funkified water-fountain show
would prove to be much more entertaining, much less self-serving, and make a whole lot
more sense, than his extra-marital justifications ever could.
that he is attracted to so many women, that it is hard to settle for just one, even if she
is drop-dead gorgeous, and even though she is his wife.
He said that his attraction to women is like eating potato chips. He cant restrain himself from eating just
one. He reasoned that this was especially
true in Las Vegas when there is a gigantic and luscious bowl of them, and the factory just
keeps churning out more and more and more of them for him to sample.
couldnt help laughing at the analogy, but I shook my head disapprovingly in
response. I understood where he was coming
from, but I didnt necessarily agree with his position, so I asked him about
self-control and discipline. He said that
self-control and discipline was important at the craps table or at the funeral for a
friend, but when it comes to women, Discipline only comes into play if she is
into the whole sado-masochism, slave-master thing. On that note, I knew we shouldnt be taking
the conversation any farther, but Mel went on and on trying to justify his behavior.
A couple of
beers later, Mels excuses and rationalizations made even less and less sense, and my
awareness of resigned indifference became greater and greater. I felt a need to cut short our craps-session at
Barleys that night. My mood had changed
during our beer-session, and it wasnt on account of the alcohol. I cashed out my chips and told Mel I was calling
it a night.
had profited nicely from our one short session, and so did Mel, but somehow I think a
piece of his soul got lost in the shuffle.
Luck and Good Skill on those Mini-Tables
and in Life.