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How To Get It, and How To Keep It
Part II

Turning a Matchstick into a Lumberyard

In this series, we are looking at various ways to squeeze more profit out of our plays WITHOUT resorting to simply using bigger bets or riskier wagers. 

The temptation of most casino players is to almost never be satisfied with whatever they’ve picked up in terms of winnings, and to always greedily grab for something that is unrealistic and almost always out of reach. 

In a nutshell, GREED kills their bankroll even though they could often (in fact, almost always) walk away with a small, but consistent profit.    To them, small profits only look attractive AFTER they have lost most of their money.  In the midst of a session, they look disappointingly at their small profit as a mere pittance, and they convince themselves, by looking through greed-tinted glasses and hungry avarice; that they WANT and NEED to “turn a matchstick into a lumberyard”. 

Sadly for most players, huge wins are RARELY the case; and rarer still is the ability for that one huge win to offset all the previous losses. 

So what does it take to GET the profit, and then KEEP it?

If You Don’t Want to Hear the Answer…Don’t Ask the Question

In most cases, all it takes is some minor adjustments to your betting routine for your current Precision-Shooting skills to generate more profit when you win, and less significant losses when you lose. 

Right off the top, I can tell you that it DOES NOT include making even more high-risk wagers on Prop-bets than you are making now.  In fact, the first thing I want to show you today, is a quick, easy and HONEST way to keep track of your Prop and Hop wagers to determine whether they are bankroll-builders or life-sucking bankroll-parasites.

Should I or Shouldn’t I?

ALL aspiring Precision-Shooters have to make ongoing decisions about:

       How to bet

       When to bet

       What to bet on.

Many people like the risk of wagering on those high-paying Proposition bets in the center of the table.  The allure of Horn, Craps, and World (Whirl) bets, along with straight-up wagers on the individual one-roll Hop bets seem so attractive to a diehard gambler that they can’t picture a session without a steady diet of high-risk shots at the brass ring. 

For skilled dicesetters, those Hops and Props CAN and DO offer a legitimate opportunity that cannot be ignored.  However, for most up-and-coming (still developing) Precision-Shooters, those center-bets can cancerously eat away at your bankroll.

So how do you determine whether they can provide consistent profit and validated salvation for YOU and your current skill-set; or whether they are just a delusional mirage that blinds you to better, more conservative, but oft-overlooked betting-opportunities?

To do that, we have to scrutinize and carefully inspect where our money is going, and just what it is doing for us while it’s out there.

Dissecting Your Losses

So how do we accurately and honestly determine if those high-risk bets are actually making us money or losing more than they’re bringing in?

Heavy mentioned that an excellent way to keep track during your session, is to simply put a predetermined amount of chips in one slot of your chip-rail; then make your center-of-the-table bets with that money.  Any profits that those Hops and Props bring in are then put back into the same spot. 

At the end of your session, simply determine the net-win or net-loss for all the Horn, Hardway, Craps, Hop and World action that you made.  Make accurate and honest notes after each session, and keep separate track of your wins and losses from session to session.  In fairly short order, you should be able to determine just how much those Hops and Props are making for you or losing for you.

Simple solution…YES!

But will most players do it…NO!

What Is Good for You as a Player, May Not be BEST for You as a PERSON

In a casino, just as in life, it is important to always maintain proper perspective and to keep your wits about you. 

Sometimes the decisions we make in a casino environment are totally opposite to how we would treat our money outside in the real world.  Occasionally, we’ll make choices in a casino that we would never match or even permit in a non-gaming circumstance.  We may NEVER walk down the street and casually toss dollar after dollar after dollar into the ditch; yet in a casino-setting, many people will toss dollar after dollar on non-paying Prop and Hop-bets without having any better prospect of a better return on their “investment”.

Some people realize that Prop and Hop bets may not necessarily be best for them or their bankroll as a good, and upstanding citizen; but as casino gamblers, those same Hops and Props satisfy their need for the action and risk that they crave as players.

On the other hand, if you have validated your Precision-Shooting skill and you have matched your bets to best suit that talent; then obviously you should use it to your advantage. 

In that case, a skilled Precision-Shooter will use those same dollars as a skilled sniper uses just one or two bullets to pick off selected targets.   With meticulous precision and accuracy, he uses a small amount of ammunition, yet achieves maximum effect.  So too, you have to determine whether you can use a small amount of money (ammo) to snipe out some quick and effective profits, or whether you’ll indiscriminately spray and blast bullets all over the place in the hope of hitting a random target. 

You can be a highly-trained sniper who slips in, gets the job done, and then slips out of sight; or you can be a gang-banger spraying bullets all over a crowded school-yard.  It’s your money…it’s your choice…and it’s your decision…so fire away!

To that end, you have to figure out whether Props and Hops are a legitimate part of your money-making process, or if they are merely something that expensively feeds a ravenous gambling appetite.

Just as you need to determine the relative strengths and merits of your Precision-Shooting by way of your most dominant Signature-Numbers; so too should you determine whether your current betting-methods are the best for you and your bankroll.  The trade-off is that the reduced thrill that you derive from making LESS high-risk wagers; is often and repeatedly offset by the increased satisfaction of ending up with MORE end-of-session profit.

If impatience and greed constantly dogs your casino-play; then you have to make the ever-difficult choice between retaining more profits, or maintaining higher thrills, but continuing to suffer through larger losses.

Again, if you determine that your Precision-Shooting does indeed give you a sustainable and EXPLOITABLE advantage over the Hops and Props; then by all means you should be using them to bolster your winnings.  However, if honestly measuring the impact of those bets on your wallet determines that they aren’t healthy for your bankroll; then maybe…just maybe, they aren’t healthy for you as a person either.

Finding the Source of Your Profit

When a forensic accounting team is trying to unravel a sophisticated corporate financing scheme, they have one mantra:


It’s the same thing with your current Precision-Shooting skills.  Find out WHERE the profit is coming from…then FOLLOW IT…that’s where you are likely to find even MORE OF IT!

I don’t know where your profit comes from or where your losses go to, but I can give you a couple of places to start looking.  So let’s round up the usual suspects and find out if there’s legitimately-earned money in their pockets, or whether they are the thieving bastards we’ve long suspected they are. 

During each session, ask yourself:

       How much are you spending on Proposition bets, including Hardways, Any Craps, Big Red, World (Whirl), Horns, Buffalos, Straight-Up and Hop bets…and what is the NET-Profit that they generate or the net-loss that they take?

       What percentage of your bankroll is being spent on Signature Numbers and how steep is the regression that you use after one hit?  Are you locking in an early profit, or do you often submit to the temptation of “…just one more hit”?

       How much do you win or lose on random-rollers?  Are you betting on them just to BET, or do you employ some wagering methods that keep you at or near the break-even point.  If you find that your random-roller betting is costing you money, do you realize that your own Precision-Shooting has to be all that much better just to pay for the pleasure of betting on everyone else?

       How much is spent on tokes and schmoozing with the cocktail waitress?  If it’s part of the game and a part of where your gambling stake goes to; then you also have to factor in that cost too.  Are you too busy focusing on TITS instead of TRENDS?

This is by no means a complete list of where to look for where your gambling-stake is going.  Instead, it should give you a couple of places to start that search. 

If you don’t know where your money is going, you’ll never accurately and honestly know where the real NET-profit is actually coming from. 

The Cost of Experience

Sometimes we have to personally endure the pain and suffering before we actually believe the “Do NOT put your hands into the spinning fan blades” warning sign or the “Do NOT put your hand on the moving chain-saw blade” decals. 

In some cases, it may stem from our “always question authority” mindset, or it’s due to an omnipotent feeling that “…that only applies to everyone else in the world…I’m the rare exception…so it can’t happen to me” mentality.

So it is with Precision-Shooting and the required conservative betting that goes hand-in-hand with consistent and predictable profitability. 

We can read ALL the books, ALL the articles and listen to ALL of the expert advice; yet most players often choose to ignore the soundly-based experience that other pro’s have gained and shared.  They hope and expect to be immune to the vagaries and pitfalls that beset ALL others who came before them.  Therefore, they reason, they can ignore the experience of others, ‘cause it ain’t gonna happen to me.”

Unfortunately, the cost of experience for them will be huge, expense and ongoing for as long as they maintain that train of thought.  Whoever said, “If you think the cost of education is high, just wait until you see how much ignorance costs you”; was right on the money.

Self-Experience Brings Self-Truth…Hopefully Sooner than Later

The thing with experience is that we give a high-value to what we endure ourselves, yet substantially discount the prior advice of those who have gone before us and the advice of those who have experienced pretty much the same thing.  

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could tap into the experience of other skilled Precision-Shooters and AVOID all or most of the pitfalls they endured; thereby increasing the speed at which we can get to sustainable revenue from this game?

Happily, almost everything you need to learn to do that is right here on Irishsetter’s site.

Sadly, most players SAY that they are willing to reap the rewards of that experience without having to endure the heartache, yet MOST will fall back into their old losing ways time and time again.  Notwithstanding the fact that their previous methods didn’t work; they would rather lose to a devil they know; than to take the time and make the commitment to fully develop their Precision-Shooting skills, utilize tailored-to-bankroll betting-methods, and cultivate the iron-clad discipline required to GET and KEEP sustainable profits. 

Eventually (hopefully), through self-experience (and devastating, on-going losses), they DISCOVER that the good advice was right on target in the first place.

The student of the game sometimes has to undergo and suffer their own baptism-by-fire before they realize the value and wisdom of someone else's experience and advice.  I too went through exactly the same thing myself; so when I suggest some moves that will save you some of that gut-wrenching pain…I know that most will ignore it, and only a few will make it a permanent part of their game.  That's human nature...it’s too bad that "experience" has to cost so much!

Okay, so once we GET all that hard-earned experience; how do we KEEP the discipline to help us stay the course?

Discipline to Stay the Course

Discipline is BY FAR the single most important attribute you can have in the casino (as well as being pretty important in life as well).  We not only need it for consistent winning in the first place, but it’s vitally necessary for you to be able to hang onto those winnings when you are ready to leave the casino.

Remember, this is about GETTING IT, and KEEPING IT.

We have to weave an impermeable fabric that is structured with components that have been matched and blended in such as way as to give us the most profit, with the least risk, and the highest chances for sustainable success. 

So let’s look at those elements and see how they fit together:

       Discipline - Without it, NO advantage will ever be big enough to consistently win.  It's necessary 100% of the time, and at full-strength ALL OF THE TIME.

       Precision-Shooting - Without this, you are NEVER in a predictable or sustainable advantage-position at the craps table.

      Betting Strategy - Without proper betting-methods, you will never GET to the CONSISTENT profit.

       Money Management - Without proper management of your money, you will never get to KEEP your profit.

       Adequate Bankroll - Without enough bullets for your casino-battles; you’ll almost never live long enough to see the dawn.  Sufficient money gives you breathing room, because without breath, nothing else matters.  Inadequate bankroll means inadequate chances of winning.  That’s another simple truth that is often underestimated.

Once you have all five of those attributes working in PERFECT HARMONY and at full power, then you can start to work on the other important aspects of winning, like Patience, Attitude and Conditioning.  We take all of those components and weave them together in a bulletproof fabric that is flexible enough to bend with changing threats and opportunities; yet strong enough to resist the worst streaks, urges, trends and temptations.

Yes, I STILL Struggle with Discipline

Having said all of that, I can tell you that I still struggle with discipline on a daily basis. 

Sometimes I hold strong and resist the urge, while occasionally I’ll cave in to her seductive siren call.  Sometimes it pays off big time, but other times; greed and luck have a good laugh at my expense.  When I cave in on discipline, it’s often an indication that I am not happy with my own shooting for that particular session.  Therefore, I am more likely to seek out higher-risk betting opportunities on less-qualified or totally unqualified random-rollers.  Instead of cutting the session short and determining what is going wrong with my shooting, and determining just how to fix it; instead I’ll try to force a win using a less sure and much more risky route by betting more money on random-rollers.  Unfortunately that route often leads to a loss.  For me, it’s not only unprofessional; it’s downright frustrating.

While its true that I don’t cave in nearly as often as I did a decade or even a year or two ago; the temptation is ALWAYS there.  In fact, I have found a direct correlation (link) between increased temptation and my own poor dicesetting performance.  The worse I’m doing with the dice during any given session; the higher the temptation to try to make money off of someone else’s random luck.  Instead of fixing what it wrong, I’ll seek salvation at the hand, whim and luck of others.  Dumb moves like that often lead to dumb losses.

What’s a Boy To Do?

How do we deal with the whole discipline thing so that we can get enough of it in the first place, and then keep our resolve for as long as needed?

Here’s a few things to hang your hat on:

       Your bankroll will be in a PLUS position at some time during almost EVERY session.  Look back and consider that even during your most devastating losses, there were times when you were actually ahead of the game; yet you chose not to quit with a small profit.

       MOST players will lose back ALL OF THEIR PROFIT plus a healthy portion of their session buy-in, and they’ll do that time after time after time.   They GOT the profit, but chose not to KEEP it.

       Discipline is a CONSTANT struggle for EVERY player, including myself.

       If you determine how high your profit normally rises to during an average session; then you can set a REALISTIC win-goal and quitting point.

       If you reach that point, you can lock up the profit and end your session; or you can employ John Patrick's "Up and Pull" or "Excess and Guarantee" methods of RETAINING your profit and NOT playing it back.   All three of those approaches are not only valid in helping you KEEP your profit, but they’re good for developing and improving your discipline too.

       When a player decides that they want to WIN more than they need to PLAY, they make the conscience decision to be satisfied with small and frequent wins; instead of larger, but more frequent losses.

Why Talented Precision-Shooters Don’t Make MORE Money

I get asked this question quite often. 

Some who ask it are infidels who don’t believe in Precision-Shooting in the first place, and therefore ask the question, quite rhetorically, in a snide and sarcastic way. 

Skilled dicesetters ask the same question, but do so out of frustration.  Even though they’ve determined that they themselves have a measurable advantage over the casino, they find that it is incredibly difficult to make a sustainable profit of any size or note.

The reason most Precision-Shooters DON'T make more money is because:

       They bet way too much, and way too frequently on random-rollers and unqualified dicesetters. 

       They pre-load their bets on their own rolls too early, and they press their bets too aggressively.

       They make too many Prop and Hop bets that are not consistent enough money-makers.

       They don't lock-up an early profit by way of Steep Regressions.

       They play back too much of their profit in hopes of building a lumberyard out of a matchstick.

       They play too long and without proper mental attitude or discipline.

The reason that there are not more Precision-Shooters out there making outstanding amounts of money is not because it CAN’T be done.  It is because the amount of dedication, commitment, determination, maturity, and discipline that is required for steady profit, is just too much effort for most people to make.

Suggested Reading

If you are interested in propping up your resolve and commitment, or maintaining your self-control and discipline; I would kindly suggest the following articles:

       My four-part Can't Win For Losing series.

       My two-part Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This series.

       Irishsetter’s superb Discipline & The Art Of Precision Shooting, and the equally outstanding Fail. Fail Again. Fail Better. article.

       In addition, I would strongly recommend my Flushing Money Down The Random-Roller Toilet article, as well as the four-part Discipline, Character & Consistency series.

       For a look at your game from an entirely different perspective, I would urge EVERY aspiring dicesetter to read Heavy’s exceptional The Crap Between Your Ears article.

       Finally, if you are TIRED of LOSING despite the fact that you usually get ahead during some point in most sessions, then I can heartily recommend the D'ya Wanna Win, or D'ya Wanna Gamble? series.

It is CRITICAL that you realize that discipline is something that has to be developed just like your Precision-Shooting skills.  Yes, I STILL struggle with the discipline-thing EVERY SINGLE DAY; yet I continue to develop and improve it, just as I do with my dicesetting skills and betting-methods. 

In a phrase…that is how you GET IT, and that is how you KEEP IT.

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


The Mad Professor


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