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Ask the Mad Professor
Part 15

(read part I here or Part 2 here or Part 3 here or here for part 4 for here for part5 or here for part 6 or here for part 7or here for part 8 or here for part 9 or here for part 10 or here for part 11 or here for part 12 here for part 14)


I’ve been to Vegas three times in the past six months.  My Precision-Shooting has improved to the point where my entire trip is paid for and I get to come home with a little more money than I went with.  That’s the good part, but the bad part is that I’ve also tried to get into the Rain Nightclub at The Palms three times, but have never been admitted. I would really like to get in on a Saturday night, so what would you advise?



First let me congratulate you on your Precision-Shooting success.  The improvements that you have made are tangible, and the efforts are now beginning to pay dividends.  Well done!

As far as trying to get into Rain on Saturday night, for most people, it is a lesson in bouncer know-how. If you sometimes play craps at The Palms, then the Pit Boss, Casino Host or Casino Services department can hook you up with a VIP Pass that will get you past the WWE wannabe at the door.  From there, you can go directly up to the club's 3rd floor VIP lounge. You can look down from your perch, eye some candy, and head past the ring of fire, and cross the moat towards the dance floor where the real action is.

If you aren’t a Palms player, then simply go to “E-Vegas.com” and print out a free Line Pass.  Though it won’t get you into the VIP Lounge, it will still let you bypass the waiting throngs and get you into the club.


I’ve seen this situation mentioned before, but no one provided a solution.  In my regular casino they changed the rules so that if you don’t have a table-minimum bet on the previous shooter, then you can’t shoot the dice.  I hate betting on random-rollers, and especially throwing money away on them just to get the chance to shoot the dice.  What should I do?



First, you want to ascertain whether or not the player to your immediate right (the player the dice will go to before they come to you), is intending to shoot the dice.  Some players choose to pass the dice, so you may have to bet on the player two or more spots from where you are currently standing.

Once you determine who the next nearest shooter will be (prior to you), the easiest, low-cost solution is to make a doey-don’t bet (an equal amount of money wagered on the Pass Line as well as the Don’t Pass line).  You make this bet when the dice come to the next nearest shooter to you.

Depending on the table minimum, you MAY want to hedge your PL & DP-bets with a $1 wager straight-up on the 12-midnight.  On a $5 table, this is NOT a good hedge, while at the $25 level it begins to make a lot of sense from an “insurance” standpoint.  In any event, once the Point is established, you are home free, your money is safe, and you should be able to throw the dice when they come to you.



I’ve e-mailed a number of dicesetting instructors that advertise their services on the web.  I’ve read as much as I can, and I’ve bought a lot of books, but haven’t had the time to read them yet.  Anyway, I’ve asked them if they think I need lessons, and each one of them have said that I do.  What do you think?



Never ask your barber if you need a haircut. Perhaps you may want to dedicate some time to reading the books that you’ve already got, before investing more money in lessons.  There is SO MUCH free stuff on this website, as well as a few other sites that have some good material too.  Although you didn’t mention how much time that you spend PRACTICING, I suspect that your busy schedule keeps that task to an absolute minimum.

My best advice would be to echo what Heavy and Irishsetter would recommend, and that is to learn as much as you possibly can for free.  Then dedicate yourself to honing your skills on at at-home practice rig.  After three or four months of continual study and continual practice, if you still feel that your game could use some improvement, by all means you could consider taking some lessons.  Just remember that whatever they teach you, you will still have to practice until you puke if you want to get really good.


I noticed that you were strangely quiet on the Message Boards regarding the A & E show “Take This Job”.   What did you think of how it depicted dicesetters, and what did you think of everyone’s throw?



My General Thoughts

For dicesetters who prefer to RAISE their profile instead of flying BELOW the casinos radar, I would invite you to read:

Okay, Who Cooked the Golden Goose?  Part I
Okay, Who Cooked the Golden Goose? Part II
Banning Players…Can’t Happen…Won’t Happen…Ooops!
Keeping A Good Thing Going
Blasphemy…courtesy of The Mad Professor

You have to realize that when you combine ego and money, some people’s decision-making process takes a backseat to greed and self-aggrandizement.   Those articles pretty well sum up my feelings on that entire subject. 

Whooping It Up

The boys certainly were whooping it up for the cameras, and that may have been BECAUSE of the cameras.  My experience is that when you “high five” the shooter while he hasn’t completed his hand, you move him out of position and possibly out of mindset.  If they are teaching that kind of behavior in their classes, I can see why more of their students AREN’T successful.  On the other hand, if they only “grandstand” when they have an audience, well that says something completely different about their self-esteem, doesn’t it.

If the film-crew was moving them out of position to get the shot, that is one thing, but intentionally moving six to ten feet from where you are successfully shooting just to bump bellies and swap saliva with your compadrés is similar to the showboating that Sharpshooter was WELL-KNOWN for just a couple of years ago when he would loudly call out his intended roll beforehand. 

In fact, that pimp-struttin’, trash-talkin’, shot-callin’ was prominently talked about in the PARR promotional material that was sent out to prospective students a couple of years ago.  I know that both Dom and Jerry P. went public about 18 months ago, and said that they had reined in that sort of outrageous high-jinx.  It was at that time that Dominator specifically said, and I quote, “Keeping a low-profile is THE ABSOLUTE BEST WAY not to kill the golden goose”. 

Of course, holding seminars in the casinos and filming your skills for a national TV audience in not the best way to fly under the radar, but IT IS the best way to raise your marketing profile with potential students.  I suppose that some people think that it’s okay to kill the golden goose as long as they can make a few bucks by pimping it out along the way.  Sometimes the pimp wears a fur coat and a green-felt fedora with a big purple ostrich-feather sticking out of it, and sometimes they just wear a golf-shirt with their company logo on it.

The fact that, to a man, each one of those same gaming-personalities say that the corporations would NEVER, EVER even CONSIDER changing ANYTHING about the game of craps is absolute and complete...CRAP...and they know it's crap too!

They will continue saying that even beyond the point where casinos start to take stronger, more widespread action against advantage players.  Telling the truth DOES NOT help to sell books or seminars if the truth is going to hurt your dicesetting sales and marketing efforts.

The A&E Dice-Throws

As to how they actually threw the dice, well, I never thought that I would be quoting “Mr. V” (of Message Board flame-fame) in a positive way, but here it goes.  Mr. V in discussing that A & E show, wrote:

Ĝ       “The players were more like nerdy frat boys on a panty raid than serious gamblers.”

Ĝ       “And that…throw: my god, the dice just came flying off the back wall!”

Ĝ       “Even Scoblete, the self-reporting best shooter ever, looked mediocre, his throw was just so-so.”

Ĝ       “I've seen more dead cats in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant.”

I was also surprised at the speed and, dare I say, relative randomness that the dice rebounded off of the backwall.  The rollbacks on most of the shots were quite substantial.  By way of example, the right-dice may hit the backwall and rollback 8 or 10 inches, while the left-dice would rollback anywhere from 12 to 18 inches.   I would classify that as HOPEFUL-shooting, and not even close to Precision-Shooting

For the most part, the only time that the two dice remained together was when they were in the shooters hand.  They were definitely NOT “matched, mirror-like, or glue-like” in either their mid-flight journey or when they came to a full and complete stop at their final destination. 

I can see now why some folks talk about a “percentage-throw” instead of a Precision-Throw.  Perhaps they are correct in suggesting that they can only influence one out of 43 rolls.  With those kind of high-energy rebounds, that 1-in-43 number seems downright likely.

On the other hand, the Dicecoach had a much gentler, less erratic toss.  I think when you combine an easy-going attitude with highly-practiced skill and iron-willed discipline, you get a more confident and relaxed result with your Precision-Shooting.

I also liked Hardways toss from straight out at the end of the table.  The classic “Yuri Konenenko” style is a formidable weapon if you master it (while adjusting backspin and adapting it to various layouts) from that position.

Adapting to Tables

It’s critically important for you to remember that ALL of the actual professional players out there are able to compensate for, then adjust and adapt to various table layouts.  It was clear that they had all played at Gold Coast and Sunset Station many, many, MANY times before this footage was ever shot.  With that in mind, you would think that these would be some of the most well-known or “dialed-in” tables for them insofar as their shooting ability was concerned.  If that was the case, I would hate to think how they would fair on a layout that they hadn’t played on previously.

To be fair, the presence of a film-crew may have added to their stress, but in some ways that is akin to having three Table Supervisors, two Pit Bosses, one Shift Manager and three security dudes (the ones in suits, not blazers or uniforms) watching intently as you shoot the lights out on a hot roll.  If having an audience brought about performance-anxiety, how do they handle the heat of a casino that sweats the money like James Brown at his parole hearing?

I’ve seen Frank Scoblete shoot before and his toss was pretty much the same as you saw on the TV segment.  Though he may THINK he’s the best shooter, I’ll tell you what others are too polite and politically-correct to say, and that is that Frank probably isn’t even in the Top Thirty, and if he is, then there is a huge, and I mean a freakin’ HUGE gap between the Top Fifteen and the rest of the pack.  Don’t get me wrong, he is an outstanding writer, but his dice-skills are mediocre at best.

The Dead Cat and Other Sedentary Creatures

The people who belittle the Dead Cat Bounce are most likely the ones who can’t consistently deliver it.  Since they can’t seem to get the hang of it, they settle for “percentage-throwing” and HOPE for the best, as opposed to the high-percentage of on-axis/primary-face outcomes with Precision-Shooting.

When I replay the various tosses, I see some off-the-backwall rebounding that would make a racketball player proud. 

Point, Then 7-Out

While all of us occasionally roll a Point-then-7-Out, the collective frustration of that TV group seemed to indicate a “Here we go again” sort of mindset, where they indicate that it happens to them more often than not.   The collective annoyance and disappointment that most of them showed (except for the Dicecoach) is NOT what one would expect from a group of professionals (especially clothed in their self-promotional “I’m a professional instructor” garb).  

Their expressions were downright funereal in nature, and as our friend Heavy would say, “the crap between their ears” and their collective negativism had “we lose a lot, and we lose often” written all over it.

Again, we ALL have bad rolls once in a while, but their aggravation and irritation was a sure sign that they lack the cool-headed professionalism that it takes to make a consistent profit off of PLAYING this game as apposed to making a consistent profit WRITING ABOUT IT or GIVING SEMINARS about it.  If their writing-money or their seminar revenue allows them to afford to continue playing craps, then they should probably say so (just as Frank did a couple of years back).

I would say that if the haphazard results that they were getting on the TV show is indicative of their real-world results, then I can see why they have to continue selling various wares in their real jobs.

WHEN It Changes, Not IF It Changes

While ONE event (even a nationally televised one) won't result in immediate wholesale changes, the cumulative effect of an ever-higher public profile of the skill will not be ignored by the casinos.

Now for those of you who say that the casinos changed the 3:2 payout for blackjack to a 6:5 payout (a TINY little 40% move in favor of the house) because of GREED and NOT because of advantage players, you can also use the same excuse for them going from single-decks to 8-deck shoes, no mid-shoe entry, shallow penetration and limiting betting ranges.

Whether you attribute it to greed or game-protection or good business practices or whatever, it doesn't really matter. The result is the same...they will take away an advantage as soon as they identify it as one (or where they suspect that an advantage MIGHT be gained).

When you heavily promote the fact that you can get an advantage over the casino, and I am talking about ANY advantage, they will close that loophole tightly, NEVER TO BE OPENED AGAIN!

You have to understand that most people (regular players who lose a lot anyway) will not complain about the changes, just as they didn't complain when all of the changes to BJ came about.

A Final Thought 

If someone is telling you that the casinos would never, ever dare change the sacrosanct game of craps, you may want to look a little deeper to see if he has a vested interest in the message that he is trying to sell you.

There’s still a ton of e-mail in the cyber-box, but it will have to wait until next time.  Until then,

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

The Mad Professor

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