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Ask the Mad Professor
Part 7

(read part I here or Part 2 here or Part 3 here or here for part 4 or here for part5 or here for part 6  )

At the annual class Christmas party, a kindergarten teacher was receiving gifts from her pupils.   The florist's son handed her a gift.  She shook it, held it overhead, and said, "I bet I know what it is - some flowers."  "That's right," the boy said, "but how did you know?" "Oh, just a wild guess," she said.

The next pupil was the candy-store owner's daughter. The teacher held her gift overhead, shook it, and said, "I bet I can guess what it is – a box of candy. “That's right, but how did you know?" asked the girl. "Oh, just a wild guess," said the teacher.

The next gift was from the son of the liquor-store owner. The teacher held it over her head, but it was leaking. She touched a drop of the leakage with her finger and touched it to her tongue. "Is it wine?" she asked.  "No," the boy replied.   The teacher repeated the process, touching another drop of the leakage to her tongue. "Is it champagne?" she asked.  "No," the boy replied.   The teacher then said, "I give up. What is it?"  The boy replied, "A puppy!"

The e-mail bag contained a few negative questions and comments over the Christmas Holidays.   Perhaps not everyone is in that giving and loving mood this year.


I read where you were talking up the Four Queens Hotel in Las Vegas.  What a loser.   This place is a dump.  I was there with a group of shooters a couple of months ago.   The only way I would stay here is if my other choice is a campground in the desert. This is one place that it doesn't matter how much you win on the tables or machines...you are still a big loser. I don't even think the sleazy escort services would send a whore to me if I was staying there again.



Generally when I talk about a specific hotel/casino, I am talking about Craps PLAYING conditions.  Unless I speak about their specific restaurants or rooms, or suites, or comps, or valet parking or shows or attractions; I am usually talking about playing craps in a casino, not doing a Frommer’s Travel Report for the Travel Network. 

I stand by what I originally said about the 4Q’s.  Their two tables are some of the most perfect tables for MY shooting.  The dealers are a little spotty, as are some of the box-people, but if I was to choose only ONE casino, and ONE table to play at, I would pick theirs.  Oh, by the way, good luck and good health to you and your wife with those higher-priced Strip hookers.


I hate reading your long articles.  There’s just too much information that I have to pick through.   Is it possible to take the essential stuff and just list the important things?



Just like the commandments, there are a few essential things in life and in craps that will keep you out of trouble.  However, avoiding trouble doesn’t necessarily lead you into success.  Reading a “menu-style” list may help to summarize what is important, but that is like saying that the epic novel “War and Peace” is about, well… war and peace.  It’s true of course, but that didn’t enrich your knowledge one little bit did it?  If you can’t read and absorb my articles, then I wish you “good luck” in all your future casino pursuits, because unfortunately “good skill” may elude you.



I’ve read a lot of stuff written by you and Heavy about tipping.   Both he and you think that it creates some kind of positive vibes from the dealers, and that they are more likely to make “mistakes” in your favor.  This whole tipping anybody who can walk and chew gum at the same time has gotten way out of hand everywhere, especially in Las Vegas.  I think the both of you are nuts or full of shit, or both.  If a dealer cheats on a payoff in your favor, the both of you are most likely to be caught, and you could be charged with conspiracy in trying to rip-off the casino.  What are you going to do if your ass ends up in jail?  How much do you think your tip is worth then?



If you don’t feel comfortable tipping, then don’t.   However, you can expect to be treated like “just another tourist” that they’ll grind into casino dust.  We are not conspiring with any dealers whatsoever.  Rather, we tip for good service.  It may be a sad commentary about modern society, but in a money-driven town like Las Vegas, it is the common-denominator.  If a dealer makes a mistake in his rush to pay-off a winning bet, then it is not incumbent upon me to point it out.  If a dealer books a bet or retroactively refuses a bet at an appropriate time that benefits the player, then that’s okay too. 

Further, box-men are more likely to settle a dispute in a players favor if they are a good-tipper.  I rarely run into disputes because my bets are clearly stated at the right time in the bet-paying/bet-placing process.  Most of those problems are created when players try to bet or alter their Place bets out of turn.  If you are pleasant towards a dealer, and you call out your bets at the appropriate time, then less confusion will prevail.  Trying to set-up bets out of order leads to most of the confusion at a craps table.  It may be that most players do not know that there is a particular sequence that a dealer is supposed to follow; or whether they are too enthusiastic in getting their bets booked by the dealer.   Good dealers appreciate a player who is skilled in that particular area of behavior.  It’s a small thing but it makes a world of difference in how dealers regard you.   Common-courtesy and good manners are something that not all players practice. 

Also, dealers and box-men are more lenient when it comes to affording a tipping-player more latitude in his shooting-style and stance.  It’s not uncommon for them to block any new players from crowding the shooter (me), or to see them use the rake (stick) to move bets at the opposite end of the table so that my target-area or roll-out lane is clear.  I don’t ask for that service; they provide it out of common-sense in providing their tokes (tips) the highest likelihood of paying off. 


In Ask The Mad Professor Part I you said, “When I am with a few of my cohorts, they tip for the entire table with green or black chips when the cocktail waitress comes around.”  What kind of people can tip $25 or $100 every time they bring drinks around?



Let me re-state again what I said the first time around, and that is that I DO NOT PERSONALLY DO THAT.  I’ve got to tell you that I would feel uncomfortable doing it unless a waitress brought a bottle of Cristal or Dom for the entire table.  I do not see myself placing that kind of order, nor making that kind of tip in my future plans.  However, you have to realize that SOME of the people who frequent some of the casinos in LV, can and do tip exorbitantly.  They do so for a variety of reasons.  I’m not going to discuss various psychological motivations that drive people.  But please understand that some of these are the same type of guys who, as Ray Liotta would say, “tip the bartender $20 just for keeping the ice-cubes cold.”  The over-the-top, old-Vegas, flamboyant lifestyle is the way that they choose to live their lives.  I am not promoting, criticizing or defending their actions or their lifestyle.



I too find table variations, and different "sweet spots" from table to table and casino to casino.  In finding your landing spot, do you search for your target path so that it is 20-25 degrees to the back-wall in line with the landing area?  I have found that hitting the back-wall at an angle helps in keeping the dice on axis.  I find that it is better than hitting the wall from straight on, trying to hit a pyramidal point square, which leads to more roll depending on where the tip of the pyramid hits the die in that quadrant.  What do you think?



Some people have found that shooting into the opposing corner of the table actually helps their accuracy.  They theorize that the points of the pyramids are closer together.  That may be correct.   Personally, I try not to hit the back-wall that far up on any region of the table.   When I throw, the dice usually just roll into the bottom margin of the wall where there are not ANY pyramids. 

There are a few tables where I have found “corner-shooting” to be very good.  Two of the five tables at the Gold Coast; three at Bally’s; and all of the tables at Excalibur are a few excellent examples.

Well folks, that just about wraps it up for this session.

Thanks again for all the great questions.  I hope the answers were helpful.

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

The Mad Professor

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