and Knives and Uzis, Oh My
A Detroit Road Trip
a heated payout dispute breaks out at one of Detroits craps tables, I half expect it
to be resolved in a gun battle.
the shootings, stabbings, muggings and beatings have so far been restricted to the parking
lots and entrances of Detroits three casinos, while the in-casino problems are
generally restricted to just brandishing weapons and not actually discharging them. I think its a sign of urban-gangsta respect
that they wait until stepping outside the gambling-temple before anyone is actually
killed or maimed.
before anyone gets upset and tells me that more than 640,000 Americans have been shot with
illegal handguns since John Lennon was killed; I have to tell you that I am NOT against
the right to bear arms. I'm just against the idea of discharging them at any of the craps
tables that I happen to be at. Welcome to
we jump into the Darkside shooting that I did on this current trip, I want to rewind to
one of my previous Detroit sessions where I was shooting as a Rightsider. To my mind, it sets the stage and the tone for
this segment of my gaming-expedition.
was already forty-five minutes into my hand at Motor City Casino, and the dice were
conducting themselves like a pair of perfectly behaved twins. My buy-in had more than doubled and the crew was
working harder than Santas little elves.
next roll was an Easy Eight.
man, I had hoppers on the 3/1, 2/2, 2/3, 2/6, 4/1, 2/4, 3/5, 4/5, 6/3, 4/6, and
these three bro's here only had Hops on 3/1, 2/3, 3/3, 4/5, 6/3 and the 5/5, so why you
payin him with MY money. Where's my 3/5
that's 'spose to be there man? Dass ma
PAY my Hoppin 3/5 NOW before I get my gat and pop one in your ugly ass!"
looked down at the other end of the table where the cascade of venom was coming from. I suppressed a smirk at the fact that the victim
of the missing bet could stuff the word mutha into a sentence even more
than I could. He opted for using it in
between each and every word, whereas I usually prefer to use it for mid-sentence emphasis
and end-of-statement punctuation.
I mention that I had been tossing for forty-five minutes by this point? While the time element is true, the actual number
of rolls was not really reflected in that. Since
there was such a delay between nearly every roll, I had time to count all of the Hop and
Prop wagers on the layout. It was averaging
anywhere between 80 to 110 hops and props that had to be set up and/or replaced and/or
tapped (as a sign to surveillance that they had been re-bought) after each and
though, I probably had a good thirty-five rolls under my belt by that time, which
reflected the truly staggering efficiency of the crew.
Once the dispute was settled without bloodshed, I managed to toss out
another ten or eleven numbers before the REAL mo-fo showed up to end the hand.
mention that scenario because it is illustrative of the game-pace that youll often
run into during various times of the day and night in Detroit.
lets fast-forward to my current Shooting from The Dont excursion.
Brief Introduction to Detroit Casinos
legislature approved casino gaming in 1996. Three winners were selected in a contentious
multi-year process that still rages in the states court system today. All three casinos opened in what were supposed to
be temporary locations, however, all of them have expressed strong interest in
keeping and expanding their current locations instead of building afresh in new locales.
in the cavernous former IRS Building near the mouth of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, this
casino is the classiest and the largest of Motowns three casinos. It also sports the widest number of tables, the
biggest range of bet-minimums and the best choice of restaurants. Although its not always easy to get in on a
$5 game; and $10 tables are the norm; youll have very little problem getting enough
personal comfort space at a $25 or $50 layout except on the weekend evenings.
MGM Grand has the least prop and hop action of the Big Three, it does have the most
professional and efficient of crews in town.
in the party-central area of Motown, Greektown draws the youngest crowd which also happens
to be the drunkest crowd, especially on the weekend.
Though they may not know how to play the game as proficiently as many
old-timers might prefer; they more than make up for that shortcoming with enthusiasm and
you are still playing when the club-goers from G-Ts Club Rapture descend on
the casino, prepare to be ensconced by countless numbers of barely 21 year-old, fully
lathered Detroit dolls. Try as I might, I
couldnt find the actual assembly-line that manufactures them
but they sure did
produce a lot of those svelte-chassised hi-revving 1994 units!
Casino also has a Crapless Craps table that has been continually kind to the Mad Professor
ever since they first opened it in late 2002. Ive
frequently used Greektown as my northern garrison during the still-unfinished on-again,
off-again Crapless Craps Tour Across America.
They also offer the high-vig Fire-bet, but as with many other casinos;
action on that particular wager continues to decline precipitously, so dont be
surprised if it disappears completely.
you do most of your Detroit-area table-raids before the gang-bangers get out of bed at the
crack of noon or before the party-crowd arrives after 9 pm; then youll often find
only semi-crowded conditions at Greektown.
high-end VIP Pantheon Club contains an outstanding craps table that is usually set at
either $25 or $50. That layout offers some of
the lowest-energy backwall rebounding that Ive ever experienced on a regulation
table. I love it and its neutral
rolling characteristics are nothing short of amazing.
If I was going to do a North American tour of all the high-end VIP craps
tables; the Pantheon Club layout would be the place to start
its THAT good!
average, youll find the most $5 tables for the longest periods of time at Motorcity. By the time both MGM and Greektown have long since
raised their limits to $10, $15 and $25, youll often find at least one or more $5
games still going strong at Mo-City.
with those low limits comes high crowding, and the most hop and prop action
that I have seen anywhere in the Continental United States.
Yes, that statement includes Gary and Hammond and Joliet and Elgin. As far as I can judge, Detroits Motorcity
Casino is the undisputed Hop and Prop capital of the universe.
You will find
craps tables on the second, third (non-smoking) and fourth floors of this place. The 4th floor Signature Club craps
table is usually set at either $25 or $50. On
the weekend evenings, it often ratchets up to $100 by 8 or 9 pm.
M-C also has
some of the noisiest craps table north of the Mason-Dixon line with nearly every Passline,
Field, Place-bet, Hop and Prop winner being celebrated by numerous players doing impromptu
mock sound-effect bursts of Uzis firing into the air.
Its like being at a Jamaican wedding.
I kid you not!
run into a speck of heat from any of the crew, boxmen or pit-dwellers. However, be prepared for a lot of players getting
carried away with interminable voodoo mumbo-jumbo schooling of the dice. The cheaper the table, the longer it takes. The higher the bet-minimum, the faster the dice
move around the table. You dont need
two guesses to figure out which tables that I gravitated towards.
We Left Off Last Time
of this road trip, our Casino Windsor escapades saw us garner:
profit of $178 per hand (a 54.7% return-on-investment) from the $25 Dont-Pass with
12x ($300) Odds bet.
The $290 All-Across-Lay
bet generated a net-average of $101 in per-hand profit for a 34.8% return-on-investment.
in Detroit, I wanted to focalize my attention on eliminating the two specific numbers that
had been most instrumental in reducing the net-profit from those across-the-board
Adapt and Overcome
tracking which box-numbers were most frequently showing up unintentionally, thereby
bearing the primary responsibility for most of my lay-bet losses, and then eliminating them
from my All-Across Lay-wagers; I figured I could reduce inadvertent mid-hand Lay-bet
losses by about 70%.
I did that primitive lay-number-loss in-casino tracking at Casino Windsor:
I laid six $1
chips face-up and side-by-side in my rail space to represent the six box-numbers.
Each time I
inadvertently threw one of those box-numbers and knocked off one of my All-Across
lay-bets, I put an additional $1 chip onto its corresponding pile.
accidentally hitting and unintentionally knocking off ~1.4 Lay-bets during each hand.
At the end of
each of my eight Casino Windsor sessions, I tallied up the unmeditated hit-rate for each
If you use
this method, and one or more of your lay-bet-loss tracking-piles gets to be five
white-chips high, then simply replace the five white $1 chips with one $5 chip and
continue to add on $1 chips until the stack gets to represent ten inadvertent lay-bet-loss
hits for a particular number, in which case you would remove the five additional $1
cheques that are currently stacked on the $5 chip and simply replace them with another $5
At the end of
your session, make a note of how many of each box-numbers you inadvertently hit. When you tabulate those totals across several
sessions, youll get a pretty good sense of where the majority of your Lay-bet losses
are going to.
Of the 66
unintentional Lay-bet box-number losses that I incurred over eight Casino Windsor
sessions; the Lay-6 and Lay-8 accounted for almost 70% of them. Clearly something had to be done about that!
decided to eliminate those two biggest Lay-bet culprits from my All-Across bet regimen,
UNLESS one of them became the PL-Point, in which case I would simply change my dice-set to
specifically reflect the fact that either the 6 or 8 was now my anti-PL-Point 7-Out
PL-Point is 6 or 8, then I now use the Parallel-Sixes (P-6) set which only has one each of
either of those numbers on-axis. Combined
with its O/A compliment of four 7s, I knew that my chances of registering a
7-Out win before knocking off either my PL-Point or its Lay-bet twin, was greatly
arrangement for the P-6 set is to arrange them in an All-7s configuration (6/1, 3/4,
my PL-Point is 5 or 9, then I use the Straight-Sixes (S-6) arrangement in its own
All-7s (6/1, 5/2, 1/6, 2/5) configuration.
On-axis 5s or 9s on the S-6 set, it usually makes quick work in terms of
finding a 7-Out before I can do too much unintentional box-number damage to my lay-bets or
If the PL-Point
is neither a 6 or 8; then,
I take all
the money that I formerly laid against the 6 and 8, and instead, heap it on the Lay-5 and
This does two
reduces my chances of unintentionally hitting those two O/A 6s and 8s with the
same S-6 set that have thus far reduced my profit by accounting for nearly 70% of my
simultaneously increases my net-profit on the two box-numbers that I know I can avoid
the most with the S-6 set; so I make the Lay-5 and Lay-9 become my primary
my Darkside betting for the three Detroit area casinos shaped up like this:
kept my Dont Pass line-bets at the $25 base level for this entire segment of the
I used maximum Odds no matter what my anti-Point was.
modified my $290 All-Across-Lay into what I would dub the
this portion of my Darkside shooting experiment, my Lay-bets were now re-configured as
$50 each against the 4 and 10. At 1:2, each
number pays $25 when you 7-Out.
$90 each against the 5 and 9. At 2:3, each
number pays $60 when you 7-Out.
reflect my wanting to avoid as many unintentional lay-bet losers as possible, I foresaked
betting against both the 6 and 8, except when either of those was my DP-Point.
either the 6 or 8 became the PL-Point, then I backed my DP line-bet with full-Odds as well
as laying $60 against its sister number and immediately switching to the P-6 dice-set to
beckon a quick 7-Out. At 5:6, each $60
lay-bet against the 6 or 8 pays $50 when you 7-Out.
too, when either the 6 or 8 became the Point, I reduced the 5 and 9 back to their normal
levels of $60 each.
cover all those numbers except your DP-Point, youll be looking at putting out either
$190, $230 or $280 on the layout (depending on your DP-Point) plus a vigorish ranging from
$4 to $9 to cover the commission.
The Journey, Not The Destination
Im wheeling my Newport Pagnell chariot into MotorCitys parking lot with Bowling
For Soup using every one of the 800 watts that it takes to do aural justice to Ohio
back to Texas when I pull in beside a quartet of Fiddy-cent look-alikes
from 8-Mile Road as they bail from their spinner-equipped first-gen Escalade.
a second, Ill admit that I considered looking for another parking space
different zip code
but when one of them flashed a brand-appreciative diamond-toothed
smile, I realized he had more value riding in his mouth than I had parked on my set of
Avon rubber, so all five of us headed towards the casino entrance together while
discussing the not-so-nuanced differences between ostrich, alligator, armadillo, and
stingray upholstery versus traditional Bridge of Weir leather.
turns out that two of them were engineering-majors who could intelligently discuss the
latest developments in foamed structural amorphous alloys and multi-transitioning
composites, not to mention the fact that all four of them were craps players too; so the
afternoon turned out to be a conversationally serendipitous one as well as being
Man Knows What Hes Doing
Im Betting What Hes Betting
only uncrowded table at Motorcity was set at $25. All
five of us joined two other players who were already in action there.
first hand was okay. It took four post
Point-establishing rolls before I 7d-out. Three
out of those four rolls belonged to the 6 and 8 (the other was a double-pitched S-6 set
second hand took slightly less rolls, and again the only box-numbers that showed up were
the 6 or 8. My decision to eliminate those
two numbers from my Mostly-Across lay-bet play was already showing its efficacy.
third hand ran a bit longer than the first two hands combined, but most of those
point-cycle outcomes fell into the trash (2, 3, 11 and 12) category, so the
Lay-bets against my now-narrowed range of box-numbers (4, 5, 9, and 10) were left
quickly started to like the reduced frustration and increased profitability that my newly
narrowed range of Lay-bets offered compared to the amount of money that I would have lost
to inadvertent hits against the Lay-6 and Lay-8 bets if I had stubbornly clung to the All-Across-Lay
took a couple of rotations around the table before my 8 Mile pals realized what it was I
was aiming to do with my active darkside wagers. After
getting their Do-side bets whacked for the fourth time, one of them piped up and said,
man knows what hes doing
Im betting what hes betting. With that, all three of his accomplices followed
mood almost immediately changed. I
7d-Out on the next roll as if on cue. As
the dice made their quick lap around the table, they asked a stream of questions related
to Darkside betting and I obliged with answers while steadily reminding them that we were
still in a casino after all, so any type of betting still involved considerable
risk and there was always an overriding threat of loss for any money that was ventured on
another two or three dozen quick DP wins, the two original players left in search of
warmer climes since they ardently refused to switch over to take advantage of what was
clearly manifesting itself as the mother of all cold streaks.
their credit, they each tried their hand at darkside-shooting. Though it proved to be only marginally successful
(as they continually knocked off most of their Lay-bets before finally 7ing-Out),
they understood the idea of using the most powerful number (the 7) to clobber all the
other numbers on the layout. I studiously
avoided betting anything on them for the most part, but I did make a token DP line-wager
every time the player to my immediate right got the dice.
It wasnt absolutely necessary, but I didnt want it to become an
issue. The pit-guys were showing very little
interest in the game other than to do a quick chip-rail check every once in a while.
session stretched right up to the casinos evening shift-change before all five of us
headed off to a fully comped dinner at M-Cs Iridescence. They were a great bunch of guys; I mean, an
appreciation for fine cars, fine women, fine food and the fine game of craps; what more
does it take to make for good dinner conversation?
had what seemed like an endless stream of Lobster Martinis until the Atlantic Ocean
called to let us know they were running short, so we dug into the main course of
coffee-bean dusted and cognac splashed Stockyard rib-eyes, and then finished everything
off with Marsala-drizzled pannacotta and
dinner-mates wouldnt even let me contribute to the generous 30% tip that was left
for the wait-staff. They insisted that there
was no way they were going to let me spend any of my profit after providing them with so
much of theirs. I didnt put up too much
resistance to that kind of logic.
Casinos 5-Day Trial
a summary of how I did with my modified Mostly-Across-Lay experiment:
minutes for the dice to cycle around back to me, however this number is very misleading in
that I moved around from table to table very frequently and I often had a spot
saved or reserved at two, three or more tables at the same time.
If I had to
patiently wait for the dice to cycle around at one table, then the cyclic rate would have
been just over one hour per shooting opportunity.
addition, I mostly sought out the highest denomination table in these casinos simply
because they were the sparsest populated.
Dont Pass w/Full Odds
$230 or $280 Mostly-Across-Lay
(6). In each case, I retained the dice, and
replaced my DP line-bet along with full Odds against the second PL-Point. There were no
occasions during this experiment when I unintentionally repeated the anti-Point twice.
& Four (104)
accounts for the total number of times I had a DP-Point to beat. That is, the 98 original Points plus the 6
times I unintentionally repeated the Point and inadvertently caught a second Point to
defeat as well.
Win from DP w/Odds:
Win from DP w/Odds:
$113 (based on 104 total hands)
averaged over the actual 98 dice-handle-hands that it took to generate this income,
the average increases to $120/turn-with-the-dice.
is the total number of times that I threw an unintended box-number during the point-cycle
which knocked off that particular Lay-bet. I
did not replace any lost box-number lay-bets during a hand.
If I didnt have an
active bet on a box-number that just rolled, then I did not count it as an unintentional
kept track of these numbers as set out above.
Mostly-Across box-numbers per hand.
This figure does not include the six times when I accidentally repeated the PL-Point, nor
does it include the 98 initial point-establishing rolls.
Instead, it specifically includes any mid-roll point-cycle outcomes that
extinguished any of my active Mostly-Across lay-bets.
represents a substantial reduction from the 1.4 box-numbers per hand that I was
inadvertently throwing in Windsor.
was my average loss-per-bet where a Lay-bet gets unintentionally knocked off.
This was my average Lay-bet loss-per hand and accounts for the fact that on
average I only knocked off 0.43 Lay-bets per hand.
Net-Win from Lay-Bets:
By eliminating the lions share of unintentional lay-bet losses (by mostly
eliminating the 6 and 8 from my betting regimen unless one or the other was my DP-Point);
my win-rate came much closer to its theoretical perfect-world potential earnings.
This is the total net-win from my DP w/full-Odds income when combined with
the $190, $230 or $280 Mostly-Across-Lay-bet revenue.
wont get into all the places that I eat at when Im in Detroit, but here are a
few highlights worthy of mentioning:
Alley Grille Steakhouse has some extraordinary charbroiled Kurobuta Porkchops that raises
the act of eating swine to a whole new level.
Grapevine Café has the famous 16-ounce S.O.B burger, where if you eat it all; dessert is
on them. From personal experience I can
highly recommend the free strawberry shortcake, the apple pie, the carrot cake, and the
raspberry cheesecake. Did I mention that I really like burgers?
some of the classics
Brown Derby are so classic, a first-time visitor is almost obligated to try out the
items that have made the Derby famous for all these years.
Starting with a Cobb Salad, intermezzoed with tableside Steak Diane and
finished with Upside Down Grapefruit Cake; makes your visit complete, albeit, youll
probably be too full to play with any alacrity at the craps table.
Club Cards and Comps
Players Club is now fully linked to most of the other casinos in the MGM-Mirage family. That means comps are not only transferable
between each of them; it also means that you dont have to re-establish
yourself at one of them even if youve never played there before. Since your play-history is instantly reviewable,
you can get the same level of comps here that you are used to getting at their other
properties even if youve never visited Detroit before.
basic Club Greektown players card is pretty much the same as youll
experience at any other casino, while their Torch Club card gets you access
the VIP Pantheon Club high-limit room from Sunday through Thursday as well as giving you
priority cashier access and VIP valet parking.
youll want the Pantheon Club card in order to gain round-the-clock
access to the Pantheon Club high-limit room and their premium free food
Greektown is a member of
the Sault Tribe's Kewadin Casinos family, which includes five other gaming properties in
northern Michigan (Sault Ste. Marie, St. Ignace, Manistique, Hessel, and Christmas). That means that your players points are recognized
and redeemable at any of their other properties, but just as importantly, you can use your
rating at any of their other casinos to snag yourself some comps at Greektown even if
youve never played there before.
is your usual run of the mill players club. However,
once you receive VIP status, you simply swipe your card at their Café, Buffet or Deli,
and your food order is fully comped; so there is never a need to ask for a comp or wonder
if you have enough accumulated play. Once
you reach that level, you just swipe and eat.
Club Elite status adds free Tigers, Lions and Pistons tickets to your
entertainment and sporting event menu as well as the usual de rigueur premium offerings. It also gives you access to a fine 12 craps
table in their Signature Club high-roller area.
A special note
about Motor Citys Club Metro Coinless concept.
As many casinos
convert their slot machines to coinless operations, they adopt the TiTo ticket-in,
ticket-out method. At M-C, they are adding a ticketless
feature to their coinless slots whereby your slot credits are credited right back to your
P.I.N.-protected slot card. The reason I
mention this is because they are also considering converting some of their table games,
including craps, to this cashless method. Not
only does it speed up buying into a game (because actual cash does not have to be counted
down), and fewer game-interrupting chip-fills are needed.
Well keep an eye on this idea to see if and when it is adopted at the
I actually spent much more time in Detroit than I had planned to.
budgeted just two days of my time, but all the tables that I played on were rolling so
exceptionally well; that I extended the Detroit leg of this trip to three days, then to
four days and finally to five full days.
Method was generating money much more efficiently than I had anticipated. While my daily profit was in line with what I was
hoping for; the ease at which it came was not. I
thought Id have to fight nearly twice as long at much more crowded tables to make
anywhere near as much as I actually did.
I left Detroit
in the rearview mirror with a renewed sense of profit-making enthusiasm. The lower-population shooting opportunities that
its high-end tables offered, suggested that a hasty return definitely needed to be
Good Luck & Good
Skill at the Tables…and in Life.
The Mad Professor
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