If you missed Maximus/HSC-III’s absolutely outstanding
Laser Practice…Laser Perfection idea in
of this series, I would invite you to discover one of the most significant
practice-session improvement concepts that I have ever
on the heels of that excellent idea, Maximus, Jeffrey47, and I discussed some
additional practice-session uses for the laser-level that further extends its
function and efficacy. We’ve also
added some bonus material that may help to elevate your game to the next
level…and to the level beyond that one too.
jump right into the
like using the line that the laser emits to determine exactly how straight my
landing-zone runway is when I compare where I launch the dice from, to where
they first impact the backwall.
that’s a great idea. By using the
laser to shine a red line on your throwing-lane and the backwall in
relation to where you swing your arm and release the dice from, you can tell
ahead of time if the dice are going to hit SQUARE or be OFF-of-square
when they impact the backwall. It is also a great way to determine whether
the impact-point on the backwall (where the dice will be hitting) is indeed
flat, or whether that portion of the wall is still transitioning out of the
kind of throwing-lane alignment verification is especially relevant when you use
the white Pass-line markings on the table.
If the line itself is misaligned or the extension of that reference-line
actually intersects the backwall where it is still imperceptibly curved; then
the dice-impact with the backwall is obviously going to be unsquare. Using the laser to ensure that your
throwing-lane is not only
but that the dice are also intersecting the backwall
is of utmost importance.
When we watch our arm and hand
motion, the geometry we see from the perspective of our eyes in our heads is
necessarily totally screwed up because we are looking at the table, the wall,
our arm, the dice…everything, from an oblique (slanting) angle. As a result, nothing we "see" conforms
to our natural expectations for geometric
at the end of a proper toss-motion, our hand appears to our eye's oblique
viewpoint to have shifted to the inside of the table, as you view through (by
extending your gaze) to the backwall. I think we wrongly tend to try to
"correct" for this illusion, by bringing our arm toward us. Is it any wonder that our ability to
maintain consistent forward-motion that doesn't veer off track is a
repeatedly hit-and-miss proposition?
Without the laser training tool,
we're learning to toss only within a RANGE of relative alignment, but not being
trained to maintain the kind of properly-aligned perfection that Maximus and MP
are talking about.
That is one of the reasons why I
seized on Maximus’ idea in the first place. His
Practice…Laser Perfection idea had an immediate and direct
impact on my shooting consistency right from the
As Jeff just mentioned, most
players only learn to toss within a highly-variable range of being truly
and squarely aligned with the backwall.
I think it is within that “range”
that most players experience such a wide degree of performance-variance from one
hand to the next, and that is why they find it so difficult to zero in on the
one correctly-aligned toss-motion that works best on any given table. In other words, they can find the
toss-motion range within which they will sometimes have pretty
good tosses, yet it’s still too wide of a range to deliver up a
satisfyingly high degree of consistent
To be fair, you can narrow that
range almost immediately if you use my “Mirror, Mirror On The Wall” idea
that I first discovered during my 58-day “Gilligan, the Skipper, and the Mad
Professor” cruise a number of years back, and subsequently
discussed at length in “Shooting Bible – Part
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall
idea is obscenely
first used a full-length mirror so I could see a direct reflection of my entire
throwing-motion. I was
looking at my overall posture as well as my leg, torso, shoulder/arm/hand and
looking at how the dice were leaving my hand and flying towards the mirror, I
was able to see some things that I obviously hadn’t been able to view as the
thrower. It was like having a buddy
check how everything was aligned from an oncoming
so, I realized that certain segments of my arm-extension, dice-release
position, and throwing-alignment that I thought were perfect, was
just plain cockeyed.
discovered that the mere fact that the dice were managing to stay on-axis
AT ALL during some of my throws was nothing short of amazing.
saw it in the mirror, I realized that while my arm, wrist, and hand
LOOKED flat enough (from my own eyes perspective); when seen from
the oncoming mirror position, the dice were quite a bit off-kilter from
meant that the dice were leaving my hand uneven to the table surface, and
were therefore landing uneven.
Like I said, it was a miracle that they were staying on-axis as
often as they were.
immediately realized that if I went through my throwing-motion while
standing directly in front of the mirror (without actually releasing the
dice), I could determine just how “FLAT” or even the dice were in relation
to the flatness of the table-top.
In fairness though, that
“Mirror, Mirror On The Wall” idea is on the decidedly low-tech side
of the toss-alignment solution, and I’ve replaced it with the laser on my
at-home table. However, if I
have a toss-alignment problem in the casino, sometimes a quick toss-check
in front of the large mirrors in the casino washroom will uncover an
obvious and easily correctable flaw that wasn’t so obvious when I
was looking at it from my own dice-tossing point-of-view instead of the
head-on perspective that a mirror offers.
The laser-level can help you
accomplish the very same thing, but in an even more accurate way. I have found that it is through
the use of these small but incredibly effective practice-session ideas
that you can quickly elevate your current 50% or 55% on-axis
results to 60%, 70% or even higher.
Bushnell™ makes a $40
laser-level that includes a "cross-hair" laser pattern that adds a horizontal
dimension into the mix that can be used (in a limited way, as the laser must be
adjusted to put the horizontal cross-hair at each practice-range position along
the tossing arc) to even more accurately verify flat-to-the-table,
Also, it comes with a hinged base that can be placed right on your
shooting station, which eliminates the need for a tripod (or a Rube Goldberg
arrangement like I had been using with one of those little $1.99 toy laser
pointers to square up my rig).
In the meantime, here's another
home-brew approach that will get you hooked on Maximus’ laser exercises (if the
original article in Part Seven of this series already
hasn't). This idea let’s you see
just how dramatic a properly-aligned reference line can be before you
actually go out and spend your money on a high-tech
I got a piece
of 1/4" wide elastic band from the household sewing kit (used to create fitted,
gathered shirt-sleeve ends and such), but any light-colored string will do.
One end is
attached to the shooting station just behind the starting point of your toss,
and the other end is attached up above and beyond the target station at a
perfectly-square right-angle to the back wall, and at a height
allowing the string to trace approximately along your tossing arc.
won't have the laser light shining right on your hand throughout the entire arc;
you will have a localized sight-reference line to partly compensate for our
oblique (slanted) viewing position. When you see how dramatic your progress with
this low-tech version can be, you may soon find yourself racing towards Radio
Shack to pick up one or more reasonably priced
I only wish I knew about using the
laser in this context a lot sooner.
It paid for itself nearly
twenty-fold when I re-played a table where I had traditionally experienced all
kinds of backwall alignment trouble.
Because of the inordinate length of the table and the unusually high
deck-height (combined with a slightly taller rail-height); my toss-alignment was
entirely wrong. I had spent years
getting inconsistent results that were all over the board, and I was never able
to figure out the best table-position and the best shooting-posture and the best
toss-motion alignment in order to get the best, most consistent
I jury-rigged my at-home table to
replicate those conditions; then used the laser to figure out the best
shooting-lane and shooting-posture that would produce the most consistent
results. That “terrible”
table has now turned into a “terrific” money-producer. A table that I normally would have
avoided (like many other skilled dice-influencers still do), is now a
getting paranoid that I was truly setting the laser in an absolutely straight
path so that the line of the laser intersected with the backwall of my
practice-rig at a perfect 90-degree angle.
This led to several testing-methods to determine just how true the laser
was following the path of my toss; or actually, how true my toss-motion
was following the properly aligned laser line.
reason, I put a second laser on top of my main laser. That allows me to have a laser reference
for the full motion of my toss, right through to my
I also like
putting the laser parallel to the backwall and setting it to put a
downward-slanting line on the wall so it can be used as a reference point for my
toss-motion and range, especially in relation to the dice
way I've aligned the laser to be square to the target station is the same way
I'd used a simple laser-pointer to align my rig. With a T-square I marked
points on the felt that defined a 90-degree angle from the wall to the FRONT LIP
of the target station. This can be done at several different spots, left
to right, so we can then set the laser up to define different shooting-lanes of
our choosing. You just line up the beam to intersect the front-lip mark and the
mark at the base of the wall and it's then dead-on per the previously made
T-square measurements. By the way, the same is done for the shooting
station with respect to its orientation with the target
I like that double laser idea too
because it lets you
set and target different initial touch-down spots at the far end of the
table. It is also a great way to
see how “on-line” your dice are flying through the air in relation to the laser
reference line that is shining on the backwall.
more you understand what the dice are doing during all segments of the
release-through-final-outcome process; the better able you are to make
the necessary refinements and toss-alignment modifications to build a much more
I have found that using a second laser on top of the first, while tricky to
align, allows you to have a clearly defined laser guide-path for the entire
range of your toss-motion, flight-path, initial landing target, and
square-to-the-backwall reference point.
The laser's line is really the
only "out there" reference we have that converts to an accurate "in here"
sense of the true geometry comprising the 3-D spatial field we toss in.
The commonly used lines on the deck
of the table (Passline, Don’t Pass, Field box, etc.) create optical-illusion
traps for our unwary minds in generating any mechanics based on them. The laser
helps us learn and accurately define "square-to-the-wall" in terms of our
delivery rather than in terms of deceptive visual references that might
appear on a given table.
Also, the laser's vivid
luminescent line etches pretty well into our visual-recall for subsequent
practice as we wean ourselves from the laser-device between uses, and therefore
it adds a concrete element to the whole idea of visualizing "the toss."
That way, we can now vividly visualize a far more accurate
square-to-the-wall line, which properly trains our brain and muscles
accordingly, even when the laser is not in
I think it’s that last point that really made a difference in why
Maximus’ Laser Practice…Laser Perfection idea had such a dramatic and
immediate impact on my results.
visually etching the correct toss-alignment motion into my memory, it makes it
easily and instantly recallable at the casino tables.
is, I know immediately by feel AND visual confirmation if
something is off in terms of my entire toss-motion, so I’m not left wondering
whether or not it’s me or the table that is causing those wonky
off-axis or poor facial-correlation results.
I now know to an absolute certainty whether it IS or ISN’T me, and
I don’t have to waste time speculating and guessing about it.
it is me (or more correctly my toss); then I can quickly
realign my toss with total confidence.
However if it isn’t me, then I can move quickly to adapt my
(already) correctly aligned toss to suit that particular table. In doing so, I don’t get into the whole
second-guessing-myself routine that many players unnecessarily fall into
when their dice-results to not match their toss-input intentions.
it has reduced my adapting-to-a-new-table time by more than
me, the concept behind practicing with such a strict and uncompromising tool
like a laser, is so you don't have to focus and concentrate as much on
delivering an arrow-straight, perfectly aligned throw when it comes to playing
in the casino.
I go through
practice sessions where I use the laser throughout the entire session, whether I
am just working on technique, or tracking my throws, or just playing a virtual
session; and the laser verifies accuracy on each and every toss. As a result, my in-casino toss is almost
always perfectly aligned because everything about it is almost entirely on
that’s exactly what I’m talking about.
The laser provides tangible evidence and visual confirmation that I’m
doing everything correctly on my practice table. When I’m in the casino, my toss-motion
is SO automatic that I rarely even have to think about it and I can focus
entirely on adapting my toss to that particular table.
use the dice-leveler (pictured below) as a tool. Basically I glued the smallest level I
could find to a pair of dice that are glued together (à la DiceDoc’s
challenge is obviously in reading the level’s bubble; but if you can, this tool
is quite illuminating as far as seeing how level (flat) you keep the dice to as
you go through your entire toss-motion.
haven’t yet tried
but in using the cross-hair (vertical line and horizontal-line) laser that
Jeffrey was talking about, I found that I was able to achieve that
leveling-effect without having to glue a tiny level onto DiceDoc’s
DiceBarrel. However, where I think
this tiny glued-level idea could be really effective is with shooters who
experience a lot of off-axis sideways hopping, popping, and scattering on their
initial-touchdown contact with the table.
fact, as I look back at the “small
increments of toss-motion alignment”
exercise that Maximus outlined in Part Seven of this series; I see where
tool could take a good exercise and make it even better.
am convinced that extended laser practice offers a very solid opportunity to
produce a consistently straight and level throw. I know it has helped me achieve a degree
of toss after toss consistency that I didn’t think was even possible.
have to agree with that. I want to
thank both Maximus and Jeffrey47 for sharing these
practice-session uses for the laser-level, as well as unselfishly imparting
into how they turn their current practice efforts into future dice-influencing
Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in
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