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Is Dice-Setting an Illusion?

Old Mrs. Biddle was walking down the street carrying a small box with holes punched in the top. A neighbor stopped and asked her, "What's in that box?"  "A cat," was Mrs. Biddle’s response.  The neighbor then asked, "What for?"  "Well, I've been dreaming about mice at night, and I'm scared of mice. The cat is to catch them."  "But the mice you dream about are imaginary," said the neighbor.   Without skipping a beat old Mrs. Biddle turned to her friend and whispered, "So is the cat."

“Dice-setting is an illusion,” said the casino manager, “I tried it once, and it doesn’t work.”  The other day, I overheard those exact comments as a Park Place Entertainment senior executive, and his casino manager were talking to a Flamingo Hilton Pit-Boss.  He went on to state, “…all casinos are pretty much the same, and so are all craps playing conditions”. 

They had been discussing the fact that they were contemplating moving the craps pit from it’s current location in front of the casino cage, to a location closer to a higher-traffic aisle near the front of the casino.  With that move, they intended to install a couple of shorter tables in place of their famous LONG ones.  A few months ago, I would have delighted at that thought.  However, ever since I’ve perfected the MP’s Long-Ranger” dice-throw as chronicled in  Long Tables = Po$$ibilitie$ . I wasn’t as enthusiastic. 

The Pit Boss agreed heartily that table-length meant nothing, except for the number of players they could accommodate, and he reinforced it by saying that the dice always remained truly random no matter how long the table was.

For our sake, I hope that the “suit” and all the other pit critters and decision-makers in a position of power continue to think EXACTLY that way.  He went on to say that the shorter tables made it easier for the dealers to service the game, and keep customers happy.  The other two guys reasoned that happy dealers generally make happy players, and that most, if not all players EXPECTED to lose money, but it was the crews job to make the experience as pain-free and as pleasurable as possible. 

I was delighted to hear that, especially after an organized group of dice-setters descended on Vegas a number of weekends back.  They dinged a couple of casinos for some decent dollars, and for a short time, the heat was turned up on dice-setters, especially the slow and indecisive setters.  The dust has now settled, and there is even LESS heat than before.  Go figure!

The things those casino decision-makers discussed, augurs well for the future of Precision-Shooters everywhere, especially in Las Vegas.  

Here’s why.

Dealer skill-levels vary from place to place.  Craps dealers at Bellagio and Hard Rock earn in the $100,000 range per year, while craps dealers at El Cortez have a hard time breaking through the $18,000 barrier.  Their attitude, aptitude, skill level, and general abilities vary greatly. 

Dealer skill has a strong influence on the speed, pace, honesty and integrity of the game.  Dealers can actually contribute to dice-rolling consistency and helping to maintain positive player attitude while at the table.  The same goes for the skill and attitude of box-men.  Surly dealers usually mean a hit-and-run attitude with the more astute players.  A pleasant staff has the ability to keep all but the most disciplined player at the tables until their very last chip is squandered.  It’s easier to lose money if the dealers make the playing experience pleasant.  It’s kind of like charming you to death.  It takes a lot of discipline to leave a table under those circumstances.  The casinos understand that.

Then there is an opposite-world in the dice-dealers universe. My Italian compadres have an old saying about a fish starting to stink from the head on down.  If casino management has a bad attitude, then it naturally and inevitably flows down to the front-line dealers and gets spewed all over the customers in the form of bad customer-service.  Usually, it’s only the degenerate gamblers who stay at a table if the crew is nasty and obnoxious.  Perhaps they feel the need to be “punished” for their gambling sins.

When the casino management wipes their dirty shoes all over the heads of the dealers, you can be sure that there’s not going to be a lot of joy and love at the tables.  The harshest dealers are usually in the houses where management has the poorest relationship with their workers.  It seems to be a universal phenomenon, not just in the casinos, but in just about any workplace you go.   If management is terrible, then customer service is “forced” at best, and downright obnoxious at worst.

Next time you are at any casino, check how different levels of staff interact with each other.  Then compare it to their dice-setting policy.  There is definitely a correlation.

Oh, and by the way, if anyone asks you about your skills; just say that dice-setting is just a myth and an illusion.  They’ll believe THAT.

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

The Mad Professor

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