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D'ya Wanna Win, or D'ya Wanna Gamble?
Part VI

read Part I here or Part II here or Part III here or Part IV here or Part V here


The more time that I spend at the tables with fellow craps players, the more I realize that being able to control the dice is one of the easier elements in terms of becoming a serious recreational or semi-pro player, and that the hardest part is to control all the other aspects of this whole Precision-Shooting thing.

Now don’t get me wrong…keeping the dice on-axis, and especially on the four primary-faces upon which you first set them is relatively difficult; but the better you get at it, the more you come to realize that getting an edge is only a small part of actually being able to capitalize on advantage-play craps.

Surrendering Your Advantage Back To The Casino

The primary reason that most accomplished shooters have so much trouble getting a profit in the first place is due to defects when it comes to betting on their own hands, and not the actual shooting.  While every skilled shooter has their fair share of Point-then-Out hands, it’s what you do with ALL THE OTHER HANDS, which will determine your ultimate profitability. 

Let me be clear about what I am saying:

Precision-Shooting is only one part of the advantage-play equation.

Your BETTING is often the worst culprit that keeps your shooting (no matter how good it is) from ever showing a consistent profit.

Lack of discipline prevents your shooting and your betting from ever working together for very long.

When you combine fairly good shooting with ill-matched betting and poor discipline; you’ll hardly ever get over the profit-hump; and when you do, you’re very likely to give it right back to the casino before your current session ends.

I don’t mean to sound cruel, but that’s the reality that most skilled shooters face. 

Their shooting GIVES them the advantage, while their betting and discipline TAKES it right back.

Speed and GREED Are Equal Opportunity Killers

Our primary task is to bet in a way that matches our current shooting skill with appropriate wagering opportunities. 

That means we don’t bet in the HOPE that a wager pans out.  Instead, we bet in a manner where it WILL most likely pan out based on our current skill.

       Determining where our specific shooting skills lay, and which Signature Numbers are most dominant is where we focus the majority of our wagering-weight.

       By sticking to the wagers that pay consistently, we are able to invest our money in a safer, disciplined manner that will see MORE SUSTAINABLE PROFIT.

       By avoiding the wagers that don’t generate a consistent NET-profit (based on the money we collect on them minus the money that we put out on them), we will see LESS VOLATILITY (lower bankroll dips and fewer momentary profit-spikes…that disappear all too soon…but which delude us into thinking that they are good bets).

       As a result, we get to keep the revenue that our current most dominant Signature-Numbers are spinning off, and we avoid giving it back on non-productive wagers that conspire against our overall profitability.

       By locking in a profit as quickly during the initial rolls of our current hand as possible (usually through a Steep Regression), we position ourselves for net-profit (sooner) regardless of what happens a throw or two down the road.  

       By keeping active wagers on our most dominant Signature-Numbers (after we have locked in an immutable profit), we build a firm foundation upon which we can manufacture further profit. 

       By staying active on our currently recurring S-N’s, a portion of our (still flowing) income-stream is used to fuel larger and broader bet-spreads if your current hand turns out to be a long one.

The skilled shooter that is still struggling with proper bet-deployments and discipline problems CANNOT PLAY LIKE THEY DON’T EXIST. 

Rather, he has to acknowledge them and deal with them in a mature way.  That means that you can’t get too fancy or too full of yourself.  It’s one thing to believe in yourself and your abilities; it is something completely different if your shooting skills are two or three steps ahead of your current betting-methods and discipline limits.

       Save your fancy moves until after you get your betting in order and your discipline under control. 

       Until then, make bets that put the money in your rack, and use enough self-control to keep it there.

The Advantage Is Yours To Protect

The second reason that most accomplished shooters have so much trouble getting and keeping a profit is due to betting on other non-qualified shooters.

In other words, sustainable profitability is also tied to what you do with your money when you AREN’T the shooter.  Many times, what you do with your money when you aren’t the shooter spells the difference between profit and loss during any given session.

I’ve run into that very same problem myself (more times than most players have picked up a pair of dice in a casino), so I’m not being overly critical…I’m being obvious. 

Unfortunately an obvious problem is not always an easily curable one.

When I look back at all the money that I’ve wasted over the years on non-productive (read: non-winning) random-roller bets…the amount is truly disheartening (and absolutely staggering).  The lesson that I’ve learned is that as you gradually wean yourself off of non-productive bets (whether it be during your own shooting or when a random-roller has the bones) and add it back into what you yourself are able to produce with the dice on a steady basis; then the eye-opening results are often enough to turn your stomach but also turn around your entire outlook and game-plan.

The further you go towards eliminating losses on non-qualified shooters and wasteful (non-productive) wagers during your own hands; the more net-profit you’ll retain in your rack at the end of each session.

As Heavy is apt to remind everyone, “the dice aren’t the only thing you have to control in the casino”. 

That is never more true than when your shooting skills get to the point where they SHOULD be making you money, but due to all the other non-productive betting elements at play; your skillful setting isn’t outstanding enough to get you over that consistent-profit hump.

Again it’s not your shooting-skill that is holding you back…it is your betting-skill that is stealing what is rightfully yours.

How much do you really WANT a profit versus having to dig into the excuse-bag and pulling out a bunch of tired old “woulda’s, shoulda’s and coulda’s”?

HOW TO Control More Than The Dice

Perhaps we have to go much deeper into the “how to do it” part of getting all the aspects of our craps play under useful (and profitable) control.

While I could cheerfully advise you to “Have a nice day” (and I’m sure you would appreciate the good wishes); it wouldn’t bring you any closer to being able to ACTUALLY HAVE a nice day…although it does make for a quaint bumper-sticker.

This series is all about HOW to turn those facile “Have a nice day” wishes into actionable and profitable results at the craps table.

Let’s get right back to it…

More Self-Respect…More Discipline…More Profit


I’ll put this in very simple terms…


The more self-respect you have for yourself, and the more discipline that you bring to all aspects of your crap-shooting play…the more profit you will be able to MAKE and subsequently KEEP!


Unfortunately, the simplest of concepts are sometimes the hardest to put into action. 


I’ll be the first to admit that discipline problems dogged me for years.  While each new day brings me one step closer to having as much control and discipline over my decisions as I have over the dice, I still have a long way to go.


As we’ve discussed before, I am not the only fount of inspired wisdom when it comes to talking about discipline, self-control and restraint.   If you notice, I almost always give credit where credit is due, and in this case Heavy has provided a real basis upon which we can definitely go forward and build a stronger foundation of self-control.


Our friend wisely wrote:


“It's ALL about the discipline.


The casino doesn't beat us - we beat ourselves.


Until a player gets to the point that he's willing to walk with a win - ANY win - he'll continue to lose.


The secret to winning at gambling really is no secret.


Quit while you're ahead often enough and the numbers will fall the right way.


Get greedy and continue to play for a larger win and you may occasionally score - but MOST of the time you'll end up losing your hard-won profit plus a substantial portion of your bankroll”


To my mind, that says it all.


If That Isn’t Enough


Here’s a couple of sayings that you won’t see bumper-stickered onto a rusted out ’81 Grenada, but perhaps one of them will strike a chord nevertheless:


If we do not discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us.

-William Feather

Self-respect is the root of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say ‘NO’ to oneself.

-Abraham J. Herschel

Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability.

-Roy L. Smith



Though some people regard discipline as quite a chore, it’s important to realize that it is also the thing that sets your abilities free and gives your hard-learned skills the opportunity to prosper…to show what you are really made of…and to recompense you for your efforts. 


You disrespect yourself and dishonor your accomplishments if you frivolously toss them away.  Lack of discipline just shows that the inner child in you is still throwing tantrums if it can’t get its own way. 


One route takes you to profitability…the other one gets slapped down by the harsh hand of reality.


Self-discipline is your conscience telling you what to do, and not letting the juvenile that’s hiding in all of us, get its way.


In a nutshell, the idea is to do MORE responsible WINNING and LESS immature GAMBLING.


So let me ask you again…


D’ya wanna win, or d’ya wanna gamble?



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


The Mad Professor

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