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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 r Part VI here

The most complex things are the simplest.

-Agni Celeste

Rewind to Remind…

I want to briefly go back to how we first introduced this series way back when:

I was shooting dice at the Stardust Hotel-Casino a short while ago, and there were just three other players at the same table.  A tourist walked up, and asked no one in particular, “How do you play this game?”

A Pit Boss was standing nearby.  He walked a bit closer and said, “D’ya wanna win, or d’ya wanna gamble?  The new guys eyes and mouth opened wide, as he was caught off-guard by the question.  Despite his mouth being open, no words came out. 

After a second or two of silence, the Pit Boss pointed in my direction, and said, “If you wanna win, bet the WAY he does, WHEN he does.  If you just wanna just gamble, (as he nodded his head in a sweeping motion to the other players) just do what everyone else here is doing.” 

The idea of winning…and making a profit is so central to everything that I do while I’m standing at a craps table, that the thought of simply gambling without a clear cut and distinct advantage…loses more and more of my interest on a daily basis.

Don’t get the wrong impression…I’m NOT getting tired of anything to do with Precision-Shooting…that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Rather, my quest to eliminate as much risk-taking gambling out of the craps experience and replace it with skill-based advantage-play takes on ever-greater importance and significance every time that I step up to the tables.

The Route To Success

For me, each day brings better and more clearly defined rewards for taking the advantage-play dicesetting route instead of sticking to the far-too-easy-to-lose path of random luck and indiscriminate chance.

       If you use this game strictly for entertainment, then obviously the cost of your amusement is going to be high.

       If you use this game as a potential income-source, then you still have to do the things and make the decisions that will turn this game a bankroll-contributor instead of being a bankroll-squanderer.

The way to accomplish that is through skillful dice-influencing, geared-to-abilities betting-methods, enlightened bankroll-management, and of course, ironclad discipline.

Your Task as a Serious Recreational Dicesetter

Every time you walk into a casino, your task is to walk out of there with more money than you went in with. 

Sometimes it can be as little as a buck ($1), but most times it can be twenty, a few hundred or even a couple of thousand times higher.  At first it’s not the AMOUNT of profit that you leave with…it’s the fact that you leave with even ONE DOLLAR of profit at all.

Most people go to a casino with the expectation that they will probably lose…the talented Precision-Shooter goes with the anticipation that they will probably win.

How good you get at winning money, and how good you get at KEEPING the money, is almost entirely up to you.  A serious recreational dicesetter has each of those elements within his control…but it’s what he does with them and how he structures his decisions surrounding them that determines whether he leaves with their money or whether they get to keep his.

Like I said…your task is to walk out of the casino with more money than you went in with.  That’s what this whole Precision-Shooting venture is all about.

Your Money…Who Gets To Keep It…You or Them?

It’s ironically cruel to note this, but I find it funny that most skilled players aren’t satisfied with a twenty or thirty dollar win, yet they’re happy when their loss-limits keep them under the $200 deficit mark. 

If we’re satisfied with a $200 LOSS, but not a $20 WIN; then doesn’t that say something immoral and slightly depraved about the way we look at money? 

Let me put it this way…if we think that it’s okay to lose $200, but not satisfactory to keep a $20 win; then there’s very little likelihood that any retainable profit will stay within our grasp for very long.

Your attitude towards money determines how you treat it in the casino. 

       If you respect yourself and the effort that went into making or earning your bankroll in the first place; then you are more likely to treat it as something you are willing to responsibly invest in order to make more of it. 

       If you don’t respect it (or you don’t respect yourself or the way you made it); then it won’t likely stay yours for very long.  The casinos are the perfect bankroll killing-machine.  They are purpose-built for one thing…to separate you from your money.

You can call it entertainment…they call it business.

Your task as a Precision-Shooter is to retain what is yours…and also take a little bit of what is theirs.

Keep In Mind…

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

       Your betting often keeps your skillful shooting from ever showing a consistent profit.

       Lack of discipline will prevent your shooting and your betting from ever working together in harmony.

       Good shooting and ill-matched betting rarely result in net-profit.  Poor discipline rarely lets you keep that profit.

       Though Precision-Shooting may GIVE you an advantage; improper betting and lack of discipline will TAKE it right back.

Actionable Ways To Get Discipline Working For You

The bankroll that you bring to the table…

       Should be large enough to fund at LEAST ten-times the spread of your betting action.


       If you normally spread $44-Inside…along with $5 on the Passline with full Odds (that average $15)…plus some Hardway and Prop-action in the $10 range…in addition to your normal Come-Out Horn or World bets; then that equates to a “spread” of around $80.  Under those circumstances, if you aren’t armed with a session bankroll of at least $800, then chances are you’ll be hitting your Loss-Limit way more often, and way more times than you ever hit your win-goal.


       Though there are many formulas you can use to decide what is “big enough” for you, the simple truth is that if you don’t have enough bullets, you simply won’t have the firepower to get the job done (or you’ll be too reluctant to pull the trigger even when the time is right). 


       Bankroll-conservatism is acceptable, but it doesn’t mean that you always have to be in a defensive, fetal-position posture.  Instead, you sometimes have to take the offensive (though not in a “spray-the-sky-with-bullets-and-hope-that-a-bird-flies-by” sort of way).  When your dice-shooting is zoned in, and the numbers are flying; then a betting-opportunity is in clear and present sight…you have to have the bullets in order to effectively pull the trigger and hit the target.  You have to make the wagers that will bring in the dough, and you have to studiously avoid the ones that won’t.


The Loss-Limit that you bring to the table…

       Your Loss-Limit determines how deep of a hole you’ll allow yourself to dig before giving up on a session.


       Your L-L is truly the determining factor when it comes to your overall profitability.  If you have an occasional stellar hand that generates thousands of dollars, yet your average losing sessions are more numerous and frequent; then any of those infrequent huge wins go towards offsetting losses instead of contributing to overall net-revenue.


       Infrequent ego-satisfying wins often fool you into thinking that you are making the most of your skills.  Instead, high or loosely-structured Loss-Limits REQUIRE you to be a better shooter than you actually need to be to generate a sustainable income.


       Your Loss-Limits (and NOT your occasional wins) determine overall profitability.  Tightening your Loss-Limits often spells the difference between a net-profit and a net-loss.


       If you’ve ever read my four-part Can’t Win For Losing series, then you know that your Win:Loss ratio and your Loss-Limit-to-Win-Average ratio determines your profitability and NOT those once-in-a-decade wins. 


       If you’ve ever wondered why exceptionally skilled shooters who win more than 80% of their sessions STILL end up as net-losers; then that series and those ratios will tell you exactly why that is, and precisely how those ratios affect your overall profit so much.


The win-goals that you bring to the table…

       A win-goal is NOT a win-limit.


       Rather a W-G is what we set our sights on as far as session-profit is concerned.  Once we reach that, we simply refuse to lose back one-dollar below that mark.


       It’s easy to figure out a win-goal that is achievable on a steady basis.  If you know that you often get to a reasonable high-water mark at some point during your session (and usually play all of it back into a loss); then you simply set your W-G at about 50% (or more) of that high water mark, and refuse to lose back anything under it once you get there.  


       From that point you can take some of the excess (a la John Patrick) and see if you can spin it into more gold.  If you do…great.  If not…you’ve locked up a profit that may not seem so big now, but tomorrow it will look satisfyingly large simply because you have the fulfillment of still having it rather than having had it and then losing it back.

       It’s that kind of maturity that you need to deal with this game if you want to keep the money that you earn.  Yeah, it’s THAT simple…and it’s THAT hard!


The game-plan that you bring to the table…


       How many times have you said to yourself, “Okay, next time when I get to the tables…I’ll do the things I know I need to do, and I’ll specifically avoid the stuff that I know is bad”?


       How many times did you completely forget about that plan as soon as you handed your money in at the table?


       How many times have you abandoned your plan as soon as you lost your first bet?


       How many times have you felt the pang of wanting to stick to your plan but the prospect of a different (and subsequently non-winning) betting opportunity was too strong to resist?


       How often have you given in to early temptation and then completely forgotten about your intended game-plan until after you left the casino?


       Armed with those answers, how often have you congratulated yourself for abandoning your game-plan versus the times you have kicked yourself in the ass for ditching it?


       If you’ve kicked yourself way more times than you’ve congratulated yourself; then you have to take a serious look at the triggers that are causing you to abandon your game-plan, and determine whether deviating from the path of what you know is right and taking a greedier route is (more often than not) worth the cost of the trip.


       Obviously if you end up kicking yourself for mistakes that any novice would make, you have to look at what led up to why you made those altered choices.  

       Were the tables not going the way you expected? 


       Were there some early losses that caused you to abandon your plan? 


       Was someone throwing a hand that looked so appetizing from a betting standpoint that you dove in head-first just as the pool was draining? 


       Was the table…or the trend…or your bets zigging when you should have been zagging?


       When you settle upon WHY you left your game-plan behind, you have to ask yourself if it was worth it. 


       Now you can’t cheat on this one and say, “Well it didn’t work this time or the time before that or even the time before that…but back in February of 1987…IT WORKED PERFECTLY! 


       Sometimes an abandoned game-plan works out to your benefit.  Unfortunately our selective memory can instantly recall those glorious moments, yet completely forget about all the other times when it ended in disaster.


       An abandoned game-plan that results in a profit actually leads to even more undisciplined play, and often results in even bigger disasters while you wait for lightning to hopefully strike again.


       Yes, lightning can strike twice, just as surely as someone who has been in this country for less than 17 minutes often wins the tri-state Powerball Lottery, but you have to look at the overall effect and profitability of what happens when you abandon your game-plan.


       As Precision-Shooters, we are looking for consistent profit.  That means sustainable revenue that we can rely upon week after week (if not session after session).


       Though we know that we won’t always win every session, we also know that if we stick to a properly-structured game-plan, we’ll win most of our sessions (even if it means walking away with a paltry $20 win instead of a more frequent $200 loss).


       We set rules and boundaries for our activities in the casino because we know the risks that are associated with gambling.  At the end of the day, you can be the only one who answers whether it’s to your benefit or to your detriment to abandon a well-disciplined and well thought out game-plan. 


       In the end, it’s your money…and it’s your choice of whether you keep it…grow it…or lose it.


The biggest fault that you bring to the table…

       As a casino player, what is the biggest fault that plagues YOU at the tables?


       Don’t think in terms of what everyone else’s problem is…think strictly about yourself on this one.


       Is it a lack of concentration and being able to properly chart the tables or shooters? 


       Is it nervousness and the anxiety of possibly missing out on what could be the roll of the day?  Does that make you jump too early or pull your parachute chord too late?


       Is it your impatience as far as waiting for the right time to press up your bets or is it just the opposite of that? 


       Do you feel any uneasiness because you’d like to have money in action on nearly every shooter, but you feel anxious about pulling the trigger because your conscience makes you feel guilty since you know all too well the risk associated with betting on random-rollers? 


       Are you reluctant to switch over to the Darkside despite the fact that the trend is cold enough to sink the Titanic, because you don’t want the bad vibes, bad looks or negative feelings from other players to interfere with the cosmic balance of the universe when you finally get the dice?


       Whatever your biggest fault is, whether it be drinking, carousing or just plain bad money-management; you can take that one weakness and use it to make quantum improvements in your overall game-plan.

       Simply stated…if you can make improvements to your weakest area-of-concern; then you’ll find it much easier to make improvements to (and capitalize on) the ones that aren’t quite as bad.

       If you make incremental improvements to the way you play this game, you’ll be less likely to fall back into the same old same old when the going get rough. 

       A much-needed radical change that you yourself haven’t quite bought into means that you’ll likely abandon it at the first sign of trouble. 


       Changes where you can see and experience the tangible benefits of those sought-after improvements are much more likely to become permanently engrained in your game-strategy. 


       If you look at what triggers the breakdown of YOUR discipline, you know where the source of most of your problems lay.  If you make improvements to your biggest weakness, then the other less-vulnerable elements in your game usually enjoy an even larger advancement in the process.



The biggest skill that you bring to the table…


       Your biggest skill is usually your biggest profit contributor…or at least it SHOULD be.


       You should look at your biggest asset and your strongest skills to determine whether they are pulling all the weight that they can, or whether they are being bogged down by having to support all the other weaker elements of your game.


       In most cases, your strongest skill can be fine-tuned, upgraded, and in some cases, supercharged to provide even better revenue-performance.   If you play to your strengths, your weaknesses take on a less significant role in affecting your profitability.


       If you know where your skills lay and where the bulk of your net-profits come from; then that is one area where you can concentrate more time, more money and more effort into generating even higher yields!


       Acting responsibly means acting maturely.  You can still have fun as an adult without resorting to childlike behavior.


       If you spend more time doing the things that MAKE you money, and doing less of the things at the craps table that COST you money; then your profitability grows while your offsetting losses concurrently shrink.  Now all of that may sound like common sense to you…and it is…because the whole idea behind casino advantage-play is to make more sense and more profit from all of your gaming activities.


       If that means finding more solo-shooting or low-population shooting opportunities…then do so.  You’ll find some traditional and some not-so-conventional ways to get the dice in your hand more often in my two-part (soon to be three-part) Creating More Shooting Opportunities series.


       If it means learning to read, decipher and exploit more of the streaks and trends that you encounter; then my seven-part Streaks, Trends and Opportunities series addresses more ways for you to profit from them and clue into them even sooner.


       If it means that you have to elevate your betting-level when the dice are in your hand (and reduce it substantially when they aren’t); then my on-going How To Get There From Here series addresses exactly what it takes to get your profit from where it is right now to where you want it to be.


       If you recognize what you are good at, and you do the things that will get the most profit out of your current skills; then any talent-improvement from that point forward simply means that you’ll be putting more money in your pocket and leaving less of it with the casino for safekeeping.


To Make This All Work For You

You have to be brutally honest with yourself as to where your profit is coming from and where your money is going to while you are at the craps table.

If you increase and improve your profit-sources, and lessen or eliminate a few of the places where your money is going to; you’ll just naturally end up with more money at the end of each session.

In the end, you have to look at why you are in the casino, and why you took up dicesetting in the first place.

If you want to keep getting the same results…just keep on doing the things you are doing right now.

If you want to win more and lose less; then make the necessary changes that are entirely within your control.

Profitable consistency from Precision-Shooting comes from not only controlling the dice…it comes from controlling yourself.

It’s not easy…but it’s worth it.

For an advantage-player, the whole casino experience comes down to one immutable question…D’ya wanna WIN, or d’ya just wanna GAMBLE?


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


The Mad Professor

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