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

A Players “Advantage” Is Not Always Profitable

Once in a while a rare occurrence will happen at the table.  

Let’s say you once threw five 2’ s in a row.  That might have happened several weeks or several months or even several years ago.

Should all of your current Precision-Shooting betting reflect your hopes, dreams, aspirations and fantasies that you’ll be able to do it again…soon?

Should your bets be geared to the possibility that it will happen again, and that you’ll be fully prepared to take advantage of it right from the start?

Let me begin by saying that IF you have a validated skill for throwing a certain number, it DOES make sense to exploit that advantage.  However, to ACTUALLY exploit it, instead of just HOPING to exploit it; you have to know how frequently you can expect that advantage to show itself.

The more often it happens, the better prepared you’ll be to take advantage of it.  However, the more rarely it happens will mean that you are often left HOPING that this is THE ONE, yet mostly you’ll be left disappointed (and a few dollars poorer) from the exercise.

Let’s look at a couple of examples so that we can get a better understanding of this advantage-play phenomenon.

Let’s say that your Precision-Shooting skill indicates that, out of 360 rolls of the dice, you will throw sixty 6’s, instead of the randomly-expected fifty occurrences; and those “extra” 6’s get rid of (offset and eliminate) the corresponding number of 7’s that we would randomly expect to see. 

In this case, you not only have a significant advantage (a whopping 20% expectation-advantage) over the casino, but a significant advantage that is readily apparent, and readily exploitable simply because it occurs so often. 

That 20% increase in occurrence means that we’ll see the “6” roll 16.66% of the time instead of it’s randomly-expected 13.88% frequency.  It may not seem like a big difference, but that 2.78% increase in actual appearances should be enough to wring out a profit. 

We’ll find out in a minute, but first I’ll point out that with the 20% increase in the appearance of the 6, we’ve put it on par with how often a random-roller can expect to see a 7.  Now THAT Precision-Shooting advantage should definitely be exploitable.

Before we find out, let’s also say that in another set of 360 rolls, a different Precision-Shooter is able to throw twelve 2’s instead of the randomly-expected ten appearances.  That too is the same significant advantage (a whopping 20%) over what we would normally expect to see, but it’s not as readily apparent because the 2 is now showing up 3.33% of the time instead of the 2.77% that we’d normally expect it to occur.

Again, it’s a 20% increase in frequency, but only a 0.56% increase in the actual number of times we’ll see it during all of those rolls.  It may not be enough of an increase for our non-math eye to detect it.  However, if we track our at-home practice-sessions, we should be able to identify and then verify that advantage. 

Sometimes our dicesetting edge over the game is HUGE, but because it is buried in amongst all those rolls, it is sometimes hard to detect it without the use of analytical reckoning.

So the question is:

If you have a significant 20% edge over the casino, can you always take profitable advantage of it?

A wager on the Place-bet of 6 is not a one-roll proposition-bet, so for this exercise, it will stay “up” (in action) until a 7-Out knocks it off.  In the case of the Prop-bet on the 2, each and every roll decides its fate.  Remember that both Precision-Shooters are throwing with a validated 20% advantage over the expected number of outcomes that a random-roller will throw over the same amount of tosses.

Let’s take a look at how these two players fare with their verified 20% increased advantage:

The Six-Shooter player makes a simple non-Pressed, non-Regressed, always-ON, $6 Place-bet on the 6.  Remember that both he and the other dicesetting player have managed to eliminate a corresponding number of 7’s from the 360 outcomes.

While the Six-Shooter has wiped out ten of the 7’s, the Ace-Shooter has only eliminated two of them; however the Place-bet 6 pays a paltry 7-to-6, while the Prop-bet 2 pays an enormous 30-to-1. 

Here is Mr. Six-Shooters results:

       The 7-Out will wipe away his $6 bet fifty times; 50 x $6 = (-$300).

       His Place-bet wins sixty times at $7 each; 60 x $7 = $420.

       All the other rolls result in a “no decision”.

       The Six-Shooter walks away with a $120 profit.

In the meantime, Mr. Ace-Shooter has been tossing his corresponding 20% advantage-roll too.  Let’s see how he makes out:

       He throws 360 rolls @ $1 each; 360 x $1 = (-$360).

       The Aces (2) Prop-bet wins twelve times at 30:1; 12 x  $30 = $360.

       The Ace-Shooter doesn’t lose anything, but he doesn’t win anything either, despite what clearly is a distinct advantage.  Now, if the casino that he frequents only pays 30-for-1 instead of 30-to-1; then his true 29-to-1 payout will actually accrue a -$12 loss.

In this case, even though it pays a whopping “downtown odds” of 30-1, and he has an astounding 20% edge OVER the house as far as expected outcomes are concerned; if he bets a buck ($1) on each roll of the dice, he would only be breaking even.  Bet two bucks on each roll and you are still breaking even; bet $10 per roll and you are STILL only breaking even.

Mr. Ace-Shooter has developed an outstanding and validated 20% Precision-Shooting advantage just like Mr. Six-Shooter, but one is making $120 in profit, while the other is merely churning the same dollars over and over again without getting anywhere; or worse yet, under a 30-for-1 payout, he has to live with a loss DESPITE his seemingly huge shooting-skill advantage.

What’s wrong with this picture?

What’s wrong, is that the edge for Mr. Ace-Shooter doesn’t manifest (show) itself often enough in a predictable enough way, so a huge 20% edge ISN’T enough to make any money.  Even though we “eliminated” the corresponding number of “7’s” as the offset for the respective 20% advantage that each player had; the sad fact is that “advantage” does not always equal PROFIT.

Let’s go right back to the first example that I used. 

Let’s say that you once threw five 2’s in a row, and ever since then, you’ve meticulously tracked its occurrence; so you also KNOW you’ve got the same 20% advantage that Mr. Ace-Shooter has. 

You’ve even taken that one step further. 

You have actually labeled the “2” as one of your dominant Signature-Numbers.  In fact, your current betting reflects the trust you place in that validated 20% skill-advantage, yet that very same Precision-Shooting advantage that you have worked so hard to achieve, is not translating into any tangible retained net-profit.

The truth is, that the further out on the random-expectancy chart that you go with your Precision-Shooting advantage; the BIGGER your edge over the house has to be before you’ll be able to realize consistent profit from it.

In other words, if you are an Ace(2)-Shooter or a Midnight(12)-Shooter, you’ll need be a much, MUCH BETTER Precision-Shooter than someone who is able to throw just a few additional Inside Numbers.

The reason it is so, is because even a random roll will produce a fair number of 6’s.  When the semi-skilled dicesetter adds just one or two more, he negates the house-edge on that bet.  Since the payout is reflective of it’s likely appearance (a thin 1.515% house-advantage), it is easier to overcome that, than someone who is bucking not only a higher house-edge (13.889% on the 2), but also the infrequency of its expected random appearance. 

Simply stated, a skilled Precision-Shooter has to be REALLY good to take advantage of the situation on the extreme outside numbers (2 and 12), while the guy who is able to throw a couple more extreme  inside numbers like the 6 or 8, only has to be SLIGHTLY better than a random-roller before being able to take advantage of his skill.

I’m not saying you can’t make money off of the 2, 3, 11, or 12. All I’m saying is that you have to be MUCH better than someone who is only slightly skilled at throwing the Inside-Numbers, to fare nearly as well.

That’s certainly something to think about before you jump back into the game with a fist full of money.

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

A player can eliminate a lot of his LOSING ways just by changing the way he THINKS about WINNING.

As Precision-Shooters, we should EXPECT to make a profit, even if it’s only a small one, every time that we step up to the tables.  

Most players will tell you that they WANT to win, but few allow themselves the self-confidence so they’ll actually EXPECT to win. 

Many aspiring dicesetters will ask the right questions on Irishsetters and Heavy’s Discussion Boards, and they’ll receive some outstanding advice in reply; yet the very next day, the same player will announce to the whole world that they have abandoned the advice that they just received, and have instead chosen to pursue mind-control, telepathy or thought-transference as the only proper way to pursue of dicesetting profit. 

Though they heard or read the answers to the questions that they asked; they choose to ignore it completely in order to pursue a new, much more plausible (to them) “parlay it to the moon and then collect on your 100th toss” method that someone who hasn’t won a dollar in a casino since before ghetto-blasters and mood-rings were popular; gave to him as the only low-risk, sure-fire way to make a buck in the casino.

In other words, many outstanding questions are asked, but the answers are largely ignored in the breathless haste of trying to get to the Promised Land of casino profit, without a wing or even a prayer.

At your local casino, I’ll bet there’s an endless parade of guys who complain about their continual losses.  Some of their well-meaning friends might even point out what they are doing wrong, and ways to change those losing ways.  While most of the perennial-losers understand and acknowledge that the sage advice is probably good, they almost always go back to their same old losing ways.

Invariably, a lot of aspiring Precision-Shooters do the very same thing.

Successful players will talk about discipline, smart betting-methods, how to seize opportunities when they appear, and how to mostly avoid losses.  The advice-seeker starts out listening intently, but as soon as he realizes that the answer contains suggestions that would result in altering his comfortably losing ways…the attention-meter gets turned off and his eyes start to glaze over.

Most serial-losers won’t do anything to correct their ways.   Oh sure, they’ll SAY that they are sick of losing, and you know what…they probably are.  However, they keep making the same bets in the same situation, and they keep getting the same results, but they nonetheless keep HOPING that someday, somehow, somewhere, they’ll get better outcomes.  Or in the alternative, they’ll look for fast, get-rich solutions that just don’t work.

They know what it will take to reverse their downward slide, yet they won’t implement any of those improvements, for any reasonable amount of time to properly take effect.  Their impatience and lack of discipline causes more grief and financial-loss than any amount of mediocre dice-shooting ever could.

You have to remember that SKILL let’s you MAKE the money, but DISCIPLINE let’s you KEEP it.

So when they ask for advice, they are usually only looking for a co-dependent reply of, “Just keep on doing what you’re doing…your luck is bound to change soon”, or “Keep on doing your once-a-month practice, and you’ll improve”.  Yet all the practicing in the world won’t change their attitude towards how they THINK about the game, and therefore their poor results won’t change either.

Don’t misunderstand this as a Mad Professor rant.  It’s not.  It’s simply my way of saying that if you want to change your current not-so-great-results; then you may have to change the way you THINK about the game.

Okay…this is me stepping down from the pulpit now.  I hope you didn’t get hit with too much fire or brimstone…besides I’m not talking about YOU…right!

Stop Complaining…Start Doing

If you are tired of continually losing; then stop complaining about it and actually DO something about it.

If you want to stop losing so much when you are playing craps, then you have to start playing the game differently, and in most cases that means BETTING the game differently.

Who hasn’t seen a player with a huge bankroll making huger blunders at the dice table?  How many times have you thought to yourself, “If I had that kind of money, I sure would be betting it differently than he is”?

Okay, let’s change that context a little bit.  How much would a professional Precision-Shooter change the way that YOU bet with YOUR money?  Now THAT is a good question.

Ask yourself this:

If a professional Precision-Shooter knew what I know about my own current skill-level; how would he be betting my bankroll?  

       Would he be making most of the same bets I am making now, or would he be more cautious? 

       Would he be more aggressive when the right opportunities came along? 

       Would he be cutting certain wagers out of my betting-regimen completely, or would he be stepping some of them up. 

       How would he handle the Steep Regressions, Presses and Win-Plateaus versus what I am doing now?

       What opportunities is he seeing that I’m somehow missing?  What is the first thing he would change about my betting or my discipline or my whole approach to this game?   What are some of the things he wouldn’t touch at all? 

       Would he use the same Loss-Limits, Win-Goals and Exit-Strategies that I currently use?

In other words,

What would the pro be doing that I know deep in my heart that I should be doing too?

When you truthfully answer those questions, I have only one more thing that you have to ask yourself.

Why aren’t you doing what you know is the right thing to do?

The Shooter Made 11 Points, and You Lost H-O-W Much Money Betting WITH Him?

I almost choked when I read this posting a while back:

“I was next to a guy that I recognized as a good dicesetter.   He had been playing at the table across from me, and apparently had a good hand there because I heard the entire table clapping for him when he finished shooting.  He came over to my table where I had been holding my own for about forty minutes.  I asked how he had made out, and he said that he was really zoned-in this afternoon, and had now played at four different tables, and had great rolls at each of them.  He added that this was the table and shooting position where he had started out with the good rolling a couple of hours earlier.” 

“When the dice came to him, I figured on starting out slow to get a feel for his shooting because the table had been choppy for some time.  He gets his point of 9 established, so I started by Placing the 5 for $10.  As I'm still betting the 5 he starts rolling high-numbers.  Nothing under a 6. He got hot and made ELEVEN PASSES and I'm still sitting on the 5, too superstitious to move it.  He hit well over fifty numbers, but none of them was the 5, so I lost my ten bucks when he finally 7’d-Out.  What did I do wrong?”

After fifty or so box-numbers and eleven PL-Points in a row, I have to ask, how much of a “FEEL” do you need before deciding to bet?  

This player obviously required a shooter to make MORE than eleven Points and MORE than 50 box-numbers before betting into a rather obvious Precision-Shooter advantage, and what was even more obviously a pretty good hand by any standard. 

This player knew the shooter, and could have conservatively waited for him to make his first PL-Point or even his second or perhaps even his third point; before deciding the shooter was “qualified”.  He could have waited until the shooter hit the 6 or 8 once or twice or even ten times as his qualifying trigger.  Although that is admittedly a fairly high threshold of “comfort” to reach before deciding that the table is to your liking. 

In holding a shooter to such a high standard, especially when you personally know him to be at least a semi-skilled thrower; you’ll not only miss the good opportunities, but in an attempt to salvage some of your dignity from what clearly was a lost opportunity; you’ll often try to get in on the very next random-roller hand that appears to be just as good, but often find that you’re quite disappointed when it isn’t.

That is, after missing out on one of the great mega-hands, you’ll lower your when-to-start-betting standards in hopes that you’ll be able to re-capture lightning in a bottle on someone who is much less qualified to help your cause.  Often times, the next shooter is another random-roller who may or may not be able to do the same as the skilled gentleman that you already knew had at least SOME abilities, and whom was clearly having a stellar-performance day.

If you see a strong trend, like all the high numbers (8, 9 & 10) showing up when a guy is making three, four, then five points in fairly quick succession; then how long will you stand there before you act?  When the shooter throws six, then seven, then eight PL-Points; when does the stop-light turn from “red” to “green” thereby allowing you to deploy your bets on likely targets?

Let me put it another way. 

When a shooter finally 7’s-Out after 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 70-rolls; are you the one who says, “Oooh, I was just going to bet on that guy.”  Or are you the one who says, “I knew that he was going to eventually 7-Out, so that’s why I didn’t bet on him.”

In either case, the pessimist is rarely disappointed when a good roll comes to an end; while the optimist who doesn’t pull the trigger is left to wonder when the next opportunity like that will come along.

GETTING profit means that you have to bet on the most likely opportunities.  KEEPING it means avoiding the rest of the crap.

Treat Your Profit the Same Way You Treat Your Bankroll

If you’ve ever seen the film Gone in 60 Seconds, then you know how fast the profit that you have struggled to make, can disappear.

You can spend hours at the table just to build up a couple of hundred in profit, yet lose it all back in what seems like just a few fleeting seconds.

That’s because the edge you have over this game as a Precision-Shooter is not that large.  A small edge means that it can take quite a bit of time to build up a profit, but again because your margin for error is so slim; it can be wiped out in mere moments.

Since we’ve covered Loss-Limits and Win-Goals at length in many of my other articles, I just want to touch on the subject of how you should treat any of the money that you’ve just won.  Suffice it to say that if those two subjects (Loss-Limits and Win-Goals) aren’t among your strong points, then a complete re-read of the pertinent articles is definitely in order.

We’ve already discussed the fact that once you win any money, it is YOURS, and it is no longer the casinos.  It isn’t “found” money that you can piss away, it is yours to do with and treat the same way you would as if it was yours in the first place.

You earned it, it’s yours now; so don’t be so quick in letting the casino get another shot at winning it back, because I can tell you that when they win YOUR money, they sure as hell treat it like it’s THEIRS, and they don’t suddenly relax THEIR rules to make it any easier for YOU to get it back.

So why make it any easier for them?

If you treat your winning-profit like you don’t care whether you’ll lose it; then there is an EXCELLENT probability that you will. 

If the deepest parts of your psyche convince you that you are undeserving and unworthy of money that you’ve “won” instead of “earned”; then there’s also a good chance that you’ll unconsciously make decisions that will contribute to its eventual loss.  In most cases, those losses as dictated, directed and choreographed by your bad decisions, will happen sooner than latermuch, MUCH sooner.

As unbelievable as this may sound, the sad truth is that most gamblers feel unworthy of their wins, and treat their profits with disdain, indifference and contempt.  When they lose it, and they almost ALWAYS do; they pass it off with an, “Ahh, that was the casinos money anyway.” 

Not only didn’t they feel entitled to get it, but they also felt wholly unworthy of keeping it. They want and need the cathartic “cleansing” of losing something they feel they weren't entitled to; and only after they lose it can they have that fresh and unsoiled, “I just had my clock cleaned…I fought the good fight but the better guy won” feeling.

Again, it’s largely the way you THINK about what it is you do in the casino that will generally determine how you GET the profit in the first place, and whether or not you’ll be able to KEEP it by the time you’re ready to leave.

The profit that you make is YOUR money, and you have to treat it as if it is YOUR money, instead of just being a TEMPORARY CUSTODIAN of it. 

The amount of discipline that it takes to CONSISTENTLY walk out of the casino with a profit is difficult enough.  If you don't lock-in the lions share of your winnings at each session; then those profits have a way of deteriorating and eroding into LOSSES long before you take the opportunity to leave their house and go back to yours.

Good Luck and Good Skill at the tables…and in Life.


The Mad Professor


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