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

A man returning home a day early from a business trip, got into a taxi at the airport after midnight, and while enroute to his home, asked the driver if he would be a witness, as he suspected his wife was having an affair, and expected to catch her in the act.

The driver agreed, and they both tiptoed into the bedroom, turned on the lights pulled the blanket back and found the wife in bed with another man. The husband put his gun to the man's head, and the wife shouted, "Don't do it, this man has been very generous. Who do you think paid for the Corvette I said I bought for you, and who do you think paid for our new 42’ boat…he did!"

The husband, looked over at the cab driver, and said, "What would you do in a case like this?" The cabbie smiled, and said, "I'd cover him up before he catches cold."

The View from Here

Let’s agree that there are very few people who make their living solely off of playing craps. 

Let’s further agree that there are even fewer of those full-time professionals who take the time to write about it.  I’m not talking about professional writers who publish books for a living; I’m talking about professional craps players. 

There are about three dozen guys who I know that play professionally on a full-time basis (and make outstanding amounts of money), but only about eight of them are actually even on the internet; let alone writing anything about what it is they do.

To my mind, I have a somewhat unique vantage point from which to comment on this game.  Playing at least four days if not five days per week, all year long also gives me a unique perspective on what works best for me.  Although that doesn’t mean that what works great for me, will work wonders from your game; it does give you a unique opportunity to look at some of the things you might want to at least consider integrating into your game-plan.

It is also important to understand that I DO NOT win all of the time. 

However, when I am on the minus-side of the gaming-ledger for a session, I keep that loss to an absolute MINIMUM, and therefore I only require a small win during the next session to pull me back to “even” for the day. 

By letting the small wins offset the small losses, I can use the medium to large wins as retained earnings, and not just bragging-right victories that are immediately absorbed into offsetting any previous deep losses.

Your SKILL determines your winnings, and your DISCIPLINE determines your losses.

That brings us to some of the additional methods that have helped me to GET the profit, and to KEEP it.

A Unique Betting Approach

Most savvy dicesetters agree that certain kinds of throws work great on one type of table, but fail to deliver the goods on other types. 

In other words, one toss does not suit all tables.

An example…

Let’s say that my Low, Slow & Easy Toss works great on 12-foot, hard-as-rock tables from the SL and SR 1, 2, and 3 positions; but is next to impossible to keep them on-axis, let alone on their four primary faces when you throw that same toss from a farther position like SL/SR 4 or 5 or from straight-out on a longer and far bouncier table. 

In that case, to compensate for the farther distance and higher bounce, you may have to increase the trajectory and backspin so much that it hardly even resembles the basic L, S & E Toss to any degree when taken so far out of it’s basic throwing-geometry element.

That simply means that it may start out as the L, S & E, but by the time you get finished tweaking it and adapting it to that particular table, it doesn’t even resemble anything like it started out as.  In and of itself, adapting your throw to suit a specific layout is a GOOD thing especially if you can get your throw to conform to what the table requires in terms of good, consistent on-axis rolling.  The fact that you had to adapt it to suit the table is fine.  As long as it works, any modifications, no matter how radical, is okay if it brings the money in.

So if we agree that one toss does not suit all tables, and that different throws (or at least altered geometry of the same throw) is required to successfully adapt to different tables; then can we also say that different betting-methods might sometimes be best used only on certain tables (where we have gained a consistently profitable level of dice-control or influence) as well?

Bear with me for a moment, and indulge my idea.

Altering Bets to Compensate for Different Tables

Let’s say that you throw really well on some types of tables, but only fairly well on other types; then isn’t it a reasonably good idea to adapt your betting-methods to suit that table’s performance (or specifically, to suit your skill-level on that table) too. 

If one type of table doesn’t yield the same performance characteristics to your Precision-Shooting efforts as it does at another; then how can you expect that your betting-methods will perform as well on the “difficult-to-conquer” tables as well as they do on the “easy-to-control” ones?

That simply means that your bets have to be modified as much, if not more, than your throwing technique in order to profitably survive on all the different playing surfaces that you’ll encounter.

I’ve been doing this altering-bets-to-compensate-for-different-tables thing for the past six or seven years; but frankly, it was more intuitive than by design.

That is, I was using my Tables Notes (see my Shooting Bible – Part One for details on that) to determine which throwing methods I should be using; and to a much lesser extent, which betting-methods would work best when matched up with my various skill-levels on different types of tables.

Now let me be clear that this has NOTHING to do with some superstitious predisposition about, “Aww, I can’t shoot very well on bouncy tables during afternoon sessions especially on odd-numbered days of the month, especially if they are using green dice and there’s a female dealer on the crew, and the NY Yankees have lost more than two of their last five home-games, and there wasn’t an open parking space in the casino garage on my favorite floor, and I accidentally tied my right shoe before I laced up my left shoe…so my dice-throwing will probably be lousy today…so I better change my normal betting-strategy and just put all my money on the Hopping 4’s and 9’s until my luck changes” mentality.

Rather, it is through the carefully constructed notes that I use to determine what works best on which table and from what shooting position, that I base my first few throws (and bets) on.  If the rolling, bouncing, tracking and rebound characteristics hold true to what I recorded in my Table Notes; then I’ll know that those observations are still fully valid.  If the table is reacting somewhat differently, then I’ll make any appropriate change to my throwing motion (and update those Table Notes after my session). 

The point of all of this is that I will structure my bets to coincide and reflect what the table has historically given me based in terms of how long I have traditionally rolled per hand, and how successful I was in being able to keep the dice on-axis, and ESPECIALLY how often I was able to generate primary-face hits at that table (or similar table-type).

My first attempts at altering-bets-to-compensate-for-different-tables was a rudimentary thing, where if I knew I historically had relatively short-hands on this type of layout or on that particular table; then I’d use a betting-method that got the profit off of the table a lot sooner than on tables where I have traditionally strung together longer and more reliable performances.

Sensibly, if I’ve had a good history on this type of table, and especially at the particular table I am currently playing at; then I’ll use a more aggressive wagering-approach that witnesses a higher starting point (bet wise), a more aggressive ramping of pressed-up bets, along with a longer exposure time to the high-value wagers.

I’ve let that process evolve to the point where I can walk up to a particular table to throw and BET with confidence instead of concern.

That way, I am better able to anticipate WHAT this table is likely to give me, and therefore tailor a betting-plan that reflects my current skill-level on this table-type or for this particular layout with an adapted-to-reality betting-method.

Doing so increases throwing-confidence as well as betting-method productivity.

Conversely, I won’t shun or avoid tables where I’ve historically lacked outstanding success.  Rather, if I play there, I’ll simply either start out with a much more conservative betting-plan (until I AM able to figure out what it takes to triumph over this layout), or I might even take a shot at it from the Darkside.  In either case, it’s important that you prevent yourself from setting up self-defeating mental scenarios where you are expecting losses before you even pick up the dice.

Be mindful that our objective is to MAKE money…and then KEEP it!

If we limit our opportunities for success; then we often set up unreasonable (and largely irrational) circumstances, tainted justification and irrational excuses where we’ve mentally eliminated way too many genuinely worthy revenue prospects…simply because we’ve convinced ourselves that we will fail.

I’ll let Thomas Edison sum it up:

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”


Your Attitude About Shooting Out-of-Position

SR-1 is definitely my favorite spot to shoot from.

If given a choice, I would take it nearly every time on nearly every single table that I play at. There are a few exceptions where SL-1 or SL-2 is my preference, but by and large, about 73% of my money is generated from SR-1, SR-2 or SR-3.   Moreover, my on-axis, primary-face consistency from those positions is much higher than any other group of spots around the table.

Now having said that, I can also tell you that I don’t have too many qualms about playing “out of position”. 

I have two thoughts on this. 

       Perfect your craft at as many table-spots (positions) as you can.   Now that does NOT mean that you should bet the same as if you are shooting from your favorite and most profitable table-position(s).  I think we covered that subject quite well just a minute ago.  Rather, it means that you start low and slow (betting conservatively) from different places around the layout, and see what they produce as far as dice-outcomes are concerned.

That’s the physical part of it.

Next comes the attitude part about shooting out of position.  

Do you look forward to trying out a new spot or do you face it with fear, trepidation and uncertainty? 

If fear and anxiety override your anticipation and positive mental attitude; then that pessimism will transfer from your brain on down to the tips of your fingers.

A bad attitude usually leads to bad dice-setting results.

A negative attitude often means a negative outcome. 

Unfortunately that attitude-to-outcome link doesn’t work as well in reverse when you are thinking good thoughts. 

Although a good attitude doesn’t guarantee you won’t get bad results; a negative attitude almost guarantees that you will.

The second thought I have about shooting out of position is that you may find that what works flawlessly as your best throwing-motion (control dynamics) from your favorite table-spot may have no relevance when used from a more distant shooting position. 

In other words, what works from SR-1 may not be useful from SL-7 on the same table.  You have to adapt to each new spot you shoot from.  Sometimes those adjustments are small, but often times they are not so subtle.

       Even though the exact same table is just as bouncy or just as hard or the backwall gives just as much rebound; a different shooting position will often require an entirely different kind of throw, or at least a largely altered and modified throw. 

In fact, when you move to a different position at the same table, you may find that the same dice-set throws off an entirely new set of Signature Numbers. 

That’s the nature of Precision-Shooting. 

You de-randomize the dice, but you also tailor your betting to what your shooting is producing, and not the other way around.

You may be able to throw five or six or seven on-axis, primary-face 9’s in a row from SL-2, but when you bet like you are EXPECTING the same outcomes when you shoot from straight-out at SR-6, you may be quite disappointed.   Rather, you may find that that position gives you an inordinate number of 3’s or 4’s.  In that case, you can bet with it, or you can lament the fact that you aren’t able to work your usual back-to-back-to-back hopping parlay on the 9 that you prefer to do when standing at SL-2.

But here’s the thing…

       Sometimes you discover AMAZING consistency and on-axis, primary-face results from shooting-positions that you’ve always avoided out of fear, trepidation, unfounded bias and mediocrity-based partiality (from more “preferred” shooting-spots).

The reason I bring this subject up is obvious.

       You can’t always get in the shooting-position that you want.

       The more table-positions you get proficient at, the more flexible, adaptable and profitable you will be at the various layouts you encounter.

       Your ATTITUDE has as much to do with your throwing success as any other single element including your throwing-mechanics and toss-motion.

A good, positive attitude can keep you on the right path just as easily as a bad attitude will lead you off of it.

       The better you are at shooting consistently from additional table-positions, the better able you’ll be in GETTING the profit.

       The better your attitude is, the better able you’ll be as far as KEEPING the profit as well.

Need I remind you?

Your SKILL determines your winnings, and your DISCIPLINE determines your losses.

Sometimes We Shouldn’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

There will be many sessions where you’ll build up a nice pile of profit in very short order.  In many cases, you may have only been at the table for ten or fifteen minutes, yet you’ve amassed close to double your initial buy-in. 

       Is it time to go…you just got here?

       Is it time to press it up…things are going so well?

       Is it time to stash all of your buy-in and a large portion of your profit, and play with the small remainder…and hope things continue to go your way?

Sometimes your first hand of the session will turn out to be the best hand of that session, and no matter what you do nor how long you try for a repeat of that stellar performance you just can’t seem to pull it off.

How to deal with that?

You have to use your own play-history to determine what works best for you. 

For me, if I throw an outstanding hand during my first shot with the dice, I may stick around for one more hand (from me) to see if I’ve still got the magic; but if the profit-thrill is not still there on the second go-round, I won’t stick around to force the issue any further.

For me it’s a psychological thing. 

If I throw a great hand…the kind that legends are built on; my own history tells me that I likely won’t be able to repeat it during the same session.  Most times, when I TRY to force a back-to-back repeat, it ends in a very short-lived Point-then-Out result.

If I get one fairly good hand per session (30+ rolls), it doesn’t even have to a mega-hand (50+ rolls) or a history-making hand (80+ rolls), because let’s face it, very few of them actually end up being hour-plus rolls; I am satisfied to accept the nice profit that one fairly decent 30+ hand per session gives to me before moving on.

A multiple table, multiple casino hit ’n’ run raid will generally produce much more money for me than a camped-out-at-one-table-for-a-multi-hour-marathon will.  Both exercises may consume the same amount of time, but the profit-generation is higher (by several orders of magnitude) when I can ply my trade at multiple enterprises.

My ego doesn’t NEED to try to do it again and again at the same table in a vain and EXPENSIVE attempt to throw back-to-back mega-hands…plus I figure that there’s no need to overstay my welcome and burn the casino for too many wins in a row.

In other words, I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and I take the winnings that I’ve earned.  It’s just one more way that I am able to KEEP what I GET.

Plan Your Bets Around Your AVERAGE Hand, But Prepare for the Longer Ones

We’ve talked about this before, but I want to show you some of the reasoning behind it.

The idea is to use betting-methods that will put a net-profit into your rail as quickly as possible without exposing your bankroll to undue exposure.

Your options?

Your options of how you handle your bets are obviously almost unlimited, but for me…well, I plan my bets around my “average-length” hand, but prepare myself in case it turns out to be a long one.

       We can do that by using a Steep Regression, and waiting for ONE hit before reducing our Place-bets to a more comfortable level, all-the-while locking up a net-profit position.

       We COULD leave our high initial-level action out there for additional hits IF we almost NEVER throw a quick 7-Out. 

You have to take a serious look at how often you throw one of those two-roll (Point-then-Out) hands.  If you establish the PL-Point and then immediately go 7-Out let’s say twice every 10 hands, then that Steep Regression approach might work, but if you throw let’s say 4 quick Point-then-Out rolls every ten hands; then a Steep Regression may not work, and the situation will only GET WORSE if you leave all of your un-regressed money out there in a desperate attempt to get additional hits beyond your first paying-hit.

Again, don’t let your own greed ruin a great thing.

       If a Steep Regression works constantly at the one-hit-then-reduce level, but only rarely (once a decade) at the 30-hits-then-reduce level; then you have to find a happy medium (somewhere in between one-hit-then-regress and thirty-hits-then-regress) instead of structuring your betting-plan around what OCCASSIONALLY happens versus what USUALLY happens.

Therefore, a savvy professional plans his bets around his “average” hand…the one he throws most often, and NOT around the one he wishes he could throw more than once in a lifetime.

Although this should be clear by now, it’s painfully obvious that some very skilled Precision-Shooters are unnecessarily UN-profitable…not because of their shooting…but because of their BETTING.

In saying that it’s a good idea to plan your bets around your average hand, I can quickly add that it is actually ideal to plan your betting around an expected-roll-length that is slightly LESS than your average hand.   That way, you’ll have extracted most (but not all) of your wagers out of harms way (off of the table), but more importantly you’ll have extracted a good chunk of locked-in profit a roll or two BEFORE you reach your “average” ending point.

Ideal bet-structuring means that you’ll make good money off of your average hands, but still keeps enough money in the game (on the layout) so that if your hand continues past that norm; then you (and your still-active wagers) will be ideally positioned to take advantage of an extended roll.

       If you take ALL of your wagers off the table at or near the end of your average roll-length of say 10-rolls, then many shooters inadvertently turn their shooting-skill expectancy into a self-fulfilling prophecy.  That is, by taking your bets off the table or turning them off at the 10-roll mark; your body and mind will let out a collective sigh which also reduces your shooting-focus and concentration at the same time.  At that point it’s little wonder that the 7-Out shows up within the next roll or two.

Instead of setting myself up for self-fulfilling failure, I would rather structure my bets for continued and expected success.  In which case, I like to keep at least some money in action.

       My thought-process is that once I’ve reached my average roll-length and securely locked in a profit, it is not the time to put my hands in the air and surrender (by taking down or turning off my bets).  Instead, I look at this opportunity as a second-stage launch-platform from which medium…long…jumbo…and mega-hands are ignited.

       In that case, I NEED to have money in action, and I WANT to get fairly aggressive from point forward…so I re-invest a portion of my newly-inflowing income (from my still-active bets) to fuel even larger wagers that will spin off even more gold and provide EVEN MORE rocket-fuel afterburner boost to my still-winning bets.

       The whole concept behind arranging your bets to suit your average-length roll; is to get the net-profit off of the table as quickly as possible, but to afford you the equal opportunity to continue profiting if the hand lasts past your “average”. The idea is that you are keenly positioned to take maximum advantage of it when it happens, yet be in the confidant position that you’ve already locked in a profit if it doesn’t. 

       Long rolls do you no good if you don’t have money on them.   Bets on the wrong numbers do you no good if they are not the ones that are repeating over and over again.

It makes perfect sense for the talented Precision-Shooter to plan his bets around that philosophy, yet many players structure their bets on the HOPE that their rolls will surpass their average-length (without having any regard to locking in an early profit in case it doesn’t). 

       Plan your bets around one or two rolls LESS than your average.

       Lock-in a profit BEFORE you reach your average roll-length threshold.    

       Keep some money on currently active Signature Numbers even when you get to or past your average roll-length hand.

       Use a portion of subsequent winning-bet cash-flow to fuel increased or wider-spread wagers.

       Make real net-profit from all but your shortest of rolls, but structurally prepare a launching-pad for your bets in the event of a medium to long hand.

If you limit your expectations, you limit your opportunities.

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


The Mad Professor

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