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The Sweetest Roller This Side of Heaven

I’ve seen a lot of things at a craps table.  I’ve seen people drop dead, literally, as well as figuratively.   I’ve seen people expel a recently consumed meal all over the craps layout.  I’ve seen people faint from both fatigue and/or excitement.   I’ve also seen some very sweet rolls by random-shooters.

I mention all of this to lead into what I consider to be the sweetest rhythmic-roller that I have ever seen.

First let’s define what I am talking about.  A Precision-Shooter is one who carefully sets the dice to an advantageous set for what he is trying to accomplish.  Next, he uses a dice grip that comfortably holds the dice while giving maximum control before releasing them. 

Now, a Rhythmic-Roller doesn’t conscientiously do those two previous things that the Precision-Shooter does, but the next thing is exactly the same as a Precision-Shooter does.  That is, he throws the dice EXACTLY the same way with every toss.  He throws to EXACTLY the same spot on the table with EVERY toss.

The Rhythmic-Roller and Precision-Shooter also share a couple of other attributes.  They get into a certain rhythm when the dice are in the middle of the table; when the dealers are paying the Place bets, and when the dice are passed to him.  Just as a golfer has a number of pre-swing movements to perfectly position his body and MIND just so; so too does the intelligent dice-player.

It is that rhythm that gets upset when a payout-dispute breaks out somewhere on the table; or they decide that a chip-fill would be perfect just about now, or when a new player muscles in the position next to the shooter; or…well you get the idea about disturbing ones rhythm.

Okay, now that we’ve defined what a Rhythmic-Roller is, I want to tell you about the best and most consistent one that I have ever seen. 

I’ll call him Zed, though that isn’t his name.  I have seen him in various casinos around the country over the past five years or so.  I never actually talked to him until last year.  I ran into him again in Las Vegas a little while ago.  Zed “plays large”.  That is, he buys in for at least $3,000 to $5,000, and bets “black” on the Pass Line with full allowable Odds.  When a Point is established, he Places the Inside numbers for $440.  He then puts $100 in the Come box, and backs that up with full odds when they travel to the number.

Zed shops around for near-empty tables.  That is where I first had the pleasure of watching him shoot five years ago.   His toss seems totally effortless, and the results are astounding.  His rolls range from 5 to 40 tosses.  I would guestimate that his roll-average is in the 20 to 25 range between 7’s.  That’s pretty amazing, at least to me.  Most of the numbers that he tosses are of the Inside variety.  Those are great payers, and I’ll tell you, my normally conservative playing method gets quite aggressive once Zed starts repeating the 5, 6, 8, and 9 more than three or four times each.

What’s even better, is that his short 7-out hands are VERY few and far between.  I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even wait until he “qualifies” as a worthy shooter.  I bet with him right from the first toss, and I follow and mimic his betting, albeit, at lower levels.   The number of times that I have been burned by doing so could be counted on one hand.  The number of times that I have colored-out more than $1,000 from his shooting up until day, would take all of my finger, toes, and teeth to count up.  Now that’s a great shooter!

Here is another neat thing about Zed’s shooting.  While he doesn’t actually “set” the dice, he tokes the stick-man to send the dice to him with the two 6’s up.  From that point, he just takes them into his hand and tosses them to exactly the same spot EVERY time.  The results…SU-WEEEET!  Zed is a HUGE tipper.  He’ll have the crew in action on $25 Hardways, and he’ll return them for $100 each WHEN, not IF, they hit.  You can bet that the dealers are happy campers when Zed is shooting.

So let’s get to the point of why I am telling you all of this.

It’s two-fold.

First, his consistent throw is the telltale sign that he knows what he is doing.  It’s just a nice, easy toss that lands about six inches away from the opposing corner of the tables; the dice takes one hop and hits the “crotch” of the layout where the wall meets the felt.  The dice hit the bottom of the corner rubber and they stop-dead.  It’s a beautiful thing.  No fuss, no muss, no bother; this toss comes in there perfectly just about EVERY time.  The only peep you hear from Zed, is when the dice leave his hand the “wrong” way.  He’ll let out a muffled “geez”, which is almost always followed by the stick-man’s call of “7-out”.

It is that consistency which seems to be the hallmark of his success.

The second important thing about this is that he recognizes that other random-rollers will cost him money when they are shooting.  That explains his seeking out empty tables like I do. The big difference here, is that Zed will call ahead to the casino and ask that they have a $25, $50 or $100 table available for him.  Now, I normally DO NOT play at higher-level tables unless I have to.  In this case, when Zed is playing, hey, I want to get in on a good thing, so I have to play where he plays.  He benefits from my shooting and I benefit from his.  While our styles are completely different, the results are what is important. 

I write this after completing a number of sessions with him at five different casinos.  We were on our feet for 11.5 hours.  That’s WAY BEYOND what I normally play, but the effort way well worth it.  I kept track of his shooting compared to mine.  I’ve got to tell you, Zed was as good as I was.  In some sessions, he was MUCH better than I was.  His throwing consistency was, on average, probably 15% to 20% more on target than mine was.

All the practice and effort that I have invested into Precision-Shooting make his efforts are all the more amazing, at least to me.  Instead of resenting his skill or “casual-targeting” as he calls it, I take full advantage of it, every roll of the way.

So, does a Rhythmic-Roller qualify as a Precision-Shooter?

In most cases I would be inclined to say, “no”, but in Zed’s case I’d have to give it some serious thought to it.  For now, all I’ll say is that he has some of the sweetest rolls this side of heaven.

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

The Mad Professor

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