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New Dice, New Opportunity

This guy went into the hospital for a circumcision, but because of a mix up, he ended up having a complete sex change.  All the doctors and nurses had gathered around his bed as he was waking up so that they could give him the bad news.  Naturally, the poor guy went to pieces and started crying when they explained what had happened to him.  "Oh no!" he moaned, "This means I'll never be able to experience an erection ever again!"  "Of course you will," one of the doctors soothed, “it'll just have to be someone else's, that’s all."

Ah yes, change isn’t always a pleasant thing.

A reader wrote in a while back, and asked:

  • “I would like to know what works best when the casino brings out new dice.  I know the sharp-edges grab the felt, and my results deteriorate. 

  • Could this become a counter-measure against Precision-Shooters? 

  • It has happened to me after two good rolls.  Upon receiving the dice the third time, they brought out the new dice, and my roll was short. 

  • Is there a way to work with these dice?  I know I can leave the table, but when I have found a "sweet spot", I would rather have the knowledge to counteract the change.  Higher arc, lower arc, closer to wall, further from wall, softer throw, may be more spin????”  What do you do?”

DC’s question about "new" dice is a good one. 

I too, have run into the exact same problem and challenge.  Those "white powder fresh" dice do have the sharp edges that bite and dig in.  The other thing is that they are more lively than dice after they have been in use for three or four hours.   Have you ever seen a professional tennis player inspect several tennis balls before choosing one to blast over the net?  They might throw one or two back to the ball-boy and nod for a couple of other ones to be tossed over for additional inspection?  Even after moderate use, dice and tennis balls have less bounce than brand-new ones. On tennis-balls, the "nap" or fuzz wears down.   On dice, the polished and hardened surface also wears down.  This is especially prevalent on the edges first.

As a side-note, here’s something to think about.  Let’s say that old tennis balls and old dice don’t bounce or roll like new balls or dice.  Okay, so how old are the dice that you are using at home to practice with.  That may give a further explanation as to why at-home practice sometimes yields very different results than real-world in-casino experience.  I’m not suggesting that you stop practicing; I’m just giving you a little to think about.  There are many factors that are different in the casino as compared to your home, and dice-age may be one that you may have overlooked.

One thing that the casinos have pretty much outlawed in all of Nevada, Ontario, and New York State, is "banging or burning the dice before you throw them". If you've ever seen someone set the dice, and then bang them hard on the table before throwing them; this is "banging".  If you've ever see someone set the dice and then rub the dice very rapidly on the felt table surface, this is "burning".  Both of those two acts have a VERY big effect on the wear and randomness of the dice.  If you don't believe me, just move your fingertips very quickly, back and forth on the felt, the next time that you are in a casino.  You'll see that it is made from a very abrasive and static-creating material.  If you "burn" each dice on a pre-selected face, they feel that you can mill the dice enough to affect the outcome.  I’ll have an article on this subject in the near future.

Okay, here's what I do when I’m faced with new dice.  If I'm using the pincer-grip, I grasp the dice "deeper" than normal.  That is, my thumbnail for the side-axis closest to me, and the middle-finger nail on the outer dice-axis, pinch the dice slightly below the center point of the dice-sides.

The target area that I aim for also moves slightly.  If I have dialed in a great sweet-spot while using the "old" dice, I re-target the initial landing area about two inches further away, but still on the SAME parallel rolling-lane.

Finally, I use a perceptibly softer pitch with the new dice.  I do not change the trajectory or loft.  Rather, I concentrate on a smooth release, and on just barely giving them enough forward momentum to get the dice to the initial landing area.  If the box-man or dealer says anything about a short roll, I usually quip that "there's baby-powder or something on those new dice, they just slipped out of my hand."

By the way,  with normal use, and normal random-rollers tossing them; it takes about 90 minutes of play before the dice are "seasoned" by normal use and by the tempering effect of human-skin-oil on the cured-cellulose-based dice.

I hope that this is helpful for you next time that they put the old-dice into the "penalty-box" drawer at the Pit Clerks desk, and bring out the new "ice-dice".

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

The Mad Professor

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