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Current Practice…Future Profitability
Part VI

Level Your Table

You know how I’m always imploring you to make sure that you are throwing the dice “flat” to the table top and “square” to the backwall?   It was good advice the first time I mentioned it and it has remained so for the last three-hundred times that I’ve reminded you…and it still holds true today.  Now let me ask you this: 

Is your practice-rig flat and level? 

Is the backwall of your rig straight, vertical, squared-up and totally plumb?

If ANY of those surfaces are out of whack or off-kilter; then your toss could be perfect, but your rig may be making your skills look erratic, fickle and downright wonky. 

As if that isn’t bad enough, you may have unintentionally made some compensatory (counter-balancing) changes to your otherwise perfect toss THAT IS NOW COMPLETELY UNWORKABLE IN THE CASINO!

Think about that for a second.

If the deck of your table isn’t perfectly flat like those usually found in the casino (except for a couple of tables that are seriously out-of-square in Downtown Vegas); then your dice may be having to run uphill or roll downhill…which obviously changes their inbound and outbound (backwall rebound) trip-speed entirely. 

An even worse scenario is if your deck is tilted to one side.  

If the dice hit and veer to one side, we usually blame that one on an off-kilter release where the dice were tilted (in our hands at the point of release) in the opposite direction…and clearly that release defect is something that we would want to cure before heading to the casino.  However, think about the possibility that your table itself is the one that is slightly tilted to one side or the other. 

What kind of ungodly modifications have you had to make to your throw to accommodate and overcome that adversity?  When you take that overly-compensated throw to the real-world tables, how do you think your permanently-ingrained-to-balance-and-counteract-the-Alps throw is going to fair there on a truly flat surface?

Let me take that a step further.

Let’s talk about the backwall of your practice-rig.  Let’s say your deck is perfectly flat and level but the backwall is either out-of-vertical or worse yet, out-of-square. 

If it’s out-of-square, that would mean that your left-dice is reaching it sooner or later than the right-die. 

At first blush, you would think that this isn’t too bad of a problem because both dice do hit the backwall although they may do so micro-seconds apart.   While that is true, the real problem lies in the fact that one die travels slightly less than the other die which means that it has a slightly higher impact-speed and therefore a slightly higher rebound-rate than the other.   When you add that to the fact that each die hits the wall at a different phase in its rotation, it means that they will rebound out-of-phase too.

Think that makes a difference?

It does, and it manifests itself in the most hideous of fashions in the guise of double-pitch outcomes.

A quick look at your at-home double-pitch rate compared to your in-casino d-p rate will often expose that hideously cryptic revelation.  The worse part of course is if you’ve made compensatory changes to your grip in order to deal with your out-of-whack home-rig and can’t figure out why you are getting all kinds of double-pitches when you take your show on the road.

Oh, one more thing you might want to check out…

Is your shooting-station perfectly aligned with your landing-box?

If you are shooting from either the S-L (stick-left) or S-R (stick-right) side of the stickman’s position; then you’ll want to ensure that your shooting-station (if it isn’t attached to your landing-box) is in perfect alignment to it.  Otherwise, your throwing-angle will be different than it is in the casino where the table-rail is permanently attached…and is permanently straight. 

Even a degree or two out of alignment can cause all kinds of axis-upsetting and facial-correlation problems that may be forcing you to make all sorts of unnecessary and self-defeating offsetting and counterbalancing toss or grip modifications.

If any of those potential defects aren’t a strong enough motivator for you to check out whether or not your practice-rig is perfectly balanced, level and plumbed-up; then don’t be surprised if bankable success continues to elude you.

Using Gaming Chips To Simulate Your Bets…and Your Stress

One thing I’ve noticed quite a bit over the years is that when some dice-influencers start to produce a really good hand; their chip-handling and betting-skills seem to get all fumbled up. 

Now this may be due to anxiety of in-the-moment stress that comes from not only being involved in a huge hand, but in knowing that it is YOU who is producing it.  On the other hand, I often hear skilled dice-influencers say, “I’ve never had my bets pressed–up this high, I don’t know the next level I should take them to…that sure is a lot of money out there isn’t it!

In most cases, when I hear anything sounding even remotely like that, I turn MY bets off. 

It’s clear that the shooter is thinking more about his bets and not enough about his next throw.  When you add in their apparent confusion and self-induced stress, it’s little wonder they are even able to make their next throw…much less keep them on-axis or prevent them from double-pitching.

Success flows from your throw.

Sure you have to bet right, but if you aren’t making a decent and proper throw; then all the money-management and slick betting-methods in the world still won’t put you on the positive side of the expectancy-curve.  Your throw is what takes you there…and it’s what allows it to stay there…and it’s what allows you to profit from dice-influencing.

Your VERY NEXT THROW is the only thing that will keep you in the game. 

When that throw is completed, then it’s the throw that you make right after the last one that accomplishes the same goal.  For each additional roll that you retain the dice, you should be securing additional locked-up profit in your rail. 

Mid-hand distractions tend to kill rolls…especially if you let them.

Distractions are not just things like the cocktail waitress coming by, or the stickman whistling a happy tune, or the guy next to you coughing up a fur-ball, or a distant slot-machine clanging another  20-coin winner. 

Distractions are often self-inflicted and self-proliferated.

When you are thinking too much about your bets and not enough about your next throw; then chances are you’ll have plenty of time in just a few seconds to lament how much money you woulda, coulda, shoulda made…because that is usually the precise point when the freshly 7’d-out dice are passed to the next shooter.

To make things even worse, many players “catch” themselves thinking about other things; then scold, castigate and reprimand themselves for not keeping their focus on the game.  Being hard on yourself is the last thing you want to do when your job is to make nice relaxed dice-throws. 

If you feel like one of those Homer Simpson “Doh!” moments where you mentally tell yourself to smarten up; then it’s pretty hard to immediately put yourself back into the right frame of mind.  That is a good time to actually take a few more seconds before shooting the dice.  A small bet-order change or a slight adjustment of your Odds bet…anything to give yourself pause to regain your composure and refocus your mind.

Now let’s talk about what happens during one of your mini-mega hands.  That is one of those hands where your bets have been pressed-up to the highest point you can ever remember.   For most players, that level of betting brings about its own level of anxiety.  During moments like this, players often come to the realization that the chips out on the layout represent REAL money…and it THEIR real money that is riding on the very next toss of the dice.

How do you handle that, and how do you better prepare yourself for that eventuality?

You have to PREPARE for SUCCESS.

That means that a portion of your practice-session time should be dedicated to “war-gaming” where you actively make the bets that you’d normally make in the casino. 

The reason for that is simple. 

       You want to desensitize yourself to handling the high-denomination chips and making the high-denomination bets when your shooting-skill is grooved in and your bet results are hitting on all cylinders.


       If you can desensitize to that on the practice-rig, then when it happens in real-life you’ll be better prepared to handle it.  Just as in military training or rescue training, or any other training for that matter; it helps prepare you for eventuality. 

       In disaster training it’s done with the hope that you’ll never have to use it.  For at-home Precision-Shooting war-gaming with high-buck bets; it’s done in the hope that you WILL have to use it…OFTEN.


You can also transfer those same benefits into your more mundane average-length hands too.

The war-game casino-simulation part of your practice-session can be effectively used to practice the way you SHOULD be betting in the casino as opposed to the way that you are currently betting with live money. 

       Doing so has a way of desensitizing you to the under fire feeling that many players have when their money is out on the layout.


       If you can take the emotion out of your betting-routine, you'll be better able to focus on the task at hand...making EACH throw the BEST throw that it can be.

       As Irishsetter previously mentioned, using chips at the practice rig gets you “casino ready”, so that when you're stepping up to the next level of betting, it helps you get over the "clench" you may feel by putting more money on the layout.


Practicing AFTER a Good Casino Win

I got quite a bit of e-mail after I suggested that it was a wise idea to make several at-home or in-suite practice tosses immediately AFTER registering a good in-casino win. 

The gist of most of that e-mail was that I had prescribed and consumed way too many self-administered non-ethical pharmaceuticals during the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and had obviously broken into a long forgotten stash quite recently.  Happily folks, that was never and still is not the case.

Rather, I STILL strongly recommend practicing AFTER you play a casino session (both winning ones and losing ones as well).

       It gives you an opportunity to lock-in what was working.


       Equally, it gives you the chance to work on what wasn't working, especially when it is freshest in your memory.

The world’s best golfers and baseball players do it, and we talked about it in detail in the five-part More Gain & Less Pain series (along with another forty or so ways to make your Practice Sessions more effective).

Practicing AFTER a casino session let’s you continue doing more of the correct things longer, and lets you cure some of the wrong things sooner.

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


The Mad Professor

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