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It's More Fun When You Win!



Volume VI : Issue #10

Date October 2006

In This Edition:


A Word From Soft Touch

The Free Odds Fallacy 

Biofeedback To Improve the “Zone”

Ed Wants to Know...

Today's Wisdom...

Queen Bee's Buzz...

A Labor of Love...

Newsletter Archive Links


 Soft Touch Say's


Hello Everyone!


September 30th has come and gone.  Our Dice Playshop was a wonderful event and it was great to meet all those who attended.  Thank you all so much for taking the time to join us in Vegas to tune up, to hook up and to advance your game.  And, a million thank you’s to all who helped pitch in with “casino intel”, transportation, and for helping all the new members of our growing community.  Surely, your networking with one another will prove to be invaluable.


By the way, for those that came in the party weekend for the Hilton Craps Tournament, it was great to hear some of our party goers advanced pretty high up the ladder.  I understand Dice Coach placed ninth in the tournament and I am sure he will be writing about his experience in his next month’s web page edition.  So, check back and read his tournament strategy that got him “in the money.”  Congratulations everyone.  It’s starting to become a pretty common occurrence to hear our members placing in craps tourneys.  Keep up the positive work.


While I am on the subject of the Dice Coach, he wrote an interesting article titled “Can a Blind Man Shoot?”  Here’s an excerpt:

During the class, I took a little extra time to work with Carl. Knowing he could not see, I showed him how to “feel” the dice and how they should be placed in his hand. Then we worked on the throwing motion, showing him where to release the dice and how that motion should feel each time he threw the dice. You can read the rest of the article at https://www.dicecoach.com/.

A special thank you goes out to my good friend, Richard Madaus, author of the book Think Logically, Live Intuitively: Seeking the Balance. He was gracious enough to share his views on how we, as players, should focus on balancing our energy between our mind and our hearts to create positive outcomes at the craps tables.  Quite a few party attendees enjoyed their interaction with his software program.  He was kind enough to contribute a short article on biofeedback.  Be sure to read it. I hope he comes to more of our events to share his knowledge with us.


One last thing before I sign off, I subscribe to a great number of newsletters on dice play.  Some are great and educational. Others just serve as advertising pieces. One newsletter for October that I found interesting was the one I received from my wonderful friend, Michael Vernon of www.playing4keeps.com.  I was impressed with a couple of articles written by the two Michael’s.  Both Michaels write about “shooting for the gap” and the “distance between the sevens.”  If you don’t receive The Professor’s newsletter, be sure to sign up for it at his Playing4Keeps website.


Last, last thing and at the last minute. I wish to extend to my loyal subscribers, a reduced price for the last Dice Busters program for the year (a $300 saving) November 4th.


Call Beth toll free to register. - 866-342-3626 - Let her know that you are a subscriber to Dice Setter Newsletter to qualify for the savings. That's it!


Until next month, Happy Halloween everyone and be sure to,


Make your next craps session, no matter what the outcome, your best session ever.

Soft Touch


PS If you have any suggestions for the new dicesetter.com website or newsletter please send them to me at Ed@dicesetter.com and I'll have a look and see how we can incorporate them into our future plans.


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The Free Odds Fallacy  
By:  Mike In Hawaii


Gambling charges an ignorance tax. Much of Las Vegas and similar places is based on this ignorance tax. People do not learn to play the games right, or intelligently. Examples abound. Such as the various pay tables on seemingly identical video poker machines which make one Jacks or Better machine worth playing and another one a terrible rip off right beside it.  
The game of Craps is an amazing study. It contains some of the best and worst examples of bets found in a casino. They all look alike until you start taking them apart. The math is not hard, but the exact wording of the problem and getting the calculations in exactly the right way is. You can easily get turned around.  
One example is the long stated belief that taking free odds behind the line on pass line and don't pass bets decreases the house advantage. You see this calculation bandied about everywhere. You appear to be a fool if you do not take maximum odds behind on such bets because such bets are paid at true odds, with zero apparent house advantage. A dead even bet.  


Zero Sum Games

A dead even bet is a "Zero Sum Game". That is where this all falls down. Zero. When a gambling game is matched to a betting system that exactly pays fair odds on the betting options, it must over time total out to zero. You will win exactly as much as you lose on either side of the bet. Unless something is not right, like crooked dice, people pocketing chips or other kinds of cheating. Here let's assume two things. First, no cheating. Second, square dice that are a true random roll.  
Ask yourself "why does the Casino allow free odds bets?" Is it because they love giving gamblers a fair shake? Not bloody likely!  
Since Casinos live and breathe by house advantage, even a slight tilt in the game could derail the Casino's cash flow. A rake is built into each possible bet, either by the definition of the way the game is played, which can be even a small inconspicuous special rule, or by just offering bets that do not match the true odds of the game. House advantage. 

Basic Craps at the pass line

In basic craps that house edge on pass line bets is 1.41% approximately. For every $100 you bet on the pass line, the Casino will tax you $1.41 for playing. That is their "rake" on this particular action. This will happen because of many players playing many "hands" of a game whose mechanics and rules are defined to generate this slight tilt in the odds. Of course they offer an array of really crappy [pun] bets that pay them much better per "hand" and there are people betting on those, so overall the craps game cranks out a better percentage than that.  
It is a widely held belief that taking free odds behind the line after the come out roll decreases the house advantage.  
You can easily crank out a calculation that seems to "prove" this. How it works is even easy to "understand". Any gambling calculation that is easy to understand is suspect!  
You are taking the basic craps pass line bet with its 1.41% house advantage, and when you take odds behind, you are making a second bet at zero sum, dead even odds. If you take single odds, one line of reasoning says you now have (0% + 1.41%) / 2 or about 0.71% house advantage at the point where you take the free odds bet behind the pass line. Since you do not get a chance to make the free odds bet on every hand (many are decided immediately by craps, 7 or 11) the actual alleged affect on house advantage is a bit different.  
But you get the fundamental idea. This is the basis of the taking odds strategy more or less regardless of which original bet you take odds on. The house loves it. This has to be a clue that something does not gel. Why would the house keep asking you, helpfully and cheerfully, if you would like to take odds?  
The critical point here is you are making a SECOND bet and it is a Zero Sum Bet. Bottom line? It ain't there! A zero sum bet is a dead wash for both parties. It does not change anything. The house is still going to extract that $1.41 from every $100 on the pass line bet with or without the extra free odds behind. And the extra free odds bet is going to exactly win and lose for you in a dead heat, so it is going to end up being invisible in the long run.  
What does change is the amount of money you are risking. This is what confuses people. When you take odds you are putting more money into play. This is the part the house loves. Why is it a bit hard to understand.  
You are now risking more money to lose the same $1.41 house advantage on each $100 that winds up on the pass line. In a perfect world it would all be a wash on the zero sum side, the free odds bet part of this combined action. It is that "perfect world" part that is the key.  
The world is not perfect. That is where the Casino gets its invisible edge on free odds bets. It is a derivative value for them. They have the BIG pockets. They also look out onto an ocean of betters for each hand, while each individual looks in and sees only one Casino opponent. On any given hand there are winners and losers for the Casino. Even on a single hand, life is evening out for them towards their mathematically entitled $1.41 from each $100 bet on the pass line.   

Any Zero Sum Bet is a Contest of Bankrolls

 But for individual players, they do not have deep pockets. There is a limit to how negative an individual shooter can go before they have to stop one way or another. When a player is busted and forced out, it is all gravy for the Casino. Human nature causes winners to tend to keep playing with the predictable result that they start to drop back towards that inevitable house advantage equilibrium point. Virtually no individual player quits right at his or her maximum win point. But all players have to quit when they are hopelessly busted and tapped out. Casinos eliminate human nature with strict rules and highly trained and monitored employees.  
What the free odds bets does is increase the money in play for each player, the amount of risk they are exposed to, and increases the volatility of their winnings, and more importantly their losses, relative to their personal bankrolls.  
This increased volatility increases the chances of them being busted out in a given session. The Casino with its bigger pockets and its array of players on each hand, and flow of assorted good and bad players over just a 24 hour period, can handle the increased volatility easily. The individual player is at much greater risk from the increased volatility since he or she can easily be pushed too negative to afford to stick around, waiting for the swing back towards the equilibrium point for them personally.  
In effect, a free odds bet is a wash over the long run if the two sides of the bet are equally bankrolled. It is a zero sum bet. It will equal zero for both sides. The casinos do not fear a zero sum bet. They realize it increases volatility which they are economically set up to tolerate.  
But by encouraging players to bet more, it increases the individual player's exposure and increases the absolute value of the positive and negative swings they experience. It increases the chances of a player being forced so negative they have to abandon a session as a big looser, the best possible outcome for the Casino. Drain the player, move him or her out, and slide in a new one with fresh chips! The fewer hands it takes to do this, the better for overall cash flow.  
Meanwhile the other bet, the money laid on the pass line, is puffing along like the "little engine that could." Cranking out its $1.41 of each $100 bet on the pass line just like clockwork from the player's pocket into the casino's stacks.  
Think of it this way, by taking free odds behind the line, you are risking a lot more money to loose that $1.41 of every $100 you place on the pass line. You are ensuring a higher volatility, larger plus and minus swings and the chances that one of those negative swings will be large enough to bust you out of a session.  
That is all. The $1.41 remains. It makes no sense to say because you put $30,000 on the layout in odds and pass line wagers combined in a session you reduced the house advantage vs. just putting the same smaller percentage without odds (say $12,000) on the pass line without making the free odds wagers. The only thing that really "played" was the pass line wagers, and of that the house took $1.41 of each $100. All the free odds bets did was increase your exposure to volatility, which is great if you got lucky, but ended your session much faster if you did not.  

So What Does Make Sense?

Much of gambling strategy is clear thinking. Unfortunately gambling calculations while they are very easy math, typically, are the dreaded "word problems" that everyone learned to hate in High School! The evil word problems center on formulating the question. Stating them exactly right is key to the getting the correct answer and very difficult.  
You must decide in advance how much money you are going to risk in a given session vs. the amount in your gambling bankroll. This is what a casino does each and every moment of every day. They know mathematically how much money they need in reserve for the risk on all their games and are prepared to cover all the statistical swings so they can keep cranking out the income the inevitable house advantages guarantee to them. The individual must approach the problem the same way. You have a certain bankroll to risk.  
In craps, you must decide how much you can afford to risk on each hand you participate in.  
Once that number is decided, NOW you can decide to put a percentage of that number onto the pass line etc. and then take the rest of it in odds on the first bet. This is a good strategy!  
What is NOT a good strategy is to be going along betting the $5 chips that your bankroll entitles you to risk on each hand, and hearing that "odds will reduce the house advantage", suddenly start taking an extra $10 in odds on each bet or whatever odds are allowed. What this does is suddenly double or triple the amount of money you are risking on each hand, without increasing your bankroll by the same amount. You are now certain to be wiped out by the increased dollar amount swings your bankroll cannot tolerate. Some casinos offer up to 100 times odds. This is why.  
 So, first decide how much you can afford on each hand you participate in. THEN and only then, decide if you want to take a percentage of that number as odds. Done this way odds is a good tool for preserving your bankroll and increasing your session life. As long as you keep the total in original bets and odds equal to what you can afford to risk on each hand based on your bankroll. The second you allow the siren song of "Taking Odds" to lure you into doubling or tripling your average bet, out proportion to your bankroll, the Casino has you right where they want you. In over your head.  
New shooter coming out,  

Mike In Hawaii
© Copyright 2006 


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Biofeedback To Improve the “Zone”

By Richard Madaus

© Copyright 2006 


It was great to meet folks at the Playshop party at Beau’s house.  Many thanks again to Debbie, Beau, Beth and Michael for idea, the hospitality, and the opportunity to learn and share together.  There are so many interesting and knowledgeable people to meet in the world of dice.  There were a number of questions about the HeartMath biofeedback computer program/device that I shared with those interested during the party.  I wanted to provide information about this piece of equipment that I have found to be a great training aid to assist you in remaining calm and fully present, a very valuable state in the noise and excitement of the gaming environment. 


This device is a wonderful piece of technology that provides both instant feedback about the level of stress present in the body and also offers a laboratory tested approach to training yourself to instantly become calm in a way that is necessary to enter the fabled “zone”, a place where long rolls seem to live.


The HeartMath group (https://www.heartmath.com/) offers the computer program (the Freeze-Framer), sensor, and training aids to support their structured approach to moving your body into a stress free and optimal performance state.  They also offer a new PDA sized portable device called the Emwave (https://www.emwave.com/) for mobile training and testing. 


I talk about my experiences at the HeartMath Institute in Chapter 20 of my book Think Logically, Live Intuitively: Seeking the Balance.  I have continued my exploration of this technology and I’m now experimenting with the practiced “coherent” state attained and the impact of performance at the tables.  Early results are very positive. 


Most dice training programs contain an element referred to as “the zone”, a calm and centered place where muscle memory takes over to allow all those hours of practice to pay off.  There are numerous stories about long rolls that took place when shooters enter “the zone”.  This technology provides a proven training approach to the calm and centered state that is a prerequisite to working in “zone” level of play.  It’s a little pricey, but well worth it if you will apply yourself to their techniques and practice attaining “coherence” while practicing your throwing techniques.


Always more to learn about the game,

Richard Madaus

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Ed Wants to Know...  If You Know?


1.      What Las Vegas Hotel/Casino was "home" to Elvis Presley?


2.      What is the name of the Las Vegas Casino where Siegfried and Roy first opened their magic act?


3.  After the hit on Bugsy Siegel, the two trigger men drove north to abandon the get-a-way car. What city did they drive to and what did they do with the car?


Send your answers to ed@dicesetter.com


Last Month's Questions:


1.      What is Bugsy Siegel’s claim to fame?

2.      Who were the members of the “Rat Pack”?

3.      What is the name of the show room and the casino where the “Rat Pack” played?

4.      Who said it?  "…the only way to make money in a casino is to own one."




1. Bugsy Siegel was a mobster. He leveraged himself into Las Vegas and opened the Fabulous Flamingo with the financial help of his friends back east. Things did not go well for the Flamingo and after a brief two week opening beginning December 26, 1947, it had to shut down. After several months, it later reopened, this time with the hotel, top restaurants and full-blown entertainment. The Flamingo began to show profit in May of "47", but it was not enough for the east coast mob. Suspicious that Bugsy was skimming, the mob put out a hit order on Bugsy. They waited for Bugsy to leave Las Vegas. While visiting his girl friend in Hollywood, California, Bugsy was gunned down gangland style at his girl friend’s apartment, June 20, 1947. The murder of the mobster/casino owner made headlines nationwide. Bugsy’s murder turned out to be one of the biggest publicity events ever for Las Vegas. Bugsy's death put Las Vegas and gambling on the map and in the minds of the nation. Curiosity brought hundreds of thousand to Las Vegas to the see the casino that Bugsy built.  There is no memorial or recognition in Las Vegas for Bugsy Siegel unless you count Bugsy’s Café at the Flamingo Hilton. Bugsy's murder as mobster boss of the Fabulous Flamingo Casino was his claim to fame. The publicity created in the wake of his death made famous the little desert oasis and transformed Las Vegas into the world capital for entertainment.


2. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford were the “Rat Pack”. Shirley MacClaine, Lauren Bacall, and Judy Garland... sometimes as side kicks...


3. The Copa Room at the Sands Hotel and Casino hosted the Rat Pack.


4. Steve Wynn said it!


Thanks to Jonah and Dice Governor for the correct answers and good guesses by those of you that sent other answers. Hey, Jonah, you are on a roll! Got all four of them right!


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Today's Wisdom:

The Law of Win/Win says, "Let's not do it your way or my way; let's do it the best way."

Greg Anderson

The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness


Queen Bee's Buzz:

Hi Queen Bee,
I have a couple of questions I hoped you could answer.

1.) Say I wanted to lay the 4 for $20 to hedge a $10 don't pass bet. If I call it off during the point cycle, and back on during the come out, do I have to pay the vig every time I call it on or only when there's a decision?


2.) Do you happen to know of or know of any lists containing any Las Vegas casinos that only take the vig when you win on lay bets? I know there are some, I just don't remember which ones or how many.

Thanks for your time,

Dear Matt,

1.) First of all, if you are going to lay bet, you should only play casinos that collect the vig after the bet wins. Really, why do you want to pay the tax before ever taking delivery on the goods? To answer your question, no you do not pay the vig every time you call the bet back on. But consider this, once you have made and paid for the lay bet, you have paid for the advantage that the bet has over the casino. So, what's the point of calling off a lay bet? Why would you want to have paid for the advantage and then give it back playing  off and on?


2.) Sorry, such is list is not in my possession. However, from experience, "real" casinos collect the vig after the bet wins. So, in Las Vegas, you should not have to pay up front.... unless you end up in "rinky-dink" joints. Why play there in the first place?


Thanks fro writing,

Queen Bee

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Dice Setter Precision Shooter’s Newsletter™ is published by GIFT, LLC. It is intended to be informational and entertaining. Do not consider the information a guarantee for supplementing or replacing income. Casino games are adult entertainment, games to be played and enjoyed. It is the intention of GIFT, LLC. to provide information so the reader may play with more enjoyment. Opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the publisher. Winning is a goal and not a guarantee.


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